Church Action eNewsletter Week of January 7, 2013

 God calls us to some things we cannot do alone.
 Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta 

Check the community calendar on our website    Underlined words are live links 


Oldest church in Atlanta? No one got the answer right. Read a little about Collins United Methodist Church>>   


1. AA Retreat, Jan 11-13, 2013 – For those in recovery, embrace and live the spiritual journey toward lasting change while healing from alcoholism. Ignatius House Retreat Center (Sandy Springs.) For detailed info or, to register call Bill Roop at 770-682-8190.

2. Dr. Martin Luther King 2013 Commemorative Event - Join the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference and Charlotte Street Films for a screening of the award winning film The House I Live In, a documentary on the  Failed War on Drugs. Forum with producer Eugene Jarecki and other celebrities will follow in a discussion entitled “Searching for the Soul of a Nation.” Saturday, January 12, 2013, 2- 4:30 p.m., Ebenezer Baptist Church, 400 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta. Read more>> 

3. The Narrative Enneagram and the Spiritual Journey with Sandra Smith, Saturday, January 12, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Amerson House Spirituality Center.  Join certified enneagram teacher and facilitator Sandra Smith for this exploration of how our personality types provide tools and paths to spiritual transformation.  Through poetry, body awareness, teaching, and inquiry, Sandra will guide participants to remove barriers and open more fully to spiritual experience.  Cost of workshop is $95, includes lunch and materials. Contact Kimberly at 404-375-3328 or to register.

4. Urban Seminary of Atlanta: Winter Courses to begin the week of January 14 will include systematic theology and early church history-Luther. USA offers a Masters in Urban Ministry for persons involved in working within the city. USA was founded in 2002 for urban youth workers desiring a theological education but not fitting the profile of conventional seminary students. USA students have a strong interested in improving their understanding of Biblical Truth in order to better serve their communities. Classes held at Park Avenue Baptist Church, 486 Park Ave. Atlanta 30312. Urban Seminary is a program of the Atlanta Youth Project.   Visit the website or contact Larry at for registration information.

5. Phillips School of Theology at The ITC, “The Seminary of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church”, will host its Seventeenth Pastors' Conference, January 14—17, 2013 at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in College Park. This year's theme, “Rehearing and Refocusing on the Mission of the Church: The 21st Century Church’s Call and Challenge” will feature daytime and evening preaching and lectures by some of the most gifted preachers and theologians in the CME Church and beyond.  For more information call 404-527-7768 or email

6. The Lutheran Theological Center in Atlanta announces a one day workshop, Practical Applications, on community organizing and the one-to-one relationship meeting. Community organizing offers great tools for building or deepening relationships within congregations as well as in the broader community. The one-to-one is a natural but uncommon conversation, talking and listening, with someone you want to know or know better and is fundamental for effective community work. Wednesday, January 16. For more information and registration call or email the Lutheran Center at 404-614-6328 or" href="" ...

7. The City of Atlanta is seeking hundreds of volunteers to participate in the Atlanta Homeless Registry – a large-scale effort to survey people sleeping in unsheltered locations and emergency shelters.  The goal is to create a by-name registry of the to prioritize those most vulnerable and those at risk of dying on the street so that they can be connected with services that meet their needs. Primary volunteer opportunities include Thursday, January 17, 6 p.m. - 12 a.m.: Conduct surveys in shelters and Friday, January 18, 12 a.m. - 6 a.m. (greatest need): Conduct surveys in unsheltered locations. All volunteers will be provided with training and deployed on teams led by qualified outreach workers.


The Atlanta Homeless Registry is organized by the office of Mayor Kasim Reed as part of the Unsheltered No More initiative, United Way of Greater Atlanta, Central Atlanta Progress, and Hands On Atlanta. For more information or to sign up, go to unsheltered no more contact Brandie Haywood at


8. Human Trafficking Forum ,  January 17. The Administration for Children and Families, Homeland Security ICE, Interfaith Children’s Movement, US Attorney’s Northern District Office of Georgia, Not for Sale, and other partners will hold a forum on Human Trafficking at the National Archives at Atlanta, 5780 Jonesboro Road, Morrow 30260, 8:30 a.m.— 4:45 p.m.  This forum is part of an ongoing collaboration of state and local communities and others interested in learning what we can do to educate citizens on the issues. Katherine Chon, Senior Advisor on Trafficking in Persons, Office of the Assistant Secretary, will speak. For more info contact Koneta Perkins, at 404-562-2956

9. Macon's second annual Old City Flower Festival is January 18-25 at Christ Church Episcopal, Macon. The congregations of 14 of the oldest churches in historic downtown Macon will have their flower and altar guilds create and install floral arrangements in the sanctuary, cloister, and gardens of Christ Church during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The festival will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 2-4 p.m. on Sunday. Participating faith communities include Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Episcopal, and Greek Orthodox congregations.

10. First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta will hold the 19th Annual Urban Ministry Conference on Saturday, January 19, 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to bring together service providers, community organizers, faith based leaders, municipal officials, and other persons interested in encouraging an holistic approach to the issue of homelessness in Metro Atlanta. A box lunch will be served following the discussion during a time for networking. R.s.v.p. by January 14 or get more information at 404-228-7746 or 

11. A Prayer Vigil and  Requiem Mass to honor children who lost their lives last year to unexpected causes, abuse, and neglect, January 19-20 at Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church, Atlanta. At sundown on Saturday Jan. 19, a prayer vigil will begin in the church; throughout the night, volunteers will read the names of more than 500 children who died in Georgia in 2012. Included will be the names of 20 children who were murdered last month in Newtown. The prayer vigil will end at 7 a.m. on Sunday, and the Requiem Mass begins at 4 p.m. Donations and offerings received during the service are designated for Family Promise whose mission is to help homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence. For more information contact Leigh Jackson, 

12. Alban presents a clergy well-being conference at Simpsonwood Conference and Retreat Center, Norcross, January 22-24. Balancing Your Life will be led by Larry Peers and is designed for clergy, lay ministry professionals, seminary staff, denominational and judicatory staff and officials responsible for clergy care. Click here for more information about this seminar

13. The Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta, Atlanta Housing Association of Neighborhood Developers, and Atlanta Habitat for Humanity invite you to an informative luncheon and discussion. Andy Schneggenburger, Executive Director of AHAND, will discuss how affordable housing is provided by Federal, State, and other organizations. Andrew Johnson, of Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, will discuss ways for people of faith to directly address the issues around affordable housing, advocacy, and volunteer opportunities. Wednesday, January 23, noon, Temple Sinai. Optional healthy lunch, provided for $15, please pre-pay via PayPal.  

14. Time for Great Decisions. This series is based on a briefing book published annually by the nonpartisan Foreign Policy Association and encourages participants to develop an informed opinion on the role the United States should play in world affairs. The lectures are Thursdays, January 24 - March 14, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. at the Dunwoody United Methodist Church. See the fascinating and important topics and speakers and register soon if you hope to participate at

15. Holy Smoking BBQ is back! Orders for expertly barbecued pork butts are being taken now to be ready for your table (or your freezer) on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 3. Last year deacons from the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta raised thousands of dollars with this effort for Church of the Common Ground, a spiritual home for the homeless. Read about how to place an order by Jan. 25 here.

16. The Care and Counseling Center invites you to hear Dr. Froma Walsh, internationally acclaimed speaker on resiliency and family therapy.  The workshop “Integrating the Spiritual Dimension in Therapeutic Practices” will be Friday, Jan. 25,  9– 4.   All those interested are invited, clergy, chaplains, pastorals counselors, licensed therapists, spiritual directors, and others who seek to provide healing in a therapeutic context.  Dr. Walsh is a leading authority on the diversity and challenges in contemporary life.  Her collaborative practice approach integrates multicultural and multi-faith spiritual perspectives and resources. You will not want to miss this opportunity!  Click here to see and print the brochure for details.  You can call or email for more information, JoEllen Holmes at" href="mailto:jholmes@cccgeo... or 404-636-1457, ext 435.

17. Save the Date! Plan to attend a fascinating lecture by top New York interior designer and native of Atlanta, Miles Redd, at the Cathedral Antiques Show hosted by the Cathedral of St. Philip on Thursday, January 31.  All proceeds will go to benefit Refugee Family Services.  Mr. Redd will share his ideas on decorating with antiques and incorporating them into today's lifestyles.  Following the lecture, there will be a champagne reception and book-signing.  For more information, please go to   

18. How Religion Inspires Positive Change. Georgia State University’s Department of Religious Studies Invites You to Join the Higher Ground Group at the Rialto Center for the Arts for "Moving Atlanta to Higher Ground” on Wednesday, February 6, 2013; Reception 5 – 6 p.m.; Event 6 -7:30 p.m. Rialto Center for the Arts, GSU, 80 Forsyth St., N.W., Atlanta 30303. Moderated by WXIA’s Ted Hall, Higher Ground’s Atlanta faith leaders, the Rev. Joanna Adams, Imam Plemon El-Amin, the Rev. Joseph Roberts and Rabbi Alvin Sugarman, will discuss the ways that interfaith efforts can contribute to a better Atlanta. Please R.s.v.p. to Alicia Clay by clicking here.

19. Beginning in 2007, Baptist Women in Ministry has invited Baptist churches to participate in Martha Stearns Marshall Month of Preaching by having a woman preach during the month of February. This annual event has been a deeply significant source of joy and discovery for many women and churches. If you are considering participating read more at Martha Stearns Marshall Month of Preaching

20. Georgia Alliance to End Homelessness is compiling a list of winter over-flow sheltering locations all across the state of Georgia. If your organization is hosting one of these sites or if you know of other locations in your community, please help by sending to the name of the provider (location) with street address, city, zip code, and telephone number. If you know hours and any restrictions on population served that would be helpful. If you have any questions, call 770/575-5785 or 1/877-540-4671. This list will sent to providers and case managers across the state to use as an emergency resource for clients.  If your office does not receive a copy of this list, contact for a one.

21. Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory has declared the Year of Faith a Marian Year in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. Mary is a perfect companion on the journey of Faith.  For over two millennia, she has helped humanity draw nearer her Son.  Check the Archdiocese of Atlanta's website for the Year of Faith with Mary. Prayers of the day are shared there, as well as rules for an exciting video contest with a first prize that includes a trip to Rome! More here>>  All generations will call me blessed, for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and Holy is his name. (Luke 1:48-49)


22. Healing Hearts of Families USA Ministries Inc is seeking 12 men and women of faith and veterans as mentors and facilitators of youth mentoring program --  must complete application, training, national background check for crimes against children. Next training January 12, 2013 10:30am-12:30pm in Decatur.  Express your interest or more information by email to Volunteer application at under forms. 404-289-5277

23. The HEALing Community Center, 2600 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., SW, Suite 100, Atlanta  30311, is providing free flu shots to the community. Additional clinic services include affordable adult and pediatric preventive healthcare, mental health counseling, and free specialty care to individuals who qualify. All health services are free for the homeless. Donations, Medicare, Medicaid, PeachCare, and private insurance accepted.  For more information, call 404 564-7749.

24. Are you being called to utilize your nursing gifts in a faith community? The Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course provides basic preparation for registered nurses to become Faith Community Nurses. The next course will be held in the spring of 2013: Session 1: February 28–March 2; Session 2: March 21–March 23; Session 3: April 19 (Additional session for nurses planning to implement Faith Community Nursing in a multicultural setting.) Click here for more information and the registration form.  The Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course is developed in conjunction with the International Parish Nurse Resource Center, Memphis, and presented by Faith Community Nursing of Gwinnett Medical Center and Georgia Baptist College of Nursing at Mercer University.

25. Food for thought from Higher Ground, The Blame Game, read it here>>


26. It is customary to blame secular science and anti-religious philosophy for the eclipse of religion in modern society. It would be more honest to blame religion for its own defeats. Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion--its message becomes meaningless.  Abraham Heschel, God in Search of Man

27. A doctoral student at Clark Atlanta University needs help in a study of public-assisted housing in Atlanta. A federal housing initiative called HOPE VI was implemented in Atlanta that led to the demolition of obsolete public housing units.  If you were affected by HOPE VI or if you currently reside in public-assisted housing in the city of Atlanta, you are invited to take part in the survey.  Study participants will be asked to complete a simple questionnaire containing 11 questions; participation is confidential and responses are strictly voluntary.  No personal identifying information (other than age and gender) will be collected. There is no known risk to the participant.  This is an opportunity to contribute to the advancement of social science knowledge pertaining to affordable housing in Atlanta.  To access the survey and statement of consent, please go to Should you have any questions about the study at any time, you may contact the principal investigator, Valerie J. Alexander at  Dr. William H. Boone at is faculty advisor.

28. So what might happen if you decided to re-arrange your congregation’s assets so that they addressed the yearnings of congregation members and visitors regarding their daily lives?  Read more of this essay from Alban>>  

 29. Volunteers 50+ needed for CATCH Healthy Habits where adults help elementary kids form healthy habits. Read more>> 

 30. Would members of your congregation benefit from learning English or Spanish? Read  more>>  

 Atlanta Prosperity Campaign, be prepared to help people in your congregation toward financial stability through free income tax preparation and financial literacy opportunities. More>>   


Ethel Ware Carter


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