Church Action eNewsletter Week of December 8, 2014

God calls us to some things we cannot do alone.

   Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta 

Weekly Church Action eNewsletter

Week of December 8, 2014


Do check the Community Calendar on our website for lots of wonderful music and candlelight services and Blue Christmases everywhere. Visit

 Read to the end of the newsletter for some information on beautiful oak pews from Mt. Vernon Baptist Church.  

The Community Health Interfaith Partnership website has tips for avoiding stress during the holidays.

1. The Edge Connection at the KSU Center is holding a special holiday event. Jeff Morris of Wealthspan Financial will share what you need to know if you have a business. The mission of the Edge Connection is to promote economic self-sufficiency and self-determination through comprehensive entrepreneurial training targeting low-to-moderate-income women, minorities, and veterans. Thursday, Dec. 11, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. —Door prizes, treats and great networking! Guests are welcome. 3333 Busbee Drive, Kennesaw 30144, (470)578-3228.

2. GunSense Georgia is partnering with the Newtown Foundation, Washington National Cathedral, States United to Prevent Gun Violence, and Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence to host an event to #EndGunViolence in Georgia. December 11, at 4:00 p.m., St. Mary’s Chapel, The Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Road, NW, Atlanta 30305.

3. Street Grace, Wellspring Living, YouthSpark, and Georgia Cares, will hold a press conference and candlelight vigil in support of proposed “safe harbor” legislation for child victims of human trafficking. The legislation aims to address inconsistencies in the prosecution of human trafficking cases at the state level. In addition, the legislation will also offer immunity to minors forced into human trafficking, and provide medical treatment, counseling, and other assistance programs for victims. Thursday, December 11, 7:00 p.m., North Avenue Presbyterian Church, 607 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta 30308.  R.s.v.p.

4. The First Church CDC and Atlanta Jazz Chorus present the 9th Annual Holiday Jazz Vespers in the beautifully restored Sanctuary of historic First Congregational Church in downtown Atlanta, Friday and Saturday, Dec. 12 and 13, 8 p.m. All proceeds benefit the First Church CDC programs to feed families in need and provide music enrichment programs for inner city youth. Come early and stay late to shop the Holiday Extravaganza filled with a collection of unique gifts on Saturday night. First Congregational Church Atlanta 30303. Buy Tickets

5. Moving From Fear to Joy, December 13, 9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m., Lanier House. This Advent Quiet Day will explore the movement in our lives from fear to joy using scripture to ponder the stories of Mary, the shepherds, and the wise men. There will be journaling, art, the labyrinth, poetry, and silence. Lunch is included. The cost is $30; register at The Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30305. Contact Jeannie for more info, (404)365-1034 or

6. Taste of Christmas in the Arab World with food, Christmas Middle Eastern cookies, learning how to make the Christmas decorations, and learning about Arabic Christmas traditions, Saturday, Dec. 13, Alif Institute, 3288 Marjan Dr., Atlanta 30340. This is a free event and all are welcome. For time and other  information call (770)936-8770, email, or visit 

7. Dessert and Dialogue:  A Fundraiser for Neshama Interfaith Center, Saturday, Dec. 13, 7 to 9:30 p.m., 3620 Sidesaddle Court, Suwanee 30024. Come for an informal evening of conversation with friends - exploring interfaith dialogue, sharing experiences, and enjoying good food and great company! Meet the entire Neshama team - Marian Monahan, Cathy Crosby, Mitch Cohen, and Sue Chase - and the Board of Directors.  R.s.v.p. is requested via email to

8. Brian Cole, rector of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Lexington, Ken., is the featured preacher December 14 on Day1. His sermon is “I am not the Messiah.” Find your station and read and hear other positive passionate sermons on

9. Glenn Memorial UMC Advent Lessons and Carols, Sunday, December 14, at 11:00 a.m. 150 singers from Glenn’s children’s, youth, and adult choirs, and instrumentalists offer music proclaiming Advent biblical texts. Pre-service instrumental music begins at 10:30. Leading from the organ will be Emory University Organist and Glenn Organist Laureate, Timothy Albrecht, assisted by Thomas McDavid, violin, Todd Mueller, percussion, and Stuart Stevenson, Principal Trumpet with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Music Director Steven Darsey will lead. With anthems from the baroque to the contemporary and majestic hymns with soaring descants, the service culminates with Bach’s final movement from his monumental B-Minor Mass, Dona Nobis Pacem. Everyone is welcome.  Glenn Church is located at 1660 N. Decatur Rd, NE, Atlanta 30307. For more information, call (404)634-3936 of email

10. The Robert L. Mason, Jr. Candlelight Memorial remembers in prayer and song Atlanta individuals who died unsheltered over the past year. Every year persons from local service agencies, churches, the state legislature, city government, and members of the community are invited to gather at dusk for a time of remembrance. The event is held in collaboration with National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council. Mercy Care invites you to gather with your neighbors on Thursday, Dec. 18, at 5:30 p.m. at 424 Decatur St., Atlanta 30312. If you have questions call (678)843-8500 or visit

11. Blue Christmas service for those grieving a loss during the holiday season at First Baptist Church, Decatur, 308 Clairemont Ave., Decatur. December 21, 4:00 p.m., 308 Clairemont Avenue, Decatur 30030.

12. Philadelphia Presbyterian Church invites members and friends to share in their annual Christmas Cantata and reception at 7 p.m. on December 21 and the Candlelight Communion Service at 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Established in 1825, Philadelphia PC is one of the oldest churches in Clayton County and arguably one of the most beautiful. It is located at 351 Morrow Road, Forest Park 30297. Rev. Sylvia Wilson is the pastor, (404)366-1851.

13. Prince of Peace Lutheran in Alpharetta send a special invitation to the community to worship with them on Christmas Eve, 5 p.m. Children’s Service, 7 p.m. Candlelight Modern Service, 9 p.m. Candlelight Traditional Service.  There is childcare for the two earliest services. Prince of Peace is at 10250 Haynes Bridge Road, Alpharetta 30022. 

14. Remember the Gateway Center plans a Christmas pot luck dinner for 300 men experiencing homelessness on Christmas afternoon from 5:30-7 p.m. If you or your family is interested in cooking a dish, providing plates, drinks, or eating with the Gateway staff and guest on Christmas Day, please email Bec Cranford-Smith at

15. Plan now to attend the 19th Annual Youth Musical at First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta,  1328 Peachtree Street, NE. "Mary Poppins" January 8-11, 2015, Tickets $10.00, Fifield Hall, 1328 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta, All Proceeds benefit Youth Missions in Costa Rica and Honduras. Contact Allison Per-Lee at 404-228-7751 or Thursday, January 8, 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, January 9 &10, 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, January 11, 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance or at the door.

16. Dr. Heath Rada, Moderator of the 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) will speak at the Spring Convocation for Columbia Theological Seminary. The sermon title is "To Listen and To Love." This will be the first time a Convocation service will be held for the Spring term at the seminary,  701 South Columbia Drive, Decatur,  Tuesday, January 13 at 12:00 pm. Dr. Rada will also speak at a Wednesday Forum on January 14.. For more information, please visit

17. Help Connect is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping veterans and the disadvantaged by providing basic computer skills at shelters. Volunteers teach homeless vets and other disadvantaged people basic computer and internet skills which help them reconnect with family and friends and find employment on their way back onto their feet. They also help veterans with resumes and job search.  If you are interested in helping, contact Tom Chernetsky at (404)791-8534 or Tom is a member of the St Ann’s Catholic Church VFC Military Ministry team.

18. Theatrical Outfit aims to give us stories to stir the soul. The Gifts of the Magi is back for a third season by popular demand; it reminds us of the  love, charity, and humanity that underpin every holiday season. Now until Dec. 21 at the Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St., Atlanta 30303. Ticket information here.   

19. Get your tickets for holiday fun and farce as the 2014 edition of Urban Holiday Soup makes its debut, Dec. 11-Dec. 21.   YEA pokes fun at everything that is mad and crazy about the holiday season. This 12-year  Atlanta holiday tradition is  perfect for the entire family!  For additional information, visit  

20. Columbia Theological Seminary announced the speakers for its Colloquium 2015 to be held on April 20–22. Titled “The Church Facing the Future: Memory, Hope, and Obedience,” it will feature a lineup of some of its most well-known and well-loved faculty emeriti. The annual event will provide both clergy and laypersons with relevant reflection on God’s mission in the world today. Read more>>

21. As you know, the HIM Open Enrollment ends on February 15.  If your faith based organization plans to help people enroll in a Second Sunday event we have a tool kit including a letter of explanation , a sample pulpit announcement and press release, flyers in English and Spanish, key dates, and several other things. If you would like it send us an email at

22. In a video message on racial justice, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton said, "Our nation and our church have been and remain deeply besieged by racism.  Following the decisions by grand juries in Ferguson and New York, it has become clear that we have different experiences of life in this country. We continue to struggle. We continue to struggle in our conversation about race in our congregations, communities and places of business, even at our kitchen table." See the video message here.

23. The Aquinas Center at Emory sends a wonderful video about the materials Emory received from the Flannery O’Connor Trust.   “It’s simply going to open up new territory,” said William A. Sessions, an emeritus professor of English at Georgia State University and a friend of O’Connor’s, who was chosen by the estate to write her authorized biography.  To see the video about the materials from this important Georgia, Roman Catholic writer go to this resource.

24. International students from colleges and universities around the country are away from home during the holidays. Most of the students coming to Christmas International House in Atlanta this year are without another place to go at Christmas; we are so fortunate to be able to welcome them here! Can you welcome a student or two to your home during the holidays? Contact AMIS at

25. Lifecycle Building Center is a nonprofit material reuse organization helping communities extend the useable life of the built environment through salvaged building material collection, retail sales, non-profit material donation, and education. They are looking for a new home for several beautiful oak pews taken from Mt. Vernon Baptist Church before demolition for the new stadium. Through their nonprofit donation program, they regularly donate or discount materials for nonprofits, schools, and faith organizations. They also regularly host religious groups for volunteer days, such as Buckhead Church’s Second Saturday’s program this weekend, where 30-40 volunteers will help with de-nailing wood flooring, shelf assembly, and site maintenance. For more information about materials, nonprofit donation program or volunteering, contact LBC at (404)997-3873 or



Ethel Ware Carter

The Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta, Inc.


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