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Sunrise in the Smokies
Presbytery of East Tennessee E-Newsletter                        June 2015


In This Issue
Quick Links
Presbytery Staff

Judd Shaw

General Presbyter

865-688-5581, ext 103 


James McTyre

Stated Clerk

865-688-5581 ext. 104 


Bri Payne

Executive Director, John Knox Center



Dana Hendrix

Office Manager

865-688-5581, ext 101  



Office Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 31625
Knoxville, TN 37930-1625

Office Fax:

Office Hours:
8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday - Friday
Join Our Mailing List
Gather under the Big Tent!

The Big Tent, a national gathering of Presbyterians, is being held in Knoxville on the University of Tennessee campus July 30 - August 1.  


 Link to schedule and registration 


The Big Tent Event Needs YOU!

Give a gift of your time...volunteer for one of more shifts acting as a greeter/guide/hospitality-helper/usher, etc.  The only requirement is a warm friendly face and the desire to extend the hand of fellowship to our brothers and sisters of the PC(USA).

Can we count on you?  Contact Ann Naylor ( / 865-927-1318) or John Johnson ( / 865-560-2800)


Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance logo PDA responds to severe flooding in the U.S. 


Numerous states have been affected by flooding this year due to the melting from heavy snow fall and a higher than average amount of rainfall. More than 150 locations in the central and southern Plains are currently reporting river flooding, the majority of which are in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, eastern Kansas and western Missouri.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) has been in continual contact with mid-councils that have been experiencing storms and flooding. One Great Hour of Sharing funds have been sent to Grace and New Covenant Presbyteries, and we are expecting a request for funds from additional presbyteries. Currently, eight members of the National Response Team (NRT) - four teams- are in Texas to help Presbyterian leadership in responding to needs within their communities.

Read more about the work of PDA and how you can help
John Knox Center News
Summer Camp is here!

In just a few days, counselors, lifeguards, activities leaders, and chaplains will arrive at John Knox to prepare for a summer of ministry at camp!  We are all looking forward to a great summer full of fun, community and adventure! Summer camp is a powerful experience for so many campers and staff alike.  They are able to come join us in God's creation, to play and laugh while discovering God in an engaging Christian community of their peers. Your support helps share those experiences with campers, not just during the summer, but year round. There are still spaces for your camper.  Register at or call our office with any questions (865) 376-2236. 
Please remember John Knox Center staff & campers in your prayers as we prepare for the upcoming summer of ministry.  You are invited to join with the congregation of First Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Sunday, June 7th at 10:45 am in commissioning our summer staff. Come and support these young adults as they embark on a summer of service.
Presbytery Educators Group
PEG Gathering - June 23

Our Presbytery Educator Gathering this quarter is Tuesday, June 23.  First Presbyterian of Knoxville hosts us from 11 to 1 with a bring-a-salad-topping lunch.  Among other things, we will talk about Biblical Interpretation, particularly on how we teach others to teach Scripture.  All are welcome to attendRSVP to Mark Lampley
by Friday, June 19.

Worship and Sacraments Course in Knoxville

We are so happy to announce that we have a fantastic opportunity to have a Worship and Sacraments Course in Knoxville. Dr. Jane Vann, Ed.D., Professor Emerita of Christian Education at Union Presbyterian Seminary of Richmond, VA, has offered to come here to lead the course which is extensive enough to qualify for an  Educator Certification course similar to a training offered for Commissioned Ruling Elders. It's a two-day course with four weeks of reading and reporting prior to the class work. We are needing 4 to 8 people to help share the cost of the course, and travel expenses.

Please let us know as soon as possible if you are interested in the course this summer from this seminary professor. We will provide a syllabus to anyone who is interested.
Contact Mark Lampley ( for more information. 
PET Climate & Energy Stewardship Team
There's a new "team" in the PET structure, organized under the Serve team, and this team wants to reach out to every church in the presbytery! We call ourselves the Climate and Energy Stewardship Team, and as expressed in our mission statement, we see stewardship of the world God gave us as a sacred and Christian calling. In a nutshell, our primary focus at this point is to help churches become more energy efficient. Some of you may have seen us at one of the last two presbytery meetings, and some have expressed interest in having us come to your church to share information and resources, which we have already done at a couple of churches. If you would like to know more about this team or about next steps for your church, we would love to hear from you. You can email us at
Presbyterian Campus Ministry
Hope House at UT - ChattanoogaHope 808 logo

Exams are over, seniors have graduated, and we are full on summertime at the Hope House.


Terry warned me about summer - that it was slower, but more intimate - and the promise didn't disappoint. The days are long and lazy and full of intimate conversations where it finally feels like we have the time to build even deeper relationships, time to really hear one another and see one another.  The students whose names I should have known but was too embarrassed to ask vessel these incredible gifts and wounds so that I can now pray more intimately for them.


And time, since I started in November, has run so fast that I step back when I am reminded it's time to plan more specifically about the future of Hope. I can truly say, with the budget cuts and future financial bleakness, it is hope and trust that keeps us from being deterred. Terry and I say often, God is doing such amazing work here that there's no way these doors can be closed. The challenge is knowing the hard work ahead of us and determining if we are up to the task. Because I'm awed by the energy and gifts of our board, my confidence is buoyed.


One of the things we like to be more intentional of, that I think all the campus ministries would agree with, is our relationship with the local congregations. We have spaces that we hope you as congregations, committees, youth groups, and individuals know are available to you. We hope our space is welcoming even to you and that you'll take advantage of this amazing historical house in downtown Chattanooga. This is your house, too. We hope you'll bring your young people here, so that when they come to any of our Presbytery's campus ministries they already feel at home in this space. We'd love to host a lock in, mystery trip, etc.


Finally, if you have students from your congregation that are coming to UTC, please email and let me know. Having a space on campus where they are loved and fed can help the transition into this new phase of life easier.


Peace to each of you,


Rev. Tricia Dillon Thomas

Youth Ministry in PET

Do you have youth in your church? Are you interested in connecting? Maybe your youth group is too small to be very active. Why not try connecting with youth from other surrounding churches! The Equip Mission Team and the Youth Committee are looking for ways for our youth to CONNECT. Watch for more information!


One way to CONNECT is to nominate a youth from your church to serve on Youth Council.  


Youth Council application form 


Please send all applications to Keli Shipley, 620 State Street, Knoxville, TN 37902.

From the Peacemaking Committee



The PET Peacemaking Committee still has several $200 scholarships available for first-time Big Tent attendees. Please contact Donna Schall ( or Caroline Best ( to apply.  Reimbursement will be made after proof of attendance.   




PET is honored to have Rev. Hendrik Shanazarian from Iran as this year's International Peacemaker. He will speak about the plight of the Christian church in Iran, especially over the past ten years, when churches have been closed and house church leaders have been imprisoned and tortured. He grew up in and pastored, and otherwise served, in the Armenian Evangelical Church in Tehran. Currently he pastors two Armenian Evangelical churches in California.


Rev. Shanazarian will be here Oct. 2-8. He will be speaking at the Presbyterian Women's Fall Retreat Sat., Oct 3. Other times he is available are Sunday am, any time Monday, or Wednesday am/early afternoonPlease contact Donna Schall (Peacemaking Cmte. - or (865)531-1788) to schedule Rev. Shanazarian for your church.  

Presbyterian Women of PET
The June 2015 Newsletter of the Presbyterian Women of the Presbytery of East Tennessee is available here.

Meet Villa International - Atlanta (VIA)


May is the traditional month for Presbyterian Women to celebrate with a church-wide birthday offering that will provide two substantial grants for new or expanded ministries. The gift that we receive is the joy of knowing that we can make a positive impact when we work together in God's service and demonstrate our love and concern for others.


One enduring ministry, Villa International - Atlanta (VIA)

was launched through a 1970 PW Birthday Offering Grant of $300,000 and was later bolstered by a $125,000 grant in 1997. The first contribution made to VIA was $1,000 from the Fellowship of the Least Coin. VIA provides short term lodging within a community environment for persons from all over the world, primarily international health care professionals who come to Atlanta to conduct research at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.  


The community environment is a crucial aspect of this ministry as it provides readily-available new friends, help with shopping and transportation, and the fun of cooking together and sharing meals. Many volunteers who provide valuable resources and friendship.


Since its doors opened in 1972, Villa International has hosted over 25,000 residents from 147 countries.   This important ministry is made possible through the support of seven Christian denominations, including the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Disciples of Christ, the United Church of Christ, the Roman Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Episcopal Church (US), and the United Methodist Church.


As founding members, the PC(USA) Synod of South Atlantic is permitted to nominate two members from each of its 15 presbyteries to serve on the VIA Board.


To learn more about Villa International - Atlanta, visit their website at: or contact them at:1749 Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30329, (404) 633-4785

News and Events Around the Presbytery
Maryville College Horizons - A Summer Youth Theology Experience, June 21-26 

Oneof the Lilly Endowment's 34 theological programs for high school youth, Horizons gives rising 10th, 11th and 12th graders an opportunity to explore their faith, plunge into service, build friendships and gain confidence - all with the end goal of preparing  future leaders for the Church.

Register online today!


For more information, contact: 

Kathleen Farnham
Director of Church Relations


The Beecken Center of the School of Theology at the University of the South, in partnership with the National Disaster Interfaiths Network (NDIN), invites clergy and spiritual caregivers of The Episcopal Church and religious leaders of all faiths to take this two-day disaster chaplain training. Participants who complete this certification can volunteer as a chaplain in their own diocese or faith community, or with NDIN and its national partners. NDIN can also assist unaffiliated volunteers in finding disaster spiritual care volunteer opportunities in local communities across the United States.


Emergency managers and disaster mental health professionals may also take this course to develop their knowledge of disaster spiritual care best practices.


This curriculum prepares chaplains and credentialed religious leaders to provide spiritual and emotional care during deployment to disaster sites as well as within their own communities. The course comprises four four-hour sessions offered over two days, covering disaster operations, disaster spiritual care, disaster mental health, and self-care for caregivers.


 Additional information and registration
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,