Presbytery of East Tennessee E-News
April 2021
Events, activities, and news for the Presbytery of East Tennessee, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
One Great Hour of Sharing
Easter Offering
In a year of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering is especially relevant since it combines the annual appeals for disaster relief, hunger and development of people's skills. All around the world, your gift this year will provide Presbyterian hospitals and clinics with the means to give pandemic treatment and vaccinations. Your gift will give food and garden supplies so that families can survive loss of employment by growing their own food. Your gift will develop for community leadership people who advance their priorities.

As former Presbyterian mission volunteers in West Africa, Ann and Scott Brunger are happy to see the African woman poster below for the One Great Hour of Sharing. She has a treadle sewing machine, so she can work even when electricity is unavailable. She can make clothes, school uniforms, and masks for local needs and in daring color combinations. Her work does not interfere with housework, child raising or gardening. Not working in a factory avoids disease exposure, harassment, lunch money and bus fare. Women in church teach each other to read the Bible in their language, so they can use their literacy to decipher bus schedules, seed packets, and medicine labels. Facing a global pandemic this woman can protect her family, earn income safely, raise a garden, and make wise decisions as well as most American can.

Our annual Easter Season offering responds to Matthew 25 :37-39

Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee or naked and clothe thee? And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?”

May we be found righteous on Judgment Day!
Maryville College News
Easter Sunrise Service
Maryville College’s annual Easter Sunrise Service will be held Sun., April 4, 2021 at 7 a.m. on Lloyd Beach (backside of campus – Circle Drive). The outdoor service is open to the community.

The Rev. Dr. Anne D. McKee, campus minister, will deliver the sermon, titled “The One We Have Waited For.”

Everyone is welcome at this service. For our planning purposes, please let us know you are coming by RSVPing at this link: or leaving a message at 865-981-8298.

We look forward to seeing you.
2021 Cummings Conversations
Rev. Dr. Almeda Wright, associate professor of religious education at Yale Divinity School, will be this year’s guest speaker for “The Margaret M. Cummings Conversations on Faith, Learning and Service,” held April 12-13 at Maryville College.

The theme for this year’s lecture series is “Unlikely Radicals: Stories of Faith, Calling, and Educating for Social Change.”

Two virtual lectures, held via Zoom, are scheduled for Mon., April 12 at 6:30 p.m. and Tues., April 13 at 1 p.m. Both presentations are free and open to the public. Zoom links can be found on the Maryville College website. Read more

Syria Lebanon Partnership Network
To those interested in the Presbyterian mission connection to the Middle East, the Syria Lebanon Partnership Network (a mission network of the PCUSA) offers opportunities for education and advocacy for peace and justice in the Middle East. Scott Brunger (Ruling Elder at Westminster) and Ann Owens Brunger (retired minister member of the Presbytery) lived in Lebanon and traveled in Syria as teenagers and still maintain connections to that part of the world and the Presbyterian Church there. As active participants in the Syria Lebanon Partnership Network, they have helped organize a virtual educational event on April 13th and invite you to attend.


is the theme of the virtual spring gathering of the Syria Lebanon Partnership Network (SLPN), a mission network of the Presbyterian Church USA.

The meeting is scheduled on Zoom on April 13, 2021, from 12-2 pm (EDT). The first hour will focus on ‘What’s going on in Syria and why?’ The second hour will focus on ‘What can we do and how?' Participants are welcome to join for one or both hours. There is no cost to attend.
The Rev. Salam Hanna will join the meeting from Latakia, Syria, where he serves as pastor and director of relief projects for the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon. He will describe the suffering of the Syrian people that has been made worse by U.S. government sanctions and the corona virus pandemic, following ten years of conflict and destruction of the economy and infrastructure. 
Dr. Joshua Landis, academic expert on Syria and head of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, will speak on sanctions as one of the tools of American foreign policy that has had damaging effects on Syria.
The second part of the gathering will be devoted to recruiting and equipping participants for SLPN's 2021 Advocacy Initiative.  The goal is to mobilize people of faith to become advocates for Syria by helping both the American public and Washington policymakers see that diplomacy can trace a better path to hope and stability in Syria than military force or economic sanctions.  With the expertise of the PCUSA's Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C. and the Presbyterian Office at the United Nations, advocates will be provided talking points and training for their roles.
To register, click on SLPN Registration. You will receive the Zoom link as well as a packet of information. 
Presbyterian Women of the Presbytery
Presbyterian Women stained glass window logo
Spring Gathering and Annual Meeting
Saturday, April 24 by Zoom
Theme: Rise, Shine and Give God the Glory

Guest Speaker: Rev. Dr. Patricia Ramsden

A link for online registration will be distributed soon.

For more information, contact:

Gail Hardy ( or
Becky Thompson (
John Knox Center News
We're Hiring!

If you, or someone you know, loves CAMP and loves working with kids, summer staff at John Knox Center could be a great fit! We are currently hiring:

  • Counselors
  • Nurse
  • Lifeguards
  • Social Media Specialist/Photographer
  • Kitchen Staff
  • Chaplain in Residence
  • Part-Time Maintenance Staff

This is an excellent summer opportunity for 18-year-olds through post-college age and a summer that will change their life! We are looking for folks who can commit to May 26-July 23 as well as those who are only available for specific camp sessions.

But I need internship credit? Many programs allow summer staff to get internship credit towards their degree in psychology, social work, communications, criminal justice, media, education, or other related fields by documenting their time and experiences during the summer. Contact Ryan Hughes, Program Director at with questions.
Register for Summer Camp!

Summer Camp registrations are rolling in and sessions are filling fast! From age 4-18, we offer experience campers will never forget! Registration link below:

We believe every child deserves a camp experience. Scholarship funds are available. Register your child, download and return the form below to apply for financial assistance.

Racial Justice Task Force
Many woke up last month to another story of senseless violence as we hear about the shooting deaths of 8 people, 6 of whom are women of Asian descent, in Atlanta, GA. These shootings take place against a backdrop of discrimination and violence against Asian Americans that has increased sharply in the past year. The Racial Justice Task Force for PET has been working to consider all the ways we can bring awareness to issues of racial injustice that takes place around us and to prayerfully think about how we as Christians should respond. There are many places to start, but educating yourself to what is happening around us is important.

Please visit to read more about the alarming escalation in xenophobia and bigotry resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
UKirk at UT-Knoxville
Mark your calendars for UKirk UTK’s spring fundraiser! We are celebrating this wonderful city that we call home with a silent auction dedicated to everyone Knoxville local! We hope that you will consider joining us May 12-16th and bid on an item or two. All of our donations go towards the continued work and ministry of UKirk! 
Activities and Events Around the Presbytery
2021 Worship & Music Conferences at Montreat
Greetings from the Presbyterian Association of Musicians (PAM)!

The theme of our 2021 Worship and Music Conferences at Montreat is Gathered in My Name, and fitting with the name, we are pleased to offer BOTH in-person AND online options for attending our conference! We have assembled a stellar conference faculty that will be offering classes for all interests: musicians, pastors, educators, and church members - anyone interested in collaborative worship. We invite everyone to visit to learn more about what we have planned for this summer.

In-Person Conference Dates:
Week 1: June 20 - 25, 2021
Week 2: June 27 - July 2, 2021

Online Conference Dates:
June 27 - July 2, 2021

Registration Deadlines

This year, early registration is open through March 31st. On-time registration begins on April 1st and lasts up until the conference begins. There is no late registration period.

COVID-19 Safety Precautions

PAM is committed to offering a safe, in-person option as well as an online option for participating in the conference. Visit our special Covid Protocols webpage to learn more about our commitment to your health and safety as we look forward to worshiping together this summer.

Visit the PAM Website to Learn More! has all the information about what we have in store for you this summer, including: Class Descriptions and Schedule, Conference Faculty, and Registration Information, Policies, and Fees 
Oak Ridge’s first female Eagle Scout expands community garden at First Presbyterian Church
Haley Snyder, a graduate of Oak Ridge High School and currently a freshman at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, is the first female in Oak Ridge to have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. She is a member of Troop 42G of the Boy Scouts of America, which is chartered by First Presbyterian Church of Oak Ridge.
In 2019, the Boy Scouts of America changed its policies to allow girls to form their own Scouts BSA troops and follow the path to Eagle Scout. The session of the Oak Ridge church voted that year to support Troop 42 in forming a female troop.
Haley’s Eagle Scout project was to expand the church’s community garden by building fenced-in garden plots beside the church’s Education building, which houses the Early Head Start of Anderson County program. “The new garden consists of seven garden beds, each 4 feet by 16 feet, and a chain link fence surrounding it,” Haley said.
She added that the new garden will allow food-insecure community members access to fresh vegetables distributed through the church’s Welcome Table monthly meal-and-groceries program, as well as provide learning opportunities for Early Head Start students. Early Head Start programs provide family-centered services for low-income families with young children.
“The teachers at the preschool are excited to teach their students about gardening,” Haley said.
She noted that Scouts BSA Troop 42G has been participating in Scouting for Food, an annual food drive by Boy Scouts of America, since its inception.
“I knew I wanted to do something more to help the Welcome Table for my Eagle Scout project because I think it is very important to keep our community fed,” Haley said. “I am glad to know that the community garden will serve so many purposes.”
“We are all very proud of Haley earning her Eagle rank and leading such a beneficial project that contributes to the fight against hunger in the community,” said Scoutmaster Jason Cheney.
“Three aims of the Boy Scouts of America are leadership development, personal fitness, and citizenship training, and Haley’s project embodies all of these. 
“She embraced her leadership role in the project from conception to completion. If you had spent a day like she did digging out those beds and laying the concrete blocks, you certainly would know you had completed a good workout! The garden will improve the nutrition and food access for many of the area citizens for years to come.”
“Haley’s project, which will be named the Welcome Garden, will keep on giving for years to come,” said Sharon Youngs, pastor of First Presbyterian Church. “We could not be more impressed by her commitment to help others or more grateful for this gift.”
Yale Divinity School Summer Study Program is Online
The Center for Continuing Education at Yale Divinity School is pleased to announce that the Summer Study program will be online this year! Taught by renowned YDS faculty, Summer Study offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in courses essential to practical church ministry and personal enrichment.

Courses will meet Monday - Friday via Zoom, at either 9:00-11:30am or 1:30-4:00pm. Don’t miss Professor Almeda Wright’s course on “Developing a Faithful Generation” in the afternoon sessions!

Optional activities include daily worship; a keynote address - Five Decades of YDS, by David Kelsey, Luther A. Weigle Professor Emeritus of Theology, on Tuesday, June 8; and Andover Newton at Yale Founding Dean Sarah Drummond will offer a workshop, Leading Change - Three Schools of Thought, on Wednesday, June 9.

Find information on all classes and registration here. Participants receive a Yale Certificate of Completion at the end of the week. 
Contacts & Links

Judd Shaw, General Presbyter
865-688-5581 ext. 103

James McTyre, Stated Clerk
865-688-5581 ext. 104

Josh McGill, Treasurer

Bri Payne, Executive Director, John Knox Center

Dana Hendrix, Presbytery Administrator
865-688-5581 ext. 101
Spread the news!
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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,
Presbytery of East Tennessee | P.O. Box 31625, Knoxville TN 37930
Phone 865-688-5581 | Fax 865-689-3364 | |