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


In This Issue
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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
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A BIG Thank You!
The Presbytery of East Tennessee was represented by more than 100 wonderful volunteers at the Presbyterian Church (USA) Big Tent gathering at UT-Knoxville this past week.  These volunteers came from 26 of our 67 churches, including:

Bethel - Kingston
Center - Tellico Plains
Erin - Knoxville
Eusebia - Seymour
First - Etowah
First - Knoxville
First - Oak Ridge
First - Sevierville
First - Spring City
Fountain City - Knoxville
Highland - Maryville
Kirk Hills - Knoxville
Lake Hills - Knoxville
Mowbray - Soddy Daisy
New Hope - Knoxville
New Prospect - Knoxville
New Providence-Maryville
Rivermont - Chattanooga
Second - Knoxville
Sequoyah Hills - Knoxville
Shiloh - Knoxville
West Emory - Knoxville
Westminster - Knoxville

Two churches - Farragut and New Providence - had volunteers in the double digits!

And a HUGE THANK YOU goes to our incredible Volunteer Coordinators, Ann Naylor of West Emory and John Johnson of Westminster. None of it would have happened without your leadership!
Presbytery Meeting, Aug. 22

The Presbytery of East Tennessee will meet on  

Saturday, August 22 at  

Graystone Presbyterian Church

139 Woodlawn Pike

Knoxville, TN

9:30am - Registration and Fellowship Time

10:00am - Meeting begins 


The packet for the meeting will be posted to the Presbytery website on August 7.

Hope in Chattanooga
I drive by the Navy Reserve building on Amnicola Highway every day I go to work. So I prayed for whatever it was that caused police car after fire truck after ambulance to pass by me and divert traffic from my normal route that Thursday morning. I texted my colleague and a student I was to meet at the Hope House and said I'd be later, that something was going on, and then texted them back when I heard Chattanooga State was on lockdown and an active shooter in the area.


It was gathered around a TV together where we heard not Chattanooga State, the Navy Reserve. And the mall, Lee Highway, and two shooters. And then not Lee Highway, and not two shooters but one. With our eyes glued to the TV we heard the ambulances pulling into Erlanger only a stone's throw away from us and prayed, "Dear Lord, please be with these people." And selfishly, "Dear Lord, please don't let it be any of ours."


Hours later after the name of the shooter and the school and department he graduated from was released, after our board met and dispersed, a student came to the back door and into the kitchen. Hers is the face that continues to define what this shooting has meant to our community. Fear. Disbelief. Anger. Sadness. Desperate.


In the days that followed, we learned that our little community had been drastically affected by Thursday's horrific events, but it wasn't in any way any of us were prepared. Some of our students grew up with the shooter. Went to school with the shooter. Some worshiped with the shooter. Some were still friends with the shooter.


"Let's gather for hope at Hope."   


We weren't large (a little under 30 folks) but we represented 5 different faiths and at least 4 different ethnicities. We acknowledged the space was Holy Space and now was the time to listen to one another. Our Muslim students shared how horrific it was to grow up and know a person who would do such heinous things. Other students asked them questions about Islam, about the personality of the shooter, and we as a community lifted our concerns, what gave us hope, and how we hoped to move forward with a candle lighting ritual.     


There is a lot to say about the days since, but I think this is the most important: what gave many of us hope (faculty, pastors, and students alike) was that gathering. That we could sit with one another as Christians, as Muslims, as black, brown, and white, as people with different ideologies and politics. We could be honest and scared and angry - we could be authentic and still love and care for one another.  


I think we are all still trying to figure out how to move forward, how to begin to put the pieces back together. But here is what I know to be true: this call of Jesus' for radical hospitality changes lives and communities, and the Holy Spirit is loose both in this ministry and in the hearts of our young people. We are a people of Hope.


Rev. Tricia Dillon Thomas

Interim Director of Spirituality at Hope House

808 Vine Street, Chattanooga, TN  

Youth Events
Preteen Retreat Saturday, Sept. 19-Sunday, Sept. 20
John Knox Center (Ten Mile, TN)

4th and 5th graders are invited to a Presbytery-wide Retreat to explore how God views them as PRICELESS!

For more information about registration, email Crystal Fallesen at


Middle School Fall Retreat 2015

 Friday, Sept. 25 - Sunday, Sept. 27

John Knox Center  


Retreat for current 6th---8th graders from the entire Presbytery!


With Rev. Mark Curtis from Lake Forest Presbyterian Church as our Keynote Speaker! Please look for an e-mail with further details soon!


Cost: $100 per person - Includes lodging, t---shirt, 3 meals on Saturday, snacks, & breakfast on Sunday


Registration closes September 4th (postmarked)

Late Registration Fee: $110


Any Questions? Contact Keli Shipley at or call 423.544.9551


High School Youth Summit 2016


Also, go ahead and mark your calendars for High School Youth Summit, Friday, February 26th---Sunday, February 28th, 2016

Presbyterian Campus Ministries
Do you have a student leaving home for college?  Help them connect with their school's campus ministry!

Hope 808 / A UKirk Ministry at UT-Chattanooga: / Facebook

UKirk at UT-Knoxville / Facebook

Center for Campus Ministry at Maryville College: / Facebook

UKirk at Auburn University / Facebook

UKirk (meaning University Church) is a network of ministries supported by the Presbyterian Church (USA) charged with reaching, loving, and teaching college students so that they may be lifelong followers of Jesus Christ.

Find a PC(USA) campus ministry at your school
- go to
From the Stated Clerk

Annual Session Minutes Reading & Clerk's Training 

Saturday, September 19 - 9:00am to 12:00pm 

Mars Hill Presbyterian Church

205 N. Jackson St., Athens 


Annual Sexual Misconduct Prevention Seminar

Tuesday, September 15 - 8:30am to 3:00pm 

Farragut Presbyterian Church

209 Jamestowne Blvd., Farragut 

Led by Rev. Laurie Hill, Fairfield Glade Community Church 


Seminar flyer 


Register at: 

Resources from the PC(USA)
Regarding Ruling Elders

Once a month, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) website releases an article that has been written to assist Ruling Elders in their call. Ruling Elders have responsibilities in several areas of the life of the church, and this series seeks to lift up these specific responsibilities while also providing an opportunity to reflect upon how they are lived out. The archive of stories can be found by clicking
here. To subscribe to the monthly mailings and other information, click here.

2015 Mid Council Financial Network Meeting
November 18-20, 2015
You are cordially invited to attend the 2015 Mid Council Financial Network Meeting, which will be held in San Antonio, Texas, at the Holiday Inn Riverwalk Hotel.  Theme: "Our Church's Growth in Today's Electronic World"

The meeting will begin Wednesday, November 18 with breakfast, and conclude on Friday, November 20, adjourning around noon.
This is a continuing education and training opportunity for church financial persons and staff or volunteers working with the finances in the presbyteries and synods. Fee: $275 (does not include accommodations or travel).  Registrations are due by October 9.

Information and registration
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