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C.O.N.N.E.C.T. MINISTRIES (Community, Organizations, Networking, Neighborhoods, Encouraging Change Together)

Our Local Missions focus for June is C.O.N.N.E.C.T Ministries, another agency we support through our benevolences.  It is a “hands-on” community information networking resource center located in East Knoxville.  Their mission is to “lead people to Christ, connect people to people, people to resources, and do God’s work His way.”

In May, they helped sponsor a project called “Outside These Walls” to encourage the body of Christ to work together to share, preach, proclaim, and pray outside the bounds of a building and reach out to the physical and spiritual needs of the people in our city.  The culmination of this project was a revival at Chilhowee Park on May 30.  SHPC participated by donating 200 new Bibles to give to people who received Christ through this event.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Continue working “outside our walls” this month to help serve those in need in our community through their various outreach programs by providing hygiene bags for people struggling with homelessness, addiction, mental health issues, and others.  Simply place hygiene items in a quart zip-lock bag and leave them in the bins marked for C.O.N.N.E.C.T at the back of the sanctuary or in the church office.  Some items that could be included are:  toothbrushes, toothpaste,  small bars of soap, a washcloth, shampoo, lotion, combs, disposable razors, hand sanitizer, etc.  If you take items out of their “extra” packaging, you can maximize space and fit more in a bag, and travel size items are great! We will collect them throughout the month of June.

In advance, thank you for being such a generous church and reaching “outside our walls” to the most vulnerable and hurting in our community in this simple but loving way.

HABITAT GROUP BUILD UPDATE:  To volunteer, click HERE. The specific days SHPC has been asked to provide help will be listed. SHPC is the lead church on JUNE 19. 

Boy Scouts of America

Our congregation has supported scouting for about 40 years and continues to be the charter organization for Cub Scout Pack 39, which is part of the BSA. Various Scout troops also meet at SHPC.  For more information, visit their website at


FISH is a food ministry that is working with communities to end hunger.  FISH is part of Hospitality Pantries, Inc., a non-profit all volunteer organization that currently provides food packages to over 11,000 families each month and from its associate locations in Claiborne and Knox counties an additional 2,000 families receive food bags each month.  Help is needed in coordination and food deliveries the third Tuesday of each month at SHPC.  A week prior to delivery day the SHPC Fish coordinator queries volunteers by e-mail and telephone to see who is available to work, and in the meantime, the grocery transport coordinator estimates the number of vehicles will be needed to transport the bags of food to SHPC, and contacts three or four regular drivers who have large vehicles.  On Monday these drivers travel to the West Knox Fish Pantry behind the Church of the Savior where they load the requisite bags and take them to Barron Hall. There they set up the tables and off load the bags.  Also, on Monday the special needs coordinators assess how many special needs products, such as toilet tissue, soaps, diapers, etc., church members have contributed. They then estimate any paper product and toiletry shortages. Volunteer shoppers purchase these products to make up the difference. Tuesday morning after the SHPC Fish phone center fills out request sheets from callers, members of the special needs team collect the specific extra products needed by each family, and they add these to that family’s order.  SHPC volunteers then arrive deliver groceries on the second Tuesday of each month!

Additional service to SHPC’s hunger ministry: Once a year Sequoyah Church is responsible for buying food for the West Knox Food Pantry (a cooperative organization of 16 churches) which we use every month for our Fish deliveries. The tasks involved in stocking the pantry include: purchase the food from various vendors; deliver 10,000 pounds of food to the pantry; assemble each sack of food and place on shelves; clean the pantry; recycle cardboard; and maintain the pantry for the full month of March.

For more information about FISH visit:


SHPC is now making an additional FISH delivery (called Minnows) on the fourth Saturday of every month. Volunteers meet at the food pantry around noon to distribute the food bags, and then make 4-6 deliveries each (1-2 hour commitment) within the Knox County area. You can be paired with another volunteer or deliver food as a family. Please contact 522-9804 or

Habitat for Humanity 

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry that has helped to build or repair over 600,000 houses for more than 3 million people worldwide.  Their vision is “a world where everyone has a decent place to live.”  Through volunteer labor and the donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates homes partnering with their homeowner families.  These families invest hundreds of hours of their own labor into building their Habitat house and the houses of others.

SHPC sponsors a Habitat house every other year. Volunteers help on Saturday build days as well as provide lunch for the workers on build days.

For more information about Habitat for Humanity visit:

Knox Area Rescue Ministries (KARM)

KARM provides daily for those whom are most vulnerable and desperate among us.  They supply rescue services of food and shelter, they build healthy and supportive relationships, and ultimately strive for restoration, which includes job-training opportunities. They feel when rescue is combined with the support and encouragement provided by healthy relationships that reflect the heart of Jesus, then true restoration can occur…restoration to God, self, family, and community.

KARM’s Thrift Stores provide employment, donation opportunities for individuals and churches, and offer gently used merchandise for sale throughout our area. Revenue from donated goods sold at the KARM Thrift Stores is used to support the services at KARM.

Twice a year, SHPC volunteers cook, set-up, and serve an evening meal to over 250 residential families and homeless in our community.

For more information about KARM visit:

SPHC Mission Trips 

SHPC Mission Trips are scheduled as needed.  A yearly medical mission trip occurs in February. Past trips have included day trips to outlying counties to install clean water systems, work trips to Mexico, and various trips in TN. through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) which is the emergency and refugee program of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  PDA  enables congregations and mission partners of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) to witness to the healing love of Christ through caring for communities adversely affected by crisis and catastrophic events.  The focus is on the long term recovery of disaster impacted communities and provides training and disaster preparedness for presbyteries and synods.

SHPC sponsors a Habitat house every other year. Volunteers help on Saturday build days as well as provide lunch for the workers on build days.

Pond Gap Elementary School

SHPC is in partnership with Pond Gap Elementary School. Various mission opportunities are available depending on the needs of the school and the students. Current and past opportunities include:

  • Teacher Luncheons
  • Providing food items for Second Harvest’s Backpacks for students program, backpacks are stuffed on Thursdays
  • Sponsoring/Tutoring of students
  • Sam Fowler Blitz Day – Working on the grounds of Pond Gap School
  • Book Drive – organizing, wrapping the books, and distributing them to the children
  • Bargains & BBQ: An event to provide bargains to Pond Gap families at low cost, raise money for the principal’s discretionary fund, and as an outreach opportunity for the church.

Thrive ministers to at-risk youth in the Lonsdale area to share the Gospel through relationships anchored in the love of Christ.  They do this through their three main programs: Thrive Afterschool, Thrive Summer, and Mentoring.

SHPC Youth ministry helps monthly in Thrive’s after-school program by helping prepare a warm cooked meal, serving that meal, helping students with homework after school, and cleaning up as we finish our time of serving. SHPC serves dinner the third Monday of each month.

Rose’s Creek

Members and groups of SHPC adopt 30 families each year from Roses Creek, a Land Trust Community in Coalfield, TN.  Individuals, Bible Study groups, Sunday school classes or small group choose from a single adult, a small family or a large family with several children. Gifts are wrapped, tagged by individual and family, and delivered to the church by mid-December.  Volunteers with trucks or SUVs are also needed to deliver gifts to Roses Creek. Contact:

University of Tennessee Presbyterian Center (UKirk) 

Their hope is to encourage students to grow in the knowledge of God’s love in Jesus Christ, experience God’s call in their lives, and learn to share God’s love with the world around them.  SHPC volunteers can be involved in spring work days at the center (landscaping, cleaning, and painting), and /or providing meals or snack food for students at the center. For more information visit:

Volunteer Ministry Center (VMC)

VMC is a non-profit, interfaith agency serving the poor and homeless of Knoxville. Their mission is to facilitate permanent supportive housing for those who are homeless and to provide services to prevent homelessness.  VMC’s Bush Family Refuge serves individuals who are marginally housed and who may be at risk of losing their home. The Refuge program is dedicated to the prevention of homelessness. All volunteer work is done under the direction of a professional social worker.  VMC Resource Center provides case management and supportive services to homeless individuals to achieve housing. Meal Groups purchase, prepare, and serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.   Volunteer opportunities include:  working as an refuge interviewer or front desk receptionist or organizing donation closet at the Bush Family Refuge; Supervise and guide use of computers for job hunting, application submissions, email, writing letters and resumes, etc. or helping with group activities such as BINGO, crafts, outings, etc. at the Resource Center; provide a breakfast, lunch, or dinner meal group. For more information about VMC visit: