Presbyterian Church (USA) Seal
Dogwood Blossoms
Presbytery of East Tennessee E-Newsletter
May 2016 
In This Issue
Quick Links



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
Presbytery Meeting
The Stated Meeting of the Presbytery of East Tennessee will be held on
Tuesday, May 17
John Knox Center
591 West Rockwood Ferry Road
Ten Mile, TN

Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. (note earlier time)
Meeting at 10:00 a.m.

The packet for this meeting will be available on the Presbytery's website on May 3.
Maryville College and PET
Theology and Leadership for H.S. Students
Registration is open for Horizons, Maryville College's weeklong summer youth theology program that is designed to give rising 10th, 11th and 12th graders of any faith background the opportunity to live on campus in a small group setting while exploring how Christian faith connects to modern challenges and discovering how to make a difference in the world. The program emphasizes personal growth, as well as developing leaders for the church, school and community.
The theme for this year's program, scheduled for June 12-17 on the Maryville College campus, is "Peoples of the Books: Reading the Bible/Reading the Qur'an." Dr. Phillip Sherman, associate professor of religion, and Rev. Dr. Anne McKee, campus minister, will lead conversations about how Christianity and Islam differ and where they overlap.

Horizons Press Release
Horizons flyer 
Peacemaker Visit - May 2
Peacemaking Logo - Dove The Rev. Elmarie Parker, PCUSA Mission Co-Worker in the Middle East, 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. She is based in Beirut, Lebanon and serves as the Regional Liaison between the PCUSA and Presbyterian partner churches in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. She
This is an 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
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
PDA Responds to earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance logo
On April 14th, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit Kumamoto, Japan; two days later on the 16th, Kumamoto was hit again with a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. That same evening, Ecuador experienced a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. As aftershocks continue to threaten, more than 500 lives have already been lost. Thousands of other people have been injured, and communities lie in ruins. 

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is working in collaboration with our partner the ACT (Action by Churches Together) Alliance to respond to this crisis, providing support to those suffering in the aftermath. As our immediate response takes shape, PDA is also preparing for long-term support for both Ecuador and Japan. Long after the initial wave of relief recedes, PDA will remain to accompany the people of Ecuador and Japan as they rebuild their lives, walking the road out of this chaos with hope.

Learn more
From the Hunger Committee
Your Hunger Offerings Bear Fruit

On Wednesday, March 9, the Hunger Committee visited the food pantry at First Presbyterian Church, Spring City on Hwy 27 across the Clinch River from John Knox Center. Their food pantry operates twice a month and serves over 120 households each time. Earlier on Wednesday, after a refrigerator truck from the food bank in Chattanooga delivered fresh cabbages and ten pound bags of frozen chicken, volunteers worked diligently to store produce and then sort it into bags. Each household received enough food for a week, both fresh and packaged or canned goods.   

Before the food distribution, Pastor Linda Springer went out and individually greeted everyone in the waiting line. Some raised complaints about people in line who had left temporarily and then reclaimed their places. These complaints were settled on the spot. She also listened to individual requests for prayers and blessings.   

Next she came in and led the volunteers in prayers for their community and the hungry families who would receive the food. Some of the volunteers belong to other churches and others do not attend anywhere, but a spirit of Christian fellowship and service pervaded the group.     
At 5 p.m. the doors opened and the distribution began. It lasted until 7p.m. Even when some items ran out, enough substitutes were found to nourish everyone. A small Presbyterian congregation is multiplying its service through cooperation with others.  

The Hunger Committee has voted to provide a grant from the Presbytery's Centsability Offering so that the Spring City food pantry can restock and equip itself to continue its hunger ministry.

Scott Brunger,
Presbyterian Campus Ministry
The Hope House - UKirk at UT-Chattanooga
Hope House had to close for a week this month after a Norovirus outbreak at UTC affected students in our ministry. We re-opened this week and the students that returned greeted us with deep expressions of gratitude. What they say is true about absence making the heart grow fonder. Last week one of our staff members saw a student sitting in his car in front of the house, so he finally tapped on the window to make sure the student was okay. The student responded, "I just don't know where else to go, so I've been hanging out here in my car."
I was so intrigued by this student's story that on Sunday after our Bible study while we sat down to dinner, I asked the students how they had been while we were closed. One student said they were "freaking out" and "starved" all week because Hope was where they ate, and they didn't have anywhere else to go. Another said they "missed the community here." One commented that he just huddled at home for the week and watched Batman because he didn't know what else to do. Everybody nodded her heads when someone commented, "I just felt homeless and dislocated."
For many of our students they equate this ministry with home. I've been thinking about that. Our mission is to provide a safe space where we model Jesus' call to radical hospitality, but for a place to feel like home, I think that's a good thing. It means they are somewhere where they can be authentic to whom Jesus Christ is calling them. It means it's a place where they can express their doubts and fears, ask hard questions, and be pushed to think more critically about their faith. It means, when they are feeling alone, they know they have a place that will love them and care for them.
I'm so grateful this Presbytery supports a mission that ministers to our young adults in this way. You are very tangibly the hands and feet of Christ to these students in this space. For that, I am grateful.
Rev. Tricia Dillon Thomas 
Climate & Energy Stewardship Team
Carbon Footprint, Revisited
If you've kept up with these posts, you might remember reading about our individual carbon footprints, and particularly the extent to which driving our cars contributes to them. Another big contributor is our electricity use, which accounted for 37% of CO2 emissions in the US in 2015. Electricity in the US is generated by the burning of fossil fuels, and by nuclear, hydro, biomass, wind and solar power. Of these methods, only fossil fuel burning emits significant amounts of greenhouse gases (and of those fossil fuels, coal is the worst emitter, and while its use is declining, it has historically been the major energy source for electricity generation).

So just how much carbon are we releasing when we run our appliances, TV's, and air conditioners? The EPA reports that it's about 1.52 pounds of CO2 per kilowatt-hour of electricity. The average American home uses around 911 kWh per month, which translates to around 1400 pounds of CO2 emitted each month, on average, from our electricity use. In an earlier post, the social cost of carbon (SCC) was identified as $37 a ton. That means average household electricity use generates a social cost of $26 per month. Now you might be wondering what the point is of throwing numbers like this around. For the answer to that question, you'll have to check back for more posts over the next few months to see where God is leading us. We hope that you will see how together we can make a difference in caring for God's good creation.
News and Events Around the Presbytery
New Hope, Knoxville Clothes Closet Celebrates 5th Anniversary

With free clothes for the needy, pizza, a festive cake, and decorations New Hope Presbyterian Church, Knoxville, will celebrate the fifth anniversary of its Clothes Closet evangelism on May 27.
New Hope member Nancy Rogers (right) assists clients seeking women's clothes.

The inspiration of Ginger Chapman, ruling elder, this ministry depends on many volunteers, both congregational members and friends. Donations come from parishioners, from resale stores, area residents, Duck-Duck-Goose consignment sales, non-members, and clients themselves. 
Open the fourth Saturday of the month, the Clothes Closet each time serves an average of 140 people, who receive a total of 1500 items. All are free. During the weeks before, donated clothes fill the sanctuary's basement and spill over into other rooms.
Adults may receive up to four outfits, one pair of shoes, a coat, hats, purses, and other items. Children get two pairs of socks and two of new underwear. Clients may visit once every four months.
Says ruling elder Bedford Chapman, "This has been our way to return some of the many blessings that God has given us."
The biggest need of the ministry is for a covered shed where clients, who line up long before each opening, can wait, sheltered from rain and cold.

A diverse crowd lines up for free clothes at the  
New Hope Presbyterian Church Clothes Closet in Knoxville.
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,