Church Action eNewsletter Week of March 21, 2016

God calls us to some things we cannot do alone.

Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta


Church Action eNewsletter Week of March 21, 2016



1. The 36th annual Ecumenical Good Friday Pilgrimage (Urban Way of the Cross) is Friday, March 25, from 9 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. This year’s theme is “Do you see me? What will you do?” We will begin with an opening reflection by Catholic Archbishop Wilton Gregory and then proceed on a walking prayer that includes scripture readings, reflections, prayers, and music as we remember the passion of Christ and the social injustices in our world today. All are welcome to this yearly pilgrimage. Details are here.


2. An ecumenical Holy Week in Southwest Atlanta includes worship tonight, Wednesday, March 23, at Rivertown UMC, 9325 Rivertown Road,  Fairburn 30213, with the Rev. Walter Kimbrough as guest revivalist; Maundy Thursday Service with foot washing, Thursday, March 24, 7 p.m., at  Laster Chapel UMC, 4790 Yates Road, College Park 30337, with Rev. Michael Sutton of Greater Mt. Olive Baptist Church as proclaimer; and Seven Last Words, Friday, March 25, 7 p.m., with pastors of 7 United Methodist Churches at Rocky Head UMC,  6020 Old Campbellton Road; Atlanta 30331. The community is invited to join in worship.


And… culminating in the third annual Sunrise Service on the Greens, Easter Sunday, 7 a.m., at the Historic College Park Golf Course, 3711 Fairway Drive, College Park 30337. This event is sponsored by an ecumenical group of pastors and churches, Baptist, Chaplains, CME, Non-Denominational, and UMC.  Breakfast will be served after the worship service. All are welcome.


3. Brookhaven churches will celebrate Easter together with the annual Easter Sunrise Service on Sunday, March 27, at 7 a.m. in the Chapel at Oglethorpe Presbyterian Church. The sermon will be delivered by the Rev. Carolyn Stephens of Brookhaven UMC. An offering will be collected to support the Addiction Recovery Ministry at Brookhaven UMC. Member churches include Brookhaven Christian Church, Brookhaven UMC, Oglethorpe Presbyterian Church, Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church, St. James United Methodist Church, and St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church. All are invited.


4. There will be two nondenominational Easter Sunrise Services at Stone Mountain; gates open at 4 a.m. Read all about it here.


5. Alpharetta Methodist Church invites you to a Bluegrass Sunrise Service on Easter morning with traditional Bluegrass music provided by the Vinebranch Band and a collection of sermon vignettes by Dr. Don Martin. Nursery and childcare are available for children ages 4 and younger. Visit for childcare information.


6. Dr. Nancy Taylor, Old South Church UCC, Boston, is the featured preach on Day 1 this Sunday, Easter. Her sermon “Divine Comedy” is taken from Luke 24:1-12. Read the sermon now or listen to it and find your local broadcaster at In most of our region it is News 95.5 /AM 750 WSB.


7. LAMP Talk, Leadership and Multifaith Program, Emory University and Georgia Tech, Evolution and Faith: What's at Stake? By Professor John Haught, Georgetown University, Tuesday, March 29, at 7 p.m. in the Gordy Room in Wardlaw Building, 177 North Avenue NW, Atlanta 30313.


8. Martin Luther King Jr. 31st Anniversary College of Ministers and Laity, How Ought We Treat Each Other: From Dominion to Dignity, March 31, 11:00 a.m., speaker Dr. Johan Galtung, Norwegian sociologist, mathematician, and the principal founder of the discipline of peace and conflict studies, open to the public. Interfaith Assembly, Dignity and Freedom: Gandhi, Mandela, and King by Dr. Mohamed Keshavjee, April 5, 7:00 p.m., open to the public.


9. The Future of Preaching: Day1 Seminary Spotlight Luncheon is Thursday, March 31, at 11:30 a.m. at Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church. Hear the thoughts of Leanne Van Dyk, president of Columbia Theological Seminary, Paul T. Roberts, president of Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary, and students from those seminaries, reflecting on proclamation of the gospel in a diverse and changing world. The cost for the lunch is $25 per person. For more information, contact Pat Reagan at or (404)418-6772.


10. Karen Kingsbury and members of her family will share their message with metro Atlantans March 31 at Mount Pisgah United Methodist Church. Considered the queen of Christian fiction, Kingsbury has more than 25 million books in print across the country. A Night with Karen Kingsbury and Family, 7 p.m., Thursday, March 31. Tickets $15-$100. Mount Pisgah United Methodist Church, 9820 Nesbit Ferry Road, Johns Creek. (678)336-3000,


11. Peacebuilders Camp at Koinonia Farm is a sliding-scale, overnight summer camp in rural Georgia where a diverse group of campers, ages 11 - 14, come to together to learn 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. Registration closes on April 1. Registration here.


12. Join the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) and over 200 passionate, faithful leaders at the 2016 Christian Leadership Forum June 1-4 in Atlanta. Come to exchange ideas, address challenges within your ministry, and explore how you might ignite young leaders in your midst to boldly lead differently through the church.  If you are a pastor, chaplain, campus minister, leader of a denomination or faith-based non-profit organization, or a Christian leader working with young adults who desire to explore leadership within Christian communities, this opportunity is for you.  The deadline to register is April 1, 2016. To learn more about FTE’s Christian Leadership Forum, visit


13. The Daffodil Dash, Brook Run Park, April 2, is a 1mile & 5K Run/Walk in memory of the 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust. This race is organized by the Am Yisrael Chai! Teen Initiative empowering teens to remember the past and reach for the future. Your support helps create a Living Holocaust memorial of 1.5 million daffodils planted in memory of the children. The race raises awareness and funds for Holocaust education and supports children suffering in humanitarian crises in the world today. This race is part of Genocide Prevention Month in Georgia. Sunday, April 3.  Online registration closes Friday, April 1, at 5 p.m., register here. You can register on race day at 8 a.m. at Brook Run Park, 4770 north Peachtree Road, Dunwoody.


14. Cascade UMC’s Business Alliance is sponsoring a Grant Writing Seminar on Saturday, April 2, 8:00 a.m. – Noon. You must R.s.v.p. for this event.  Seating is limited. Register online at or email  Facilitator is Gabraelle Lane. Contact the Rev. Tanya Pittman at (404) 582-0406 if you have questions.


15. You are invited to join in a crucial conversation on race, law enforcement, and the law in Hiram. Funded by The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, representatives of the following Georgia Appleseed Center for Law & Justice and the Hiram Police Department will participate in this discussion. Join the discussion at the City of Hiram Community Center, 217 Main St., Hiram 30141, Saturday, April 2, 12-3 p.m. Tickets are free, seating is limited.  Tickets.


16. LAMP Lunch-and-Learn on Dignity and Freedom: Gandhi, Mandela, and King by Dr. Mohamed Keshavjee on Monday, April 4, at 12 noon in Georgia Tech's Student Center room 343,  350 Ferst Dr. NW, Atlanta 30332


17. Bread for the World Partners invites congregational leaders to “The Power of Witness-Interfaith Hunger Event” on Saturday, April 9, 9 a.m. -12 p.m. at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer’s Fireside Room -731 Peachtree St NE.  Come with other faith communities to discuss the extent of hunger in the U.S. and how we can raise our voices to champion food security among children and families. This event will feature legislative advocacy training by the Alliance to End Hunger, Bread for the World’s Vote to End Hunger Campaign, and state and local hunger issues. There is no charge for the event; contact Nancy Koughan, JustFaith, for registration information.


18. A priority of Georgia Cares is to raise awareness of the issue of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking and to train community members and professionals on warning signs and resources. On a monthly basis, they provide free training open to the public in communities across Georgia. Upcoming trainings include; April 9, 2016 Registration, Seventh Day Adventist Church, Stone Mountain; April 23, 2016 Registration, Shiloh Baptist Church, McDonough;  May 17, 2016 Registration, Douglasville Police Department. To request a community training near you, contact


19. Hizmet in Africa: The Activities and Significance of the Gulen Movement , Thursday, April 14,  6:30 p.m., Istanbul Cultural Center, 591 N Main St., Alpharetta 30009, Speaker is Ambassador David H Shinn.  Shinn will analyze the multifaceted activities of the Hizmet movement in Africa. This event is free and open to public. More on the Gulen movement here.


20. Interfaith Power and Light alerts us to Faith Climate Action Week, April 15- 24. Join more than 1200 faith communities to spread the word and take action on this issue. You can order very inexpensive kits from IP&L.  Order your kit here. Once you plan your Earth Day events you can post them on the Faith Climate Action Week Event Calendar to invite the community. The Faith Climate Action Week website also provides sample sermons, talking points for writing your senators, and other printable materials. Click here to find downloadable and printable materials.


21. The Georgia chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is hosting a safeTALK training at Berean Christian Church in Snellville, 1465 Highpoint Rd, 30078, on Saturday, April 23.  This training prepares anyone over the age of 15 to identify persons with thoughts of suicide and connect them to suicide first aid resources. Online registration only (no walk ups). $15 fee includes materials and refreshments. Check in is from 8:30 a.m.; the program starts at 9:00.  Register here. For more information or to host a training at your church, contact Chris Owens (770) 843-3836.


22. Many of you are familiar with the "I Choose Support Mentoring Movement" offering mentoring to formerly incarcerated citizens which depends on community volunteers.  Volunteer mentors are needed to invest a few hours monthly for a period of six to 12 months to change lives and our community.  Mentors are only asked to encourage, support, and serve as role models to assist in developing solutions to basic living skills problems. Training, 3-4 hours, will be scheduled in Georgia Prisoner Reentry Initiative pilot sites and these include Macon, Atlanta, and DeKalb. Can you help? Visit this link or an interest form.


23. Mother’s Day for Peace Sunday is May 22, 4:00-6:00 p.m., Spelman College Cosby Auditorium, Sponsors, Planning Committee members, and Event Day volunteers are needed.  Please share your time, talent, and/or treasure to help make this MD4P an event to remember!  Contact Becky Rafter, to get a sense of what we can do together at or (404)5245999.


24. Be a summer singer this year. Cobb Summer Singers will perform Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Summer Singers of Atlanta will perform Faure’s Requiem, and Northwest Georgia (Cartersville) Summer Singers will learn classics, folk songs, and spirituals. Rehearsals begin in June. Tuition is modest and there is confidential tuition support in cases of need. No audition required; all adults and mature youth are invited to join in the singing. Visit the website and select the Summer Singers tab. If you have questions email or call (404)909-8357.  Early bird discount ends May 1,


25. Since the events yesterday in Brussels, Belgium, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship has been in contact with CBF field personnel Janée Angel, who lives and serves in Antwerp.  Read a blog here.


26. The Center for Lifelong Learning at Columbia Theological Seminary is accepting applications for the 2016 Guthrie Scholars Cohort. This is an opportunity to engage in five days of independent study among a small group of clergy, educators, and church leaders on the campus. Those selected are invited to pursue a topic of their choice that engages a pressing issue of the church from a Reformed perspective. Scholars are provided with a guest room and meals and will have access to the seminary library, chapel services, and fitness room. The dates are September 19-23. Applications are received electronically and the link is found in the brochure, below. See the  brochure posted on the seminary website: Guthrie Scholar Brochure.


27. A draft report detailing theological resources for times of persecution has been published by the Anglican Inter Faith Network. Out of the Depths – Hope in a time of suffering is a contribution to ecumenical engagement. Read a bit a bout the report and find a link to it at


28. Congregations are invited to join the Fulton County PICH Program’s Interfaith Active Living Initiative and grow a more dynamic Health Ministry, launch or expand walking programs for youths and adults, set healthy living guidelines for all services and events, and fellowship with other Active Living Interfaith groups. For more information contact Wykinia Hamblin, Health Coordinator, Physical Activity, Fulton County Health and Wellness at (404)612-9467 or More>>


Visit our website for more information and resources including a community calendar.



Ethel Ware Carter

The Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta, Inc.

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