Friday, July 18, 2014

{Mission Highlight} Holston United Methodist Conference

"God envisions bold, passionate, and joyful communities of faith where the spiritual hunger to worship God and to serve Christ sets disciples on fire with Spirit-filled, risk-taking love for all God's children until Holston Conference reflects the saving grace and redeeming justice of our Lord Jesus Christ." -Holston Vision Statement 

Spanning from a tiny section of North Georgia, all the way up Eastern Tennessee, and reaching into the south of Virginia, you will find the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church. Currently under the direction of Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor, Holston is home to four mission organizations on the UMVIM, SEJ Project List. Read on to learn more about what they are doing to be a light of hope and love in this region of our country and how you can be part of the good work yourself. 


Appalachian Service Project
This beloved mission institution reaches across 5 states, and has been the destination of both faith and secular groups since 1969. It was then United Methodist preacher Glenn "Tex" Evans realized he could utilize the energy and spirit of young people to meet desperate needs in poverty-stricken Appalachia. Their goal is to eliminate the region's inadequate housing while ultimately enriching the lives of both those they serve, and those who serve. They can accommodate volunteer group of up to 65 at a time and have workcamp opportunities all year long.

Project Crossroads 
Project Crossroads provides a Christian presence in the region around Marion, Virginia.They strive to cover a wide variety of needs, such as providing firewood for warmth during brutally cold winters, educating locals to grow their own food in sustainable gardens, and they even build new homes for those who need it most. Needs are as simple as splitting firewood or donating seeds, but to learn how you could be of more service, please contact their office directly. 

Jubilee Project 
Jubilee's powerful mission statement declares "In the name of Jesus Christ, helping the people of our region meet their spiritual, economic, social and physical needs." Indeed, true mission service cannot service just one type of need. To holistically care for a person involves addressing all of these, which is what makes Jubilee Mission such a wonderful place to volunteer. Teams can expect to do construction, home repair or other types of community service, and they can accommodate teams of virtually any size for however long they are able to serve.

Bethlehem Center 

Located in Chattanooga, "The Beth," as it is commonly called, seeks to empower and educate local youth who are at a high risk of dropping out of school and becoming involved in substance abuse, crime and sexual activity. They also encourage parents to spend a greater amount of quality time with their children in hopes of fostering stronger families and thus, tighter, safer communities. As with many mission opportunities, there is a need for volunteers who are able to perform repairs, but The Beth also needs people who can engage in academic activities, such as classroom, computer lab and recreational assistance.

All of these wonderful mission organizations depend on the cheerful and willing service of volunteers like you. So why not pull a team together a spend a few days showing Christian love in action? UMVIM, SEJ is here to serve you by offering resources such as Team Leading Training, developed over the last 3 decades of our organization's work in the short-term mission field. Let us empower you to make the most of your service opportunity for you, your team and those you are serving. We also offer incredible team health insurance coverage for a nominal price. Check out our website for more info on how to get started, or call our office and talk to anyone on our staff to learn more. 

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