August 1, 2022

E.P. Corner

by Aisha Books-Johnson, Executive Presbyter

Our third mark on the VCI journey is “Outward Incarnational Focus.” It is a reminder of the mission of the church to reach out to others. It is a reminder that we are called to be a tangible expression of Christ’s love and compassion in the world. It also reminds me of my mother’s words to me as a child: “Remember, Aisha, you may be the only Bible a person has a chance to read.” It was her way of instilling in me the importance of knowing that my faith should lead me to see others, to hear their needs, and to be a reflection of God’s love to all.

I have often seen congregations post a sign near the exit that says, “You are now entering the mission field.” These words are a similar reminder to the church that their mission stretches beyond the church’s walls. At times, the church can become so concerned with getting people in the pews that we miss the opportunity to be the church in the mall, at the cafeteria, in the coffee shop, in the park, at the laundromat, in the library, and every place in between. I am so thankful for the ministry partners we have within our own presbytery. They remind us to keep an outward focus that represents Christ's own call to preach good news to the poor, to release the captives, to give sight to the blind, to set the oppressed free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. At our Stated Meeting, I pray that we all get to learn something new about our partnerships and reimagine ways each of us can have an outward Christ-embodied focus as we continue to spread the good news of God’s unfailing love for us all.


#YouAreVital #YouAreLoved

Upcoming Stated Meeting - August 16

by C. Anderson James, Stated Clerk

The Presbytery of Greater Atlanta will gather for its August Stated Meeting on Tuesday, August 16, from 9am until noon via Zoom. Our virtual worship hosts for this meeting will be Emory Presbyterian Church and Morningside Presbyterian Church, with additional music for our day provided by First Afrikan Presbyterian Church.


Our theme for the meeting is the third mark of the Vital Congregations Initiative, “Outward Incarnational Focus.” One of the ways we live into this mark as a presbytery is through our presbytery partnerships, and we will be lifting up these important relationships and the work that happens in them as we gather. You will have the opportunity to connect with the partnership ministry of your choice in a breakout group at the end of the meeting.


One of our partnership leaders, Rev. Irene Wong of AMIS Atlanta, will be offering the sermon. Irene has been the Executive Director of AMIS Atlanta since 2017 and is a validated minister. Irene is an American of Chinese descent. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, she grew up in Queens, New York City, and graduated from Brown University with a degree in East Asian Studies. After college, Irene served as a campus ministry staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship for 10 years, mainly in New England, and moved to Atlanta in 2000 to serve at Emory University.

Irene graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary with her M.Div. and was the English Ministry Director at the Atlanta Taiwanese Presbyterian Church from 2005-2008. After her children came along, she stepped away from ministry to be a stay-at-home mother while becoming active at North Avenue Presbyterian Church with her family. Irene enjoys spending time with her three daughters who are in high school and middle school and is married to William Wong.


Other business during the meeting will include reports from our commissioners to the 225th General Assembly, a celebration of the chartering of El Nazareno, the examination of three candidates for ministry, and recognition of the honorable retirement of Rev. Jan Tolbert.


Registration for the meeting is now open! Meeting materials in the Commissioner Handbook will be posted on the presbytery website by the end of the day on Tuesday, August 2. Please contact me at with any questions or a request for an excused absence. Hope to see you online on August 16!


Stated Meeting Info Page
PGA Clergy Crowdsource Zoom Meeting Dates

The PGA Clergy Crowdsource Zoom meeting will continue on the second Wednesday of the month from 12pm to 1pm. For the Zoom link, contact the Executive Presbyter or your Congregational Consultant. 


If you are a pastor and would like to join the Facebook group, you may click here and request to join. You do not have to join the group to get a link to the meeting.


  • August 10
  • September 14
  • October 12
  • November 9
  • December 14

Conversations with the Clerk

Join our new Stated Clerk, Andy James, for Conversations with the Clerk, a series of opportunities to share information and get to know one another. We will also have a chance to learn more about what has been going on in the larger church through the work of the General Assembly. Mark your calendars and look for more information soon!

  • Monday, August 22, 7pm: General Assembly Actions on National/International Issues
  • Saturday, October 1, 9am: General Assembly Actions on Church Issues
  • Monday, October 24, 7pm: Church Discipline in the Book of Order
  • Saturday, January 7, 2023, 9am: Book of Order Amendments
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Did you know God is worshiped in at least 14 languages in PC(USA) New Worshiping Communities? Come explore the ingredients of successful partnerships with immigrant new worshiping communities, learn the kitchen secrets from mid council leaders and denominational staff, and enjoy a BBQ celebration featuring the fire-roasted meats of Brazil, Korea, and the Congo. "What's the Secret Sauce?" will be held September 12-13 at Decatur Presbyterian Church. For more information, visit our website. Click here to sign up to get more information soon!

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Stewardship Kaleidoscope 2022

Stewardship Kaleidoscope will be in Savannah, Georgia at the DeSoto Hotel, and on-line for virtual attendance September 26th – 28th, 2022. This conference moves around the country, so this is a great opportunity for churches in the southeast to attend without having to fly.

Stewardship Kaleidoscope is an annual conference offering excellent plenary speakers, informative workshop leaders, provocative worship experiences, and incredible networking opportunities for all who are passionate about stewardship and generosity. Drawing leaders from across the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), the ELCA, and other ecumenical partners, Stewardship Kaleidoscope is designed to help participants explore stewardship, in its many colorful dimensions!




Single, group, First Call Pastor, and virtual pricing options are available. 


Questions? Contact 

International Peacemaker Visiting in October

by Karen Turney, Peace and Global Witness Partnership

October 7- 9 - International Peacemaker, Pastor Helivao Poget of Madagascar, will visit the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta in person. Details of her visit will be available soon. Contact Karen Turney,, or Rena Marroquin,, if you would like Pastor Poget to visit your congregation.  

We celebrate with the following persons upon their election to committees and boards of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) at the 225th General Assembly:

  • Mark Douglas, minister member, to the Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI)
  • George Hauptfuhrer, ruling elder at Northwest, to the Board of the Board of Pensions
  • Ximena Leroux, ruling elder at Central, to the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board
  • Ken Whitehurst, ruling elder at Trinity Decatur, to the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board

Interested in Volunteering?

by Debbie Durden, Nominating Committee

The Presbytery Nominating Committee invites all who may be interested in serving on a committee or commission of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta to complete and submit a Volunteer Interest Form (VIF). Committees can only be as demographically representative as the individuals willing to serve. Please review the full descriptions of committees and commissions found at, and complete and submit the electronic VIF, also found on the website, so that the Presbytery Nominating Committee can know of your interests, talents, and skills.


Terms of service on committees and commissions of the presbytery are ordinarily three years, with the upcoming class beginning January 2023 and ending December 2025. Committees and commissions work on a wide range of issues pertaining to the mission of the church and the operations of the presbytery. Some committees/commissions require members to be ordained elders or ministers while others do not. All committees offer training, so don’t worry if you have never volunteered at the presbytery level before!


The Nominating Committee will work in August and September to nominate persons for the Class of 2025 and to fill any vacancies that have occurred in the past six months. As it selects nominees, the Nominating Committee seeks to represent the demographic makeup of the presbytery in all committees and commissions, as well as to provide the skills needed by the various committees/commissions to do their work effectively. Please prayerfully consider lending your skills and talents to the work of the presbytery. Complete the VIF today!

Volunteer Interest Form

Shelvis and Nancy Smith-Mathers, PCUSA Mission Co-Workers in South Sudan, have just sent out a newsletter with updates from home and abroad. Click here to read it.

Vital Congregations Initiative Mark III Resource - Our town hall meeting with Ray Jones is now available on our YouTube channel. Ray is the Director of Theology, Formation and Evangelism for the PMA. Click here to view the video.


Prayer Box

Each month we are taking the time to pray for our churches and new worshiping communities throughout the year. Please take a moment each week to lift up the following communities in prayer:

8/7 - Decatur, Druid Hills, *Atlanta Oikos Church

8/14 - Eastminster, Ebenezer Brazilian

8/21- Ebenezer, Emory, *Casa Brasil

8/28 - Fairview, Fayette

*Denotes New Worshiping Communities

The Presbytery Staff will never email you asking for money or gift cards. If seeking donations, staff will direct you to the Presbytery website or invite you to mail a check. If you have any suspicion, please reach out to one of us directly before responding! Stay safe in cyberspace!

Upcoming Events

Aug. 10 - PGA Crowdsource Meeting

Aug. 16 - Stated Meeting - Zoom

Aug 22. - Conversations with the Clerk - Zoom

Sept. 12 - What's the Secret Sauce? New Worshipping Com. @ Decatur PC

Sept. 13 - Leadership and Anxiety in the Church, Lombard - Zoom

Sept. 14 - PGA Crowdsource Meeting

Sept. 26 - Stewardship Kaleidoscope Conf. @ Savannah/hybrid

Oct. 1 - Conversations with the Clerk - Zoom

Oct. 11 - Facilitating Healthy Pastor - Congregation Relations, Lombard - Zoom

Oct. 12 - PGA Crowdsource Meeting

Oct. 18 - Boundaries Training for Parish Ministry - Zoom

Oct. 24 - Conversations with the Clerk - Zoom

Oct. 30 - Evangelism: Addressing Harm, Embracing Hope @ Montreat/hybrid

Click here for CTS's Center for Lifelong Learning courses and events.
Click here for the Calvin Center's programs.
The presbytery advertises employment opportunities within our congregations and partnerships. If you would like to browse opportunities or submit a new opening click here.

The next newsletter will go out September 1. Articles will be accepted through August 15. The following newsletter will go out October 1. To request space for an article, email your Congregational Consultant or Mark Sauls at msauls@atlpcusa.orgClick here to view submission guidelines.

Top Graphic Attribution:

Anonymous. Story of Zacchaeus, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved July 28, 2022]. Original source: \

Communications, such as this one, are supported by your giving to the presbytery. Thank you for your support.

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