By Paul Bowman, Holston Foundation president
Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that or which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14
Once again, Resurrection overtook Pigeon Forge with 4,000+ youth and chaperones worshipping, fellowshipping, and focusing on what matters in this world: Jesus. This year’s theme was “One Faith, One Hope, One Lord.” As I participated in the sessions, I was taken with the sincerity of attendees earnestly seeking Him, without regard to what adults are discussing and accusing others in the church of doing or believing. I was encouraged by the future. I also witnessed church vans in the parking lot from churches that are disaffiliating and churches that are remaining United Methodist. I was comforted that we could, even for a weekend, be the body of Christ together.
In my work around the Holston Conference, I have conversations with people in a lot of pain on both sides of the issues dividing our denomination. Personally, I dislike labels as it makes relating impersonal and gives us an “us versus them” attitude in most things in life. In my recent conversations with people, no matter their beliefs, I can hear the pain, distrust, and uncertainty in their voices. I can also hear their deep and abiding faith during those same conversations.
Just like the Resurrection experience had a place for people no matter what “side” they may be on, the Holston Foundation will continue to serve all people too. We will continue to invest the funds entrusted to us by UMC and non-affiliated churches in the same manner that provides a disciplined, fiduciary approach to investing. We will also continue to discuss with potential donors their hopes, dreams, and fears of leaving a legacy to their local church or favorite Christian charity.
The Holston Foundation’s future includes being a partner in what God is doing in the cities, communities, hollows, fellowship halls, sanctuaries, camps, Wesley Foundations, ministries, and more. When you connect with the Holston Foundation and invite us to participate in what you are doing for the Kingdom, we are a vital part of the work of the Holy Spirit and cherish every opportunity.