|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.
|Presbytery Staff |
Executive Director, John Knox Center
Administrative Assistant and Resource Center Administrator
Office Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 5436
Knoxville TN 37928-0436
Toll-free (TN only):
Office Physical Address:
609 Cedar Lane
8:00am to 4:30pm Monday - Friday
Call ahead if you plan to stop by between 12:00 and 1:00pm
|A Call to Prayer|
|From the Rev. Judd Shaw, General Presbyter
There are some of us who have been watching the clouds for sometime. For some the clouds have been forecasting a strong storm looming on the horizon, and for others the clouds have been slowly dissipating and a new dawn approaching. I have been watching these clouds for over thirty years. The clouds had different names and numbers attached to them over those years, but they were really the same. 10A was the most recent name and number, and the language of 10A is not controversial in itself:
"Standards for ordained service reflect the church's desire to submit joyfully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life. The council responsible for ordination and/or installation shall examine each candidate's calling, gifts, preparation, and suitability for the responsibilities of ordered ministry. The examination shall include, but not be limited to, a determination of the candidate's ability and commitment to fulfill all requirements as expressed in the constitutional questions for ordination and installation. Councils shall be guided by Scripture and the confessions in applying standards to individual candidates."
The storm on the one hand and the new dawn on the other hand is found in the context of possibility. For now in the Polity of the Presbyterian Church (USA) is the possibility of a session ordaining a gay or lesbian ruling elder and a presbytery ordaining a gay or lesbian teaching elder. It has been done before secretly or unknowingly, but now the possibility is in the Polity. The possibility is in the way we are in relationship with one another from Washington State to Florida.
In my travels through out the presbytery, the reactions vary. There are some faithful people who do not understand how a Christian denomination could decide to disregard scripture, turn its back on international mission partners that expressed concern, and appear to ignore what seems a sinful lifestyle. There are some faithful people who wonder why it took so long for a Christian denomination to include and embrace a group of faithful and gifted people who feel called by God to serve Christ's church. Everyone seems to agree that we are all frail and that we all fall short of who and what we were created to be, but it is this possibility that has us stumbling over ourselves in a way that is doing damage to the Body of Christ.
I attended the Fellowship gathering in Minnesota. I was appreciative of the leadership whose manner and words were gracious to the denominational leadership. They tried and succeeded to maintain an atmosphere of worship and discernment, but there was an underlining "They and Us" reality. There was no anger behind the "They and Us" sentiment. The leadership had just come to the conclusion that thirty years of the discussion regarding ordination standards was long enough.
I interpreted the event as the first step in formalizing the division of the Presbyterian Church (USA). It was one spouse rallying the courage to say I want a divorce, and we need to come to amicable way to divide the assets. To me, amidst the lively worship there was a deep sadness for the denomination that proclaimed to me in my baptism that I belonged to God, that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, that I am a part of the Body of Christ in the world, that being a disciple is a lifetime pilgrimage, that questions are as important and valuable as answers, that even in my frailty and sin God's grace is forever sufficient, and that as a disciple I have the calling to tell the story of God's love to a broken world.
Since the vote on the 10A amendment there have been several of the congregations of the presbytery decide to engage the Presbytery of East Tennessee in the conversation regarding their future as a part of the PCUSA. There are presently two Administrative Commissions appointed by the presbytery to work with the congregations. I am thankful that the first response of the presbytery will be to seek reconciliation and to work with each congregation to move forward in ministry.
As sad as I feel regarding the divisions within our denomination, my core reaction is humility. I am humbled by the fact we as the Body of Christ are so divided that our communion in Christ is broken to the point of divorce. What we know of divorce is that everyone gets hurt, and that for the Christian community the bond which God has united is broken. I am humbled by God's call to be united in Christ, and our human desire to always seek our own way.
A Presbyter's Prayer
Holy God, Lord of hope and love, Lord of the heart and soul, for the glory of Jesus Christ whose life was the gift of compassion to a broken world, whose death was the sacrifice for human sin, and whose resurrection was the fulfillment of the promise of life, I lift up all praise and adoration. Receive this prayer as a humble expression of one whose life you have blessed with the love of family and a calling to serve you with an open heart and extended hands.
Gracious God, we are thankful for life and the abundant presence of your Spirit that inspires the mind and grants us the ability to discern your truth. We are thankful for the written Word that is holy for our faith and life, and guides us toward the living Word, Jesus Christ, who sends us out beyond ourselves to show forth his grace to all people. We are thankful for the Church, the Body of Christ in this world, for we are a community that has love, compassion, and mercy at the very essence of what we are called to be and do. Nurture within us, O Lord, a love for your people that we would not be divided by human prejudice, by differences in expressions of worship, or organizational structures. Help us to see that it is our faith in Jesus Christ that binds us together as brothers and sisters.
Loving God, we lift up to you the Presbyterian Church (USA), for even as we affirm our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we find ourselves struggling with what it means to be connected in one mission and purpose. We seek your help with the issues and circumstances that divide us. May your Holy Spirit speak to the hardened hearts of those who would seek their own way, and strengthen all of us to seek your truth and your divine will. Help us to be one in Christ so that our witness to the world might be a beacon of light amidst the darkness of doubt and hopelessness. Grant us a new desire to live our lives transformed by the fruit of the Spirit: more loving, joyful, at peace, more patient, more kind, filled with goodness, more faithful, striving to be gentler, and nurtured in self-control. Teach us to walk together in a way in which you are glorified, so that with each step we take we are drawn closer to you.
Almighty God, Lord of the universe, we pray for the congregations that are the Presbytery of East Tennessee, and we pray that your steadfast love and grace will be the foundation of our mission and ministry together. Grant each Teaching Elder a pastor's heart and a renewed spirit to encourage, challenge, and feed your people with the assurance of your presence.
Grant us your peace, O Lord, and embrace us in your arms of grace. Receive this humble spirit and this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
|Prayer and Conversation|
|The Rev. Judd Shaw, General Presbyter
An Invitation to Prayer
It is amidst these clouds I am inviting you to join me in prayer
. On Sunday, November 6th from 3:00pm to 4:00pm
, I am asking you to pray for your congregation, the Presbytery of East Tennessee and our denomination the Presbyterian Church (USA). I plan to go to the John Knox Center
for my prayer time and I invite you to join me, or please set aside a sacred place for your time of prayer. Let us seek and pray for God's guidance and wisdom.
Conversation with PC(USA) Stated Clerk, the Rev. Gradye Parsons
Also, on Friday, November 18th
, I have invited the Rev. Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church USA
, to join us for a time of conversation - Questions and Answers. The meeting is planned to begin at 11:00am at Sequoyah Hills Presbyterian Church
. To help accommodate people who are not able to be at the gathering, we are working to have the meeting recorded; therefore, I am soliciting questions in advance
so that we can make sure all of our questions can be asked. Please send your questions to the presbytery office so we can collect them and forward them on to Gradye for his preparation
. If you plan on staying after for a box lunch, please let us know so we can make those arrangements
. The box lunch will be $8.00
. 865-688-5581 / 800-542-4246 / email@example.com
|John Knox Center News|
Winter Rates at John Knox Center
Save up to 50% on Retreat Lodging
As the temperatures drop you may feel like hibernating 'til Spring. But don't be a sleepy bear and miss an opportunity to get away and enjoy God's creation in an atmosphere of warm Christian hospitality. John Knox Center is offering Winter Lodging Rates for the months of December, January, and February.
Receive 50% off any week night rental
(Sunday-Thursday) and 30% off weekend nights
(Friday-Saturday) on any lodging option during these three months. Invite your group to get away and enjoy a crackling fire, delicious comfort food, and an opportunity to strengthen relationships with each other in a beautiful location. Scrapbook, choir, Session, committee, sewing retreats...if you have been thinking about focused time together, book now and save! Call (865) 376-2236
and let us help you plan a meaningful Sabbath experience for your group. This offer is NOT limited to congregations. Pass the word to non-profit organizations, businesses, and others in your area. No other discounts apply, all John Knox Center rental policies apply.
Advent Dinner for Church Professionals - December 2
All Presbytery of East Tennessee church professionals SAVE THIS DATE: December 2nd. Our Annual Advent Dinner will be the evening of December 2nd, the John Knox Center staff would like to invite all pastors, DCE's, secretaries, youth leaders, and other church professionals to join us for an evening of celebration, fellowship, and a wonderful meal. Continue reading at johnknoxcenter.wordpress.com
It's not too late to register for the Women's Retreat!
|Hunger Action! |
Presbyterian Hunger Program delegation to Nicaragua
The Presbyterian Hunger Program
is leading a delegation to Nicaragua, and you are invited!
Participants will experience the benefits of Fair Trade first-hand when they visit coffee, craft and sewing cooperatives. The delegation is perfect for anyone involved in a congregation, college or camp
that uses Fair Trade coffee or Sweat-Free T-shirts. It's also great for anyone who has hosted a holiday bazaar with Fair Trade products
, or simply wants to learn more
The delegation is sponsored by the Presbyterian Hunger Program, Equal Exchange and CEPAD (the Council of Protestant Churches in Nicaragua).
Costs are approximately $575 plus airfare. $575 is all-inclusive of meals, lodging, translation, in country transportation, etc. Some need-based scholarship assistance is available.
Applications are due November 11.
For more information and to download the Application, visit www.pcusa.org/delegations.
Cents-Ability Offering At Work in 2011
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)
Sunset Gap's Food Pantry ($500)
Chattanooga Food Bank's Sack Pack Program for children ($500 grant)
Chattanooga Community Kitchen ($500 grant)
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and Church World Service ($155 grant each)
FISH Hospitality Pantries ($500 grant)
Good Shepherd Center, Madisonville ($500 grant)
Food/Life Services of Campbell County ($500 grant)
Scott County Homeless Shelter's Food Pantry ($500 grant)
Ensure Fund (through First Presbyterian, Huntsville) for Scott County cancer patients ($500 grant)
And Jesus said, "You give them something to eat." Mark 6:37
Rice and Beans
Would you like to send a Rice & Beans Christmas card to family and friends that says a donation has been made in their honor which will help feed hungry families? You can even designate a particular food pantry to receive the rice and beans in East TN.
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.
Please call me or contact me at Deborah@presbyteryeasttn.org to make arrangements for cards to be sent!
Hunger Action Enabler
Presbytery of East Tennessee
Deborah@presbyteryeasttn.org Office: 865-688-5581
|Loaves and Fishes 2012|
|March 16-17, 2012Theme: "Food for the Soul"
At the Clayton Center for the Arts, Maryville College
The Loaves and Fishes 2012 Experience is sponsored by the Presbytery of East Tennessee and for all members and friends of the churches, as well as
our neighboring communities.
This year's theme is Food for the Soul. Taking Jesus' command literally to "Feed my sheep," we invite you to join in this conversation about feeding God's hungry people from growling stomachs to aching souls.
Keynote Speaker: The Rev. Lise Worthington, pastor of Blooming Grove United Church of Christ, and chef and minister of food and faith at Stony Point Conference Center - www.liseworthington.com
Guest Preacher: The Rev. Thomas Daniel, co-pastor, Kairos Church, Atlanta - www.kairosatlanta.org
Music Leader: The Rev. Bryan Field McFarland, singer/song writer and Hunger Action Advocate for Salem Presbytery. www.bryanfieldmcfarland.net
Conference Brochure with full details
Mail in Registration Form
Online information and registration
|From the Stated Clerk|
The Rev. James McTyre
Constitution of the PCUSA available for FREE DOWNLOAD
The download link for the 2011-2013 Book of Order is http://oga.pcusa.org/pdf/boo-2011-2013.pdf
The Book of Confessions of the PCUSA is available at http://oga.pcusa.org/publications/boc.pdf
Session Minutes Reading
Slides from the Session Minutes Reading and Clerk's Training are available at http://www.slideshare.net/jamesmctyre/presbytery-of-east-tennessee-clerk-of-session-training-seminar
Overtures to General Assembly
- An overture to the General Assembly from First Church, Greenback has been received and will be presented at the November 1, 2011 Stated Meeting of PET.
- We have received several other overtures to General Assembly. These will be presented for consideration at the February 11, 2012 Stated Meeting of PET.
- Overtures to be considered at the February 11, 2012 Stated Meeting of PET MUST BE RECEIVED in the Presbytery office by WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2011. The PET Manual (3.0530) states: "All Resolutions and Overtures which are intended to be sent to higher governing bodies shall be in the hands of the Stated Clerk at least 45 days prior to the Stated Meeting of Presbytery for referral to the Coordinating Council."
- INSTRUCTIONS for submitting an Overture to General Assembly can be found at: http://oga.pcusa.org/generalassembly/publications/submitovt.htm
- GENERAL ASSEMBLY'S DEADLINES FOR RECEIVING OVERTURES ARE: 220th GA (2012): June 30-July 7, 2012 (Pittsburgh, PA) - 120-day Deadline: March 2, 2012 (amendment to/interpretation of Book of Order); 60-day Deadline: May 1, 2012 (financial implications); 45-day Deadline: May 16, 2012 (all other overtures); 30-day Deadline: May 31, 2012 (consultation);
- THEREFORE, if an Overture from PET involves amendment to/interpretation of Book of Order OR involves financial implications, it MUST be received in the PET office by WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2011 in order to be considered at the February 11, 2012 PET Stated Meeting. All other overtures MAY be received in the PET office up until MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2012 in order to be considered at the May 1, 2012 PET Stated Meeting.
|News and Events Around the Presbytery|
World Community Day Celebration
Friday, November 4
Church Women United will have their World Community Day Celebration on Friday, November 4 at Graystone Presbyterian Church, (139 Woodlawn Pike, Knoxville) beginning at 10:30 a.m. Since this is a worship service, no refreshments will be served prior to the service.
Wartburg "Food Raiser" for Morgan Scott Project
Sunday, November 6
|Wendell Werner |
Wartburg Presbyterian Church (205 Kingston St., Wartburg) is hosting a "food raiser" for Morgan Scott Project on Sunday, Nov. 6 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. featuring gospel and jazz singer/songwriter Wendel Werner in concert. In lieu of admission, please bring canned or boxed food for the Morgan Scott Project's food pantry.
There will be a reception in the Fellowship Hall immediately following the concert. For more information, please contact Carolyn Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 865-974-3331 7:30-4:00 Monday-Friday.
Westminster Hosts a Presbyterian-related College Fair
Sunday, November 13
Westminster Presbyterian Church (6500 Northshore Dr., Knoxville) is hosting a Presbyterian-related College Fair on Sunday, November 13 at 6:30pm. Representatives and materials from a variety of Presbyterian related colleges will be here to share about their schools and answer questions. The event will be held in the Fellowship Hall and will begin with a brief program on "Finding the Right College," "Admission Tips," and "Financial Aid," followed by a "Parade of Reps," at which time you'll hear something special about each school represented. For more information, contact Ginny Baker, 865-584-3957.
Interested in becoming a Commissioned Ruling Elder?
On November, 12, 2011 the Commissioned Ruling Elder Committee will host a Retreat/Open House inquiry get-together for all those interested in becoming a Commissioned Ruling Elder (formally called Commissioned Lay Pastor). Our plan is to begin a new class in 2012. During this gathering we will talk about the role of the CRE, offer opportunities to sit one on one with members of the committee along with present CRE's and faculty of the upcoming program. We strongly encourage your attendance at this event if you are contemplating serving the greater church as a CRE.
The event will be held at the House of the Woods of Maryville College starting at 9:00am and ending around 1pm. Lunch is provided.
If you have any questions, please call Dr. Brad Palmer 865-687-3911. Please RSVP at the Presbytery Office by November 2, 2011. 865-688-5581 / email@example.com
Can the Presbyterian Church (USA) Be Reformed?
Monday, November 14
|Bill Wood |
Rev. Dr. Bill Wood, pastor emeritus of First Presbyterian Church, Charlotte, NC, will the luncheon speaker at First Presbyterian Church, Knoxville (620 State St, Knoxville) on Monday, November 14, noon, as a part of a lectureship sponsored by the Presbyterian Women of First, Knoxville.
Theme: Can the Presbyterian Church (USA) Be Reformed?
Ministers, educators, and other church workers are invited to attend. RSVP
's would helpful to get an accurate count for lunch. Call 546-2531
Civil War-themed Concert at Maryville College
Thursday, November 17The Maryville College-Community Concert Band
, under the direction of Maryville College Associate Professor of Music Dr. Larry Smithee, will perform a Civil War-themed fall concert
on Thurs., Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
in the Clayton Center for the Arts' Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre.
"Since 2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War, the Concert Band will be performing several music selections that commemorate and pay homage to this important historical event," Smithee said. The Nov. 17 event, which is free and open to the public
, is part of Maryville College's observance of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War
. Read more
Powell Hosts Biblical Art Show Celebrating the 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible December 8-11Powell Presbyterian Church
(2910 W. Emory Road, Powell) is hosting a Biblical Art Show December 8-11
from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
each day. Biblical and Art Seminars
will be held at 6:00 PM on Saturday, December 10
and at 2:00 PM on Sunday, December 11
. The show features an Esquire Galleries Collection of more than 100 pieces, including:
Groups by appointment
- 1611 1st Edition King James Bible leaf
- 1763 Cozart Collection
- Chromolithographs - Biblical Women
- Jugs and Lamps
- Jewelry & Coin
- call 865-938-8311. For more info and video: www.powellpcusa.org
|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, firstname.lastname@example.org