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Retirement Celebration Details ………………….. page 3 Holiday Programming ……………. beginning on page 4 Children’s Christmas Pageant ………………….. page 11 Opportunities to Invest …….……. beginning on page 12 ADVENT 2018



rederick Buechner writes:

The house lights go off, and the footlights come on. Even the chattiest stop chattering as they wait in darkness for the curtain to rise. In the orchestra pit, the violin bows are poised. The conductor has raised the baton. In the silence of a midwinter dusk there is far off in the deeps of it somewhere a sound so faint that for all you can tell it may be only the sound of the silence itself. You hold your breath to listen. You walk up the steps to the front door. The empty windows at either side of it tell you nothing, or almost nothing. For a second you catch a whiff in the air of some fragrance that reminds you of a place you've never been and a time you have no words for. You are aware of the beating of your heart. The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens. Advent is the name of that moment. The Salvation Army Santa Claus clangs his bell. The sidewalks are so crowded you can hardly move. Exhaust fumes are the chief fragrance in the air, and everybody is as bundled up against any sense of what all the fuss is really about as they are bundled up against the windchill factor. But if you concentrate just for an instant, far off in the deeps of yourself somewhere you can feel the beating of your heart. For all its madness and lostness, not to mention your own, you can hear the world itself holding its breath.


For what are you waiting? What has you holding your breath in anticipation? For one beloved senior pastor and his family, it might be retirement. For grateful congregation members, it might be the unexpected question—“What’s next?”—no one has needed to ask for thirty years. For a colleague who has cherished the last twenty years of ministry together, it is definitely the gratitude that will shape each day that will follow December 2. In medias res is a Latin phrase that means “in the midst of things.” This Advent seems particularly in medias res as we are somewhere in the middle of goodbye and hello, grief and joy, endings and beginnings. The gift of being together is gently enhanced by the birth of Emmanuel, God with us … in the middle of things. May the celebration of this precious birth increase our Joy and point us in the Way we are



elebrating Pastor Steve and Jeanne!

The time has finally come to give thanks for Pastor Steve and Jeanne’s thirty year ministry at St. John’s and bid them God’s peace as they anticipate the new adventure known as “retirement!” As a reminder, here are the highlights of our celebrations: Friday, November 30 at 2:00 PM … we will host a drop-in reception in the Welcome Center for local ministry partners and friends from near and far to congratulate Pastor Steve. Saturday, December 1 at 6:30 PM … we will gather at Kitchen 919 at 5448 Homberg Drive for a retirement dinner. This is event is currently sold out; if you would like to put your name on a waiting list for a $50.00 ticket, please contact Toni in the church office at 865.523.3330 or toni@sjlcknox.org. Sunday, December 2 … we will celebrate Pastor Steve and Jeanne’s ministry and wish the entire Miseneheimer family well with Festival Worship at 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM; Bishop Julian Gordy will preach. Between services, we will gather in the Sparks Fellowship Hall for a joyous First Sunday Brunch and additional programming.




ur Advent theme of “Looks like Love” finds expression in a St. John’s Advent and Christmas Devotion Book which will be available for distribution on Sunday, November 25. Contributors from across the generations—from preschoolers drawing pictures to wise adults penning words—will help us focus on Love. We found our inspiration from a song lyric in “The Unusual Tale of Mary and Joseph’s Baby,” a poignant and deeply theological play produced by River and Rail Theater Company: Why does God have to look so human? Why so of the earth and so not from above? He was supposed to look like justice; And instead he looks like Love. And if he weren’t so tender, So tiny and sweet And if there weren’t such magic in our gaze When our eyes meet I would not feel so much pain whenever, in my mind, I see the dangers he’ll be called to face. It makes me wonder how deliverance Could come from such a fragile place. In this season of anticipation and during the twelve days of Christmas, let’s ponder the beautiful way God slipped into the vulnerability of skin to be with us in Love.

Advent and Christmas Worship Schedule Midweek Holden Evening Prayer Wednesdays: December 5, December 12, and December 19 Worship begins at 6:30, and cider, coffee, and refreshments follow Christmas Eve Festival Worship Monday, December 24 at 5:30 PM and 8:30 PM Christmas Worship Sunday, December 30 at 9:00 and 11:00 AM Fellowship and refreshments between services




at St. John’s


ere’s a full look at Advent and Christmas at St. John’s. The theme is “LOOKS LIKE LOVE.”

Sunday, Dec. 2 Bishop Julian Gordy preaching Wednesday, Dec. 5 UT Grad Student Jordan Baker preaching at Holden Evening Prayer Sunday, Dec. 9 Pastor John Tirro preaching Wednesday, Dec. 12 Seminarian Adam Schultz preaching at Holden Evening Prayer Sunday, Dec. 16 Pastor Amy Figg preaching Wednesday, Dec. 19 Seminarian Robin Lovett preaching at Holden Evening Prayer Sunday, Dec. 23 Rev. Dick Krogmann preaching Monday, Dec. 24 Pastor Amy Figg preaching, Guest Musicians Shawn White and Natalie Kimbro Sunday, Dec. 30 Candidate for Ordained Ministry Will Wing preaching We are looking forward to a wonderful Advent season and excited about Christmas at St. John’s. We hope you and your family will be able to join us/


he 6th annual Katie’s Sisters event, “Advent By Candlelight” will be held on Tuesday, December 4, from 7pm to 9pm in the Sparks Fellowship Hall. We welcome all women to join us for a special evening designed to help prepare our hearts for the seasons of Advent and Christmas . The program’s theme this year is “The Thrill of Hope” and it promises to inspire us to share our hopes during this season of joy and light. Candlelight, laughter, and friends fill the room, as we enjoy an evening of fellowship, beautiful music, and delicious desserts


e will gather for a festive Christmas concert led by our own Chris Clay. It’s the 2nd Annual Christmas at Emory Place, on Friday, December 14th beginning at 7:30pm in our sanctuary. Chris has invited special guests to share their musical gifts including The Young Fables featuring Laurel Wright (from American Idol fame) and returning from last year, vocalist Lauren Arp and saxophonist Michael Jones from Atlanta among others. We will share hot cider and sweet treats following the concert.

Laurel Wright

Michael Jones

Lauren Arp

Chris Clay





he Stephen Ministry Lunch and Service of Remembrance is scheduled for Sunday, December 9, 2018. Lunch in the Sparks Fellowship begins at 12:15pm, then we will move to the sanctuary for worship beginning at 1pm.

Nicholas Wolterstorff writes: “God is not only the God of the sufferers but the God who suffers….It is said of God that no one can behold his face and live. I always thought this meant that no one could see his splendor and live. A friend said perhaps it meant that no one could see his sorrow and live….Instead of explaining our suffering, God shares it.” Grief is a living reality, even during the holidays. And sharing that grief—with God and with others—can be a gift you extend to yourself. Imagine the mix of emotions during this holiday season: joy of family gatherings tempered by the aching loss of one who is not sitting at his or her place at the table, hope for the new year dashed by the end of significant relationship, gifts wrapped in bright paper dimmed by the gray shades of depression, the anticipation of gifts given drastically minimized by a job loss and the subsequent financial strain. Your Stephen Ministers understand and invite you to the 18th Annual Service of Remembrance. Together, we can remember the completed lives of so many cherished family members and friends. Sometimes through tears and other times with a gentle smile, we can think of those who filled our lives with such precious memories. At 12:15, the Stephen Ministers will host a light lunch in the Sparks Fellowship. At 1:00, the St. John’s family will remember those who completed life during the past year, celebrating the promise of resurrection in worship. We will light a candle in memory of those who enriched our lives by being present and who now remind us of a hope-filled eternity: parents, children, siblings, extended family members, and friends. Please plan to join us for a gentle time of reflection. RSVPs for lunch are requested; please contact Toni in the church office at 523-3330 or toni@sjlcknox.com.

Listen to sermons you’ve missed ONLINE at www.sjlcknox.org




oin us for our Christmas lunch and program on Wednesday, December 5 at 11:30am.

Meet us in the Fellowship Hall for lunch that includes, Honey baked ham, wild rice casserole, green bean casserole, fruit salad, homemade bread, and desserts. Our Christmas program will continue with music in the sanctuary. Returning again this year is soprano vocalist Rachelle Hawkey with pianist Danny Brian. We will enjoy Christmas favorites: Oh Holy Night, Ave Maria, Gesu Bambino, Rejoice, and others. This wonderful professional performance and the decorations for Christmas in our sanctuary will definitely brighten your day and fill your heart with Christmas spirit. Also, please bring hand soap and/or lotion for BLESSING BASKETS which we will give to the residents of Guy B. Love Housing. Cost is just $5. RSVP to Mary Cole memecole@comcast.net.


atie’s Sisters always look forward to the Advent Season. We will be preparing care packages for our college students and seminarians, and we invite the St. John’s Congregation to participate with their good wishes and yummy items. Our annual viewing of the production “The Unusual Tale of Mary and Joseph’s Baby” is a highlight of Advent. Watch for announcements about the date, time, and ticket prices. Even if you’ve seen it with us before, you won’t want to miss what is becoming an annual tradition! The Katie’s Sisters Leaders and Pastor Amy are busy planning our Spring Retreat. You won’t want to miss it. The Retreat is always an opportunity to build relationships and spiritual growth. You will hear more about our plans in the coming months. All the women of St. John’s are encouraged to join us when we have time together as Katie’s Sisters. Please check out the Katie’s Sister Facebook page.


he Men's B.E.E.R. group continues to meet every 2nd Wednesday evening of the month at Crafty Bastard Brewery just around the corner from church, around 6:00pm until whenever. We connect, share, and just generally have a good time. Please be sure to join us if you can. Direct any questions to Caleb Warren at 865-607-9350.



Special thanks to Todd Richesin and Bobby Brown for their creative vision and gift of new garland and greenery for the St. John’s Sanctuary and Fireside Room. Additionally, Chris McKenry, Jackie Tucker and Clarke Hinkle also worked with them to create a place of great beauty in anticipation of Christ’s birth.









uring the Advent and Christmas seasons, the St. John’s family shares faith formation in lots of different ways. Check out these options:

Sunday, December 2 ... First Sunday Brunch celebrating Pastor Steve’s Retirement Sunday, December 9 ... Christmas Pageant Rehearsal in Sparks Fellowship Hall Sunday, December 16 ... Room for a Little One Christmas Pageant in Sparks Fellowship Hall Sunday, December 23 ... fellowship and food in the Welcome Center Sunday, December 30 ... fellowship and food in the Welcome Center Sunday, January 6 ... First Sunday Brunch Sunday, January 13 ... Faith Formation for all ages


ollege Student Reunion Dinner, Wednesday, December 19.

Each year, we welcome our college students home with dinner and conversation about the semester. This opportunity to reconnect continues to be a combination of holy and hilarious as friends gather in the name of Love! 6:30 PM 8:00 PM

Midweek Advent Worship featuring Holden Evening Prayer SoKno Taco at on 3701 Seveirville Pike

RSVP to Pastor Amy at amy@sjlcknox.org!




ere’s a look at our Youth Ministry events to round out the year:

SUNDAY LUNCH BUNCH December 2 … 3701 Seveirville Pike

YOUTH MINISTRY EVENTS December 16 … Christmas Caroling at Guy B. Love December 21 … Dollywood Christmas


his year’s Children’s Christmas Pageant is called “Room for a Little One” Mark your calendar for Sunday, December 16 at 10:00 AM in the Sparks Fellowship Hall. In the stable next to an inn, Kind Ox is just settling in for the night when Old Dog comes into the stable. Kind Ox makes room for Old Dog, who in turn makes room for Stray Cat, who then makes room for Small Mouse--and each time, the larger animal says to the small, "There's always room for a little one here." Who will be the final guests arriving with Tired Donkey? The timeless message of this year’s pageant is an adaptation of Martin Waddell’s Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale. Children of all ages may participate; we will combine narration, a PowerPoint presentation, Christmas carols, roles with speaking parts, and roles with singing parts. Please plan to join us for the following Sundays for planning and presentation: Sunday, December 9 … rehearsal in Sparks Fellowship Hall to block the scenes & practice music Saturday, December 15 … rehearsal (if needed) Sunday, December 16 … Christmas Pageant with refreshments




s we enter the Advent season and the beginning of a new church year, let us reflect on all that we’ve been given. For the St. John’s family, the list is long indeed:

> The benefit of one another’s fellowship and friendship. > The opportunity to serve our less fortunate neighbors. > The incredible inheritance of our renovated sanctuary and church campus. > The blessing Steve and Jeanne have been for our community these past 30 years. During this time of transition, not just of the liturgical seasons, but also of pastoral leadership, it is comforting to know that St. John’s is a strong and vibrant church and will be for generations to come. In order to help through this transition and provide lay leadership into our future the church council formed an Extravagant Generosity Team this fall. We are meeting regularly and considering the spiritual practice of giving and the responsibility of stewardship. We have begun having discussions, formal and informal, around these topics and will continue this work into the new year. In 2019, we will be focusing on the scriptural basis of giving as a spiritual practice. We will inform the congregation about opportunities for generosity, including: > finishing our capital campaign, > auto debit giving, > funding our endowments, > the tax advantages of directed IRA contributions, and > improved financial transparency. We invite you to reach out to any of our team members: Deaver Shattuck, Emlyn Cobble, Neil Fischer, Jessi Grieser, Kevin Kimzey, Anne Langendorfer, Tom McGalliard, Amy Figg, and Jim Ley as you consider the ways that you might consider the return of your gifts to the glory of God. We welcome your input and covet your prayers.




t. John’s Dove Tree will again offer you the opportunity to support the students at Christenberry Elementary and Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Academy.

Each school will use your donations, as they did last year, for their safety patrol trip to Washington, D.C. or their fifth grade trip to Tremont. Many of these children have never left Knoxville, so your gifts offer them the opportunity to explore our nation’s capital or the natural environment of the Smoky Mountains. Additionally, we will have several students from Christenberry who will find joy opening your gifts of clothing and a toy or book. Please watch for the Dove Tree to be on display in the Fireside Room after Thanksgiving. Remember, if you take a Dove requesting gifts, you will need to record your name next to the number on the sign out sheet. If you will be donating money, please place it in the offering clearly marked “Safety” or “Tremont” so each school will receive the appropriate gift. Your generosity throughout the year is appreciated, but these extra gifts during Advent enrich the lives of students in ways you may never imagine.


t John’s is in the ‘beta testing’ stage of offering LIVE STREAMING of our Sunday worship services. St. John’s Youtube channel has been created and we are testing our capabilities during the month of December. Anyone with access to Youtube on their computer, tablet or smartphone will be able to view our worship services in REAL TIME! The services will be archived on the youtube channel along with other St. John’s and ELCA videos.




t’s been a wonderful year at Tyson House, our ministry at UT-Knoxville, which we share with the Episcopal Church, ELCA-Southeastern Synod (our regional church body), ELCA Churchwide (our national church body), and 15 area congregations. The gift of faith keeps giving as students and interns go out into the world; here’s just a partial list: > Fr. Zack Nyein and Fr. Justin Crisp are priests in Atlanta, GA, and New Canaan, CT > Emilie Casey is Liturgical Minister at Yale’s Marquand Chapel > Will Wing completed seminary at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary and is awaiting call > Keli Shipley Cooper is Minister for Faith Formation at St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, VA, and a student at Union Presbyterian Seminary >Liza Hawkins is a candidate to Lutheran ordination and a student at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, TX, > David Burman is at Sewanee and will be ordained, Lord willing, a Transitional Deacon (toward Episcopal priesthood) in February > Jeremy Roberts is a counselor at Evoke Therapy Programs in Utah > Robin Lovett is a candidate to Lutheran ordination and a student at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago > Lee Owen (Robin’s husband) is a student in Social Work at the University of Chicago; > William Simerly and Ezra Brown (both current students) entered discernment toward priesthood; and the list goes on and on. Things we do to support growth in faith: Dinner & Worship every Sunday at 6:04pm, intentional Christian community (7 students living at Tyson House, sharing life, leading ministry), internships in ministry coordination and church administration, Smokey’s Pantry (campus food bank at Tyson House), retreats to Watts Bar Lake and Isle of Palms, service trip to Virginia, #pridemass (celebrating God’s LGBT+ children), workshops (Food Insecurity on Campus, Anti-racism Training, Making Anglican Prayer Beads), Friday night bonfires with s’mores, and much, much more! Finally, our first ever Hymn-a-thon, a student-led fundraiser in which we sang every hymn in the Episcopal hymnal, raised over $10,000 to support our internships and programming, and there are still opportunities to give. Until December 31, an anonymous donor will match all gifts, one-to-one, to a total of $5000. To donate, checks may be sent to Tyson House Campus Ministry, 824 Melrose Place, Knoxville, TN 37916. Secure online donation may be done at www.tysonhouse.org. Thank you for all you do to support this vital ministry.

Our podcast, “Some Sort of Ministry” (on iTunes)!

Sophie Grosserode leads Bible Study

Ryne Tipton’s baptism!


United at the Rock, a prayer service in response to racist slogans painted on the UT rock

BIRTHDAYS 16 18 19

1 2 4 6 7 8

Al Gill Nicki Nye Shirley Fogarty Quinn Chappelle Christine Jessel Lee Sinnott Chase Leatherwood Rose Perkinson

20 21 22 9 10

14 15

Jo Anne Roning Tanner Jessel Keith Solt Dresden Ley Debby Jones Landry Bernard Lindsay Cook Sue Fischer

23 25 27 29 30 31

19 20 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Sally Robinette Michael Barnhill Changsheng Lu Jada Parman David Bocangel Alice Garrison Tom Godden Dayne Cook Patrick McWilliams David Wayland Rick Metelka Samantha Murphy Don Ray Will McCarthy

10 11 12 13 15 16 18

Emily Stapf Suzanne Brown Ian Daughety Mary Cole Kelly Hudson Ann Langendorfer Terry Burkhalter Elliott Schwahn Charlsie Counts Rachel Bast Lynn Harrison Steve Misenheimer Andrew Perkinson Kyle Metelka

21 22 23 24 25 28 29 30 31

Sam Hancock John Tirro Nancy Friedrich Kate Marsh Dotty Barnhill Jennifer James David Anderson Pat Hunsicker Neil Fischer Todd Sharp Michael Westphal Paul Anderson Judy Hunley Joseph Ray Mary Elizabeth Peterson Benny Smith Owen Peterson

Judy McCarter Ashley Hopkins Danielle Sweany Frank Wilson Grace Doyle Enlow Susan Dowling Max Giesecke Dick Krogmann Josh Ley Griffin Hamstead Patsy Reeves Steve McGaffin Russell Kuhlman Billy Good Jessica Sousa-Lewis Lily Hancock Tom McGalliard Rita Schwartz David Martin


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


Advent and Christmas Eve Worship Schedule Weekday Advent Worship - Holden Evening Prayer Wednesdays December 5, 12, 19 - 6:30pm Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship Services Monday, December 24th - 5:30pm & 8:30pm CHURCH LEADERSHIP & STAFF Stephen Misenheimer Senior Pastor steve@sjlcknox.org

Deborah Dunne-Sousa Minister of Music sousa@esknoxville.org

Thea Peterson Kids Hope USA Director Thea@jsjlcknox.org

Amy Figg Pastor of Faith Formation & Leadership Development amy@sjlcknox.org

Christopher Clay Ministry Coordinator & Director of Communications chris@sjlcknox.org

Mary Elizabeth Peterson, Lisa Minton & Bailey Morgan Nursery Assistants

John Tirro Pastor of Campus Ministry John@sjlcknox.org

Toni Denton Administrative Assistant toni@sjlcknox.org

Darrell Murrell Facility Staff facility@sjlcknox.org

Phone:: 865.523.3330

Fax: 865.524.7895 Email: INFO@sjlcknox.org Website: www.sjlcknox.org

Profile for Toni Denton

Lutheran Life Advent 2018  

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

Lutheran Life Advent 2018  

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


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