Page 1

the congregational newsletter of

St. John’s Lutheran Church

1 2016 Easter Issue


Easter Everywhere…Raising the Dead! The season of Lent always leads us on a journey towards Holy Week and Easter. The 40 days of Lent are intended to spiritually prepare us for death and new life. However, it is a rare occasion when anyone is totally prepared for death, especially the death of a family member or a dear friend. Over the years, we have experienced our share of grief entrusting so many members and friends of Saint John’s to God’s eternal care and keeping. Over and over again we have heard the words, “God comforts us in our sorrows so that we can comfort others in their sorrows with the consolation we ourselves have received from God.” (II Cor. 1:4) Those words are at the beginning of each and every funeral. Those words are also a promise we receive from God’s Word as we witness God at work through our Lord Jesus Christ binding up the broken hearted. In Christ, we have seen and celebrated God raising the dead as individuals and families have embraced one another with the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit. Receiving friends and family members in the Sparks Fellowship Hall ten days after Ash Wednesday

produced a vision of the heavenly banquet this Lenten season as the TLC (Tender Loving Cooking) provided a feast of victory for the Hairston family and the people of Saint John’s. With flowers decorating every table, it was Easter everywhere! There was holy hospitality all around, from those who served in the kitchen, the ushers, the choir, the musicians, the altar guild… all proclaiming, “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!” We thank God for the promise of his Word to comfort and to sustain us throughout the journey of Lent and the challenging transitions of this earthly life. We continue to be spiritually prepared for life, death, and resurrection to new life as Easter becomes a way of life in Christ. Hear the words of Jesus at the tomb of his dear friend Lazarus as he comforted the grieving and boldly proclaimed, “I am the resurrection and the life!” Easter is our opportunity to witness the power of God raising the dead. Together, as the body of Christ, we have been given the promise of new life! Thanks be to God! With Easter joy, Pastor Steve

Holy Week Schedule Maundy Thursday Worship - March 24

7:30 pm

Good Friday Worship - March 25

7:30 pm

Easter Sunday - March 26


• Sunrise Worship

7 am (starting in Old Gray Cemetery)

• Resurrection Worship Celebrations

9 am & 11 am

• Easter Sunday Brunch & Flowering of the Cross

10 am


Capital Campaign Update The primary goals of the three-year capital campaign, “Raising the Roof” are Mission Support, Roof Replacement and Capital Improvements, Saint John’s Endowment and Debt Reduction. Because of the spirit-led and generous gifts from the congregation, we are off to a very strong start! We are thankful that God is revealing His Spirit with your faithfulness and commitment.

A campaign follow-up team headed by Kevin Kimzey includes Emlyn Cobble, Neil Fischer, John Ley, Tom McGalliard, Dale Teague and Kurt Zinser. The team’s role will report communicate progress in fulfilling both the pledge goals, expenditures and priorities of the campaign. On behalf of the Campaign Team, thank you for your generous support and commitment to the Ministries of St. John’s.

With this very significant beginning to the campaign we will be able to begin the first priority capital project—the replacement of the 103-year-old sanctuary roof. Contractors have been engaged, the roof tiles have been ordered and the work will begin Monday, March 28, just following Easter Sunday! Other priorities are being reviewed including plaster repair and painting in the sanctuary and fireside room, kitchen upgrades and technology systems for worship enhancement.



New Members Please welcome the newest members to our congregation!

MASON AND HANNAH BUCKLIN Email: Email: Meet the Bucklin’s. Mason is originally from Solon, IA and has lived in Knoxville, TN for two and one-half years. He is a clinical pharmacist at the UT Medical Center Emergency Department. Hannah is from Paducah, KY and has lived in Knoxville, TN for one and one-half years. Hannah is a registered nurse who previously worked at UT Medical Center Emergency Department and is now staying at home. They recently got married (October 29, 2015) and are expecting their first baby in May 2016.

JULIE DAVIS Email: Julie has been a member at Calvary Baptist Church in Oak Ridge since birth. Following her undergraduate studies, she was in search of a church that better matched her personal beliefs—she found St. John’s. Julie recently graduated from Carson-Newman University with a degree in Religion and Social Entrepreneurship and works as a group administrator at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She is currently collaborating with multiple churches in Oak Ridge to bring in and house refugees in the Oak Ridge area and is a grant writer for a community meal project, Church St. Café, in Jefferson City. Julie plans to pursue a Master of Theological Studies beginning this coming fall.



KEITH AND DIANNE EICHENBERG Email: Keith and Dianne Eichenberg were born, married, and raised ntheir children in western Michigan, only 60 miles from Lake Michigan—a place they both still love. In 2005, they moved to Knoxville. Their daughter, Kate Marsh, became a St. John’s member last year. They have another daughter who resides in Fort Mill, SC, two sons in Michigan, 11 grandchildren, and four great grandchildren. Retired, their passion is enjoying the whole of nature in mountains, rivers and, lakes. With a special interest in caring for their yard and flower gardens. Keith is a history savant, and Dianne likes to write. Married for almost 52 years, their most enjoyable pastime is spending time together. The move from Michigan was not their plan, but God’s, and they are thankful their journey here has led them to St. John’s where they embrace the ELCA as the ideal culmination of their life long spiritual journey.

MARTHA AND JASON JENNINGS Email: Email: Jason and Martha Jennings are thrilled to join Saint John’s! They met each other in the local TV business, and they moved to Tennessee from Tampa, FL in November 2014 when Martha took a job at WBIR in Knoxville. She was promoted to News Director there in April of last year. Jason was a local sportscaster for more than a decade at four different stations, but now he is making the transition to producing videos as a freelancer. Martha grew up in Columbia, SC, and Jason was born and raised in Raleigh, NC. It was in Raleigh where they met while working at the same TV station and eventually married there in 2012. Jason and Martha attended Freedom River Community Church in Raleigh—where Jason’s father was an interim pastor—and have been searching for a permanent church home ever since. They have been incredibly impressed by Saint John’s volunteer efforts downtown, and they are eager to join more volunteer projects after participating with church members at Habitat for Humanity last fall. Martha has also been active with Connecting Hearts, which provides mobile meals to the elderly. Jason graduated from the University of Missouri in 2004, and Martha graduated that same year from the University of South Carolina. They are both excited to grow spiritually at their new church home and can’t wait to meet more friendly faces at Saint John’s.



SARAH AND RUSSELL MARIOTT, AUSTIN AND AUBREY Email: Sarah and Russell have been members at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in College Station, TX for the last two years. They are joining St. John’s after Russell’s job relocated them to Tennessee in January. Russell is the VP of Marketing and Development for Tennova Healthcare, and Sarah is a nurse. They have two children, Austin (5 yrs.) and Aubrey (3 yrs.), who attend St. Mark’s Early Enrichment Program. When they aren’t busy with work and school, the Mariotts enjoy hiking with their two dogs and camping. The Mariotts have previously fostered dogs and have volunteered with Meals-on-Wheels in Texas. They look forward to finding similar areas to serve in Knoxville. Russell is an avid runner, and Sarah loves to cook. The Mariotts were involved in the family ministry at Our Saviour’s, including mom’s and dad’s night out, Sunday School and Vacation Bible School and look forward to participating in both new and similar activities at St. John’s.

EMILY STAPF Email: Emily Stapf has been a member at Fountain City United Methodist Church for the last thirteen years. She comes to St. John’s to join forces with her fiancé, Emily Skaar. They are excited about their upcoming nuptials at St. John’s. Emily is the mother of two teenagers, Alex & Nate. By day, she is a computer technician with Knox County Schools. Emily is a veteran of Hard Knox Rollergirls. In her free time, she enjoys board games with her family and various arts and craft activities.

ISAAC TAYLOR Email: Isaac grew up in Farragut, Tennessee, where he attended Faith Lutheran Church for 22 years. He is now working at St. John’s as Youth Minister in partnership with Pastor Amy in anticipation of seminary. Isaac graduated from the University of Tennessee in December with a degree in Geography. He hopes to attend either Pacific Lutheran Theological School or Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in the spring of 2017. He swam for the Vols for two seasons. Both his father, Mike, and mother, Valerie, graduated from UT. Mike attends Peace Lutheran and is active in the Via De Cristo ministry. Valerie attends both Faith and St. John’s and is active in serving at KARM. In addition, his little brother, Mason, is a junior UT, studying engineering. Isaac and Mason both coach swimming and lacrosse at the Christian Academy of Knoxville. Isaac is also the head coach of the swim team at Fox Den Country Club during the summers. Needless to say, he loves working with the kids!



Sunday Morning

FAITH FORMATION NURSERY (infants through Preschoolers) Weekly Bible stories and creative prayer support age-appropriate faith development. Facilitated by Mary Elizabeth Peterson, Lisa Minton, and Bailey Morgan ELEMENTARY (Kindergartners through Elementary Schoolers) KinderChurch, led by parent volunteers during the 9:00 and 11:00 worship services, provides instruction on Bible stories related to the week’s lessons from the Revised Common Lectionary. During the 10:00 Christian Education hour, music with Debby Sousa and arts with a team of adult volunteers support the KinderChurch instruction. YOUTH (Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers) Drawing from Rob Bell DVDs, the SJLC teenagers explore biblical truth through conversation and selfreflection with Youth Ministry Associate, Isaac Taylor. ADULTS Sparks Fellowship Hall Book and Bible Study using Devotional Classics from C.S. Lewis, Henri Nouwen, Martin Luther, William Law, Thomas Kelly, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, St. Francis of Assisi, and Brother Lawrence Facilitated by Ashton Roberts, Nicki Nye, and Jessica Bocangel

Each week, we will draw from Christian classics to explore an expression of discipleship. Devotional Classics, edited by Richard Foster and James Smith, provides an introduction to the author, selected passages for personal reading, a Bible selection that intersects the readings, reflection questions, and suggested exercises. Weekly readings will be sent out so participants have an opportunity to interact with the material prior to Sunday. Small Conference Room Darkwood Brew’s “RU Kidding?” Facilitated by Jim and Nancy Friedrich and Brandon Ladage The description for this media-based curriculum that makes use of small-group discussion is as follows: “Jesus states that unless you become a like a child you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. In this eight-part series, Rev. Eric Elnes, Ph.D. guides us into astonishing insight when viewing Jesus’ parables and teaching through the eyes of children—insight that adults often miss.” To see more about this resource, please go to



Stepping Stones of Faith Gift the child + bless the family + remember the baptismal promises = STEPPING STONES OF FAITH OUR STEPPING STONES OF FAITH DURING THE EASTER SEASON INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:

A CELEBRATION OF HOLY COMMUNION Sunday, April 3 11:00 AM Worship

Join us as the families of Joaquin Bocangel, Aubrey Metelka, Andrew Perkinson, and Josie Whitehead celebrate Family Communion. A reception will follow in the Welcome Center where a special gift of pottery will tell of each child’s journey to God’s table of Love.


The families of Alex Bernard, Griffin Hamstead, Bailey Morgan, and Shannon O’Hatnick invite you to celebrate St. John’s graduates during a special reception in the Welcome Center; a special gift from each graduate’s family will highlight our gathering.

ADDITIONAL STEPPING STONES OF FAITH THE REMAINDER OF THE YEAR INCLUDE: July 31 BEGINNING KINDERGARTEN Introducing Family Devotions with a Cross for child’s bedroom August 7

COLLEGE SEND-OFF Blessing for the College Journey with Fleece Blanket

August 28

CONFIRMATION KICK-OFF Celebrating the Beginning of the Confirmation with a Framed Family Picture

October 2

BIBLE Encouraging Bible Reading with an an age-appropriate Bible

October 30

CONFIRMATION Honoring a Step of Faith with a Confirmation Banquet

December 18

RETURN FROM COLLEGE Welcoming our College Students Home with Dinner



2016 LEADERSHIP ACADEMY Saturday, April 2 - Sunday, April 3


All WOW Youth Leaders If you would like to serve as part of the WOW 2016 Leadership Team, this is a mandatory experience. This weekend is leadership-development oriented including intentional, practical training. This experience applies to WOW (preparing all present for a fabulous summer of faithful ministry) and teaches valuable skills applicable to other church or schoolrelated activities. The cost is $40 per person and covers all activities, food and housing. Go to the WOW website to sign up at 

YOUTH SUNDAY AND GRADUATION RECEPTION Sunday, May 8 9:00 and 11:00 AM Worship 12:00 Noon Graduate Reception in the Welcome Center

Youth Sunday = Faithful Youth Sunday = Creative Youth Sunday = Inspiring Youth Sunday = Hope-Filled Youth Sunday = Encouraging Youth Sunday = Engaging Youth Sunday = Intentional Youth Sunday = Life-Changing

Youth Ministry Families, we will meet for planning on Wednesday, April 13 (sixth graders through juniors in high school to plan the worship service) and Wednesday, April 27 (seniors to plan the sermon). Please note these dates on your family calendar, details regarding time and location will follow via e-mail. St. John’s Family Members, please join us for Youth Sunday and the Graduate Reception on Sunday, May 8!



SAMS - Senior Adult Ministry

Here’s a look at the next two Senior Adult Ministry events:

Wednesday, April 6, 2016 HEALTHY LIVING FOR SENIORS Our guest for April is Dr. Deaver Shattuck, co-founder of Senior Care Partners for Blount and Monroe Counties. Lunch will be catered by John Cole, III and includes tasty pork BBQ, baked beans, slaw and banana pudding. The cost is only $5.00 per person. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016 A BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION! We will celebrate EVERY MEMBER of SAM’s birthday (no matter your birthday month). Lunch will be catered by “Rosa’s” and will cost only $5.00 per person.  Entertainment will be provided by Don Redman and the Bluenotes playing music from the 40’s & 50’s.  Please join us for fun, fellowship, prayer, laughter, great programs, and delicious lunch.

RSVP is necessary for both events! To RSVP, please contact Mary Cole at 584-3153 or *SAM’s will not meet during the summer, so don’t miss these events. We will see you again on September 7, 2016. 



Here are some thoughts shared by those who have been a part of a Stephen Ministry relationship: “The care and support I received from my Stephen Minister was every bit as important to my recovery as the excellent medical care I received from the doctors and nurses. This is truly a life-giving ministry.” ~Tom “I’ve heard the phrase “the peace of God that passes all understanding” many times in church. My Stephen Minister has helped me experience that peace in a very real, very heartfelt way.” ~Anne “I’m so glad I accepted my pastor’s offer to match me with a Stephen Minister. I was reluctant at first, but my pastor was right: Having someone I could regularly meet with and talk to really did make a difference.” ~Tony “Within five minutes of meeting my Stephen Minister, I knew she was right for me. She listens and cares— never judging or criticizing me. She has shown me God’s unconditional love, something I had never fully experienced before.” ~Sarah

“When you first hear the word cancer, you wonder if you’re going to die. My Stephen Minister couldn’t fix or change that. But she let me share my fears, anxieties, and concerns with her. I knew I could always count on her—I wasn’t alone.” ~Maria “Life is so chaotic right now that I don’t know much for certain. But I do know that my Stephen Minister is there for me and praying for me. And I’ve also come to realize that (even though I don’t always feel it) God is there too and really is at work in my life.” ~Earl “My Stephen Minister listens—really listens. I never realized how helpful and healing such a simple act can be.” ~Michelle “My Stephen Minister was there during the darkest of times—patiently listening and trying to understand my pain. Looking back, I can clearly see how my Stephen Minister kept me connected to God when I was falling away.” ~Nathan

If you would like to know more about St. John’s Stephen Ministers including being trained in specialized Christian caregiving (50+ hours) and part of ongoing training and peer supervision, please contact Pastor Amy at 523-3330 or Pat Krogmann at 805-5978.



Spring Renewal It is no secret I adore springtime. Fresh grass, warmer, windy days, and budding flowers make me thankful for God’s perfect creation. As winter fades and spring begins, the seasonal renewal reminds me of God’s promise to make all things new. (Revelation 21:5) When we worship, we have the opportunity for spiritual renewal. Like a spring rain, we remember our baptism has washed us clean, and we come together, eager to be fed and forgiven once again. One of my favorite parts of serving on the Altar Guild is renewing and refreshing the worship space of St. John’s. From placing welcome cards in the pews to replacing the candles on the altar, every part of our Altar Guild serving helps to make the sanctuary a peaceful place for worship and renewal. Serving on the Altar Guild also provides us with a spiritual focus as we go about our tasks. The quiet of the Sanctuary before, between, or after a service


of worship helps us quiet our minds. We have time to take in the beauty of the stained glass windows. We can pray or sing while we change the linens. Setting the table for Holy Communion allows us to focus on the solemnity of the meal. As we wash the chalices and bowls, and store them until they are needed again, we care for these sacred things in response to all we have been given. As Altar Guild volunteers, we are renewed by our service. The Altar Guild welcomes new members! We are so appreciative of all those who serve with us, and we would love for you to join us if you would like to serve in this way. Training is provided, and you would serve once every five or six weeks throughout the year. Please speak with one of the Pastors, or contact me, Ruth Crowley at or 405-3727 if you have questions or would like to know more about serving on the Altar Guild.


Our friend Janice Tate reached a wonderful milestone in February. She paid off her home. You may be saying, “Why is that significant?” Well, other than the fact that it’s the dream of so many to OWN a home — Janice’s home is a ‘Habitat House.’ Built in 1996 with the help of Central United Methodist and St. John’s Lutheran Church, Janice’s home represents Knoxville’s 78th Habitat house and a testament to church congregations working together to do God’s work with our hands. 

Katie’s Sisters Thanks to all the folks who made the Katie’s Sisters Retreat a possibility, especially Chris and Mari Brooks who shared their little piece of Norris Lake paradise with us, including this scene from their wraparound porch. We learned so much as we leaned into the reality of our theme: “Love Heals!” Our final Katie’s Sisters activity will be collecting items for care packages for our college students and seminarians. Stay tuned for details; mid-April will be our target time for collection. And finally, please welcome the following St. John’s members who recently agreed to serve as members of the Katie’s Sisters Leadership Team: Ruthie Kuhlmanm, Deanna Lloyd, Katie Marsh, and Lisa Minton.



The 2016 Southeastern Synod Assembly is scheduled for May 27-29, 2016 and will take place at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex in Birmingham Alabama.  The Keynote Speaker will be the Reverand Dr. Mary Sue Dreier, Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Missional Leadership and Interim Associate

Dean for the School of Theology at Lutheran Summer Seminary. Our own Chris Clay will be a special guest to offer an evening of “Music and a Message” on Saturday connected to assembly theme: We Are Lutheran. Find more details at 

Ministry Planning Retreat The St. John’s staff will have a Ministry Planning Retreat on Tuesday, April 12 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. We will review the remainder of this year and make plans for worship, faith formation, small group ministry, communications, and other important areas of our shared ministry. Please pray for our clergy and lay leaders as they plan for the ministry of our community of faith. 



APRIL 1 2 5 6 7 9 10 14

Ron Woodward Tony Brewer Nancy O’Callaghan Adam Schultz Kira Ellis Katherine Pellek Elizabeth Gibson Herm Gerbig Chris Brooks Doris McCay Susie Hansen Kurt Zinser Landry Thrasher

15 16 17 19 20 21

Sandy Cantrell Andrew Ley ChaiNa-Jade Parton JD Chapman Bill Wittenberg Sydney Parman RuthAnn Henry Martha Nelson Laura Morgan Ragan Holloway Kristin Williamson Debbie Sweany Marcia Power Jennifer Aiken Trevor Tirro Ethan Zinser

12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 23

Miriam Jagels Brent Collins Sarah Wing Toni Wise Matt Whitehead Wendy Thrasher Ruth Crowley Christian Vandergriff Misty Anderson Connor Bernard Chloe Gibson Ruthie Kuhlman Wesley Lyons Steve Kyle Jill Sinnott Karen McWhorter Bob Draime Mari Brooks Don McWilliams Chelsea Kyle

22 23 24 25 26 27 29 30

David Chapman Ray Collins Calvin Chappelle Sandy Bender Jeffrey Welch Jody Freeman Taylor Fields Daniel Rieger Andrew Glibbery Andrew Cooter Rob Walker Bob Bast Matthew Callo Jonathan Burkhalter

MAY 1 3 4 5 6 8 9 10 11

Rosa Nussbaumer Jennifer Barnett Jacob Friedrich Jim Roning Andrew Kyle Leah Crowley Maxine Whistler Shirley Irwin Emmett Kimzey Cam Ogle Jim O’Hatnick Erica Greene Johnson Nancy Maland Carson Vandergriff Jessie Mae Bowman Zane Dukes Marra Wells

24 26 28 29 30 31

Sherry Draime Larry Robbins Stephanie Anderson Frank Callo Krista Lee Paul Brooks Sarah Anderson Stephen Schwahn Nancy Wilson Carmen Solt Libby Fred John Ley Andy Tirro Nancy McGalliard Jerry Ballard Liam McCarthy Gregg Vandergriff Gabe Thrasher


St. John Lutheran Church 544 Broadway, NW Knoxville, TN 37917


CHURCH LEADERSHIP AND STAFF Stephen Misenheimer Senior Pastor Amy C. Figg Pastor of Faith Formation and Leadership Development   John Tirro Pastor of Campus Ministry   Deborah Dunne-Sousa Minister of Music

Isaac Taylor Youth Associate Krista Lee Christian Education Director Christopher Clay Ministry Coordinator Toni Denton Administrative Assistant  

Thea Peterson Kids Hope USA Director Mary Elizabeth Peterson & Lisa Minton Nursery Assistants Lisa Foxwell Stephen Douglas Darrell Murrell Facility Staff

Phone: 865-523-3330 • Fax: 865-524-7895 • E-mail: • Website:

Easter newsletter 2016  

Lutheran Life 2016 Easter Edition

Easter newsletter 2016  

Lutheran Life 2016 Easter Edition