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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
Join Our Mailing List
Presbytery Meeting - Nov. 10
Stated Meeting of the Presbytery of East Tennessee
Tuesday, November 10

First Presbyterian Church
1051 Oak Ridge Turnpike
Oak Ridge, TN

Registration and Fellowship begins at 9:30am
Meeting begins at 10:00am

Lunch reservations required - please contact the church office at 865-483-1318 or

The packet is available online HERE.
Join the Conversation
Share your insights, wisdom, hopes and dreams for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

PCUSA seal Discuss the identity and purpose of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as part of a church-wide conversation initiated by the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly. "Please share your insights, wisdom, hopes and dreams for the PC(USA)," said Margaret Elliott, moderator of the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly. "Through careful listening and honest sharing we can create a church for this time and place." Talk individually or in groups using a discussion guide downloadable at Hear how to walk through using the guide on information calls:


Wednesday, November 4, 3-4 p.m. (EST)

Monday, November 9, 8-9 p.m. (EST)

Use call in (800) 231-0316  


Also share thoughts using an online form available until December 18 at, and join Larissa Kwong Abazia, Vice Moderator of the 221st General Assembly (2014), in a Twitter chat. She'll be @LarissaLKA using the hashtag #pcusaidentity on:


Thursday, November 12, 9-10 p.m. (EST)


The 222nd General Assembly (2016) will use much of the information gathered to collectively discern God's call for the church. Contact for questions or more information.


Heath K. Rada, Moderator of the 221st General Assembly (2014), has issued a companion call to the church - read it HERE.

From Finance & Stewardship
From Ann Owens Brunger, on behalf of the Finance and Stewardship Committee
I need more than ten fingers to count how many times I have heard references to Anne McKee's sermon preached at a Presbytery meeting several years ago. This memorable sermon that touched many hearts challenged faithful believers to worship God with the presentation of our offerings. Anne invited teaching elders in particular to make contributions to the annual budget of the Presbytery of East Tennessee because our membership in the Body of Christ is through the presbytery, not a congregation. At that Presbytery meeting, an offering was received containing pledges for $12,000.
The challenge and invitation to teaching and ruling elders and all Presbyterians still stand. Personal tax-deductible contributions to the 2015 Presbytery budget are most welcome and needed in this tight budget year. You may send a check made out to Presbytery of East Tennessee to P.O.Box 31625, Knoxville, TN 37930-1625.
Presbyterian Campus Ministries
UKirk at UT-Knoxville Welcomes Andy Morgan!

The Presbyterian Campus Ministry at UT-Knoxville welcomes their new campus minister, Andy Morgan, in classic UT style with a message on The Rock.  To learn more about Andy, check out his video on Facebook.

Hope House at UT-Chattanooga
Seated in an old wooden Presbyterian pew and typing from a wide table big enough to seat 15, but comfortable enough for the small group of students with me to share stories and meals I am so grateful. Before I came to this spot, with students still asleep, I was able to offer a quiet thanks to a God of abundance on a cold damp dock as steam rose from the lake and a fish jumped at my "Amen." In our sharing, praying, cooking, eating, playing, dancing, and laughing, "the gifts of God (this place) from the people of God (that I've never actually met) have provided sanctuary, respite, and healing for the exact students that so needed to be here. God is indeed good.

High anxiety seems to be the modus operandi in campus ministry these days. While we have tried to address shrinking funds with long term planning, the reality is that we are already over budget in some areas because the student number keeps growing. And while a growing student population is indeed exciting news (how many churches have added over 200 members to their rolls in the last 18 months!?), we become anxious. Is there enough food to feed the hungry? Is there enough time to pastor the flock? Is there enough of Terry to cook, and clean, and counsel? Is our intern able to meet the demands of school as he tries to take on our roles when we leave to go home to our families? So this reminder of the good news of God's abundance is exactly what I needed to hear.

And there is indeed abundance here. Abundance of love - of God's love for these students and their love for one another. Abundance of faith - even while wading in pits of despair. Abundance of grace - for a gospel that is good news for all God's children. And always an abundance of hope - for a campus ministry that attempts to model the kingdom of heaven here on this earth.

And so I am grateful. Grateful for a Word, for a Creation, for a people, and for this community that points over and over again to God's abundance.

Tricia Dillon Thomas
John Knox Center News
I almost did not believe it this morning when I sat down to write a newsletter article and realized it would go in the November newsletter! Where has the Fall gone? As John Knox transitions from a busy Fall season to a quieter Winter season, we take a minute to think back on what has happened at camp this Fall.
  • Our River Ridge Environmental Education program has welcomed over 1,050 school children, along with their parents and teachers. They have enjoyed spending time In God's creation, learning about science, nature, and team work in fun and innovative ways. Our Environmental Education staff came to us this year from across the country including Arkansas, Ohio and Oregon.
  • In September, Katina Sharp from Farragut Presbyterian Church delivered a great message at our Family Picnic. 150 people enjoyed a day of recreation and relaxation at John Knox, complete with good food and lots of fun program activities! Make plans to join us for this great event next year!

  • In the midst of all this programming, churches, scout troops and other guest groups have enjoyed retreats at John Knox.

While things may be a little quieter in the winter, we offer some great program opportunities. In January, come and join us for Sewing on the River. Bring your stash and half-finished projects to enjoy a week of fellowship around a sewing machine at John Knox. Visit our website, for more information and to register for this event.  

Summer Camp Video

Summer camp is vital in the faith development of campers and staff. Thank you for being part of this ministry.  Listen to stories of experiencing God in creation, living in Christian community, and gaining confidence through success this summer!

Peacemaking Committee News
Presbyterians and their friends in the northern part of PET, make plans NOW to join us in Knoxville's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade January 18, 2016!  Meet in parking lot of Tabernacle Baptist Church, 2137 MLK Jr. Ave. by 9:30 a.m. Just look for the "Presbyterians for Peace & Justice" sign. Step-off is at 10.  For the past two years First Church, Knoxville, 620 State St., has invited us to park in its lot, then ride in its van and/or that of Fountain City Church to our rendezvous point. Watch PET e-Newsletter for further announcements. On this school holiday this non-physically taxing parade is a GREAT way for children, teens, and adults to exercise as well as to march in Christ's name for peace!

Youth Committee News
The Middle School Retreat was a huge success!  Over 120 youth and adults attended the event at John Knox the weekend of Sept. 25-27.  Thanks to the Youth Committee team who  put together the retreat, our speaker the Rev. Mark Curtis, musician Robert Heck, Youth Council for their leadership, and John Knox for hosting us.  Now it is time to plan for Youth Summit, the high school event in Gatlinburg, TN, the weekend Feb.26-28.  Don't be left out!  Exciting things are happening in youth ministry!
Climate & Energy Stewardship News
Did you know...

LED Christmas lights are becoming more cost-effective each year? As the yuletide season approaches, this is a good time to decide whether new decorative lights will need to be purchased, either for your home or your church. While LED lights are more expensive up front, they have come down in cost over the years. They last 10 to 50 times longer than incandescent bulbs, and use a tenth of the energy. This is because incandescent bulbs are only about 5% efficient, with most of the energy wasted as heat (which can be a fire hazard). The bulbs are made of durable plastic rather than glass. The colors and the quality of light have also improved over earlier editions. Honoring the Christ child by protecting God's creation...maybe a new Christmas tradition? If you'd like to find out other ways your church can save energy, email
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance responds to Southeast coastal flooding

The Southeast coast has experienced severe and unprecedented flooding. At its height, more than 400 roads, 150 bridges and two major interstates (I-20 and I-95) were closed, isolating the communities that were most in need of comfort and assistance. South Carolina has borne the brunt of the devastation, enduring what has been described as a 1,000-year flood, and for some, more is still to come.
While South Carolina is the area most recently experiencing severe flooding, other parts of the country, including Texas, are still struggling to recover from massive floods that impacted multiple counties and left numerous Presbyterian churches damaged. As the rains finally subside in South Carolina and essential aid begins to arrive, we pray for a community of healing and hope for all those in the midst of this adversity.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance logo Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is walking alongside impacted mid councils to bring God's hope and healing to all affected by flooding. Gifts from One Great Hour of Sharing are helping Presbyterian congregations as they reach out to their affected communities to provide emergency provisions like water, food and other supplies to neighbors in need. Members of the PDA National Response Team have been helping with assessments, connecting with long-term recovery groups and serving as a present witness of the larger church during this difficult time.  Learn more on the PDA website
News and Events Around the Presbytery
Faith Forward 2015 Conference
Second Presbyterian Church, Louisville KY
Saturday, Nov. 7
8:30am - 2:30pm

Spiritual development and renewal workshops for pastors, church leaders, and individuals.  Workshop flyer.

Fossil Fuel Divestment Discussion
Sunday, Nov. 8 at 3:00pm
Maryville College

An overture to divest from fossil fuels will be considered at the 2016 General Assembly. This overture will also be considered at the November meeting of the Presbytery of East Tennessee. The Maryville College Center for Campus Ministry will be hosting an open information and discussion session on fossil fuel divestment in general and this overture in specific on Sunday afternoon, November 8 at 3:00pm. Please attend if you're interested in learning more about this issue. The CCM is building #38 in the middle of campus:

Maryville College Meet Maryville College
November 14
A Preview Day for Prospective Students and their Families

2015 Pettway Lecture Series 
November 15-16
First Presbyterian Church, Knoxville 
The 2015 Pettway Lecture Series will take place at First Presbyterian, Knoxville (620 State St.), on Nov. 15th and 16th with Dr. Tom Long, Professor of Preaching at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. The schedule is as follows:
Sunday, Nov 15th:  Dr Long will preach at 8:45 and 11 AM and  teach the adult Sunday school  at 9:45 AM. At 6 PM, there will be a light supper (cost: $10) with Dr Long lecturing at 7 PM.
Monday, Nov 16th: There will be a luncheon at 11:30 AM (cost: $8) with Dr. Long speaking informally about what he sees happening in preaching today. Dr Long's final Lecture will be at 7 PM with a dessert/coffee to follow.

Additional information in the Lecture Series Flyer

Reservations are required for the Nov. 16 lunch - call the church office: 865-546-2531.  

Association of Presbyterian Christian Educators (APCE)
APCE logo APCE Annual Event 2016
January 27-30
Chicago Marriott Downtown

The Theme Is:
* See It * Hear It * Live It *
Details and registration at 

Stewardship Kaleidoscope 2016
February 29 - March 2, 2016
San Antonio, TX
Hilton San Antonio Airport

More than 35 workshops covering topics such as annual stewardship, planned giving, theology of giving, current trends in stewardship, capital campaigns, and generosity.   Information and registration

Mosaic of Peace 2016
April 4-16, 2016
"I went on the Mosaic of Peace to visit the places, the ancient stones, where Jesus once lived.  Instead, I met Christ again and again in the living stones.  I will never be the same.  Thanks be to God!"

"The conference PROFOUNDLY impacted my life."

These are the responses from participants in the Mosaic of Peace 2014.  Registration is now open for Mosaic of Peace 2016 - go to this website for more information.

From April 4-16, 2016, you'll have the opportunity to travel with 100 other Presbyterians through the PC(USA) Peacemaking Office as we witness the unity and diversity of faith in the Holy Land.

As participants in the conference, individuals will be:
  • Inspired by the stories of Christian peacemakers in the Holy Land, walk in the footsteps of the Prince of Peace and encounter contemporary Palestinians and Israelis;
  • Equipped by engagement with Christian, Muslim, and Jewish leaders, experience contextual theology and study peacemaking practices within the framework of PC(USA) policy;
  • Connected with global and regional partners to take meaningful action for a just and lasting peace in the region. 
Registration for Mosaic of Peace 2016 continues as space remains available.  For more information, please contact co-director of the Mosaic of Peace, Lawrence Bartel, at or 315.369.3475.  
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,