Church Action eNewsletter Week of January 12, 2015

God calls us to some things we cannot do alone.

Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta

                                                               Week of January 12, 2015

World interfaith Harmony Week is coming up and we will publish events sent to us on our website, check out and select Read more under the Interfaith Harmony image on the right hand side. Please send your events to

1. The Social Concerns Ministry of Ben Hill United Methodist Church, 2099 Fairburn Road, Atlanta, and the Reverend Byron E. Thomas, Senior Pastor, invite the public to join them for their Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, Keeping the Dream Alive: Economic Justice for All, starting today, Wednesday, January 14 and ending on Monday, January 19, 2015. For more information, please contact Martha Bell at

Wednesday, Jan. 14, A Forum on Legal Justice for our youth, their parents and the community, “Stopped by the Cops…Do you know what to do?” presented by Ben Hill UMC & 100 Black Men, South Metro Chapter, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Panelists include: Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville; Atlanta Police Department Deputy Chief CJ Davis; Dr. Adrienne Bradford, Chief Psychologist, Atlanta Police Department; Attorney Travis and Trinity Townsend and Atlanta City Councilmember Keisha Lance Bottoms.

Saturday, January 17, Freedom Cafe'- An evening of art, food, fun, fellowship, live music, spoken word and the play "11th Hour Enough Is Enough" designed to inspire dialogue as it relates to inner city youth, 5-9:30 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 19, The Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Program, Guest Speaker: Ambassador Ron Kirk, former U.S. Trade Representative, 2009-2013, appointed by President Obama, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon

2. Ebenezer Baptist Church with McAfee School of Theology will host Human Sex Trafficking Prayer Vigil, tomorrow, Thursday, January 15, at 7 p.m. in the Ebenezer Heritage Sanctuary. This event is offered in conjunction with Mercer University’s (Atlanta Campus) Human Sex Trafficking Awareness Week, January 11-16, 2015. Come out and pray with the ecumenical community for the victims of this death-dealing crime. Please click on the links below to review/share information regarding the Human Sex Trafficking Prayer Vigil to be held at Ebenezer Baptist Church and activities/events that will happen at Mercer University Atlanta Campus. Human Sex Trafficking Prayer Vigil Events at Mercer

3. The Center for Lifelong Learning at Columbia Theological Seminary begins the new year with Cardboard Chronicles: The Biblical Art of Rudolph Bostic. The exhibit brings together twenty-three paintings from one of America’s most amazing self-taught artists. His vibrant images, rendered in enamel and house paint with a shimmering glossy finish on cardboard and his flamboyant use of color put him in a category all his own. Bostic’s work hangs in museums and some of the most prestigious southern galleries of folk art. The exhibit is on the second floor of the Harrington Center through March 20 and is open to the public during regular office hours, 8:30 – 4:30, Monday – Friday. Arrangements to view the exhibit at other times may be made by contacting the Center for Lifelong Learning at 404-687-4577 or

4. The Gateway Center is looking for church partners to supply a monthly evening meal to 100, 200, or 300 men experiencing homelessness— also, artsy volunteers to help out with art therapy on Wednesdays once a month. The next orientation for Gateway Center will be this Saturday January 17 at 9 am and is open to the public. For more information, please email Bec Cranford-Smith,

5. The Rev. Paul T. Roberts, president of Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary in Atlanta, is the featured preacher Jan. 18 on “Day 1” with host Peter Wallace, the nationally broadcast ecumenical radio program also accessible online at His sermon “A Fresh Read” is based on 1 Samuel 3, the story of the calling of the prophet Samuel. As he describes the call of the boy Samuel he comments on the discernment needed to “look for the presence of the Divine in the expected and the unexpected places.” Find your local station and more

6. Prince of Peace Lutheran Church will host the ELCA-Southeastern Synod worship service commemorating Martin Luther King Jr., on Sunday, January 18, pre-service music at 2:30 p.m., service at 3:00 p.m. The theme of the service is The Sin of Silence. The Rev. Stephen G. Marsh, pastor of Lake Edge Lutheran Church, Madison, Wis., will preach. All are welcome to attend this special service of commemoration. There will be a reception with light refreshments following the conclusion of the service. Prince of Peace Lutheran Church is located at 10250 Haynes Bridge Road, Johns Creek, GA 30022. Please contact the church office at (770)475-4250 if you have questions. Our lives begin and end the day we become silent about things that matter. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

7. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is traditionally celebrated January 18-25 between the feasts of St Peter and St Paul. Pentecost is another meaningful Sunday to reflect on Christian Unity. Christians are reminded of Jesus’ prayer for his disciples that “they may be one so that the world may believe” (see John 17.21). The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the World Council of Churches through the Commission on Faith and Order has prepared some material on the observance including liturgy, songs, and prayers; it is available here.

8. Georgia Interfaith Power and Light’s second annual Interfaith Tree Planting on MLK Day - Monday, January 19, 2015– from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon at the VA Hospital on Clairmont Road in Decatur. The VA Hospital provides services for veterans in need—now we can help beautify its grounds. This tree planting will help restore the ecosystem around the hospital, which sits along Peachtree Creek, and provide a contribution to the beloved community. All you have to do is show up—GIPL will provide supplies, instructions, hot coffee, hot chocolate and snacks. Please let them know if you can help. R.s.v.p. to

9. A reminder that Mental Health Day at the Capitol is January 20. Here is a link to registration. Mental Health Day

10. Lectures on Culture and Classics at Lake Oconee Community Church offers, Dr. John Durham, Retired Professor of Old Testament, Southeastern Theological Seminary, on Rembrandt’s Biblical paintings. Tuesday, January 20, 7 p.m. at The Landing. In this lecture, Dr. Durham presents the human Rembrandt in the context of his faith. About Rembrandt’s life, we know very little that is certain, but he has left us abundant testimony of his sensitive reading of the Bible. click to RSVP

11. The Compassionate Atlanta Team is having a Compassionate Conversation on Wednesday, January 21, 12:15-1:15pm at the Peachtree Branch of the Atlanta Public Library, 315 Peachtree St. NE Atlanta. The library is across the street from the High Museum. To learn more about the Charter for Compassion and what Compassionate Atlanta is doing to create a more compassionate city and to offer your ideas, please be here!

12. 2015 DeKalb County Homeless Count – Your help is needed to understand the scope of homelessness in DeKalb County. Please join other volunteers in counting the number of homeless persons sleeping on the streets in our community on a single night. The DeKalb County Human and Community Development Department, in collaboration with Pathways Community Network Institute, is conducting the 8th annual homeless count on the night of Thursday, January 22, 2015. Register at here.

13. Sing the Wind—Folk Songs with Steven Darsey will be presented Saturday, January 24, 2015, at 4:00 PM in Emory’s Miller-Ward Alumni House, 815 Houston Mill Road, Atlanta. The one hour concert is free and open to all. Donations will be accepted to support Meridian Herald which promotes the interaction of worship, music and culture, bridging communities and traditions of the past and present. . Parking at the Miller-Ward House is free. For more information see

14. The Northlake Church of Christ in Tucker invites anyone grieving the loss of a loved one to the Grief Recovery Support Group that will meet on Sunday evenings from 5:00−7:00pm beginning January 25-May 3. GriefShare is a Christ centered, Biblical program open to all who are dealing with loss through death. Northlake Church has been offering this ministry to the community for 4 years. For further Information & Registration contact (770)414-8717 or

15. Cobb Faith Partnership January Meeting will be January 28, 11:30 a.m., Turner Chapel AME Church, intersection of Fairground and North Marietta Parkway. Come for lunch and information about addressing the needs of our community. CFP believes that networking enlarges the ministry of the faithful.

16. Exploring Mysticism Classes for Judaism, Christianity and Islam have begun at the Neshama Interfaith Center. More information at, where registrations are requested. 'Exploring Christian Mysticism' starts February 2, and 'Exploring Sufism' starts March 16.

17. Distinguished scholar Dr. Louis Stulman, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Findlay, Ohio will present the first Kathleen O’Connor Lectures at Columbia Theological Seminary on February 3 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 4 at noon. Dr. Stuhlman’s lectures will be titled: “The Scandal of the Prophets: Language of Trauma and War” and “Healing the Wounds of the World: The Promise of Prophetic Sign-Acts for Today.” The lectures will be offered free to the public each day on the seminary campus located at 701 S. Columbia Drive, Decatur.

18. Neshama Interfaith Center Yoga, Breath, Chanting and Meditation Mini-Retreat, Saturday, February 7, 2015, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., two sessions with lunch break. Fee is $20.00 each for individual sessions, $30.00 for both sessions. Steve Gold will facilitate this mini-retreat. It will include physical exercise, breathing and relaxation, chanting and guided meditation. Participants must bring their own yoga mat, blanket and/or pillow, and a light bag lunch. We will provide water, light snacks and fruit. Registrations are required. To register, please email Sue at

19. One in six people we meet are victims of sexual and physical abuse. The Care and Counseling Center of Georgia offers SafeChurch, a 3-day training event Feb 17-19 for 10 congregations (including synagogues, mosques) called to protect children and youth both inside the congregation and in the broader community. The event is led by Samaritan Institute national trainer & SafeChurch developer, Linda Crockett. Due to a grant from the Ms. Foundation, the event is complimentary to 20 registrants (one clergy and one laity from 10 congregations) with a $25 per person expense for meals. Through this intensive training, faith communities will be able to educate members and parents, learn the basics of reporting, acquire curriculum for children and teens, honor adult survivors, and be able to minister to sexual offenders while setting boundaries for child safety. The training is at the Center, 1814 Clairmont Road, Decatur (just down the street from the VA Hospital). Post questions/registration requests to Tom Van Laningham, and/or call 404-636-1457, x403.

20. Social Protest, Social Change and Religion: Exploring Creative Paths to Peace, An AILF Event in Recognition of World Harmony Week. On Sunday, February 15 from 3 to 5 p.m. we will have an opportunity to participate in a presentation and discussion of the roles of religion, religious leaders, and people of faith in contributing to greater social justice. Emory Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 1886 North Decatur Road, Atlanta, GA 30307. There is no charge or registration for this event. All are welcome. Tom Buchanan, Associate Pastor at Emory Presbyterian Church will lead and moderate the panel discussion and audience participation in this event.

21. Mark your calendar for “Remembering the Shout” featuring the McIntosh County Shouters, Central UMC and Hillside International Truth Center bring them top the community on February 28, 2015, 6:00 p.m. to Hillside International Chapel and Truth Center. Find out a little about them here.

22. Disaster Chaplaincy Training, March 5–6, 2015 The Beecken Center, at the University of the South, in partnership with the National Disaster Interfaiths Network (NDIN), invites clergy and spiritual caregivers of The Episcopal Church and religious leaders all faiths to take a two-day disaster chaplaincy training. Participants who complete this certification can volunteer in their own diocese or faith community or with NDIN and its national partners. Emergency managers and disaster mental health professionals may also take this course to develop their knowledge of faith-based best practices in mass-care situations. All faiths are welcome! Register here.

23. Columbia Theological Seminary’s Colloquy for Mid-Career Clergy is a new program for clergy seeking to participate in professional formative conversation or to reflect on their vocational experience and assess their ability to meet the leadership needs of their organization. Attention will be given to addressing common experiences and issues; facing a career transition, standing at a vocational crossroads, engaging in reflective self-assessment, and finding support among peers. Sessions are August 10-12 and January 11-13, 2016. The application deadline is April 15, 2015. Enrollment is limited and attendance is required at both sessions. For additional information and a link to the application click here.

24. The Beecken Center of the School of Theology at the University of the South is accepting applications for the summer 2015 session of SUMMA Theological Debate Camp. The nine-day program offers high school students (entering grades 9–12) a unique experience in theological education and formation. Focus is on debate tournament, public speaking, and hands-on engagement with topics such as religion, science, social ethics, and interfaith relations—with lots of time left over for fun and goofing off! Apply now! Here.

25. Church organizations/medical mission teams are welcome to visit MedShare’s Southeastern Distribution Center in Decatur to select supplies for medical mission trips abroad. MedShare is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving healthcare and the environment through the efficient recovery and redistribution of the surplus of medical supplies and equipment to those most in need. Teams located outside the Atlanta Metro area can order through MedShare’s online system. For walk-ins (by appointment), MedShare asks a charitable donation of $75.00 for up to the first 50 pounds and $2.00 each additional pound. Online orders have a $3.00 donation per pound, plus shipping cost within the United States. Please contact Kim Lawson, (404)537-5086 or for more information, or go to

26. Red Kettle Season is over now. Did you know that the Salvation Army has been in Atlanta for 125 years? Its mission remains the same “Serving Others.” Read some more here.

27. Food for thought from Harvard Divinity School–Harvard Medical School Lecture Series on Religion and Medicine. What Faith Communities Can Teach Psychiatrists About Depression


Ethel Ware Carter

The Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta, Inc.


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