Church Action eNewsletter Week of December 1, 2014

God calls us to some things we cannot do alone.

   Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta 

Weekly Church Action eNewsletter


Advent Conspiracy was started in 2006 by five pastors who decided to make Christmas a revolutionary event by encouraging their faith communities to Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More, and Love All. The response was overwhelming and the Conspiracy was born. Advent Conspiracy is a resource for churches seeking to engage in authentic worship and giving at Christmas- a simple idea for you to take and run with. Be creative and bless those in need by giving relationally as God gave His Son to us at Christmas. Visit Advent Conspiracy

1. "Make A Joyful Noise": Renaissance Art and Music at Florence Cathedral at the High Museum of Art will feature music weekends during December, read more

2. Lake Oconee Community Church reminded us of the online Advent devotions at

3. The public is invited to join the faculty, staff, and students of Columbia Theological Seminary for a service of Lessons & Carols celebrating the Advent season, Thursday, December 4, 6:45 p.m., Harrington Center Chapel. The seminary is located at 701 S. Columbia Drive, Decatur, Ga.

4. My Name is Rachel Corrie, Friday, December 5, 7 p.m., Druid Hills United Methodist Church, 1200 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta, and conversation with actor Ashley Malloy after the performance. Ticket donations are $5 for students, $10 adults. This play taken from the writings of Rachel Corrie gives us her voice, a voice for peace in life and in death. Cosponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace-Atlanta chapter, Interfaith Peace Builders, Students for Justice in Palestine-Emory, Joining Hands for Justice in Israel/Palestine, Druid Hills United Methodist Church Outreach Team. 

5. Everyone is welcome to Advent services at First Baptist Church of Decatur, 308 Clairemont Ave., The Family Advent celebration is Friday, Dec. 5, in the Fellowship Hall, 6:30 pm., includes a Moravian Lovefeast for children and their families, $6 adults, $3 children, $18 family maximum.

6. Atlanta Boys Choir Holiday Concert at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Friday, December 5, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be reserved by phone (404)378-0064 or email St. Luke’s is at 435 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30308

7. Cleaning Out for the Holidays? Don’t trash old toys, electronics, clothes, papers and paint!  Keep Atlanta Beautiful operates recycling centers in Buckhead and Midtown. City of Atlanta offers FREE electronics recycling  at their Hartsfield facility. Recycling Centers: Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, 2715 Peachtree Rd. (Buckhead), Saturday, December 6; Walden School (Old Fourth Ward) 320 Irwin St NE, Atlanta 30312, Saturday, December 13. Hours at both locations are 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Find out more at the website

8. The Jung Society of Atlanta presents a lecture by Pete Williams, Ph.D., Atlanta Jungian Analyst, “Jung’s Concepts and Theory Through Dreams: The Dream As Teacher.” Saturday, December 6, 7:30 p.m., Trinity Presbyterian Church, 3003 Howell Mill Rd., NW. The public is invited: $20; Students = $10; Jung Society Members – free. More information.

9. Candlelight and Carols, the Lynn Swanson Festival Singers, the William Baker Festival Singers, the Forsyth County High School Chamber Chorus, Festival Brass and Organ.  Tickets available online or at the door.

Saturday, Dec. 6, 7 p.m., St. Benedict's Episcopal Church, 2160 Cooper Lake Rd, Smyrna 30080


Sunday, Dec. 7, 3 p.m., Grace United Methodist Church, 458 Ponce de Leon Ave, Atlanta 30308

10. The Rev. Brian Cole, Church of the Good Shepherd, Lexington, Ken., is the featured preacher on Day1 for Dec. 7, the 2nd Sunday of Advent. His sermon is Beginning Before It Begins. Find your local station, hear it on line, and read more at

11. Covenant Presbyterian hosts its annual Global Gift Market in the Fellowship Hall this Sunday, December 7, 12-4 p.m. Browse hand-crafted gifts and fair trade food products and baskets. Free admission and the public is invited. The market will be open next Sunday, Dec. 14, 12-5:30 p.m. followed by Lessons and Carols. Covenant is at 2461 Peachtree Road, NE., Atlanta.

12. A.I.L.F. Taste of Faith, Sunday December 7, 2-4 p.m., Roswell Community Masjid, 345 Market Place, Roswell, Ga. Fun, food, and fellowship – sample delicious dishes and enjoy learning about all the different interfaith communities and programs in the area. This event is free and open to the public. Please R.s.v.p. to AILF is a program of Interfaith Community Initiatives

13. Harpists Lynne Aspnes and John Wickey, known as TrueNorth, will perform a recital at 3:15 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, at the Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Road, Atlanta. Their program includes seven pieces for the Advent and Christmas seasons. All are welcome. Choral Evensong follows at 4 p.m.

14. At Clairmont Presbyterian Church each year Jews, Christians, and Muslims plan 3 events to get to know each other. Each December Christmas is celebrated and the community is invited to come this Sunday, Dec. 7, at 5 p.m. to Milligan Hall, Clairmont Presbyterian Church, 1994 Clairmont Rd.(corner of North Druid Hills and Clairmont,) Decatur. December 3, 2014 to

15. St. James Episcopal Church, 161 Church Street, Marietta, presents an Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7. The St. James Parish Choir will sing works by Bruckner and Buxtehude and will begin the service with Vivaldi's famous Gloria.

16. How did Christianity develop and grow from a Jewish sect to the religion with the most adherents around the world? In Christian Encounters, an AIBTV series premiering on Mondays at 4 p.m., we meet with theologians and clergy from across the metro Atlanta area to broaden perspectives on what Christianity has looked like and does look like. This 16-part series features a mixture of interviews with local scholars and church leaders, together with filming a variety of Christian communities in the area.

17. Cobb Faith Partnership will meet on December 10 at 11:30 a.m., The Cathedral of Turner Chapel, 492 N. Marietta Parkway, North Marietta. Find out about this organization that networks to meet community needs  here.

18. Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta (FAMA) invites you to join the panel discussion, "A Place at the Table: How Can Faith Leaders Nourish the LGBTQ Community?” on Wednesday, December 10, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at the Atlanta Soto Zen Center, 1167 Zonolite Place, Suite C, Atlanta, GA 30306. Moderated by Debonee Morgan, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, the panel is comprised of members of The LGBTQ Therapist Resource. Lunch will be provided for $10 a person. Please R.s.v.p. at and you may pre-pay via PayPal. 

19. Community Ambassador Trainings provide information on the issue of child sex trafficking here in Georgia, supply and demand, red flags and warning signs, available services for victims, youthSpark programs, and what you can do to help. Registration is now open for the final 2014 Community Ambassador Training to be held on Saturday, December 13, 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., at First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, 1328 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta 30309 Email to reserve your spot today. Continental breakfast will be provided.

20. Shop for quality books to give to children at the Children's Holiday Book Fair hosted by Truth & Treasures Bookstore in the King Chapel at Hillside International Trust Center, 2450 Cascade Rd SW, Saturday, Dec. 13, 10:30 a.m. Authors of books for young people will be present and refreshments will be served.

21. The Cathedral Schola of the Cathedral of St. Philip and the Atlanta Baroque Opera will perform Handel's Messiah at the Cathedral, 2744 Peachtree Road, NW, Atlanta,  Saturday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m. and at St. David's Episcopal Church, 1015 Old Roswell Road, Roswell on Sunday, December 14 at 4 p.m. Learn more and purchase tickets at

22. Northside Drive Baptist Church Music Ministry will present a program of Advent Lessons and Carols, Dec. 14, 11 a.m., featuring the Sanctuary Choir, the Northside Drive Ringers, and the Children's Choirs. This Gaudete Sunday service will consist of familiar readings from scripture, interspersed with beautiful music of the Advent season. 3100 Northside Drive, Atlanta.

23. All are welcome to the celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe with the Cathedral of St. Philip’s Hispanic community on Sunday, December 14 at 1:30 p.m. in Mikell Chapel, 2744 Peachtree Road, Atlanta. This celebration of the apparition of the Virgin Mary to Juan Diego in Tepeyac (Mexico City) in 1531 will include a solemn celebration of the Eucharist followed by hymns to honor the Virgin of Guadalupe by a local mariachi band! A reception will follow the celebration. 

24. The Choir of St. Paul’s Church and members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will present St. Paul's 11th annual Christmas Concert at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14, at Sisters Chapel at Spelman College, 350 Spelman Lane, Atlanta. Musical selections range from sacred choral literature to African-American spirituals and contemporary gospel tunes for Advent and Christmas. St. Paul's Music Director and Conductor Trey Clegg directs with organist David Oliver. Tickets are $20 at 404-696-3620.

 25. Pastor Montele A. Crawford and the Music Ministry of First Baptist Church of East Point (formerly The Fellowship Group Baptist Church, East Point) under the direction of Rev. Harding Epps invite you to its Annual Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 14, 2014 at 6:00 p.m.  at First Baptist Church of East Point, 2813 East Point Street, East Point, GA 30344.  This event is free and open to the public.  For more information call, 404-762-9451 or go to

26. On December 15, 1914, Miss Eda E. Bartholomew, charter member of the Georgia Chapter, American Guild of Organists, gave the first recital by a chapter member. Celebrate this recital on the day and at the location of the first recital, St. Mark United Methodist Church, 731 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, December 15, 7:30 p.m. Featured artists for this special program will be past Atlanta Chapter deans, including Dr. Calvert Johnson; Timothy Young, SPC; Dr. Timothy Wissler; Joanne Cobb Brown, CAGO; Michael Morgan; John Brandt, SPC; and Sarah J. Hawbecker. The recital will be followed by a Christmas reception.

27. Christmas with the Choral Guild of Atlanta at Northside Drive Baptist Church, 3100, Northside Drive, featuring Gloria and Dona Nobis Pacem from Amy Beach's Mass in E-Flat, James Bohart, Guest Conductor; Many Moods of Christmas, arranged by Robert Shaw; Bach Chorales , Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring and Break Forth O Beauteous Heavenly Light; Audience Carol Sing, Tuesday, December 16, at 4 p.m. 

28. If you have lost a loved one and are dreading the holidays, you are invited to attend Roswell United Methodist Church’s annual Service of Remembrance on Tuesday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m. in the Chapel. This service provides an opportunity to focus on cherished memories to those grieving while prayers, Scripture, music, and lighting a candle can bring comfort and peace. Afterward, light refreshments will be served in the church parlor. For more information, visit the web site at

29. Blue Christmas Worship, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 6:30 p.m., All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 634 West Peachtree Street, Atlanta. Good cheer is supposed to be the order of the day, but we may be anxious, sad, and blue for all sorts of reasons. This annual service of scripture, reflection, a cappella music, prayers, and the lighting of Advent candles may be a welcomed respite during your holiday season. If you are unable to attend but are interested in reading the prayers and the litany, a bulletin from a past service can be found on the Worship page of the church website . For more information contact The Rev’d Noelle York Simmons at

30. The Gateway Center will host a Christmas pot luck dinner to serve 300 men experiencing homelessness on Christmas afternoon from 5:30-7 p.m. If you or your family are 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

31. The deadline for receiving applications for Thompson Scholars 2015, Spiritual Pioneers: The Call, Risks and Blessings of Church Development is extended to Friday, January 9, 2015. The seminar, April 21 – 24, on the Columbia Theological Seminary campus, is designed for individuals engaged in church planting and development work, including those who are new to the task. See the application, here. For more information, contact Sarah Erickson, Director of Lifelong Learning, at

32.  Trinity Institute presents Creating the Common Good TI2015 A Practical Conference for Economic Equality, January 22-24. TI2015 speakers and panelists are leading activists, theologians, authors, and experts on economic inequality. They have real-world experience making change happen and will provide you with hopeful, practical tools you can use in your community to make a positive economic impact. Find out more and look for or become a local partner site for this conference here.

33. DiscipleNow 2015, is an event for middle school and high school students, February 13-15, 2015, geared to draw middle school and high school students into a close relationship with Christ. Hebron Church, Dacula, Ga. Call (770)277-6025 for information or check out registration details   here.

34. Care for the Troops is pleased to let us know that there are 3 new Veteran Friendly Congregations. Pierce Chapel UMC and Columbus Independent Baptist Church, both in Columbus, and Kingdom Life Worship Center in Morrow. Visit the website for a full list of Veteran Friendly Congregations and a map of their locations and to find out more about how your congregation can get involved.

35. Care for the Troops recommends that when you write your Christmas cards this year, you take a card, write a message of support, and send to the address below.  This might also be a good activity to sponsor within your congregation.  It may help get them involved and build awareness of the need to support veterans and their families within congregations and communities. A Recovering American Solder, c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 6900 Georgia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20307-5001.

 The Rev. Joanna Adams of Higher Ground Group tells a story she once heard:

A man was eating in a crowded restaurant.  A waiter asked if he would mind having someone join him at his table. The man said no, and a stranger came over. The two of them sat silently until their food arrived.  When it did, the fellow who had been there originally bowed his head to say a silent blessing.  The other man asked him, “Do you have a headache?”

 The man answered, “No, I like to thank God before I eat.” “Oh, you are one of those,” said the other man.  “Me?  I never give thanks; I earn what I get …. I don’t say thank you to anybody. I just start right in.”

“You are just like my dog,” the first man said.  “He does exactly the same thing when food is placed before him.”

Gratitude keeps us human. Gratitude for one another.  Gratitude to God.  We have so much to be thankful for.

Find out about Higher Ground Group and sign up to get occasional reflections.



Ethel Ware Carter

The Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta, Inc.


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