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Pastoral Transition Update ………..……………….. page 4 This and That …..…………………………………….. page 10 Full Summer Church Calendar ………..…… page 12 & 13 Birthdays ………………………………………………. page 15 PENTECOST I 2019



hat do you think about change?

Change happens all around us, but for many the church is ‘suppose to be’ the never changing, stable, always available element in our lives. But how does that fit into a Good Friday world with Easter People? As Easter people everything we do should have the stamp of Jesus on it, not the stamp of any one pastor or leader. The stamp ought to proclaim the Easter promise of life and love. We know that no matter who the pastor, no matter who the leader or the volunteer or disciple, this is Christ’s church and we do what we do because we are committed to the gospel and we are sent to connect with the world so that all may know the love of Jesus. The real measure of success is not just the great things we do, but it is the legacy of faith that we leave for others, and it is empowering another to build upon that legacy of faith. How will you build upon the legacy of our faith? St John’s is a healthy and spirit filled church equipped with commitment and an abundance of gifts for ministry. Pastor Steve was your spiritual leader for 30 years, he has equipped you to carry on the mission. So during our transition I along with Pastor Amy and Pastor John invite you to partner in the ministry of our Lord, to join in sharing the love and spirit of Jesus inside the walls of St John’s, in


our community and in our world. WE have many opportunities to serve. On August 18th there will be a ministry/mission fair that will highlight opportunities for faith formation, service, leadership, ministry teams, hospitality, worship, evangelism, discipleship and more. Come, experience St. John’s, bring a friend and neighbor. We are also forming ministry teams (committees). Many have asked why? Because the pastors have carried the work load ... because there are many things that Pastor Steve did ... and because sometimes it is just exciting to brainstorm and work together getting differing perspectives before forging ahead. It is about faithfulness with the benefit of fellowship. Jim Friedrich has listed the teams in his transition article (10 teams)- take a look, prayerfully consider how you can serve our Lord. I look forward to all that this transition process brings for us! Growth and energy, Spirit and faith exploration, communal prayer and listening to your faith stories. Be the Easter people that your have been blessed to be, bless as you have been blessed.



an Richardson penned a beautiful poem that invites us first into the fire-red Day of Pentecost and then into the long season of Pentecost, captured in hues of green to connote spiritual growth: “When We Breathe Together: A Blessing for Pentecost� This is the blessing we cannot speak by ourselves. This is the blessing we cannot summon by our own devices, cannot shape to our purpose, cannot bend to our will. This is the blessing that comes when we leave behind our aloneness, when we gather together, when we turn toward one another. This is the blessing that blazes among us when we speak the words strange to our ears, when we finally listen into the chaos, when we breathe together at last. On Sunday, June 9, we enter Pentecost with Pentecost Sunday, complete with red paraments and symbols such as tongues of fire and rushing wind and a reading from Acts that speaks of the birth of the Church with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We remember the life and ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and his call to each of us to be his disciples, gifted at baptism and empowered by the Holy Spirit. The days and months that follow are known as the Season of Pentecost, stretching from June through the middle of November when we celebrate Christ the King Sunday. During this time, the Church considers discipleship and explores opportunities to grow deeper in our faith. Appropriately, the season is characterized by shades of green. On the Day of Pentecost, let us breathe together at last; during the Season of Pentecost, let us grow together day in, day out!




he Transition Team and the Congregational Council are making progress revising the congregation constitution and bylaws. After the Council approves the revisions then the document will be forwarded to our Synod Bishop. After review and approval from that office then the call committee can be established. The Transition Team and the Congregational Council will be inviting the congregation to participate in congregation history taking events, gathering the perspectives of members on where we as a church are, where we have been, and where we feel God is leading us to go. Dates and times for these events will be announced soon. In this time of transition, members are encouraged to prayerfully consider the invitation to participate on Teams that will help shape many aspects of congregational life. These Teams are: Finance: Preparation and oversight of the budget, monitor income, expenses and investments. Faith Formation: Plan and oversee the faith formation of St John’s for all ages, this includes milestones, youth and family, and all ways that all ages grow in their relationship to God. Worship: This team is responsible for the worship and prayer life of St John’s. Sub teams to this team include usher, altar guild, music and worship assistants. Property: Oversight of the property, building and grounds, maintenance, and work days. Hospitality: Working with other teams the hospitality team is about food, fellowship, and offering opportunities to share meals, serve others, laugh, learn and grow in relationship with each other Stewardship: Educates and encourages us all to be good stewards of our time, money and talent. They are responsible for stewardship drive, commitment Sunday, and matching talent to service. Personnel: Human resources team that oversees job descriptions, employment needs, personnel handbook etc. Social Ministry: They advertise the risk taking missions of St Johns, and encourages all to become involved in their passion for ministry. They develop new mission as the need arises. Please contact Toni at 865 523-3330 or email her at to express your interest in joining a Team.. A church council liaison to that team will give you a call and the teams will together begin their ministry. Jim Freidrich



Mark your calendar and save the date for our next congregational meeting. It happens on Pentecost Sunday, June 9th immediately following the 9am worship service.


uring the month of May, we were asked to prayerfully consider how to commit your time, talent, and financial resources to the ministries of St. John’s. On behalf of the Extravagant Generosity Team, we would like to

thank you for your commitment. If you haven’t submitted your pledge, you can still do it at any time. Call the church office and Toni will arrange for you to receive a pledge card that you can fill out and return to the church office via mail, email or in the offering plate on Sunday morning. We look forward to all God has planned as we all STEP UP!


nder the theme "Together in Spirit. Forward in Faith", the ELCA Southeastern Synod will hold its 2019 Synod Assembly, May 31 June 2, 2019, at the Chattanooga Convention Center, 1150 Carter Street, Chattanooga, TN. Together in spirit, at the 2018 Assembly, we prayerfully responded to the call of a year-long conversation about the Southeastern Synod Bishop of the future. We continued conversations in our deaneries, discerning the needs of the synod and developing a profile for our future bishop. It is in that same spirit that we now pray, as a synod, for discernment for those who are called to stand as nominees and those who are called to serve as voting members. We pray for the one who is elected to serve and for Bishop Gordy as he embarks upon a new chapter in his life. We offer our prayers of thanksgiving for the families of Bishop Gordy and the Bishop-elect for their roles in this journey. St. John’s will be represented by Pastor Amy Figg, Nancy Friedrich, Jessi Grieser, Ashton Roberts, Pastor John Tirro and Pastor Jean Vargo.




fter a couple of summers of focusing on fellowship during the months of June and July, we are bringing back St. John’s Talks in the Sparks Fellowship Hall during the10:00am hour on Sundays. We will gather for a scripture, a brief video presentation that speaks to a specific spiritual issue, and guided conversation. Deaver Shattuck is curating both speakers and videos, so the interaction promises to be lively! And in the spirit of our ongoing transition, there is a chance we may use some Sunday mornings for updates! See you on Sunday mornings at 10:00 in the Sparks Fellowship Hall!


rawing from the format of TED talks which embraced technology, entertainment, and design, this summer we will launch ST. JOHN’S talks during the Faith Formation hour in June and July. Our emphasis will embrace personal devotion, spiritual transformation, and social justice, and the series is intentionally designed for folks to participate as they are interested and in town during the sometimes hectic summer months. Deaver Shattuck will curate the speakers, and with Pastor Amy’s support, identify topics of interest to what we hope will be a diverse gathering of folks. Please mark your calendars for this series which will begin on Sunday, June 16 and run through Sunday, July 28!



ow can you dovetail Sunday Service with a deeper involvement in the Church community?

Come to St. John's Mission Fair on Sunday, August 18th during the Education Hour and again after Second Service. Each Mission will have a booth in the Sparks Fellowship Hall where interested persons can connect with Mission leaders and learn more. The Church will provide childcare for younger kids and activities for older kids so parents can focus on the Missions. Food will be served. More details to follow




ur next FIRST FRIDAY WITH ST. JOHN’S event will happen on Friday June 7th. We will gather at 5:30 pm in the Sparks Fellowship for food, fun, and conversation. Then, at 7:30 pm, we will head towards downtown Knoxville and the arts district for First Friday activities . Please bring an appetizer to share. BYOB! If you have any questions contact, Clarke Hinkle at or Clarence Scott at


atie’s Sisters will have W.I.N.E. (Women Inviting Narrative Exploration) on the second Tuesday of June.

Meet us on June 11th at 6:30pm at the Old City Wine Bar, 108 W Jackson Ave. e will discuss the TED talk entitled “The Years Of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes. Shonda Rhimes is the creator of television shows Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19, How to Get Away With Murder and more.

BROTHERS ENGAGING in ENRICHING RELATIONSHIPS WHEN: Tuesday, June 11 at 6pm WHERE: Schulz Brau Brewing Co., 126 Bernard Avenue CONTACT: Caleb Warren - 865.607.9350

WOMEN INVITING NARRATIVE EXPLORATION WHEN: Tuesday, June 11 at 6:30pm WHERE: Old City Wine Bar, 108 W. Jackson Avenue CONTACT: Kay Bultemeier -




ear people of St. John’s,

We just had the first meeting of our new Worship Team, and it was beautiful. I’ve got a few things to re


Pentecost, which is the celebration of the giving of the Holy Spirit and the Gospel going out into the world — tru celebration and recognition of the fire of the Holy Spirit, as well as the blood of the martyrs (those who bravely are invited to wear red to worship on Pentecost.

As an additional celebration, working together with the new Property Team, we would like to bring back a trad looking for a great way to show Pentecost spirit, please consider contributing red flowers — geraniums, gerbera — on Pentecost Sunday, June 9. Just place your plants in the WOW Wagon* in the Fireside Room, and the Prop St. John’s, to make it even a little more beautiful and welcoming. (By the way, WOW stands for Win Our World a and around St. John’s, led by and for teens, with youth groups from around the country coming for an experien serving in the community. The Water Wagon is a basic, red wagon that becomes very special, as teens pull it a water and conversation with neighbors they meet. Matter of fact, once we get wheel the flowers to their plac use going out to the community the very next day!)

The following Sunday, June 16, is Holy Trinity Sunday, when we look at some of the scripture that gave rise to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God in three persons. At core, it’s a way to think about what we mean when w Also, this is the Sunday when we sing one of the church’s best hymns, “Holy holy holy, Lord God Almighty!”

Finally, the next bunch of weeks — the rest of June, July, August, September, and most of October — are what’ this usage, does not mean run-of-the-mill or un-special. Rather, it’s a way of saying that all our time is “ordered God’s glory. God’s glory is most revealed in God’s love for us as we are, with all our foibles and flaws, to the po one of us in Jesus, joining God’s life to ours, to the point of death and, through resurrection, raising our life toget that’s a pretty spectacular use of the word ordinary. To celebrate this, for at least part of Ordinary Time, we wil patens (plates for bread) in communion.

By the way, in the process of talking about our beautiful chalices and patens — both precious metal ones and flagons was donated in memory of Mary Cole’s grandfather, Urban Edgar Nease, who joined St. John’s in 1907 ways. After his death, this flagon continued to serve, carrying wine to the altar for decades, and if you look clo bottom of the flagon, as well as the wear one would expect on something lovingly cared for, over such a time. points it out, but everything you see at St. John’s was lovingly given by someone, often in honor or memory of s and the care of all people. Grace and peace,


eport out on.

uly the birth of the church — is June 9. In bore witness to God’s love in Christ), we

dition from a few years past. If you’re a daisies, peonies, colombine, mandavilla perty Team will plant the flowers around and is an urban mission experience at nce of worship, faith formation, and around our neighborhood, sharing cool ces, we’ll return the wagon to WOW for

e church’s understanding of God as we say God is love, and it’s very beautiful.

’s called Ordinary Time. “Ordinary,” in d,” held in God’s care, and dedicated to oint of God’s coming to be with us and ther with his, to eternal life in God. So ll use pottery chalices (cups for wine) and

earthenware — I learned that one of our and served the community in many osely you can see his name on the . You might not know until someone someone they love, for the glory of God




ur own Al Gill and his grandson Jake were featured on WBIR’s “Service and Sacrifice” segment. Gill's decorated war service influenced a letter he would later pen to his newborn grandson, Jake. Written in 1996, Jake would later open it on his 21st birthday.

... 3,563,842 - baptized members


ecently, our own Chris Clay was chosen to be a part of the selection team; responsible for listening to, reviewing/ critiquing and selecting the winner of the churchwide “God’s Work, Our Hands” Hymn contest. Hymn submissions were screened by Chris and the team, and evaluated musically and theologically among other criteria. The chosen hymn will become a year-round worship resource, to reflect on service as an opportunity for us to explore one of our most basic convictions as Lutherans: “All of life in Jesus Christ – every act of service, in every daily calling, in every corner of life is in response to our gratitude for God’s abundant grace.” YAY CHRIS!


9,252 - congregations organized 65 - synods 1,228 - ministers of Word & Service 16,232 - ministers of Word & Sacrament 27 - percent of clergy on the ELCA roster were women 7 - seminaries 26 - colleges and universities 14 - high schools 296 - elementary schools 145 - camp and retreat centers



astor Amy was featured in the most recent issue of West Knoxville Lifestyle magazine. Here’s a look …

Name: Rev. Amy Figg Occupation: Pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church Three things I don’t want to live without: Cali Girl, my 14-pound rescued Cavalon; incredible friends; and chocolate Favorite film: It’s a Wonderful Life Favorite book: Becoming by Michelle Obama Best advice I ever received: Risk something big for something good! What I enjoy most about my work: Learning with and from those I encounter along the way, from the youngest child to the most mature adult. A goal I’m currently reaching for: Completing my doctorate A hobby I make time for (or which I had time for): cross-stitch and needlepoint If I could go back in time, I’d tell my collegeage self: Live each day with profound intentionality! Must-see places/experiences in Knoxville: Farmers’ Market, a walk at Ijams, a festival—there are so many—at World’s Fair Park, dinner at Che Guevara, time in the sanctuary at St. John’s Lutheran Church.





You can find a digital copy of the full church calendar on our website at




t is time to CELEBRATE! Our first Kids Hope mentee, to have been in continuous relationship with the same mentor, has graduated from Fulton High School! Patti McKinney and Caitlin were matched in August of 2008. During the 11 years of their relationship, Patti has followed Caitlin to several different schools, supported her through several home transitions and all that is entailed with becoming a young lady. Gene, Patti’s husband even taught Caitlin how to drive a car! Patti has faithfully showed up and been present for Caitlin. Thank you Patti for your faithfulness to the Kids Hope program. You are an inspiration to all of us mentors. We are in our 11th year of being a Kids Hope Church. We provide mentors to Christenberry Elementary School (and some follow their mentees to other schools), where we spend one hour a week working with one student. During our 11 years we have had 48 mentors from St. John’s, and 54 students have been mentored thanks to some mentors returning and being rematched. If you have a place in your heart to make a difference in the life of a child, please consider becoming a Kids Hope Mentor. I’d be more than happy to tell you more about the program. Please give me a call at 865-5914803 or send me an email at Thea Peterson P.S. Caitlin, we wish you the very best as you continue your education and embark on the next phase of your journey.


e’re excited to announce that St John’s is LIVE STREAMING our Sunday worship services. The St. John’s Lutheran Knoxville Youtube channel has been created and we stream AND ARCHIVE our Sunday morning worship services. Anyone with access to Youtube on their computer, tablet or smartphone can view our worship services in REAL TIME and after the service has concluded. The services will be archived on the Youtube channel along with other St. John’s and ELCA videos. So, no matter where you are - PLEASE WORSHIP WITH US!



8 9 10 11

1 2 3 4


Kelly Page Brenda Wainner Virginia Grace Connor Gibson Sarah Crowley Clarke Hinkle Lisa Smith Megan Venable Archer Lawrence

12 13 14

15 17 19 20 21 23


2 3 5 10 13 14 15 16 17

Caleb Warren Darby Bernard Archer Lawrence Grace Sweany Brenda Wayland Nancy Delgado Sally Seivers Thomas McDermott Larry Eikenberry Teresa Greene Hannah Bucklin Sonja Fowler Jerry Shock Karen Johnson

21 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31

Thomas Campbell Clay Leah Zinser Sara Whitehead Sara Daugherty Doug Thompson Reed Solt Nicole Leatherwood Chesney Burkhalter Christina Racek Loreley Sinnott Mike Sweany Dale Teague Rachel Crowley Declan McWilliams Darin Clark Cameron Brownlee Pat Counts Mary Critselous

24 25 26 27 28

Linda Peterson Kitty Sharp Brandon Hopkins Bill Lawhon Kaye Williams Logan Click Mary Gagle Kayleigh Brownlee Emily Skaar Sherry Barry Debra Morin Jack Wells

Butch Fischer J.E. Henry Brad Long Alan Shattuck Raney Shattuck Joe Mathews Tracie Lefler Diana McElhaney Bobby Brown Sutton Lewis Brennan Whitehead Zion Roberts Stan Leib Cathy Converse Kevin Kimzey Lauren Kimzey Sally Osborn Trista McCarthy Carole Romeiser Emelia Warren


ST. JOHN’S LUTHERAN CHURCH 544 Broadway, NW Knoxville, TN 37917


CHURCH LEADERSHIP & STAFF Amy Figg Pastor of Faith Formation & Leadership Development

John Tirro Pastor of Campus Ministry

Christopher Clay Director of Communications

Deborah Dunne-Sousa Minister of Music

Toni Denton Administrative Assistant

Darrell Murrell Facility Staff

Thea Peterson Kids Hope USA Director

Jean Vargo Interim Pastor

Phone:: 865.523.3330

Mary Elizabeth Peterson, Lisa Minton & Bailey Morgan Nursery Assistants

Fax: 865.524.7895 Email: Website:

Profile for Toni Denton

Lutheran Life Pentecost  

Newsletter for St. John's Lutheran Church Knoxville, TN

Lutheran Life Pentecost  

Newsletter for St. John's Lutheran Church Knoxville, TN


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