The Call: April 24, 2020 edition

The Call: April 24, 2020 edition

Crisis upon crisis

Church leaders use the words “surreal” and “crazy” to describe the crisis-upon-crisis situation they found themselves in over the last two weeks. Here's how church workers in the Chattanooga and Cleveland area had to put on their masks and step out to save their community after deadly tornadoes uprooted stay-at-home orders. Read the story.

'Virtual' Annual Conference scheduled June 27
Bishop Dindy Taylor announced that Annual Conference will be scheduled as an online experience, June 27, 1-3 p.m., due to COVID-19 precautions. She also said Holston church buildings will remain closed until information is received to ensure safety during reopening. Read announcement.
Tentative General Conference dates publicized

After the pandemic-caused postponement, the new prospective dates for The United Methodist Church’s General Conference are Aug. 31-Sept. 10, 2021. From UM News. Read the story.
'I have learned to do ministry in a mask'
As the global pandemic caused by COVID-19 has reached even her rural county in Southwest Virginia, the Rev. Brooke Atchley says the mission of Elk Garden School Community Ministry has collided with challenge. From Bristol Herald Courier. Read the story.
Clergy join call for Gov. Lee to expand virus response
Clergy across Tennessee are calling on Gov. Bill Lee to give local governments more freedom to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. "As we practice social distance, we must also institute social justice," said the Rev. Charlotte Williams. From Chattanooga Times Free Press. Read the story.
First Gatlinburg receives Foundation grant for food   
Last week, the Holston Foundation awarded $56,300 in coronavirus emergency response grants to 55 United Methodist ministries and churches in Holston Conference. First Gatlinburg UMC received a grant for its food ministry. From WATE. See the story.
Teaching creation care in the land of fracking 
The continued rise of fracking activity in West Virginia has divided not only communities but churches — usually between those who stand to profit and others concerned about the long-term environmental impact. From UM News. See the story.
Judge upholds trust clause: Property belongs to UMC 
An Arizona judge has ruled that property used by a breakaway congregation rightfully belongs to The United Methodist Church. The Desert Southwest Conference "is entitled to take possession." From UM News. Read the story.
Centenarian offers words of comfort during pandemic
This is not Lucille Ellson’s first pandemic. In the century since she was born just weeks prior to the 1918 flu pandemic onset, Ellson has come to know a few things about navigating challenging times. From United Methodist Communications. Read her advice.

Rev. Carl Mehaffy, age 80, April 1 in Kingsport, TN
Rev. Jack Porter, age 84, April 3 in Maryville, TN
Rev. Ron Hammond, age 82, April 19 in Maryville, TN