August 8, 2018
Briefs from around the conference
End of the road for RezKidz
The design team for RezKidz shocked Facebook followers on July 24 by announcing that the Christian children’s event will not continue in January 2019. The Rev. Jason Roe explained to The Call that RezKidz “never paid for itself,” even though attendance in January 2018 topped 1,200 and tickets cost $20 per person. The event was able to continue for six years with financial help from Resurrection proceeds, and for the last two years, with reduced production costs by hosting it at The Connexion. When the lease expired on The Connexion and the Holston Annual Conference voted not to purchase the Sevierville facility, RezKidz was done, Roe said.
“We couldn’t continue to cast our debt on Resurrection,” said Roe, organizer of both events. “The only thing we could have done was to charge more and offer less.”
Camp Laurel is on the market
While Holston's five camps seem to be thriving, a beloved old United Methodist camp in the Clinch Mountain District is up for sale. Leaders of the former Tazewell District voted to sell Camp Laurel at a called conference in 2017 after learning it would require more than $100,000 to repair and bring the camp up to state guidelines. Appalachia Service Project has rented the camp in recent years, but the district hasn’t hosted Laurel campers since 2014, according to the Rev. Brooke Atchley.
“With Tazewell District being dissolved and split between New River District and Clinch Mountain District,” says district administrator Jamie Boone, “we didn’t see the need for another camp.” (New River District is the home of Camp Dickenson; Clinch Mountain has Camp Ahistidi.) Asking price is $161,000 for Laurel’s facilities and 40 acres, located near Rocky Gap, Virginia.
Growing pains in Gate City
Here's yet another chapter in the saga of Holston's transition from 12 to nine districts: In late July, the former Big Stone Gap District office shut down and moved 30 miles southeast to reopen as the Appalachian District office in Gate City, Virginia. “As with any new beginning, we will experience some growing pains,” the Rev. Jeff Wright said in the district newsletter. In addition to Superintendent Wright, the district staff now includes Beverley Crabtree, administrative assistant; Laurie Neville, financial administrator; and the Rev. Koni Purcell, Church & Community Worker for Lee, Scott, Wise and Dickenson Counties.
The new address is 1314 West Jackson Street, Suite 101. “We plan to host an Open House once we have everything up and running and put away,” Wright said.
List of six: Youth leaders elected
The Conference Council on Youth Ministries recently elected a new batch of officers for the 2018-2019 year. The new president, Lindsey Kizer, is a member at Broadway UMC, Smoky Mountain District. Vice president is Reagan Kelly, member at Slagle’s UMC, Three Rivers District. Youth Service Fund chair is Nate Roark, Hunt Memorial UMC, Clinch Mountain District. Secretary is Erin Bowman, Mt. Olivet UMC, New River District. Chaplain is Abbye Gibson, Greenwood UMC, Three Rivers District. Historian is Catelee Crow, Kern Memorial UMC, Tennessee Valley District. Congratulations!
Contact Annette Spence at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annette Spence is editor of The Call, the Holston Conference newspaper.