The Call newsletter: May 19, 2022

The Call newsletter: May 19, 2022

As easy as pie

Two years ago, I interviewed the Rev. Barbara Doyle during a season of “Black Lives Matter” protests and public statements following the murder of George Floyd. Barbara, who is one of our Black clergy in Holston, said it was encouraging to see people of all colors stand up to say “no more” after Floyd and other African Americans were killed in high-profile acts reeking of racism.

Then she said this:

“Talking is just as easy as pie, but what are you going to do? What are you going to do after you talk? Are you going to make any differences?”

In May 2022, how are we doing? Last Saturday, 10 people were killed in a mass supermarket shooting in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, a crime authorities say was motivated by hate.

What are we going to do after we talk? Are we making any differences?

Next week, we hope to have a report from the Dismantling Racism Task Force and the Board of Ordained Ministry who have ideas about steps that can be taken in Holston Conference.

Meanwhile, organizers and participants in the next Annual Conference session are chugging along toward the June 5-8 event in Lake Junaluska, N.C. On Tuesday, Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett met and dined with 14 clergy who will be ordained or commissioned on the opening Sunday of Annual Conference.

Don’t miss this week’s “The List” (below), featuring beekeepers in Holston. It was nice to connect by email with the Rev. Pete Rowlett, whom the Rev. Kim Goddard calls “the master beekeeper of Holston clergy.”

I’ll leave you with this nugget from our conversation. Pete said, “Talking about beekeeping in religious terms calls to mind one of my favorite quotes. Someone said, ‘When you go into a beehive, you are entering sacred space.’" 

Annette Spence
Editor, The Call

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  Top Stories   

Bishop Wallace-Padgett: A prayer against hate

"Our hearts ache at the news of yet another hate-motivated shooting by a person with a racist agenda," says Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett, responding to last weekend's mass shooting in a grocery store in Buffalo, New York. "When will the killing stop?" Join her in prayer. Please pray.



Churches condemn hate, urge action after shootings

After what officials quickly identified as a racist attack, United Methodists are responding with prayers, counseling and condemnations of hate. Many church members in Buffalo are also grieving after the mass shooting at a grocery store claimed the lives of friends and loved ones. United Methodists also are responding after a gunman opened fire at a Presbyterian church in Laguna Woods, California. From UM News. Read story.


Rejoicing in connection with Czech church

From 2011 to 2020, Holston Conference sent three pastors to help lead the English Speaking United Methodist Church in Prague, Czech Republic. Kay DeMoss of the Michigan Conference writes about her recent experience in worshiping at the church, which offers a rich mix of languages, nationalities and cultures coming together to glorify God. Read story.


The List: Beekeepers in Holston

Last year, United Methodist Communications did a great story on the sacredness of beekeeping. Turns out there are several beekeepers right here who are generating lots of buzz during the bees' busiest time of year.  

  • Rev. Susan Arnold | Blountville, TN
  • Rev. Clayton Farmer | Rural Retreat, VA
  • Rev. Jim Goddard | Pearisburg, VA
  • Rev. Kim Goddard | Pearisburg, VA
  • Rev. Gary Grogg | Chattanooga, TN
  • Rev. Ashley Helton | Knoxville, TN (pictured)
  • Rev. Dennis Loy | Knoxville, TN
  • Rev. David Rose | Big Stone Gap, VA
  • Rev. Pete Rowlett | Knoxville, TN
  • Rev. John Slater | Strawberry Plains, TN


Anonymous donor pays tab for graduates: 'You are debt free'

Graduates of United-Methodist related Wiley College in East Texas were in for a surprise at their commencement when they learned that an anonymous donor had taken care of about $300,000 in student debt owed to the college. From CBS News. See video.


  Photo of the Week   

'Tis the season for weddings, and the bride's mother, Peggy Carrier, snapped this photo of the Rev. Jason Ratliff leading prayer for the wedding party before the ceremony at Hiltons Memorial UMC in Hiltons, Virginia. The happy couple is Brandon and Shawnee Pierson.



Job Opportunities (3 new posts)

Holston Conference

 United Methodist News Service

The United Methodist Church



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

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

United Methodist Church
June 12: Peace With Justice Sunday. Get resources.

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

Holston Calendar

UMC Calendar


   Back Issues  

May 13 issue

May 6 issue

April 28 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

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