The Call: August 7, 2020 edition

The Call: August 7, 2020 edition

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On top of everything else

Participants in Holston Conference's health-insurance plan are alarmed by upcoming rate increases, especially for clergy families in a year when minimum salaries will not be increased. Read story.

Polling places changed due to mask rule  

United Methodist churches in Hamilton County are among those requiring face masks to be worn in the building, causing polling places to be switched during yesterday's election in Tennessee. From News Channel 9. See story.

Churches weigh options to reach seniors

Technology has provided many answers for pastors trying to stay connected with their members during the coronavirus pandemic. But in some rural or smaller churches, landline telephones and newsletters sent via snail mail continue to play a role. From UM News. Read story.

AU students skip meals to feed families

International students at Africa University are sacrificing their own meals to put food on the table in vulnerable communities. Four theology students at the United Methodist university started the Feed a Family campaign to help families struggling during the pandemic. From UM News. Read story.

Meharry faces off with COVID-19  

It was plenty hot at 9 a.m. on a summer Saturday morning when Lashunda Collins, a first-year dental student at Meharry Medical College, suited up in full personal protective equipment. She was one of 15 student volunteers regularly giving up a rare free day to administer COVID-19 tests. From UM News. Read story.

VBS, pandemic style

Summer is synonymous with Vacation Bible School (VBS). But VBS, pandemic style, requires pairing safety with creativity. Here's how some United Methodist churches are adapting. From United Methodist Communications. Read story.

Going back to where it started

Retired Bishop Kenneth Carder has begun to revisit the churches and communities where he and his late wife, Linda, served early in their life together. He writes about his recent trip back to Watauga, Tennessee. From Shifting Margins. Read blog.

Ode to church cookbooks

Do you have a favorite? For Southern favorites, Annette Spence still relies on a 2002 cookbook that raised money for the Wesley Foundation at University of Virginia College at Wise. From The Call to Cook. Read blog.

  Photo of the Week  

Concord United Methodist Church shares the story of how a year-round community garden came to be in its corner of west Knoxville. The church enlisted Master Gardeners and volunteers to transform an empty lot that now provides fresh produce for hungry neighbors. See video.

  More Information  


Holston Connectional Ministries
Adverse Childhood Training Experiences
July 30-August 27
General Board of Global Ministries
#StillinMission, Aug. 13, Oct. 8, Nov. 19
Holston's three Church & Community Workers will share their work through Zoom meetings.
Holston United Methodist Women
Annual Meeting: Sept. 26


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