The Call: June 11, 2020 edition

The Call: June 11, 2020 edition

Will protests matter?

The Rev. Barbara Doyle spent the last two weekends at peaceful events proclaiming “black lives matter.” But the Abingdon pastor wonders: When the protestors and statement-makers go back to their own lives and priorities, will real change be effected? Here's the first story in a new series. Read story.

12 examples: Holston members respond
United Methodists are preaching, praying, reading, kneeling, lighting candles, and taking other actions to battle pervasive racism brought back to light with the high-profile death of George Floyd. Read list.

Bishop releases new appointments
At the conclusion of an online Clergy Session on June 8, Bishop Dindy Taylor fixed ministerial appointments for the 2020-2021 year, effective July 1. Moving day for transitioning pastors is June 17. See appointments.

Getting ready for Annual Conference   
Are you participating in the Virtual Annual Conference on June 27? On Sunday, June 7, a 20-minute video was posted to inform clergy and lay members of the process, schedule, topics and goals. See video.


Adjusting to a pandemic wedding   
Ally Lay had some big plans for her wedding to the Rev. Andrew Lay, associate pastor at Keith Memorial UMC. She never dreamed a pandemic would change almost everything and lead to a vending machine full of potato chips. Read story.

Going back to church? What to expect
After weeks of worshiping online, many United Methodist congregations will resume in-person services in the weeks ahead. It would be unrealistic to expect things to be as they were. From UM Communications. Read story.


Different VBS coming this summer
Vacation Bible school is a cherished event in the life of churches and the hearts of children but COVID-19 is changing the tradition this year. Try imagining children staying six feet apart while playing games, making crafts and sitting in circles. From UM News. Read story.

4 tips for a hybrid model of ministry 
As leaders continue to navigate the pandemic, churches will likely need a hybrid ministry model with a mix of in-person and online experiences. How best can you focus your limited time, energy, and resources? From Lewis Center for Church Leadership. Read article.

   Photo of the Week   
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How did the photo accompanying this year's Annual Conference theme, "I Love to Tell the Story," come about? Staff member Brandy Williams explains that the "Old Rustic Cross" was created by Knoxville artist Don Grogan. The piece is made of reclaimed wood, "mostly old barn wood and smokehouse wood from Tennessee," Grogan said. The photo with the cross, Bible, communion and altar was created and composed by Director of Communications Tim Jones, with the help of Sarah Slack and Chris Lee at First UMC in Maryville.
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The Call is Holston Conference's weekly newsletter for 864 United Methodist congregations in East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and North Georgia. Contact Annette Spence, editor, at