The Call: Sept. 15, 2020 edition

The Call: Sept. 15, 2020 edition

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Struggling to survive

The Rev. Daniel Bradley gets up in the morning knowing there’s less than $100 left in the church banking account, and the next insurance payment could finally crush Alexander Memorial United Methodist.
But on Thursdays, the pastor and his little band of volunteers heed no mind to the possibility of closing. They're the only church this community is going to see. From The Call. Read story.

Fires, virus complicate Western disaster relief  

The wildfire crisis ravaging California took a dramatic turn and spread into the Pacific Northwest, feeding off dry conditions and strong winds. The disaster relief coordinator for the California-Nevada Conference said she’s not ready to receive non-local volunteers. From UM News. Read story.

Georgia church exits for LGBTQ equality

A church in Savannah, Georgia, is the first congregation in recent years to depart the United Methodist fold in support of LGBTQ inclusion. From UM News. Read story.

Bristol churches maneuver through pandemic

Earlier this month, the Mount Rogers Health District issued a warning of multiple outbreaks of COVID-19 in houses of worship in the Bristol area. One outbreak associated with a church has recorded more than 40 linked COVID-19 cases. From Bristol Herald Courier. Read story.

New church launches in Knoxville

A new church in Holston Conference, "Valley Church," was launched in West Knoxville on Sunday. (An announcement from Bishop Dindy Taylor, allowing other churches to worship indoors, is expected later today.) From WBIR. See story.


Black, Brown people should unite

When Rita Castañon, a Morristown church member, observes people clashing over issues around racism, she sees opportunities for Black and Brown people to help build bridges for everybody. Our "Justice Profiles" series continues. From The Call. Read story.

Pews are too close? Try kayak church  

The worship service began with a prayer thanking God for the chance to meet in a beautiful sanctuary. Then the pastor prayed that the service would encourage members’ hearts — and that “if we get wet, let us have fun.” From Religion News Service. Read story.

When Christians lose their minds

Christians have been sucked into the nastiness, division and partisanship along with everyone else. Often Christians aren’t providing an alternative to the anger and outrage online, they’re fueling it. Meanwhile, the people who are watching lose their faith, says Carey Nieuwhof. Read blog.

  Photo of the Week  

First United Methodist of Johnson City is one of several churches taking advantage of face masks to do some ministry. First UMC gave away "Love Thy Neighbor" masks free to students heading back to school, then ordered extra masks for church members in exchange for donations. "The donations are to offset the cost of giving them to the kids -- like a get-one, give-one kind of thing," says the Rev. Jodie Ihfe.


  More Information  


Holston United Methodist Women
Annual Meeting: Sept. 26
General Board of Global Ministries
#StillinMission, Oct. 8, Nov. 19
Holston's Church & Community Workers will share their work through Zoom meetings.


  Past Issues  

The Call is Holston Conference's weekly newsletter for 853 United Methodist congregations in East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and North Georgia. Contact Annette Spence, editor, at

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