Church Action eNewsletter Week of February 16, 2015

God calls us to some things we cannot do alone.

   Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta 

Weekly Church Action eNewsletter

Ash Wednesday 2015



  1. Welcoming Atlanta is a City of Atlanta initiative to create a more welcoming environment for new arrivals and ensure that immigrants and refugees are supported and integrated into Atlanta’s social and economic fabric. Join U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director León Rodríguez; Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed; Consul General Ricardo Cámara Sánchez, Mexico; Jeffrey Tapia, the Latin American Association; Helen Ho, Asian Americans Advancing Justice; Charles Kuck, Kuck Immigration Partners; Mitchell King, Georgia Power; Bryan Rafie, BB&T, for a town hall, Friday, February 20, 10:30 a.m., Latin American Association, 2750 Buford Highway, Atlanta 30324. Free interpretation in Spanish, Korean, and other languages will be provided by Culture Connect, Inc.


  1. Armonia Celeste (Italian for "heavenly harmony") will perform at Church of the Epiphany, Atlanta, at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 21. Performers Rebecca Choate Beasley, Paula Fagerberg, Dianna Grabowski, Sarah Abigail Griffiths, and Lyle Nordstrom bring the music of the Italian Renaissance and Baroque eras vividly to life with three distinct and beautiful voices singing in close harmony, accompanied by lute and harp. Donations will be accepted.

  2. Remember the choral events this weekend, Winter Gala at St. John UMC, 550 Mt. Paran Road, Atlanta 30327, Saturday, 7 p.m., and Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requim Concert, Grace UMC, 458 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta 30308. Gwinnett Young Singers(St. John), DeKalb Choral Guild(St. John),Lynn Swanson Festival Singers, William Baker Festival Singers of Kansas City, William Baker Festival Singers of Atlanta, The Orchestra of The American Heartland. Tickets available at the door or online

  3. The Rev. Talitha Arnold of United Church of Santa Fe is the featured preacher on Day 1 February 22. “Angels in the Wilderness” is her sermon for the first Sunday in Lent.  Download the sermon, stream, or read online and find your local sta....

  4. The Davis Sisters, a trio of sopranos, will perform at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Atlanta, 306 Peyton Road, Atlanta 30311. Sakinah Davis, Hanan Davis, and Khadijah Davis will perform a diverse concert of beloved opera arias, spiritual, and jazz. The Davis Sisters are professional singers with a national reputation, individually and collectively. Dr. Sakinah Davis and Hanan Davis are newly appointed professors of voice at Spelman College, and Khadijah Davis, is a soloist with the Spelman College Glee Club and in her junior year as a music major at Spelman. The concert, one of St. Paul's Fourth Sundays at Four series, is free and open to the public.

  5. In response to the alarming statistics of violence in the state of Georgia, The Tri-Cities Funeral Home Inc. of Lithonia, The Funeral Service Practitioner Association, Inc. , Interdenominational Theological Center, and the Social Justice Ministry of House of Hope Atlanta (Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church), will launch a “STOP THE VIOLENCE” Campaign on Sunday, February 22, at 4 p.m. with a press conference at the H.R. Shepard Multiplex Building, House of Hope Atlanta, 4650 Flat Shoals Pkwy, Decatur, followed by a motorcade of hearses through DeKalb County. The motorcade will return to the building for a rally with speakers and a candlelight vigil for the victims of violence.   Pre-Rally Program features Omega Psi Phi Steppers, The Spoken Word, families affected by violence, and the MIME Group of HOHA while the processional is on the parade route. Post-motorcade activities will begin at 5 p.m. with opening comments by Dr. E. Dewey Smith, Jr., Senior Pastor/Teacher of The House of Hope Atlanta. Media Contacts: David Linton (404) 861 3929; Derrick Grissom (678)-231-0797. 

  6. The choirs of two Atlanta churches, St. Paul's Episcopal and Peachtree Presbyterian, will perform "Lift Every Voice:  A Black History Concert" at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, at St. Paul's, 306 Peyton Rd, Atlanta 30311. Featured will be anthems, spirituals, and gospel selections by African-American composers of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.  Professional soloists from both choirs will perform. The 150 voices of the two choirs will be conducted by their directors Mary Hoffman of Peachtree Presbyterian and Trey Clegg of St. Paul's. The concert is free and open to the public.

  7. Franz Joseph Haydn's "The Lord Nelson Mass" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta. Read more

  8. The Atlantic Institute and Go Eat Give announce a series of speakers and panel discussions to raise intercultural awareness. The first event, March 3, 11:30 a.m., features Ms. Fairyal Halim from the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta. Halim is originally from Toronto where she worked in the area of Human Rights and to protect the rights of Developmentally Disabled individuals. She will explore the aspects of culture and knowledge that Muslims contributed to over the centuries, including food, music, architecture, mathematics, medicine, and astronomy. Ticket includes light lunch and presentation. For more information, call Jennifer Gibbs 404-254-4844, 1349 West Peachtree Street.   R.s.v.p.

  9. Vicar Mary Wetzel of Church of the Common Ground, a ministry with unhoused people in downtown Atlanta, will lead a Lenten spiritual retreat from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, March 7, at St. James' Episcopal Church, 161 Church St., Marietta. All are welcome. To register, call Ruth Hepler, 770-919-9357.

  10. Georgia Justice Project Lobby Day, please register for Enhance the Chance Lobby Day at the Capitol, Wednesday,  March 11, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. This is an opportunity to come together and speak to lawmakers about the difficulties faced by people with criminal records who are trying to secure jobs, housing, and other opportunities in Georgia and about the negative impacts on taxpayers and communities. 

  11. A concert by Cappella Romana at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation, 2500 Clairmont Road, Atlanta, will offer a premier of Byzantine chant from Jerusalem not heard for over 500 years. This will be a great event for anyone who appreciates sacred music and thanks to some benefactors will be free to the public. March 14, 5 p.m. The cathedral website features an online chapel with scripture and prayers.

  12. Second Saturday Series in March and April. Singer-songwriter Kate Campbell will perform at 7 p.m. March 14 at St. Nicholas' Episcopal Church, Hamilton. Performing April 11 will be another singer-songwriter, Andy Gullahorn. Doors for both concerts open at 6:15. Tickets are $20. More

  13. Make plans to hear an inspiring message from National Interfaith Power & Light founder and CEO the Rev. Canon Sally Bingham while she's in Atlanta March 19. Hear her at the Ninth Annual GIPPYs, Thursday, March 19, 7:00-8:30 p.m. or at the VIP Lunch & Faithful Climate Conversation, Friday, March 20. (Limited seating— email for ticket info)

  14. A fresh look at an old problem, A fiery theologian who challenges Christians on God’s call to a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural community, one of the nation’s most sought after evangelical authors and experts on faith in action, and a leading young voice who merges history and theology to give perspective on the disenfranchisement of young black men in America, headline the first Back to the Garden…Into the City:  Deconstructing Walls of Injustice conference.  Friday and Saturday, March 20-21, at New Life Covenant Church in Atlanta. New Life Covenant is co-led by Pastor Tim Rodgers and Pastor Catherine Gilliard. Pastor Tim, who bring a new model of shared leadership to a gentrifying community. Designed to be a peer mentoring experience, the conference will take place in “The Bluff,” a slowly changing, multi-cultural enclave, with starkly different class and racial neighbors, struggling to co-exist in hope and promise, not exclusivity and privilege. In addition to presenters, collaborative think-tanks and shared meals, the conference will feature an immersion experience into the English Avenue community.   Designed for church leaders, activists, and theologians, attendees are invited to stay over for a unique Sunday morning worship experience at New Life Covenant Church. For registration details, contact conference officials here.

  15. Interfaith Dialogue, Sunday March 22, featuring the members of Diwan Saz, Emory Center for Ethics, 1531 Dickey Dr., Atlanta 30322, 10 a.m. This event is free and open to the public. Diwan Saz is a multicultural Jewish ,Christian & Muslim group of 9 musicians who perform ancient music from Central Asia, Turkey, Persia, and the Holy Land promoting peace and understanding through music. For more information on other AJMF events visit:

  16. Neshama Interfaith Center and Istanbul Cultural Center present Exploring Sufism with Kemal Korucu, March 23 - April 6, 2015; Monday evenings, from 7 – 8:30 p.m., 591 N. Main Street, Alpharetta 30009. Explore the definition, source, and history of Sufism as well as practical implications of a Sufi lifestyle, and spiritual practices of Sufis around the world. See examples of Sufi influence on art, music, science, and culture and look at the solutions Sufi teachings provide to current crises. Investment: $36 for the 3 week session.  Registration is by email to Sue Chase at

  17. SCLC W.O.M.E.N. will host the 36th Annual Drum Major for Justice Awards Gala on Saturday, April 4, 6:00pm at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. The theme for this year is, “I Want to Breathe Again”, reflecting on several events of 2014 that challenged our civic consciousness. If you have any questions or need more information, please call (404) 584-0303 or visit

  18. Columbia Theological Seminary announced the speakers for Colloquium 2015 to be held April 20–22. Titled “The Church Facing the Future: Memory, Hope, and Obedience,” it will feature a lineup of some of its most well-known and well-loved faculty emeriti. The annual event provides both clergy and laypeople with relevant reflection on God’s mission in the world today. Click here for the brochure! Click here to register now! Read more>>

  19. The C.H.I.P. website is designed to be a resource and point of connection for those interested in mental health ministry... in educating your congregation, in becoming an advocate, in starting some sort of mental health ministry in your faith community, in welcoming those with a mental illness as full members of your community, and in being prepared to help when you encounter a person or family impacted by mental illness. The church is often the first place an ill person turns. Visit and select Creating Compassionate Congregations from the menu. The new Lutheran suicide prevention program is now on the Prepare page.

  20. ‘Partner in Renewing God’s World’ After a year-long conversation with people across CBF life, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship announced new branding that tells the story of Fellowship individuals, churches, and partners “Forming Together” for the work of Christ. CBF launched a new web domain and website as well as a new logo. “What is God doing in the world, and how do we have a God-inspired voice for this century,” CBF Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter said. “How do we speak with integrity and authenticity in this century from our community?” For more information about the missions and ministries of CBF, visit


  1. Reminder that Lent Madness 2015 voting begins Thursday, a sometimes silly but always informative contest based on basketball March madness. Today's Ash Wednesday post is serious and a beautiful thing to read.


Ethel Ware Carter

The Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta, Inc.


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