Pastor's Notes

Changes within Holston

August 1, 2017

At the Holston Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church this past June, an important decision was made (okay, MANY were made, but this one is a highlight). This decision was to embrace a report from the Strategy Team of our Conference. This report contains ways in which we can adjust (as well as future adjustments) to better fulfill our mission as a Conference of churches.

The first item that comes to mind in the report is that the number of districts in our Conference will be reduced from 12 to 9. This takes into account the reality that transportation and communication has vastly improved over the last 50 years. By conducting our shared work in more efficient ways than ever before, we will save tremendous money, freeing up money for ministry. Our present District Superintendent Lauri Jo Cranford has been assigned to both the Kingsport and Johnson City Districts. The names of the Districts will change, as well as the boundaries.

As this is the first of several items in the report, it involves a lot of give and take from our churches. In order to finalize the district boundaries, we need to understand from everyone how shared ministry is conducted from our vantage points. As a means of gathering this information, the team is asking all of us to respond to the survey (printed copies were placed in last week's bulletin) with the following link:

If you are unable to utilize this link, we invite you pick up a copy of the survey from the church or contact the office and one can be mailed to you. The deadline for this assignment is August 15. I appreciate all of you who have already taken the time to fill it out. Thanks for your help in this important matter!


In February of 2019, by initiation of the Council of Bishops, a called General Conference of the United Methodist Church will be conducted. As a called meeting, the One item of business will be acting on the report from the Way Forward Committee that was assigned at our last General Conference. This committee has been charged with the difficult task of how our denomination will emerge with differing views on sexuality. We are asked to pray for this committee and for the United Methodist Church as we seek guidance from the Holy Spirit in this matter. If I, as pastor, can help you in clarifying any confusion circulated by the media or other sources, feel free to contact me. All of us have an interest in this. Most of us may have strong feelings on this. I seek to be pastor to all of you during this time of change.


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