Church Action Newsletter Week of December 12, 2011

God calls us to some things we cannot do alone. 


The Advent mystery is the beginning of the end of all in us that is not yet Christ.
Thomas Merton


Atlanta Center for  Congregations study --  we need to hear from everyone. If you have not taken this very short survey, please give us your input at


 If you believe as we do that together we can make a greater difference for our neighbors and for God’s whole creation, join us -- application should take you directly to a membership application. Contact Johnnetta Morris, Membership coordinator, if you  would like us to send you an application or have questions.  or visit for information.    

 Online Advent calendars on our website at Notes


1.  … I decided to have a go at it and make my own list of recommendations on how to have a perfect holiday season. "  Read this wonderful Advent reflection from Dr. Delmer Chilton, Assistant to the Bishop, Southeastern Synod,  On Getting Ready for Christ's Mass


 2. The Coalition for Homeless People with a Mental illness will not meet today, December 14. Mark your calendar for the next meeting, January 18, 2012, at First Presbyterian Church Atlanta.


 3. If you are looking for a chance to brighten a child’s Christmas consider the toy ministry at St. Patrick’s. A toy collection is underway at Malachi's Storehouse, the food pantry at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Dunwoody. On Sunday, Dec. 18, from 2 to 5 p.m. parents of 400 children will come to St. Patrick's to select one toy for each child. Volunteers will wrap the packages so parents will be able to give their children a Christmas gift.  St. Patrick's Episcopal Church is located at 4755 N. Peachtree Road, Dunwoody 30338.


 4. You haven’t missed all the Live Nativities – find one in your area: 


 Members and friends of Rock Spring Presbyterian Church have presented the Live Nativity Scene as a gift to the community since 1954 . .. begins at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 22; the scene will be repeated at 8:00 p.m. and at 8:30 p.m. The same schedule will be followed on Friday, December 23. On Saturday, December 24, a fourth scene is added 9:00 p.m. followed by the Christmas Eve Communion service in the historic church sanctuary beginning at 10:00 p.m. A family service will be held at 6:00 p.m. Rock Spring Presbyterian Church, 1824 Piedmont Ave.,   Atlanta 30324, 404- 875-7483.


Christ Church Episcopal, 400 Holcomb Bridge Road, Norcross, plans an outdoor Live Nativity at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23. Participants will walk to the shepherds' fireside, watch the stable fill, and hear angels sing. Hot cider and refreshments follow.


 Chamblee First United Methodist Church, December 18, 7-8 p.m. The Live Nativity is on the hill at the activities building behind the church. Children are allowed to pet the animals before and after the presentation. A carol choir sings all of the familiar carols as the story unfolds through music and narration. All are welcomed to cookies and hot chocolate in the Fellowship Hall afterwards, 4147 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd. 30341.
Life Church, Smyrna, will hold a Live Nativity on Sunday, December 18, 6 to 8 p.m. The pastor and his wife will welcome you with hot chocolate. There wil be carolers, and elves will bring candy canes right to your car on Candy Land Lane.  4100 King Springs Road SE, Smyrna 30082


St. Teresa’s Live Nativity celebration on the church grounds. Live animals -- a donkey, a miniature horse and, and a camel -- will be there, 6 to 9 p.m. both Dec. 22 and 23. The Live Nativity will include a narrated walk on the grounds of St. Teresa's, and participants will be treated to hot chocolate and cookies in the narthex, St. Teresa’s Episcopal Church, 5725 Fords Road, Acworth.


 5. The Cathedral Schola will lead the  annual Service of Nine Christmas Lessons & Carols at 4 p.m.  Sunday, Dec. 18, at the  Cathedral of St. Philip,  2744 Peachtree Road.  This service consists of the traditional scriptural readings of the season punctuated by anthems and congregational carols. Canon for Music Dr. Dale Adelmann will conduct carols and anthems.  
6. St. David's Episcopal Church will offer Advent Lessons and Carols at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18. G. Ernest Plunkett, organist and choirmaster, and Susie Clements, director of children's music, will lead the Adult Choir and the Children's Choir. A reception will follow the service. St. David’s is at 1015 Old Roswell Road, Roswell.


 7. Candle Light Vigil Homeless Memorial Day Observance, St Joseph's Mercy Care Services, December 21, 5:30 p.m., 424 Decatur Street, Atlanta, 30312. R.s.v.p. 678-843-8511 Each year on December 21, the longest night of the year, dedicated homeless advocates from gather to bring attention to the tragedy of homelessness and to remember our neighbors who have died in a state of homelessness. This year, the Georgia Alliance To End Homelessness is pleased to join with our partners across the state to remember Our Brothers and Sisters that died in a state of homelessness. In an effort to maximize the impact of the day, The Georgia Alliance To End Homelessness encourages all of member organizations across the state to hold vigils or memorials in their communities.


 8. For many, the days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s are bittersweet. The Longest Night - A Service of Hope in the Midst of Darkness acknowledges the hope we celebrate even in the midst of disappointment and loss during this season. Join Roswell Presbyterian Church, Thursday, December 22 at 7 p.m. in the Historic Sanctuary for worship, special music, and candlelighting. It will be a quiet, meditative service with a time for remembering and sharing, and ultimately a time for preparing our hearts for the coming of Christ. Roswell PC, 755 Mimosa Bouelvard, Roswell 30075.For more information, call 770-993-6316.


 9. Vocalists are invited to join a "Community Messiah” at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23, at St. Teresa's Episcopal Church, 5725 Fords Road, Acworth. 30101.Vocalists planning to participate must arrive at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 23, for a one-time rehearsal, said Carole Roach, choir director for St. Teresa's. All vocalists are asked to wear any combination or red, white and black. Everyone is invited to participate, she said. Persons wanting to take part should contact the church office at 770-590-9040 or log on to  to receive a volunteer form.


 10. Bishop of Atlanta J. Neil Alexander will lead a Christmas Eve Eucharist for the homeless community at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24, at Church of the Common Ground in Woodruff Park in downtown Atlanta.

 11. The Rev. Dr. John Philip Newell, internationally acclaimed author, scholar, and teacher, is the featured preacher for Christmas Day, Dec. 25, on “Day 1” with host Peter Wallace, the nationally syndicated ecumenical radio program also accessible online at Newell is known for his work in the field of Celtic spirituality. He resides in Edinburgh, Scotland.  Newell’s Christmas sermon is based on Luke 2, “We don’t have to look back, nor do we have to look far. For the Child is here and now, in our midst right now, in our family and in every family.” For more information, call toll free 888-411-DAY-1 or check the program’s website 

 12. You will not want to miss Christianity after Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening, Columbia Theological Seminary, January 24-26, 2012. Scripture affirms God’s promise of a new heaven, and a new earth. But what about the church? Will we become a new church, or will we become something else, a new way of being in community before God and with one another? Join Diana Butler Bass and other conversation partners in exploring how the Spirit might be leading God’s people to live into the future. Facilitators of the Wednesday afternoon workshops who are confirmed include the Dr. Bill Harkins, (St. Philips Cathedral and CTS faculty member); Dr. James Brewer-Calvert, First Christian Church of Decatur (Disciples of Christ); Rev. David B. Rhone, presiding elder of the N. Atlanta District of the  A.M.E. church, and Bradley Schmeling, pastor, St. John’s Lutheran, Atlanta. Visit for all information and we will update you as well.


 13. Please let your congregation know that the Good Samaritan Health Center of Atlanta is hosting a Kid’s Dental Day on Saturday, February 4, 2012 for Kids without dental insurance. 1015 Donald Lee Hollowell Pkwy., Atlanta, GA 30318. Interested people should call 404-523 – 6571 to setup an appointment NOW. If you have any questions, call 678- 553 – 4936.  See


14. This announcement is for young people and for service agencies
Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS) is a new year-of-service program for young adults launching in Atlanta in the fall of 2012. QVS is open to any young person at least 21 years of age interested in living in intentional Quaker community, experiencing Quaker worship and process, and openly engaging questions of faith and service in the world. QVS interns will live together in community, simply, and immersed in Quaker spiritual practices. QVS will partner with agencies and organizations that offer direct support to marginalized individuals and communities, and that strive to transform unjust structures. Please read all about this transforming opportunity at  If interested in either opportunity, please contact Christina Repoley at or 404-721-4787. For more see


15. Antioch Baptist Bible College Institute and Seminary spring schedule is out Visit the website to find it


16. Times are hard and the nights are cold. Remember the service that housemate match offers. Call 678.812.3729 or contact, or visit


17. The Cathedral  Bookstore is now on Facebook  


18. Want to learn some proven techniques for engaging people in worship?  Want to build new skills for encouraging the faith formation of children, youth or adults? Augsburg Fortress and Sparkhouse offer free 30 to 60 minute webinars on a wide range of helpful topics.  Check back often for the latest list of free and informative webinars , see


19. Please let young people interested in college and in need of financial help know about Financial Aid Saturdays, 30 minutes could change a life. This is not just for Atlanta Public School students.  To register, sign up at a APS High School Career and College Center, call 404-653-5558 or complete an online form  Overview at  For more information or to sign up for a session please visit:


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 Ethel Ware Carter

Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta


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