United Methodists in Holston Conference join in ringing bells, praying for the future of their denomination. #UMCGC See complete story with photos, video.
ALCOA, Tenn. (April 21, 2016) – At 5:10 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12, the Rev. Carol Wilson suddenly realized what time it was. She stepped outside the Alcoa Conference Center to see if she could hear the ringing of church bells.
The day of prayer -- shared throughout Holston communities in east Tennessee, southwest Virginia, and north Georgia -- was part of a world-wide prayer vigil. Holston Conference is one of 131 United Methodist conferences throughout the world, representing 7.2 million total members. Each of the regional groups were assigned a day to pray for General Conference, the denomination’s top policy-making meeting, which happens every four years and is scheduled this year for May 10-20 in Portland, Oregon.
Holston was assigned April 12. Bishop Dindy Taylor suggested that Holston’s 164,000 members in 887 congregations focus on the 10 minutes between 5:10 to 5:20 p.m., representing the dates of the meeting.
In Cleveland, Tenn., five members started their day at 7 a.m. by coming to pray at First United Methodist Church.
Tricia Pennington said she “sat down with angst” in the sanctuary as she considered the legislation to be considered by 864 delegates from all over the world. “But then I thought, ‘You know what, God? You are in control of this. Show up at General Conference and do what you want to do,’” said Pennington.
Kellie Bracken said she also prayed for God’s presence.
“Pastors will pray, ring bells for church future” (The Call, 4/4/16)
Annette Spence is editor of The Call, the Holston Conference newspaper.