NEWS FROM YOUR DISTRICT
Abingdon: Aldersgate UMC recently held a bake sale, sponsored by the United Methodist Women. Profits of $1,100 will be used for missions, according to Pastor Scott Ketron. "I want to thank the UMW for its hard work," he said.
Big Stone Gap: On May, 15 members from Hiltons Memorial UMC went to Navajo Indian Reservation in Window Rock, Ariz., to help with a project of the Four Corners Native American Ministries. According to Team Leader Gloria Sims, volunteers worked on an apartment at a pastors' training center, built a handicap ramp and side porch, laid sub-flooring and tile, installed ceiling fans, painted kitchen cabinets, worked in a thrift shop, and held vacation bible school for the Navajo children.
Chattanooga: A youth member from Red Bank UMC has won "the highest award that can be given to a United Methodist young person," according to a press release from the General Commission on United Methodist Men. Caleb Pitkin received the "Good Samaritan Award," an honor created in 2000 to recognize young people representing the attributes described in Luke 10. Pitkin, an Eagle Scout with a long list of other achievements to his credit, is one of 367 people having received the award to date.
Cleveland: Bill Gibson, a member of Wesley Memorial UMC, died of cancer at age 65 in May, leaving 30 acres of real estate, a cabin and another lot on the Tennessee River to the church. He stipulated in his will, "The devise is not to the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church." Gibson's vision was for the property to become a retreat area for Wesley members and their families. Larry Brand, a friend and co-worker, says that Gibson appreciated the care shown by Wesley members during his family's illnesses and deaths, even though the Gibsons were inactive members. A committee is being formed to fulfill his wishes. In the meantime, Wesley's new director of music, Braxton Kendrick, is living in the Gibson home and caring for the property.
Johnson City: Munsey Memorial UMC and Wesley Memorial UMC have each won 2004 Back-to-School Matching Grants from the denomination's Igniting Ministry office. Munsey is receiving $1,742 to secure $3,485 of TV commercial airtime in September, a premium time to attract newcomers. Wesley won a $1,976 grant, which the congregation will match for a total $3,952 in advertising. Now that the 2004 General Conference has approved money for matching grants through 2008, churches and districts may apply for their own media money at www .ignitingministry.org/ matchingrants.
Kingsport: Cody, Cameron and Cole Eidson raised $111 for missions at Kincaid UMC, one of four churches in the Rogersville Circuit. Children's Ministry Coordinator Theresa Eidson says the boys spent several Saturdays learning about missions in other lands, including Cuba, Russia, St. Paul, Minn., and Willow Anvik Grayling, Alaska. Kincaid has 30 members.
Knoxville: Rachel Dunne, member at Fountain City UMC, was honored with a "Hope Award" from Emory & Henry College. The award recognizes individuals who have served their communities and helped "improve the world," according to E&H spokespersons. Dunne
is a recent E&H graduate who has worked
in student government, Habitat for
Humanity, and Campus Christian Fellowship,
among other activities.
Maryville: First Maryville UMC's director of music for the contemporary service is used to working with big-time Christian bands. In fact, Paul Jones, who arranged the strings for Pillar's song, "Further," accompanied the band to Nashville for the Dove Awards in May. Jones says it was exciting to see stars like Amy Grant, Randy Travis, and Steven Curtis Chapman up close and personal. He's done studio work for other artists and served as worship leader for First Farragut and Trinity (Knoxville) UMC.
Morristown: The district scored big at Annual Conference, when two Morristown-area churches won Change for Children grants. Romeo UMC received $2,000 for a community playground ministry. Wooten's Chapel UMC received $1,000 for a weekly children's ministry.
Oak Ridge: Twelve members from Beaver Ridge UMC, joined by two members from Maryville District's Peck's Memorial, recently spent a week at UMCOR's Sager Brown Depot in Louisiana. The group assembled health kits, sewed school bags, painted and repaired two homes, and loaded emergency relief supplies for the Dominican Republic.
Tazewell: First Pearisburg UMC used to register about 60 kids for vacation bible school. This year, members prayed to expand their outreach, then picked a number of children they hoped to attract: 120. On the first VBS night, First Pearisburg had 121 kids. By the end of the week, attendance had soared to 158. Co-director Susan Collins says that moving from a traditional to a rotational VBS format has helped the church reach more kids in the community. "There are children dancing the aisles," she says. "We are all standing amazed in the presence of God."
Wytheville: At a Children's Issues Forum in April, members of St. Paul UMC heard concerns expressed that children (and parents) need to learn more respect for others. So the church is creating a kids' etiquette class this fall as part of its Wednesday night line-up. Lessons will range from setting the table to waiting your turn. Stay tuned.
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