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Presbytery of East Tennessee E-Newsletter 
September 2016
In This Issue
Quick Links


John Knox Center
Meeting Highlights from the August 20, 2016 PET meeting
PC(USA) News
PET Budget Report as of 06-30-2016
Workshops & Conferences




Presbytery of East Tennessee
Presbytery Office
General Presbyter
865-688-5581 ext. 103

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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Presbyterian Disaster Response
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is responding in South Louisiana

Our hearts, prayers, and thoughts go out to the people of Baton Rouge and the Gulf Coast in the wake of catastrophic flooding. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance has deployed the National Response Team to support the Presbytery of South Louisiana and the Synod of the Sun as they begin outreach to those affected.

Your gifts to
DR000191 US flooding are urgently needed now to support these communities as more community needs are identified and the hard work of mucking out and rebuilding begins.

You can join in the response and encourage those in need by standing in the "GAP"- Give. Act. Pray.

Financial support for relief efforts can be designated to DR000191 to help address the needs of those impacted by the flooding. Gifts can be made
online, by phone at 800-872-3283 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. (EST), or by check; mail to:

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
P.O. Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700

  • Volunteer to help with cleanup and rebuilding; contact the PDA National Call Center at 866-732-6121 or email
  • Learn how your congregation can help families who have lost everything in the devastation. Stay informed and like us on Facebook, download resources, and share updates with your congregation. 
Pray for families impacted by flooding through loss of property and livelihood; for first responders and all others who put themselves in harm's way to care for those impacted; that communities will work together and build stronger relationships and connections; for God's sustaining grace through it all.

For more information, visit

Presbytery of East Tennessee Response

We are in the process of planning a presbytery response to the flooding in South Louisiana. If you, your Session, or members of your congregation are interested in being a part of a leadership team or a mission trip response team, please let us know at the presbytery office. (865-688-5581 ext. 101 / There will be more information in the near future.
Another way we are encouraging the congregations to respond is with a Clean-up Bucket Campaign.  
Board of Pensions News
New 2017 Benefits Plan Employer Decision Support  Guide

Employer Agreements for benefits through the Board of Pensions are due from employers by September 30.  Use this guide to help you create and submit the Employer Agreement for your employer for the 2017 Benefits Plan online through Benefits Connect.  The Employer Agreement represents your decisions regarding benefit selections, employer costs, and employee contributions.   It's important because the benefits available for employees to elect during annual enrollment this fall will be based on your selections in the Employer Agreement.   
The Employer Decision Support guides you through the step-by-step process to determine who is eligible for benefits, what benefits to offer them, employer cost, and employee contributions.  At the end of the process, you will submit your Employer Agreement to the Board, detailing benefits offered, eligibility, dues (and employer costs), and employee contributions.BOP logo
John Knox Center News
John Knox Center's Family Picnic will be held on Sunday, September 18 from 1:00 to 5:00pm.  You are invited to enjoy of afternoon of fellowship and fun at the lake! Activities include Zip Line, Nature Center tours, Waterfront activities, archery and more along with delicious food and the opportunity to see many of our summer camp staff!  Say good-bye to summer with a fun day at the lake!

More information at 

Summer Camp 2016

Thousands of smiles, hundreds of laughs all wrapped up in millions of moments of faith, community, and growth this summer that YOU made possible! Here is a brief glimpse at transformative moments that make summer camp such an impact on the faith journey of our campers. Please share with your friends, congregation, & community!

Link to Summer Camp 2016 video:

Youth Committee News
Middle School Retreat - Sept. 30 - Oct. 2
At John Knox Center

The Middle School Retreat at John Knox Center is right around the corner and the Youth Committee is so excited to have you all join us.  This year's keynote speaker is Andy Morgan who serves as the Campus Minister at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.  Below you will find links to the registration form, a flyer about the event, and a letter addressing adult chaperones.  These documents are also available on the Presbytery's website ( If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Penny Laitos at The Youth Committee is looking forward to a great week of fun and fellowship with churches throughout the Presbytery.

Registration Form
Retreat Flyer
Letter to Group Leaders 

2016 Presbyterian Youth Triennium
by Jason Graffis
On the 19th of July, 13 youth along with adult advisors Keli Shipley, Carter Habeeb, and Jason Graffis departed for the 2016 Presbyterian Youth Triennium. PYT, not to be confused with the Michael Jackson song of similar nomenclature, is a week-long conference held at Purdue University, and organized by the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Cumberland Presbyterian church. More than 5,000 youth and advisors spent a week hearing, living, and doing God's work, all focused on this year's theme of "GO". Many would think that a week spent sleeping without air conditioning in the middle of the summer and hiking around what has to be the world's largest college campus in 118% humidity would dampen the spirits of the youth participants, but our youth delegates, along with thousands of others, continued to show enthusiasm and excitement as they energized, worshipped, prayed, and spent time together developing faith and friendships during this incredible week.

Over the years at PYT, a great tradition of pin trading has developed. Each delegation brings pins that represent something about their Presbytery or state, enough that they can trade with the other delegations. The participants quickly develop a good natured rivalry as they try to trade for the best or rarest pins, and they pin their favorites to their conference lanyard. Many times during the trip, we would realize that one of our youth in particular had fallen behind to trade with a group whose pin he didn't have yet. By the end of the week he had become something of a pin expert, spending much of his free time organizing his collection into tiers because it had spread from his lanyard to his backpack. What seems such a simple thing creates such opportunity for friend making and community building, and gives just enough of a reason to talk to someone that you otherwise may have simply passed by.

Most importantly, PYT becomes such concrete evidence that not just the future of our church, but the now of our church, is thriving and enthusiastic. Our youth were reassured that despite what the world may tell them, there are so many others out there who are living their lives to be an example of Christ. So often, when our delegation would meet during the week, they would say how excited they were about small group time, or how amazing worship had been. With the help and support of the Presbytery of East TN, we took 13 kids who could have been lounging at the pool, playing video games, or finishing up their summer reading to a conference where we were told to GO into the world and spread the Good News and love of Jesus Christ, and I know that they will. 
2016 International Peacemaker
Rev. Luis Fernando Sanmiguel from Colombia, who has significantly participated in peacemaking efforts between Colombia's government and guerilla groups for years, is still available Wednesday, October 5 before 3:00 p.m. or anytime Friday, Oct 7. For more info and to reserve time with him for either day, please email or call Donna Schall ( / (865)531-1788). 

Rev. Sanmiguel's speaking schedule: 

Tuesday, Oct 4 - Maryville College chapel after lunch; New Providence Presbyterian Church, Maryville, in the evening.


Thur, Oct 6 - Westminster Presbyterian Church, Knoxville at lunch; Bethel Presbyterian Church, Kingston after dinner.


Sat, Oct 8 - Presbyterian Women Retreat


Sun, Oct 9 - First Presbyterian Church, Knoxville for Sunday school

Hunger Committee News
Chattanooga Area Food Bank

New Hope Presbyterian and Rivermont Presbyterian churches both do their hunger ministry through the Chattanooga Area Food Bank. New Hope Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga has volunteers the third Tuesday of each month during the school year to fill sack packs for needy children in 21 counties in southeast Tennessee and north Georgia. The sack packs enable children who are at risk of hunger to eat nutritious food during the course of the weekend.
Their efforts are coordinated by the Chattanooga Area Food Bank whose goal is eliminating hunger and promoting better nutrition in our region. The Food Bank is working to close the gap between the number of people in need and the number of people served each year, including 1 in 4 children in the Food Bank's service region who are unsure where their next meal will come from.
Presbytery Educators Group
September PEG Gathering

Our next Presbytery Educator Gathering (PEG) is at Farragut Presbyterian Church
(209 Jamestowne Blvd, Farragut, TN), on Thursday, September 29, 11:00am to 1:00pm. The gathering will include a buffet lunch of GIANT salad, so bring a topping of your choice. We'll do resource sharing about Children's Time/ Sermons in Worship, planning for Thanksgiving at local church level, and more. 

For information, contact Mark Lampley:

Association of Presbyterian Christian Educators APCE logo (APCE) 
Jan. 24-28 in Denver, CO

Register for your continuing education. If you'd like to be a part of the Annual Event at APCE this year, it's being held Jan. 24-28, in Denver!  Funding may be available to help educators attend. For information, contact Mark Lampley.
From the Stated Clerk
Reading of Session Minutes and
Clerk of Session Training Workshops

Sunday, September 25 - 3:00pm at Lake Hills Presbyterian Church, 3805 Maloney Rd., Knoxville
Sunday, October 23 - 3:00pm at Rivermont Presbyterian Church, 3319 Hixson Pike, Chattanooga
Clerks of Session: Bring your Minutes Book for its annual review. Come to either of the reading workshops - whichever is closest and easiest on your schedule.
Signup by clicking HERE.  Questions?  Contact James McTyre, Stated Clerk -

Sexual Misconduct and Abuse Prevention Workshop 
For pastors, educators, CREs and other church leaders

Tuesday, October 25 - 9:00am to 12:00pm at Farragut Presbyterian Church, 209 Jamestowne Blvd., Farragut
Amy Rowling is a gifted and dynamic speaker who speaks to the mind, heart and soul about how to prevent misconduct in the church, identify abuse, and respond with constructive compassion. Register online

Climate and Energy Stewardship Team News
Estimating Carbon Offsets

Many of the posts this year from the Climate and Energy Stewardship team have focused on carbon footprint. This post helps you estimate your carbon offset: how much would it cost to offset the effects of the CO2 you produce every month by using gasoline, natural gas, electricity, and air travel.

Gasoline: Estimate how many gallons of gas you used by: saving receipts; totaling credit card charges and dividing by $2 per gallon; totaling miles driven and dividing by miles per gallon. Multiply by 40 cents per gallon. That's your carbon offset. If you use 50 gallons of gas a month, it comes to $20.
Natural Gas: Find your utility bill and locate your gas usage for last month in Ccf (hundred cubic feet). In Knoxville, KUB keeps these records online. In Oak Ridge, ORUD does the same. Other providers probably do too. Multiply by 23 cents to convert Ccf into carbon offset. If you use 20 Ccf of natural gas in a month, it would be $4.60.
Electricity: Find your electric bill (also online) and identify how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity you used last month. Multiply by 21 cents per kWh. If you use the national average of about 900 kWh a month, your carbon offset would be $18.90.
Air Travel: Use an online calculator! There are several. Some that we like include: Native Energy, ICAO, and TerraPass. It's important to include each leg of your trip, because takeoffs and landings matter. A flight from Knoxville to Portland through Dallas for June's General Assembly would cost $33.12 to offset using the ICAO calculator.
Adding these four numbers together gives us $20 + $4.60 + $18.90 + $33.12, or $76.62 for this hypothetical month. Your mileage will vary. If you're wonky like us and want a tool to help you track your footprint, download this Carbon Offset Spreadsheet. You can use your monthly estimates to see if you can make changes to reduce your carbon footprint. Make it a contest with others in your congregation.

You can also offset your footprint by donating to the Presbytery Carbon Footprint Fund described in the July newsletter. All donations to this fund will initially be used to install solar panels on the pavilion at John Knox Center.

Most of all, knowing your carbon footprint and carbon offset can make you a better steward of your energy and your finances, as well as of God's good creation. Contact us at for more information on carbon offsets and energy efficiency.
News and Events Around the Presbytery
Continuing Education Opportunity for Clergy

COMPASSion Counseling is a new, non-profit counseling center in Maryville, affiliated with Samaritan Counseling Centers, Inc. They offer a program called Leading With Strengths, a Clergy Consultation Group.

Using principles of Positive Psychology and Gallup's Strengthsfinder resources, participants will
  • Learn a framework for the use of positive psychology in leadership and pastoral counseling
  • Identify their top personal strengths and how to leverage these for improved efficacy and fulfillment in ministry
  • Learn how to build teams based on individual strengths and develop those strengths for optimal engagement
  • Identify strategies for improved self-leadership and the development of "leaders of leaders"
  • Experience support, encouragement, and accountability, in a safe, growth-minded environment
A new group is forming and will have its initial meeting on Tuesday, September 7 from noon to 2:00pm at the House in the Woods on the Maryville College campus. This group will meet monthly for 6 months, 2 hours per session, and will be a closed group following the first session. The cost is $200 per 6-month session plus $10 for materials.  For a list of all the session dates and resources, see this flyer. 

To register or for more information, please contact Greta Smith directly at 865-385-2668 or by email at

Clover Hill Celebrates 175 Years on Sept. 18

Clover Hill Presbyterian Church (809 Clover Hill Rd, Maryville) will celebrate 175 years of ministry on the 18th of September.  The day will begin at 9:45am with hymn singing and stories of how God has guided the Church from 1841 to today.  We will have a short time to stretch our legs before we Worship the Lord at 10:45am.  A bring-a-dish meal will begin after worship.  We are collecting non-perishable food items for the local food bank.  Dress is casual. 

Monthly "Service of Wholeness" at New Hope, Knoxville

New Hope Presbyterian Church, Knoxville, will begin a brief, monthly "Service for Wholeness" on World Communion Sunday, October 2, for worshipers who wish to linger after 10:45 a.m. worship. It will continue as an option each first Lord's Day through December--and maybe permanently.
Interim pastor Dwyn Mounger had never used this liturgy in the PCUSA Book of Common Worship, either fully or in part, until, 20 years ago. A parishioner with metastatic cancer asked him urgently, "Does the Presbyterian Church have a healing service?"
"My mind filled with scenes to alarm any Presbyterian raised on 'decency and order,'" he says. "Slick TV preachers shaking hysterical true-believers and bellowing exorcisms as they fell, 'slain by the Spirit.' Breathless mystics claiming recovery from poison ivy from having spied real tears on the face of a statue of the Virgin or of Jesus."
But with the session's approval, the service, which included anointing with oil and laying on of hands, was extended to the woman, her family, and the whole congregation. It was informal yet liturgical. Dignified yet moving, healing to all.
"Since then it has become a regular part of every congregation that I've served," he says.                    

"Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick . . . "
(James 5:14-15).
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,