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Sunrise in the Smokies
Presbytery of East Tennessee E-Newsletter                        August, 2016


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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Presbytery Meeting - Aug. 20

Rivermont Presbyterian Church 

3319 Hixson Pike

Chattanooga, TN  


Registration begins at 9:30 a.m.
Meeting begins at 10:00a.m.

The meeting packet will be available on the Presbytery's website on Friday, Aug. 5.
222nd General Assembly
GA Commissioners to report at presbytery meeting

Commissioners from the Presbytery of East Tennessee, r to l: Malerie Lazar (YAAD), Kenneth Kim (RE), Mary Boyd (RE),
Max Reddick (TE), and Ann Myers (TE) 

The commissioners to the 222nd General Assembly will report at the August 20 Presbytery meeting at Rivermont Presbyterian Church.  News summaries of each day of the General Assembly are available here.

Maryville College Breakfast and Program

Left to right: Mason Warren (MC '19), Dr. Anne McKee (MC campus minister), Kathleen Farnham (MC dir. of church relations), Jeff Arnold (dir. of Assoc. of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities), Judd Shaw (PET general presbyter). 
Maryville College hosted a breakfast and program, Church and College Together: Partnerships and Possibilities, at 222nd General Assembly in Portland. The program highlighted a variety of student-centered partnerships between MC  and individual churches and also featured Jeff Arnold,  new director of the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities.  Thanks to Mary Boyd, Emily Anderson and Judd Shaw (who gave the invocation) for attending and representing the Presbytery of East TN!

Nominations to special commissions sought

The 222nd General Assembly (2016) created several special commissions, committees, and task forces to be appointed by the Co-Moderators of the 222nd General Assembly and, in the case of the Way Forward Commission, the Co-Moderators with the Moderator and Vice-Moderator of the 221st General Assembly.  Persons who wish to be considered for appointment must complete an application form and provide three references.  Click here for information about the Way Forward Commission and 2020 Vision Team.

The first two online application forms are now available.  Application forms for the Way Forward Commission and the 2020 Vision Team can be found at  Please share this link with persons - especially persons of color and persons under the age of 40 - who may feel called to service on the Special Commission or the Vision Team.  The online application form is due on August 17
Board of Pensions News
Employer Agreements Due September 30 
BOP logo The Board of Pensions for the Presbyterian Church (USA) provides Employer Decision Support to assist churches and other employers in understanding the flexibility and options within the 2017 Benefits Plan.

On Monday, July 18, Employer Decision Support was added to the new Benefits Connect, which launched July 11. Employer Decision Support helps you model benefits selections and costs online, determine the benefits you will offer employees for 2017, and create and submit your Employer Agreement.
Benefits Connect has had many visitors over the past two weeks as members and employers explore its new resources. We ask your patience as volume normalizes. If you receive an unavailable message, be sure to try again. We want to hear from you.

Employer Decision Support provides a step-by-step process for employers to determine:
  • eligibility for benefits;
  • benefits to offer;
  • employer costs; and
  • employee contributions.
Employer Decision Support lets you model medical options. Costs for providing medical coverage are employer-specific. For a refresher on this topic, view Overview of the 2017 Benefits Plan.

Here's what you need to do: 
  • Log on to Benefits Connect.
  • Choose Employer Agreement at the top of the page.
  • Read all information and follow the step-by-step directions carefully.
  • Model as many scenarios as needed -- each model will be saved automatically.
  • Decide on final benefits selections and costs for 2017.
  • Submit your selections through Benefits Connect to create the Employer Agreement by September 30.
The decisions that you submit through Benefits Connect will create your Employer Agreement with the Board, detailing benefits offered, eligibility, employer costs, and employee contributions.

Employer Agreements Due September 30

To enable employees to enroll for 2017 benefits, you must complete all modeling and submit an Employer Agreement through Benefits Connect by September 30. The completed Employer Agreement will enable your employees to elect benefits online, using Benefits Connect, during annual enrollment in the fall. Look for information about annual enrollment in coming weeks.

Where To Go for Help 
John Knox Center News
"I love coming to John Knox, it is like a second home to me."

"Camp John Knox is a place where I can truly be myself."

"It is impossible to not grow closer to God at Camp."

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 Arizona 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 Bible study focused on 1 Timothy 4:12. "Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe."  Campers learned that children and youth play a very important role in God's Kingdom.  A special thank you to our Chaplains who connected with campers and staff around a cross and a campfire Liz Peterson (4th United) Roy Scarbrough (Clover Hill, Big Spring) and Jon Faraone (Center). 

The power of camp ministry extends beyond the campers.  This year, 11 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 an 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 John Knox this summer.  

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 18th.  All of your favorite camp activities will be open.  Come and enjoy good food and good fellowship at John Knox Center. 
Higher Education Sunday
August 14

Sunday, August 14 is designated "Higher Education Sunday" in the PC(USA)
.   This is an excellent opportunity to highlight our college students, their colleges and universities, and the community of faculty and staff who teach and support them. Our own PET campus ministries and Maryville College welcome the chance to come to your congregation on August 14 or another time during the fall to share a message for mission, a Sunday School class, or a short program about the church and college partnerships in the lives of college students.

Please contact: 

Andy Morgan - UT-Knoxville
Tricia Dillion Thomas - UT-Chattanooga
Kathleen Farnham - Maryville College
UT logo
Commissioned Ruling Elder Program
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 five CREs who are serving in our presbytery at churches in Chattanooga, Lenoir City, Maryville, Rockwood and Wartburg. Recent graduates of the program are Elders Beth Ragsdale, Barry Simmons, and Lynne Shockley. Currently enrolled in the program are Elders Rosalyn Mckeown-Ice and Tim Pelfrey.
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.
From the Hunger Committee
From the Heart to the Kitchen in LaFollette

Approximately 35 volunteers at the Food Life Services food pantry (where there are no paid employees) prepare food bags for approximately 230 families in need each week in Campbell County. These families represent some 1200 children and adults.
Some of these people are destitute; they are chronically hungry. Some are working through a temporary, emergency loss of income. Although individuals do not always make the best decisions with regard to their welfare, they do find themselves in dire straits from time to time due to circumstances beyond their immediate control. Their ability to provide basic necessities for themselves and their dependents is severely compromised.

Approximately 5,000 pounds of food are given out each week. It sounds like they are given the whole enchilada, not true. They receive one or two grocery bags of food depending on their family size. A small protein item such as hot dogs or cheese or canned tuna/chicken is included when possible.

The grant from the Hunger Committee of Presbytery of East Tennessee will help those whose ministry from the heart puts food in the kitchens of those in need. The volunteers are simply taking advantage of an opportunity to give something back. Financial help from the Hunger Committee gives volunteers to strength to keep going. Thank you so much.
2016 International Peacemaker

The PET Peacemaking Committee is pleased to announce that our International Peacemaker this October will be Rev. Luis Fernando Sanmiguel from Colombia. Rev. Sanmiguel has engaged in peace work for 26 years, taking part in many social justice and human rights activities and movements, and accompanying some of the most vulnerable rural communities.

Rev. Sanmiguel has participated in peace talks between the Colombian government and guerilla groups, including the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN). He has served as a pastoral accompanier to political prisoners from both FARC and ELN.

Currently he serves as pastor of the Community of Hope Presbyterian Church in Colombia's Central Presbytery, is helping lead a peace project in the Presbytery of Uraba, and is coordinating an interfaith peace movement in Bogota.

Rev. Sanmiguel will be in Knoxville, and available to speak, Wed., Oct. 5 through Sunday, Oct. 9. He will be a keynote speaker at the PW Retreat in Knoxville Sat., Oct. 8. If you would like to schedule Rev. Sanmiguel to speak or do a sermon, please contact Donna Schall ( or 865-531-1788).
From the Climate & Energy Stewardship Team
With summer well under way, many people are taking to the skies to travel for vacation, business, or, as in the case of one member of the PET Climate and Energy Stewardship team, to attend the PCUSA General Assembly in Portland. Since we have been talking about our carbon footprints and how they are impacted by various ways of using energy, we on the CES team decided to take a closer look at air travel: how climate-friendly is it? Should we drive or fly? Turns out - neither! Taking the bus is actually much more energy-efficient as a mode of transport than planes, trains, OR automobiles. Go Greyhound! OK, so maybe that's not the best way to get a decent turnout at GA. But when you compare flying vs. driving, there's no clear-cut answer as to which is better for the environment. In the case of flying from Knoxville to Portland, which means at least one stop (each take-off adds significantly to fuel consumption), your carbon footprint would be much greater than driving a Prius cross-country. But change any number of parameters (type of car and number of passengers, age and design of plane, length of trip and whether you are concerned with short-term or long-term benefits, to name a few), and your per-person carbon footprint calculation looks very different - flying may actually be the better way to go, with respect to carbon emissions. Bottom line is, the effects of our travel on God's gift of creation are worthy of our prayerful consideration when we make our travel plans, and the fewer the effects, the better. Happy trails!
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,