The Call newsletter: April 28, 2022

The Call newsletter: April 28, 2022

What's in your church trash can?

By Annette Spence

I don't want to talk about disaffiliation. Less than one week after our nation celebrated Earth Day, I want to talk about what's in your church trash can.

Why are we still using so much single-use Styrofoam? Why aren't we trying harder not to throw away materials that can be recycled?

Last night I was in one of our Holston Conference churches. As I thought of these questions, I looked in the trash can closest to me and snapped this photo:

If you looked at your trash, what would you see? It seems like United Methodist churches could lead the way in being environmentally conscious, inspiring the rest of our communities to do better.

I’m Annette Spence, editor of The Call. I want to learn more about this topic to share with others. Write to me about what your ministry is doing to reduce waste directed toward landfills – or perhaps why it doesn’t seem possible or necessary. My email is

Now I’ve got that off my chest, disaffiliation and the May 1 launch of a new conservative denomination truly are top of mind for many in our big church family. Reporter Heather Hahn addresses the questions in today’s UM News story, “What happens when a new denomination launches?” On, you will also find updated “frequently asked questions” about the process for Holston clergy and congregations considering to leave the denomination. Based on the process, it doesn’t look like that can happen for churches until Annual Conference 2023.

In the meantime, ministry and the sharing of the Good News goes on. Older adults in Holston are jubilantly getting ready for their Jubilation retreat next week, May 2-4 in Pigeon Forge, after missing out on the in-person experience the past two years. Concord United Methodist Church in Knoxville is celebrating the opening of a new thrift store. This Sunday, May 1, the Rev. Matt Hall, our 2017 Appalachian Trail chaplain, will preach at Damascus United Methodist Church as the town prepares for Appalachian Trail Days Festival May 13-15.

Take a look at the beautiful photos of our new confirmands from different churches on Holston's Facebook page, and then press on.


  Top Stories   


What happens when a denomination launches? 

Organizers of the Global Methodist Church plan to mark the official launch of their new, theologically conservative breakaway denomination on May 1. But don’t expect things in the 13-million member, international United Methodist Church to look much different come Monday morning. From UM News. Read story.


Bishops urged to work for 'big-tent' church

In her final address as Council of Bishops president, Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey urged as much unity as possible even as a new theologically conservative denomination plans to launch on May 1. The bishops also heard about the history of previous denominational separations. From UM NewsRead story.



Annual Conference reports posted online 

The 250-page "Book of Reports," the traditional collection of information preceding Annual Conference in Lake Junaluska, is now posted at Included is the June 5-8 schedule for Annual Conference, the 2023 proposed budget, and 14 resolutions with committee response. Download book PDF.



4 ways to honor Native/ Indigenous people

May 1 is Native American Ministries Sunday in The United Methodist Church. Here are 4 ways to honor and undergird Native/Indigenous people. From the General Commission on Religion & Race. Read article.


  Photo of the Week   

Youth at Church Street UMC celebrate the April 24 confirmation of their faith with the Rev. Rick Isbell.
(Find out more about confirmation in the UMC.)



Wesley House Community Center
Tablescapes: April 30 in Knoxville. Purchase ticket.

Holston Connectional Ministries
Denman Evangelism Award nominations due May 1.

United Methodist Church
Native American Ministries Sunday: May 1. Learn more.

Camp Wesley Woods
Golf Tournament in Rockford, TN: May 2. Sign up now.

Jubilation: Senior Adult Retreat
May 2-4, Pigeon Forge. Brochure.

United Methodist Archives & History
Heritage Sunday: May 22. Learn more.

Holston Annual Conference
June 5-8, Lake Junaluska. Find out more.

Holston United Women in Faith
Mission u, July 22-23, Knoxville. More info.

Holston Calendar

UMC Calendar


  More Resources   

Job Opportunities 

Holston Conference

United Methodist News Service

The United Methodist Church


   Back Issues  

April 22 issue

April 8 issue


The Call is Holston Conference's weekly newsletter for 850 United Methodist congregations in East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and North Georgia. Contact Annette Spence, editor, at 

Visit for the latest Holston and United Methodist news. Sign up for a free weekly email subscription to The Call.