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Dogwood Blossoms
Presbytery of East Tennessee E-NewsletterMay 2012 
In This Issue
Are We There Yet?
220th General Assembly
John Knox Center News
School of the Laity Summer Class
Hunger Ministry!
Knoxville College
Maryville College
News and Events Around the Presbytery
Quick Links


John Knox Center
from the February 11, 2012 PET meeting  
PC(USA) News
as of 03-31-12
Resource Center
Workshops & Conferences



Presbytery of East Tennessee


Synod of Living Waters
Presbytery Staff

Judd Shaw

General Presbyter

James McTyre

Stated Clerk



Bri Payne
Executive Director, John Knox Center



Dana Hendrix

Office Manager



Gwen Pyle

Financial Administrator



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

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Office Hours
8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday - Friday
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Are We There Yet?
Arrows on the roadLately, the question most often asked of the Presbytery staff is, "Are you out of the building yet?" The answer is, "Sort of."  While most of the contents of the building have been moved to other locations, such as John Knox Center, members of the staff still find themselves tethered to the Cedar Lane building by a few odds and ends - the last of the files yet to be sorted, the website that remains on the local server, and video conference equipment that has not yet moved to its new location at Erin Presbyterian Church.  We anticipate that most, if not all, of these issues will be resolved by the end of May.

Our "seamless" transition has not been as easy as we had hoped; in fact, as Gwen likes to say, our seams have been a little crooked here and there through the process.  We appreciate all your patience, prayers, and good humor as we navigate these uncharted waters.  We are not there yet, but promised land is in sight.

Staff meetings around the Presbytery in May:

May 7 - First Presbyterian Church, Lenoir City
May 14 - Highland Presbyterian Church, Maryville
May 21 - First Presbyterian Church, Sevierville

The Presbytery Office will be closed on May 28 for Memorial Day.
220th General Assembly

Logo of the 220th General AssemblyThe General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) meets June 30 - July 7, 2012, in Pittsburgh, PA. Every two years, presbyteries elect teaching elders and ruling elders to come together to discern God's will for the church. "Presbyters are not simply to reflect the will of the people, but rather to seek together to find and represent the will of Christ." (F-3.0204)


The theme of the 220th General Assembly is "Walking, Running, Soaring in Hope." The commissioners elected by the Presbytery of East Tennessee are the Rev. Emily Anderson (New Providence), the Rev. Michael Stanfield (Sequoyah Hills), Elder Jack Danner (Rivermont) and Elder Connie Umbach (First, Lenoir City). Our Young Adult Advisory Delegate is Jennifer Carter, who is a member of Erin Presbyterian Church and attends Highland Presbyterian Church as a part of her Church and College Scholarship at Maryville College.


Each of the commissioners will be assigned to a committee of the General Assembly.  Emily Anderson has been selected from among the 688 commissioners to serve as the moderator of the Church Polity Committee. Please pray for our commissioners, delegates, and observers, as well as the hundreds of other faithful Presbyterians who will be attending General Assembly.


To learn more about the General Assembly, please explore these resources:


The General Assembly - What is it and what does it do?


The 220th General Assembly webpage - all you need to know about this year's GA

John Knox Center News

Register for Summer Camp! 

Camp John Knox Logo 

Go to the John Knox Center website to learn about all the exciting camp sessions available and register! 


Keys for Camp


KeyIt is spring cleaning time!  That means it is time to empty out the drawers that have collected dust and treasures over the past year.  If your drawers are anything like mine, you will wind up with more dust and less treasures.  You may also find yourself with a collection of keys that don't seem to have a purpose anymore. Instead of throwing those keys away think about collecting them and donating them to Camp John Knox.  This year's summer camp curriculum is Keys of the Kingdom.  We have a team of pastors and Christian educators from the presbytery who are working with John Knox staff to develop Bible studies centered on Matthew 16:15-19.  Campers will discover together the Kingdom of God and the keys to being disciples of Christ in our world today. In order to help them remember what they learned at camp, we would like each camper to leave camp with 5 keys.  This means we need over 1000 keys!  We need your help. Once you find the keys, please mail them to camp or contact Penny Laitos, Program Coordinator, and she will arrange a way to pick them up.  Thank you for your love and support of this ministry.  With your help it promises to be a great summer!


Camp Chaplains Needed


Cross at John Knox CenterIt is hard to believe that this month our summer camp season will officially begin when staff arrives for 2 weeks of staff training. We have hired an amazing group of young people to serve at camp this summer in a variety of positions. Those of us who are lucky enough to call John Knox home have spent the past few months planning for the arrival of staff and campers. We have exciting activities, crazy games, engaging Bible studies, and experiential worship planned. However, we are missing a vital part of our ministry team this summer, you! We are looking for pastors, children and youth directors, and others in the Presbytery to serve as a chaplain for a week at camp. If you feel called to spend a week this summer serving God in a new and different setting, please let us know.  


We like to have a chaplain on site to assist with Bible studies, help plan worship and be available for our campers and staff. While there is quite a bit of flexibly in this position here is some basic information. The chaplain position is a volunteer position with onsite housing and food provided. While we would love for someone to commit to the whole week we understand that this may not be possible. During a day at camp the chaplain has 2 primary responsibilities. They will help the staff lead Bible Studies with their campers and work with those Bible study groups to plan worship. The Bible studies will happen in the morning typically with worship happening at night. The other part of the job is an opportunity to participate in camp activities as either a leader or a participant yourself!


If this opportunity is something that you would like to consider, please contact me, Penny Laitos, at or 865-466-8525. I would be more than happy to talk to you about the job and answer any questions you may have. I am looking forward to working with folks this summer as we serve the youth and families of TN!  


Camping for Christ,

Penny Laitos, Program Coordinator 

School of the Laity Summer Class
June 23 and August 18

This summer, the PET School of the Laity is offering a class on Reformed Theology, taught by Dr. Buran Phillips, pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Knoxville.
The class will be held at Mars Hill Presbyterian Church in Athens (205 North Jackson St.) on June 23 and August 18, from 9am to 3pm, with lunch provided at the church. The cost for this course is $65, and registration is due by June 15. Check out the School of the Laity page of the Presbytery website for suggested readings.  We are a group of very enthusiastic learners who would love to have you join Presbytery of East Tennessee logous.

Hunger Ministry!
From the Serve Mission Team

Rice and BeansThe loss of the Presbytery's Hunger Action Enabler left a leadership void for hunger ministry in the Presbytery. Beyond the Cents Ability Offering, we currently have no Presbytery Hunger Ministry. With a leaner Presbytery, such initiatives become dependent on those with the skills and passion to make it happen.

We need workers for a Hunger Ministry to continue. The work of Hunger Ministry would include purchasing and distributing beans and rice to areas of need, supporting community gardens, and supervising the Cents Ability Offering. Bringing together those with passion for this ministry might create new projects, and we celebrate how God could work through the ministry. Please consider your involvement in this ministry or encourage someone from your church who is interested. Those ready to serve should call Max Reddick at 865-688-2163. If enough interest is shown, the Hunger Ministry will continue.

Knoxville College
Knoxville College campusRandy Webb, a member of New Prospect Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, has a passion for Knoxville College.  He is eager to share the history, mission, and current needs of the small liberal arts college that was founded in 1875 as an outgrowth of the missionary effort of the United Presbyterian Church of North America.  Knoxville College is in need of support (monetary gifts, goods and services, work crews, prayer) as they work toward re-accreditation. Read Randy's message and review the College's history and current needs - call Randy at 865-984-6367 for more information about how you can help.
Maryville College

Summer Youth Get-A-Way - June 17-22 

Summer Youth Get-A-Way graphic 

Do you have talented high school students in your church or youth group that may have a gift for church leadership? Summer Youth Get-A-Way at Maryville College (June 17-22) will offer these young people a place to explore, a place to grow and a place to serve, returning to your church with new appreciation of their gifts  and enhanced skills for leadership and service.  Partnership scholarships available. Space is limited. Registration Deadline: May 15


More information at 


Summer Youth Get-A-Way flyer 

Bulletin insert  

News and Events Around the Presbytery

Support Living Waters for the World on May 12  


Living Waters for the World color logoThe Wartburg and Lancing Presbyterian Churches are hosting a booth for Living Waters for the World at the Sunbright School Carnival (Sunbright is located in Morgan County, and is about 15 miles from Lancing) on Saturday, May 12, from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. There will be lots of fun and games, vendors and silent auctions. We will be selling homemade barbecue sandwiches with a bag of chips and Carolyn Anderson's  "famous" brownies, plus a bottle of water for $3.00. All proceeds will go to support Living Waters for the World. We hope to see you there! Let clean water flow!


For more information, please contact Carolyn S. Anderson, CRE for Lancing and Wartburg at 

Health Luncheon on May 16th - Topic: Osteoporosis
Elaine Bunick, MD
A Health Luncheon will be held at 12:00 noon on May 16th at First Presbyterian Church of Oak Ridge. Dr. Elaine Bunick, Endocrine Associates, P.C. will speak about "Osteoporosis." First Presbyterian Church of Oak Ridge is located at 1051 Oak Ridge Turnpike. The program is free and open to the community. There is a $5.00 charge for the lunch. Please call 865-483-1318 for reservations.

Sunset Gap Community Center featured on WVLT Online

WVLT Online logoThe food pantry at the Sunset Gap Community Center in Cosby, TN is featured in an article on WVLT's online news page.
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,