Greetings Friends,

I have just completed my January intensive classes at Lexington Theological Seminary. Intensives are full day classes with the professor and usually take place on campus in Lexington, Kentucky. However, since the COVID-19 pandemic, our classes are over Zoom and we are spread out across the US. I took 2 blocks of classes during the week, each three days long. There is a tremendous amount of pre-work before the classes began and then follow-up assignments that are due at the end of January. 

My first class was titled “Religion, Race, and Ethnicity in the USA”. This course focused on a historical view of race and religion from the early days of the nation through the present and we especially explored the notion of “Whiteness” and “Blackness.” We examined the issues related to concepts of diversity, equity, inclusion, racial justice, and racial reconciliation. The class was both enlightening and challenging as we explored our own callings, ideas of racial inequality, and the challenges of our Black and Brown brothers and sisters. We read a book by Romero, Robert Chao. Brown Church: Five Centuries of Latina/o Social Justice, Theology, and Identity. The book was interesting and gave a powerful message concerning the development of the Brown Church and Latinx members of the Brown church.

My second class was titled “Theology and Migration”. This class was originally an immersion class where we would travel to the boarder, however due to COVID-19 we were grounded from travel and met virtually. We looked at refugees across the world and migrate populations. We studied policies that effect the migrant population as well as the conditions people escape to risk a new life in another country. We learned about the particularly difficult conditions LGBTQIA migrants face worldwide in both the migrant journey and in detention centers in the receiving country. We watched a film called “Human Flow.” It is on Amazon Prime if you would like to check it out. It shares the stories of the 80 million people on the move and how difficult it is to seek asylum in another country. The average amount of time that a family stays in a refugee camp is 25 years.

Both classes stirred up many questions for us as students as well as provided us with some very emotional times as we learned about the plight of others. As a requirement of the class, I will be creating a 3-session course on what I have learned as well as creating a worship service that we may do at some point this year. Reach out if you have any specific questions about the classes or would like to learn more via email at Teresa@sandyspringscc.org.

This Sunday, January 24th, we will have our annual congregational meeting to approve the 2021 leadership slate and budget. This will also be a time to thank our leadership for an amazing year of ministry. If you are a member of SSCC, please stay after worship, in the sanctuary, for this brief but important meeting.

Also, if you can't attend in person, don't worry. This year we will have a hybrid meeting using live streaming and Zoom capabilities. Please click on the button below and join us!
Please note: Our HVAC contractors are presently working on the heaters for the Sanctuary, in hopes they will be operational for the service. We will send an update tomorrow afternoon. However, if you choose to worship with us in person, please come prepared for either scenario.
We’ve heard plenty of them recently. After all, elections are full of them. Of course, we make our own to ourselves this time of year too. We call them resolutions. They go by other names like commitments, pledges or agreements. While we do our best to keep promises, we all know they are difficult to uphold. More often than not, they even get broken, except, that is, for God’s. While we have placed much of our hope in the
promise of 2021, we have already been let down. Instead, at the beginning of
this New Year, let’s turn our focus, energy and attention to God’s promises, which
are always and forever unbreakable.

January 24, 2021
God’s Promise of Faithfulness
Psalm 40:1-11
Rev. Nathan C. Brown

January 31, 2021
God’s Promise of Ministry
Mark 1:14-20
Rev. Nathan C. Brown

February 7, 2021
God’s Promise of Blessing
Matthew 5:1-12
Rev. Nathan C. Brown

February 14, 2021
God’s Promise of Guidance
Matthew 5:13-20
Rev. Nathan C. Brown

To view the service on our YouTube page, click here.
Judy Edwards will be moving to Summitt Place on January 27th. This move will allow her to be near her daughter in South Carolina. Cards may be sent to Judy in care of her daughter Anne Parker Ballance at 121 N. Hermitage Road, Beaufort, SC 29902. Please keep Judy and her family in your prayers. 

Prayers requested for Michelle (Brown) Kahn who will be deployed to Iraq in February for possibly 6 months.

Betsy Robinson requests prayers for the Edwards family. Their very dear friend Michael Edwards just passed away from Covid. He was only in his forties. They are heartbroken and devastated at his loss. 

Janet Lochery would like prayers for Ivy Grace Percival. Ivy is only four months old and will have surgery on 1/21/21 for a serious heart condition. Please also keep her parents Becky and Adam Percival and the rest of the family in prayer. 

We received a phone call from Timothy Jackson who let us know that his father, Dell Allen Jackson passed away on January 10th. They were both members of SSCC back when Rev. Al Widener was SSCC's Pastor. If anyone would like information or to pass on their condolences, you may reach Tim at 770-330-3188. 

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!
Casey Evans and Pastor Nathan have been working on a podcast they are calling, "SSCConversations." Its purpose is "to be a hope filled effort by and for the people of Sandy Springs Christian Church, as a way to connect to and communicate with both people in our congregation and the greater Sandy Springs/Atlanta area, with positive conversations about our community and its/our relationship to God.”

Click below for our inaugural podcast entitled, "Hope," during which we talk about the inspiration for the podcast and its overall purpose.

Finally, a big thank you to our Organist, Ella Lewis. Both pieces of music used for the podcast were recorded by Ella. The opening piece is entitled, "Joy Song." The closing piece is called, "The Tocatta." Enjoy!
As you have read by now, our theme for the ministry of SSCC in 2021 is "Reconnect." To get us off on the right foot, we are offering a series of "check-ins," by which we hope to reconnect with many of you.
Each session will last approximately thirty minutes and include up to eight individuals/families, including Pastor Nathan. Click on the button below to sign up for a session. Please sign up for only one session to ensure that all those who wish to participate are able. Thank you, in advance, for your participation. This is one way, among many, we hope to begin reconnecting with each other in the coming year!
Here’s a perfect way to reconnect with SSCC friends, while social-distancing at home! Care & Connect is launching a Winter Movie Series —with two movies to start off in January. One is for families with children and another for adults. If you’d like, you can join both!

You can search the movie titles, listed below, on the internet or through your TV service provider to see your best option for viewing. Some of the movies will be free or have a nominal cost depending on whether you subscribe to Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Vudu, etc. Pick a time to view the movie(s) that best fits your schedule, then join us on the 31st for the Zoom discussion(s).

The January movie selection for adults is the highly-reviewed production of Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President. The Zoom discussion for this movie will be on Sunday, January 31st at 5:00 P.M. 

The January movie selection for families is Soul. The Zoom discussion for this movie will be on Sunday, January 31st at 7:00 P.M. Since the Youth meet on Sundays participants will want to choose another time for the rest of the series.

Links to both ZOOM discussions will be in next week's newsletter.
If you are part of the Leadership Council, Eldership, Trustees or Program Staff you are invited to participate in the 2021 SSCC Leadership Retreat, Saturday, January 30th from 8:00 am - noon. The event will take place via Zoom.
On Sunday, January 31st, we will be officially installing our leadership for 2021 during worship. This is a time to pray for our shared ministry, to affirm those who have been called to serve and to acknowledge the transition of leadership that takes place from one year to the next.

If you are part of the Leadership Council, Eldership, Trustees, Diaconate and Sunday School teachers, we hope you can make it to worship either in person or virtually for your official installation. It's going to be an exciting year of ministry. Let's come out and support those who will lead us along the way!
Just a reminder that the Church office will be staffed Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 am - 1:00 pm.

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.
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
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