The Call newsletter: May 6, 2022

The Call newsletter: May 6, 2022

The week after the breakaway

What a week. On May 4, our denomination celebrated 66 years since General Conference voted for full clergy rights for women. Meanwhile, United Methodists were among those who reacted to the leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion that would strike down Roe v. Wade.

And on Sunday, May 1, the breakaway denomination, Global Methodist Church, was officially launched.

On social media, amid photos of churches celebrating graduating seniors and pastors announcing their next United Methodist Church appointments, were a few posts from people deciding to leave the fold. The Global Methodist Church launch was expected, but it’s just sobering and sad anytime the church is divided.

Come what may, this is not the time to bash each other publicly, when the world needs a different witness from Christians than what they see everywhere else. Last week, I was grateful to hear from the Rev. Mickey Rainwater, letting me know that Fairview United Methodist Church was celebrating the May 1 groundbreaking for a new community park in Maryville, Tennessee. I was inspired to hear from the Rev. Dennis Flaugher about a community garden at Trenton United Methodist Church that will provide fresh vegetables to neighbors in north Georgia.

And is it me, or are there more United Methodists being intentional about sharing their pride in the connection right now? There were so many good posts on Facebook this week – thank you, Rev. Jim Whedbee and Rev. Asa Majors – but I’ll close with this one from the Rev. Catherine Nance: 

The words from the communion liturgy yesterday morning, "By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each, and one in ministry to all the world …” got caught just a bit in my throat and heart! I imagined all the churches in Holston Conference gathering at The Table. Over 800 churches -- each with gifts and strengths! What a blessing! Proud to be serving the United Methodist Church in Holston Conference!

Annette Spence
Editor, The Call


  Top Stories   


Jubilation (finally) celebrates 20th anniversary

After a two-year break caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, fans of Jubilation celebrated the annual event’s 20th anniversary May 2-4 in Pigeon Forge. Attendance for the older adult retreat was down yet included many first-timers. From The Call. Read report. See recordings.


United Methodists urged to relaunch their church

While acknowledging the start of a breakaway denomination and the departure of a fellow bishop, the Council of Bishops shared hopes for a revived United Methodist Church. Ministry continues including outreach to people displaced by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. From UM News. Read story.


What is the UM position on abortion?

Harriett Jane Olson, the top executive of United Women in Faith, voiced alarm over the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court. Read Olson's statement.

Meanwhile, the United Methodist position on abortion was reviewed by many, as provided by "Ask the UMC." Read UMC position.


The List: Community gardens in Holston

community garden is an area of private or public land designated for shared gardening. From Trenton, Georgia, to Emory, Virginia, Holston churches and ministries are digging in the dirt and raising up produce to share fresh, nutritious food with their neighbors. The Call comprised a list of community gardens (that we know about) and will plan a future story.

  • Christ UMC | Chattanooga, TN
  • Concord UMC | Knoxville, TN
  • Emory & Henry College | Emory, VA
  • Munsey Memorial UMC | Johnson City, TN (pictured)
  • St. Paul (Fountain City) UMC | Knoxville, TN
  • Trenton UMC | Trenton, GA


She left her wallet in the parking lot, then this happened

My husband met Leigh Ann during the early pandemic months at the farmer’s market located at Ebenezer United Methodist Church. She noticed his bumper stickers and struck up a conversation. When Leigh Ann accidentally left her wallet in the parking lot, this is what happened. From The CallRead story.


  Photo of the Week   


In honor of Mother's Day, The Call snagged (with permission) this photo of mother-daughter clergy duos in Holston. From left to right are Rev. Kim Dunn and her daughter, the Rev. Gracie Clark (to be commissioned as a provisional elder at Annual Conference). Next is the Rev. Evelyn Harris, daughter of the Rev. Laura Trent. Happy Mother's Day! Photo was taken at Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett's day with Holston clergywomen on April 2 in Morristown, Tenn.




Job Opportunities (5 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   

April 28 issue

April 22 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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