Church Action eNewsletter Week of September 2, 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     

1. Bishop T.D. Jakes Mega Fest was held last week. Jakes is the founder of The Potter’s House, a global humanitarian organization and 30,000-member church.  MegaFest  has welcomed more than 700,000 attendees since its inception in 2004. Among the films tackling thought-provoking and tough issues is “Winnie Mandela” starring Jennifer Hudson. There are films about sports and music and romance as well. Check out the line up so you can watch for these films at local theatres.  Festival Schedule  

 2. Columbia Theological Seminary Opening Convocation with Neal D. Presa, Moderator of the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Columbia Presbyterian Church located at 711 South Columbia Drive, Decatur, tomorrow, September 5 at 10:00 a.m. This year’s Convocation will begin Columbia Seminary’s 186th session, and is open to the public.

3. Singers from throughout the community may register at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, to prepare for and perform in a Nov. 1 All Saints' Day "Faure Requiem" at St. Benedict's Episcopal Church, Smyrna. For more information, contact Lynn Swanson, or click  here

4. St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, 4664 Covington Highway, Decatur, invites the community to a celebration of the church anniversary and the 25th anniversary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.   For more information, call 404-284-7271.

  • Friday September 6, Motown Night under the Stars, 7.p.m., Call for ticket information 404-284-7271.
  • Saturday, September 7, Day of Service Projects at Children’s Shelter and Local fire Station, noon
  • Sunday, September 8, Anniversary Celebration 3 p.m. worship service celebration.

5. Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith is well-known for his contributions to the book and movie, "The Secret" and his PBS Special, "The Answer Is YOU!" Dr. Beckwith will teach from "Living from the Overflow: How to Embody a Consciousness of Wealth" as the opening event of Dr. Barbara L. King and Hillside's month-long, 42nd Anniversary celebration. The $42 ticket admits one to the whole day of events (add $8 for lunch). Persons needing payment plans should call  404-758-6811 or email The event is Saturday, September 7, 2013, 9:30 a.m. at Hillside International Truth Center, 2450 Cascade Rd. SW, Atlanta, GA 30311. Tickets can be purchased at Hillside

6. The Veterans Ministry of Ben Hill United Methodist Church Blood Drive, Sunday, September 8,  9 a.m.- 2 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall  of the church at 2099 Fairburn Rd., SW, Atlanta 30331. Please contact Brenda Aiken, American Red Cross Minority Board Member at 678 429-5768 or Colonel Anthony C. Aiken of Ben Hill UMC's Veteran Ministry at 404 308-7077 to schedule an appointment. To make an appointment on line access and enter sponsor code: benhill. All participants will receive a free gift. Rev. Byron E. Thomas is Sr. Pastor.

7. Coming up on AIB’s  Keynotes, Dr. Scott Alexander’s lecture “Which Religion Will Win: An End to Triumphalism in Christian-Muslim Relations”; delivered at the Istanbul Center in partnership with Emory University’s Halle Institute and Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies Department. Keynotes airs Monday, September 9 at 6 p.m. with encores Thursdays at 11 a.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m.

8. Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasters, Inc. (AIB) presents a 10-part series on the Sikh faith, a little-known and misunderstood religion which originated in the Punjab region of India during the 15th century.  Show host Dr. Jagjet Singh Sidhu brings clarity to the unique doctrines and disciplines of the Sikh religion. Tune in Mondays at 4:30 p.m. with encore presentations on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 4:30 P.M., now through October 25.  For more information on the program, go to and click on Programming, Original Series.

9. Aparna Bhattacharyya, executive director of Raksha, a non-profit organization to serve the South Asian community of Atlanta, will speak about the problem of domestic violence within the Asian Community at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 2461 Peachtree Rd., Atlanta 30305, Thursday, September 12, at 7:30 p.m. as part of the 2013 Mitchell Speaker Series. Doors open at 7 for coffee and dessert. Bhattacharyya recently was named a “Champion of Change” during a ceremony at The White House for her work on behalf of battered women in the Asian American community.   Free and open to the public.                

10. Bus Ride to Justice: Changing the System by the System, the Life and Works of Fred Gray, September 12, 7 p.m. Lecture and book signing at the Theatre, Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, 441 Freedom Pkwy., Atlanta. Of particular interest will be the details Gray reveals for the first time about Rosa Parks' 1955 arrest. Gray was the young lawyer for Parks and also Martin Luther King Jr. and the Montgomery Improvement Association, which organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott after Parks's arrest. This volume includes new photographs not found in the previous edition. This event is free.

11. The Cinema Café of St. John's Episcopal Church in College Park,  will host a screening of Les Miserables on Friday, September 13, at 7 pm.  Reasonably priced concessions will be available beginning at 6:30 p.m.  The community is invited to join St. John’s for food, film, and thought-provoking discussion afterwards.

12. Don’t miss the Sarcastic Lutheran in Atlanta, ELCA Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, also known by her blog name as "The Sarcastic Lutheran", will be at Sandy Springs Christian Church for their "Real People, Real Faith" event on September 13 and 14. Click here for more details on this event.

13. 2013 Ben Hill UMC Couples Who Care Ministry Marriage Retreat will be held from September 13-15 at the Dolce Hotel & Resort, Peachtree City. The registration fee is $325 per couple and includes meals and conference materials. The cost of the hotel stay is an additional fee with special room rates of $99. Make reservations directly with the hotel at 770 487-2666. Activities include plenary and break out sessions, Date Night, Sunday Worship Service, and more. Lead Facilitator is Dr. Dan Williams, Pastor, New Life in Christ Fellowship, Coatesville, PA. Other speakers and facilitators include well-known pastors, authors, and advisors.  For all the information visit www.heartofmarriage Rev. Byron Thomas is Sr. Pastor. Ben Hill is located at 2099 Fairburn Rd SW Atlanta 30331.  

 14. The Literacy Alliance of Metro Atlanta will be presenting Fitness for Literacy 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, September 14 at Grant Park, 8 a.m. Registration and information 

15. The Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center Annual Hoedown and Barbecue is Saturday, Sept. 14, from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Lowe Barn in Jasper. Tickets are $75 and all proceeds benefit the Good Samaritan operating budget. Dancing and a live auction with music by Banks & Shane are planned. To purchase tickets, click here or call 706-253-4673.

16. The United Methodist Men of Warren Memorial United Methodist Church will celebrate its sixty-fourth Annual Men's Day on September 15.  The theme for this year's program is “Men, Are you Striving for the Future?”  The speaker for the morning hour at 10:55 am will be Rev. Dr. Michael Stinson, Pastor of Bethel UMC, and a son of Warren Memorial. Warren is located in S.W. Atlanta at Fair St and Joseph E. Lowery Blvd. near the Atlanta University Center.

17. Join Cascade UMC for a 2013 Fall Revival "In the Name of Jesus"
Sunday, September 15, 6 p.m., Rev. Rodney Turner, Mt. Vernon Baptist Church
Monday, September 16, 7 p.m.  Dr. Nick Harvey, Nick Harvey Consulting
Tuesday, September 17, 7 p.m. Rev. Dr. Michael Smith, Community Church of God
Come and have your spirit revived!! At Cascade United Methodist church where Dr. Marvin Moss is Pastor, 3144 Cascade Road, Atlanta 30331 website

18. A staged reading of the play “Four Little Girls: Birmingham 1963” by Christina Ham will be held on Sunday, September 15, at 6 p.m. in the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel, Morehouse College, 830 Westview Dr SW.  The reading commemorates the 50th anniversary of the bombing that took the lives of four young girls at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. The reading is part of Project1Voice's nationwide, simultaneous performance of staged readings which remember this seminal event in civil right history. Rev. C.T. Vivian, Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, Congressman John Lewis, and Ambassador Andrew Young have been invited to participate in a conversation discussing how this event still affects us today following the reading. There is no charge for this event.

19. Father Roy Bourgeois: Disturbing the Peace. Father Roy Bourgeois is a Vietnam veteran, priest and peace activist. Presentation is Monday, September 16, 7 p.m., followed by Q&A and dessert reception with Father Roy at 8:30.  Cannon Chapel, Emory campus, 515 S. Kilgo Circle, Atlanta, 30322. No admission fee and free parking in Peavine Visitors Lot and Peavine Deck.  Sponsored by Georgia Peace & Justice Coalition/Atlanta The Justice, Peace and Conflict Transformation Program, Candler School of Theology Candler Social Concerns Network Youth Theological Initiative. Read more>> 

 20. The Aquinas Center as added a second night of the Flannery O’Connor lecture on Monday, September 16, as the Tuesday night lecture is almost sold out. See details on the website 

 21. The HHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Faith Communities Task Force present a webinar for faith leaders who are often on the front line for people (and their families) dealing with spiritual, mental, or emotional distress or illness. The Role of Faith Leaders in Suicide Prevention, Webinar on September 17, 4-5 EDT Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now 

 22. Northside Drive Baptist Church invites women to gather to knit or crochet a prayer shawl on the first and third Wednesdays of each month at 7 p.m. in Room #207, the Parlor. If you are not sure how, no problem, there will be plenty of people to help you get started. This group is open to anyone who would like to join! For more information call Susan Harlan at 770-377-3869.

23.  "New Jim Crow" Book Discussion at Friends (Quaker) Meetinghouse Sept 18 - Oct 9. How can ordinary citizens who are committed to fairness and equality make a difference and reduce the unjust racial disparities in our prisons and the overuse of incarceration?  Michelle Alexander’s book  "The New Jim Crow"  clearly and passionately lays out the injustices that are a systemic part of the U.S. criminal justice system.   You are invited to become a part of a new study series that will take place on four Wednesday evenings from Sept. 18 - October 9.   Atlanta Friends (Quaker) Meeting House, 701 West Howard Ave, Decatur 30030 (1/2 mile east of East Lake MARTA station).  The first three study sessions on 9/18, 9/25, and 10/2 will be limited to 20 participants.  Please contact Bert Skellie at 404-378-5883 to sign up or for more information.  I will have copies of the book for $12 and a free study guide available in advance.

24. Bill Harkins will give a presentation on “Pastoral Resilience,” at a clergy bagel brunch September 19 at the Care and Counseling Center of Georgia, 1814 Clairmont Road, Decatur.  In the midst of our life-depleting culture of anxiety, pastors need resilience.  And resiliency is one of Dr. Harkin’s special interests.  Drawing from the scripture, communities of hope, and a wealth of teaching and research, he will offer pastors real bread for their journeys of healing and hope.  Dr. Harkins teaches pastoral theology and counseling in graduate programs at Columbia Theological Seminary, and he is a Priest Associate at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip.  He is supervisor in the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy,  Diplomate with the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, and clinical associate of the American Psychoanalytic Association.  Please R.s.v.p. by Sept 17 to

25. Gateway Center is excited to invite the greater community to its first signature event, “Human Clay: A Benefit for The Gateway Center”.  You are invited to share in the celebration of great work being done every day in a place where men and women receive the support they need to end their homelessness. September 19, 7 p.m., White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails, find ticket information at Event features a formerly homeless speaker, a raffle, heavy hors d'oeuvres, open bar, entertainment, free pottery painting, complimentary valet, and much more.  If your organization is interested in our sponsorship opportunities, please contact Jason Tatum at for more information.  And contact Jason with any questions about the event.  For more on the Gateway Center, check out

26. Read all about the Centennial Celebration of Oakhurst Baptist Church,  all day Saturday and Sunday September 21 and 22. This progressive and inclusive worshipping community invites everyone to join them in celebrating “By God We’re Still Here!” Read more>> 

 27. Women’s Empowerment Conference Saturday Sept. 21, 2013, 1 p.m., bringing women together to empower them to move forward in their God-given purpose. Don’t let your dream die!   Fountain of Life Christian Church, 3372 Anvil Block Road, Ellenwood 30294. For more information please call 404-625-3369.  Donation $5. The conference is sponsored by: Light of the World, Christ Centered Ministries, Inc. Fountain of Life is the host church

28. New Orleans native and historian, Dr. Maurice Martinez will be in Atlanta on Sunday, September 22 at the Auburn Avenue Research Library, 101 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta 30303 from 2: 00 – 5:00 p.m. for a film screening and discussion about his award winning documentary, "Colored White Boy."  The documentary focuses upon a young White man who narrates the story. A vibrant, moving soundtrack by Wilmington pianist/composer/vocalist, Grenoldo Frazier, and bluesman BBQ Bob with a special appearance by folk singer Michael “Wolfman” Wolfe, add shades of sad-glad emotion to the textures in this revealing documentary.  The event is sponsored by the Atlanta Creole Heritage Society and is free and open to the public.

29. Joyce Meyer Conference Tour, September 26–28, The Arena at Gwinnett Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Pkwy., Duluth. Each session features a message from Joyce and worship with Matt Redman and Christy Nockels. No registration is required. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis. Thursday and Friday evening at 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. Doors will open two hours prior to each session.  Interpretation for the deaf and hard of hearing will be provided. Spanish translation will be available. These sections will be reserved until 30 minutes before the start of each session.

30. Paradise Missionary Baptist  Church announces a month of celebration for its 143rd anniversary. Read more>>  

 31. Whether you have a successful health ministry or community health program or want to start one, the HHS Tri-Regional Faith and Community Health Summit has something for you! Faith and community leaders from 17 states will gather in Atlanta, October 3-5,  for the purpose of "Building Healthier Communities through Education, Empowerment, and Engagement.". This event is free. To register visit,

32. His Holiness the Dalai Lama will speak on “The Pillars of Responsible Citizenship in the 21st Century Global Village” at the Gwinnett Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth, October 8 at 9:30 a.m., followed by questions from the audience moderated by Paul Root Wolpe, director of Emory's Center for Ethics. An afternoon program consists of a panel discussion featuring His Holiness with top scientists and educators. This is a ticketed event. Visit the Arena website  for more information or to purchase tickets

33. North American Association of Christians in Social Work will hold its annual conference in Atlanta, October 17-20, Sheraton Atlanta Hotel. The theme ““Social Justice: Contributions of Faith and Spirituality” promises to challenge all of us in the integration of our faith and our profession. To register, click here.

34. Research examined the relationship between belief in God and treatment outcomes related to depression. This research, consistent with other studies, suggested that those with a belief in the existence of God had a greater reduction in depressive symptoms than did those without such a belief. Additionally, a belief in God was associated with an increase in personal well-being and a reduction in self-harm. Want more information? See the source A Test of Faith in God and Treatment, 2012  

 35. Recovery Month   now in its 24th year, highlights individuals who have reclaimed their lives and are living happy and healthy lives in long-term recovery and also honors the prevention, treatment, and recovery service providers who make recovery possible. Each September, thousands of prevention, treatment, and recovery programs and services around the country celebrate their successes and share them with their neighbors, friends, and colleagues in an effort to educate the public about recovery, how it works, for whom, and why. Please visit the event section of Community Health Interfaith Partnership for a list of these activities as well as Suicide Prevention activities.


 There is great need for certified application counselors; this is an important ministry opportunity for congregations. Churches are eligible to be CAC organizations. As a CAC organization, your volunteers will help people understand, apply, and enroll for health coverage through the Marketplace. We will be happy to talk with you about this or direct you to someone who can answer any questions you have. There are a couple of trainings in the next week or so. What an opportunity to make a difference for the future health and stability of the families in your congregation! Read about the process>>

 Fall programs have begun and many more events are planned this season than in the summer. Please refer to the Community Calendar for reminders.   



Ethel Ware Carter


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