ALCOA, Tenn. (Dec. 30, 2015) -- In Holston Conference, it's tough for any story to break into the list of traditional favorites, which in the last 15 years has consistently included clergy appointments and controversy.
Yet in 2015, Holston readers were clearly moved by news of a drowning during Resurrection (see #2, below) and were curious about mistakes we make when dealing with the poor (#5).
At least one of the stories emerging from our cities and mountains would go on to become one of the denomination's biggest ministry successes of the year. Shades of Grace, the new homeless congregation in Kingsport (#12), not only inspired an UMTV video and donations from all over the nation, but will appear in Outreach Magazine this spring.
Sadly, the mass-shooting epidemic striking communities all over the world and dominating international media made a stop in Chattanooga. When military personnel were gunned down at two facilities on July 16, Hixson United Methodist Church reached out to one of the grieving families, and Holston's related stories represented United Methodists throughout the world.
Bishop Dindy Taylor chose "local children in poverty" as our 2015 mission emphasis, and it's encouraging to see one of the related stories represented in this year's top 15. If you're interested in the others, visit WaytoGive.Holston.org for print as well as video testimonies.
It's also encouraging to see that, despite the ugly and discouraging voices competing for our attention, Holstonians still love to laugh. I'm thankful for pastors like Rev. Steve Doyal (see #8) and Rev. Charles Maynard (see #9) who haven't forgotten the power of humor. I vote for more stories with joy in 2016.
-- Annette Spence (editor)
1. Bishop announces 2 new superintendents (March 26)
3. Bishop names connectional ministries director (April 10)
5. Poverty Summit: 4 mistakes made by church members (Sept. 2)
6. Delegation endorses Graves for bishop nominee (Sept. 21)
10. CrossFit clergy gain muscle, lose muffin tops (Jan. 5)
* The list is generated by data reports provided by Constant Contact, our email newsletter host, and does not include information from social media.