The Call: February 5, 2021 edition

The Call: February 5, 2021 edition

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'These people are valuable'

With the heavy load that clergy are carrying during the pandemic, Bobby Stair doesn’t know why more pastors aren't "tapping their church members on the shoulder" to sign up for lay servant ministries training.
“These people are valuable,” Stair says of trained, certified lay ministers. “They’re like another arm of the church.” From The Call. Read story.

Lay ministries training goes online

The next round of Holston Lay Servant Ministries training will be offered online through Zoom. Classes begin Saturday, February 27, and will continue through Saturday, May 1, excluding April 3 (Easter weekend). From Holston Communications. See schedule and info.


Magnolia free clinic continues with UT students

The free clinic hosted by Magnolia Avenue UMC is still going in East Knoxville. UT medical students are volunteering to fill in the gaps left by retired nurses and physicians who haven't felt safe yet to return to the clinic during the pandemic. From WVLT. See story.


Concord supplies 44 feeding agencies

On Jan. 30, Concord UMC's 40,000-pound "crop drop" looked different than it has in the past. Social distancing cut the volunteer numbers in half, yet every sweet potato was bagged and distributed to 44 area agencies. From Farragut Press. See story.


Churches inject energy into vaccine access

Across the U.S., United Methodist ministries are not throwing away their shot to help immunize people against the disease that so far has claimed more than 446,000 lives. Church Street UMC put together a Q&A on the church website and is registering seniors for the vaccine. From UM News. Read story.


Discipleship's top executive battles cancer

The Rev. Junius B. Dotson, the top executive of Discipleship Ministries, told his staff and board Jan. 28 that he is battling pancreatic cancer. From UM News. Read story.

Church sees surge in giving at year's end

An outpouring in end-of-year giving left United Methodist finances in better shape than projected. However, between the ongoing COVID-19 menace and the possibility of a denominational split, the UMC still faces financial uncertainty. From UM News. Read story.


Black women pioneers in Methodism

In celebration of Black History and Women’s History months, "Ask The UMC" remembers four of the groundbreaking Black women in U.S. Methodist history. Part 1 celebrates Ida Bell Wells-Barnett and Mary McLeod Bethune. From UM Communications. Read story.

  Photo of the Week  

Resurrection 2021 went live and virtual on Jan. 23, with 3,488 views on YouTube and numerous youth and youth groups across Holston experiencing it together. According to Laura McLean, there were 249 free app downloads, 702 Resurrection shirts and 240 swag bags sold. Among the many bright spots in the two-hour gathering was Abbye Grace Gibson (above) sharing her poem in the youth talent presentation. Gibson is a member of Greenwood UMC in Tusculum, Tennessee. Visit for the archived stream and other opportunities.




  More Resources  

The Call to Cook
Food and faith blog from 'The Call'
Lenten Landing
Spiritual resources from Camp in the Community
Feet First: Facing Our Fears
Video retreat from Holston Collegiate Ministries
Job Opportunities
Church Reopen Plan
Daily Devotion Series
Holston Conference
United Methodist News Service
The United Methodist Church

  Past Issues  

Jan. 29 edition
Jan. 14 edition
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.