Church Action e Newsletter Week of November 28, 2011

God calls us to some things we cannot do alone.

Atlanta Center for Congregations study -- we need to hear from everyone. If you have not taken this very short survey, please give us your input at

If you believe as we do that together we can make a greater difference for our neighbors and for God’s whole creation, join us -- application should take you directly to a membership application. Contact Johnnetta Morris, Membership coordinator, if you would like us to send you an application or have questions. or visit for information.

The Advent mystery is the beginning of the end of all in us that is not yet Christ.
—Thomas Merton

Dr. Fahed Abu-Akel, Executive Director, AMIS Ministry, is seeking hosts for 30 international students and scholars who will visit Christmas International House. They are far from home and in need of some hospitality. Read about AMIS and the program at Christmasinternational Read a little and see photos of my family’s experience at .For more please call 404-846-4396 or email

All Saints’ Episcopal Church offers on online Advent Calendar

Seeking less hectic, more holy? Check out daily Advent devotionals from parishioners and staff atHoly Innocents' Church

Following the Star Advent devotional experience created by Passport in partnership with CBF, PC USA, and the Episcopal Church.

1. Just a reminder that the December meeting for the Southside Ministerial Association will be this Thursday, December 1, hosted by the East Point Sheltering Arms Development Center, located at 2257 Mulberry St., off Connally Drive in East Point. The meeting will begin at noon. Bring a book for the Center.

2. For those whose ministries are concerned with health, on December 1, Empowerment Resource Center will offer free HIV testing at the clinic in observance of World AIDS Day, 11a.m. – 3 p.m. In 2012, ERC will expand its counseling and testing services to include Hepatitis C screening using the OraQuick HCV rapid test. For more information please call 404-526-1145 or contact Lanie at . ERC provides health-related programs and services to the general public, with a priority focus on women. 236 Auburn Avenue NE, Suite 200, Atlanta 30303

3. Emory University will host the largest collegiate display of The AIDS Memorial Quilt in the world on Thursday, Dec. 1, World AIDS Day, with 1,432 panels, each telling the story of the one of the nearly 3,000 lives cut short by HIV/AIDS. This will be the largest dedicatory service Emory has ever hosted. Presented by Emory Hillel, the seventh annual "Quilt on the Quad" will take place on McDonough Field from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The director of Emory Hillel, Michael Rabkin, will provide the keynote address followed by a names reading ceremony. Read the complete story at

4. The Lovett School Choirs’ Annual Candlelight Lessons and Carols Service, designed after the Nine Lessons and Carols service at Kings College in Cambridge, England, will conclude with the choirs surrounding the congregation for a candlelight carol sing. All are welcome.

5. A reminder of the Folk Advent Service at historic Old Church, Oxford, December 3, 4 p.m. -- “O When Shall I See Jesus” led by Reverend Brooks Holifield and Dr. Steven Darsey with performances by the Meridian Chorale and the Sonny Houston Bluegrass Band. Directions

6. Don’t forget the third annual Taste of Faith, Sunday, December 4, Atlanta Interfaith Leaders Fellowship at new location, First Christian Church of Atlanta, 4532 LaVista Road, Tucker 30084, 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. Family and friends are welcome at this tasting of foods from our multiple religious and ethinic traditions. .

7. The Southeastern Synod of the Lutheran Church is pleased to invite friends and neighbors for a Bible study of the book of Ruth led by Dr. Diane Jacobson, ELCA Book of Faith Initiative Director. This education activity is sponsored by the Lutheran Theological Center in Atlanta in partnership with the Southeastern Synod Book of Faith Initiative. Sunday, December 4, 3:00 pm at Good Shepherd in Woodstock. R.s.v.p. to 770-924-7286

8. The Clayton State Chorale will perform a recital at 3:15 p.m. Sunday, December 4, at the Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta. Under the direction of its conductor, Dr. Shaun Amos, the group from Clayton State University will present several Salve Regina pieces and works by Howells and Mathias.

9. St. Luke’s Episcopal Church invites you and yours for the 36th Annual Messiah Sing-Along Sunday, December 4 at 5:00 p.m. The concert features soloists, organ, orchestra guest conductor Elise Eskew Sparks of Agnes Scott College. All are welcome, especially since the audience is the choir! Bring your score, purchase one in the Narthex for $15.00, or sing along as you like. Reception follows in the Parish Hall. St. Luke’s is at 435 Peachtree Street, just a few blocks south of North Avenue. Complimentary parking directly across the street from the church.

10. Holy Innocents' Episcopal School and Church will present an all-community service of Lessons and Carols on at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6 at the Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Road, Atlanta. All Holy Innocents' school choirs will perform, and the Holy Innocents' Parish Choir of adults also will join the service.

11. A reminder of the opportunity to explore seminary education at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology., next Thursday, December 6, 6:30-8:00 p.m. Casual dinner with Dean Jan Love and a talk from Dr. Ellen Ott Marshall, Associate Professor of Christian Ethics and Conflict Transformation, entitled, "Lessons Learned by Studying Conflict." Register online by Friday, Dec. 2 at

12. The New Era Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia will have their Annual Foreign Missions Drive on Tuesday, December 6 at 7:00 p.m. Rev. Dr. J. Sherman Pelt and the Liberty Baptist Church will be the hosts. Liberty is located at 395 Chamberlain Street SE in Atlanta. Rev. Dr. Arthur Carson, Convention President, has asked that all pastors please come and bring members of the congregation to support this worthwhile cause. Open your heart and bring a generous contribution for foreign missions. The proceeds from this night will go towards missions to reach the world with the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Missions Ministry of the New Era Convention takes a holistic approach to ministry by ministering to the mind, body, and soul of people around the world.

13. First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta will hold a special Advent Service for Families in the Reception Room , Wednesday, December 7, 6:30 to 7:15 p.m.

14. Amahl and the Night Visitors December 8 and December 9 at 7:30 p.m., Roswell Presbyterian Church, 755 Mimosa Boulevard, Roswell 30075. The Music Ministry of Roswell Presbyterian Church presents Gian-Carlo Menotti's Christmas operetta with a 23-piece orchestra and the Roswell Presbyterian Choir. It's the 60th anniversary of this beloved American opera, one particularly suited for children and families. Tickets-$10 for adults with children and family discounts available. Net proceeds benefit Music Mission Kiev, Ukraine ( Call 770-993-6316 or visit RoswellPresbyterian .

15. Herod, a 12-century music drama directed by Kellis Morris for Camerata Theater, will be presented at 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9 and 10, at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, 1790 LaVista Road, Atlanta. Tickets are $20 and $15 for seniors and students. Reservations required by calling 404-377-6493.

16. Powder Springs First UMC and the City of Powder Springs invite you to Cafe Noel - an evening of holiday entertainment and dessert in a festive atmosphere to benefit C.A.M.P. Cakes by the Lily Torte Baking Co. of Powder Springs. Talent from area churches and schools will perform. Saturday, Dec 10, two shows, 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., The Ford Center, 4181 Atlanta St., Powder Springs, Tickets are $15 in advance; $20 at the door. Click here for tickets.

17. The Episcopal Church of Our Saviour, Atlanta, will be open to collect winter clothes (e.g., coats, jackets, hats, sweaters, gloves) for Church of the Common Ground and others in need from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10. The church's nave will be open for visitors who wish to view its stained glass windows, many of them created at Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers. Our Saviour is located at 1068 North Highland Avenue, NE, Atlanta 30306.

18. Just Listening Circle conducted by Veterans Heart Georgia on December 11, at 1:30 p.m. at Epiphany Episcopal Church in Decatur. Find more information at

19. A bluegrass benefit concert for Project Renewal, Rockdale County's sanctuary for battered women and men, 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, at St. Simon's Episcopal Church, Conyers. Featured are Angel Biscuits, the Skeeters, and East Dixie Boys. Admission is by a suggested $10 donation. St. Simon’s , 1522 Highway 138 NE, next door to Pine Log Park northwest corner of Highway 138 and Pine Log Road, approximately one mile north of I-20 (exit 82).

20. An Oakhurst Baptist Church tradition since 1979, the Moravian Love Feast will be held in the sanctuary on Sunday, December 11 at 6:00 p.m. This simple service includes carols, music by the Sanctuary Choir, candle lighting, and shared coffee, hot cider, and the traditional love buns. The service is designed to include children. A reception will follow. Oakhurst is at 222 East Lake Drive , Decatur. For more information, call the church at 404-378-3677, ext. 223. A candlelight service will also be held on Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24, at 6:00 p.m.

21. St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church offers an Advent Concert, an evening of beautiful Contemporary Christian, Gospel and Christmas Music for the community, Sunday, December 11, 6-8 p.m. St. Anthony is located in the Historic West End of Atlanta at 928 Ralph D. Abernathy Blvd. SW. Atlanta 30310-1875. For more information call 404-758-8861 or email Park in the Wells Fargo or CitiTrends lot. All are welcome.

22. Reminder December 14 Cobb Faith Partnership General Meeting at Turner Chapel AME Church at 11:30am. For information, contact visit or

23. God Is With Us, a Christmas gift for the community from Decatur United Church of Christ. This Christmas Cantata features beautiful settings of familiar carols interspersed with festive orchestral pieces including some excerpts from The Nutcracker. The Advent/Christmas Choir will be joined by a small chamber orchestra to bring the beauty and joy of the season to Morning Worship on Sunday, December 18, 11a.m. A reception will follow. 109 Hibernia Avenue, Decatur, GA 30030. If you have questions please call 404-373-2933.

24. Volunteer Opportunities

The Friendship Center at Holy Comforter Parish which offers day programs for persons with mental illness or other disabilities needs: van drivers, kitchen servers, food prep assistants, foot clinic volunteers, health advocates, and arts, music, movement, and activities instructors. If you can help contact Matthew at

The Open Door needs help with the soup kitchen, the medical clinic, the foot clinic, and meal preparation. To find out how you can participate as a volunteer at, please contact Sarah Humphrey, Volunteer Coordinator, at 770-246-7618 or

The Whiz Kids community tutoring program sponsored by the Partnership Ministry of Hillside Presbyterian-Decatur and First Presbyterian-Atlanta needs volunteers to donate one hour per week tutoring an elementary student at Snapfinger Elementary School in Decatur on Wednesday afternoons. Twice as many students have requested tutors as are available. What a great opportunity to make a difference in the life and the future of a child! Contact Rev. Connie Lee at 404-228-7741 or for more information or to volunteer.

25. Care for the Troops reminds us that tens of thousands of troops will be returning by Christmas. Are you ready? Are you ready to help them for the next year, 5 years, 10 years, 15 years....? This question is for all of us to answer: clergy, clinicians, members of congregations and communities. So what can you do to get ready?

If a clinician, get training to better understand the military culture and consider enrolling in the CFTT Therapist Database

If a Clergy-person, be sure to start a Military Ministry at your congregation and sign up as a CFTT Veteran Friendly Congregation

If a member of a congregation, gather some like minded people, work with the Clergy to start a Military Ministry, and sign up as a CFTT Veteran Friendly Congregation

26. The Cathedral Farmers Market is open every Saturday through December 17, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon- in the parking lot at Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Road, Buckhead.

27. Candler School of Theology will offer the National Institute in Church Finance and Administration during the month of June, 2012, for church administrators, financial secretaries, volunteers and clergy, as training in business administration. Read all about this at and find the link to register. Registration before December 31 earns a discount.

28. You might be interested in what Rushworth Kidder has to say about the post-Paterno world.

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Prayer for the people of Beirut

Light of new hope

God of refuge,
hear our prayer
as we hold the people of Beirut
in our hearts at this time.
Fill us with compassion
and move us to reach out in love.

In your mercy,
bring comfort to those who mourn,
healing to those who are injured,
shelter to those who are homeless
sustenance to those who hunger.

Give strength to those who are working
to rebuild shattered lives,
and protect those who are vulnerable
especially in a time of coronavirus.

Lead us in your ways
so that together we may bring
the light of new hope
wherever there is destruction and despair.

We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.

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