The Call: January 29, 2021 issue

The Call: January 29, 2021 issue

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Channeling the concern

When Karen Alley thinks of all the people facing dark days amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she wants to cry. In the last few months, however, Alley and other church members have found a way to channel their concern into projects that show God’s love to people in the path of coronavirus. From The Call. Read story.


Email: AC will not meet in Lake Junaluska

Holston Annual Conference will not meet in person in Lake Junaluska in June 2021, according to an email sent by Holston Connectional Ministries. A committee is considering other venues and options. Read announcement.


Blessing Box provides food around the clock

Middlebrook Pike United Methodist Church in Knoxville is one of many churches that have recently provided "Blessing Boxes" stocked with food, helping hungry neighbors outside of regular pantry hours. From WBIR. See story.


Young man crosses racial, linguistic divides

Cam Belk has an African American mother and a white father. The member of First UMC in Sweetwater works in a Mexican restaurant where he speaks Spanish most of the day. He notices how people treat others who look and speak different. From our "Justice Profiles" series in The Call. Read story.


Second round of COVID relief for churches

The Rev. Knox Wimberly of Holston's Council on Finance and Administration hosted a webinar on the Paycheck Protection Program for churches, including the first and second draw. Watch webinar.


Tips for Ash Wednesday during COVID-19

The marking of cross-shaped ashes on foreheads is how Christians will begin 40 days of Lent on Feb. 17. In the age of COVID-19, churches are left with re-envisioning these liturgical markers. From UMC Discipleship Ministries. Read article.


History: Team crash had Holston connection

Fifty years ago, a plane carrying the Wichita State Shockers football team crashed in Colorado, killing 29 people. One victim was the brother of Ruth Jones, a music director at Red Bank UMC. Her husband, the Rev. Elton Jones, was senior pastor. From John Shearer at The Chattanoogan. See story.


Virtual worship is here for good

The rise of COVID-19 last March prodded many churches to improve or start from scratch their internet offerings. Online responsibilities have increased the workload of pastors, who will get even busier as churches return to normal after the pandemic eases. From UM News. Read story.

  Photo of the Week  

Blessing Boxes: They've been around for a while, but many Holston churches have recently found these 24/7 mini-pantries to be the answer for food-insecure neighbors needing help in a hurry. Our Holston Conference social media accounts have been busy with blessing box stories and photos. 
Pictured: Bluff City UMC's blessing box in Bluff City, TN.



Feb. 2: Conversations on Race (Zoom)
Feb. 15: Sermon Academy for Lent
Feb. 17: Ash Wednesday
Feb. 24: Clergy Sabbath (Convocation alternative)
Holston Calendar
UMC Calendar

  More Information  

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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.