FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Diocese of East Tennessee Announces St. Timothy’s, St. Christopher’s Unite As St. Michael’s Episcopal Church
KINGSPORT, TENNESSEE – The Diocese of East Tennessee has announced that St. Timothy’s and St. Christopher’s Episcopal churches in Kingsport will unite to form a new community, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. The new community will bring an expanded ministry base to the Episcopal community, enabling them to better serve the area. The wider community is invited to attend the special celebrations marking the occasion.
The new St. Michael’s community will be located at the St. Christopher’s campus at 584 Lebanon Road, while the St. Timothy’s facility will be secularized and closed. Two events will mark the occasion: a service at St. Timothy’s to commemorate the secularization of the facility on Saturday, November 25, at 7:00 pm, and a celebration of the formation of the St. Michael’s community on Sunday, November 26, at 11:00 am at the St. Christopher’s campus.
The Rev. Jon Hermes, priest-in-charge of both congregations, said he’s excited. “God creating something new from the things that have grown old is both challenging and exciting. The new spirit and energy in the parish is palpable. The venture has awakened new ideas and invitations from the parish; the parish’s size continues to grow in response. Our confirmand size for our first service together at Saint Michael’s is currently twelve. All these things excite me as a priest,” Hermes said.
The Episcopal Bishop of East Tennessee, The Rt. Rev. Brian L. Cole, who has served as a counselor to both congregations, said, “The open-hearted, courageous conversations between the parish leadership of St. Timothy’s and St. Christopher’s is a sign of Good News, that the Way of Jesus is a way of death and resurrection. Both parish churches will be changed, and a new thing will emerge, with St. Michael’s Church as a witness that God can use what is already known to us to do something surprising and Spirit-led. My prayer is that the new parish church of St. Michael’s will also be a blessing to the existing parish church of St. Paul’s, Kingsport, and that the shared witness of Episcopalians across East Tennessee will be renewed and strengthened. Together, we will all be able to join in the new thing God’s Spirit is doing.”
About The Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee
The Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee, whose offices are located in Knoxville, spans 36 counties across East Tennessee and Northwest Georgia and comprises 46 distinct congregations. Under the leadership of The Rt. Rev. Brian L. Cole, all East Tennessee Episcopalians serve under a common call to Reconcile All Things in Christ. The Diocese of East Tennessee is committed to being a community of prayer and action, caring for the people of our beautiful East Tennessee region. Our forward-looking vision is that creativity and innovation are theological tasks, guided by the Holy Spirit. We are rooted in Christ and we are open to the world. Learn more at www.dioet.org.
Bro. Andrew Morehead, OC
Missioner for Communications and Evangelism