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Dogwood Blossoms

Presbytery of East Tennessee E-NewsletterDecember 2011 
In This Issue
Register for Loaves & Fishes 2012
John Knox Center News
Attn: Pastor Nominating Committees
Presbyterian Stewardship Conference
Opening Doors to Discipleship
News and Events Around the Presbytery
Quick Links

Hunger Program

from the November 1, 2011 PET meeting
as of 10-31-11

Presbytery of East Tennessee 


Synod of Living Waters 
Join Our Mailing List
Presbytery Staff
Judd Shaw
General Presbyter

James McTyre
Stated Clerk

Lina R. Hart
Associate Presbyter

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

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

Register for Loaves & Fishes 2012

March 16 & 17, 2012 at the Clayton Center of Maryville College

Loaves and Fishes 2012 brochure 

Registration is OPEN for Loaves & Fishes 2012!  Review the wonderful conference brochure to select your preferred workshops before registering online.


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 -  


Guest Preacher: The Rev. Thomas Daniel, co-pastor, Kairos Church, Atlanta -  


Music Leader: The Rev. Bryan Field McFarland, singer/song writer and Hunger Action Advocate for Salem Presbytery.   

John Knox Center News
John Knox Center logoReflections on Gratitude
By Ginny Harville Baker,
Westminster Presbyterian Church

Gratitude. 'Tis the season when we focus on giving thanks. So perhaps it was intentional that Gratitude was the focus of our time together. On the first weekend of November - an unseasonably warm weekend - a small group of women from the Pres­bytery of East Tennessee gathered at the John Knox Center for the annual Women's Retreat. We played together, prayed together, sang together, read scripture together, walked the Labyrinth together, and worshipped together - all as we reflected on gratitude and its importance in our lives. As I walked the familiar grounds of my college summers, I was truly thankful for that place set apart where people of all ages can go to experience God in the freshness of creation and in fellowship with one another. A place where I experienced God in ways that shaped my faith beyond what I could have anticipated. A place where friendships were built that still exist and new friendships have been born. As we walked the Labyrinth on Saturday afternoon in the warm sun, reflecting on those things for which we were thankful, I realized that I needed to look up from the winding path in thanks for the beauty of the fall colors, the brighJohn Knox Center - view of the lake in fallt blue sky and the rippling waters of Watts Bar Lake. Looking up while you're walking makes you slow down so as not to lose your step, and in that moment, I was thankful for the times when God calls me to "look up", to slow down from my hectic pace and experience God's grace and love. And I was thankful for a place that calls us to slow down - to retreat - in that grace and love. In exiting the Labyrinth and making my way back to Abel Lodge, I walked over the rise and was struck by the beauty of the sun dancing on the water like sparkling diamonds. I paused. My overwhelming sense of gratitude for that place and God's love spilled from my eyes. May gratitude go beyond one day of thanksgiving to be part of every day and may each of us find a place to pause and "look up" and experience God's amazing grace and love.

PET Confirmation Retreat

February 24 - 25, 2012 @ John Knox Center 


Ropes course at John Knox CenterDoes your church have youngsters ready for Confirmation?


Would you welcome the opportunity to gather with other leaders and youth to enhance their Confirmation experience and exchange ideas for the future?


Want to have fun and interact with your youth on a whole new level?


Want an event where many inquiring youth can learn from their peers as well as other pastors and teachers to supplement their faith development?


Would you like your youth to experience John Knox Center and meet other youth from around the Presbytery?


If your answer to any of these questions is YES, make plans to attend!


Cost:  $45 per person


The Smaller Membership Church Group in partnership with the John Knox Center are excited to sponsor this event for youth and leaders from churches of any size.


Registration available online soon at   

Registration Deadline:  February 15, 2012   


Annual Advent Dinner for Church Professionals

Friday, December 2  

Advent Dinner buffet 

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 on Friday, Dec. 2.  Hors d'euvres will be served at 5:30 p.m. with dinner following at 6:30 p.m.  The cost is $15 per person.  


Register by calling 865-376-2236 or online   

Attn: Pastor Nominating Committees
Columbia Seminary hosting Call Fair - February 17, 2012

Seal of Columbia Theological SeminaryColumbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA will host its seventh annual Call Fair for Pastor Nominating Committees on Friday, February 17, 2012, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. The event is designed to help connect graduating seniors with congregations and organizations that have openings for leadership positions. The registration form is available online at .


For more information about the Call Fair and student placement, contact Judy Graves in the Office of Student Services at or 404-687-4523.

Information about students who are seeking a call is available on Columbia's website at Student Placement and Internships/Placement. Profiles are listed according to the type of positions seniors are seeking after graduation in May. Information is updated continuously.
Presbyterian Stewardship Conference

Gratitude & Generosity: Living the Faith

March 12-14, 2012, Charlotte, NC

Stewardship conference brochure cover 

More than ever before, leaders need resources that will help them teach, preach and practice successful stewardship.  Learn how to make stewardship ministries come alive in our congregations and presbyteries.   


Featured speakers include: Michael Jenkins, President of Louisville Theological Seminary; Clif Christopher, author of "Not Your Parents' Offering Plate" and "Whose Offering Plate Is It?"; Maggie Lauterer, pastor of Montreat Presbyterian Church.


Conference information and registration: 

Opening Doors to Discipleship

Teacher Training Online 

By Alyssa Murray, First Presbyterian Knoxville


Opening Doors to Discipleship logoThis summer, First Presbyterian Church, Knoxville, offered the Opening Doors to Discipleship: Teacher Training Online course every Wednesday night.  Opening Doors to Discipleship is a free program sponsored by the PC(USA), in conjunction with four other denominations.  It is offered in an online format, which is conducive to busy schedules.  The program is divided into four courses; Course A: Teaching Skills; Course B: Bible Background; Course C: Presbyterian/Reformed Faith; Course D: Discipleship.  The web address for the program is    


This summer, the group concentrated on Course B: Bible Background, which was a broad overview of the Old and New Testaments.  Drs. William Pender and Paul Rader facilitated the weekly meetings and initiated thought-provoking questions in which the whole group could participate.  The conversation was lively and the participants often engaged in spirited debate.  The course was beneficial to seasoned teachers and to new Christians, by providing an overview of the books of the Bible, the major players, and the teachings of Jesus.  The manageable coursework involved writing journal entries and completing worksheets that corresponded to the week's lesson.   


The pace was set by the group, but can be accomplished as quickly or slowly as necessary.  Establishing a learning group, facilitated by a member of the clergy, is the most advantageous way to conduct this study; however, it can be completed individually online.  There are discussion boards in which participants can ask questions and share their journal responses with members of the larger church community.   


In addition to providing a comprehensive overview of the Bible, Reformed tradition, and teaching skills, completing this course enables a Christian Educator to achieve the first level of certification (Enrolled Educational Assistant).  If you are interested in pursuing certification for Christian Education, please contact Rev. Mark Lampley at Sequoyah Hills Presbyterian Church, 865-522-9804.

News and Events Around the Presbytery

Maryville College Concert Choir Christmas Dinner and Concert  

Friday, December 2 at the Clayton Center for the Arts


ornament6:00 PM Dinner  7:30 PM Concert

$32 - Dinner and Concert   $12 - Concert


You are cordially invited to the Maryville College Concert Choir Christmas Dinner and Concert! Tickets available at the Clayton Center Box Office.  Event flyer 


KOATS FOR KIDS - Morgan Scott Project


Join Erin Presbyterian Church, Knoxville, in providing gently used coats & jackets for kids and teens in Morgan and Scott Counties.  Morgan Scott Project is a mission outreach program many of our churches support.  Last year Erin collected 96 coats.  This years we will again make a delivery and hope many church families will participate.  Just drop your items at the Presbytery office (609 Cedar Lane, Knoxville) by Tuesday, December 13.  Need more information? Email Sonja DuBois - 


Luncheon & Concert Featuring Wendel Werner at Erin
Thursday, Dec. 15 at Noon
Wendell Werner at piano
The Senior Adult Ministry at Erin Presbyterian Church (200 Lockett Road, Knoxville) invites you to attend a luncheon and concert featuring pianist Wendel Werner.  The cost is $10 per person and the reservation deadline is Dec. 9.  Contact Allyson Streckfuss for more information and to make reservations: 865-850-4297



Medical Mission Trip to Leogane, Haiti 

February 4-11, 2012


Children's Nutrition Program, Haiti - logoAnyone interested in participating in a medical mission trip to Leogane, Haiti, February 4-11, 2012 with Sequoyah Hills Presbyterian Church, please contact Mark Lampley at no later than December 4.  You don't have to be medically trained, but it is preferred.  We depart from Knoxville.  Work involves strenuous labor in rural mountainous regions doing mobile health care clinics sponsored by Children's Nutrition Program.  Cost of $1,200 includes all expenses.  Space is limited.  

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,