July 11, 2018
Briefs from around the conference
Espiritu Santo returns to First UMC
El Ministerio del Espiritu Santo has moved from The Connexion to the gymnasium at First United Methodist Church in Sevierville, worshipping there for the first time on July 1. The relocation followed the Annual Conference’s vote against purchasing the $5 million Connexion property on June 12. The Rev. Susana Lopez said the gym is temporary. The congregation may move back to its first home, a building across the street from First Sevierville, where they worshipped before The Connexion was leased in 2016.
Chaplain Blueberry reaches New York
Minta “Blueberry” Ray, Appalachian Trail chaplain, passed her two-week “trailversary” in New Jersey on July 2, after departing from Maryland on June 15. Rocks and rain have challenged her journey, yet July 10 she reported she had reached the New York state line, where she stopped to help an injured hiker. “We got to talking and had a fantastic conversation about life and faith,” she said. Follow Blueberry by Facebook or blog.
Three Rivers welcomes Czech team
A United Methodist team from the Czech Republic is in the Three Rivers District, working last week at Camp Bays Mountain and this week for Appalachia Service Project. The seven-member team includes a pastor, financial planner, and students ages 15-21, said Betty Yeomans-Barton. Their visit comes out of a long partnership between the former Johnson City District and the UMC in Prague. The group built a hay wagon, removed large rocks, sanded a canoe, cut firewood, built bunk beds, and moved fallen trees at Bays Mountain.
New office for Tennessee Valley
The Tennessee Valley District moved to new offices during the week of July 4, a final step toward centralizing and combining parts of the former Oak Ridge and Knoxville District offices into one. Both administrative assistants, Lori Hopper and Mary Hawkins, are working with Superintendent Brenda Carroll at 5121 Camelia Road, off Merchants Drive in Knoxville. The new mailing address is P.O. Box 26384 Knoxville, TN 37912. The phone numbers remain the same: (865) 470-7005 or (865) 482-3209.
Remembering Tyler Boggs
Addilynn Memorial UMC recently celebrated the life of Tyler Boggs, age 14, after he lost his battle with bone cancer on June 29. ”Our sweet Tyler is running through the fields of heaven now. He hasn’t been able to run for over eight months, and I know he has a lot of catching up to do,” said his mother, Tiffany Boggs, who is battling brain cancer. Tyler was a recent graduate of Vance Middle School who enjoyed being on the track team. The family has asked for memorial gifts to be sent in Tyler’s memory to Addilynn Memorial UMC, 3225 Avoca Road, Bristol, TN 37620.
Shades of Grace is growing
Shades of Grace, the United Methodist church in Kingsport that specializes in loving the “least, last, lost, and lonely,” is expanding again. A building across the street from the storefront ministry on Sullivan Street has been acquired to provide more office space, a conference room, washing and showering facilities, and more to help the Rev. Will Shewey and others serve the predominantly homeless congregation. “We have a great big God so we have big plans,” said Shewey. See Facebook video.
Bookwalter looks back
On July 8, Bookwalter UMC celebrated 50 years since the dedication of their current building. “This congregation traces its history back to 1882 and was an Evangelical United Brethren Church at the time of the merger in 1968,” said the Rev. Steve Doyal. “In fact, we believe this may be the first church building dedicated as United Methodist following the merger in the country if not the world.” The Rev. Lee Cate, Bookwalter’s pastor in 1968, joined in worship which included the same hymns from the dedication.
Liberian missionary will tour Holston
Helen Roberts-Evans, missionary in Liberia, has been in the U.S. since July 1 and will visit Holston Conference July 22-Aug. 1. Supporting churches include Abingdon UMC (Va.), Reynolds Memorial (Bristol, Va.), Red Bank (Chattanooga), Chapel Hill (Dunlap, Tenn.), Evensville (Dunlap, Tenn.), Munsey Memorial (Johnson City), Bearden (Knoxville), and Fountain City (Knoxville). Roberts-Evans will also visit the North Georgia Conference, Illinois Great Rivers Conference, and Baltimore-Washington Conference before departing for Africa Aug. 29.
Contact Annette Spence at email@example.com.
Annette Spence is editor of The Call, the Holston Conference newspaper.