Church Action eNewsletter Week of March 16, 2015

God calls us to some things we cannot do alone.

Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta

Weekly Church Action eNewsletter

Week of March 16, 2015


1. National Interfaith Power & Light founder Rev. Canon Sally Bingham will be the featured speaker for the Ninth Annual GIPPY Awards this Thursday, March 19, 7-8:30 p.m. Young Israel Toco Hills Synagogue on Lavista Road in Atlanta will host this annual sustainable congregational awards banquet for Georgia Interfaith Power & Light (GIPL). Come to hear an inspiring message on faithful climate action. Come to learn more about how local congregations are embracing sustainability as a witness to their faith and reducing their carbon footprint. Come to tour Young Israel's new synagogue, one of the greenest synagogues in the region and the only house of worship that is Earthcraft-certified. For more information about this community event open to all faiths, email or visit  

2. Anger Management 101 for God. We read about Jesus telling us to love our enemies and then we read about God turning His wrath upon His enemies!  John Dominic Crossan takes on this knotty problem in “How to Read the Bible and Still Be a Christian: Struggling with Divine Violence from Genesis Through Revelations”. We can understand righteous anger, but is there such a thing a righteous violence? What do Quakers offer as a solution? Come and be part of a lively discussion on Thursdays at 7 p.m. in the Library at Atlanta Friends Meetinghouse, 701 West Howard Ave., Decatur GA 30030, Books are available without charge. Bring your favorite edition of the Bible.   We like to compare versions. For more info contact Julia Ewen


3. Back to the Garden into the City Deconstructing Walls of Injustice, this Friday and Saturday, March 20-21, New Life Reconciliation & Restoration Center Conference, Atlanta. Register here. Rev. Soong-Chan Rah, Rev. Alexia Salvatierra, Rev. Dominique Gilliard, Rev. Timothy Rodgers, Rev. Catherine Gilliard. With a vision of bringing emerging theologians, pastors, and ministry leaders who serve in multi-cultural, under resourced communities together for two days of intentional interaction, this conference will deepen the collective understanding of why we are called to this work. Come inspire one another to move beyond good intention and into holistic praxis. Bring the good news to the city. 

4. The Jung Society of Atlanta presents a lecture, “The Alchemy of Eros: Longing, Love, and Loss.” By Lucie Magnus, Birmingham based Jungian Analyst, teacher, and actress on Saturday evening, March 21, 7:30 pm at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 3003 Howell Mill Rd., NW, Atlanta 30327. Public is welcome.  Public - $20; Jung Society members – free; students - $10. Additional information is at .

5. The Rev. Dr. J. Bennett Guess, executive minister of the United Church of Christ’s Local Church Ministries and a member of the UCC’s four person Collegium of Officers, is the featured preacher March 22 on “Day 1” with host Peter Wallace, the nationally broadcast ecumenical radio program also accessible online at  “Written Within You,” the sermon for March 22, is based on Jeremiah 31:31-34. He says, “What Jeremiah the prophet wanted his people to know and remember, in one of their greatest moments of destitution, is that God’s faithfulness remains intact, even when how we've recognized God in the past doesn't necessarily jibe with our current reality.” For more information check the program’s website,  

6. Midway Missionary Baptist Church celebrates Annual Women’s Day, March 22, 10:00 a.m. The guest preacher is the Rev. Dr. Sherry Austin. Pastors Edward S. Reynolds and Penny Brown Reynolds invite the community to join the congregation in this celebration. Call the church at (404)768-5648 for more information.

7. Meet Sr. Helen Prejean, CSJ,  Author of Dead Man Walking, and hear her speak on her advocacy work to end the death penalty after the 10 a.m. Mass at 11:15, Sunday, March 22, in UGA Catholic Center Hall or after 5 p.m. Mass at 6:30  in the Chapel. Sponsored by the Catholic Student Association of the University of Georgia.

8. Exploring Sufism with Kemal Korucu, March 23 - April 6, 2015; Monday evenings, from 7 - 8.30 p.m., Istanbul Cultural Center, 591 N. Main Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009. Explore the source and history of Sufism as the spiritual dimension of Islam and the practical implication of a Sufi lifestyle. Students are encouraged (but not required) to use “Emerald Hills of The Heart: Key Concepts In Sufism vol. 1-4” by Fethullah Gulen as a reference text. Investment is $36 for the 3 week session.  Registration is by email to Sue Chase at

9. Sensitizing the Congregation, a webinar, second in the nine-part series Understanding Addiction and Supporting Recovery, Wednesday, Mar 24, at 2:00 p.m. EDT. Register now!  This is brought to you by the National Association for Children of Alcoholics with Co-Sponsorship from the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, and the Entertainment Industries Council, and with support from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This Webinar engages participants to explore how local congregational leaders can equip their faith groups to effectively acknowledge, address, and embrace families captured by the addictive process. Read more about this webinar and the Rev. Fred L. Smoot  here.

10. Queen's College at Oxford Professor Christopher C. Rowland will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 26, at All Saints' Episcopal Church, Atlanta. His topic is "How William Blake Can Help Us Read the Bible." Rowland is a visiting scholar this year at Emory at Oxford. The talk will be held in the All Saints' chapel; a reception follows.  All are welcome.  more 

11. The Aquinas Center of Theology at Emory University presents “Food, Transformation, and Participation: Becoming Eucharistic” with Dr. Angel L. Mendez Montoya, O.P., Thursday, March 26, 7:30 p.m.  Timothy Radcliffe described Angel’s work as follows, "This is a book to be savoured like a beautiful meal. Its understanding of the Eucharist springs from both a profound study of the Scriptures and the traditions of the Church, and also a sensuous delight in that most intimate and sustaining of human activities, cooking and eating. This nourishing theological work also challenges us to build a society in which all of humanity shares at the common table of God."  Reserve your free seats here.

12. The Seedtime & Harvest Garden & Greenhouse at Holy Comforter Church, Woodland Ave SE, Atlanta 30316; is holding its first plant sale of the season on Saturday, March 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring a wide variety of  perennial herbs and flowers, and for you early birds, tomatoes, peppers, egg-plant and basil, 23 varieties of heirloom tomatoes; sweet peppers; hot peppers, (including the two hottest  peppers in the world), five varieties of eggplant and  eight varieties of basil, with plenty of Genovese basil available. In April there will be squash,   cucumbers, melon, and okra. For those who want to try a number of tomato varieties, a limited supply of cell packs will be available with 4 and 6 varieties.  (404)627-6510)


13. Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church celebrates its 145th Church Anniversary with a “Taste of Mt. Zion,” a soul food feast on Sat., March 28, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., to raise funds for church repairs and programs.  The event takes place at 2977 LaVista Road, Decatur  30033.  Donations are $10. Call (404) 633-2288 and let them know you are coming.


14. Palm Sunday Afternoon of Praise, Sunday March 29, 3:30-4:30 p.m., featuring Amazing Grace Liturgical Dancers founded by Kenya Griffin, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 25 Boulevard, NE, Atlanta 30312. $10 


15. Renowned actress Brenda Bynum will read the Passion of Christ from the Gospel of St. Mark at the upcoming Southern Folk Passion service on Palm Sunday, March 29, at 4:00 p.m. at the historic Druid Hills Baptist Church, 1085 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia, corner of Highland and Ponce de Leon. Admission is free. A free-will offering will be taken. Southern Folk Passion interweaves southern folk hymns with the Gospel narrative and is modeled on historic musical Passion settings. Conductor and folk music scholar Steven Darsey will lead the Meridian Chorale and the congregation in folk hymns from Georgia’s famous 19th century tunebook, The Sacred Harp. The tunes, some of which were featured in the major motion picture Cold Mountain, will be sung by the Meridian Chorale and its soloists—some of Georgia’s finest. These southern folk tunes embody and express a haunting spirituality, affording a uniquely American interpretation of the Passion of Christ. For directions more information visit


16. The Cathedral of St. Philip will present its annual service "A Meditation on the Passion of Christ, with Carols" at 4 p.m. Palm Sunday, March 29. It will be sung by the Cathedral Schola. This service consists of various scriptural readings of the season - some chanted and some read - punctuated by anthems, antiphons and congregational hymnody.


17. The 35th annual ecumenical Good Friday Pilgrimage (Urban Way of the Cross) is scheduled Friday, April 3, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The pilgrimage will begin at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 48 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, SW, Atlanta 30303. Gathering begins at 8:45 a.m. and with an opening prayer at 9 a.m. by Catholic Archbishop Wilton Gregory. The walk will conclude at at the crypt of Martin Luther King Jr.  Buses will be available to return walkers (about 2½ miles) to Immaculate Conception Church. The event is sponsored and organized by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta’s Office of Justice & Peace Ministries. The theme this year is "I Am a Builder of the Kingdom."


18. Come mourn the loss of the Christ and maintain the hope of the 3rd day, The Brahms Requiem, sung in German, April 3, Good Friday evening at 7:00 p.m., Decatur First United Methodist Church, 300 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Decatur, Georgia 30030. If you have questions call 404-378-4541


19. Catch intriguing talks in Decatur on "Process Theology" by academic physicist/ordained minister Dr. Paul Wallace, April 5 and 12 at 10 a.m. According to the speaker there is "interest in process thought, but few outside official theological circles seem to know anything about it."  Check out information on the topic, Dr. Wallace and the presentation at Find this on  Facebook.


20. The Peacebuilders Conference from Atlantic Institute at Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College will be Thursday and Friday, April 9-10, follow this link “Fostering Dialogues in Education, Ethics, and Non-Violent Peacebuilding: Global Social and Religious Movements Today” for more information and registration.


21. Flea Market! United Methodist Children’s Home Auxiliary, April 10 & 11, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., 500 S Columbia Drive, Decatur 30030. Find treasures including furniture, jewelry, china, clothing (vintage too!), baby gear, toys, books and electronics. The sale supports the mission of the United Methodist Children's Home. Find a great bargain and support our community’s children at the same time! CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED. (404)327-5820.


22. First Baptist Church of Dalton will host Dr. Robert Lupton, author of Toxic Charity, at First Baptist Dalton on April 11, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. with a Leadership Summit for non-profit and ministry leaders from 2-4 p.m. for an opportunity to dig deeper with Dr. Lupton for those who serve in the "messy middle."  See for more information and to register.  


23. The Metro Atlanta Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is hosting a  Mental Health First Aid training to take place on Saturday, May 2, from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.  The site is Perimeter Church, 9500 Medlock Bridge Rd., Johns Creek, Georgia 30097.   In-depth information about MHFA can be found here.  Online registration only here.  Space is limited and cost is $15 per person.


24. Find out about a workshop on Preaching the Verbs: a New Approach to Preaching, Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, May 4-6, 2015. Read more>>


25. The National Council of Churches’ 2nd Christian Unity Gathering (CUG) will be held from May 7-9, 2015 in the Washington, DC area. This year the gathering will remember a genocide, honor a Nobel Peace Prize winner who helped stop a civil war, and hear from a Christian leader who works for peace. Find out more>>


26. How would you use $10,000 to improve education in your community? The Ideas Challenge is a region-wide, social media-based competition that asks ALL residents of greater Atlanta to submit an idea. Top winners will receive a cash prize and a grant award of up to $10,000 to partner with a local nonprofit to transform their idea into reality! To learn more, visit Facebook. Submit your idea April 1 to April 22 on the Ideas Challenge Facebook page.  It only takes 150 words! For more information on the Ideas Challenge, contact


27. The Georgia Center for Youth and Families in Hampton offers many opportunities for education and fun. Check them out at




Ethel Ware Carter

The Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta, Inc.




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