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Three Rivers District News
A Day of Celebration
On Sunday, September 23, 2018 the first-ever Three Rivers District Conference was held at Gray United Methodist Church. Approximately 150 clergy and laity from across the district gathered to celebrate our new identity and prepare for the coming year.

While singing the opening hymn "Shall we gather at the river" members of the district came forward to bring water from their area, mingling it together in four buckets as a sign that we are united as a district. The water was carried in a variety of containers unique to each church which were then placed on the altar, symbolizing our diversity.

As she combined the water that had been brought forward at the beginning of the service, District Superintendent Lauri Jo Cranford shared: Today we celebrate our unity and our diversity. We take water from Mountain City, from Unicoi, Erwin, Carter County, Greene County, Sullivan County, Johnson City, from lakes, streams, pools, the water bottle in our car; and we blend it. We mix it so that it can represent all of who we are as the Three Rivers District. Jesus told the woman at the well that she should be asking him for the living water. With the water we have collected today, we will water the tree that will be planted at the district ministry center. Each and every one of our churches has a role. The ministry that we provide comes from the same source. Together we will share the living water, step back, and see what grows. The containers that we brought water in come in different shapes, different colors, and have different uses, just like us. We celebrate that we are united as a district and that we are diverse as a district.

The body joined together in a liturgy provided by Holston Conference celebrating the creation of nine new districts, and then shared in Holy Communion.

During the gathering, the district also received reports from the Holston Conference Strategy Team, Czech Missions Team, Camp Bays Mountain, and Wesley Foundation at ETSU, District leadership and At-Large Lay Members to the 2019 were elected, and a budget of $187,153 was adopted for 2019.

Meeting with General Conference Delegation
Sunday, November 11
6:00 pm
Munsey Memorial UMC
Christian Life Center (enter from Roan Street)
201 E Market St
Johnson City, TN 37601

The Holston Conference Delegation is meeting with each district in Holston over the coming months to share conversation about the Special General Conference in February 2019. The laity and clergy of the Three Rivers District will have an opportunity to meet with the delegation on Sunday, November 11, 6:00 pm at Munsey Memorial UMC.

All of our congregations are encouraged to cancel their usual Sunday evening services and attend this important event. According to delegation leader, the Rev. Kim Goddard, the gathering will include, “An overview of the three models from the Commission on a Way Forward along with a bit of the history of how we got to this point and something of how General Conference works.” There will be time for questions, as well as an opportunity for small group discussion.

Hurricane Response
While the Carolinas and coastal Georgia are still reeling from flooding caused by Hurricane Florence, another storm has hit the Florida panhandle and is working its way through the southeast US. Hurricane Michael has caused widespread damage, and our neighbors need our help.

Last week members of the Holston Conference Disaster Response team stopped by the Three Rivers District Ministry Center to pick up 29 Cleaning Buckets and 150 Hygiene Kits donated by our congregations. These were taken to replace the thousands of kits already delivered to North and South Carolina. We will need many more in the wake of this week's storm.

Completed kits can be delivered to the Three Rivers District Ministry Center during normal business hours through the end of October. Please call first to make certain that someone is available to accept your delivery, as our hours are subject to change due to meetings or other commitments.

Monetary donations to UMCOR are also welcome. REMEMBER! 100% of your donation to UMCOR goes to victims of disasters!

Lay Servant Training
Saturday, November 3
8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Gray UMC

The following courses will be offered:

  • Lay Servant Ministries – The Basic Course: Teacher: Kim Isley  
  • United Methodist Polity: Teacher: Randall Wright  
  • Lay Servants Pray: Teacher: Jane Taylor  
  • Lay Servants Preach: Teacher: Lloyd Jones  
  • Lay Servants Lead in Worship: Teacher: Adam Love  

Registration fee is $25, and the deadline for registration is Monday, October 22. Participants are responsible for purchasing their own texts.

Note: If you are unable to attend this training on November 3, or need courses not offered on this date, the Mountain View District will have their training on Saturday October 27 in White Pine, TN.

Rise Against Hunger
Cokesbury UMC and Jonesborough UMC are teaming up for a Rise Against Hunger event on Saturday, October 20th. We unload the truck at 8:30 am and then start packing meals at 10:00 am. We welcome anyone who wants to join us. The event is at the Three Rivers District Ministry Center, 110 Mary Street, Gray, TN, where Cokesbury UMC worships.

Change For Children Training Scholarships
The Holston Conference Children’s Ministry team invites children’s ministry staff and/or volunteers to apply for training scholarships in amounts up to $500 per individual. A maximum of $1,000 will be awarded per church.

“We know that these training events provide leaders a chance to learn new skills and expand their skills in working with children and families; provide excellent opportunities to network with other children’s leaders; and to offer a time of renewal and personal growth as a leader,” Susan Groseclose said.

In 2018, persons can apply for a Change for Children Training Scholarship by Oct. 15, 2018. After 2018, persons may apply for a scholarship by February 15 or August 15 each year.

For more information or to explore possible training opportunities, download the application or contact Groseclose at or at 865-293-4139.
Mexico Medical Mission
Would you like to serve on a medical team to Mexico?
The opportunity to serve the Mexican people is a rewarding experience. A team will be forming to travel to two villages Ixtepec and Tatoxcac on March 30-April 7, 2019. Please note this is not on the border and a much safer place in Mexico to work. Our work here is general care, seeing patients with diabetes, hypertension, parasites, and identifying referral needs. We try to provide medication for diagnosis of problem, along with Christian love. This is a camping type setting, with communal sleeping in the villages. Our team will need doctors, nurses, interpreters and people who are willing to serve. Our team leaders are Frank Snyder (pharmacist). Rev. Ramon Torres, Dr. Paul Brown (physician), Angela Bowker (treasurer), and Anna Kapoor (Logistics/registration) Email or call 423-534-1280, if you would like to serve.
Job Opportunities
Worship Leader, Sulphur Springs UMC, Jonesborough.

This is a part-time position with a 10 hour work week. SSUMC has its contemporary worship service at 9:00 AM.
Applicants will meet the following qualifications:
  • The Worship Leader will be a person of real and authentic faith in Jesus Christ.
  • The Worship Leader will be a role model of Christian faith in both actions and words.
  • The Worship Leader will be acquainted and will adhere to the United Methodist Book of Discipline and its theology. 
Applicants must fulfill the following qualifications.
  • Present a welcoming and Christ-like presence for worship through music
  • Prior experience in leading worship in a church setting
  • Possess lead vocal skills
  • Skilled in guitar and/or keyboards
  • Be able to arrange music for instrumentalists and vocalists
  • Ability to manage and operate the sound system
  • Coordinate and recruit those who help with the sound system during the service 
  • Well versed in computer software with applications for the worship service
  • Ability to interact with congregation during the music worship portion of the service
  • Prepare and arrange all music for the weekly practice session one night a week
  • Be punctual and on time
  • Invest in the lives of the band members, as much as a small group leader does
Resumes may be emailed to or mailed to the address above. The church office may be reached Monday through Thursday at 423-753-5631 if applicants have any further questions.
Youth Leader, Sulphur Springs UMC, Jonesborough

This is a part-time position. The numbers of hours will ultimately be determined by the qualifications and the availability of the applicant accepted. This position will require a minimum of 20 hours a week.
The Youth Leader will coordinate and supervise the church’s programs and ministries for the youth.
The Youth Leader will work under the direct supervision of the Pastor and the Staff Parish Relations Team and with the youth council.
Applicants will meet the following qualifications:
  • The Youth Leader will be a person of real and authentic faith in Jesus Christ.
  • The Youth Leader will be a role model of Christian faith in both actions and words.
  • The Youth Leader will be acquainted with and will adhere to the United Methodist Book of Discipline and its theology. 
Youth Leader Responsibilities:
  • Coordinate the church’s entire youth ministry.
  • Recruit adults to help with youth meetings and trips.
  • Be involved with the youth by attending school and extracurricular activities.
  • Plan and coordinate a weekly Bible study to help youth grow in their faith.
  • Plan and coordinate times of fellowship and fun, including the Harvest Festival
  • Plan and coordinate times of mission and service.
  • Maintain a calendar of events for the youth.
  • Reach out to unchurched youth and lead our youth in doing the same
  • Facilitate and participate in District and Conference youth events.
  • Keep parents well informed of all youth events.
  • Meet at least quarterly with the youth council.
  • Provide counseling, in cooperation with the Pastor, for youth in crisis.
  • Create a yearly budget for the youth program.
  • Be a team player in other church events as the Youth Leader’s schedule allows.
 Resumes may be emailed to or mailed to the address above. The church office may be reached Monday through Thursday at 423-753-5631 if applicants have any further questions.
Jonesborough UMC is seeking a part-time toddler and 2's teacher. Hours are Sunday mornings 8:30 am - 12:30 pm; Wednesday Evenings (part of the year) 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm; Summer VBS and planning time.
Please contact Karen Lane at Jonesborough UMC for more information
Upcoming Events
Events - What, where, when...
Evangelism Conference "Get Their Name" - two dates and locations!

Saturday, November 3
9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Keith Memorial UMC
600 W. Madison Avenue
Athens, TN


Sunday, November 4
2:00 pm - 7:00 pm
State Street UMC
300 W Valley Dr
Bristol, VA

Holston Conference will be offering a live stream on November 3 rd from Keith UMC as well. Meals and childcare provided. 0.4 CEU will be earned or watching the live stream. Early registration is thru Oct 31 st. Price is $10 in advance or $15 at the door.

Clergy - did you miss the latest issue of the Wesley Leadership Institute newsletter? Read it here