Church Action e Newsletter Week of December 4, 2023

Church Action Newsletter Week of December 4, 2023 

God calls us to some things we cannot do alone. 


1. "Beyond Walls meets For People with Bishop Rob Wright" hosted by Bexley Seabury Seminary President Micah T.J. Jackson in collaboration with the Diocese of Atlanta is Thursday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m.  The Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30305. The evening will begin with a communal dinner, providing a relaxed setting for fellowship and sharing stories with fellow community members. Following dinner, we will transition into the live recording with Bishop Wright, where his insights and wisdom will guide us through topics that are both relevant and transformative. R.s.v.p. now if you plan to come.

2. Bach's Lunch at First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta with Vega Quartet is Friday, Dec. 8, at noon. Each member of the Vega Quartet takes a solo turn with pianist William Ransom, including the Vega’s new violist Joseph Skerik performing Grieg’s dramatic “Sonata”. Bach’s Lunch: Vega Quartet, Solo! – Concerts @ First (concertsatfir...

3. Lunchtime Live! St. Luke's mini-series of lunchtime concerts during Advent continues Friday, Dec. 8 at 12 p.m. with Matthew Hess, saxophonist. A sack lunch follows in Budd Hall. A suggested $15 contribution is requested for lunch. 435 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta 30308.

4. The members of the Atlanta Symphony brass and percussion sections will present their sixth holiday concert at the Cathedral of St. Philip. Featuring some of the finest arrangements for brass ensemble and percussion, the program will include beloved standards from the symphonic orchestra repertoire and traditional holiday carols, Dec. 8, 7:30, 2744 Peachtree Road, Atlanta 30305.

5. Church Women United in Cobb County will be having a special joint program with the Atlanta unit on Saturday, Dec. 9, 1 p.m., at Shaw Temple in Smyrna. Contact Mary Robeck for information (404) 849-0727. Founded in 1941, Church Women United (CWU) is a national volunteer Christian ecumenical women’s movement of women in the United States and Puerto Rico. It brings together women of diverse races, cultures, and traditions in Christian fellowship, prayer, advocacy, and action for peace with justice in the world. CWU engages millions of women representing twenty-six supporting denominations and participating Christian women. Church Women United Website Among community leaders speaking on the theme "Labor of Love: Hands to Help" are: "The Prison Doctor", Researcher, Dr. Fleda Mask Jackson; Melanie Kagan-The Family Resource Center-Cobb County; Tim Robinson, "Man in the Mirror;" and Minister Donna Meredith "Christians in Action" Greater Deliverance Baptist Church. Wear red and bring your friends.  Donations of cookies (Christmas or your favorite recipe), sandwich platters, and apple cider are needed.  Please contact Karen Turney at (913) 620-2278 to donate.

6. Interfaith Winter Lights – A celebration of light through song, story, poetry, and friendship. Saturday, Dec. 9, 4- 6 p.m., Emory University Cannon Chapel (park at Peavine Deck: 29 Eagle Row, Atlanta, GA 30306). The event is sponsored by Interfaith Atlanta, Emory University Office of Spiritual and Religious Life, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Compassionate Atlanta, Interfaith Children’s Movement, and Interfaith Community Initiatives. Please R.s.v.p. at

7. Will Willimon, professor of the practice of Christian ministry at Duke University Divinity School in Durham, N.C., is the featured preacher Dec. 10 on “Day 1” with guest host the Rev. Dalton Rushing, the nationally broadcast ecumenical radio program also accessible as a podcast and online at “Good News: God Is Coming to You” is drawn from Mark 1:1-8, verses in which John the Baptist announces the coming of Jesus. “Advent is announced not in some beautifully proportioned church, but in the remote, untamed, uncivilized wilderness where it’s hard to find your way, and some become lost,” he says. “Some words are too true, too unmanageable to be fully contained in a temple, synagogue, or church.” “Day 1” has been broadcast every week for more than 78 years and is currently distributed to radio stations across America and overseas. For more information, check the program’s website,

8. Last Eco-A volunteer event of the year, Sunday, Dec 10. Grove Park/Proctor Creek, for more information and to register click here

9. Sounds of Christmas at Shallowford Presbyterian Church, December 10, 4:00 p.m. A Community Concert — All are welcome! A Shallowford favorite and annual Christmas concert for the community, where you will hear holiday favorites! This concert features members from the youth and adult choirs and professional musicians. Shallowford Presbyterian Church, 2375 Shallowford Road, Atlanta 30345

10. Appalachian music and storytelling bring a new twist to the classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge as shared by Atlanta actor Clark Taylor and his favorite collaborators -- Scott DePoy, Chris Kayser, Rivka Levin & Jeff Watkins. Suitable for children who enjoy full-length plays; under-5 childcare provided. Holiday treats at intermission. A freewill love offering will be received to benefit the ministries of Oglethorpe Presbyterian Church. Dec. 10, 5 p.m., 3016 Lanier Drive NE, Brookhaven.

11. Remember the U.S. Military Veteran Suicide Prevention Program at First Congregational Church, 105 Courtland Street, Atlanta 30303, meets on Mondays, 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., through December. This professional run broad program of mental health services is for Fulton County residents exclusively. Find out more and register at or call (888) 638-3822.

12. Our Lady of Guadalupe refers to a title given to Mary, the mother of Jesus, by the Catholic Church. In December 1531, Mary appeared to a man of Aztec descent in Mexico City. Our Lady of Guadalupe refers specifically to the experience of one man in Mexico. Our Lady of Guadalupe remains a symbol of religious worship and national pride to the people in Mexico today. Our Hispanic Family Church invites you to celebrate the feast in a bilingual service with mariachis, food, music, and more, 400 Holcomb Bridge Road, Norcross, Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m.

13. “They sing and the world listens.” The Atlanta Boy Choir Holiday Concert at Northside Drive Baptist Church, 3100 Northside Drive, Atlanta 30305, December 15, 7:30 p.m. Find information and tickets at

14. Recovery Retreat for those in a 12-Step Program: The Spirituality of Recovery, Dec. 15, 6:00 p.m. – Dec. 17 at 12:00 p.m., Ignatius House 6700 Riverside Dr., Sandy Springs, GA, Directed by Brad Hamrlik The Spirituality of Recovery: Rocketing to the Fourth Dimension of Existence. Step into a warm and inclusive atmosphere to explore what AA Founder Bill W. describes as the “Fourth Dimension of Existence”. Prepare to awaken your spirit and embrace the transformative power of spirituality in your personal journey of recovery. This weekend retreat is carefully crafted to provide a nurturing and enriching experience, allowing you to find solace, inspiration, and a deeper connection with God and yourself.   Drawing on insights from “The Spirituality of Imperfection” by Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham, we will delve into the essence of spirituality and its pivotal role in the journey of recovery.  Join us as we unpack this theme through introspective sessions, soulful exploration, and contemplative exercises.  IMPORTANT NOTICE: This retreat is not suitable for anyone in acute withdrawal or initial stages of recovery. This retreat serves those seeking ongoing motivation for sobriety maintenance. This is a silent retreat. Register at

15. The holiday season is a special time at Emmaus House. For decades, parishes, friends and organizations have donated Christmas gifts for more than 500 children in Peoplestown. This year they offer the guide below with suggestions. Presents should be unwrapped for ease in organizing and distributing. They welcome donations from December 11 -21 and are seeking a handful of volunteers the day of the Festival. Contact Rev. Kenya Thompson for information. 2023HolidayGuideNewestpdf.pdf (

16. The Living Compass Podcast is a year-round offering that you can listen to any time on at website or in your favorite podcast app (Apple, Google, Spotify, etc.) by searching for Living Compass. During Advent, the podcast features two six-minute episodes per week that focus on the 2023 theme of Practicing Wonder. Find it here Podcast: Practicing Wonder

17. In 2022, Simple Needs GA volunteers and donors gave requested gifts to 307 children in over 100 families, all of whom, in addition, received extras like board games and hats, gloves and scarves. Parents also received a $50 Walmart card. You as the sponsor of the child or family can provide these additional items, or Simple Needs GA will. If you’re not a shopper but want to help, you can virtually sponsor a child with a $125 donation (click here to donate). To receive details regarding how you can help out with Christmas, email

18. "Death and Dying" is a course at Mercer University McAfee School of Theology exploring what it means to die well. There are a few more spaces left to audit this class - in-person or online – but you should contact admissions now. There are other courses available for audit next semester. Auditing is a great way to experience seminary, without the obligation of writing papers or laboring for a grade. 

19. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta has alerted us to an advocacy opportunity for those concerned about the proposed mine at the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp, a world-renowned treasure. Spanning across 438,000 acres of southeast Georgia, the swamp is the largest intact freshwater wetland in North America. This unique landscape is threatened by a proposed titanium mine at the edge of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. The operation could endanger the integrity of the swamp’s complex water system. The Nature Conservancy has more information here on how you can take action on this issue if you wish to. 

20. Going There: Contemplating Death to Invigorate Life - join Conscious Dying Coach, Susan Patterson, in this small group course beginning January 3.  Over the course of six two-hour sessions, the group will focus on five contemplation topics, participate in grounding exercises, and share personal insights in order to increase our comfort level with dying and death; increase our ability to envision the experiences and connections that bring deep meaning to our lives, and create action steps to share our thoughts, wishes and plans with others. The fee of $150 covers all materials and Susan’s leadership.   Please direct questions to Cathy Zappa at Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta. Please use to register.

21. “Children of Abraham: An Introduction to the Faith and Practices of Judaism, Christianity and Islam,” Jan. 16 – April 16, 7- 9 p.m., Ignatius House, 6700 Riverside Dr., Sandy Springs. In today’s world, knowing something about what other religions believe and practice can be essential to making sense of the daily news. If you’ve said, “Someday, I’d like to learn more about …” (name the religion of your choice), then this series is for you! Learn what the “children of Abraham” share by exploring the religions that claim Abraham as their Father – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This 13-week series reveals what we have in common. Led by Kathy Hoffman, an educator whose career has spanned traditional classrooms and faith-based settings. Twelve years of teaching World Religions at the high school and undergraduate level inspired her passion for interfaith engagement and education, which gave birth to the “Children of Abraham” course for adult learners in 2016. To register: 

22. Advent is a season of preparation and expectation fueled by the hope, peace, joy, and love demonstrated in the life of Jesus.  As you observe this season of Advent, you are invited to engage with the McAfee's annual Advent Devotional. Advent: Born To Set the People Free, is a collection of devotionals written by McAfee faculty, staff, alumni, and current students. Click the link below for today's Advent Devotional. Click here.

Ethel Ware Carter




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Medicaid Re-enrollment

If your ministry serves Medicaid/PeachCare for Kids, the Dept. of Human Services has a message and materials for you. 

    • Redetermination began in April 2023. Based on changes in federal law, the State of Georgia must complete redeterminations up to May 2024. We want to ensure current Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids® members are still eligible for coverage. 
    • During redetermination, the State of Georgia will collect and verify member information, including contact and income details as well as other requested information and documents that will be used to determine member eligibility. Not everyone will go through this process at the same time. In fact, it will take about 14 months to reach everyone. 
    • Members can visit to view their redetermination date and to update their contact information today so they can stay informed about the status of their coverage. 
    • Members who need help can visit their local Division of Family & Children Services office for support. To find the location and business hours for local offices, visit: 
    • For more information on Medicaid redetermination, we are including a partner toolkit with resources in multiple languages, please visit “Stay Informed. Stay Covered.” 

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Lutheran Resource in Response to Gun Violence

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, saddened by the all-too-frequent occurrences of gun violence in the U.S., invites you on a journey of prayer, scripture, stories, and church teachings with this resource, A 60-Day Journey Towards Justice in a Culture of Gun Violence - an ELCA Resource  Through daily observances, it calls us to work toward the prevention of gun violence as people of God who strive for justice and peace in all the world. It may be used for individual reflection, group Bible study, adult education sessions, and congregational daily devotions. This began on June 16 but can be used at any time.

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6700 Riverside Drive NW 

Atlanta, GA 30328

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