Church Action eNewsletter Week of December 2, 2013


God calls us to some things we cannot do alone.

   Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta 

Weekly Church Action eNewsletter

Week of December 2, 2013

Check the community calendar on our website 


We recommend this essay, two really, with two perspectives that challenge the mainstream way the holidays are understoodRead more>>

1. “AIB Presents: Life Cycles” is an additional to AIB’s original programming. It explores the way different faith traditions mark life's turning points and transitions.  The first edition in the series explores the traditional practices of different faith communities when welcoming its youngest members – the newborns, children, and youth into the community.  AIB Presents: Life Cycles, Thursday, December 5 at 5 p.m.

2. First Congregational Church and Atlanta Jazz Chorus present “A Very Jazzy Christmas” featuring Kathleen Bertrand, Alex Lattimore, Dwight Andrews, Che Marshall, Moffett Morris, and Gary Motley in the 8th Annual Holiday Jazz Vespers, December 6 and 7, at 8 p.m. Tickets are online at  On Friday night the ferociously funny and multi-talented Jonathan Slocumb will be the celebrity host.

3. An Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols will be at 7  p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church, Decatur. A reception follows in the parish hall.     The event features the award-winning St. Timothy's Choir with Terry Lowry directing. Lowry is conductor and music director of the Carroll Symphony Orchestra of Carrollton. Several of the songs we will hear were performed by the choir at a choral festival in October in Barcelona, Spain.

4. A Holiday Music Tribute, Mt Zion AME's 16-member gospel chorus, will present its 3rd annual Christmas Concert on Saturday, December 7, 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the church, 2977 LaVista Road, Decatur, GA 30033. The program will feature classical and traditional carols, contemporary and gospel works. Audience members will be invited to join in singing some familiar carols, attend the holiday silent auction, and enjoy refreshments in the Fellowship Hall. Admission is $10 for adults and children 12 and under are free. For more information, contact or call (404) 633-2288

5. Jack Graham, M.Div. will present “Reimagining the Self,” Saturday, December 7, 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 3003 howell Mill Road, NE, Atlanta 30327. Free to members of the Jung Society, other $20, students $10. Exploring Jung’s vision of human destiny.  “We need a guiding vision of what it means to be human, and what our own highest possibilities are. Where are we going, what are we doing? We seek deeper understanding of our own evolution. What is the purpose of life?”

6. Lessons & Carols and Christmas music all over town and all are welcome.  New to our calendar are 

The Episcopal Church of St. Peter & St. Paul, Marietta, a service of Advent Lessons and Carols at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8.  

The Church of Our Saviour, Atlanta, Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols, Sunday, December 8, 5 p.m. Dr. Daniel Pyle, the church's organist and choir director, will direct. 

Brookhaven UMC, Community concert, new music director Don Jones,  former Broadway musician, presents Christmas favorites and there will be a sing-a-long.  Sunday, Dec. 8, 1366 N. Druid Hills Rd, 30319. Suggested donation $5 or canned goods.

Sing-along Messiah at Wieuca Road Baptist Church, 3626 Peachtree Rd. NE, Atlanta 30326, December 8, 6 p.m., followed by a reception.

Dunwoody UMC, family concert “All for a Baby,” Sunday, December 8, 3:45 p.m., 1548 Mount Vernon Rd., Dunwoody.

Smoke Rise Baptist Church Sanctuary Choir and Orchestra present “The Incarnation: A Christmas Cantata” Sunday, December 15, 11 a.m., 5901 Hugh Howell Road, Stone Mountain.

Northside Drive Baptist, Choral Guild of Atlanta with Lovinggood Middle School Chorus. December 17, 7:30 – 9 p.m. Tickets $15, seniors $12, students $5.

Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, 3180 Peachtree Road, welcomes the Georgia Boy Choir with full orchestra for favorite carols and classic songs. Friday, December 20, 7 – 9 p.m.

Check our Community Events Calendar for more special music at

7. "Mini" Job Fair at the Job Networking meeting on Monday, Dec. 9, at Roswell United Methodist Church, where 20+ employers will offer hundreds of job openings. Everything begins at 12:30 p.m. Directions/full schedule at Roswell United Methodist Church is located at 814 Mimosa Blvd. in the heard of Historic Roswell.

8. FAMA, Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta, is one of the key players in fostering interfaith communication and understanding in our community. Tune in to Building Partnerships of Faith on AIB, Monday, December 9, at 11 a.m., for a look at the mission and vision of this edition of BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS OF FAITH as AIB explores the mission and vision of FAMA Atlanta and how it is helping to build bridges of interfaith understanding.    Look for encore presentations on Tuesday and Thursday, December 10 and 11 at 11 a.m. and Saturday, December 14 at 2:30 p.m.

9. Remembering & Teaching the Holocaust in the 21st Century, a special event brought to us by the Consulate General of Canada in Atlanta, the International Remembrance Alliance, and the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust at the Galloway School, December 10, 6:30 p.m. Why should Georgia students learn about the Holocaust? Eight decades after the systematic murder of six million European Jews, the disabled, and many others -- how can we best ensure that such an event never happens again? Come for an evening exploring questions about the relevance of the Holocaust in today's world, as international and regional experts discuss one of the starkest and most defining moments in human history. The event is free and open to the public; however, seating is limited and reservations are required by Friday, December 6. Please read about the speakers and special parts of the event HERE. And R.s.v.p.

10. A Mexican folk dancing troupe, Danza Folklóríco Del Maestro José Jiménez, will perform at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 11, at Church of the Atonement, Sandy Springs. The dance troupe begins an evening of celebration for the with Eucharist at 9:30 p.m., food and more music until midnight. For information call 404-252-3324.  

11. St. James' Episcopal Church, Marietta, will host an Advent Quiet Day from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 14. The Rev. Zachary Thompson, associate rector at Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church, will lead the program, "A Time of Quiet before the Christmas Rush."   Included will be short exploratory lectures, periods of silence, reflections and personal writings, and closing with Holy Communion and a light lunch. Cost is $20 per person. Register by phoning 770-428-8964.

12. Angelic Actors In The Arts Presents “From My Test Comes My Testimony,” December 14, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., written, produced, ad directed by Carolyn Tarver Christian, 444 Theatre, 444 Highland Avenue, NE, corner of Highland NE and boulevard, Atlanta. For ticket info call 404-647-4927. Tickets are available at the Box Office and online at

13. It’s a Carol Sing! Join the Choral Guild of Atlanta, Lovinggood Middle School, and members of the College Park community, Saturday, December 14, at 4 p.m.  for a holiday program of seasonal music.  This festive program features many of your favorite carols. The audience will sing along and learn about the history and origins of the songs that have been an important part of the holidays for years. A festive reception will be held after the concert in the parish hall. The concert is free and open to the public. St. John’s Episcopal Church, 3480 East Main St, College Park. 

14. State Capella of Russia presents a Russian Christmas in Atlanta with seasonal favorites, folksongs, and other works by Walton, Poulenc, and Casals. Saturday, December 14, 7:30 p.m., Cathedral of St. Philip. Tickets available through cathedral book store, 404-237-7582, or

15. Dr. Robert Franklin, former chair of the board of the Atlanta Regional Council of Churches and President of Morehouse College, will receive ordination in the American Baptist Churches USA on December 15 at the Ebenezer Baptist Church at the 11 a.m. service. He will hold ordination in both the ABC and COGIC. All are welcome to attend the service. In January 2014 Dr. Franklin will succeed the Rev. Joan Brown Campbell as Director of the Department of Religion at the Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, New York.

16. Some years are just tougher than others around the holidays. Something has knocked our lives off-kilter and we are reeling from it... a death, insecurity, a diagnosis, broken relationship. We may be anxious, sad and blue for all sorts of reasons. Add to that the stress of the holidays where good cheer is supposed to be the order of the day. The All Saints’ Blue Christmas service may be a welcomed respite during your holiday season. The annual service of scripture, reflection, a cappella music, prayers and the lighting of Advent candles will be Wednesday, December 18, 6:30 p.m. in the chapel, All Saints’ Episcopal Church 634 West Peachtree, Atlanta. For more information contact The Rev’d Elizabeth Shows Caffey at 404–267– 4278 or eshowscaffey@allsaintsatlanta.

17. Sustainable Celebrations from Georgia Interfaith Power and Light is a wonderful guide for embracing simplicity and sustainability in faith communities that celebrate! Check it out HERE.

18. Based on the hymn “All Earth is Waiting to See the Promised One,” this online Advent calendar invites us to reflect on the coming of Christ as good news of great joy for the entire earth. Read more>>

19. The Aquinas Center of Theology at Emory University provides a Catholic scholarly presence, ecumenical in spirit, for the benefit of Emory University, the Archdiocese of Atlanta and the region. Dr. Phillip Thompson, Aquinas Director, was interviewed on Headline News about Pope Francis and his style, impact, and approach. It was played on Sunday December 1 but you can see it HERE.

20. “On Earth as it is Heaven,” a retreat at Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center, January 17-20, provides an opportunity to prayerfully reflect on how God’s Kingdom might be better realized here on earth and in our own lives. The prayer materials are drawn from both biblical and contemporary prophetic voices. The retreat consists of brief points for prayer, Ignatian contemplation, liturgy,  as well as an opportunity for focused spiritual conversation. The retreat will end on MLK day with a Mass celebrated by Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory, S.L.D. Metropolitan Archbishop of Atlanta Register online at or call 404-255-0503. Ignatius House, 6700 Riverside Dr, NW, Sandy Springs, is a place to withdraw from the demands of daily life, to rest and become more fully aware of the work of the Spirit in our lives.

21. Regional Council of Churches member Atlanta Friends Meeting is always faithful in letting us know about Peacebuilders Camp at Koinonia Farm. Registration is open now for the summer 2014 sessions. Registration. Camp dates are Session 1, ages 11-12, July 14-19 and Session 2, ages 13-14, July 21-26. If there is a middle schooler in your life who wants to change the world and would love to participate in Peacebuilders Camp at Koinonia Farm, consider giving the present of camp registration during this holiday season!

22. The Rev. Cynthia Park will offer classes in Introductory Biblical Hebrew & Readings from the Book of Ruth weekly on Mondays in both morning and evening sessions Feb. 3 - March 10 at the Cathedral of St. Philip. Park said, "Biblical Hebrew is often thought of as difficult to learn. However, by learning it in the context of a simple text, such as the Book of Ruth, all the basic information about the language can be acquired." Learn more about it and register for this course here.

23. United Way is currently seeking volunteers to support the 2013 VITA campaign. The campaign provides free tax preparation services to individuals and families earning less than $49,000 in 2013. Tax returns are prepared by trained, IRS-certified volunteers at various locations throughout Greater Atlanta. » Click here to fill out the volunteer form

24. New Baptist Covenant Summit last month concluded with action plans on hunger, literacy, and predatory lending. Read more>>

25. Does your congregation welcome those with mental illnesses as full members?  Read some suggestions at

Nativities We have a few on the website and there will be more.



Ethel Ware Carter

The Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta, Inc.


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