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Presbytery of East Tennessee E-Newsletter
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Presbytery of East Tennessee
Presbytery Staff 
Judd Shaw
General Presbyter
865-688-5581 ext. 103

James McTyre
Stated Clerk
865-688-5581 ext. 104
Executive Director, John Knox Center
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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Attention: Sessions
From the Finance & Stewardship Committee

The Presbytery's Finance and Stewardship Committee is asking the sessions of all member churches to answer a short three-question survey at the September session meeting and return the completed survey by the end of the month.  The Finance and Stewardship Committee has been mandated by presbytery to propose a BALANCED 2016 budget based on contributions from congregations.  The budget is to be presented for approval at the November presbytery meeting.
The trend in recent years is ever-decreasing contributions from congregations to the Presbytery of East Tennessee.  Here are the budget figures since 2010:

2010       $1,003.291
2011       $1,003,280
2012       $807,750
2013       $795,500
2014       $782,250
2015       $444,000
The 2016 budget will have to be drastically reduced.  Because the annual presbytery budget can no longer cover the expenses and mission commitments of the past, the time has come to prioritize.  The setting of priorities is a task for the whole presbytery, not the Finance and Stewardship Committee alone.
These survey questions have been sent to each moderator and clerk of session with the request that some time be set aside for discernment at the September session meeting.
  • Is God calling us to have a presbytery staff?
  • Is God calling us to provide mission support for campus ministries in Knoxville and Chattanooga?
  • Is God calling us to provide mission support for John Knox Center?
For more information you may contact Ely Driver, Moderator, at
Clerk of Session Training & Session Minutes Reading

Saturday, Sept. 19
9:00am - 12:00pm
Mars Hill Presbyterian Church  
205 North Jackson St., Athens

Materials are at:

Clerks, please bring your Session Minutes and Church Register.
Presbyterian Women of PET
Fall Spiritual Retreats
PW logo Presbyterian Women have three fall spiritual retreats to offer the women of our presbytery.
Saturday, September 19, 2015
"Come to the Waters"
Coffee & Fellowship 9:30 a.m.
Program 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.    
Lunch $8
New Hope Presbyterian Church
7301 Shallowford Road, Chattanooga 37421
423-432-8866 - Reservations due Sept. 12
  • Hydroponics, Bible study-related program, and the new "Incarnational Community"in Chattanooga.
  • Dedication of Mission Pledges
  • Mission Project - Gift cards for Mission Haven in any amount from Home Depot, Lowe's, Target, Walmart or Bed, Bath & Beyond
Saturday, October 3, 2015
"One Body, One Spirit"
Coffee & Fellowship 9:30 a.m.
Program 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.  
Lunch $8 
Madisonville Presbyterian Church
201 Main Street, Madisonville, TN 37354
423-442-2170 - Reservations due Sept. 24
  • International Peacemaker, Hendrik Shanazarian, plight of the Christian church in Iran, and Linda Ueland, The New Opportunity School for Women (NOSW) at Maryville College
  • Mission Project - Hanna's Purse (Please bring an item to donate to the project such as: hygiene items, cosmetics, socks, combs, brushes, jewelry, small Bible or inspirational book, etc.
Saturday, October 10, 2015
Day Trip to Mission Haven, Columbia Seminary & Villa International Atlanta - All located in Decatur, GA                                                                                              
7:30 a.m. - A group will carpool from Knoxville (contact Cecilia Stinnett at or 865-406-1405)
7:45 a.m. - A second group will depart Lenoir City (contact Connie Umbach, or 865-719-1104)
9:30 a.m. - Everyone will leave Rivermont Presbyterian in church van.
11:30 a.m. - Dutch treat at DeKalb County Farmer's Market
1:00 p.m. - Tours of Mission Haven, Columbia Theological Seminary and Villa International Atlanta
3:15 p.m. - Board van back to Rivermont, stop for dinner & arrive in Chattanooga by 7:00 p.m.
Registration & $5 fee due by Sept. 18; please contact Effie Heiss at 931-446-3474 for more information.
From the Youth Committee
Youth Council leads the way

Congratulations to our Youth Council for participating in worship at the August 22, Presbytery of East Tennessee Stated Meeting. We are indeed fortunate to have these young people involved in leadership. Thanks to Jason Graffis for working with the Youth Council and preparing them for the song they sang for worship, thanks to Diana Curtis for teaching the Youth Council about leadership styles, thanks to the Rev. Sharon Youngs for putting together such an inspiring worship service, and thanks to Keli Shipley, Branham Lovingood and Malerie Lazar for leading an excellent retreat.

Retreat participant form
John Knox Center News
"Camp is a place where I can be myself."
"At Camp John Knox, my counselor encouraged me to grow and take safe risks."
"Camp is where faith became real to me and every year I am reminded of that."
Statements like these remind us how Camp John Knox is a sacred space where campers meet God and grow in relationship with him and others. This summer, campers from as far away as Texas and the mountains of North Carolina, as well as right here in Kingston came together to play, learn, have fun, and grow in their faith. Campers spent time paddling, playing, and pushing themselves to try new things. Woven through everything we do are discussions of faith, community, and how God meets us where we are. This summer's theme, "Entertaining Angels", focused on Hebrews 13:2. "Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it." Campers explored what hospitality is and through studying Biblical examples of hospitality, learned how they can welcome those around them into their homes and communities. A special thank you to our Chaplains who connected with campers and staff around a cross and a campfire Liz Peterson (4th United) Jason Graffis (New Providence) Roy Scarbrough (Clover Hill) and Jon Faraone (Center).

The power of camp ministry extends beyond the campers. This year, 14 staff from across the country worked as a nurse, counselors, program assistants, lifeguards and support staff. Not only did these young adults learn practical skills in outdoor adventure and safety, they learned to have eyes that looked beyond themselves, took safe risks in a accepting environment, gained confidence to become exceptional leaders and experienced living out their faith in Christian community.    
To learn more about summer camp Like us on Facebook. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. If this old saying is true, then this Facebook album would make up a novel. Please take some time to browse through and see what you made possible at camp this summer.
Annual Family Picnic - Sunday, Sept. 20 
1:00pm to 4:45pm - Activities and food
5:00pm - Worship in the Pavilion
Cost $10.00
Children 10 & under free when accompanied by
a paying adult (one child per adult).

While summer camp may be coming to a close, our fall season is just getting started. We invite you to come and join us for the Family Picnic, Sunday, September 20th. All of your favorite camp activities will be open. Come and enjoy good food and good fellowship at John Knox Center.  More information  
From the Peacemaking Committee
October 2-7
Native-born Iranian Rev. Hendrik Shanazarian is our 2015 International Peacemaker. He grew up in the Armenian Evangelical Church in Tehran, graduated from the Near East School of Theology in Beirut, Lebanon, and served seven years as pastor of the Armenian Evangelical Congregation in Tehran and in the Evangelical Church Synod. He is currently serving as pastor of two Armenian churches in the Glendale, CA area.
Rev. Shanazarian will speak about the plight of Christians in Iran, especially over the past ten years, when churches have been closed and house church leaders have been arrested, imprisoned and tortured. With the 100th commemoration of the genocide of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915, Hendrik will also discuss some little-known stories of the genocide, which still haunts persons of Armenian descent today.
Venues where you may hear Rev. Shanazarian include:

Sat., Oct 3 - PW retreat at Madisonville Presbyterian.
Sun, Oct 4 - Sermon (11 am church service) at 2nd Presbyterian Chattanooga; At Bethel Presbyterian, Kingston - 6 pm dinner, followed by Rev. Shanazarian.
Tue, Oct 6 - 1:15 pm sermon at Maryville College chapel.
Wed, Oct 7 - at Westminster Pres. Knoxville, 5:45 pm dinner & Hendrik speaks at 6:30 pm.
Peacemaking Logo - Dove
Your church's special Peacemaking Offering, normally received on World Communion Sunday (this year Oct. 4, while the International Peacemaker is with us) supports peacemaking-related ministries at the Congregational, Presbytery/synod, and national levels. Presbytery of East Tennessee's share (25%) is used to fund International peacemaker visits, as well as such local events as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Conversation held each year at the Beck Cultural Exchange. This year the Peacemaking Offering also helped support several first-time Big Tent attendees and a Bethel mission trip to Guatemala.
How to appreciate your pastor
October is Pastor Appreciation Month

Some congregations choose a particular Sunday to honor their pastor in worship, and that would be a great idea. But there might be lots of other ideas about how you could show your spiritual shepherd that you appreciate the time, energy, effort, study, prayer, and everything else that he or she is giving to this task. We thought it might be helpful to have a few ideas; this list is by no means exhaustive and we're sure that you could find other ideas as well.

From the Support Mission Team
From the Hunger Committee
An Offering of Letters

One activity that educates church members about hunger is to organize an offering of letters. A Sunday School class can write letters to Congress that are dedicated during the Sunday offering and then mailed. Bread for the World, a Christian lobbying organization dedicated to hunger problems, has been organizing such campaigns each year, so your senators and representatives are familiar with this Offering of Letters.

This year the target date will be Sunday, October 18.   See for information and sample letters. The focus is on legislation reauthorizing child nutrition in the United States, including school lunches, summer meals, and WIC women-infants-children. Appropriate background information and bulletin inserts are provided. 

Since Senator Alexander and Representative Duncan are both Presbyterians, their staffs are attentive to the letters they receive.

Scott Brunger, Hunger Committee,
Presbytery Educators Group
PEG Explores Prayer - Oct. 7
Eusebia Presbyterian Church, Seymour
Want to learn how to intercede for others? Pray for yourself following Biblical paths?  Come to our next Presbytery Educator Gathering on Wednesday, Oct. 7, from 11-1 where we'll explore the spiritual disciple of prayer including Contemplative Prayer, Lectio Divina, and more.  Bring a salad topping to add to the BIG bowl.  Meeting at Eusebia Presbyterian at 1701 Burnett Station Road (at US 411) Seymour, TN 37865.


Adult Christian Education Leaders Gathering - Oct. 22

Calling all Adult Christian Education leaders in greater Knoxville!  We want to reach those facilitating adult education as volunteer coordinators, professional staff, chairs of committees and teachers. We want to find out from one another what's working in congregational ministry.

When: Thursday, October 22, 2015 from 11:00am to 1:00pm
Where: Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6500 S. Northshore Dr., Knoxville, TN 37919
How: Contact Mary Boyd at Westminster Presbyterian at (865 584-3957 or so we have enough tables.
Cost: Free, bring a sack lunch if desired.
Who: All interested volunteers or staff in Adult Education in churches.

Rationale: We're holding a forum for sharing ideas, curriculum, particular studies, best practices, and needs for adult education within congregational life. As Presbyterians, our resource center has been downsized and we don't have Cokesbury anymore, thus it's hard to examine physical curriculum, DVDs, and studies without actually ordering, and then possibly having to return them.  We hope people will bring a few pieces of curriculum or studies they have used in the last couple of years that worked. Often church libraries and staff offices have good resources being underutilized. We hope this effort demonstrates collaboration at its best while sharing a lunch as well.

Serving Christ Together, Educator Mary Boyd and Rev. Mark Lampley
News and Events Around the Presbytery
Maryville College
Meet Maryville
Preview days for prospective students and their families

September 26 
November 14 
April 2

Support Living Waters for the World and the PW Birthday Offering Fund 
Living Waters for the World will again be offering the two Legacy Christmas CDs to churches through Presbyterian Women this fall.  A net of $170,000 has been raised by the project over the past two holiday seasons for LWW and the PW Birthday Offering Fund.
For more information, go to

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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,