The Call: April 30, 2021 edition

The Call: April 30, 2021 edition

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Restrictions lifted May 1

As governors alter their state mask mandates and vaccinated Americans feel safer to return to public places, Holston Conference is also responding to reduced numbers of coronavirus cases by giving local churches freedom to decide how to proceed through the rest of the pandemic. From The Call. Read the story.

Megachurch seeks exit over appointment strife

The largest congregation in the North Georgia Conference has announced its senior pastor is surrendering his credentials and leaving the denomination. Mt. Bethel UMC is also filing a complaint against the bishop and district superintendent. From UM News. Read story.


Shell remembers April 2011 tornadoes

It's been a decade since the Rev. Reed and Cathy Shell's home was partially destroyed by two tornadoes while they rode out the storm in Cleveland, Tennessee. “I still get this little tight feeling in the pit of my stomach." From WRCB. See story.


Volunteers provide free care at Magnolia Avenue

Volunteers at the East Knoxville Free Medical Clinic inside Magnolia Avenue UMC are the primary care providers for many people. Originally founded because no medical care was available within a 3-mile radius, the clinic has become a beacon. From Knoxville News Sentinel. Read story.

Pastor advocates for paid Juneteenth holiday

The Rev. Charlotte Williams, pastor at Eastdale Village Community UMC, has joined others in supporting a resolution to make Juneteenth a Chattanooga holiday for city employees. "We should see that all people are created equal and deserve the right to celebrate their freedom." From News Channel 9. See story.

Homeless ministry offers compassion in Kenya

United Methodists in Kenya are helping homeless women and children overcome the challenges exacerbated by COVID-19. The initial goal of the Nairobi District was to identify children at risk due to guardians residing in slums. From UM News. Read story.

What digital approach is best for your church?

Tim Snyder outlines the pluses and minuses of two platforms commonly used for digital worship: broadcast platforms and video conferencing. Each has its own logic and limitations to consider in deciding what is right in your setting. From Lewis Center for Church Leadership. Read story.


  Photo of the Week  

United Methodist churches are trying to find ways to reach out to students and staff at Austin-East High School in Knoxville, after the tragic deaths of 5 students due to gun violence since January. Seymour United Methodist Church decided to show them love through a delicious Chik-fil-A lunch earlier this week.



Holston Foundation
April 30: Application deadline for college scholarships
Holston Connectional Ministries
May 1: Application deadline for addiction ministry grants
Holston Youth Ministry
May 17: Early registration deadline for Assembly
UM Archives & History
May 23: Heritage Sunday
Annual Conference
June 12: Virtual Session
Holston Calendar
UMC Calendar


  More Resources  

Past Issues  

The Call is Holston Conference's weekly newsletter for 853 United Methodist congregations in East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and North Georgia. Contact Annette Spence, editor, at

 Sign up for a free weekly subscription to The Call.