August 1, 2019
EP Corner
by Aisha Brooks-Lytle, Executive Presbyter
 
Flourish: Priesthood 
 
Last month, I had the joy and pleasure of serving in the house band at Presbyterian Youth Triennium. As a member of the band, I had the opportunity to have a behind-the-scenes view of the work, sweat, labor, and joy that went into planning and implementing the event. For those in leadership, they arrived on the campus of Purdue University days before over four thousand students and volunteers descended on the site.
 
During our opening worship for leadership, the planning team re-wrote the lyrics to "Come Thou Fount" to give thanks and acknowledge the many hands and hearts coming together to make Triennium happen. They gave thanks for those who had dreamed of the vision and theme "Here's My Heart" based on the popular hymn "Come Thou Fount"penned by pastor and composer Robert Robinson in the 1750s. They gave thanks for those leading in worship, recreation, small groups, and pastoral care. They gave thanks for those who drove golf carts to get leaders to rehearsals and key events. (I was very grateful for the golf cart ministry as we endured the grueling Indiana heat!) They offered thanks for anyone that may have felt overlooked and thanked everyone in advance for making Triennium great by being part of an amazing team.
 
As I watched the volunteers and students come together and as I participated in worship leadership, I thought to myself, "This is what it means to be a priesthood of believers. This is what it means to be the body of Christ working together for God's goodness." It was exhilarating to watch people serve out of their gifts and their strengths to offer students an experience of encountering God and going deeper in their faith. It was life-giving to be reminded that we work better together when we acknowledge the gifts that God has given us and we offer them back to God for God's good glory and to make a difference in the world. I wish that all of you could have been there to witness the Spirit of God in action, uniting us from different churches, presbyteries, and various parts of the globe.
 
My prayer for us all is to remember the gift of our theological heritage and tradition that lifts up the priesthood of all believers. This phrase from 1 Peter 2:9 is simply a reminder that each of us has been called to pastor the people within our reach. We have been called to use our gifts and talents to support, love, and guide those who are in need. The priesthood of all is a gentle reminder that nurturing others is everyone's job, not simply something relegated to ordained clergy and church officers. My prayer is that we all encourage those in our midst to take inventory of the gifts that God has given each of us. May we see and know that we are vital to God's mission in the world. May we offer ourselves - heart, body, and soul - to the work and witness that God has called us to do. May our prayer always be, "Here's my heart Lord, here are my hands Lord, here's my mind Lord, take and seal them for your courts above and for your glory in this world."
 
-ABL
#flourish
#priesthood
Upcoming Stated Meeting: August 17th at Memorial Drive
by Joy Fisher, Congregational Consultant
 
...right here in Greater Atlanta! Our August 17 Presbytery meeting will be hosted by Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church and Memorial Drive Ministries (5140 Memorial Drive, Stone Mountain). An extra treat is that the many worshiping communities at Memorial Drive are hosting a FREE LUNCH for everyone after the meeting! Lunch is free but a voluntary love offering for the worshiping communities will be accepted. 

We are excited to invite you to come see first-hand the many opportunities for partnership with international neighbors on the campus of Memorial Drive. We will be treated to music and worship leadership by members of four diverse Presbyterian worshiping communities (MDPC, Shalom International Ministries, Zo Presbyterian Church and Chin Presbyterian Church). You will learn about the many varied neighboring ministries of MDM, including a bakery co-op, sewing classes, adult literacy, Inspire after-school program, and more - and how your church can support, as well as benefit from, international ministry right here in Clarkston/Stone Mountain.
 
The offering that day will go to support MDM. If you would like to learn more about MDM, or donate directly, please visit www.memorialdriveministries.org
New Pastoral Team Coordinator Named
by Mary Martin, Personnel 
 
Jane Hubbard  has been named Pastoral Team Coordinator, effective August 1st.  She will work with the team which provides pastoral care to all clergy and certified Christian Educators in the Presbytery . Jane brings to the position business, consulting, and pastoral experience. She is a Ruling Elder and member at North Avenue Presbyterian Church, and has been active in a variety of Presbytery activities, including as a co-coordinator and facilitator of the First Call Pastors program. She served on staff at Douglasville Presbyterian Church as Director of Spiritual Formation and Pastoral Care (2008 - 2015), and currently consults with churches on the design and facilitation of lay leadership strategies.
 
Jane will fill the "big shoes" currently worn by   Rev. Joe Sandifer  who is retiring from the position at the end of August. Many have benefited from Joe's call to this ministry! The ministers in our presbytery, and so many others, have been kept informed by thorough and thoughtful weekly reports, have enjoyed Clergy Cluster gatherings, and have been ministered to in joy, in sorrow, and in "ordinary time."
 
Please join the Presbytery staff and Council in thanking Joe for his faithful service among us, and congratulating Jane as she joins us in this ministry.
We Need YOU!
by Mary Evans, Chair of the Nominating Committee
 
Individual Presbyterians are needed to become members of Presbytery Committees and Commissions which support mission, administration, education, leadership, and communities in our region and abroad. Please consider offering your gifts and talents!  The Presbytery needs people with talents in finance, technology, human resources, care giving, musicians, writers, mentors, advocates, planners, visionaries, interviewers, prayers, questioners, recruiters, catalyzers, administrators, trainers, developers, etc. etc.....those with Biblical skills and knowledge as well as those who continue to seek and learn. The most immediate gifts needed are the gift of time and the willingness to listen and learn as God enables you to serve on behalf of our Presbytery.
  
The Presbytery Nominating Committee begins working in August to prepare a slate of nominees that the Presbytery will vote upon in November. Please complete a Volunteer Interest Form (VIF) to help the Nominating Committee know your interests and talents. Terms of service are ordinarily 3 years and begin in January.
 
For additional information visit www.atlpcusa.org/committees or contact Joy Fisher, jfisher@atlpcusa.org, or any member of the Nominating Committee.
Latino Pastors Retreat
by Miranda Emery, Secretary of the New Church Development Commission
 
A retreat for Latin pastors of the Synod of South Atlantic North Chapter took place June 7-9, 2019 in Helen, GA. The theme of the meeting was ¬°Unidos! (United!), and united they were. There were 41 folks in attendance, including 18 pastors, representing 9 countries and 5 presbyteries. This group expressed thanks for having Rev. Rosa Miranda, Associate for Hispanic/Latino-a Intercultural Congregational Support of the PC(USA), as their guest speaker.
To read the full report from this gathering, click here.
 
For more information, contact Rev. Ricardo Green at  ricardogreen1@aol.com.  
Why Spiritual Wellness? Transforming the Work Place
by Dr. Angela Boyd Wyatt, Founder, The Spiritual Wellness Center, Inc.
New Church Development Commission (NCDC)
 
I was a Christian fighting against the nihilistic threat that becoming the image of Christ is futile. Then, something amazing happened. I stopped trying to be Like Jesus and learned to be Me! To my surprise I found that Jesus was Angela and I was Jesus and we were one person wrapped up in the Trinity of Love. I am the Christ, "Daughter of YAHWEH." Richard Rohr explains it this way, "God Loves things by becoming them."  
 
Spiritual Wellness is about embracing the Christ that lives within us as us and taking that Love to others. Through the ministry role of Chaplaincy, the Spiritual Wellness Center in partnership with Interfaith Airport Chaplaincy is becoming the image of Christ by serving American and Southwest Airlines employees at the world's busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson International.
  
We have had great success with Tea for the Soul as a community-building spiritual practice. We meet and greet employees and invite them to their hospitality table of variety teas, baked goods, fruits, and coffee. The purpose of Tea for the Soul is to reduce team stress, build team unity, and provide a spiritual presence for those who are going through stress, grief or difficulties.
 
If you would like more information about The Spiritual Wellness Center, contact Dr. Angela Wyatt at info@thespiritualwellnesscenter.org
Boundaries Training
by Donna E. Wells, Stated Clerk
 
The next boundaries training, geared towards those in the pastorate, will be held on Tuesday, September 17 from 12:30-3:30 pm. More information and registration can be found here. This is mandatory training for our pastors!  
Pastor Group on Hiatus!
by Chip Blankinship, Congregational Consultant
 
The monthly, presbytery-hosted pastor group will take a hiatus this fall. The consultant staff is busy planning the program that will begin in January. When we resume, we will continue to meet on the morning of the second Thursday of each month, January - May. Mark your calendars now, and stay tuned for more details!
Ministry Connections Across the Presbytery

 

Mission Trip Team Invitation
Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church has a mission team going to Honduras from Saturday, September 28 to Saturday, October 5. The group will be involved in cultural immersion, education and building activities. The approximate cost to participate is $1,600. If you are interested in joining us, please contact trip leader Erik Mjorud: (770) 317-7078 or   ameagleerik@yahoo.com. 
PGA Highlights

 

Our Presbyterian Foundation representative Robert Hay, Jr. was recognized for his promotion to Senior Ministry Relations Officer, effective July 1. Read more here.

The presbytery has a page dedicated to advertising employment opportunities within our congregations and partnerships. If you would like to browse opportunities or submit a new opening click here.

Aug. 1-3  - Big Tent Conference @ Baltimore, MD 
Aug. 17 - Stated Meeting of the Presbytery @ Memorial Drive PC
Aug. 18 - Ken Medema Concert @ Pleasant Hill PC
 
Sept 17 - Boundaries Training @ Presbytery Office 

Click here for CTS's Center for Lifelong Learning courses and events .
Click here for the Calvin Center's programs.
The next newslett er will go out August 31. Articles will be accepted through August 19. The following newsletter will go out August 31. To request space for an article, email your Congregational Consultant or Mark Sauls at msauls@atlpcusa.org . Click here to view submission guidelines.
Top graphic attribution:
Gogh, Vincent van, 1853-1890. First Steps, after Millet, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=55507 [retrieved July 31, 2019]. Original source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1890_van_Gogh_First_Steps_-_after_Millet_anagoria.JPG. 

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