Church Action eNewsletter Week of May 2, 2016

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and we have featured many events and resources over the last few weeks concerning mental health. The C.H.I.P. Tool Box for Mental Health Ministry is an important resource for congregations. Even churches with small staffs can effectively welcome and include those with a mental illness as full members of their fellowship; indeed, the most effective advocates and leaders in this arena are frequently lay leaders, or even those who do not yet know they are leaders.  C.H.I.P. would be delighted to have someone talk with you about how your congregation can effectively do what it is called to in this crucial area. Send an email to  And, C.H.I.P. will host a luncheon on May 20; more later on that.


Read to the end for a wonderful surprise!


1. Today is the last chance to register for Breathing Under Water: A Spiritual Study of the Twelve Steps a self-paced online course May 18-July 12, 2016. This online study, based on Fr. Richard Rohr's book Breathing Under Water, offers invitations to nurture an alternative consciousness and find freedom in powerlessness. Learn more and register at Some scholarships are available. Center for Action and Contemplation.


2. Hart Readers, today, May 4, at 6:30 p.m., the Rev Brian Sullivan discusses Wendell Berry's Jayber Crow.  Sullivan is the Rector of St. Benedict's Episcopal Church, Smyrna. On the first Wednesday of each month, readers gather in the Walthour Library at the Cathedral of St. Philip to discuss contemporary books and issues from a theological perspective, 2744 Peachtree Road, Atlanta 30305. For more information call Kerith Lee at (404)237-7582 or email


3. Featured guest artist for the May edition of First Friday at First will be Hammond B3 organist, Ike Stubblefield -- an evening of fine music, food, and fellowship from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. on Friday, May 6. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door.  First Congregational Church of Atlanta, 105 Courtland Street, Atlanta 30303.


4. The Original Sweet Auburn Springfest is right around the corner, Mother's Day weekend, May 6-8, in the historic Sweet Auburn District with fun, food, and entertainment for the whole family.  Attend a worship service on May 8 at Wheat Street Baptist Church, 359 Auburn Ave.; Big Bethel AME, 220 Auburn Ave.; Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 25 Boulevard; First Congregational Church, 105 Courtland St.; Ebenezer Baptist Church, 407 Auburn Ave.


5. Judicial Candidates Forum at Ebenezer Baptist Church, 400 Auburn Avenue NE, Atlanta 30303, Saturday, May 7, 10:00 a.m., hosted by Advocacy Action, Ebenezer Baptist Church, and the People’s Agenda.


6. The Rev. Alan Sherouse, First Baptist Church, Greensboro, N.C., is the featured preacher this Sunday, May 8, on Day 1. His sermon for Ascension Sunday is “Walking Downhill.” Find your local station, blogs, videos and more and read the sermon now at


7. MPOLIS (Moral Political Organizing Leadership Institute), Tuesday, May 10, from 9-4, at The Temple, 1589 Peachtree Street Northeast, Atlanta 30309. The goal of MPOLIS is to train clergy and people of faith to become movement leaders and to rediscover the moral movements that have made possible the great progressive victories in our history. Register here.


8 Yeah! Burger, 1168 Howell Mill Road, will donate 10% of sales on Tuesday, May 10, 6 – 10 p.m., to Atlanta Children’s Shelter.


9. Aramaic Bible Study with Dr. Rocco A. Errico is offered at Hillside International Truth Center on Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. in the King Chapel, 2450 Cascade Road, SW.


10. Awesome Blossom Spring Fest at Bethel United Methodist Church will be hosting this aptly named fundraiser on May 14.  This arts and crafts event showcases local and regional talent with a healthy dose of food, entertainment, and fun for the entire family thrown in for good measure.  Come on Saturday, May 14, between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. you won’t regret it!  Bethel UMC is at 245 Fairview Rd, Stockbridge, 30281.


11. Mystic and Music, settings of Rumi and Hafez and other mystics of many cultures, May 14, 7:30 p.m., St Bart's Episcopal Church, 1790 LaVista Rd, Atlanta. A reception will follow the concert. For more information click here


12. Choral Guild Concert at Northside Drive Baptist Church, May 15, 4:00 p.m. in the Chapel. The Life of Stephen Paulus features his well-known works, as well as those of his mentor Robert Shaw.  The mission of Choral Guild of Atlanta is to program the outstanding choral works from all musical periods, including works that are not often performed. 3100 Northside Drive, Atlanta 30305.  Tickets.


13. The success of "I Choose Support", a mentoring movement for returning citizens depends on community volunteers.  Many returning citizens across the state realize that they lack positive guidance and support.  As a result, the prison system and the lifestyle of counter-productivity have been an unending cycle.  Volunteers are needed who are committed to investing a few hours monthly for a period of 6 to 12 months to encourage, support, and serve as a role model to assist in developing solutions to basic living skills problems. A 3-4 hour training will be held in Atlanta Thursday, May 19, 9:00 a.m., Atlanta Technical College, 1560 Metropolitan Pkwy SW, Atlanta 30310. Read more about this from the Department of Community Supervision.


14. A Day of Retreat, May 21, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Wisdom Teachings from Julian of Norwich presented by Carl McColman, hosted by the Contemplative Prayer Group of St. Julian's Episcopal Church, 5400 Stewart Mill Road, Douglasville.  More information here. Learn about the retreat leader, Carl McColman here. Visit St. Julian's website here.


15. The 8th Annual High Tea at St. Bede’s Episcopal Church, 2601 Henderson Mill Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30345, will be Saturday, May 21 from 2-4 p.m. For more information see the flyer here /Customer-Content/www/CMS/files/2016_High_Tea_Flyer_-full_page.doc


16. Armed Forces Mission will offer the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) workshop May 24 and 25 in Fayetteville, Georgia. This premier curriculum has been used to train more than 1 million care givers world wide. Sitting is limited by design to no more than 30. Register today!  


17. Applications are available for Camp Beech Grove at Central Congregational UCC, 2676 Clairmont Rd NE, Atlanta 30329. This small (max. 24 campers) nature-oriented church camp for 5 – 8 year olds offers children opportunities to play in and learn about the forest and its habitats. Campers do yoga, hear sacred stories, sing, play, dig in the dirt, and enjoy hands-on nature and science activities. The camp will have weekly sessions, Monday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m., to 4:00 p.m., May 30 to July 8. Cost is $195/week. Find applications and more information on the church website or you may contact Rev. Ginnie Ferrell by email or phone (404)633-4505.


18. DivorceCare will be offered on Tuesdays beginning May 31 at Roswell United Methodist Church. The class will meet 6:15-8:15 p.m. in the Sanctuary building, room 251. This 13-week biblically based healing program is open to church members and the community. Details and registration are at


19. Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University will be offered at Roswell United Methodist Church on Sundays beginning June 5, at 6 p.m. Fee for the 9-week course is $93. Couples can share a kit. Free childcare is offered for children six months – 10 years of age; registration required. For information see


20. Who Cares? Caring for Ourselves as We Care for Others, St. Mary’s, Sewanee, June 10-12, with Michelle Tamaren, presents a spiritual and scientific pathway to wholeness and healing centered in the research-based field of Positive Psychology opening opportunities to explore the healing power of positive emotions, loving relationships, humor, healthy eating, rest, relaxation, meditation, mindfulness, music, movement, and more. Click here to register for programs and retreats.


21. Summer Orchestra Camp for ages 7-18 and college students at First Congregational Church, Monday –Friday, June 13-24, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. All levels of instruction for strings, advanced only for woodwind, brass, and percussion. Early bird tuition discount if paid-in-full by May 31, Visit website here.


22. Congratulations to Dr. Karen Massey who received the Baptist Women in Ministry of Georgia's 2016 Distinguished Church Woman of the Year Award at the BWIM of Georgia lunch, Saturday, April 16, at Smoke Rise Baptist Church in Stone Mountain.


23. The Joint Center, the Urban Institute, and The Joyce Foundation released the report Engaging Communities in Reducing Gun Violence: A Road Map for Safer Communities on April 28. Pdf here.


24. The Lake Oconee Community Church Youth Alliance has partnered with the new Lake Oconee Antique and Flea Market,, 863 Harmony Road, Eatonton, which is open Tuesday thru Sunday, as an official vendor with merchandise in Booth #33. They are accepting furniture. Donate or shop!


25. "Our ultimate end must be the creation of the beloved community." This was the oft-repeated message of Martin Luther King, Jr. The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Georgia recently entered into a "covenant of action" with New Era, a state affiliate of the Progressive Baptist National Convention, an historic African-American Baptist denomination. Founded in 1961 by clergy and laity deeply involved in the civil rights struggle, New Era counts King as one of its early active members. During a signing ceremony, the two groups covenanted together to "regularly participate in a fellowship of work and worship which will be centered on concrete mission and ministry in Georgia" with a mission event scheduled for May 14 as the first step in this new journey. Continue reading on the CBFblog.


26. World Refugee Day is June 20. We will have resources next week.


Our latest give-away from Allied Faith and Family is The Finest Hours -- heroic action-thriller based on the extraordinary true story of the greatest small-boat rescue in Coast Guard history. In 1952, a massive winter storm strikes off the coast of Cape Cod, ripping a T-2 oil tanker in half and trapping more than 30 sailors inside its rapidly sinking stern. When word of the disaster reaches the U.S. Coast Guard, four men led by Captain Bernie Webber set out in a 12-seat boat on a daring mission to rescue the stranded men, braving freezing cold, 60-foot waves, and hurricane-force winds, and guided by Webber’s vow that “We all live, or we all die.” Packed with thrilling, larger-than-life action and anchored in a belief in the strength of the human spirit, The Finest Hours © DISNEY 2016 is a triumph. The film offers themes of hope, humility and sacrifice, this in-home package will offer bonus features about the making of the movie and the true-life events that inspired it. Email and if you are among the first 5 responding we will send you the DVD!



Ethel Ware Carter

The Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta, Inc.


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