Offering totals $129,733 for addiction ministry

Offering totals $129,733 for addiction ministry

Nancy Chinzvede, director of Ishe Anesu, arrives from Zimbabwe to participate in last night's Missions Celebration. Photo by Ben Smith

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (June 12, 2019) -- Holston Conference took an offering of $129,733 to fight opioid addiction during its Missions Celebration last night in Stuart Auditorium.

The offering was part of a celebration that included a ministry update from Nancy Chinzvede, director of Ishe Anesu, who arrived from Zimbabwe yesterday. “Through your love, you have been with us when we needed you,” said Chinzvede.

Through Holston Conference’s support, children have been fed, educated, and clothed at Ishe Anesu. Sixty students advanced from primary school to college, and four are serving as missionaries throughout the world, she said.

The Rev. Michael Sluder, director of connectional ministries, announced the Hands-on Project totals: 9,042 mission kits for Zimbabwe and Liberia, valued at $220,131. The totals exceeded last year’s collection. (Download district totals.)

George Howard of the General Board of Global Ministries spoke about this year’s 200-year anniversary of Methodist mission.

Led by the Rev. Elston McLain, an African Drums group from Lennon-Seney United Methodist Church shared “healing music.”

The Change for Children offering totaled $61,990 by 10 p.m. last night, according to Treasurer Rick Cherry.


Four more delegates were elected yesterday while volunteers joined in helping a manual vote-counting process after continued machine malfunctions.

The Rev. Wil Cantrell, Anne Travis, John Eldridge, and Donna Mosby were elected to represent Holston at General Conference 2020.

The election of another clergy member, the Rev. Kristen Burkhart, was announced earlier in the day. However, Conference Secretary Terry Goodman later announced recall of Burkhart’s election, due to a counting error.

A replacement voting machine has been obtained and balloting is expected to go more smoothly on Wednesday, Bishop Dindy Taylor said at last night’s session.

Elected by Tuesday night: Emily Ballard, Rev. Kim Goddard, Del Holley, Rev. Wil Cantrell, Anne Travis, John Eldridge, Donna Mosby.


> A resolution (“Holston Conference Commitment in Being in Ministry Together”) tabled Monday was returned to the floor after a motion from the Rev. Andy Ferguson. Ferguson then offered a substitute resolution which the Annual Conference voted to consider in place of the original. Because the Standing Rules require referral to the Petitions and Resolutions Committee prior to consideration by the full body, the committee will review the substitute and present its recommendation on Wednesday. (Download substitute resolution.)

> The Rev. Betty Furches shared a moving tribute to Hiwassee College, which closed its doors May 10 after 170 years. As she and Bishop Taylor clasped hands, Furches prayed: “We ask that your hand continue to move over and around Tennessee Wesleyan and Emory & Henry, to take our Hiwassee hearts that we may become encouragers of these two conference colleges, so that in year to come we will continue to hear of your good and holy work to educate those who can then serve you in their life journeys.”

> The presidents of Emory & Henry College and Tennessee Wesleyan University asked for a “moment of silence” in recognition of Hiwassee College. “We are losing Methodist colleges much too often,” said E&H’s Jake Schrum, joined on the stage by TWU’s Harley Knowles. “We’re losing them because they’re closing, and we’re losing them because they don’t agree with The United Methodist Church.”

> The Francis Asbury Award for higher education was presented to the Rev. John Ousley, director of the Wesley Foundation at East Tennesssee State University.

> The Denman Evangelism Award was presented to the Rev. Robin Kyek (clergy) of Andersonville/ Mt. Pleasant UMC, Tennessee Valley District; Dennis Ashley (lay) of Trinity-Big Stone Gap UMC, Appalachian District; and Nate Roark (youth), Hunt Memorial UMC, Clinch Mountain District.

> The 5K Run/ 1-Mile Walk fundraiser to fight opioid addiction had 68 participants. Top male and female 5K finishers were Robert Kariuki Nyaga with a time of 19:29 and Nancy Twigg with a time of 26:37.

> The Retirement Recognition honored 33 clergy who shared photos, memories, and advice (even a harmonica solo) in a 20-minute video. The Rev. Steven Johnson recalled a Holy Thursday when the deaf community came from miles around to worship at his church. The Rev. Richard Isbell advised colleagues to use the gifts God gave them, “then get out of the way and let the Holy Spirit work with your life.”

> In the Delegation Report, Del Holley explained the decisions of General Conference 2019 and legislation going into effect in January 2020. The Rev. Kim Goddard spoke of the harm done by United Methodists to each other following General Conference. “Can we talk to each other and not about each other?” she asked. “What if we threw our labels, buttons and badges into a heap and proclaimed that we are followers of Jesus?” 

>  Representing the Board of Ordained Ministry, the Rev. Mickey Rainwater explained a new clergy program satisfying requirements in the 2016 Book of Discipline. “Flourishing in Ministry: Review, Renew, Retool” involves clergy in a six-month process of personal and professional assessment and development every eight years.

> Local pastors licenses were presented to eight persons.

> The Rev. Todd Chancey, Board of Pensions chair, requested a moment of silence in memory of Ken Luton who died May 21. Luton served as Holston Conference pensions/ health insurance administrator.

> Representing the Sexual Ethics and Boundaries Task Force, the Rev. Caleb Pitkin announced that mandatory workshops were organized for clergy this spring. The conference policies on sexual ethics and boundaries, last revised in 1998, have been updated and are provided on pages 114-116 in the “Book of Reports.”

> After the Cabinet Report, the Annual Conference approved resolutions for closing eight churches: Boone’s Creek, Johnson City, Tenn.; Browder, Sweetwater, Tenn.; Hendron’s Chapel, Knoxville, Tenn.; Mayberry Community, Telford, Tenn.; McCarty, Telford, Tenn.; Meadowview, Rogersville, Tenn.; Mt. Olivet, Glade Springs, Va.; and Union, Saltville, Va.

> The Annual Conference approved a $9.1 million budget for 2020. A budget summary is published on page 71 of the “Book of Reports.” 
For a Wednesday report and wrap-up report, visit

Contact Annette Spence, editor, at




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Annette Spence

Annette Spence is editor of The Call, the Holston Conference newsletter.

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