The Call: March 19, 2020 edition

The Call: March 19, 2020 edition

Doing church in the coronavirus age
A week ago, Holstonians were incredulous that worship services in church buildings could be canceled for a two-week period -- because of a virus. Today, they seem to be settling in for a longer period away from their beloved congregations and sanctuaries, while creating new ways to worship, give and serve. Read the story.

Bishop closes church buildings indefinitely
Bishop Dindy Taylor updated her two-week mandate to cease worship in church buildings by announcing Holston churches would remain closed until further notice. "We follow the news with great anticipation for the day when we can gather together in person to worship our risen Lord." See the announcements.

Holston staff weigh financial impact of coronavirus
Holston staff are bracing for economic shortages related to the spread of COVID-19, which is keeping people home, shutting down ministries, and eliminating traditional ways of giving. Read the story.
Church leaders postpone General Conference
With the coronavirus disrupting lives worldwide, General Conference organizers determined they have no choice but to postpone The United Methodist Church's top legislative assembly. The highly anticipated meeting was scheduled May 5-15 in Minneapolis. From UM News. See the story.
Small churches undaunted by coronavirus 
Small United Methodist churches and their pastors are scrambling along with everyone else because of coronavirus, and they seem to be measuring up, despite having limited resources. Just about half of the UM churches in the U.S. had under 100 members in 2017, according to the denomination’s finance agency. From UM News. Read the story.
Recovery advocates urge churches to join battle 
While churches often provide space for recovery groups to meet, recovery advocates believe more interaction should occur between the Tuesday-night groups and the people who worship on Sunday morning. An addiction-fighting event at Hixson UMC recently uncovered some lessons for churches. From Chattanooga Times Free Press. Read the story.
Beginner's guide to online worship 
The coronavirus pandemic is highlighting the need for worship alternatives like livestreaming to serve members stuck at home. Here's a walk-through planner to help you quickly take your worship online. From Resource UMC. Read the guide.
How rural churches can help during COVID-19
In communities where there are few anchor institutions, the rural church can serve a pivotal role in the community response to COVID-19. During pandemics, the isolation of rural communities can be a mixed blessing. From Ministry Matters. Read the story.
Fight back, says Wil Cantrell
Today all nations and all generations are engaged in a medical war against the COVID-19, says Rev. Wil Cantrell. "It’s a war with the potential to have as many casualties as any previous war and also a war that we can only win together." Here are five weapons to help us win. Read the blog.


The United Methodist Church
UMCOR Sunday: March 22
Holston Higher Education Committee
Francis Asbury Award nominations: Due March 27
Bookwalter UMC/ Knoxville
Take a Stand to Prevent Teen Suicide: March 28
Camp Bays Mountain
'Funding Your Mission' Workshop: March 31
Camp Wesley Woods
Golf Tournament: April 27 at Egwani Farms, Rockford