Pastoral Thoughts and Resources

Pastoral Thoughts From Your Interim Rector

Dear Friends of St. Andrew’s,

I truly hope this message finds you well. I know that for some of you this can be a very trying time. Isn’t it ironic how so often we say that we wish we could slow down and catch up on things at home? But, of course, not under these circumstances. Also, I find it interesting how we talk about how we should expand our definition of “church” such that we don’t automatically associate it with a place or building. So here is our chance to stretch our imaginations and find new ways to support each other in a time of real need and find creative ways to express our ministries given the strange circumstances we find ourselves in. Our Administration and Communications Council will be coordinating these efforts. We are inviting you to give us your ideas and let us know what might be helpful. Whereas our weekly newsletter has primarily been about sharing information, we may feel the need to broaden its use to include pastoral care messages or even virtual worship services if you would find this helpful. We welcome your suggestions.

As you can see further down in this message how our Pastoral council is making an effort to stay in touch by phone or mail to all our congregation especially those who may have a particular need. We hope this will be supportive.

Also, I asked Tabetha to include this Poem entitled “Pandemic”  I think it speaks to how we may take what we all face as an opportunity to enrich our spiritual lives.  Please know that we all are never alone even though we may feel like we are on our individual journeys. Together was can find our way through this.

Yours in Christ,


What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
–Lynn Ungar 3/11/20

From the Pastoral Care Ministry

The Pastoral Care Ministry is committed to keeping in touch with our Parish members during this time of uncertainty.  We may be separated physically but our aim is to stay connected via phone, email, text, and postcards!  So expect some form of communication from our Pastoral Care team and vestry on a weekly basis.  We just want to check in, see how you’re doing, update you on what is going on with our schedule (as much as we know) and have some good old fashioned conversation!  I know that I’ve been anxious these past few days and I believe we can help each other temper the anxiety by staying in touch and checking in with each other.  We’re looking forward to talking to you!

Virtual Services

We have two resources for you this week that might be soothing to the spirit …. 

  • The Washington National Cathedral will webcast their Sunday am services at 11:15 am EST. You can watch it live from Youtube here: or from their Weekly Services page here:
  • Habits of Grace: An Invitation for you, from Presiding Bishop Curry. Live mediations posted HERE every Monday at 6pm through May, 

Note from the Communications & Administration Ministry

It is especially apparent during strange times like these how much we need fellowship and connection. As we begin exploring what church looks like outside of the church (digitally, virtually, etc), we really want to encourage you to share your ideas. Our goal is not only to support your faithful practices but ensure that you continue to feel connected to the Parish community as we walk these new pathways. Please email Tabetha at or hit reply to this email to share your thoughts. 

Also, please note that we will continue to update our website and Facebook with the latest information. 

A Statement from the Bishops of The Episcopal Church in Tennessee

A Statement from the Bishops of The Episcopal Church in Tennessee

Dear Clergy and People of the Dioceses of East Tennessee, West Tennessee, and Tennessee,

We understand the news of the spread of the COVID19 virus (Coronavirus), on top of an already difficult flu season, raises concerns and anxieties. Our respective Dioceses are working together to stay informed and supportive of our faith communities across the state. As new information which may be helpful arises, we will post it on our websites and share it with our congregations. We are regularly reviewing guidelines and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as consulting local medical professionals. When you receive information about Coronavirus and other infectious diseases from the media and other sources please consider carefully whether the source of the information is trustworthy. 

In the meantime, we commend these effective practices to you, especially to clergy in charge of congregations and those who may lead congregations in worship:
●     The most important way to minimize the spread of infectious diseases is for people who have symptoms such as fever, upset stomach, or frequent coughing or sneezing, to stay home and to seek medical attention as symptoms warrant. This includes clergy. Please notify the appropriate person at your congregation if you will miss a worship service or event so substitutes can be found. The clergy or lay ministers can bring the sacraments to those who cannot attend a service and/or provide pastoral care by phone as appropriate.
●     Frequent handwashing is another important way to minimize spread. Hands should be washed often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (about as long as it takes to sing the Doxology). Handwashing is especially critical after going to the bathroom; before eating; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; or if hands are visibly dirty. Plenty of soap and paper towels should be provided in restrooms and kitchens. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Place containers of hand sanitizer in the pews, near doors, and beside tissue boxes to be used when handwashing is not readily available.
If an infectious disease, such as the flu or Coronavirus is spreading in your community, your congregational leadership may consider whether some or all of the following would be appropriate:
●     The Peace: You may want to invite worshipers to remain in their pews/seats and greet one another with a bow at the Peace, acknowledging each other while avoiding physical contact.
●     The Holy Eucharist: Receiving the sacrament in one kind has ancient precedent in our spiritual life. We believe that those who receive only the bread (or wine) have fully received. The bread may be distributed by Eucharistic ministers who have cleansed their hands. Ask the altar guild to clean handrails and the altar rail before and after each service.
●     Avoid Intinction: Because hands are a common source of infection, Intinction by the communicant is not a sanitary substitute for drinking from the chalice.
●     The Receiving Line: Following the service, the receiving line should include conversation but omit physical contact.
●     Coffee Hour: Food may be served by individuals who have washed their hands, put on serving gloves, and are using tongs to minimize the touching of food. Either paper plates and napkins or a dishwasher with a water temperature setting hot enough to kill germs should be used for cleanup. Similarly, beverages should be served by individuals who have washed their hands and are wearing gloves to minimize the number of people handling beverage containers.
●     Large gatherings or events: Consider rescheduling if possible or canceling if necessary.

Whatever steps are appropriate in your context, it is essential that you communicate your decisions to the congregation. Explain the steps you are taking and why. Clear and open communication can be both informative and calming.
Episcopal Relief and Development has provided more resources on the ways your community of faith can respond to epidemics. Please visit for more information.

Please keep those who are ill with infectious diseases, their families and caregivers, and our medical care providers, in your prayers. The Episcopal Church in Tennessee has a strong history of caring for one another and for our communities in times of illness and health. With God’s help, we will continue that tradition together.
The Rt. Rev. Phoebe Roaf, Bishop of West Tennessee
The Rt. Rev. John Bauerschmidt, Bishop of Tennessee
The Rt. Rev. Brian Cole, Bishop of East Tennessee

Please visit the for the most up-to-date information.
Jan 31 Weekly News Update

Jan 31 Weekly News Update

Click HERE for full Parish Calendar.

For this week’s SAW, click HERE, and for this Sunday’s Bulletin, click HERE.

For this month’s Vestry minutes, click HERE.

Why would we chose to love our enemies and do good to those who hate us? Because that is the way of God. God never stops loving, never stops caring, never stops blessing. Yes, it’s outrageous. It’s impractical. It’s unrealistic. It’s beyond us. Which is why we need GOD and why we need one another. Only God’s love abiding in us can love in this way.

-Br. David Vryhof, SSJE

Family Promise Coordinator

First I want to thank Freida Herron for her many years of dedicated and faithful service to this most important ministry.

We are seeking a coordinator or two co-coordinators to share the work of this important ministry of our outreach program. You will have the support of our AMAZING volunteers plus an AMAZING group of volunteers from our support church, Broadway United Methodist. Our own Reverend Bob Beasley will continue to coordinate and schedule the volunteers for each evening.

If you feel called to carry this ministry forward, training will be provided by Freida Herron and Family Promise. See Freida or Stu Hammond don Sundays for further information.

Yours in Christ,
Stu Hammond, Outreach Coordinator

Widows and Widowers Grief Support Group

When: Wednesday Mornings, 10:30 to Noon
Date: February 12, 19, 26 and March 4, 11, 18 and 25
Where: New Providence Presbyterian Church
703 West Broadway Avenue, Room W202
Maryville, TN  37801
Contact: Alice Mansmith – Facilitator – with questions or interest
865-856-2570 Home
865-599-8361 Cell

For people struggling with the death of a spouse within the last year or two. Handouts and discussions address daily issues including:

  • The various stages one might experience (the sense of isolation, panic attacks, feeling overwhelmed, physical symptoms of distress, guilt and anger issues)
  • The things that people sometimes say (which minimize grief)
  • How society and sometimes even well-meaning family and friends rush one through grief
  • Keeping a positive mental attitude, including handouts on worrying, willingness, gratitude, and taking things one day at a time.
  • Accepting the loss both intellectually and emotionally in order to redirect energy and reorganize life.

Nondenominational and fee-free.

January Ministry of the Month

January Ministry of the Month

This boisterous, determined ministry came about in late 2018 as a team to support the communication needs of the Vestry and Rector’s office. We meet monthly in order to stay on top of the communication needs coming in and out, as well as to explore possible marketing/admin ideas that would help the message grow.

Our most notable projects for 2019 were: re-writing the Vestry handbook, developing a Communications Guidelines manual, building a new website from the ground up, designing a new Welcome to St. Andrew’s brochure (coming this January), helping with design and formatting of the SAW and Bulletins, creating a new brand template (logo, color codes, and fonts) for marketing consistency, organization charts and models for the Vestry, new St. Andrew’s name tags, and helping with the disbursement of Parish letters.

Maybe you like to write, or draw, or play around on Facebook. Perhaps you have a story to share about your Episcopal or spiritual experiences or know someone who does. You might even just like reading and editing, sharing ideas for better communication, or exploring new marketing means. Whatever your preference, we would love to have you in our bustling little ministry!

In fact, one of our current projects is something YOU can participate in without having to commit to anything! You might have seen our St. Andrew’s Weekly, otherwise known as the SAW? Well, we’re hoping to come up with a new logo (and/or a new name!). Share your ideas with Tabetha and be entered to win a wee little prize!

We’re excited about the possibilities for 2020 and look forward to helping our incoming new Rector and Vestry members get the “good news” out far and wide.

Contact Information:

Vestry Liaison: Tamra Turberville or Chair: Tabetha Hedrick

Meeting Information (When/Where):

1st Friday of every month in the Parish office

Jan 31 Weekly News Update

Dec 13 Weekly News Update

Click HERE for full Parish Calendar.

For this week’s SAW, click HERE, and for this Sunday’s Bulletin, click HERE.

For this month’s Vestry minutes, click HERE.

Whenever and however it comes, the word of truth, God’s truth, has the power to change people. And those to whom God’s truth is spoken have a choice: they can choose to hear that word of truth, or they can choose to ignore it. If we choose to hear the word of truth, we will be changed.

-Br. James Koester, SSJE

2020 Vestry Slate

Robert V. Cochran

I was born and raised in South Florida.  After thirty-eight years as a chief electrician at United States Sugar Corporation, Sally and I retired in 2009 and moved to Townsend, Tn.

We were members of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Clewiston, Fl.  St. Martin’s is a very small church and all the parishioners shared the work in the various ministries. I was a member of the vestry for a total of four years, serving a year as Jr. Warden.

When we moved to Townsend, we found St. Andrew’s and felt welcomed by the parishioners.  We have served and worked on various ministries since our tenure here.

Soon we will be welcoming a new priest and I want to be a part of assisting the parish during this challenging and joyous transition.

Julie Durand

I have been a member of St. Andrews since May of 2003.  I grew up as a Lutheran in Pennsylvania, attended Pharmacy School at the University of Pittsburgh, then Medical School in Charleston, SC. I moved to Maryville in 1991 after completing my ophthalmology training in Portland, Oregon.  I currently work part-time in Maryville at University Eye Specialists.  I have one daughter, Amelia, and two grandchildren (Mason and Magnolia) who live nearby. 

While at  St. Andrews, I have taught childrens’ Sunday School, helped with the Food Connection and Family Promise, completed 4 years of EFM, and currently sing in the choir. If elected to the Vestry, I look forward to giving back to the church, and would be honored to  serve the people of St. Andrews responsibly with diligence, openness, and in God’s love.

Marialice Ellis

I joined St. Andrew’s in the summer of 1987 when our family moved to Maryville from New Bern, North Carolina. At that time, there was not a youth group for our two sons and we soon began to look for other opportunities for them.  My husband, Tom Ellis, had grown up in Maryville and had attended New Providence Presbyterian Church in his youth and he knew they had an active program for youth at that time.  I agreed to give it a try for the good of our sons.  It didn’t take long for me to realize the Episcopal church was where my heart and soul was, so as a family we returned to St. Andrew’s two years later.

Professionally I retired as a Registered Nurse after forty years, having positions as a cardiac nurse, hospital administration in the area of coding and reimbursement, and servings in medical practice management with my husband who was a CPA.

As a member of St. Andrew’s I have served on the vestry, chaired or co-chaired Garden Day and the Holiday Bazaar, and have been an active participant in the kitchen ministry.

Our Parish Profile has provided candidates with the wants and needs of our community.  If elected to the vestry, I would give as much of my time and energy as possible to help with the selection of a new priest who will meet the needs and wants of our parish.

Deb Schablik

I was confirmed in the Episcopal Church in 2010. Since then I have been active in various church ministries, such as Altar Guild, Verger, lector, intercessor, vestry, youth Sunday School and most recently as Crucifer. It feel it is important that each of us find places where we can serve.

This is an exciting time in the life of our parish as we are searching for our new rector. As we move forward, we need to be prepared to venture out of our comfort zones in order to serve Him as well as grow personally and as a parish. This is the gift I have received in this interim time and I  encourage us to venture out of our comfort zones. There are amazing things waiting for us there!

Greg Walton

Gretchen and I moved to Tenn a year and a half ago when I retired.  I was lucky to spend 20 years on active duty working around the world and then 20 years as a civilian working for the Air Force.  We spent 5 years looking at different areas to relocate to and found Maryville to be the perfect spot for us.  We have been very fortunate to find St Andrews and have felt welcome here since day one.  I have become active in the local AMVETS working to help out Vets who aren’t as fortunate as we are.  We enjoy getting out to enjoy the beauty of East Tenn and have taking up kayaking to explore the waterways in the area. 

Dec 6 Weekly News Update

Click HERE for full Parish Calendar.

For this week’s SAW, click HERE, and for this Sunday’s Bulletin, click HERE.

For this month’s Vestry minutes, click HERE.

For this month’s server schedule, click HERE.

Brother, Give Us A Word


The prophet Isaiah invites us and ‘all the nations’ to go up to the ‘house of God,’ the place where God dwells (Isaiah 2:2).  For the ancient Israelites it was the tabernacle, then the temple.  For us the place where God dwells may be the church, or the natural world, or the inner depths of our hearts.  It is the place to which we must return to learn to live well.

-Br. David Vryhof, SSJE

Today’s word “House” is also featured in today’s AdventWord.

We encourage you to join the AdventWord international community of prayer, collected in reflections by Virginia Theological Seminary and connections. AdventWord provides visual and written meditations during the liturgical season of Advent.

Explore the ways that people respond to these daily words — written meditations, drawings, photographs, or poems.

Search Committee Update

The search for our next rector continues apace throughout the Advent and Christmas seasons. The Search Committee has approved a Diocesan request to extend the deadline for applicants for our next rector to mid-December. Applications will then be processed by Bishop Brian Cole and Canon Michelle Bolt of the Diocese for delivery of the list of candidates to our committee shortly after New Year’s Day. Interviews will begin thereafter.

Please continue to keep the Search Committee in your prayers over the upcoming holidays. We wish you and your family a blessed and holy Advent.

Doug Overbey
Search Committee Chair

Warming Shelter

Dr. Phil Hoffman will be directing the Warming Shelter again this year and is seeking volunteers from each church in Blount County. Shelter will open starting January 2020 any evening the temp. is 25 degrees or below and will be held at First Baptist Maryville.

Requires two pairs of four people to staff each session with support from the Warming Shelter Committee.
Must be able to stay up all night during the session until 7:00 am the next morning.

Volunteer sign up sheet upstairs in the Parish Hall. Dick Cox is your Chairperson for our Homeless Ministry and would appreciate your participation. 

It’s Spiritual Study on a Deep Level

Education for Ministry (EfM) is a unique program in theological education based on small-group discussions and assigned readings. This four-year program (requiring only one-year commitments at a time) provides in-depth study, prayer, and reflection to deepen your spiritual growth and discern your call to Christian Service. Weekly meetings, fascinating readings, and eye-opening discussions bring the spiritual life to wide new realms of discovery. And you can sign up now for the 2020 year! See Adam Wilson or Nancy Cain for more information on this exciting avenue of Christian Education.

2nd Sunday Potluck

There will be a 2nd Sunday Potluck this Sunday at 12:00noon. All are encouraged and invited to attend!

Adult Discussion Forum – Advent Edition!

A few weeks ago, Elise Eslinger loaned me a lovely book, God’s Welcome: Hospitality for a Gospel Hungry World, by Amy Oden. It suggests that the challenge for us is to recognize God’s invitation, his hospitality, so we can begin to embody that same welcome, and extend God’s hospitality to others. The book offers a series of meditations, or exercises, to help us to grow into the practice of Gospel Hospitality. In the three weeks of Advent, we will tackle a few of these practices.  

Dec. 8: Paying Attention
Dec 15: Welcoming the stranger within
Dec 22: Empty Spaces  

We meet in the Parish Hall at 9:15 a.m. between the services. Hope to see you there – let me know if you’d like to receive the class emails.