Safe Church

Friday, February 9, 2024
1:00-4:00 pm

St John’s Cathedral, Knoxville


All Parochial Clergy and Church Staff are required to be compliant and up to date with Diocesan Safe Church Policies by February 10, 2024.Training under the “old” Safe Guarding requirements is valid until the 3-year expiration date. If training was completed in another diocese: completed courses are valid, but any “missing” courses must be completed to be compliant with the requirements of the Diocese of East Tennessee. This just-in-time training is for Parochial Clergy, Staff, and Convention Delegates. Additional in-person training will be offered later. Registration can be found HERE. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact your parish Safe Church Coordinator or Emily Kirk at or 865-966-2110.  

Convention Day

Numerous in-person workshops will all take place at The Episcopal School in Knoxville, on Saturday, February 10, 2024, either prior to or in the middle of the business of convention.

Please note: All workshops are subject to be rescheduled as planning continues for each session in the coming weeks. To stay up to date on any scheduling changes.

8:30-9:45 am

Spiritual Discernment & Social Justice

ESK Library/Media Room

The Rev. Claire Brown

Our world and communities are struggling, and it seems that there is injustice everywhere we turn. In the face of brokenness, it can be overwhelming and difficult to know where to begin, and how to keep watch for hope along the way. Through spiritual practice, reflection, and facilitated content, this workshop provides opportunity to explore the challenge of St. Francis, to discern “what is ours to do.”

    Energy Efficiency for Congregations

    ESK Room 105

    Ms. Courtney Shea

    Tennessee Interfaith Power & Light will host this workshop, focused on reducing the carbon footprint of our facilities and saving money on utility costs.

    • Does our building need an energy audit?
    • How do we get one and what do we do with it?

    Come and hear about tools for evaluating energy usage in church facilities, federal incentives, and financing options for energy upgrades.

    Rick Held, Project Development Consultant of SOULar Equity Project, Jennifer Alldredge, Energy Use Educator, and Courtney Shea, current president of Tennessee Interfaith Power and Light, will get specific on these issues and look forward to working through your questions.

    Tennessee Interfaith Power & Light is an inter-denominational group responding to climate change through upholding the sacredness of all life, protecting vulnerable communities, and caring for the Earth.

      A Walking Pilgrimage:

      The Camino Experience


      ESK Room 106

      Ms. Margaret Bickley

      The Rev. Erik Broeren

      The Rev. Derrick Hill


      Have you wondered what it’s like to discern, plan, and take a walking pilgrimage?  Have you wondered specifically about the Camino de Santiago – the Way of St James – in Spain?  Come hear from recent East Tennessee pilgrims of The Camino, see photos, and ask questions as you discern your own walking pilgrimage.

        Expanding Beyond


        ESK Room 108

        Ms. Freida Herron

        As Christians we are called to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. When it comes to living that out in the context of race, people who are White are faced with choices. Should they charge ahead with the best of intentions? Or should they hold back on taking action to avoid making a mistake that might be hurtful to those who are Black, Indigenous, or Persons of Color? The concept of White people becoming “Allies” with minoritized racial groups has become popular, but these efforts often fall short. This workshop will explore the continuum of thoughts, beliefs and behaviors from “Actor” to “Ally” to “Accomplice” in the journey of working together for justice and equity. The workshop will be interactive and will include breakout group activities to explore practical applications of the ideas we discuss.

          12:30-1:45 pm

          Practical Tools for Leadership While Navigating Changing Times

          ESK Library/Media Room

          The Rev. Canon Michael Spear-Jones

          The Rev. Canon SuzeAnne Silla

          A workshop designed for lay leaders, including wardens, vestry members, and congregational ministers. We will review some foundational tools together and be reminded of our personal, organizational, and spiritual responsibilities. Open to all, but first-timers in these roles are especially welcome.

            Liminality &

            The End of Life

            ESK Room 105

            Dr. Greg Phelps

            Crossing thresholds, be it baptisms, marriages or funerals, the church is involved for believers. But what of the times before, as parishioners’ approach these thresholds, particularly death. Our population is aging, the average Episcopalian is 56 and yet we Americans are particularly a ‘death denying’ culture. What can we do as a church to prepare those in our care for this final transition. 


            Dr. Greg Phelps is a board-certified hospice and palliative care physician who has been working towards his personal discernment towards care of those in the later stages of life. His discernment process has been influenced by the profoundly spiritual aspects of end-of-life care and has led him through a Master of Arts in Health Care Mission, EfM and most recently chaplain training at UTMC leading to certification as a lay Pastoral Care Minister in the Diocese of East TN. A practicing physician, author and lecturer, he will be speaking about both medical as well as pastoral concerns for those people approaching their final chapters.

              Youth Programming in East TN: A Round Table Discussion

              ESK Room 106

              Ms. Julie Novak

              Ms. MacKenzie Teal


              Join Julie Novak of St. Timothy’s Signal Mountain, MacKenzie Teal of St. Paul’s Chattanooga and youth delegates to Diocesan Convention in a sharing session about successes and failures in youth programming. How can we grow our individual churches and regional communities (ChattEY, KEY, TricEY) and continue to support all things related to Grace Point Summer Camp and Diocesan Conferences? This is a great opportunity to collaborate and brainstorm about the future whether you are a youth leader, parent, or priest.

                LGBTQ+ Inclusion & Affirmation

                ESK Room 108

                The Rev. Amy Bradley

                The Rev. Claire Brown


                The Episcopal Church has a legacy of inclusion around gender and sexual diversity, most notably regarding ministry leadership (lay and ordained) and marriage. But sometimes we need support in our conversations and understanding, so that we can better live into our diverse and abundant community. This workshop invites us to explore our assumptions about gender and sexuality, learn a shared vocabulary, and consider how our church’s commitments of full inclusion and affirmation of all persons call us today.

                  Embracing Evangelism

                  ESK Room 112

                  Mr. Drew Jeske-Polyak


                  A transformative event designed to equip and empower individuals with effective evangelism strategies. Participants will learn practical techniques for sharing their faith, engaging with non-believers, and spreading the message of love and salvation. Through interactive workshops, inspiring talks, and real-life examples, attendees will gain confidence in their ability to reach out to others and make a positive impact in their communities. This seminar is perfect for anyone passionate about spreading the Gospel and making a difference in the world.


                    Numerous offerings both in person and online are being discussed and designed.  Look for more details here and in eNews soon.

                    Should you have any questions regarding our workshops, please email Bro. Andrew Morehead at or use the chat box on this site to leave a message.

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