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Dogwood Blossoms
Presbytery of East Tennessee E-Newsletter
April 2016 
In This Issue
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Presbytery of East Tennessee


Synod of Living Waters
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
Register for Camp John Knox!
Summer is almost here!
What makes summer at Camp John Knox so exceptional?

Everything!  From the games we play to the campfire songs, Camp John Knox gives campers a chance to expand their comfort zones and gain self-confidence and esteem.

Hiking, canoeing, swimming, arts & crafts, campfires, and hands on nature classes are just the beginning! Each day is packed with tons of activities. Give your child the opportunity to spend their days having a blast with new friends learning new skills and their evenings worshiping with the sun setting across the lake, singing praise songs around a campfire, and making thousands of memories.
John Knox Center - girls in kayaks
For more than 55 years Camp John Knox has provided a safe, fun environment for campers to grow in faith, develop a positive self-image, and create friendships that last forever and this summer will be no different. Something for all ages! From Day Camps for our youngest to multi-adventure trips for older kids! With fun sessions for all ages in between!

Register online and secure your spot!

Camp John Knox Summer Camp 2016
Covenant Partners
June 5th-June 17th
Mini Camp
June 12th- 15th
Critter Day Camp
June 13th-17th
June 19th-July 1st 
Middle School Adventure
July 7th-15th
Native Ways
July 10th-15th
Native Ways Day Camp
July 11th-15th
Night Owl
July 17th-22nd
Sr. High Adventure Camp
July 17th-26th
Maryville College

Link to press release about Tartan Day
Link to Tartan Day webpage

JEANNE BISHOP is the sister of Nancy Bishop Langert, who was murdered in 1990 along with her husband and their unborn baby. Since the murders of her family members, Bishop has been a passionate advocate of gun violence prevention, abolition of the death penalty, forgiveness and the role of victims in the criminal justice system. Bishop is the author of Change of Heart: Justice, Mercy and Making Peace with My Sister's Killer (Westminster John Knox Press 2015), and her written work has appeared in The Huffington Post,'s Belief Blog, The Christian Century, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and Lutheran Woman Today, among other publications. She appears in the death penalty documentary films "Deadline," "Too Flawed to Fix" and "The Innocent." A felony trial attorney with the Office of the Cook County Public Defender, Bishop also serves as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University School of Law, which presented her the alumni award for public service.  Bishop is a board member of Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights, an organization of murder victims' family members who oppose the death penalty, and she serves on the advisory board of Northwestern University's Center on Wrongful Convictions and as an officer of the Chicago Innocence Project. She also volunteers with the Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence, lobbying in the U.S. Congress and state legislatures for sensible gun safety laws.

Living Waters VBS Curriculum
NEW! Water All Around the World VBS Curriculum

A Mission-Focused Experience

Price: $47

Includes printed materials, music CD and flash drive containing full-color reproducibles and digital manual.

WHO is this curriculum intended to serve?
  • Congregations with an interest in fostering mission awareness among their children
  • Churches who want to educate their members about the world's water crisis and what can be done
  • Churches involved in the Living Waters for the World ministry
  • Designed for children K-5, with special section for pre-school inclusion
WHAT does this curriculum teach?
  • What scripture teaches us about water and about our responsibility for the goodness of Creation and for the care of the physical health of others
  • How children in other countries live, and how they deal with limited access to clean water
  • What Living Waters for the World and others are doing to address the lack of availability of clean water
  • How your congregation can help
For more information, visit:
Climate & Energy Stewardship Team
Have you heard...

... about the Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program's "Restoring Creation" loan? This loan program, which was approved last summer, is for congregations that are interested in reducing their carbon footprint and saving on energy costs by undertaking energy efficiency improvement projects. Qualifying projects can include solar panels, efficient lighting, improved HVAC systems, energy efficient roofs, and many others. As stated on the PILP website (, "With discounted interest rates and flexible loan terms that consider the length of return on investment, congregations will be encouraged to renovate their buildings using energy costs while reducing their carbon footprint." Upgrading our facilities in this way will help to ensure that "our church buildings reflect who we are as a community of faith", and will speak volumes in our communities about our collective commitment to caring for God's creation.
From the CRE Subcommittee

The Commissioned Ruling Elder (CRE) subcommittee would like to share information with all of the churches in our presbytery about the CRE program. We have volunteers who would like to attend a session meeting, a Sunday morning minute for mission, or any weeknight programs your churches may have to talk about the CRE program.

Currently, there are 5 CRE's who are serving in our presbytery at churches in Chattanooga, Lenoir City, Maryville, Rockwood and Wartburg. We have several CRE's who have completed training and are eligible for commissioning, and two CRE's who will be finishing their coursework in May this year.

Ordained Elders who have served at least one three year term on Session are eligible for this program. Please contact Carolyn S. Anderson, the Chair of the CRE subcommittee at  or 865-951-2805 to obtain more information on the CRE program or to arrange to have a CRE come visit your church to provide information. We look forward to visiting with all the churches.
Peacemaking Committee News
Visiting Mission Co-Worker - May 2-3
Peacemaking Logo - DoveOne of our PCUSA Mission Co-Workers in the Middle East will be the guest of the Presbytery's Peacemaking Committee on May 2 and 3.  The Rev. Elmarie Parker is based in Beirut, Lebanon and serves as the Regional Liaison between the PCUSA and Presbyterian partner churches in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. She will present a program for area churches and the Knoxville community on Monday evening, May 2, at 7:00 p.m., in the sanctuary of Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6500 Northshore Drive, Knoxville.
Please publicize in your congregations this opportunity to learn about the our Arab Christian brothers and sisters, who have stayed in their war-torn countries, to bear witness to Christ's love and compassion as they organize relief work among displaced families.
To find out more about the ministry of Elmarie Parker and her husband, Scott, go to their website:

For more information about Elmarie's visit to Knoxville, you may contact Ann Owens Brunger (865-405-2281 or
News and Events Around the Presbytery

Athens Community Theatre at the Arts Center
320 N. White St., Athens

Show Dates April 21-24 & 28-30, 2016
Tickets $12/adult & $8/student*

This play is based on the real life love story of C.S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia and The Screwtape Letters, and American poet Joy Davidman. Jack Lewis is smug in his convictions about God and His plan for the world until Joy and her young son enter his life and the bewildered man who theorizes about love in the abstract finally confronts its direct presence.

PET's own Les Rust will be playing the role of C.S. Lewis.

Athens Area Council for the Arts * 320 N. White St. * Athens, TN 37371
P: 423.745.8781 * F: 423.745.8635 *

2016 Washington Island Forum
Carol Howard Merritt
June 20 - 24, 2016
"The Church on the Edge"
Featuring PET's Rev. Carol Howard Merritt

"Rev. Carol Howard Merritt is a Presbyterian (USA) minister whose writing, speaking, and teaching is anchored in theological wisdom and fresh sociological insight. She's a sought-after keynote speaker, especially on the topic of ministering with a new generation of Christians."

The Forum is a 40 year tradition and is sponsored by the Wisconsin Council of Churches and The Christian Century magazine. Enjoy four and one half days of worship, workshops, discussion, and contemplation in an ecumenical retreat setting on Washington Island, just six miles off the tip of Door County Wisconsin. More information at 

PET's Earthcare Congregations
Earth Care Congregation seal
The following churches were certified as Earth Care Congregations by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Environmental Ministries through February 2017:
  • First Presbyterian Church of Oak Ridge, Oak Ridge, TN
  • New Hope Presbyterian Church, Chattanooga, TN
  • New Providence Presbyterian Church, Maryville, TN
To become an Earth Care Congregation, these churches affirmed the Earth Care Pledge to integrate environmental practices and thinking into all facets of their church life. They also completed projects and activities in the fields of worship, education, facilities, and outreach. The Earth Care Congregation certification is designed to recognize churches that have made the commitment to take seriously God's charge to "till and keep" the garden.
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,