Church Action eNewsletter Week of November 18, 2013


God calls us to some things we cannot do alone.

   Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta 

Check the community calendar on our website 



The faith community has a unique role in supporting and advocating for people living with mental illnesses and those who care about them. Read seven reasons why in the introduction to Compassionate Congregations Clergy Tool Box for Mental Health Ministry at

If a nonprofit ministry is associated with your church or you work in a faith-based ministry you will be interested in the free community partnership building and development workshop being offered by SAMHSA on December 2 in midtown Atlanta. Register by this coming Monday. Read more>>

1. Join Lutheran Services of Georgia for "Let's Talk About the Affordable Care Act: A Town Hall Discussion about Healthcare Reform..." November 21, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Woodruff Volunteer Center, Logan Room, 100 Edgewood Ave NE, Atlanta. 30303. This event is free and open to the public.   Click here to R.s.v.p.  

2. A Death Penalty Lawyer's Faith Journey, Friday, November 22, 7:30 – 9 a.m., Ellis Hall, All Saints’ Episcopal Church, this Faith and Law Breakfast will feature speaker Bo King, who has spent the last ten years representing death row prisoners as a staff attorney at the Federal Defender Program in Atlanta and the Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama. He will share how his Christian faith has sustained him as he has faced some of the unusual challenges presented by his work, and how those same challenges have enriched and deepened his faith. Cost for the breakfast is $8 payable at the door. Proceeds benefit the Men of Hope. For planning purposes, please email Tom Cox at if you plan to attend.

3. This Saturday, November 23, is International Survivors of Suicide Day a healing day for those who have lost a loved one to suicide.  There are 5 observances in Georgia and each is a little different, you can view a list of sites here.  There are events in Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Cumming, Valdosta, and Albany. And if you'd rather stay at home for this program, you can watch a broadcast from 1:00-2:30 at  Following this program on the website, there will be a live online chat.

4. The Rev. Amy L. Gearhart, senior pastor of Missouri United Methodist Church of Columbia, is the speaker Nov. 24 on “Day 1” with host Peter Wallace, the ecumenical radio program also accessible online at  Her sermon “How Can I Keep from Singing?” is based on Luke 1:68-79. “The Good News to be sung and shouted is this: Jesus comes to give voice to the muted... Jesus is God’s promise that we’ve been remembered and never forgotten.” For more information check

5. Thanksgiving Brunch and Hanging of the Greens, Apostles Church of Sandy Springs, Sunday, November 24,  12:30 p.m. The community is invited to join Apostles in celebrating and thanking God for bringing together a diverse congregation unified in love of Christ and service to others. Potluck Feast begins at 12:30 followed by a time of preparing the church for Christmas.  For more information contact Adrianne at

6. Decatur Cooperative Ministry Community-Wide Thanksgiving Service, an opportunity to count our blessings and give substance to the sentiment of Thanksgiving, 7 p.m., Sunday, November 24, at Mt. Zion AME Church, 2977 Lavista Road, Decatur. Project Take Charge will collect funds to purchase $25 gift cards that will help needy families without cooking facilities enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving meal.  DCM will collect non-perishable food items for the joint food distribution efforts of Project Take Charge and New Life Community Center. Come, give thanks, and help our neighbors in need.  If you have questions ask Marlene White, Executive Director, DCM, 404-377-5365 ext 8 or

7. Armed Forces Mission will be conducting the I Will Intervene Challenge on November 25 and 26 at First Baptist Church Fayetteville.  This is a Two Suicide Intervention Workshop based on the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) curriculum.  This course is open to all are interested in learning the skills that can save those at risk.  The only pre-requisite is a caring heart.  The workshop also offers 13 Core CEU hours for LPC and social workers.  To learn more visit Intervention Advocate

8. The Gifts of the Magi at Theatrical Outfit, Nov. 27 - Dec. 22 --  this captivating Christmas musical is based on the heart-warming story by O. Henry. It is Christmas, the season of giving, but for young penniless lovers Jim and Della the prospects are bleak. Each valiantly struggles to find the perfect gift for the other. Read more>>

9. The Sonny Houston Bluegrass Band will provide bluegrass-Gospel music and  E. Brooks Holifield will speak at Meridian Herald’s 21st annual Southern Folk Advent® Service with the Meridian Chorale directed by Steven Darsey,  Saturday, November 30, 4:00 p.m., Old Church on the Oxford College campus in Oxford, Georgia. Admission is free. This year’s service features the opera star Morris Robinson as well as Atlanta tenor Timothy B. Miller famed for his Atlanta Braves home game appearances. A form of Lessons and Carols, this service is based on folk hymns from the historic Sacred Harp tunebook, compiled in Georgia in 1844.  Built in 1841, Old Church springs from the same era and region as The Sacred Harp itself.  Read more>>

10. Unity North Atlanta Church will host the Tibetan Buddhist Monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery, India, for a week of activities, lectures, and cultural events,  December 1-December 8, 4255 Sandy Plains Road Marietta 30066. The monks, over a seven day period, will construct the sacred Green Tara Mandala using millions of grains of colored sand.  Read more>>  All activities are family friendly. For more information or directions call 678-819-9100 or visit

11.  A reminder that the Grieving During the Holidays: Living With Loss is a free three-hour workshop for anyone who has experienced a loss of a loved one, Lanier House, Cathedral of St. Phillip, 2744 Peachtree Rd NW, Atlanta  30305, Tuesday, December 3, 9 a.m. Participants will explore how faith can undergird and sustain those who walk through the ‘valley of the shadow of death.’ Facilitator is Doyle Hamilton, Care and Counseling Center of Georgia. Contact him if you would like, 404-636-1457, ext. 439 or

12.  Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta and Eliyahu McLean present “Lights of Peace: Stories of Hope from the Holy Land. Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts that do not make the news.” Wednesday, December 4, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Ahavath Achim Synagogue, 600 Peachtree Battle Avenue, NW, Atlanta 30317. Vegetarian dinner will be served $15. R.s.v.p. at More on McLean.

13. North Decatur Presbyterian Church invites the greater Atlanta, DeKalb, and Decatur  communities to the annual Alternative Gift Market, Saturday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Shop for fair trade*, environmentally sustainable and reasonably priced holiday gifts, including many new items this year. Gifts for sale include olive oil and beautiful carvings from Palestine; textiles from Latin America; delicious soup and cookie mixes made in the U.S. whose sale supports people in transition; gifts from local refugee and affordable housing initiatives; beaded jewelry from Rwanda; fair trade coffee, tea, cocoa, and chocolate; and beautiful handmade cards from around the world. NDPC is at 611 Medlock Road at the intersection of Medlock, N. Decatur Rd., and Scott Blvd.  Make a difference in the world, one gift at a time!  If you have questions contact Becky Evans,, 404 378-5288. * What is Fair Trade?

14. Atlanta InterFaith Leaders Fellowship Fourth Annual Taste of Faith, December 8, 3:00– 5:00 p.m., Temple Sinai, 5645 Dupree Drive, Sandy Springs  30327. Members, friends and newcomers interested in interfaith conversation are all welcome to attend. The event celebrates the diversity of religious holidays and related traditions which mark this time of the year. Religious communities of Atlanta will have tables and members present to introduce you to their holiday celebrations with displays, food samplers, and joy-filled conversation. If you would like to share food from your tradition please contact Bob Bahr at

15. Sabbath Rest, Monday December 9, 12 noon to 4 p.m., four hours of silence and peace for busy Atlantans at Ignatius House! In the craziness of the holidays here’s your chance for stillness so that you can hear God better, talk to God more honestly, and be in-filled afresh with real peace, joy, and love. Visit .  Contact Becky Shoaf if you have questions or about scholarships, 404-358-7760, or

16. Cobb Faith Partnership’s Holiday Meeting is coming up with fellowship and networking, December 11, 11:30 a.m., at Turner Chapel AME Church, corner of North Marietta Parkway and Fairgrounds Street in Marietta. Please reserve a place for lunch by emailing if you plan to be there.

17. Celebrate Family and Community at the 23rd Annual Christmas/Kwanza Parade with Grand Marshall Mayor Reed and Grand Major C.T. Vivian, December 14, starting at 3435 Cascade Road, SW, Atlanta 30311. The parade will honor Dr. Runette Flowers and Fire & Rescue, Atlanta Fire Department, Atlanta Police Department, Fulton County Sheriff Department.

18.  The Play of Herod, December 14, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.  — Monastery of the Holy Spirit, 2625 Georgia 212, Conyers. Camerata Theatre presents this beloved Atlanta tradition performed annually since 1974. Found in a Benedictine monastery in France it is a remarkable 12th century liturgical drama and among the earliest dramatic works in the Christian era. In the Camerata Theatre production, the world of Herod is dreamlike, shadowy, and stark. The Christmas story unfolds in a medieval ceremony of simple gestures and ancient, haunting melodies. It is a tale of awestruck shepherds, kings from afar come to worship a baby, a King Herod clinging to power, the bloody slaughter of children. A consort of viols, recorders, krumm horn, hurdy-gurdy, and percussion accompanies the singers. The Play of Herod is sung in Latin with English translations projected above the action. Ticket price: $20, or $15 for children. Info and tickets.

The Play of Herod will be presented on Thursday and Friday, December 12 and 13, at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, 1790 La Vista Road, Atlanta 30329. Tickets for these performances are at Brown Paper Tickets.

19. Just Voices, a 20-member a cappella chamber chorus, will present its 13th annual Christmas concert on Sunday, December 15, at 4 p.m. at Virginia Highland Church, 743 Virginia Avenue, N.E., Atlanta. The program will feature traditional carols from Appalachia, England, France, Germany, Poland and Puerto Rico, and contemporary works. Audience will be invited to join in singing some familiar carols. From a Distant Land (De Tierra Lejana), a selection from this year’s concert, is typical of their creative programming. A hauntingly beautiful New World carol, it reflects the influence of Arabic music that the Moors brought into Spain, and that Spanish colonists subsequently transported to Puerto Rico. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students; proceeds benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank. Audience members are encouraged to bring gifts of canned or packaged foods, or donations. More about Just Voices

20. Do you have a young person in your congregation who is called to preach? Don’t let that young person miss the 2014 National Festival of Young Preachers, January 2-5, 2014, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Young preachers of all Christian traditions are invited to register for the 120 preaching slots at the National Festival.  These spots are filling fast so encourage young preachers you know to register today. As always, these sermons will be recorded and uploaded to YouTube and will also be published in a volume by Chalice Press.  Young Preachers need to be between 14 and 28 years of age, affiliated with an organization that will provide endorsement, and accompanied by a preaching coach or mentor. Read more>>

21. Looking for a weekly resource for helping you interpret the Biblical texts assigned each Sunday by the lectionary?  It's free and trustworthy (written by ITC professor Mark Ellingsen)!  CSS Publishers commissioned Dr. Ellingsen, who has served in his present position for over 20 years and worked in international ecumenism and as a parish pastor in previous calls, to provide this resource.  Mark is a prolific writer (18 books, most recently a Lectionary Preaching Workbook for CSS, and hundreds of articles); he is someone who knows our region and its needs.  (Check out his credentials by googling him.)  This is a resource that can help save preparation time each week while giving fresh insights along the way.  We have added this resource to our Resource Pageu nder Bible, Bible Study and Sacred Texts.  Check it starting later this month at     

22. The Gateway Center is in need of new or gently used blankets and towels and canned goods if you are looking to give some away. Email Jason at to discuss.

23. Looking for innovative and fresh ways to minister to the youth and children of today? Make plans to attend the 2014 Faith Forward gathering (formerly Children, Youth and a New Kind of Christianity) in Nashville, Tenn., May 19-22, 2014. Speakers include Phyllis Tickle, Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, Melvin Bray, Brian McLaren, Andrew Root and many others. Take a look at the new Faith Forward website for more information. Podcasts from last year’s gathering are available here.



Ethel Ware Carter

The Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta, Inc.



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