Church Action eNewsletter Week of December 16, 2013


God calls us to some things we cannot do alone.

   Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta 


Remember that more music, celebrations, and special services are listed on our website under Community Events

If you would like to send a holiday card to a deployed solider you can use this address include Christmas Note or New Year’s Note in the Attention line.  MAJ Jeni Hope Gustafson, ATTN: -------------, PSC 831, Box 16, FPO, AE 09363-0016


May you discover that humble authority born again on the edges of the world’s notice.

May that royal inheritance and authority of the stable be born in you, enliven your heart, and rest on your shoulders.

 from Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, in her Christmas Message 2013.



1. The people of the Church of Common Ground will spend the night outside on Saturday, Dec. 21, to mark “The Longest Night of the Year” and to pray for and support unhoused Atlantans. They welcome all who are interested to join them for a part of or all of the night. The vigil runs from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. with prayer every hour. Church of the Common Ground is a worshiping community of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta which provides support for the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of unhoused men and women. For more information on the exact location or to send a prayer, write to  The event will be held near the intersection of Trinity Avenue and Peachtree Street downtown. Church of the Common Ground will celebrate Holy Eucharist on Christmas Eve at 1 p.m.

2. On Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasters Religion Roundtable, Dr. Ralph Basui Watkins will speak to members of the interfaith community about the legacy of Nelson Mandela as a moral leader.  Tune in Friday at 7:00 p.m., Mondays at 9:30 a.m., and Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.

3. Northside Drive Baptist Church Christmas Eve Vespers  is designed especially for kids with kid friendly carols, a costumed pageant, family communion, and the Pastor will juggle while telling a Christmas story. The whole family will find this December 24, 4 p.m. service meaningful and fun. Northside Drive Baptist is at 3100 Northside Drive, NW.

4. Cascade United Methodist Church welcomes the community to a Watch Night Service, Tuesday, December 31, The Women’s Chorus will sing at 7 p.m. and Martha Munizzi is the guest artist at 10 p.m. Cascade UMC is located at 3144 Cascade Avenue, SW, Atlanta 30311.

5. First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta Youth Department invites you to the 18th Annual Youth Musical, “Aida.” Performances are January 2, 2014 at 7:00 p.m., January 3 and 4 at 7:30 p.m. and January 5 at 7:00 p.m. in Fifield Hall. Tickets are $10 at the door or on the website ( Contact Allison Per-Lee for more information at 404-228-7751 or  All proceeds from our Youth Musical benefit 2014 summer mission work for Hurricane Sandy Relief in New Jersey and for building homes in Honduras. First Presbyterian Atlanta is at 1328 Peachtree Street, Atlanta 30309.

6. Spring Semester schedule is available for Antioch Baptist Bible College Institute and Seminary at Classes start January 6.

7. Street Grace Quarterly Meeting, Thursday, January 9 from 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at North Avenue Presbyterian Church in the Broyles Ministry Center. You won't want to miss the important updates on Lobby Day 2014!  A catered lunch will be served from 11:30 am - 12:00 noon. If you would like to attend the luncheon, please R.s.v.p. to Whitney Bexley  before Tuesday, January 7. Quarterly meetings are open to the public and dress is casual.

8. The Atlantic Institute Exploring Faiths series gives representatives of the Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Baha'I, and other communities the opportunity to share the richness of their faith traditions. The program aims to bring people from different faith backgrounds together in harmony and overcome stereotypes between people of different religions. Gareth Young, President of  Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta, will  speak on the Buddhist tradition, Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 7 p.m. at Alpharetta Presbyterian Church, 180 Academy St., Alpharetta 30009. For more information please visit

9.  Interfaith Children’s Movement Celebration of Children, January 11, 2014, Marietta First United Church, 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.  Go to to register to attend and to put up a display of your agency or ministry. Learn about the problems children have in school and what you can advocate that the State Legislature do to address these problems. Network and learn about the resources of community agencies and churches.

10. Great Decisions 2014 Foreign Policy Lecture Series coming at Dunwoody UMC. Increase your awareness and understanding of global issues through this eight-week lectures series. Great Decisions is based on a briefing book published annually by the nonpartisan Foreign Policy Association and encourages participants to develop an informed opinion on the role the United States should play in world affairs. Thursdays, January 16 - March 6, 2014 at 7:30 PM at the Dunwoody United Methodist Church. Register today at

11. Tolkien Conference at St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church, Saturday, January 18, 2014, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.,  McNamee Hall. Four exciting talks on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Hobbit and Lord of the Rings: Joseph Pearce, keynote, will speak on the Catholicism of the Lord of the Rings during the morning session and the Catholicism of the Hobbit during the afternoon session. Jef Murray will speak about the art of Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Jef is an internationally acclaimed artist. Dr. Phillip Thompson will address the Catholic leadership qualities contained in Tolkien’s works. For more information contact Deacon Mike Bickerstaff at

12. Save the date for Alternatives to Violence Basic Workshop an intensive learning experience offering participants a chance to practice creative conflict resolution and communications skills invaluable to those wishing to create positive change in self, in the community, and in the world. This three-day workshop will be held January 24-26 at Atlanta Friends Meeting House, 701 West Howard Avenue and Columbia Presbyterian Church, Decatur. For more information about the national AVP program visit . For registration and information contact Caroline Kiev at 615-297-5867 or email:

13. Mental Health First Aid Course, January 28, 2014 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)  This highly interactive public education course certifies participants as Mental Health First Aiders. The training teaches how to identify, understand, and respond to individuals experiencing signs of mental illness and substance use disorders. The cost is $60 and space is limited to 30 people. Register now to reserve your seat by contacting Michelle Potter at or 404-508-7875.

14. Atlanta and adjacent municipalities are poised to join the International Campaign for Compassionate Cities with a kick-off event at 2 p.m., February 2, 2014 at The Carter Center. Twenty-five cities around the world have already joined the initiative with hundreds more, including Atlanta, actively organizing to become Compassionate Cities.  The event is free and open to the public. Save the date and look for full information right after the holidays. Background on the Compassionate Action Network and for Atlanta’s efforts .

15. Conflict in your Congregation will be held as a part of an Alban Learning Event Cluster, February 4 -6 at Epworth by the Sea, St. Simon’s Island, GA.  The other events in this cluster, Stepping Up to Staffing and Supervision for Small and Mid-Sized Congregations, and 2014 - Alignment(1)" href=""">Alignment: Get Your Congregation’s Systems Working Together, will be held at the same time in the same location.  Bringing a team from your congregation will allow you to take advantage of all three learning opportunities, while saving on travel and lodging costs. Read more>>

16. A reminder that registration will soon close for Hildegard of Bingen, February 13-16, Center for Life Long Learning, Columbia Seminary. Through study of and meditation on selections of the poetry, music, and art which God revealed to Hildegard, the class offers participants a deep immersion experience in crucial aspects of the Good News: creation as theophany, God’s expansive Incarnation, a gentler view of the Fall, the omnipresent action of the Spirit. Class members will be encouraged to participate actively, by gazing and singing. This class is open to everyone. Click here to register by mail.  Read more>>

17. Do you know kids who want to make their world a better place? Peacebuilders Camp at Koinonia Farm is a unique overnight summer camp in rural South Georgia where youth ages 11 to 14 spend a week together learning how to work toward peace and justice. Campers enjoy farm life, play games and sports, go on field trips, learn about human rights, make new friends, and explore the stories of peacemakers past and present. Tuition is on a sliding scale. Registration forms can be found at  The holidays are a great time to give the gift of camp to a young person you know. For more information, contact Jonah McDonald at or 404-373-8036.

18. Augsburg Fortress Music Clinics are held in a variety of places across the nation and provide opportunities for church musicians to network, learn, and be inspired.  Get the details Here.

Skyland Trail sent some excellent suggestions for avoiding stress during the holiday season. Take a look at Scroll down the menu to select the page titled Avoiding Stress during the Holidays.   


Ethel Ware Carter

The Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta, Inc.




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