“Three things I value most: worship, community, and bacon on Sunday.”
“We don’t always agree, but we come together. We welcome all who enter.”
“Our three main assets are people, people, and people.”
A Prayer for St. Andrew's
Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a rector for this parish, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
We thank you and appreciate your showing an interest in St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Maryville, Tennessee.
We hope you find this profile to be an honest description of who we are and how we worship together, love one another, and serve each other and our community. We also hope the profile provides you a compelling picture of the opportunities to serve as our rector.
The information in this profile reflects the results of many small group meetings, which we called “holy conversations,” and prayerful consideration. This allowed us to describe the opportunity for the call to be our rector and to describe who we wish to be our rector.
ST. ANDREW’S VESTRY
& APPOINTED OFFICERS
Louise Stevenson, Sr. Warden
Denis Howes, Jr. Warden
ST. ANDREW’S SEARCH COMMITTEE
Doug Overbey, Chairman
PROFILE DESIGN & LAYOUT
Who We Are
Acceptance, Worship, Outreach, Pastoral Care
The parishioners of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church today are the spiritual descendants of the Episcopalian men and women who began meeting in their homes and later in a small corrugated tin storage shack, in the new city of Alcoa, Tennessee, nearly 100 years ago.
Those Episcopalians, as noted elsewhere in this profile, had a spirit of community, connectivity, and wanting to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Blount County, while worshiping together in the tradition they brought with them to their new community. This spirit is with St. Andrew’s today. It is the spirit of worship; of reaching out into the community to those in need; of welcoming into our congregation persons of faith or persons who are uncertain about their faith and caring for personal and spiritual needs.
Indeed, our Search Committee for a new rector engaged in holy conversations, conducted in groups with over 90 parishioners. The result was a clear identity of our parish’s top priorities: Acceptance, Worship, Outreach and Pastoral Care.
We recognize and respect that each of us is unique and we have the same Creator. Our doors are open to all, and we, as a parish, are accepting of persons from all walks of life, all professions or occupations or no occupation, and want to incorporate all in our lives of service and sacrifice. Through Holy Communion, we are surrounded by that great cloud of witnesses as spoken of in Paul’s Letter to the Romans and partake of the same Communion as those who have gone on before and those with whom we live today.
From its roots as a Friend’s meeting house, the interior space of the nave is plain – the walls are white, the windows simple with original wavy glass, the adornments gold. This simplicity encourages members to worship, from kneeling before the service in quiet tranquility, to joining the choir and the pipe organ in singing the great hymns of praise, to hearing the lessons from scripture and chanting the psalms, to rising for the Gospel, to listening to the sermon, to passing the peace, to partaking of the Eucharist, and finally, to the benediction and affirming in one accord: Thanks be to God. Alleluia. Alleluia.
Our Sunday worship is at the center of who we are as Episcopalians in this community, whether it is the quiet early service of Rite I or the Family Service of Rite II Holy Communion. While we may not all kneel or stand at the same time, we are united in our faith and living out our faith into the world. We value our unity, not rote uniformity. We honor our right to be different.
“The day I walked into the church and heard the choir practicing, I felt the Holy Spirit come to me. I had never had that feeling before.”
Living out our faith into the world leads to our emphasis on outreach. Most of our congregation participates personally, either financially or physically, in St. Andrew’s outreach programs. This is a powerful statement for our small parish. It says we strive to take our ministry – our faith – beyond the walls of the church building. We currently do this in a myriad of ways, including Family Promise, Good Neighbors, Salvation Army, Community Food Connection and others. There is much we still want to do, including growing our outreach ministries to all corners of our community.
“I had painted walls at home, but for Habitat For Humanity it was a totally new experience – painting for someone else.”
Like outreach, pastoral care is paramount. We seek a rector with exceptional skills in pastoral and spiritual care — one who could be described as a friend, counselor, approachable and being present in times of physical, emotional or spiritual need. Many of our parishioners described how priests played pivotal roles in times of crisis and other life events. It was precisely the priest’s comforting presence in their time of need that led many to become active members of St. Andrew’s.
“When you need help, there is always someone ready.”
Other strong points of the rector we seek are inspirational sermons, good parish administration, a positive working relationship with the Vestry, and participation in affairs and programs of our diocese.
The holy conversations also emphasized that we aspire to grow our congregation. Blount County is an excellent place in which to live, work, play, and raise a family. Blount County is also known around the United States as a wonderful retirement community. We would like to appeal both to young families and to a rapidly growing retirement-age community.
Many young families are moving into our area, and as a result, our schools, which are among the state’s best, are growing. We want our parish to grow with them. St. Andrew’s has only a small group of young people aged below sixteen. We are open to new ideas and hope our new rector will relate to and attract not only young families and children but also the retired citizens of Blount County. We welcome opportunities to help us grow spiritually and numerically.
Our fellowship is a key element in the life of St. Andrew’s. Our first Sunday of the month breakfasts, outreach fund raising events like our Annual Fish Fry and Holiday Bazaar, Lenten soup suppers, and after services coffee time allow for parishioners to gather and share life’s stories with one another.
St. Andrew’s has been and will continue to be a beacon in our community. Our parish is known throughout Blount County, maybe for being across the street from the Maryville Municipal Building, maybe for its past noted music programs such as the Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival, maybe for its annual fund raising events, maybe for its participation in community outreach programs, and just maybe as being here for nearly 100 years proclaiming the Gospel and, as noted in the Baptismal Covenant, respecting the dignity of every human being.
As for the future, we would like for our rector to be firmly planted in our community and join with us in offering to all, young and old alike, St. Andrew’s as a sanctuary to learn and know the love of Jesus Christ.
“We seek to expand our outreach and spread the message wider that we are open to all.”