Church Action eNewsletter Week of November 30, 2015

God calls us to some things we cannot do alone.

Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta, Inc.


                                                Church Action eNewsletter Week of November 30, 2015


Surprise gift at the end of the newsletter!


Check out our website for Advent and Christmas concerts, the Community Calendar,  and some new daily devotional sites.  Creating Compassionate Congregations Tool Box for Mental Health Ministry can also be accessed from the website.


1. The Invitation: A Celebration of Advent at Central UMC, 501 Mitchell Street, Atlanta 30314 (MJK Jr. Dr SW and Northside Dr) is three Wednesdays in December starting today, Dec. 2, 7 p.m. Visit for information on the special speakers and music.

2. If you are feeling that life is not absolutely fabulous and would like to experience a sacred presence away from the awkward and chaotic times of the season, you are welcome at the Blue Christmas Service at Pilgrimage Christian Church, Thursday, Dec. 3, 7 p.m. 3755 Sandy Plains Road, Marietta.


3. The United Church of Christ StillSpeaking Writer's Group will hold an evening of reading and conversation with writers reading selections from their 2015 Advent devotional, Wonder. The event is free and open to the public, Thursday, Dec. 3, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m., Kirkwood United Church of Christ, 2033 Hosea L. Williams Drive NE, Atlanta 30317. (Directions)


4. Advent Spiritual Retreat, 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Dec. 5, at St. James Episcopal Church, Marietta   led by the Rev. Stuart Higginbotham, rector at Grace Episcopal Church in Gainesville. This retreat is designed to instill within you the deeper meaning of Advent. Cost is $20. Register with Ruth Hepler at (770)919-9357 or


5. Waiting, Watching, and Wondering, an Advent Quiet Day of Reflection and Anticipation, is planned from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at St. Augustine's Episcopal Church, Morrow. Bring a sack lunch and join with others in an atmosphere of silence, reflection, sharing, and prayer. To register, write to


6. The Jung Society of Atlanta presents a lecture, Saturday, Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m., “Healing the Wounded Feminine,” by Sharon Martin, Ph. D., Jungian Analyst. Martin states, “The need for true feminine wisdom and sustenance has never been more urgent.” The location is Trinity Presbyterian Church, 3003 Howell Mill Rd. NW, Atlanta, Ga. 30327. The public is invited. Prices are $20, students $10, Jung Society members free.  Additional information is at .


7. Experience a Christmas like no other at An Evening in Bethlehem, a free, indoor, community-wide Christmas event for all ages, Saturday, Dec. 5, at Roswell UMC. Roam through the 1st Century marketplace, brought to life by costumed characters and real animals. Share the excitement of shepherds, Roman soldiers, shopkeepers, and artisans and witness the live production that tells the story of the first Christmas.  Reserve your time (5, 6, or 7 p.m.) at Donations will be accepted to offset the cost of these productions.


8. L’Arche Atlanta annual holiday Party with caroling and ornament making, hosted by Trinity Anglican Mission in Decatur, Saturday, Dec. 5, 5:30-8:00 p.m. This festive evening is a pot luck supper. More about L'Arche. If you are interested in celebrating with this community of people with differing intellectual abilities email


9. Harmonie Universelle presents a concert of cantatas and chamber music for Advent and Christmas at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at St. Bede's Episcopal Church, Atlanta. The ensemble is joined by vocalists Wanda Yang Temko and Arietha Lockhart, Holly McCarren, Steven Johnstone, and Matthew Hoch. Admission is free; donations welcome.


10. The Rev. Bradley Schmeling, senior pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, St. Paul, is the preacher Dec. 6 on “Day 1” with host Peter Wallace. Visit to find your local station. Brad was pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Atlanta for 12 years. His sermon for Dec. 6 is based on Luke 3:1-6 about preparing the way for the Lord. “In a tiny, faithful family, on the edge of the empire, in the wilderness, there is nothing less than the Word of God,” says Schmeling. “I’m not sure if Luke means it to sound like a creation story or a return-from-exile story or our own story, but he wants us to know that God’s power is stirring.”


11. We Refuse to Be Enemies Interfaith Rally for Peace will be from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Dec. 6 in the Cecil B. Day Hall of Mercer University’s Atlanta Campus, 3001 Mercer University Dr. The rally is open to the public. There will be speakers and musicians from the Christian, Muslim, and Jewish communities. Speakers include Rabbi David Spinrad, the Temple, Soumaya Khalifa, Islamic Speakers Bureau, and the Rev. Corey Brown, Bridge Interfaith Alliance.


12. Remember the Atlanta Interfaith Leaders Fellowship Annual Taste of Faith, Sunday, Dec. 6, 4:30-6:30 p.m., at the Roswell Community Masjid with dozens of faith communities sharing a taste of food and faith. All are welcome. 345 Market Place, Roswell. 30075.


13. Advent Lessons and Carols, 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, at the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, Atlanta. The Epiphany Choir, along with the Hildegard Ensemble, the Junior Choir, the Intermediate and Beginning Choristers, and the Epiphany Ringers will perform.


14. Orthodox and Catholic Prayer Service, Focusing Prayers for the Christians Persecuted in the Middle East, Monday, Dec. 7, 7:00-8:00 p.m., The Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation, 2500 Clairmont Rd. Atlanta 30329. Join the Catholic and Orthodox communities of Atlanta as they unite to bring the two churches closer in love and to pray for the end of persecution of Christians in the Middle East. Presiders will be Archbishop Wilton Gregory and Metropolitan Alexios. More information.


15. Cobb Faith Partnership, caring, connecting, collaborating, Holiday Fellowship, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Turner Chapel AME Church, 492 N. Marietta Parkway, Marietta 30060. Meetings are held the 4th Wednesday of each month and begin with a light lunch. Rev. Coakley Pendergrass is president of CFP. Call for information, (678)757-4592.


16. The Interfaith Coalition to End the Death Penalty is sponsoring an educational summit Dec. 10 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 48 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, NW, Atlanta 30303. A Prayer Vigil will follow at 5 p.m. at Liberty Plaza. Speakers include retired Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Norman Fletcher, Kayla Gissendaner, daughter of Kelly Gissendaner, who was executed in September, Bishop Robert Wright of the Episcopal Church in Middle and North Georgia, Ambassador Andrew J. Young, and experts on the death penalty. Faith traditions represented on the Interfaith Coalition to End the Death Penalty include Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic, United Church of Christ, Episcopal, Vedanta, and Buddhist. The event is open to the public, but registration is encouraged here. For further information, contact Deacon Dick Tolcher at 404-920-7357 or Imelda Richard at 404-920-7350.


17. Live Drive-thru Nativity at Cascade United Methodist Church, 3144 Cascade Avenue, SW, Atlanta 30311, Saturday, Dec. 12, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. if you need more information contact Karen Lowery at


18. Soprano Maggie Taylor will sing a program of seasonal music, both popular and classical, and bring along some friends for duets and trios, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, at St. Catherine's Episcopal Church, Marietta. Taylor, a graduate of Samford University, is becoming well known around the South for her roles in opera and musical theater. 


19. Christmas with Atlanta Master Chorale, Emory University’s Schwartz Center, 1700 N. Decatur Rd., Atlanta 30322. Concerts are Dec. 12 and Dec. 13 at 8 and 4 p.m. The melodies, familiar and strange, enliven memories long forgotten and give birth to hope for a world. With these songs, the season arrives in our hearts. We are gathered. It feels like home. These concerts will sell out! Buy December 12 Tickets. Buy December 13 Tickets.


20. Covenant Presbyterian Church, Dec. 13, Lessons & Carols Service at 11 a.m., followed by a Global Gift Market all afternoon. The day will end with carolling on the front plaza. Covenant is located at 2461 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta 30305. Worship Services


21. Blue Grass Christmas at Oak Grove UMC, 1722 Oak Grove Road, Decatur 30033, Monday, Dec. 14, 6:15 p.m., Fellowship Hall. This involves food and reservations should be made here.


22. December 15 Armed Forces Mission will conduct the last I Will Intervene Challenge for 2015.  This workshop is being offered free of charge thanks to concerned community members who have helped to underwrite the program.  Registration is required. Open to all 16 years and older. CE credit available for mental health professionals and POST credit available for law enforcement. Fayetteville First Baptist Church, Dec.15 - 8:30 to 4:30. More information is at


23. The Training and Counseling Center at St. Luke’s (TACC) monthly Live and Learn Lunch is the third Tuesday of the month from 11:30-1 focusing on “difficult conversations” in the life of the family, congregation, and faith leaders-- open for anyone to attend and lunch is provided.  Walk-ins welcome, but R.s.v.p.s are encouraged to (404)876-6266, ext. 1.Suggested donation of $10. 98 Currier St, NE, Atlanta 30308.  Parking at no cost.  More information. Dec. 15: The Spectrum of ‘Hoarding: What Is It About The Need To Hold On To Things?


24. Ben Hill United Methodist Church is pleased to announce plans for the 2016 Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration & Awards, January 18. Bishop Vashti McKenzie will be the keynote speaker. More information to follow. Contact is Martha Bell at


25. Each holiday season we get calls from people looking for a way to help families. You can celebrate Christmas generously by helping a Peoplestown family with gifts, clothing, and household supplies based on a tailored list created by staff at Emmaus House. Partners should plan to spend approximately $150 per person for 3-4 items for each family. Contact 

26. NAMI has announced a free Family-to-Family course for family caregivers of people with serious mental health conditions. It will met in Decatur starting in Feb. We will announce more details later but if you would like to explore this opportunity call Janice at (404)625-6730.

27. Volunteers for China is a small Tennessee registered charity we have known about for some time.   There are now 6 teaching opportunities arranged for July 2016 No, you don't need to speak Chinese! For more information contact David and Ann Wilson at or  


First 5 readers to reply to will receive a DVD of 90 Minutes in Heaven Based on a true account and best-selling book comes this feature film adaption. Don Piper experienced love, joy, and life like he’d never known during the 90 minutes he was declared dead after a traffic accident. When he wakes in the hospital, Heaven’s bliss is replaced by excruciating pain and emotional turmoil. With the support of his family and community, Don clings to his faith and fights to recover the life he’s lost. Featuring Hayden Christensen and Kate Bosworth, this is an inspiring story of perseverance that will bring hope and encouragement to all who see it.  Brought to you by Universal Studios Home Entertainment.



Ethel Ware Carter

The Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta, Inc.

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