Knoxville District
Monthly News & Updates
God In The Transitions
            I have often said "Life is a series of adjustments." Closely aligned with that is this: "Life is a series of transitions." I transitioned from being totally carried around by others to walking on my own, from playing at home to going to school, which involved many years of transitions. I went from being single to being a husband, then a father. I have faced the transition involved with the death of loved ones, especially my parents. As a pastor, I have experienced several transitions while serving churches.
            What has been your experience with transitions? My guess is that some of them were exciting and opened up wonderful new opportunities for you, while others were negative experiences.
            As we reflect on transitions in our lives, we can be assured that God has brought us through each of them. In fact, in the much bigger picture, God has been guiding people through transitions for hundreds of generations. I think about what I sometimes call the "three big 'E's" of the Bible story: Exodus, Exile and Easter. And while God was there through those major events, God was also there for individuals, families and other groups of people as they dealt with various transitions in their lives.
            As United Methodists in Holston Conference, we are in a time of transition. Some pastors are projected to move and some churches are anticipating receiving a new pastor. Our Conference is exploring some changes in how we are structured for ministry together. Beyond those and others, individuals and families in all of our churches face transitions on a regular basis.
            The good news is that God continues to be with us in the midst of all of it, no matter what comes our way in life. I ask that you be in prayer daily for all those facing transitions and as we face some of them together, pray that we will be open to how God will guide us through. After all, God is rather experienced at this!
Love, Grace & Peace,           

Our Holston Conference Bishop, Mary Virginia Taylor, and the other bishops of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church are aware of questions and concerns in their respective conferences in anticipation of the meeting of the Judicial Council later this month. The bishops have worked together to provide our clergy and congregations accurate information about our judicial and legislative processes. Click the link below for answers to questions you may have.  For further coverage regarding the action of the Judicial Council, please visit . As always, please be in prayer for our Church and for those serving on our behalf.

Our next District Clergy Meeting will be held on Thursday, May 4th at Cokesbury UMC, North Campus from 10-11:30am.  Please make your plans to attend. Theme "Intentional About Making Disciples."


District Clergy/Family Picnic:  We will hold our Annual Spring Picnic/Covered Dish dinner on Monday, May 21st.  Time and place TBD


All current Annual Conference information can be found at

Ishe Anesu Project is this year's
Annual Conference Mission Offering
Download a video and bulletin inserts to share with your congregation at

Change for Children Grants are available to support new and existing ministries with economically disadvantaged children through Holston Conference churches and related United Methodist agencies.  Envelopes will be sent out mid April to each church in each district and collected Tuesday morning June 13th 8:30 - 10:00am in front of Stuart Auditorium. 

DEADLINE - May 15th
REGISTER for CHILDCARE with Lake Junaluska 828-464-6681
REGISTER FOR 5K RUN/1-MILE WALK to benefit AC Offering
  The Knoxville District Pre-Conference Briefing will be held on Sunday, May 21st 6:00pm at Cokesbury UMC, North Campus.  This is a very important meeting!  A member of the Conference Strategy Team will be present to share about their proposal that will be presented at Annual Conference.  All Local Church Lay Members, District At-Large Members and Clergy should make every effort to attend. If you are unavailable to attend the meeting scheduled for Knoxville perhaps you can attend one of the meetings scheduled in another district. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017
3:00 p.m.
Pleasant View
Big Stone Gap
Sunday, May 7, 2017
3:00 p.m.
Trinity, BSG
Sunday, May 7, 2017
2:30 p.m.
Jones Memorial
Sunday, May 7, 2017
3:00 p.m.
Valley Head District Office
Johnson City
Sunday, May 7, 2017
3:00 p.m.
Wesley Memorial
Sunday, May 21, 2017
3:00 p.m.
Colonial Heights
Sunday, May 21, 2017
6:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 21, 2017
3:00 p.m.
First, Alcoa
Sunday, May 21, 2017
3:00 p.m.
Trinity, Morristown
Oak Ridge
Sunday, May 21, 2017
3:00 p.m.
First, Oak Ridge
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
6:30 p.m.
First, Bluefield
Sunday, May 21, 2017
3:00 p.m.
Fort Chiswell


2016 Holston Conference Journals

Orders are now being accepted for 2016 Holston Conference Journals.  Visit to order yours by credit card today.  Cost $50.00  Or you can download the form and order by check. 
Hands on Mission Kits 2017

     Be keeping your eyes open for supplies for the 2017 Hands On Mission Kits.   Please note:  The list has changed from the previous years, for 2017 they are requesting sneakers. 
SCHOOL KITS for Zimbabwe 
Pack these items in a new backpack:
  • 1 compass/protractor set
  • 1 pk. erasers
  • 1 pk. pencils (10-12 ct.)
  • 1 small dictionary
  • 1 box crayons (24 ct.)
  • 1 ruler, 12-inch
  • 3 pks. notebook paper, wide-ruled (100-150 ct.)
  • 1 pk. pens, blue or black (10-12 ct.)
  • 1 pr. NEW sneakers - any size, child/adult  ($15 or less; remove all price tags)
As usual there will be a $5.00 shipping charge for each backpack.  Backpacks are to
be brought to the Knoxville District Office on Tuesday, June 6th from 10am - 4pm. 

Ministerial Education Assistance
The Missionary Emergency Fund, Incorporated, was founded in 1920 by Major A.D. Reynolds, exclusively for religious, charitable, and educational purposes.  The Fund aids in the propagation of the Christian Faith, supports home and foreign missions engaged in propagating the Christian Faith, provides scholarships and other aid for students preparing for Christian service work, aids the active and retired clergy by assisting in the education of their children and by providing for the comfort and care of their families, aids in Christian education at home and abroad, including support and assistance to educational institutions and to students and teachers, and carries on various charitable, religious, and educational activities either directly or by contributions to organizations duly authorized to carry on charitable, religious, and educational activities.

Reynolds Memorial United Methodist Church and State Street United Methodist Church, both in Bristol and both dear to Major A.D. Reynolds' heart, distribute Missionary Emergency funds together annually for scholarship purposes and individually for grant purposes. Scholarships are made available to children and spouses of Holston Conference active or retired clergy, to those pursuing vocations in ministry or missions, or to Holston Conference clergy pursuing further education such as Master of Divinity degrees or Doctorate of Ministry degrees.  
If you would like to apply for the Missionary Emergency Fund scholarship for the 2017-2018 year, please visit the MEF page on the Reynolds Memorial United Methodist Church website.  Our website is  Then go to the "More" page and click on the button to fill out your application online this year.  The link will take you to a secure site and your completed application will come directly to me upon submission. 

One more thing!  Please have your Dean of Students or Advisors fill out the attached form to verify your grades.  You can have them report your grades as of the Fall 2016 semester.

Go Gray Sunday, May 7, 2017
     Supporting Pediatric Brain Tumor Awareness

     Over the past few years , the Holston Conference Minister's Spouses, have all been praying for little Miss Tillery Phillips as she has battled a brain tumor that was diagnosed when she was
15 months old. At 3 years old, Tillery just had her 14th surgery.  The Holston Conference Minister's Spouses, at their recent retreat, took an offering to be sent to Alex's Lemonade Stand to support Miss Tillery and her family.  Now, we want to give you an opportunity to learn more about this foundation and support Go Gray Sunday too!
     You can go to: to learn more about how Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation helps children like Miss Tillery and other children facing childhood cancer. Click here for information and suggestions on how you can be a part of Go Gray Sunday. You may want to have your church participate with you, maybe your book club, a work team, get as many folks involved to learn more about childhood cancer and how we can make a difference in the lives of these children.
      If you wish to receive more information or resources such as bulletin inserts on Go Gray Sunday, have a representative of your group contact Alana Phillips at (423) 827-2804 or


Ministers' Spouses Luncheon
Monday, June 12, 2017  - 12:00PM
Gathering time  - 11:45AM
Long's Chapel UMC -
        133 Old Clyde Road
         Waynesville, NC 28785

Catered by Blue Rooster Southern Grill
Cost $20.00 per person
First time attendee - no charge
Make checks payable to:
Holston Conference Ministers' Spouses  
Mail to: Tami Bennington
             531 2nd Street
             Newport, TN  37821
On-line registration is available at
Cost is 20.75 for on-line registration.  Registration Deadline is May 27, 2017
For additional information contact Lisa E. Black, President Holston Conference Ministers' Spouses (cell) 423/612-7601 or Lori Sluder  865/293-4146

Justice Knox's Nehemiah Action
            Justice Knox is an ecumenical group seeking to confront various social justice issues in Knoxville and Knox County. On Monday, April 24 from 7:00-8:30 p.m. they have invited city and county leaders to Central United Methodist Church to hear concerns about two issues on which they are focusing right now: public school education and mental health. It is their goal to have at least 1,200 to 1,500 people attend to draw attention to these concerns. Those attending are asked to arrive by 6:35. Parking will also be available at St. John's Lutheran Church and St. James Episcopal Church. Carpooling is highly encouraged.

Wesley Woods Golf Tournament
            Monday, April 24 at Egwani Farms. Morning (8:30) and afternoon (1:30) sessions. There may be room for another team if you have a group wanting to play. Call Nathan Malone (865-776-9919) by Sunday at 5:00. We give thanks for Rick and Sue Isbell for all their work in chairing the tournament committee, along with these other members: Larry Carroll, Scott Milligan, Nancy Swaggerty, Ron Welch and Tony Lea.

Date: June 24, 2017, 9:00 a.m. Shotgun, with lunch following the tournament.

Location: Egwani Farms Golf Course. 

Who Should Attend: All golfers - casual or accomplished!

Format: 4-Person - scramble format, shotgun start. 

Entry Fee: The entry fee is $100 per person. The fee will include 18 holes, golf cart, green fees, lunch, goody bag, and eligibility for prizes ( Player Registration Form). 

Hole Sponsorship: Available ( Hole Sponsorship Form).

Also: Mulligans and tosses are available for purchase on the day of the event for $5 each.

Space is limited for this sell-out event. For more information, please call Wesley House at (865) 524-5494.

You are invited to a special evening celebrating Susannah's House
Saturday, May 13, 2017

Did you know it takes $1000 a day to support our mission of healing mothers and children from the hurts of drug abuse? Join us at our celebration and fundraising dinner to hear messages of hope, enjoy live music, and bid on items in our silent auction, and of course, share a delicious meal with friends. Your support helps us reach some of the most vulnerable members of our community and break the cycle of addiction for the next generation. RSVP today 865-200-4759.
Rothchild Catering and Conference Center
8807 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37923
Doors open at 5:00pm
5:30 - 7:30 Silent Auction
6:30 Dinner begins
7:00  Program and entertainment
Individual tickets are $50 per person