Memphis Conference and Tennessee River District have new P.O. Box address for mail

published 10/17/2020
A new mail address is now in operation for the Memphis Conference of The United Methodist Church AND the Tennessee River District office which currently share space in the conference office building at 24 Corporate Blvd., Jackson, TN 38305.   During the period of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 24 Corporate Blvd. building is closed, except by appointment.   The new MAIL address, effective immediately, is P.O. Box 258, Trenton, TN 38382. Payments and donations (only) should still be sent to P.O. Box...

Upcoming trainings: Boundaries and Sexual Ethics (BaSE) & Safe Sanctuary

published 10/14/2020
These are required trainings for clergy, but lay people may participate. The next training opportunities will be in late April, 2021. BaSE - Boundaries and Sexual Ethics Friday, October 30, 2020 Registration ends October 23. Safe Sanctuary  Saturday, October 31, 2020 Registration ends October 22. Both trainings will be conducted via Zoom.. Both trainings have several hours of online content that will need to be completed PRIOR to training dates. Participants will be required to purchase a ...

Churches & laity invited to GIVE in midst of 2020 challenges

published 10/12/2020
  CHURCHES AND LAITY INVITED TO GIVE: LOVE, JOY, HOPE AND PEACE IN THE MIDST OF 2020’S CHALLENGES The year 2020 has been a difficult one. The pandemic forced many to reflect on the past, reconsider priorities and cope with uncertainty. In the midst of this time of great change, one thing has remained constant: Missio Dei, God’s mission. The mission work of The United Methodist Church continues and would not be possible without the prayers, generosity or support of laity, leaders and ...

Here are dates and locations for 2021 Memphis and Tennessee Annual Conferences

published 10/9/2020
Bishop William T. (Bill) McAlilly, resident bishop for the Nashville Episcopal Area, has announced dates and locations for the 2021 Memphis and Tennessee Annual Conferences:  2021 Memphis Annual Conference: June 2-4, Jackson, Tennessee 2021 Tennessee Annual Conference: June 9-11, Brentwood, Tennessee

Memphis Conference DEADLINEs

published 10/6/2020
Check back often for new deadlines. Click HERE to submit deadline information. OCTOBER 2020 Oct. 22: Deadline to register for Oct. 31 Safe Sanctuary training | DETAILS Oct. 23: Deadline to register for Oct. 30 BaSE (Boundaries and Sexual Ethics) training | DETAILS Oct. 30: Deadline to submit gift-giving opportunities for Memphis Conference 2020 Online Alternative Christmas Gift Catalog | DETAILS NOVEMBER 2020 Nov. 1: Deadline for church giving in Hannah's Hope 'Partners of Hope' campaign to ...

Tennessee River District churches pack and deliver 741 Christmas shoe boxes for United Methodist missionaries to distribute to children

published 10/6/2020
MORE PHOTOS See volunteers at work on this project. United Methodist churches in the Tennessee River District packaged 741 Christmas shoe boxes full of small gifts and supplies destined for children in developing countries where United Methodist missionaries and pastors serve. After six weeks of work that began in late August, the shoe boxes were delivered Oct. 1 to the Shoe Box Ministry operated out of the United Methodist Disaster Relief Warehouse in Decatur, Alabama. The warehouse ...

Memphis Conference agencies, ministries invited to participate in 'Alternative Christmas Gift Catalog'

published 10/5/2020
Plans are underway to set up the sixth annual online Memphis Conference "Alternative Christmas Gift Catalog" on the Memphis Conference website. The 2020 online catalog will provide links to information about gift-giving opportunities offered during November and December 2020 by agencies, ministries and churches of the Memphis Conference of The United Methodist Church. Each gift-giving opportunity listed must benefit the ministry named and be an opportunity for gift giving related to Christmas ...

Sign up now: Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare Sunday

published 10/5/2020
By Dr. Jonathan C. Lewis   Director of Community Partnerships, Mission Integration Division Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, Memphis, TN | (901) 478-0545   It is time to sign up for MLH Sunday! As we have done since our centennial year in 2018, the MLH Sunday program celebrates the healing mission of our community’s churches and Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (MLH), and we look forward to doing that with churches again this year.   Please contact me (contact info above) ...

'Order of St. Andrew' award presented to Dr. David Russell

published 10/1/2020
Dr. David Russell, Memphis Conference secretary, is the recipient of the Order of St. Andrew award, according to the United Methodist Foundation for the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences that sponsors the award. The award honors clergy and laity who have greatly influenced the life of the church and blessed lives through their personal ministry. Russell was presented the award during an online worship service on Sunday, July 26, at Benton First United Methodist Church where he served until ...

Wrap-up: Virtual 2020 Memphis Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church

published 9/30/2020
SEPT 26 PHOTOS  |  SEPT 12 PHOTOS “By Faith” was the theme for the 2020 Memphis Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church that took place on three nonconsecutive days in September: the Clergy Session on Sept. 3, the Service of Ordination, Commissioning and Licensing on Sept. 12 and all remaining business and worship on Sept. 26. All components took place in virtual formats utilizing streaming and Zoom video conferencing, making this the first Memphis Annual Conference that did not ...

Hannah's Hope offers reward to 'top 3' giving churches (by Nov. 1) in 'Partners of Hope' campaign

published 9/24/2020
By Rev. Trina Morrison, Executive Director of Hannah's Hope The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live our lives, but it has not changed the mission of Hannah’s Hope. We continue to serve pregnant women in crisis and their vulnerable children. Now more than ever we need the support of congregations, United Methodist Women (UMW) circles, small groups and Sunday School classes to sustain the ministry of Hannah’s Hope. Can you become a Partner of Hope?    HANNAH’S HOPE needs a foundation ...

Prayers, toys, money are needed for Reelfoot Rural Ministries' 2020 Christmas Toy Store

published 9/23/2020
Reelfoot Rural Ministries (RRM) in Obion, Tenn., is getting ready for its December, 2020 Christmas Toy Store and is now seeking prayers, as well as donations of toys and money. A ministry of the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church, RRM serves people in need within four counties: Lake, Obion and Dyer Counties in Tennessee and Fulton County in Kentucky. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are several process changes in 2020, some of which are: Clients will apply in person on ...

Henry Co. United Methodist churches donate 137 'Christmas shoe boxes' for missionaries to distribute

published 9/17/2020
By Elyse Bell | United Methodist churches throughout Henry County, Tennessee in the Tennessee River District, recently packed 137 Christmas Shoe boxes that will be delivered to United Methodist missionaries in Central and South America for distribution in the mountain villages where the missionaries serve. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) warehouse in Decatur, Alabama, oversees the shipping. The contents of each box are age-appropriate for recipients, ...

Grace Place United Methodist Church has 2 needs for women inside West Tennessee State Penitentiary

published 9/14/2020
Grace Place United Methodist Church (UMC) has two needs at this time. The congregation, made up of women prisoners inside the Women’s Therapeutic Residential Center at the West Tennessee State Penitentiary in Fort Pillow, Tennessee, is led by Rev. Diane Harrison. Individuals and groups are encouraged to donate because "this has been an extremely difficult time for all incarcerated people," said Harrison. The needs are: Money to purchase candy To help fill 1,100 "Hallowed Bags" for all ...

Ten individuals in the Memphis Conference were ordained, commissioned, licensed on Sept. 12

published 9/14/2020
Ten individuals (names listed below) were ordained or commissioned or licensed on Saturday, Sept. 12, during the 2020 Service of Licensing, Commissioning and Ordination of the Memphis Conference of The United Methodist Church. The event took place at Germantown United Methodist Church in Germantown, Tennessee, but was not open to the public, due to the pandemic. "Order Our Steps" was the title of the sermon by Bishop Bill McAlilly, resident bishop of the Nashville Episcopal Area that includes...

'Choose Joy' is message on face masks for women prisoners of Grace Place United Methodist Church

published 9/10/2020
"In these challenging times... Choose Joy!" That is the message displayed on face masks being worn by women prisoners inside the Women’s Therapeutic Residential Center at the West Tennessee State Penitentiary in Fort Pillow, Tennessee, thanks to the ministry of Grace Place, a United Methodist Church located inside the facility. "Our theme at Grace Place for 2020 is "Choose Joy," reports Rev. Diane Harrison, the church's pastor. Harrison posted a picture of herself wearing one of the masks on...

Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Memphis breaks ground for new building to 'grow forward'

published 9/8/2020
Emmanuel United Methodist Church (UMC) in Memphis, Tennessee, broke ground for a new building on Aug. 30, according to a media release from the church, located on the southeast side of Memphis, TN. The event was live-streamed so all members could witness the live event that required social distancing and the wearing of masks in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Emmanuel’s new vision statement, adopted in 2019, 'to be A Growing and Vital Community Where Christ is Transforming Lives,' has ...

Metro District churches demonstrate importance of offering and partnering to offer virtual learning

published 9/8/2020
By Dr. Deborah B. Smith Metro District Superintendent (Fayette, Tipton & Shelby Counties in southwest Tennessee) Memphis Conference, The United Methodist Church As we continue to find ourselves in the throes of the Covid-19 pandemic, we cannot and must not become comfortable in our own well-being and safety. We are reminded in Jeremiah 29:7: But, seek the welfare of the city…and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.   This is what we United Methodists ...

Now available: charge conference forms for 2020 charge conference season

published 9/4/2020
Charge conference forms are now available for the 2020 charge conference season of the Memphis Conference of The United Methodist Church. All four districts of the Memphis Conference are requiring all eleven (11) forms if/as they apply to the church/charge. Below are links to the fillable PDF forms. The first name is the name on the form. The link is the corresponding electronic file name. 2021 TWK Clergy Compensation Form: /files/twk+2021+clergy+comp+form+with+umpip+form+(fillable)+(1).pdf ...

Scholarships available to to attend programs or trainings that enhance rural ministry

published 8/18/2020
United Methodist Rural Advocates (UMRA) announced this month the availability of a limited number of scholarships to attend programs or trainings that enhance rural ministry.  An applicant can be considered for a scholarship of up to the lesser of  $400 or one-half of program/event fees, etc.  For more information, contact: Judy Hill, Treasurer United Methodist Rural Advocates 3642 Road D Joes, CO 80822 Email:

United Methodist Women circles at St. Paul UMC prepare 'care packages' for Wesley Stage Park

published 8/18/2020
By Janice McCallen, Memphis Conference Lay Leader and member of St. Paul United Methodist Church and United Methodist Women For the past several years, the Susanna Circle of the United Methodist Women (UMW) at St. Paul United Methodist Church (UMC) in Lakeland, Tennessee, has been organizing Bingo game night at Wesley Stage Park, a Wesley Living community for older adults, located in Memphis.  This was always a highlight of our year, as we would gather annually in the fellowship space at ...

Youth ministry certification courses begin Aug. 24

published 8/4/2020
The Institute for Discipleship and Youth Ministry Institute (IFD/YMI) are partnering to offer an all-online Certification in Youth Ministry to equip lay people who work with youth in local churches – both paid staff and volunteer. Four 6-week courses and one 12-week practicum provide solid instruction and best practice in topics ranging from teaching the Bible to understanding adolescent development, with youth ministry veterans providing all-online content and coaching from start to finish. ...

Reelfoot Rural Ministries now receiving school supply donations for low-income families

published 7/28/2020
  Reelfoot Rural Ministries (RRM) is collecting school supplies for low-income families it serves in Northwest Tennessee and Southwestern Kentucky. Aug. 21 is the deadline for RRM to receive donations. In the midst of the pandemic, the multi-service ministry/agency of the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church has a new plan for distributing school supplies. Click here for FLYER with DETAILS Questions? Email  

4 foundational ministry certifications start Aug. 24; they are practical, affordable and offered online

published 7/21/2020
Four practical ministry certifications that can help equip persons in leadership positions in faith communities are available from the Institute for Discipleship.  These certifications start on Aug. 24, 2020, and are designed to give laity affordable and accessible foundations for ministry. Certifications are available in: Spiritual Formation Christian Care and Counseling Ministry With Those With Disabilities Youth Ministry Each certification consists of four online courses, each $125. ...

Registration now open for online course: Disciples Living Generously

published 7/21/2020
This course will help you open up ways to communicate with your congregation with generosity as a key ingredient in a maturing disciple! As disciples of Jesus Christ, growing generosity should be second nature to us, part of our DNA. Jesus, in his teaching and presence, set us on a path that if we follow and pick up the cross of discipleship, we are to live generously in all aspects of our lives. So how could we ever say we are about the business of making disciples and ...

Clark to serve as Interim Director of Connectional Ministries for Memphis Conference through Dec. 31

published 7/20/2020
Rev. Dr. Richard W. Clark will serve as part-time Interim Director of Connectional Ministries through Dec. 31, 2020, according to an announcement from Bishop William T. (Bill) McAlilly. This appointment took effect July 1. Clark retired July 1 as Superintendent of the Tennessee River District. Through Dec. 31, he will help with the work of transitioning Memphis Conference Connectional Ministries for the Future Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference, that will launch in January 2022.   Other ...

Volunteer crew replaced accessibility ramp at Lakeshore Camp and Retreat Center

published 7/20/2020
By Jennie Dickerson, Director of Communications and Development, Lakeshore Camp and Retreat Center  For 20 years, the ramp alongside the Kibbons Conference Center at Lakeshore Camp and Retreat Center in Eva, Tennessee, has made wheelchair access possible, while also providing a peaceful place to reflect with a beautiful view of the water. Thousands of campers, guests, leaders and staff have traversed this boardwalk leading to the gazebo, and it has served us well. Knowing the ramp was ...

2020 Memphis Annual Conference will be one-day virtual event on Saturday, September 26

published 7/16/2020
Submitted by Delores Smith Chair, 2020 Memphis Annual Conference Planning Team Bishop Bill McAlilly and the 2020 Memphis Annual Conference Planning Team hoped that postponing our scheduled annual conference from June to September would allow us to hold our usual in-person gathering, even if it was at multiple locations. However, in this COVID-19 season, we realize that will not be possible.   The safety of our annual conference members is our first priority. After weighing options, the team ...

Update and request from History Task Group

published 7/16/2020
By Dr. Mark Matheny |   Hymn Contest The Memphis Conference History Task Group’s panel of judges has deliberated and is happy to announce that the winner of our hymn writing contest announced in January (the hymn and its author) will be revealed during our Sept. 26 Virtual Annual Conference. The winning hymn celebrates our history and our hope. Anticipate this small but significant part of carrying forward “By Faith...”!    Historical Markers       Many Memphis Conference ...

Aug. 15 is deadline to apply for new leadership training by Turner Center: Innovation in Mission

published 7/15/2020

July 25: Deadline to reply to TECHNOLOGY SURVEY for future Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference

published 7/13/2020
July 25 is the deadline for those who recently received a SurveyMonkey TECHNOLOGY SURVEY (via email from to return their responses.  The TECHNOLOGY SURVEY is designed to help with the creation of the future Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference by providing an inventory of technology resources and needs at churches, districts and the future conference.  If you have questions or need more information about the survey, email  

Ministry remains vibrant at Africa University

published 7/1/2020
By Andra M. Stevens Director, Communications Africa University Development Office Africa University (AU) is possible because United Methodists continue to pray for and invest in it. The Memphis Conference's generosity inspires our students as they grow in faith, claim and work toward God’s promise of abundant life. AU is the first and only fully-accredited institution of higher learning established on the African continent by action of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church.  ...

Names and email addresses needed for students heading to or back to college in fall 2020

published 6/29/2020
Attention churches, youth pastors and families of college students: Help us capture the names and email addresses of students from across the Memphis Conference who are heading to or back to college in Fall 2020. There is a plan to connect these students with college campus ministries. CLICK HERE to provide student information. QUESTIONS? Email Rev. Amanda Crice, campus minister at University of Tennessee in Martin, TN, at   

Ten complete 2019-20 Local Pastor Academy

published 6/22/2020
Submitted by Academy organizers On Saturday, May 2, ten persons including local pastors, certified lay ministers and lay servants, gathered as they have each month since September 2019  to attend the Academy of Leadership & Coaching – Local Pastors (LPA).  Instead of meeting at the conference office in Jackson, Tennessee, however, like church pastors and members everywhere, they met on the screen of a Zoom call.  And like churches making do with online worship, these dedicated pastors and ...

From Rebellion to Revolution: Nashville Episcopal Area virtual service of worship set for June 28; churches invited to submit public witness pictures

published 6/16/2020
By Dr. Autura Eason-Williams Capleville United Methodist Church Memphis, TN June 25 UPDATE: CLICK HERE Memphis Conference Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR) is planning a Nashville Episcopal Area-wide virtual service of worship, From Rebellion to Revolution, on Sunday, June 28, at 3 pm.  The service is a Pan-Methodist call to anti-racist activism and racial justice in our church and community. June 28 is John Wesley's birthday. HERE IS A LINK TO A FLYER for an 8 minute and 46 second...

Two versions of 2020 Memphis Annual Conference are currently being planned

published 6/16/2020
By Delores Smith Chair, Memphis Annual Conference Planning Team The Memphis Annual Conference Planning Team is looking at all options for how to safely convene the 2020 annual conference session. The team, which is now meeting via Zoom, already announced that the usual 3-day session will be shortened to a 1½ day format on Friday and Saturday, September 25-26 at Germantown United Methodist Church. This will not be the last meeting of the Memphis Annual Conference. Due to the postponement of 2020...

Small, rural churches may apply now for bricks-and-mortar grants from SEJ's Renfro Trust Fund

published 6/2/2020
Small, rural United Methodist churches in the Memphis Conference are invited to apply for grants from the Renfro Trust Fund for “new building and existing building remodeling needs.”   The bricks-and-mortar grants are administered through the Southeastern Jurisdiction (SEJ) of The United Methodisct Church and are awarded annually from interest accumulated in the Renfro Trust Fund.   The grants are for small membership, rural churches. Population guidelines are included in the grant guidelines. ...

'Mason Outreach' is ministry of Covington First United Methodist Church that has distributed $2,000 in gift cards to families in need during pandemic

published 6/1/2020
Over a month’s period from late April to late May, Covington First United Methodist Church (UMC) has distributed $2,000 in $25 gift cards to families in need via a ministry it calls the Mason Outreach. Mason is a community located 14 miles east of Covington in Tipton County, Tennessee. It has no grocery store or gas station. Most residents travel to Covington for these needs, explained Jones. Since April 27 when the gift card distribution began, “The Lord will provide” was heard from grateful...

When technology is not available, pastor turns to outdoor visiting to be relational with members of Floyd's Chapel and Maury City UMCs

published 5/25/2020
How does a pastor reach his or her congregation in a relational way during COVID-19 when some members don’t have access to more sophisticated technology?   Rev. Mary Ellen Cochran, pastor of Maury City and Floyd’s Chapel United Methodist Churches in Crockett County in the Mississippi River District, is making house visits (outside), while practicing social distancing.   Cochran lets members know the date and approximate time she’ll be in their neighborhood. First on her list have been those who...

From Bishop McAlilly: Tentative date for churches to begin in-person worship is Sunday, June 21

published 5/21/2020
CLICK HERE to read today's message on Bishop McAlilly's Blog. Message includes a link to a Guide for Coming Back Together. 

Lakeshore hopes to open summer camp on June 21

published 5/21/2020
By Rev. Gary D. Lawson, Sr. Executive Director Lakeshore Camp and Retreat Center Eva, TN It has been such a strange year, and we understand any hesitation you may be feeling about sending your child to summer camp. We're dedicated to keeping you up-to-date on how we are responding to this crisis.  The state of Tennessee is still under strict guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people. Even with limiting cabin sizes and restricting activity areas,...

Reelfoot Rural Ministries buys face shields at cost for its dental clinic, thanks to 3D technology at nearby University of Tennesee - Martin

published 5/21/2020
By Sarah Knapp, Interim Staff Writer Office of University Relations, University of Tennessee - Martin, TN As Reelfoot Rural Ministries (RRM), an agency of the Memphis Conference of The United Methodist Church, prepares to reopen its dental clinic, doctors knew they needed to take additional precautionary measures to ensure the safety of staff and patients against the threat of COVID-19. After hearing the University of Tennessee at Martin (UTM) was creating medical face shields during the ...

Conference treasurer issues guidelines to churches for tithing on Paycheck Protection Program loans

published 5/18/2020
Memphis Conference churches are not expected to tithe (to the conference) on proceeds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), according to a May 15 announcement from Larry Davis, Memphis Conference treasurer.   The PPP has issued forgivable loans to small businesses (including churches) to pay employees during the COVID-19 crisis.   The Memphis Conference Council on Finance and Administration (CFA) issued the following guidance on this matter, reported Davis: There is no doubt that the ...

Murray First United Methodist Church implements creative ways to keep worship leaders and congregation connected during COVID-19 crisis

published 5/18/2020
Murray First United Methodist Church in Murray, KY, has found some novel ways to help worship leaders stay connected to the congregation during the coronavirus crisis. The worship team was discussing how “extra draining” it is to conduct worship without a congregation with which to interact, explained Carrie Rudy, a member of the church and wife of Rev. Jeff Rudy, senior pastor.   After several weeks into exclusive virtual worship, Carrie said she could tell the church's worship leaders were “...

To engage with mothers during COVID-19 season, McKenzie First UMC organized Mother's Day Parade

published 5/12/2020
Eight decorated vehicles and three baby goats participated in a May 10 Mother’s Day Parade organized by McKenzie First United Methodist Church in McKenzie, Tennessee. Even though the parade didn’t have a police escort, Rev. Tricia Trull said it lasted 45 minutes and was approved by the mayor. To celebrate mothers, the lead vehicle played the Stevie Wonder song, “Isn’t She Lovely?” The parade was organized to engage with mothers in the community, said Trull, and included driving through ...

One-person hand bell solo is one of many ways Mullins UMC is expressing its 'resurrection faith'

published 5/11/2020
By Mary Beth Richardson Newsletter Editor and Witness Team Member Mullins United Methodist Church, Memphis, TN During the challenge of COVID-19 social distancing, Mullins United Methodist Church (UMC) in Memphis, Tennessee, was surprised and delighted by an impressive and unexpected hand bell solo by the congregation's organist, pianist and hand bell director, Dr. Andre Duvall. The solo took place at the close of the May 3 virtual worship service, after Dr. Scott Alford, senior pastor, ended ...

Sept. 4 is new deadline for nominations for 'Denman Evangelism Awards' to be presented in September

published 5/11/2020
By Rev. Will Clark Memphis Conference Chairperson for Evangelism Associate Pastor, Dyersburg First United Methodist Church   7/29 UPDATE: Deadline extended again to Sept. 4. The Memphis Conference is now accepting nominations for the Harry Denman Evangelism Award for clergy, lay and youth. The deadline has been postponed to Sept. 4 due to the postponement of the 2020 Memphis Annual Conference from June to September. These awards honor United Methodists whose exceptional ministry of ...

April 2020 issue of 'News N Views' about Memphis Conference RETIREES is now available

published 5/6/2020
The April 2020 issue of News N Views is now posted on this website. CLICK HERE to view or print this latest issue.   News N Views is a quarterly newsletter by, for and about retirees of the Memphis Conference (West Tennessee and Western Kentucky) of The United Methodist Church. To access the News N Views ARCHIVE, CLICK on the words News N Views at left. Beverlyann Jetton is the editor of News N Views. Contact her at 731-431-0165, or 511 N. Parkway, Jackson, TN 38305.

Lakeshore announces SOME cancellations, but otherwise will open summer camp on June 8

published 5/5/2020
May 1 Announcement From Lakeshore Camp and Retreat Center in Eva, TN: Due to ongoing concerns and current guidelines surrounding COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to cancel weeks one and two of Dayshore and residential camps. In addition, we have canceled Camp Joy. We, unfortunately, will not be rescheduling Camp Wonder or Camp Joy for this summer.   We will continue to monitor the situation, but as of now, we plan to open camp on June 8. View our updated summer camp schedule and...

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare launches 24/7 'Spiritual Care Helpline'

published 5/5/2020

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