The Call: May 1, 2020 edition

The Call: May 1, 2020 edition

Will the kids be alright?

Mike Pugh sees a change in the people who are coming through for hot lunches at Open Door Café in Wytheville. Since the café closed its dining room in mid-March and started providing takeouts only, fewer diners are making donations for their meals.
Pugh also noticed something else. Read the story.
Holston churches will remain closed, bishop says
As stay-at-home orders in some states are expiring, Bishop Dindy Taylor announces that church buildings, regardless of location, will remain closed for the time being in Holston Conference. Holston includes 864 congregations in East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and North Georgia. Read April 28 statement.
In the Tri-Cities: To reopen or not to reopen

Pastors of different denominations discuss decisions and challenges that will be involved before they can reopen their buildings for worship and other gatherings. From WJHL Read the story.
In Knoxville: Most churches remain closed
Most East Tennessee religious organizations are keeping their doors closed for now while keeping a strong online presence. WVLT connects with 7 worship communities of different faiths as Tennessee's stay-at-home order expires. See the story.
Camp leaders announce: No camp this summer   
"After a careful discerning process, and with the health and safety of our camper families and communities foremost in our minds, we have made the difficult decision to not host summer camp this year." Read the April 30 letter.
Bishops told connection key in pandemic fight  

Bishops across four continents gathered April 29 in their first-ever virtual meeting. They spent most of their time talking about the crisis that has caused deaths and disrupted lives around the globe. From UM News. See the story.
Both green light, red light for online communion 
The COVID-19 pandemic, consequential in so many ways, has prompted debate about and experimentation with online communion across the UMC. From UM News. Read the story.
Bishop Dindy Taylor has stated that online communion is temporarily acceptable in Holston Conference, under specific guidelines.
The need for giving when church doors close
Seventy-six percent of United Methodist churches say that giving is down and one-third report that giving is down by 40 percent, according to new research by United Methodist Communications. Read the article.
Webinar: How to host online worship
Ben Smith of Concord UMC hosts three online-worship experts from Cokesbury UMC in a webinar on Holston's Facebook page. The live interactive production happened April 28 and has captured 1.8K views so far. YouTube link coming soon. See webinar replay.
Rev. James David Neel, age 39, April 24 in Greeneville, TN
Rev. John Cooper Anderson, age 64, April 27 in Knoxville, TN
Rev.  Jim J. Harless, age 84, April 29 in Kingsport, TN