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Presbytery of East Tennessee E-Newsletter                         August 2010


In This Issue
Presbytery Meets August 21
219th General Assembly
Hunger Action!
John Knox Center News
Sexual Misconduct Prevention & Risk Management Seminars
Register for School of the Laity
Board of Penions Benefits Overview
News and Events Around the Presbytery
Quick Links
Hunger Program
John Knox Center
Loaves & Fishes 2010
Meeting Highlights from the May 4, 2010 PET meeting
MissionInsite - web-based demographic service
PC(USA) News
PET Budget Report as of 06-30-10 
Resource Center
Workshops & Conferences
Presbytery of East Tennessee
Synod of Living Waters
Join Our Mailing List
Presbytery Meets August 21
Second Presbyterian Church in ChattanoogaThe 104th Stated Meeting of the Presbytery of East Tennessee will be held on Saturday, August 21st at Second Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga.  Registration will open at 9:30am and the meeting will begin at 10:00am.  The meeting packet will be available on the Presbytery website by the end of the day on Friday, August 6.
219th General Assembly
Held July 3-10 in Minneapolis, MN
219th General Assembly logoFollowing the meeting of the General Assembly, a letter was sent to all Presbyterian Church (USA) congregations from the Moderator, Stated Clerk, Vice-Moderator and Executive Director of the General Assembly Mission Council. 
Find the answers to frequently asked questions about the key decisions made at General Assembly by clicking on these links:

For additional information on the General Assembly meeting, click HERE.
Hunger Action! 
Eagle Scout Project Plus Church Garden Equals Win-Win

James Ussery of Boy Scout Troop 157 in the Presbytery's vegetable garden.

James Ussery of Boy Scout Troop #157
If your church is thinking about putting in some raised vegetable beds at some point, and you don't want to invest any money or time in constructing raised beds or planting the garden, you made want to keep reading. 
Last year's one raised bed pilot project at the Presbytery office has been expanded this summer to twelve more raised beds.  "Think Eagle Scout Project," I was told, and I'm glad I listened.
Rev. Jonathan Warren (Powell) put me in touch with someone in his congregation who then made a few phone calls. Within two weeks James Ussery from Troop 157 arrived at the Presbytery office. Plans were made and two weeks later the beds were constructed, mushroom compost from Monterey Mushroom in Lenoir City was delivered, and tomato, eggplant, yellow squash, pepper, and cucumber plants were planted. Granted, there is plenty of labor involved now: watering, weeding (not too bad), stakes for the tomato plants and so on, but there is a great deal of satisfaction in knowing that the harvest is going to food pantries!
Update on the Pinto Bean Project
Pinto Bean Project image of beans in a bowlIndividuals and congregations can become part of the Pinto Bean Project by sending donations to: The Presbytery of East Tennessee, P.O. Box 5436, Knoxville, TN  37928-0436  (memo section: Pinto Bean Project). The cost of one 50 pound bag is $25, but if someone would like to donate $12.50 for half a bag or $6.25 for a quarter of a bag, that would be wonderful, too. I am purchasing 50 pound bags from Sysco and making arrangements to deliver them to food pantries within the Presbytery as needs are brought to my attention. To date, 64 bags have been purchased and delivered to Sunset Gap, Claiborne Hunger Ministry, Montgomery Village Ministry in Knoxville, Food/Life Services of Campbell County, Good Shepherd Center in Madisonville, Sevier County Pantry, Good Samaritan Center of Loudon County, and Morgan Scott Project. Repacking the beans into one pound bags makes a great project for youth and can be arranged by emailing me at
Cents-Ability Grants Sent  in July
Cents-Ability logoFood/Life Services of Campbell County, LaFollette ($500 grant)
First Presbyterian Church (LaFollette) is instrumental in operating this volunteer-run organization that provides food for low-income families in Campbell County.
Good Samaritan Center, Lenoir City ($500 grant)
Through a cooperative effort, this center provides emergency assistance to those in need in Loudon County by offering help with food, furniture, utility bills, transient emergency housing, and education.
Good Shepherd Center, Madisonville ($500 grant)
This joint venture of area churches provides food, clothing, and emergency assistance to those in need in Monroe
For a complete list of Cents-Ability grants disbursed in 2010, go to and click on the Cents-Ability logo.
Deborah Phillips
John Knox Center News

Reflections on Summer Camp at John Knox Center

Seeing Our Ministry First Hand
By Dennis McCurry, Member of the Outdoor Ministry Team and Lake Hills Presbyterian Church
During this last week of summer camp I have had the opportunity to reflect on the 50 years of summer camp at John Knox.  This ministry has held a special place in my heart for many years.  But as a former camper, camp parent, and Outdoor Ministries Team (OMT) member, some of the most meaningful and touching experiences have been this summer as a volunteer water skiing instructor and boat operator. 

Dennis McCurry with campers on Watts Bar Lake.

Dennis McCurry with campers in boat
Even though I have only worked with the kids and staff one or two days out of most of the camp weeks, I have seen God's hand at work with these kids. I have spent about 5 days at camp this summer and it is amazing to see these kids grow and gain confidence in just the time I have gotten to spend with them.  I have watched autistic children, who have difficulty interacting with their peers in the outside world and children from all walks of life absolutely thrive in the camp setting.   I have had the opportunity to interact with them and learn that John Knox is the memorable highlight of their entire year.  The spiritual and emotional leaps these children and staff are making right here, at YOUR CAMP, are astounding.  That is all from working with them in a boat. 
Being a member of OMT is a lot work, but it is easy to understand why we are working so hard. This ministry is life changing.  God is at John Knox Center and he touches every kid and staff member that attends. I truly believe that God is richly blessing us year after year with a ministry and place that is creating disciples, spreading God's love, and making a life changing impact on our children.  I can't wait to be a part of the 51st summer! 
John Knox Center Celebrates 50 Years of Ministry

Archery will be among the many activities offered during the celebration weekend. 

Archery at John Knox Center
Celebrate 50 Years of ministry at John Knox Center with your congregation!  You have made it possible for thousands of children, youth and adults to experience God's love in a Christian atmosphere over the last five decades!  Celebrate this life changing place September 17-19, 2010.  This will be a weekend of celebration, reflection, fellowship and story telling
There is something for everyone from water skiing, high ropes, and swimming to tailgating the telecast UT/Florida game projected in the pavilion!  Registration is now available at  Overnight accommodations are available on a first come first serve basis.  This is more than just a picnic, registration required.

Cross silhouette at John Knox CenterThe Outdoor Ministries Team of the Presbytery of East Tennessee is developing a comprehensive Ministry Plan for John Knox Center.  In this planning process, we are trying to determine what programs, support functions, and facilities are needed to best support the ministry of the presbytery.  It is critically important that we understand the needs and preferences of the various groups in our churches, and that's where you can help.  We ask that you complete a short survey by clicking the link below.  Please pass this link along to others in your congregation.       

At the beginning of the survey, we ask who you are and what group(s) in the church you represent.   Obviously, the Junior High Youth would have different retreat preferences than the Session.  There are all sorts of groups in most churches: Session, committees, youth groups, adult groups, choir, parents of young children, etc., even if they're not "official" groups. So, let us know to which group(s) your answers apply, and then try to answer the survey questions from that point of view.  If you represent groups with significantly different needs, you may want to run through the survey once for each group.        
We appreciate you taking the time to serve in this way.        

Outdoor Ministries Team        
Presbytery of East Tennessee        
Click this link for the survey:
Farewell Message from Rachel Norris, Director of Environmental Education

Rachel NorrisIt has been a pleasure and privilege to serve the Presbytery of East Tennessee for the past 3 1/2 years as the Director of Environmental Education at the John Knox Center and for the River Ridge Environmental Education Program. I will be leaving my directorship as of July 25, 2010. I have enjoyed getting to know everybody and hope to stay in touch with all of you. I will begin teaching High School Biology at William Blount High School August 2, 2010 and look forward to all my time this school year molding young minds and getting students excited about science. I will hold every memory of the John Knox Center close to my heart. I thank you for the opportunities to laugh, share and experience God through creation with all of you. If you are interested in staying in contact with me, my email is  I'd still love to help you and your church with VBS or any sort of programming, so please don't hesitate to contact me. Patches, my dog, and I, will greatly miss living at John Knox. All the best!

Rachel Norris
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Sexual Misconduct Prevention & Risk Management
Seminars for Clergy and Educators
The Presbytery is providing seminars on Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Risk Management for all clergy and educators. Clergy attendance is required.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
8:30am-12:00pm, Sequoyah Hills Presbyterian Church, Knoxville

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
8:30am-12:00pm, Northminster Presbyterian Church, Chattanooga
These seminars will be led by presbytery representatives and by risk management experts from our presbytery's insurance carrier.
Cost: Free
Register online at
Questions? Contact James McTyre, Stated Clerk at or 865-268-9628.
Register for School of the Laity
October 2 and 16 at Maryville College
Starting in the Fall of 2010 our Presbytery will be offering a School of the Laity at Maryville College three times a year.  Each class will be held on two Saturdays and will be taught by Maryville College faculty or area ministers.  The cost for each class will be $65, which includes lunch at the college both days.  Please note that although one needs to be an elder to be a Commissioned Lay Pastor, the School of the Laity is available to all lay persons.

The first class will be held on October 2 and 16 from 9:00am to 3:00pm.  Applications for this program are due August 30, 2010
Online Registration  /  Flyer and Mail-in Registration Form 
For more information, contact:
Elizabeth Wilson: / 865-671-4132
Ron Keese: / 865-521-6851
Board of Pensions Benefits Overview
Knoxville Area BOP Members - Mark Your Calendars!
October 7, 2010, 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Second Presbyterian Church in Knoxville
Learn how to maximize on your benefits from the Board of Pensions.
Helen Locklear, our Regional Representative from the Board of Pensions, will conduct a Benefits Plan Overview on October 7.  All active members in the Board of Pensions in the Knoxville area will be invited and are encouraged to attend.  Lunch will be served and there will be time for questions.  Watch for an invitation to come by mail the first week of September. Reservations will be due by September 30
News and Events Around the Presbytery
Center Presbyterian Church Among Best in Monroe County
Center Presbyterian Church in Tellico Plains, TNThe Monroe County newspaper, the ADVOCATE DEMOCRAT, sponsors a "Best in the County" contest, voted on by their readers for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in various categories.  Center Presbyterian Church in Tellico Plains received 2nd place in the "Best Place to Worship" category this year.  For a church with less than 100 members (94 at present) it was quite an honor to be chosen when there are many larger churches within the county.  (First place went to the First United Methodist Church in Sweetwater and third place to First Baptist Church in Madisonville.)

See Center's response to the award that appeared in the paper.
Presbyterian Women Collect Kits for PDA
Presbyterian Women logoAt the Spring Gathering of the Presbyterian Women in East Tennessee, a total of 785 hygiene and baby kits were collected for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA).  The effort was spearheaded by Lisl Jackson, PWP's Together in Service Coordinator and a member at Rivermont Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga, who delivered the kits to the Ferncliff Disaster Assistance Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Due to the substantial needs in Haiti following the earthquake, PDA needs to replenish their supply of hygiene and baby kits in order to be ready for future disasters.  This tremendous effort will certainly help!  Info on how to donate kits to PDA 
Church & College Picnic - August 22
Maryville College logoEvery summer, Maryville College students have the opportunity to meet members of local churches and faith communities and learn about their worship services while enjoying food and friendship before classes begin.  The 9th Annual Church and College Picnic will be held on Sunday, Aug. 22 at 5:30 p.m. on the College's Pearsons Lawn.

New Providence Presbyterian Church hosted a booth at the 2009 Church and College Picnic

New Providence Presbyterian Church at the 2009 College and Church Picnic
Set-up begins at 5 p.m., and churches are asked to bring one to four church members and provide displays, information about their church and food for 35 people (any combination of sides, desserts, salads or breads). The College will provide the main course and drinks.

After the picnic, all are invited to attend the College and Community worship service at 7 p.m. in the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre in the Clayton Center for the Arts, featuring the Rev. Anne D. McKee and the Voices of Praise gospel choir.
Reservations are required by Aug. 16.
Please contact Kathleen Farnham at or Marsha Wynn at if you are interested in participating or have questions.
Spread the News!
We invite you to share your news with us.  All articles and news items must be submitted by the 20th of the month prior to publication.  Send your information to Dana Hendrix,