…the angel said to Mary…. “Nothing is impossible with God!”
                                                                       (Luke 1:37)

It’s hard to believe that this is my last newsletter article of the year. And what a year it has been. Just when we thought the flood in our building was the worst thing that could happen, COVID hit. Then followed sheltering in place and closing the church building. Next came social unrest and an ever-widening political divide. 2020 has been a hard year for us all.

Yet, as I write this article, I’m grateful. That might sound strange, given the circumstances. I suspect, though, if you were to spend some time reflecting on this year, you’d discover the same.

In fact, I have included my leadership report below, which speaks to this gratitude, especially for our leadership team who has helped us navigate this complex time so faithfully. Additionally, I’m grateful to our staff, who have been flexible, adaptable and creative, doing ministry in completely different ways. The number of hours spent, energy exerted and stress they carried this year is hard to quantify. Suffice it to say, we are blessed to have the staff we do. Their commitment to the ministry of SSCC shone through brightly this last year.

Finally, I’m grateful for you – each and every one of you, Sandy Springs Christian Church. I’m grateful for the way in which you checked on one another throughout this year. I’m grateful for the way you stayed connected to our faith community, tuning into online worship, participating in zoom meetings and attending virtual events. I’m grateful for your generosity, giving of your time, talent and treasure in order to ensure God’s ministry continues through the life of SSCC.

As I look back on this year, I am perhaps more thankful for the ministry of SSCC in 2020 than any other year of ministry, with any congregation. We were faced with challenges, the likes of which we may never see again. Yet we managed to continue our ministry in meaningful ways, despite the complexities we faced.

We certainly were not perfect in doing so. Everything we did this year was an experiment – some experiments went better than others. And, if you are feeling a distance from SSCC, feel you have been overlooked or your voice not heard, please accept my sincere apologies. I can promise, we have and will continue to do our best to ensure that no one is left behind and all, who want to be, are included within the life of our ministry.

Because of our gratitude to God for sustaining us during this time, making possible what looked like, at the beginning of the year, impossible, Marion and I are making an additional end of the year gift to SSCC. In that same spirit, if you are able, I hope you might consider the same.
While there is a great deal of hope for 2021 and a new year, we will continue to face both ongoing and new challenges. However, in this season, the Angel Gabriel reminds Mary of that which we experienced again this year: “Nothing is impossible with God.” Perhaps his initial words to her, though, are even more important, as we look to the coming year – “Do not be afraid. God is with you.”

Sandy Springs Christian Church
2020 Advent Worship Schedule

It’s going to be a strange Advent season this year, not being able to sing in worship our favorite Christmas hymns. Sure, we can listen to others sing them and play them instrumentally. We, ourselves, can even hum or vocalize them in the car or in the shower. It’s not the same. It’s going to be a quieter Christmas season. There will be more than one silent night. Which, believe it or not, is in step with the tradition of many churches, even before this year. Many congregations refrain from singing Christmas songs until Christmas day. They lay in wait, in darkness and absence, yearning for light and presence, before celebrating with song. Perhaps this is the reason Advent seems to ring more true this year than others. Haven’t we been waiting in silence throughout 2020? Let’s come together this Advent season, quietly awaiting the light of the world to come once again, and, as result, appreciating even more this amazing gift.

December 20, 2020 - 10:15 AM - Sanctuary
NOT Left Behind
Luke 1:26-38
Rev. Dr. Nathan C. Brown

To view the bulletin for this Sunday, click here.
To view the livestream on our YouTube page, click here.

We hope you will join us for in-person worship in the sanctuary. Our team has worked on the logistics of in-person worship to comply with the guidelines which you can review by clicking on the button below. Also, if you have not already, please click on the button below to watch the video by the Leek children explaining our new safety rules.
THIS SUNDAY - December 20, 2020
6:00 PM in the Sanctuary
Blue Christmas Worship
Rev. Dr. Nathan C. Brown

2020 has certainly brought a great deal of grief into our lives. That grief can be particularly hard as we approach the holiday season. If the Christmas season is bringing you sadness this year, join us for our Blue Christmas service on December 20th at 6:00 pm led by Pastor Nathan. Come and feel God's love and healing.
The last Christmas Offering will be taken up December 20th which supports regional ministries. In 32 regions across the United States and Canada, ministers are nurtured and congregations are provided opportunities for work and worship. Often recognized for the ministries of camps and conferences, regions also play a critical role in the preparation and authorization of ministerial ordination. Both are key to church leadership and development. Regions partner with congregations to support the work required to call a new minister.

Also a big thank you to those who contributed to the DOC's Thanksgiving Special Collection. We were able to send $325 which benefits the Colleges, Universities, Seminaries, and Divinity Houses affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Please pray for the family of Sharon Hanna Nickelson, husband Steve and daughter Kelly. Sharon passed away last Friday afternoon after a long battle with cancer. A private memorial service and dispersion of her ashes will be held, with a celebration of her joyful spirit at a later and safer time.

Please pray for Pat Kapphahn who is recovering from an accident in her home. 

Cathy Cortright is requesting prayers for her Mother who has recently tested positive with Covid while in her nursing home. 

Please pray for our members and their families who serve as first responders and health care workers: Dr. Tim Helton, Katie Gibson, Tracey McCluskey, Dr. Vijay Rathinam and Pete French. Also those serving in the military: Derrick Brown (Army) and Michelle Brown (Navy), children of Cindy and Pete Brown. Tyler Brown (Army), son of Tami and Stephen Brown. Jared Mills (Army), son/stepson of John and Floy Mills. Rachel Robeck (Navy), daughter of John and Mary Robeck. Jamie Price Smith (Air Force) and Dalton Brown (Army) granddaughter and grandson of Barb Duren and Chaplain Kevin Mooney (Navy). If we are missing someone, please let us know so that we can include their name in our weekly prayers.

You can join SSCC by a simple affirmation of faith anytime! If you want to join during this virtual time, just let us know you would like to join!
Please join us in welcoming Tom and Sarah Money as new members of SSCC! They joined during last Sunday's service and are transferring their membership from Peachtree Christian Church.

Tom is from Louisville, KY, and is a former Disciples of Christ minister of 55 years. He loves golfing and his family. Sarah is from Gainesville, GA. Up until 2020 she stayed busy with their six grandchildren who live close by and she loves working in the yard.

Tom and Sarah are looking forward to resuming local and overseas travels, and also happen to be Caroline (Money) Grant's parents. We wish them a warm SSCC Welcome!
December 24, 2020
6:00 PM
Candlelight Christmas Eve Worship
Luke 2:1-20
Rev. Dr. Nathan C. Brown

Our annual Candlelight Christmas Eve service will look a little different this year. We are planning an outdoor service on Thursday, December 24th at 6:00 PM. The service will take place on the the Abernathy side of the building. We hope it to be a beautiful candlelight celebration of the birth of Jesus that will be safe for everyone. 

Given the increased number of families experiencing food insecurity at this time, this year's Christmas Eve offering will be designated to MUST Ministries. MUST Neighborhood Pantries give away over a ton of food a day to those in need. 
We have started back with Children’s Worship in Dunlap Hall each Sunday during the service. We are making sure to follow safety guidelines and social distancing, but it is so nice to see our children worshipping together again!

Our youth wanted to focus on service during Thanksgiving and brought blessing bags for the congregation. We will have a table set up outside after the service for anybody that would like to take one to give to someone in need.

We are so proud of all of our children and youth and the ways they continue to grow together with God! We look forward to 2021!

Bryant and Katie
We are collecting gifts through Sunday, December 20th for the residents of Campbell-Stone Sandy Springs for the lunch party on Christmas day for residents staying at the apartments that day that have no visitors. They are expecting an increase in the number of attendees due to Covid.

Please wrap and mark your gifts for male, female, or either (usually there are more ladies than gentlemen). Gift ideas would be those like you would give your grandparents: gloves, scarves, soap, shampoo, notecards & stamps, large print puzzle books, toiletries, etc., (no candles please). Place your gifts in the baskets on the Mission Cabinet up to the Wednesday before Christmas. Contact Barb Duren or Amy Frost if you have any questions.
As SSCC has been a supporter of HomeStretch in the past, we wanted to let you know of another way you can help out. They are starting a Memorial Brick Campaign. Your sponsorship will help to support their mission while leaving your permanent mark of support on the walkway leading to their new Learning Lab on the Millbrook property. For more information, please click the button below.
red chalice w-white cross
Leadership recently approved Teddy Ivey to come under care of Sandy Springs Christian Church as he begins the ordination process in the Georgia Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Teddy is in seminary at McAfee School of Theology at Mercer. Next year he will graduate with his M.DIV. An SSCC ordination committee will be forming to support Teddy during his process over the course of the next year. Let’s continue to keep Teddy, Lauren and Emily in our prayers as they move through this meaningful time of their lives.
Just a reminder that the Church office will be staffed Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 am - 1:00 pm (including 12/24, Christmas Eve).

We are also retrieving phone messages remotely each day as well. So feel free to call the church if you need anything or email Amy@sandyspringscc.org if you wish.
The CAC is in need of volunteers for the following shifts:
  • Retail Store: M, W, F 9:30-11:45 and 11:45-2:00
  • Donations/Pricing: M – F 9:30-11:30 and 11:30-1:30
Or you can work both shifts in a day. Eventually, they would like to be open M, W and F from 9:30-3:00, expanding the shifts to 9:30-12:30 and 12:30-3:30.

If you have any questions, please contact Cindi McCollough via email -csbfish@bellsouth.net or cell 770-365-0365.

FOOD INSECURITY: If you or someone you know in our church community are facing food insecurity because of a decrease or loss in income, please privately contact Jenna Hicks so that we can provide assistance to keep your pantry full. Email jennakhicks@gmail.com or call 404-441-1668. 

MUST MINISTIRES: If you would like to donate and drop off items please CLICK HERE to access a flyer that outlines the most needed items. Monetary donations are very much needed and can be done so online via their website, or send a check in the mail to MUST Ministries, P.O. Box 1717, Marietta, GA 30061.If you have questions please contact Cathy Cortright at cortright13@gmail.com.
Due to the fact that we are holding "virtual" church service, and are not able to submit prayer requests, feel free to reach out to Merilyn Dimmit, Congregational Care, via Merilyn@sandyspringscc.org or call her at 770-448-8784 and leave a message. Please indicate if your prayer request is confidential (for Clergy/Elders only or for congregational sharing in our newsletter).
SSCC has subscribed to zoom for anyone who might need it to virtually meet using a video conference method. Only one group can use our account at a time. If you would like your group to use zoom to virtually meet, please contact Amy Frost via email (amy@sandyspringscc.org) to schedule your group on the calendar. We can help you learn how to send an invite to your group.
Presley Campbell 12/18
Jonah Mills 12/18
Jared Mills 12/18
Tim Dalrymple 12/18
Evan Brown 12/20
Daniel Kahrs 12/20
Lorelei McGahee 12/21
Elizabeth Adrion12/22
Dianne Almand 12/24
Julie Sanford 12/27
Vicente Turner 12/28
Janelle Hicks 12/29
Claire Roper 1/1
Kappy Kelly 1/1
Lolly Ross 1/2
Alexander Leek 1/6
Merritt Jones 1/9
Kimbrell Teegarden 1/11
Tiffany Torbert 1/11
Debbie Lenz Clark 1/12
Jill Moore 1/12
Ian Crider 1/12
Samantha French 1/14
Cindi McCollough 1/15
Greg Peterson 1/16
Mary Anne Posey 1/16
Catherine Armstrong-Asher 1/16 Hannah Grant 1/18
Ferris Leslie 1/20
Lane Campbell 1/21
David Wolf 1/21
James Hicks 1/23
Derrick Brown 1/24
Elizabeth Peterson 1/24
Sara Torbert 1/24
Clara Brown 1/24
Glorimary Diaz-Torres 1/24
Florene Fowler 1/25
Cordelia Rowell 1/25
Brad Norman 1/27
Thomas Grant 1/29
Francie Filacchione 1/29
August Lee 1/30