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Lutheran Life the congregational newsletter of

It’s Friday, but Sunday’s Comin’ A very romantic woman was married to an extremely pragmatic man. On Saturday, this wife went out shopping and her husband stayed at home. Trying to think of new and creative ways to express her love, this thoughtful wife sent the following text to her husband: “My dear, I love you so and when we are apart I think of you constantly. So, if you are eating, send me a bite. And if you are drinking, send me a sip. And if you are laughing, send me a smile. And if you are crying, send me your tears.” The husband responded by texting, “I am in the bathroom on the toilet… please advise.” Thanks for the many creative ways you have expressed your love for us throughout the past twenty-five years. We all need time to sit and think and ask God for guidance. A three month sabbatical was a generous way for us to prepare for our future ministry together. We may not have thought of you constantly, but Jeanne and I really have missed being with our Saint John’s family. The fellowship of “eating a bite” and “drinking a sip”, the laughter and the tears, the joys and sorrows of this community of faith have become the life blood of our relationship and ministry. So naturally, our thoughts and prayers were with you while we were away, especially as we were worshipping in other congregations. Although we were fed through the Word, we seldom experienced the Word and Sacrament as we do every Sunday at Saint John’s. We were hungry for you, the Body of Christ, and for God to “send us a bite” of bread and to “send us a sip” of wine. In our absence, we were thankful to know you were being lovingly fed every week and that the table at Saint John’s is always open to all! The love of God through the precious body and blood of Jesus Christ is a gift of grace that binds us together when we gather for worship and when we go out into the world. Jeanne and I returned to Saint John’s from sabbatical just in time for Holy Week and Easter. We feel like we have been lifted up, renewed and, yes, resurrected to new life! Your gift to us of time


away was an example of God’s loving care as everyday became “Saturday.” However, we are well aware of how the world looks like “Good Friday”, with all the violence and injustice and evil forces and crucifixions. Holy Week has reminded us of the great span from Good Friday to Easter. A Lutheran theologian once offered this honest summary of human history, past, present and future: “God weeps with us so that we may someday laugh with him.” Life is filled with shared laughter and tears. I remember the title of a sermon I heard, “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s Comin’”. The disciples who lived through both days, Friday and Sunday, learned to trust God with their lives. They learned that when God seems most absent he may be closest of all; when God looks most powerless he may be most powerful; when God looks most dead he may be coming back to life! It is an amazing experience to come back to life! Easter Sunday and the seven week season of Easter is our time to celebrate and live in the power and the promise of resurrection. If you feel our world has been going down the toilet, please be advised that God has sent his Son to save the world and to lift us up with forgiveness and love to an abundant life together in Christ! I encourage you to see every week as a Holy Week. I invite you to live everyday like a Holy Saturday, a day to remember our baptism. And I remind you we are Easter people, resurrected and called to love and serve our living God in new and creative ways! Text, tweet, eat, drink, laugh, cry… share God’s love and new life! With Easter affection,

Pastor Steve Misenheimer


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church today?” Ask some get-toknow-you questions like “Did you just move to town?” or “Do you have family in the area?” A word of caution: try not to ask “Are you native here?” The term “native” has overtones belonging vs. outsider and may make a guest feel unwelcomed.


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This Easter, as with every major holiday, we at St. John’s will likely be experiencing a deluge of unfamiliar faces. Instead of wondering why they are sitting in your usual pew, here are a few helpful ways to make a connection to those new faces in the congregation beyond the “hellos” or “glad-you-cames:”

5. Listen. As you chat casually, actually listen to the guest’s responses instead of trying to think up your next question to ask. Listen specifically for common interests that you may share or common interests this guest may have with someone else you know in the congregation.

1. Commit. Make a personal commitment to talk with one person you haven’t ever talked to before at church. If you end up talking to someone who has already been a member of the church for decades or a year, it’s okay. You’ve just made a new friend and made a new connection. If you happen to greet a new guest to St. John’s, all the better!

7. Contact. Give your contact information such as your email address or telephone number to the guest for them to contact you and ask for theirs in return. If you feel they would be receptive to it, call or email them during the week to check on them and invite them back to worship with us as soon as possible.

2. Pray. Ask God to make you aware of newcomers around you. You may be amazed at how much more aware of new faces you will become! 3. Remember. Smile and greet guests and the members of St. John’s warmly. Introduce yourself. When the other person introduces him or herself, make a point to remember his or her name. Repeat it. Write it down. You will want to call that guest by name again when you see him or her next week. 4. Ask. Strike up a friendly conversation. Ask nonintrusive questions like “Is this your first time to worship with us?” or “What brought you to

6. Invite. It is most important to offer your friendship. Invite the guest to join you for lunch after the service downtown, meet you for coffee on Tuesday, or to be your guest at an upcoming event.

8. Introduce. When they were talking, maybe they mentioned a hobby or interest that someone else in the congregation you know shares. Make a point to introduce this guest to that person. Maybe this guest has young children; introduce him or her to other couples with young children. Maybe this guest enjoys baking; introduce him or her to someone who you know participates in the 53 Loaves Project. 9. Express. Before you part ways, be sure to say something to the effect of “We’re so glad you are here!” or “We want you here!” We want to not only convey our pleasure in their visit but also that we rejoice in their continued presence in and among our community.

The act of welcoming and connecting guests to the church body is our responsibility. We were welcomed, so we welcome. We were connected to the church in love, so we reach out in love to make connections for others. 3

An Easter Reflection by Rita Schwartz “Dear Lord, grant me the grace of wonder. Surprise me, amaze me, awe me in every crevice of Your universe. Delight me to see how Your Christ plays in ten thousand places, lovely in limbs and lovely in eyes not His, to the Father through the features of men’s faces. Each day enrapture me with Your marvelous things without number. I do not ask to see the reason for it all; I ask only to share the wonder of it all.” This prayer by Rabbi Joshua Abraham Heschel inspires in me the wish to never stop seeing the wonders of God and experiencing his grace in even the smallest things. Imagine how freed up we would be to love, to live, and to serve differently if we looked at everything through the eyes of the Creator and saw what he did on the very day of creation. Would you see the old man sitting on the wall by St. John’s as a dirty homeless man just killing time? Or would you see him as one of God’s children, someone with a story to tell and a lifetime of quips to share? How would it feel, if the next time you see a flower growing, and instead of simply passing by and saying, “Oh how pretty,” you actually stopped and studied its petals and its stem, its color? Might it inspire something like wonder in you? How would you feel if you looked at God that way? What feelings would surface if you saw God, not just as the Creator, but saw him as your father? What if you looked at God through the eyes of a child? Would God frighten you? Or would you see him as the parent who picks you up


when you fall down? Would you see the love he has for you, or would you simply see someone who tolerates you because you are his? In The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning says, “We should be astonished at the goodness of God, stunned that he should bother to call us by name, our mouths wide open at his love, bewildered that at this very moment we are standing on holy ground.” Imagine waking up every morning and being surprised that God is saying “I love you,” as you open your eyes to a new day filled with surprises that only a loving God could give. When I was a little girl, I thought of God as being like the Wizard of Oz. A big scary man up in Heaven, lording over everything and everyone, and just waiting for me to make a mistake so he could write it down in his big black book. And everyday I was afraid of God. I never saw him as my Father. I saw him as, well, God. Not someone with whom I could have a relationship. In my mind, he was simply there to be obeyed, and to punish me if I failed. Then one day, when I was about as far away from God as I dared to go, he spoke to me. Not in a voice of disappointment, but in a voice that lifted me from my own dark pit and held me spellbound as he wrapped me in the warmth of his love. He put in my path a nurse who sat across from me in the hospital and said, “Rita, there is no reason in this world that you are still here with us, except one. I believe God has something yet for you to do.” God was speaking through her, giving his peace through her gentleness, leading me back into his presence. Since that day, God has continued to surprise me through those people he puts in my path. He surprises me by allowing me to serve him by serving others. He surprises me in the grocery store when I linger in the produce department taking in the scent of fruit and vegetables. He surprises me when the sun breaks through the clouds for just a moment, reminding me the sun is still here. How do you see God? Where do you see God? Tomorrow, open your eyes slowly to the morning, and listen, and you may get a few surprises of your own. Maybe your surprise will be the joy of hearing sleepy-eyed children just waking with giggles to celebrate the morning. Maybe it will be the smell of pancakes and coffee wafting from the kitchen. Maybe you will be inspired to see God everywhere and know that he is quite simply your loving Father.

Family Communion Celebration


There are few things more holy than a young child expressing a spiritual hunger, hands outstretched, fingers reaching, and eyes full of anticipation. As a way of exploring this hunger, children of St. John’s participate in Communion Instruction during the Lenten season; together with their families, they explore biblical stories, share meals, write prayers, and enjoy a “taste test” of wafers and wine.

I’ve just returned from a Wild Women Weekend at Lutheridge with five wonderful women from Peace Lutheran Church. The weekend was filled with stories and story-telling…. Oh, the stories we could tell!! Each of our stories is unique, yet we discover places where our stories intersect with each others’. But, what matters most is where our stories intersect with the story of Jesus. How wonderful to see how our stories are woven together so beautifully… so inseparably with Jesus, who is risen from the dead and frees us to love, live and serve.

The St. John’s family will celebrate with these children on Sunday, April 27 at the 11:00 AM worship service. Children and their families will commune at the altar rail, followed by communion for the entire church family. A reception will follow in the Welcome Center. Greetings St. John’s, I can hardly believe I’m coming up on the end of my first year as a seminarian at Yale Divinity School. It’s been a whirlwind experience! Between coursework, going to special events, singing in choirs, taking weekend excursions into NYC, and eating more than my fair share of the legendary New Haven pizza, I’ve stayed wonderfully busy. A seminary education is truly an abundance of blessings. I’ve especially enjoyed digging into my studies in Christian worship. This May, I’ll be back in Knoxville to join Pastor John and fellow Tyson House alumni and Yale student, Zack Nyein, in leading the first “Worship that Works” workshop. I’ll also be joining Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music for a study tour in Italy. In June, you will find me at the Southeastern Synod’s youth camp AFFIRM, where I’ll be working with the Genesis unit. Greg and I will round out the summer with our wedding and his big move to Connecticut. This August, I’ll begin my exciting internship at Trinity Lutheran Church in Manhattan. I’ll be working with a wonderful mentor, Pastor Heidi Neumark. The Trinity community will be a great outlet for me to put to practice the things I’ve learned at YDS. I’m thankful to have a congregation to continue helping me develop the way I received formation from both the St. John’s and Tyson House communities. Joyfully in Christ, Emilie Casey



You, my dear friends of St. John’s, are such a formational part of my story and I know our stories will continue to be woven together as a new chapter unfolds. What a joy to celebrate my graduation so many of you this past May along with Tim and Aaron, of course. Now, after serving a six

month contract position at Peace Lutheran Church (Cedar Bluff Road, Knoxville), the congregation voted to call me as Associate Pastor on March 2, 2014. I have accepted a two year, half-time call to serve alongside the Rev. Ralph Kirkpatrick and started on March 3rd. How wonderful it is to see how stories intertwine. Some of you know that we were members at Peace Lutheran Church many years ago. And, now, after reconnecting with dear friends of Peace at 2013 Southeast Synod Assembly who introduced me to Pastor Ralph, God is up to something new in that place of grace. I never dreamed that Peace Lutheran Church would be the next chapter in my story.

I am also very pleased, yet humbled, to announce my ordination on Saturday, April 26 at 11:00 am at St. John’s Lutheran Church. I look forward to celebrating with all of you. An installation service will be held at Peace Lutheran Church. Yes, even more celebration… and you are all invited!


The Freedom of

them. I know they still had questions they wanted to ask him and surely they felt abandoned. Sometimes we feel this way, too. We forget to ask for clean hearts, new spirits and joy! But when we worship, we can remember. We can feel found and reenergized. We can begin to By Ruth Crowley, Altar Guild Coordinator look for ways to serve and to love and to “Create in me a clean heart, O God, be brave. and put a new and right spirit within Those of us who serve on the Altar Guild me. Cast me not away from thy know how important it is for us to have a presence, and take not thy holy Spirit welcoming place to worship, where we from me. Restore to me the joy of thy can feel the Holy Spirit breathe holiness salvation, and uphold me with a willing in us. We try to do our part in offering to spirit.” Psalm 51:10-12. restore and renew the sanctuary at St. One of David’s prayers (laments) for John’s each week so that when we come deliverance is familiar to us because we to worship, we are able to restore and often sing this Psalm after the offering renew our spirits. In the role of Altar has been received in worship. I have Guild coordinator, I try to reassure those been focusing on these who serve with me that we verses throughout the Lenten We forget to ask cannot do it “wrong.” We season and in learning more for clean hearts, are forgiven for all that we about David’s story, I have do and don’t do, and come to recognize the new spirits and knowing this makes us feel abundance of God’s love for joy! But when we free, even if it means free him, and for me, and for all of worship, we can to make some mistakes. us! To me, this poetic Another thing I have said to remember. We the Altar Guild servers is pleading provides a beautiful example of how we can ask can feel found that sometimes it doesn’t the Spirit to stick with us. and reenergized. seem like we do very Eugene Peterson’s The much, but together we Message offers us, “God, make something beautiful make a fresh start in me, shape a (the sanctuary) and wonderful (opening Genesis week from the chaos of my life. our hearts to what God has planned for Don’t throw me out with the trash, or fail us). During this Easter season, our St. to breathe holiness in me. Bring me back John’s congregation will focus on being from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my free to love, live, and serve differently. sails!” What a perfect metaphor for Remembering this freedom leads us to beginning the season of Easter! We have do these things with clean hearts and spent time in the gray exile and have with renewed and willing spirits. I am so walked with Jesus through the Holy appreciative of all those who serve with Week, and now we are free. The Holy me, and we would love for you to join us Spirit is with us. if you would like to serve in this way. I can imagine the feeling of loss the Happy Easter! disciples experienced when Jesus left



Congratulations St. John’s! by Thea Peterson, SJLC Kids Hope USA Director th

We are wrapping up our 6 year being a Kids Hope Church, mentoring students whose elementary education started at Christenberry School. We currently have 7 mentors at Christenberry and 7 mentors who followed their students to other schools – mainly Whittle Springs Middle School. This year, Christenberry Elementary became a Community School in January. This opportunity provides students with afterschool snacks, tutoring, enrichment activities and supper for them and their family. Supper has had an average of 40 children and their parents receiving two hot meals and two cold meals each week. Our own Angie Hamstead led an enrichment activity with a group of 15 students learning about professions they might consider as adults. Thank you, Angie! As we at St. John’s are freed up to love, live, and serve differently, please consider becoming a mentor to a young child? “Hope is when a mentor puts a piece of how life should be, into a young heart that dreams about what life could be.” David Staal, President Kids Hope USA Could you provide that hope for a young child? Contact Thea Peterson at 922-8555 if you would like to talk about this opportunity.

With Your Help Big Brothers Big Sisters can win

$25,000! First Tennessee turned 150 years old on March 25, 2014, and to celebrate their long tradition of serving our community, the First Tennessee Foundation is giving away $5000 to a different nonprofit organization EVERY DAY for 150 days! They call it their "150 Days of Giving." Anyone can vote for up to 10 different nonprofit organizations each day. On March 25, at midnight, First Tennessee Foundation selected the first winner. And the winning continues for 150 days! Go to: to select and vote for Big Brothers and Big Sisters*. *Kids Hope USA works in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters to do background checks, training and matching of the volunteers with students.


The Senior Adult Ministry is a gathering of God's older children for fellowship, laughter, prayer, guest speakers, and a delicious lunch on the first Wednesday of each month (September - May), meeting at 11:30 am in the Sparks Fellowship Hall at St. John's Lutheran. If you would like to join this group and you are not quite a “senior,” come anyway. We will welcome you. Simply call and make a reservation so we will have enough food. On Wednesday, April 2, we had a wonderful gathering! A delicious BBQ lunch was provided by John Cole, III (Mary and John’s son). Devotions were given by Mary Kline. The program was presented by Dr. Joan Markel, Civil War Curator, McClung Museum. She focused on civilian life—what the families endured during the war. This was an excellent program! 8

Wednesday, May 7th 11:30 am Join us as we celebrate every one’s BIRTHDAY with one big PARTY including birthday cakes made by Rosa. The meal ($5 per person) will be catered by Kimmie’s Kitchen. The entertainment will feature the band Don Redman and the Blue Notes (keyboard or accordion, bass, saxophone or trombone, and drums) playing Oldies

and Goodies music with a melody, a beat, and memories for all of us. Don’t miss this wonderful celebration.


Mary Cole,



If you are not a member of SAMS but would like to join us for the party, simply make a reservation. We will welcome you. This is the end of our 3rd year. The next meeting will be Wednesday, September 3, 2014. Have a happy, healthy, and safe summer!

Christian Education at St. John’s Lutheran Church by Krista Lee


hroughout our Lenten Journey, the St. John’s community was guided by the words Giving it Up, a book written by Maggi Dawn and utilized by the Fellowship and Bridges Adult Christian Education classes. From the black ash crosses that were placed on our foreheads to the recognition of our own humanity in understanding our sinful nature, this period of time in the church year truly prepared us for the joy and glory that can be found within Easter Sunday. We are an Easter people replaces the solemn feeling of Lent with the hope that evolves from our relationship with Christ. We truly are “Freed Up to Love, Live, and Serve Differently”. This freedom to live, love, and serve can be grown in ways we cannot even imagine. This growth can be cultivated through relationships...with each other, the people and projects we serve, and most importantly, our God who guides us. Our relationship with God is also sustained by our desire to seek Him, spend time in the Bible, and develop our faith formation. Christian Education at St. John’s is indeed a commitment of your time and mind, but it is also a blessing...a blessing to learn more about the God you joyfully serve.

Christianity and Sustainability

NEW FELLOWSHIP CLASS SERIES: SUNDAYS @ 10 AM by Steve McGaffin God has given us many gifts, but we often forget that the very first gift was Creation. Everything we need to survive and thrive, from the plants, animals and minerals that provide for our basic needs to the esoteric gifts of beauty in its many forms and the creativity it inspires was given to us as one big, gigantic universe-sized gift. If that wasn't enough, this gift was created with the ability to recreate itself, continually producing new land, new species, new stars, new planets and new ideas. As with any gift, how we use it shows not only our appreciation for the gift, but our appreciation for the giver and our love for everyone else who received it. From April 27th through May 11th I will lead a series on how, in our globally-connected lives, our Christian faith calls us to think beyond our own needs and desires and beyond our immediate neighbors to consider how we affect the larger scope of humanity and the world on which it depends. I invite you to join us for this interactive, entertaining and conversational series about how we depend on God's gifts, how we use and share these gifts, the effects this has, and how we can adjust our way of thinking and living to love and serve others globally every day. April 27th: The Gifts You Gave Us May 4th: The Geography of Away May 11th: Hope Inspires Solutions Inspire Hope

Don’t forget…

Mini VBS!

The Annual Flowering of the Cross takes place on Easter Sunday between first and second service in the Courtyard

June 9-11

Bring your favorite flowers!

6:00-7:30 pm

Snacks, Bible Stories, fun games and creative crafts. Bring your friends! More details, volunteer needs and registration information available in May!


waiting for the

BURNING BUSH by Jim Friedrich, Church Council President

Many of us have been reading the book “Giving it Up” by Maggi Dawn during the Lenten season. One of the sections focuses on Moses and contains some insights of great meaning leading to some reflection. I especially liked the section about Moses and the burning bush. It led me to think what I would do if confronted with a burning bush. I think my first inclination would be to stay away from it and call 911, or to run and get some water or a fire extinguisher to put it out. But if it was an unusual burning bush, in that it was calling out my name, I would likely stop and listen…from a distance. Unfortunately I have never had God speak directly to me this way. I believe even in this day and age it would be an effective mode of communication. Envision everyone dropping their Smart Phones, looking up from their texts and news feeds, and listening. While I hope for some burning bush messages in the future, I recognize that God presents opportunities for ministry and for growth often in more subtle forms. The author speaks about “prompts” for ministry often flowing from what we like to do, or are skilled at doing, or have the time and resources to do. For me this is how the bread ministry began. Several years ago in the days leading up to Lent, my


beloved Nancy was discussing what to “give up” or to “take on” during Lent. The idea was born for me to bake bread every Saturday morning during Lent and share it with our neighbors at Minvilla Manor, and also with our members who are shut-ins or would appreciate the bread. Baking bread includes periods of waiting, and I used this time for Bible reading and devotions. Lent that year came to an end but my Saturday morning bread baking continued. I was usually baking 12 loaves which were distributed on a “first come, first served” basis at Minvilla Manor. The round golden loaves, delivered still warm from the oven, was developing a loyal following at Minvilla Manor. Then one day when dropping off the bread and seeing most of it disappear quickly I asked Roger, the weekend coordinator, how many residents in total there were. He checked his records and told me there were 53 residents at that point, with a few apartments in transition. The concept of the “53 Loaves Project” was born, meaning every Minvilla Manor resident would receive their own loaf of bread. We have been doing this once a month for about a year now, and on the other Saturdays we bake a smaller number of loaves. Since the birth of the “53 Loaves

Project” Ruthie Kuhlman, Ron Wollard and others have joined the effort, and the church is smelling of fresh baking bread on most Saturday mornings. What’s the next step for the bread ministry? That’s where a burning bush message from God would come in handy. There are many possible directions for growth and most require a serious commitment. But I’m not waiting for a burning bush, as I could be waiting for a long, long time. What I am doing is quietly listening for the calling, looking for clues, and seeking out the needs and applications for this type of ministry in our surrounding area. As Maggi Dawn says “It sometimes seems impossible, caught up as we are in our busy lives, to find a way to answer this call…it takes a little imagination, a little determination and the willingness to spot the opportunity when it arises.” There are literally hundreds of opportunities for you to serve and grow at SJLC. The needs are many and varied; some are highly visible and some are behind the scenes and unheralded. This Easter, be listening and looking for how you can get involved; how your interests and skills intersect with the opportunities of our community. Don’t wait for an invitation. Don’t wait for a burning bush message.

by Rev. John Tirro

Most years, 7 students live at Tyson House, our UT campus ministry; and most years, 3 or 4 move out and 4 or 5 apply to move in. This year, we have 6 moving out and 4 moving in, so 2 fewer overall. Hmm... 2 open rooms. What might God invite us to do with that? Last year, in our St. John’s Vision 2020 process, we considered building a multi-purpose space at St. John’s, with a larger fellowship hall, classrooms, and maybe even housing. As we did, someone asked, “What if we were to house young adult interns, post -college and pre-career, to do ministry in and around St. John’s and engage the community, especially other young adults?” do campus ministry differently Whatever may happen with the building project idea, the idea of such an internship program stuck with me, and here we are with 2 open rooms!

This summer, Tyson House is starting a post-college, pre-career internship program, in a multipurpose space that already exists: Tyson House. We had not 2 but 3 wonderful applicants, so in addition to the 2 open rooms, we’re looking to see how we might convert a large storage room to a living space, to have a mix of 5 students and 3 resident interns living at Tyson House: to grow our capacity to raise church leaders, to include not only students but young adults postcollege; to grow Tyson House

as an intentional Christian community on campus; to expand what we’re able to offer students, faculty, and staff through the gifts of these interns; and to extend our community outreach through their leadership. One intern will serve full-time at Tyson House; two will serve part-time while also serving in other area ministries. I look forward to sharing more about these interns, as soon as we get last details sorted out. Meanwhile, if you would like to support this initiative (say for instance by helping provide a cost -of-living stipend for our full-time intern!), I would love to talk with you about that. I’m easy to reach, in person or (Pastor John). share music differently May 10, from 9am to 3pm,

Tyson House will host “Worship Works,” a musicsharing workshop, as a way to give back to the many congregations who have supported us through the years. Campus ministry is church on hyper-speed: with graduations every spring and new arrivals every fall, every few years is a complete turn-over. All these new faces bring new ideas for music. Some go to seminary, and they send ideas as well. At Tyson House, we’ve developed a repertoire of songs that help young adults worship. At St. John’s, we’ve had a chance to learn which of these work for a broader range of ages as well. With this workshop, we hope to share these songs as widely as possible. We call it “Worship Works,” to remind ourselves that worship sites, especially seminaries and campus ministries, are like song factories, generating new ways to worship. Also, once a song has been found to “work” in worship (to help people pray and praise), that’s something worth sharing! For more information, contact Pastor John (, and please pass this info to anyone you think might be interested!


Youth Sunday and Graduate Reception Sunday, May 11 For everyone born, a place at the table For everyone born, clean water and bread A shelter, a space, a safe place for growing For everyone born, a star overhead For young and for old, a place at the table A voice to be heard, a part in the song The hands of a child in hands that are wrinkled For young and for old, the right to belong

Joshua Brown Graduated from Gibbs High School Attending the University of Tennesssee

For everyone born, a place at the table To live without fear, and simply to be To work, to speak out, to witness and worship For everyone born, the right to be And God will delight When we are creators of justice and joy. Yes, God will delight When we are creators of justice, Justice and joy.

These words of invitation, these words of promise shape Youth Sunday 2014. Together, with our seniors leading the way as preachers, we will search the depths of this experience of grace, when we see and smell and touch and taste Love. Between worship services, we will celebrate our seniors with a reception in the Welcome Center. Please join us!

Madi Murphy Graduating from Berean Christian School Attending the University of Tennessee

Elizabeth Menendez Graduating from L&N Stem Academy Attending Maryville College


by Nancy Friedrich, WOW President

God is at work using Win Our World Urban Ministry (WOW) to enable youth to be freed up to love, live, and serve differently. It’s happening right here in Knoxville. Right here at St. John’s. Right now! What a blessing – and responsibility – for all of us at St. John’s to be a part of this ministry. That’s right: all of us. (In fact, if you don’t mind, take a moment to pray for WOW and the summer of ministry ahead. Thanks and Amen.) The WOW 2014 theme is A Place At The Table. (And, also important to note, t-shirt colors are CHARCOAL GREY and TEAL. Fun!) Recognizing that God has a place for everyone at God’s table, we are challenged to have a place for everyone at our table. Through daily worship, mission work, Bible study, and leadership opportunities, youth will dive into scripture and consider: What does “a place” mean? Who is “everyone?” Where is “God’s table?” How am I to respond? These are good questions to ponder and to free up youth throughout the southeast to love, live and serve differently.

INTRODUCING THE 2014 WOW STAFF: INTERNS (over-all WOW responsibilities, college students): 

Stephen Bendziewicz: Leadership Development Stephen served as a crew member last year and will be our intern in charge of Leadership Development. He is a sophomore at Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC. He is on a pre-med track and is the president of his fraternity.

Cory Campitella: Mission Work, Facilities Cory is a native of Chapin, SC and a sophomore at Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC. He is Bonner Scholar, a biology major and a super organized guy. He served as a crew member last year and will be our intern responsible for mission site organization and facilities.

Erin Ogle: Faith Formation Erin served as an intern last year and comes back to share her faith formation and leadership gifts with WOW. She is a native of Barnesville, GA and is a sophomore at Georgia College and State University. Erin is blessed with wonderful musical talents and lovingly shares them with all.

HOSPITALITY MANAGER (feeding lots of people three times a day): 

Madi Murphy St. John’s Lutheran, Knoxville, TN – Senior at Berean High School, Knoxville

CREW (on-site leadership, recent high school graduates): 

Elizabeth Menendez St. John’s Lutheran, Knoxville, TN – Senior at L&N STEM Academy, Knoxville

Paige Jordan Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, Marietta, GA – Senior at Wheeler High School, Marietta, GA

Abby Frye St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, Columbia, SC – High School senior in Columbia, SC

Austin Earle St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Dallas, NC – Senior at South Point High School, Belmont, NC



our God takes so many forms. Some of us are teachers, some are preachers, some sing the good news, and many of us are prayers. Most of us are parts of all those things and so much more. Stephen Ministry is another way that many of us work to serve our Lord. We are there to walk with, talk with, and pray with other Christians whose burdens have gotten heavy or are in a difficult place in their journey through life. I was recently at a conference for Stephen Ministry leaders, where I met some amazingly giving and serving saints of the faith. And for me, it was a bit unique because so many of them weren't even Lutheran! We talked a great deal about the unique opportunities they face in their lives trying to serve the Lord. And one of the amazing points of interest was that we were all interested in serving and being helpful to those in need. I think we all discovered that we had many difficulties and gifts in common. I met a group of Free Lutherans from South Dakota who are starting their Stephen Ministry group from scratch. They were anxious to

with those who are experiencing life transitions, our Stephen Ministers provide leadership for an ongoing visitation program to those who are unable to worship regularly at church and annually host the Service of Remembrance by Pat Krogmann in December, offering a safe place 865.805.5978 for those who are grieving to share the joys and struggles of the holidays. Additional programs we hear how things work at St. John's are considering include an Lutheran in Knoxville, Tennessee, intentional conversation for those and are using our program here as who are interested exploring “end a pattern for their own. That of life� issues; we would bring made me so grateful that we have together professionals from the such a terrific group of committed medical, legal, and religious fields people who want to serve God and to facilitate. We are eager to be to be helpful to those in need. We more freed up to serve. And we are also so blessed to have three a r e o p e n t o i d e a s a n d amazing Pastors who are so suggestions. supportive of Stephen Let me again put in a plug for Ministry. While at my conference I Stephen Ministry here at St. had the opportunity to meet and John's. If you or a loved one is in work with several whose pastors a difficult place in life and would found Stephen Ministers to be a like to have a Stephen Minister threat to their ministry and walk with you, pray with you, and became a block to anything done listen, please call one of the by Stephen Ministers to minister to Pastors or me at 865.805.5978 to and serve those in need. How discuss that possibility. blessed we are that our Pastors are "equipping" lay people to be We also ask for your prayers to continue to guide us to serve and the church in the world. love and be of assistance to all In addition to walking faithfully God's children.

Looking for an informal way to gather with your St. John's family that is easy, flexible and fun? Join us for dinner in small groups at various restaurants on the fourth Tuesday of each month (with a few exceptions) at 6:30pm. Each month we'll choose a different restaurant in a different part of town. Come every time or just when it's convenient for you. Tell us in advance or just show up. Whatever works. Questions: contact Steve McGaffin at or 865306-6539. RSVP helpful but not necessary. So far we've visited the Fountain City and Rocky Hill areas. We skipped March and April because of Lent, but start up again on May 27th in the Farragut area. Have a suggestion for a restaurant? Let Steve know. 14

H appy, h appy B irt hday!


DIFFERENTLY by Rev. John Tirro

On May 24 in Chattanooga, TN, Debbie Sousa, the St. John’s choir, and I have been invited to lead worship at this year’s synod assembly! (The synod is all ELCA congregations in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, doing ministry together, and assembly is our annual gathering of leaders. ELCA is Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, our branch of the church family tree.) As excited as I am about bringing our musical gifts to share with the assembly, I am even more excited to share the spiritual gifts of our choir and choir director. As you may already know (if not, I’m sure you will if you stick around), these are some of the most loving, supportive, and faithful people you will ever find. I look forward to what God will do with such a group prayerfully going to serve such an assembly. If you would, please pray for us in the days leading to and during the assembly, that we might be centered in and share God’s grace freely and fully.

2014 Southeastern Synod Assembly May 30 - June 1 Chattanooga Convention Center

May your birthday be filled with sunshine and smiles, laughter, love, and cheer.


2 3 4

Rosa Nussbaumer Jennifer Barnett Jacob Friedrich Suzanne Krygier Jeffery Kodysh Jim Roning Andrew Kyle Annie Gerbig Leah Crowley


Ruthie Kuhlman Wesley Lyons


Steve Kyle Jill Sinnott


Bob Draime Mari Brooks Derek Bast


Don McWilliams Chelsea Kyle



Maxine Whistler


Cam Ogle Jim O’Hatnick


Jim Wilgus Erica Greene


Nancy Maland Daniel Vaught


Carson Vandergriff

Larry Robbins Sherry Draime Peyton Hairston Jr. Frank Callo Stephanie Anderson Krista Lee Paul Brooks Sarah Anderson Stephen Schwahn


Jessie Mae Bowman 25 Zane Dukes

Nancy Wilson Carmen Solt


Miriam Jagels Brent Collins Sarah Wing


Libby Fred



Matt Whitehead

John Ley Andy Tirro


Wendy Thrasher


Jeannie Reed Nancy McGalliard


Ruth Crowley


Jerry Ballard


Myra Haynes 31 Christian Vandergriff


Misty Anderson Connor Bernard Chloe Gibson

Gregg Vandergriff Gabe Thrasher


St. John’s Lutheran Church 544 Broadway, NW Knoxville, TN 37917 Phone: 865-523-3330 Fax: 865-524-7895 E-mail: Website:


Holy Week WORSHIP SERVICES Palm Sunday, April 13 Worship at 8:45 & 11:00 am

Maundy Thursday, April 17

Easter Sunrise Service, April 20

Worship at 7:30 pm

Worship at 7:00 am (Begins in Old Gray Cemetery)

Good Friday, April 18

Easter Worship, April 20

Worship at 7:30 pm

Worship at 8:45 am & 11:00 am

Contact Information St. John’s Lutheran Church—544 N Broadway—Knoxville, TN 37917— tel: 865-523-3330 Website: Senior Pastor— J. Stephen Misenheimer: Pastor of Family Ministries & Christian Caregiving—Amy C. Figg: Pastor of Congregation Life and Campus Ministry—John Tirro: Minister of Music – Deborah Dunne-Sousa: Kids Hope USA Director – Thea Peterson: Director of Christian Education— Krista Lee: Minister of Administration and Finance – Claudia Wise: Communications Specialist – Mindy Abell: Administrative Assistant— Toni Denton:

2014 easter newsletter  
2014 easter newsletter  

The life, ministry, and activities of St. John's Lutheran Church during the season of Easter.