Church Action eNewsletter Week of December 7, 2020

Church Action eNewsletter Week of December 7, 2020
The Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta, Inc. 

God calls us to some things we cannot do alone. 

1. #Comfort ( The Advent word for the day is Comfort.  For the seventh year, #AdventWord gathers prayers via a global, online Advent calendar. Virginia Theological Seminary images and meditations can be experienced via the website, direct daily emails,  FacebookInstagram and Twitter, and ASL videos via YouTube. Meditations are available in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole.

2. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Southeastern Synod Advent/Christmas Devotional is written by leaders from across the synod. You can download the pdf to your computer or e-reader, print it out, or come back to the Facebook page daily. Advent Christmas Devotional (

3. Take part virtually in Candler School of Theology’s “Advent Service of Song: Carols in the Chapel” at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 8. Watch on Facebook Live, Instagram, or the Candler website.

4. Restorative Justice Advocates of Georgia meet Wednesday, December 9, at 7:00 p.m., to learn from Alex Sanchez, director of Homies Unidos in Los Angeles. His organization had a hand in pushing through important police reform there. He will focus on these reforms. Here's the link & passcode: , Passcode 800260. 

5. Christmas Festival for the Healing of the World, Friday, Dec. 11, 9 p.m. Eastern, "The Incarnation: For the Healing of the World," a free concert with music of peace, love and joy, by the National Lutheran Choir. Click on underlined link.

6. St. Mary’s Sewanee offers a daylong Centering Prayer Retreat on Zoom December 12 Centering Prayer Advent Retreat - St. Mary's Sewanee

7. The Rev. Aisha Brooks-Lytle, executive presbyter of the Presbytery of Great Atlanta, is the preacher Dec. 13 on “Day 1,” the nationally broadcast ecumenical radio program also accessible online at and by podcast.  Brooks-Lytle is a musician and her sermon for this third Sunday of Advent is “Mary’s Song.”  “Day 1” is currently distributed to more than 200 radio stations across America and overseas. For more information, check the program’s website,  Hear it in Atlanta on WSB News 95.5 and 750 AM Sundays at 7:05 a.m.

8. Trinity Presbyterian Church’s children’s ministry will host its Christmas Pageant Drive-Thru Dec. 13 from 4 to 5 p.m. to offer residents a safe, meaningful, and exciting way to enjoy the story of Jesus’ birth. The public is invited and admission is free, but preregistration is requested. To preregister, visit Attendees are asked to enter the Trinity parking lot from the Moores Mill Road entrance (closest to Northside Drive/Parkway) and follow the Roman soldiers to Bethlehem.

9. The ELCA Southeastern Synod Mental Health Task Force invites you to join in on Mindfulness Mondays to help you connect your physical and mental well-being. Sign up to be a part of this series of guided meditations, happening now through Monday, December 21. Come for just 1; come for all or any number in between. Each week will introduce a mindfulness practice and offer a discussion afterwards.  Mindfulness Mondays. Next up is Dec. 14.

10. Another testing site: Big Bethel AME is offering testing for COVID-19 on Dec. 17, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., walk-up for drive-through, 220 Auburn Avenue, NE, Atlanta 30303. Register by texting COVID to (678) 802-9624

11. The Monastery of the Holy Spirit retreat house is closed.  If you are interested in joining this Zoom conference, call the retreat house M-F, 8:00-1:30, (770)760-0959.  SoulCollage and Spiritual Direction–Saturday Dec. 19 - 9:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.  No artistic skills needed - just an open heart. You will need a stack of magazines or images to choose from, glue stick or glue, scissors, and some 5x8 inch pieces of paper or cardboard.

12. Remember the Annual Holiday Market at The Friendship Center at Holy Comforter is open through Dec. 20.  Find your favorite arts, crafts, plants, herb vinegar, and more by clicking on Holiday Market on Check back daily as new items are being added all the time.

13. “Weekend Retreat: Gift of the New Year”  Adults are invited to a silent weekend retreat, Dec. 28-31, led by Fr. Joe Lingan, SJ, at Ignatius House, 6700 Riverside Dr. NW, Atlanta 30328. Prepare to enter the New Year by reflecting on and praying with the great truth that is the gift of Jesus’ incarnation. $295 includes private room and bath, all meals, use of 20 acres, and Sunday Mass. Limited to the first 22 registrants.

14. At Northside Drive Baptist Church the Wade Davis Nativity Display is on view on the balcony level of the sanctuary (level 5 in elevator), any time the sanctuary is open for safe Covid gatherings. Flip on the overhead lights and begin in the elevator hallway by opening the glass-fronted display case lent by the Clark Family. Some children’s activities using small nativities are available in the display case drawers. The sanctuary is open for individual prayer weekdays from 2:00-3:30 p.m. Bring a coat, the sanctuary is unheated. 3100 Northside Drive NW, Atlanta 30305. Telephone is (404) 237-8621.
15. The Art Ministry at the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany offers emerging artists a venue to show their work. The work of parishioner Cristiana Montesinos will be featured through December. You can visit the gallery online, see Epiphany Gallery | Epiphany for information.
16. What a loss is the absence of Folk Advent 2020! Meridian Herald 2019 Folk Advent was taped and it is available here. Preaching is scholar-theologian and veteran Folk Advent preacher Brooks Holifield. Leah Calvert and the Dappled Greys offering bluegrass-gospel songs, and the Meridian Chorale and soloists singing Sacred Harp tunes. . . excellence and inspiration.
17. The annual Festival Service of Lessons and Carols featuring the University Choir from Sewanee University is a cherished tradition. This year a special video version of Lessons and Carols—tells the Christmas story of comfort, hope, and God dwelling with us, against the backdrop of a semester like no other at Sewanee.
18. Do you know about “Georgia’s Home for the Holidays?” Thirty-two organizations bring you a bit of holiday cheer each and every day this season. Episodes premiere daily through Dec. 31 and will be available for viewing anytime thereafter. Some secular music and many favorite sacred selections. Find out more at Georgia's Home for the Holidays - YouTube
19. Candler School of Theology faculty members have written and edited ten books this year. The two most recently published are The Purpose, Pattern, and Character of Worship by Dr. Ed Phillips, and Postcolonial Images of Care: Challenges of Care in a Neoliberal Age, co-edited by Dr. Emmanuel Lartey. Read more.
20. “Ever Hear of Feuerbach?  That's Why American and European Christianity Are in Such a Funk!” Another new book by a local seminary professor. Dr. Mark Ellingsen, Interdenominational Theological Center, calls our attention to the flawed theology and Christian education material used in most mainline churches.  Though his main concern is to get church and academy talking about this problem and to prod us to do something about it, Ellingsen proposes a way out of this mess.  He invites readers to explore with him the exciting possibility that a theological use of the scientific method could be employed to make a case for the plausibility of Christian faith. 
21. Unity Atlanta is offering two Burning Bowl services New Year's Eve with live stream and in-person options for both. This is a powerful ritual at year’s end. It is the opportunity to release old wounds, negative or unhealthy thought patterns, unfulfilled expectations, mistakes, or situations that may be holding you back from living your best life. It’s about becoming still, becoming aware, naming what you are releasing and letting it go…standing in faith for what is next. After letting go of 2020, participants have the opportunity to write a letter to God stating all of their intentions and wishes for 2021.  To attend in person (bring your letter to God in a self-addressed envelope): 1, Click here to register for the 5 p.m. service. 2. Click here to register for the 7 p.m. service. To join via live stream, click here.
22. I received this newspaper link from a friend who works in community development for DeKalb County. It is a good resource list of COVID relief efforts throughout the county, food, rent, utility, and mortgage help, small business loans, grants for artists, for families and individuals. It is a comprehensive list and we are glad to have it as a resource.

Visit our website for a tool box for mental health ministry, and more . . . 

Ethel Ware Carter

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