Welcome To St. Joseph, The Carpenter, Episcopal Church!

We are a church community with approximately 60 families who call St. Joseph’s home. When you stop by for a visit and worship with us, you will notice that our parish always has the welcome mat out. We happily open our circle of friends and families to all who are looking for a sense of community and belonging. We come from a wide variety of faiths, baptisms and up bringings, and we celebrate that diversity.

Some of us have lived in Tennessee for a lifetime, while others have discovered the riches of God’s grace in East Tennessee from other parts of the world. In Sevierville, Tennessee, we blend our talents, our backgrounds and our faith into the wonderful parish known as St. Joseph the Carpenter.

We are part of the Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee, The Episcopal Church in the United States, and the worldwide Anglican Communion. As Episcopalians, we consider ourselves both protestant and catholic in our heritage.

We invite you to join us for worship and participate in Christ’s ministry. We would love to speak with you to extend a warm welcome to Saint Joseph’s.

St. Joseph's Mission Statement

“Joyfully serving God, each other, and our community in all endeavors, both personal and public, with love, patience and understanding.”

OUR BLESSING FOR YOU

"Life is short, and we do not have much time to gladden the hearts of those who travel the way with us. So be swift to love, and make haste to be kind. And the blessing of God who made us, who loves us, and who travels with us, be with you now and forever. Amen."

Time & Location

We are glad you are visiting St. Joseph’s web site! Our church is nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains approximately thirty minutes from two entrances to the national park. We are very blessed to be surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation.

We are located in Sevierville, Tennessee, 25 miles from downtown Knoxville, 10 miles off the 407 Exit of I-40, 5 miles from Pigeon Forge and 10 miles from Gatlinburg.

If you live in this area of the Smoky Mountains or are planning a visit here, we invite you to contact us at:

Address

St. 345 E Hardin Ln, Sevierville, TN 37862
Phone: 865-366-1335
Email: stjoesepiscopal@gmail.com

(Our phone is not continuously staffed during normal business hours. However, messages are retrieved and returned daily.)

We gather for worship on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. Everyone is welcome at God’s Table. Come as you are!

Times

Sundays
9:30 a.m.

About Us

We are a church community with approximately 60 families who call St. Joseph's home. When you stop by for a visit and worship with us, you will notice that our parish always has the welcome mat out. We happily open our circle of friends and families to all who are looking for a sense of community and belonging. We come from a wide variety of faiths, baptisms and up bringings, and we celebrate that diversity. Some of us have lived in Tennessee for a lifetime, while others have discovered the riches of God's grace in East Tennessee from other parts of the world. In Sevierville, Tennessee, we blend our talents, our backgrounds and our faith into the wonderful parish known as St. Joseph the Carpenter. We are part of the Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee, The Episcopal Church in the United States, and the worldwide Anglican Communion. As Episcopalians, we consider ourselves both protestant and catholic in our heritage.

How To Get Involved

We invite all who worship here to a deep and lasting involvement in the life of St. Joseph’s. A healthy parish depends upon it. However, we also understand that involvement is a personal matter and looks different for each individual. The timing and nature of involvement varies throughout our parish. It is our desire for each person to find the place in our ministries which best fits with his or her passion and skills. In so doing, the richness of Christ will be manifested in this place.

If you desire a greater level of involvement, please let your desire be known to the priest or a member of the Vestry. We always have opportunities available. Some of those are listed below:

Worship

Outreach

Parish Life

What Is The Episcopal Church?

If you are not familiar with the Episcopal Church, you might wonder what we believe. Who are these Episcopalians? What is their theology? Perhaps the following list of typical characteristics of Episcopal churches and their members will begin to answer your questions. If they cause you to visit our parish, we will be delighted to share more.

  • Worship that brings you into the action instead of leaving you on the sidelines.
  • Theology that expects and encourages you to utilize your God-given intelligence.
  • Toleration of differences and positions.
  • Views the Bible as the inspired Word of God but is not bound by literalism.
  • A sense of community in which our consensus is in Christ, not in the conformity of opinion.
  • Centered around the Biblical sacraments instituted by Jesus which evoke holy mystery.
  • Understanding that inclusion is the obligation and the privilege of every person.
  • Confidence in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the heritage of the Apostolic order of ministry.
  • Belief in the Great Commission to go and make disciples…baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Worship at St. Joseph

Worship at St. Joseph the Carpenter is characterized by traditional liturgy, a variety of musical styles, and a contemporary approach to biblical interpretation. We reflect diverse theologies and religious backgrounds, all of which are founded in our love of God and respect for one another.

We gather for worship on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. Everyone is welcome at God’s Table. Come as you are!

Worship at St. Joseph’s is what unites us all. Coming from a wide variety of faith traditions, it is the Episcopal liturgy which we claim as our common prayer and common ground. At St. Joseph’s a guest or old friend will be greeted at the door and offered a bulletin containing the outline for that particular Sunday service.  The form for service comes from the Book of Common Prayer. We offer ourselves in worship by listening to the Word of God as found in the Bible; we pray for those in any need; we give thanks to God for all that we are in the service of Holy Communion. Our vision is to share what we experience in worship with the community, whether near or far away. 

We invite and accept all who come seeking a deeper understanding of the spiritual dimension of our lives. Worship in the Episcopal Church has a particular, regular, and traditional content. Our services usually include times for prayer, scriptural reflection, music, and for sharing Holy Communion. To many unfamiliar with the Book of Common Prayer, it may take a while to connect with the flow of the service. However the liturgy is so creative, artistic, and contemplative that many find it to be the spiritual home they have sought all their lives. 

Worship 1

Music Ministries

Making a joyful noise highlights the activity of St. Joseph’s choir. In the past the choir has shared happy songs at the East Tennessee Episcopal Diocesan convention, Dollywood Christmas, Winterfest, our own Pig Roast and the local Community Choral Sing where the “Little Choir” wows with a cappella pieces and also sings with other churches in the mass choir.

The “Little Choir,” as we are proud to be dubbed locally, sings music of all styles: plainsong, classics, modern compositions, and southern gospel tunes sung without accompaniment. Rhythm instruments find their way into worship on occasion, particularly an Irish bodhran and a cajon, all played by choir members.

The Jardine & Sons tracker organ crowns the choir loft where the exceptional acoustics of the sanctuary fill the space with music. The organ has been featured in numerous concerts since its installation.

Choir is fun! Laughter and teamwork head the short list of qualities needed. Come be part of our family and make a joyful noise!

Jardine & Sons Tracker Organ

The Jardine & Sons tracker organ, built in 1867, has more than 800 pipes and is completely mechanical apart from the air blower. It would have cost about $3,000 in the late 1860s. It’s either the third- or fourth-oldest organ in the state of Tennessee.

George Jardine, an immigrant from England who had been trained in organ building, began his own business in the attic of his New York City home in 1836. He became one of the best-known and widely respected organ builders of his time. The organ, now at St. Joseph’s, was built for the chapel of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. and remained in regular use there until the building was demolished in 1956. The organ was then put in storage.

When Salisbury Presbyterian Church in Salisbury, Va. prepared to build a new sanctuary in 1980, the Jardine organ underwent a two-year restoration. It remained at the Virginia church for a quarter of a century.

As the Salisbury church was looking for a new home for the organ, St. Joseph’s was seeking a replacement for its own. In 2007, the Virginia church generously donated the Jardine organ to St. Joseph’s. A team from the Sevierville church traveled to Salisbury to help dismantle the organ, under the supervision of Brad Rule of New Market, TN, who then restored the organ and oversaw its erection in the choir loft of St. Joseph’s.

Rule was also featured as a performer during the celebration, showcasing the instrument’s amazing range with a selection that included Bach’s iconic “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.”

Despite some changes to the instrument, to this day the sound remains essentially the same as 140 years ago, experts say.

WORSHIP MINISTRIES

  • Altar Guild prepares the church for weekly worship services, and for the many special services in the sanctuary. (Betty Vickers)
  • Acolytes assist the clergy and lead processions during worship services. Training is held once or twice a year. All adults and young people are welcome to join us. (Betty Vickers)
  • Lay Eucharistic Ministers includes our lectors, chalice bearers and lay readers who contribute to weekly Eucharist celebrations and provide leadership at weekday services.
  • Ushers serve at Sunday worship services as well as special services, such as Christmas Eve, Christmas, & memorial services.
  • Lay Eucharistic Visitors take the Eucharist to those who are unable to attend Sunday services. 
  • Music Ministry inspires and serves the people of St. Josephs with voice and instruments. In addition to worship services, we perform at the annual community choral sing. We’ve marched the aisles with drums and bells, sung a soft lullaby in the nave center, and our kazoo band even has one performance to its credit. (Marsha Meador)

Ministries

Outreach

Outreach is a vital component of our ministry at St. Joseph's. Over the centuries, giving to others in need has been a hallmark of the Christian faith. We strive to make that so at St. Joseph's. We continuously look for opportunities to help meet the needs of people in our local and global communities. We do this by our collective efforts to support charitable organizations. We also do it by supporting and honoring the many individual ministries of our members. Whether volunteers or employees, our parishioners are often involved in efforts to relieve suffering that exists due to poverty, disability, poor health, emotional distress, injustice, and victimization. We welcome all who come here to join us in these ministries. Through the years, our local efforts have included fundraising dinners, pig roasts, fall festivals, and the usual rummage sales. Food drives, school backpacks, and the Christmas Angel Tree are among numerous causes that have our ongoing support. On a global scale we have raised money for the Heifer Project, Mosquito Nets for Africa, Bricks for Haiti, and various projects funded by Episcopal Relief and Development. Our neighbors include the Sevierville community and the entire globe.

Monthly Charities

St. Joseph’s Outreach Committee announces each month the local or global charity chosen for special support during that month. It is our practice to support a different charity each month by sharing information about the charity, raising money to support it, and exposing parishioners to volunteer opportunities within that charity. While any parishioner can donate through St. Joseph’s to any charity at any time, these represent a concentrated effort which changes monthly.

For online giving to the outreach program at St. Joseph’s, click Online Giving on the banner at the top. Contributions made at this link will always be given to the sponsored charity for the month of the gift.

Social Service Organizations Where Our Members Volunteer

Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic
Appalachian Family Ministries
Court Appointed Special Advocates
Sevier County Literacy Council
Safespace
Smoky Mtn. Area Rescue Ministries
Alliance for the Mentally Ill
Sevier County Food Ministries
Shriners Hospital Transport

Education for Ministry

Education For Ministry (EFM) is a theological education program sponsored by the School of Theology of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. Participants commit one year at a time to meet regularly in seminars led by a trained mentor from the church. Completion of the program takes four years, during which participants study the Bible, church history and twentieth century theology. Enrollment is open each summer for classes beginning in September. EFM started at St Joseph's in 1993. 43 participants have completed 1 year or more. 29 have graduated. The seminar can have 6-10 participants, and continuing education credits from Sewanee are available.

Second Sunday Sunday School (Temporarily Suspended)

This Sunday School is for children and children at heart. It meets on the second Sunday of every month after the 9:30 service and during the adult coffee hour. It’s located immediately adjacent to the parish hall where children and adults can easily enjoy the same activities. Those include a variety of learning and action projects, including lots of crafts. All are invited.

Adult Forum

The Adult Forum is a weekly gathering of adults. Our next forum will begin on March 2nd at 6:30 using the book “A Practical Chrisianity, Meditations for the Season of Lent.” Contact us at stjoesepiscopal@gmail.com or leave a message at 865-366-1335. The purpose of the forum is to provide an opportunity for parishioners to discuss issues of faith in our contemporary world. We examine our theology through a variety of topics: for example, money sanity, healing, meditation, social justice, grandparent power, poetry, Episcoplal 101, and others. The Forum is open to all comers.

Parish Life: Sharing Our Lives Together

Parish life is the part of our church experience where we share food, stories, companionship, recreation, work, laughter, and tears.

It might be coffee after the Sunday service, a pot luck dinner, the monthly gathering at a local restaurant, a party on Shrove Tuesday, or Annual Spaghetti Dinner and Auction

It could be celebrations of a new ministry, of a goal achieved, or of someone’s life.

It’s a work day to accomplish a project at the church or a local non-profit .

Parish Life is also a day in Cades Cove, centering prayer, or art meditation.

Through these events, we form stronger bonds, laying a foundation for more meaningful worship and richer ministries together. 

Vestry

In the Episcopal Church, the Vestry is the governing body of the congregation. At St. Joseph’s the Vestry consists of 9 members of the parish who are elected by the congregation for staggered, three year terms. It is the Vestry’s responsibility to be the final decision-making body which hires the Rector (the pastor), approves the parish budget, makes parish policy decisions, and spends the parish’s money on mission, ministry and maintenance.

The term, Vestry, goes back to the days when the group met in a room of the church called the vestry or vesting room. This was the room where the vestments of the clergy and other worship leaders were stored.

St. Joseph’s Vestry meets after service on the third Sunday of each month. Meetings are open to all parishioners.

VESTRY MEMBERS

Vestry Clerk: Jim Rugh

Co-Treasurers:  Ken Spurling  & Christine Trovato

Membership at St. Joseph

“Love God, love your neighbor, change the world!” The parishioners of St. Joseph’s are our closest spiritual neighbors. We share our love of God, our lives, worship, and work on a continuous basis. Whether in joy or sorrow, it is our intent to be there for each other and, in so doing, demonstrate the love of Christ in this place.

We are not perfect people; however, we believe that learning to love each other despite our flaws is the first and most crucial step in changing the world. We provide for each other an opportunity to put our faith in action up close and personal.

 

“The Episcopal Church Welcomes You” is our invitation to enter, rest, receive, pray, and then to go forth, to serve, to love, and to spread God’s joy, peace, and compassion in our everyday lives.

Classes are offered regularly for those interested in becoming a member of St. Joseph’s, that we might continue our life-long journeys of faith in community.

Columbarium

The purpose of the Charles Neal Fuller Columbarium and Grover Ciotti Memorial Garden is to provide an appropriate, consecrated, and maintained place for the interment of ash remains. The Garden is located in a landscaped area along the southeast face of the St. Joseph sanctuary.

Administration of the Columbarium/Garden

The basic design, planning, and administration of the columbarium and garden are subject to approval by the St. Joseph Vestry.

WE ARE CALLED TO BE STEWARDS

The tale of Adam and Eve is a story of stewardship. God put the pair in a beautiful garden and made them responsible for it, so they became the first stewards. Over the millions of years that humans have lived on this earth, there have been good stewards and those who missed the mark.

At St. Joseph’s everyone continues in the role of steward in his/her own way. As caretakers of this church, we continuously pledge our time, talents, and treasures. We give time to perform a wide variety of tasks necessary for the administration and ministries of the church. We give our unique talents and gifts where they are most needed in order to make those ministries as good as they can be. We give our financial treasures to fund the ministries and make them possible.

We also believe that we are stewards of the earth, the island home on which we live. Each parishioner follows his/her own heart in the exercise of these stewardship responsibilities. We recycle paper, plastic, and aluminum cans. We donate money from aluminum recycling to the Shriners, who use it to transport patients and families to essential hospital treatment. We make responsible decisions regarding the care of St. Joseph’s property. Some intentionally live simple lives as a means of conserving the Earth’s resources. Some are members of environmental organizations and participate in advocacy for critical environmental issues.

In all our stewardship efforts, we demonstrate our love for God, St. Joseph’s, and each other.

NEWS & EVENTS

Please refer to our Facebook page for current news and events

New Website

Take a look at our new website. We hope it provides the information you are looking for! If you have any questions please feel free

Read More »

ONLINE GIVING

It is now possible to make pledges and other financial contributions to St. Joseph’s online. This secure portal is made available for the convenience of our members. You can make one-time contributions or recurring pledge payments using this resource. Simply click the link below and register to begin the process.