The Call: June 25, 2020 edition

The Call: June 25, 2020 edition


To reopen or not

For the congregations that waded through the paperwork and precautions to return to in-person worship over the last two Sundays, there were rewards along with the challenges. “Everyone was glad to be in the same room together,” said the Rev. Rhonda Hobbs. “You could feel a sweet spirit.” Read story.

Bristol church among first to return    

"Since the day we closed down, we were working until the day we could reopen." The Rev. Ray Amos talks to WCYB about helping South Bristol UMC return to in-person worship on June 14. See story.

Bishops pledge anti-racism campaign  

This time will be different, vowed United Methodist bishops participating in an online launch of a new anti-racism campaign on a day set apart for commemorating the end of slavery. "Dismantling Racism: Pressing on to Freedom” is a multi-agency effort. From UM News. Read story.

Churches show resilience in crisis

The first week East Stone Gap United Methodist Church held online-only worship, the pastor shared the good news of Christ but found sobering news when he looked at the offering receipts. Worshippers gave a total of only $20. From UM News. Read story.


Asbury Place reports virus cases   

A retirement community with a historic connection to Holston Conference has confirmed that five people tested positive for COVID-19 and 50 others have been exposed to the virus in Maryville, Tennessee. From The Daily Times. Read story.

New 'sermon by phone' option launched 

Worshipping while staying in place during the global pandemic has taken on many creative forms, most utilizing video technology and the internet. But what if you don’t have internet service? From North Georgia Conference Communications. Read story.

Coping with coronavirus cancellations

Holston's own Rev. Andrew and Ally Lay and their recent wedding are featured in a story from United Methodist Communications. Here's advice and perspective for dealing with lost opportunities to celebrate life events, another casualty of the pandemic.  Read story.

'Service of Lament' challenges church

On June 20, Holston Conference partnered with Church Street's "Conversations on Race" group to present an online "Service of Lament" including many participants from our churches. On June 24, a denomination-wide "Service of Lament" shared an "unflinching" worship experience and a renewed push against racism.  

  Photo of the Week    

Alternate text
John Justice, a retired local pastor in Knoxville, shared this post on social media this week. We asked his permission to share with you:
Linda was looking through some old pictures and found this. Vietnam 1971, somewhere near the DMZ. Me and my dog Tag. Get it? Dog Tag ... dogtag. Just a stray dog who adopted a bunch of GIs. I often wonder what happened to him. Almost 50 years ago but some memories are horribly fresh. God bless those young men (kids really) who sacrificed much. I was 24 years old then and an old man to most of them.


  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