News Archive

News Archive

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The Call: January 14, 2021

Sign up for a free weekly subscription to The Call.   Resurrection recreated! Now that the annual youth ministry event has adapted to pandemic times, a new app and other ideas could help expand Resurrection into the future. A ...

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The Call: January 7, 2021

Sign up for a free weekly subscription to The Call.   Let it begin with me   We invited readers to help us write a prayer for our nation. The peace prayer started on Tuesday, the day before protesters breached the Capitol in ...

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Holston prays for peace amid national distress

On January 5, The Call invited church members to join in a prayer for the nation on social media. The call for prayer was made while anticipating division as Congress prepared to attempt certification of votes for U.S. president. We did not know ...

The Alcoa office entrance issues COVID-19 advisories to staff and visitors.
Alcoa office closure extended to February 1

ALCOA, Tenn. -- The Alcoa Center will remain closed until at least Feb. 1, when Holston Conference leaders will again assess whether it is advisable to resume regular office activities amid surging coronavirus deaths. Staff were informed the Holston...

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Our top 10 stories in 2020

Sign up for a free weekly subscription to The Call.   Bygone days A year ago, we were fretting over the denomination's future. Maybe we still are, but our heads seem to be a lot more crowded these days with crises and concerns, all ...

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The Call: December 18, 2020

Sign up for a free weekly subscription to The Call.   Baby, it's you In the season when we celebrate the infant who came to save our world, we appreciate the small church making a big difference for babies in low-income ...

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The Call: December 11, 2020 edition

Sign up for a free weekly subscription to The Call.   Protection in East Africa Last summer, we saw photos of children in Uganda wearing homemade cardboard masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.   With the help of a grant ...

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The Call: December 4, 2020

Sign up for a free weekly subscription to The Call.   Hiwassee property sold Eighteen months after Hiwassee College was closed, the 284-acre property has been sold to Bruderhof, an international Christian communal ...

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Our top 5 headlines in November

Sign up for a free weekly subscription to The Call. No-contact November If clicks are votes, the following stories and reports were the most-read by our subscribers in this past month's weekly editions of The Call.   ...

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Alcoa office closure extended to January 4

ALCOA, Tenn. -- An initial two-week closure of the Alcoa Conference Center has been extended until after the holidays. In a Nov. 30 email to conference staff, the Rev. Tim Jones announced the office building would remain closed until Jan. 4. "After...

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The Call: November 25, 2020

Sign up for a free weekly subscription to The Call.   Best Thanksgiving ever A year ago, a little church in Bishop, Virginia, was in danger of being closed.   Then a story about Alexander Memorial United Methodist's meal ...

Five members of Holston Conference, including three pastors, share what it's like to confront the coronavirus.
5 lessons learned from people who got coronavirus

When the pandemic was first declared in March 2020, maybe you didn’t know anybody with COVID-19. Over the summer, as the virus prowled and claimed more victims, maybe the illness passed over your family and friends. This week, the United States ...

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The Call: November 20, 2020

Sign up for a free weekly email subscription. 5 lessons from survivors As the nation topped 250,000 deaths from COVID-19, we talked to five Holston Conference members who know firsthand what it's like to confront the virus -- ...

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Alcoa Conference Center closed until November 30

ALCOA, Tenn. -- The Alcoa Conference Center is closed until November 30, after a staff member received notification of a positive COVID-19 test today. An email from Lori Sluder, assistant to Bishop Dindy Taylor, announced the closure to staff ...

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The Call: November 12, 2020

Sign up for a free weekly email subscription.   1 student, 24 buckets Hannah Snow had a plan to help families recover from disasters, but she was discouraged when local business managers said they "don't give to churches." ...

The Holston Foundation invests in the future of five Holston Conference camps, including Wesley Woods (pictured), Bays Mountain, Dickenson, Lookout, and Camp in the Community.
Foundation gives $150,000 to help Holston camps

ALCOA, Tenn. -- The Holston Foundation announced today it will give $150,000 to help Holston Conference Camp and Retreat Ministries, the largest gift to any ministry during the foundation's 40-year history. The grant from the Holston Foundation will...

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The Call: November 4, 2020

Sign up for a free weekly email subscription.   Lifting the light for camp The Holston Foundation announced today it will give $150,000 to help Holston Conference Camp and Retreat Ministries, the largest gift to any ministry ...

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Our top 5 headlines in October 2020

Sign up for a free weekly email subscription. Oh, October If clicks are votes, the following stories and reports were the most-read by our subscribers in this past month's weekly editions of The Call. 1. Pastor's fever leads to bright ...

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The Call: October 23, 2020 edition

Sign up for a free weekly email subscription.   Special Issue: Blessed are the peacemakers Followers of the Prince of the Peace, the world needs you.   In these anxious days, The Call asked readers to share how they model and ...

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The Call: October 16, 2020 edition

Sign up for a free weekly email subscription.   Recovery interrupted While congregations throughout Holston Conference have resumed in-person gatherings within the last few weeks, some recovery leaders are still agonizing over damage caused ...

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The Call: October 7, 2020 edition

Sign up for a free weekly email subscription. First Black president You're going to see a lot more of Donna Mosby in 2021. On Sept. 26, she was elected first Black president of the Holston Conference United Methodist Women. Last...

The Rev. Lisa Bryant preaches from Exodus (
Pastor's fever leads to bright idea

SALTVILLE, Va. -- In August, the Rev. Lisa Bryant woke up with a head cold and a fever. She quickly got a COVID-19 test and quarantined herself. While she waited for the test results, she came up with a new idea for online worship at Madam Russell ...

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The Call: October 1, 2020 edition

Sign up for a free weekly email subscription. Preaching in secret In August, the Rev. Lisa Bryant woke up with a head cold and fever. She quickly got a COVID-19 test and quarantined herself.   While she waited for the test results, she came up...

The Rev. Roy Howard was a history giant in Holston Conference and a collector of Holston Conference newspapers.
Farewell to the keeper of 'The Call': Roy Howard

The Rev. Roy Howard was not only a friend. He was an expert on the publication to which I've devoted 20 years of my life. He dropped by my office to visit at least annually and shared suggestions for good stories, too.  In 2008, I asked another ...

United Methodists in Theodore, Alabama, welcomed 304 buckets full of cleaning supplies from Holston Conference last night. The buckets will be distributed throughout storm-damaged parts of the Alabama-West Florida Conference.
Supplies urgently needed for disaster relief

The Rev. Harry Howe delivered 304 buckets full of cleaning supplies to Theodore United Methodist Church in Alabama yesterday, where residents are recovering from Hurricane Sally and bracing for Tropical Storm Beta. Howe and his fellow traveler, ...

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The Call: Sept. 24, 2020 edition

Sign up for a free weekly subscription to The Call.   Can we come in? When Holston churches received a Sept. 16 edict allowing them to meet indoors after months of closures caused by rising coronavirus cases, many congregations ...

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The Call: Sept. 15, 2020 edition

Sign up for a free weekly email subscription.   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...

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Our top 5 headlines in August

Sign up for a free weekly email subscription. Take It Outside If clicks are votes, the following stories and reports were the most-read by our subscribers in this past month's weekly editions of The Call. 1. Alarm over rising insurance ...

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The Call: August 27, 2020 edition

Sign up for a free weekly email subscription.   Home run for outdoor worship First United Methodist Church of Pulaski has not opened its doors to in-person worship since the COVID-19 pandemic struck in mid-March.   However, ...

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The Call: August 20, 2020 edition

Sign up for a free weekly email subscription.   Pause on ordination   Nine Holston clergy were slated for ordination this summer, until the COVID-19 pandemic shut down one major event after another. The ordinands range in age ...

Bishop Dindy Taylor lays hands on the Rev. Chris Ray during the Service of Ordination in June 2019. This year's ordination has been postponed. Photo by Buzz Trexler
Pause on ordination: Nine clergy stalled by COVID-19

The Rev. Kaye Seay has watched many others go before her in the ordination services that happen every June in Holston Conference. After years of working toward the finish line, Seay looked forward to her own ceremony. “It’s a holy moment. You can’t ...

Above, left: Telford United Methodist Church announces outdoor, in-person worship on Aug. 16. Right: Judy Grubb of Church Street UMC helps deliver homemade masks to students at a Knoxville school.
Holston gets ready to return to school, outdoor worship

The Rev. Sharon Wright was ecstatic when she saw the announcement from Bishop Dindy Taylor in her inbox last week.   “Read your email!” she texted the Rev. David Jackson, her co-pastor at Emory United Methodist Church.   After months of uncertainty ...