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Sunrise in the Smokies
Presbytery of East Tennessee E-Newsletter                              June 2011


In This Issue
PET responds to local disasters
Resource Center News
Hunger Action!
Leaders Academy
John Knox Center News
Opening Doors to Discipleship
Attending Big Tent in Indianapolis?
Support Presbyterian Seminaries
2012 Mission Yearbook
News and Events Around the Presbytery
Our Mission Statement
Following Jesus Christ in the adventure of ministry, we will

CONNECT with one another in community;

EQUIP congregations for faithful ministry;

SUPPORT our churches, pastors and leaders;

SERVE God's world in love, justice, and peace; and

ADMINISTER the operations of 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 4-30-11
Resource Center
Workshops & Conferences



Presbytery of East Tennessee 


Synod of Living Waters
Presbytery Staff

Judd Shaw

General Presbyter

James McTyre

Stated Clerk

Lina R. Hart

Associate Presbyter

Bill Keeler


Bri Payne

Executive Director, John Knox Center

Dana Hendrix

Office Manager

Deborah Phillips

Hunger Action Enabler

Gwen Pyle

Financial Assistant

Laura Tappan

Administrative Assistant &
Resource Center Administrator

Office Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 5436
Knoxville, TN 37928-0436

Office Fax:

Toll-free Number (TN only):

Office Physical Address:
609 Cedar Lane
Knoxville, TN 37912

Office Hours:
8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday - Friday
Call ahead if you plan to stop by between 12:00 and 1:00pm.


Join Our Mailing List
PET responds to local disasters
After reports of more than 200 homes destroyed in Cleveland, a representative from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and General Presbyter Judd Shaw toured the area. The Presbytery's Disaster Response has involved approximately 100 workers from 15 PET churches on six trips. Relief efforts have centered around the clearing of brush and rubble on and around homes. Relief workers volunteered from the following churches: Fountain City, Erin, Farragut, Westminster, Farner, First (Cleveland), Washington, Highland, Graystone, First (Lenoir City), New Providence, Sequoyah Hills, First (Oak Ridge), Second (Knoxville), First (Knoxville), First (Sweetwater), and Lake Forest.
Truck taking tornado relief to Tuscaloosa AL
Help Truck at 2nd Pres, Knoxville

Second Presbyterian Church of Knoxville coordinated the collection of donated food and cleaning supplies to fill a 53-ft. trailer, dubbed the Help Truck, headed for tornado victims in Tuscaloosa, AL.  Watch the story on

Many of our churches in the Chattanooga area have sent work teams to help in the devastated Ringgold, Georgia area. Watch for future updates.
Resource Center News

By Laura Tappan, Resource Center Administrator


Servant or Sucker cover imageWhat's new in the Resource Center? In the last several months, we have received DVD studies covering a wide range of topics such as: Education - "Soul Searching", pertaining to teenagers and their relationships with God; Church Development; Mission - "Hurricane Katrina 5 Years Later"; Social Justice - "Servant or Sucker?", Christ centered actions when addressing poverty; Theology - "Modern Parables", 6 parables with a modern twist; "History of the Bible: The Making of the New Testament", how did we get this canon of Scripture?; and "Revelation", from Union Seminary. Find these and more in the What's New newsletter.

Your Presbytery of East Tennessee Resource Center is located in the presbytery offices at 609 Cedar Lane, Knoxville. The Resource Center is a lending library of resources to help you in your church ministry.  We have a treasure trove of books, videos, DVDs and Sunday School curriculum ideas - all at your disposal. I am ready to help you find what you need for your next Sunday School lesson or officer training class. We can get resources to you wherever you are!  Even if you're in Chattanooga, the information highway travels down I-75, and we can get the resources to you!

Call or email Laura Tappan, resource center administrator, for more information: 865-688-5581, 800-542-4246, Or, you can Look it up on the web! Visit us on the website:, under Resources heading, click on Resource Center, and click on 'websearch' to look for resources.


Hunger Action! 

Rice and Beans (a complete protein!)


Rice and BeansWow! 1,450 lbs. of Rice & Beans have been delivered to the Claiborne Hunger Ministry, South Knoxville FISH Pantry, Sunset Gap, Blount County Food Bank, and the Community Kitchen in Chattanooga.

This is a great mission project for individuals, groups, or your entire congregation! You can even help repackage the rice and beans into smaller bags if you'd like!

Every donation of $20 allows me to purchase wholesale 45 lbs. of rice and beans (a 25 lbs. bag of rice and a 20 lbs. bag of pinto beans) for food pantries in East Tennessee. Please send contributions to The Presbytery of East Tennessee, P.O. Box 5436, Knoxville, TN 37928-0436. Memo section: Rice and Beans.

Designations to particular pantries may be made, if indicated on an attached note!

Cents-Ability Offering At Work


And Jesus said, "You give them something to eat."  Mark 6:37

This mission offering is going strong thanks to the faithfulness of many PET congregations...

Roane County Cooperative Ministries' Garden Program ($1,000 grant)

Morgan Scott Project's Good Earth Garden Project ($1,000 grant)

Claiborne Hunger Ministries ($500 grant)

Fountain City Ministry Center ($500 grant)

Good Samaritan Center of Loudon County ($500 grant)

New grants: $500 each to Sunset Gap's Food Pantry, Chattanooga Food Bank's Sack Pack Program for children, and the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.

Special note: During the May Presbytery meeting at Bethel Presbyterian Church, $310 was collected in the Cents-Ability containers and given to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and Church World Service for recent natural disasters.

Deborah Phillips
Hunger Action Enabler
Presbytery of East Tennessee
Office: 865-688-5581
Cell: 865-335-0342
Leaders Academy

Save the Date!  Friday & Saturday, October 28 & 29, 2011

John Knox Center logoJohn Knox Center
591 West Rockwood Ferry Road
Ten Mile, TN 37880
(865) 376-2236

Leaders Academy is:

-- For training church officers - elders, deacons and pastors;
-- Planned by the Small Church Ministry Group of the Equip Mission Team;
-- An ongoing leadership development program for leaders in churches of all sizes.

These workshops are intended to SUPPLEMENT a session's existing training.

Workshops Offered (these are working titles, more details in later publications):

-- Understanding the Unique Appalachian Culture in Which We Minister
-- How Our New Form of Government (if it passes) Affects Our Local Church
-- Clerk of Session Training
-- Elders as Spiritual Leaders
-- For Pastors: How to Train Your Officers
-- Transforming Church Groups into Communities

Registration Fee per person: Weekend Rate: $45

Daily Rate (not spending the night): $30/ day

For More Information Contact:

Miki Vanderbilt 865-690-5333 or Laura Tappan 865-688-5581 or 1-800-542-4246

Save the Date Flier


John Knox Center News

Newly Renovated Cabins Debut at John Knox Center 


"John Knox Center is a refuge in the heart of the Presbytery of East Tennessee set apart to nurture, renew, and inspire a love for God and commitment to Christ."

Renovated B Unit cabinJohn Knox Center staff were excited to welcome Lake Forest Presbyterian May 20-22 to be the first guests to stay in the 5 new B Unit cabins! The 95 guys from their Father & Son retreat enjoyed a weekend of fellowship, fun, and great weather. Guests were astounded by the complete transformation the B Unit section of camp has undergone, to a welcoming hospitable space for adults, youth and small children. The B Unit section accommodates 40 guests: 5 cabins, 8 guests each. While all five cabins are identical in amenities, two of these cabins are completely handicapped accessible, meeting all ADA codes. We were overwhelmed by positive comments about everything from the whisper quiet air conditioning units to the parking areas by each cabin.

"My son and I spent the weekend in one of the new B unit cabins. They are fantastic. They are well planned, well crafted and functional. They also manage to be modern and comfortable while retaining the spirit of the original cabins. Well done! The new mattresses are great, too. I hope this is the direction JKC takes with all future renovations. " - Chris Birdwell, Lake Forest Pres.

See updated pictures of B Unit

While a picture may say a thousand words, it isn't as good as a face to face visit! Come tour these new spaces. Please call our office (865) 376-2236 to schedule a tour and check available dates for your group's next retreat. We have campers & guests on site, so please schedule all visits through our office. Thanks and we look forward to seeing you this summer!


River Ridge Environmental Education Program

River Ridge Environmental Education ProgramThe spring season for River Ridge EEP is wrapping up at the John Knox Center this week. We have had an amazing season with schools from as far as Birmingham and Nashville and as close as Harriman, all bringing students eager to learn and explore the outdoors. Paddle Pushers (Canoeing), In Cold Blood (Reptiles & Amphibians), and Campfire Gourmet were hands down our most requested classes. The students could paddle a boat with ease, prepare a hot meal over the fire, and identify native and non-native species at the end of their stay at camp - among many other things. The Program Staff worked hard to give their best to each child who came through our gates and we are looking forward to an exciting fall season after a brief summer break.

Enjoy an excerpt from the newsletter at Akiva Jewish School in Nashville

Please contact us (865.376.2236 or for information on how to book River Ridge EEP for your summer events. We will gladly come to your facility, bring critters, lead teambuilding, or host your group for a day of adventures at camp.

Summer Camp: A Lifechanging Adventure

Kids at Camp John KnoxFor those of you who have been touched by camp ministry, I do not need to tell you what a powerful and foundational force an experience at John Knox is for faith development. We have heard time and time again that when campers and staff reflect on their faith journey, camp is a pivotal point in their lives, a fork in the road, or a time when they clearly heard God's call.

I know camp ministry is life changing, I see it each and every summer and in the stories of those who have been coming here for the last 50 years. At John Knox Center we are passionate about the seeds we plant each summer in the children in our care. Camp is more than memories, it is a chance to gain confidence, self esteem, and learn valuable life skills. The intentional Christian environment creates a safe place where campers are nurtured and experience God in a whole new personal way.

This summer, we are taking advantage of our beautiful lake front area by adding kayaking to our waterfront program which already includes: swimming, canoeing, and waterskiing. Camp sessions are available for kids ages 4-18. Spaces are filling fast, register today at  Please feel free to call our office with any questions. (865) 376-2236.
Opening Doors to Discipleship
Opening Doors to Discipleship logoAlyssa Murray, Young Adult Ministry Coordinator at First Church, Knoxville, would like to start a multi-church learning group for the "Opening Doors to Discipleship" course. Rev. William Pender (minister at First, Knoxville) has made the church available to host the gatherings on Wednesday nights at 6:30 p.m. in the summer, beginning June 22, and has volunteered to be the mentor for the group. This is a free, on-line program, and is open to anyone interested, educators and non-educators alike. Dinner will not be provided, but participants are more than welcome to bring their dinner with them.

How to get credit for the Opening Doors course to go towards Enrolled Educator Assistant

A legal sized flier can be printed and posted in your churches or emailed to folks you think might be interested. If you have any questions about this program, you can visit their website: or contact Alyssa or Mark.

To register for the event, you will need the denominational log-in number: 31627. You must be a member of a PC(USA) church to use this log-in, and did we mention...this is FREE!

Mark Lampley
Sequoyah Hills Presbyterian Church

Alyssa Murray
First Presbyterian Church, Knoxville
Attending Big Tent in Indianapolis?

From the Connect Mission Team

Big Tent 2011 logoIf you are going to Big Tent, are you interested in car pooling or van pooling?

With gas prices being at an all time high, it seems that our call to stewardship demands that we look into the possibility of shared transportation. It could also be an opportunity of fellowship, friendship and, yes, connection. While some events in Indianapolis are scheduled to start earlier than June 30 and some may conclude later than July 3, if we work on this early, we may be able to accommodate all. And who knows? If we get many participants from East Tennessee, we may need a van.

The Connect Mission Team is still offering a scholarship for the $285 registration fee to the Big Tent for anyone interested in attending the Presbyterian Communicators Conference. The person receiving the scholarship would be expected to share what they have learned with others in our presbytery. Travel, meals, and lodging are to be covered by the participant. 

If you are interested in carpooling or the scholarship, please call Brad Palmer at 951-5944, or 377-3125 or email  Thanks!
Support Presbyterian Seminaries

From the Rev. Bud Little, HR

As the East Tennessee Presbytery representative to the Seminary Support Network, I want to give you a brief report on our recent meeting. Each year the Seminary Support Network representatives meet at or near a Presbyterian USA Seminary. This year from May 4 to 6 we met near Princeton, New Jersey, and spent a full day on the campus of that seminary. A student from each seminary also met with us and led us in worship each day. Their leadership skills are very impressive, and I believe the Church is in good hands if these students are an example of the caliber of ministers our seminaries are training.

Contrary to the belief of some in our denomination, the seminaries do not receive any funding from General Assembly. Their financial support comes from gifts, endowments, tuition, and the Theological Education Fund of the Seminary Support Network.

Read the full report
2012 Mission Yearbook

Order by July 29 for Bulk Discount

The Presbytery Office is now collecting orders for the 2012 Mission Yearbook.  The price is $12.65 each.  (The regular price from PDS is $14.95, plus a minimum shipping charge of $5.25.)  The order form and payment must be received by the Presbytery Office by July 29 to be included in the bulk order.

2012 Mission Yearbook Order Form

Please note:  The books will be delivered to the Presbytery Office in Knoxville and must be picked up there.

Would you prefer to receive the daily readings from the Mission Yearbook of Prayer and Study delivered to your email box, free of charge? 

Click here to subscribe


News and Events Around the Presbytery

Belize nursing home receives the gift of clean water

Living Waters for the World work crew
Installation crew at
Octavia Waight Centre, Belize
Living Waters for the World volunteers from First Presbyterian Church in Oak Ridge recently installed a water purification system at the Octavia Waight Centre, a nursing home for 35 elderly residents in San Ignacio, Belize.  Although the facility receives treated river water from the municipal water system, the water quality was not consistently usable, which led the nursing home to purchase bottled water for cooking and drinking.

Read full article that appeared in The Oak Ridger

Brunger joins PC(USA) task force studying the economy and the church

Dr. Scott BrungerDr. Scott Brunger, a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church and professor of economics at Maryville College, is serving on an 11-member task force assembled by the Presbyterian Church (USA) Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy to look at the current recession and its impact on the church.

The task force, mandated by the 219th General Assembly in July 2010, is expected to present a resolution paper on the study, "Living Through Economic Crisis," at the 220th General Assembly next year. Task force members are building on the church's recent Social Involvement Report and assessing "economic trends and practices, including their impact on the church itself."

Read the Maryville College press release

Connecting Presbyterian colleges and local churches

Kathleen Farnham, a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church and the director of church relations for Maryville College, recently authored an article that appeared in The Presbyterian Outlook.  The article, entitled "Between church and campus: One language, different dialects," offers ideas for making connections between students attending Presbyterian colleges and local congregations.

Read the article

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,