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Saving Grace
January 9, 2009
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Tension in churches affected by ash spill 

When members of Swan Pond UMC were finally allowed back into the church, an environmental catostrophe lurked at the bottom of the hill. (Story still breaking ...)

This might be the best New Year's resolution yet. A January column by Bishop James Swanson.

10 ways to encourage giving 
How to motivate church members to reach for their wallets. (Lewis Center for Church Leadership) 

Hiwassee College
Bulletin inserts for Feb. 15
The Cabinet and Council on Finance and Administration approved a special offering for Hiwassee College on Feb. 15. Download a color or black/white bulletin insert to help your congregation understand Hiwassee's mission.

sudan advocacy
Do this and feel good
If you have ever wanted to help the people of Sudan, make this simple phone call today.  

The Call is coming
The January newspaper was postal-mailed to paid subscribers on Jan. 5. Download free PDFs here.

Greatest-Hits-Illustration Greatest Hits
Here's what you liked: The top three links in the Dec. 17 edition of The Call 2.

Conference Calendar
Conference Calendar
  • Jan. 9: All 2008 apportionments are due to the Alcoa or Johnson City conference offices by 5 p.m. Questions: E-mail Treasurer John Tate or call toll-free 866-690-4080.
  • Jan. 16-18: Resurrection youth retreat in Gatlinburg, Tenn.
  • Jan. 18: Human Relations Sunday
  • Jan. 23-25: Resurrection youth retreat in Gatlinburg, Tenn.
  • Jan. 23-25: Divine Rhythm young adult retreat in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
  • Feb. 2-5: Ministers Convocation in Lake Junaluska, N.C.
  • Feb. 15: Special offering for Hiwassee College
  • Feb. 16: Change for Children grant applications due
  • March 12-14: Ministers' Wives retreat in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
More calendar items...

Blue Bandana Picks
  • Bandanas! The young adult team that will go to Sudan in March needs 2,500 bandanas to lead 2,000 children in VBS activities. Please take bandanas to Divine Rhythm or to the Alcoa conference office by Feb. 20. More info: e-mail Beth Tipton.
  • A better life: United Methodist pastors who serve overseas deserve pensions, too. Find out more about CCPI.   
More of ...

GBOD-Flame Picks
  • Worship planning for the presidential inauguration, Martin Luther King Day, Human Relations Day, Groundhog Day, and other approaching dates ... visit the GBOD's worship site.
  • Did you know? The 2008 General Conference changed vows for all UMC professing members and clarified the process for receiving members from other denominations. Get the specifics.
 More of ...

Potato Drop
  • Alternative spring break: The Society of St. Andrew offers college students a March 8-14 mission experience in Jacksonville, Fla. Application deadline is Jan. 30.
  • Alternative summer vacation: Red Bird Missionary Conference offers mission encounters in Kentucky to rising high school seniors and adults up to age 25. The weeks are July 19-25 and July 26-Aug. 1. E-mail  or call 606-664-2909.

Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church