February 3, 2023

EP Corner

by Aisha Brooks-Johnson, Executive Presbyter

And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to the one who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall before the one who is seated on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever; they cast their crowns before the throne, singing,

“You are worthy, our Lord and God,

to receive glory and honor and power,

for you created all things,

and by your will they existed and were created.”

Revelation 4:9-11

From the time I was a child, I have always loved worship. I have had the honor of experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit in Mainline worship experiences, Pentecostal spaces, Black church services and conferences, Catholic retreat centers, and in the gift of silence in Quaker meeting houses. I have often imagined that on Sunday mornings we are joining our voices with the creatures in heaven to give all praise and glory to the one true God who has made us, named us, claimed us, called us, and saved us for God’s own purpose.

Worship is the space and place to offer our communal glory to God. Spirit Inspired Worship is the fifth mark in our Vital Congregations Initiative. This reminds us that we cannot plan or participate in worship without being deeply rooted in God. Worship is not about our efforts. It is centered on being connected to God and one another so we may hear where the Spirit is leading us as we respond to God’s love with our adoration, confession, assurance, offering, sacraments, proclamation, and praise. Our Directory for Worship, in the Book of Order, encourages us to begin worship at home and in the sanctuary of our hearts as we learn to worship God in spirit and in truth, no matter where we find ourselves. 

For the Martin Luther King, Jr holiday, Andy James and I were invited to participate in worship leadership for an ecumenical service in partnership with our Lutheran, Methodist, and Episcopal siblings as well as other members of the community. The diversity of gifts, music, culture, and worship expressions was a reflection of all God’s children offering praise for God’s glory, honor, and power among us. Spirit inspired worship encounters carry us forward so that our daily living may bring God glory through our words and actions.

May our next presbytery gathering be a time of worship that fills our hearts with hope, stirs us to listen ever more closely to the Spirit’s leading, and inspires us as we lead God’s people on the journey of faith and service. 

Much love and deep peace,


#YouAreVital #YouAreLoved

by C. Anderson James, Stated Clerk

Join us at the next stated meeting of the presbytery on Saturday, February 11, from 9:00am-1:30pm at Covington First Presbyterian Church, 1169 Clark St SW, Covington. Our theme will be Spirit-Inspired Worship, the fifth mark of the Vital Congregations Initiative. Over the course of the meeting, we will experience a variety of ways that the church can engage in celebration and prayer together. Executive Presbyter Aisha Brooks-Johnson will offer the sermon. We will consider 28 proposed amendments to the Book of Order, celebrate the ministry of Chip Blankinship as he retires from serving on the presbytery staff, and install our new moderator Iris Wallace.

Learn more about the meeting here

Stated Meeting Information
Pre-register and Pay for Lunch
Excused Abscence Request

Welcome Andy Hill, Director of Finance & Property

by Melissa Schmitz, Chair of the Personnel Committee

Welcome to Andy Hill, who has been selected by Presbytery Council to serve as the new Director of Finance & Property in the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta. Andy will begin his work on February 1, 2023, and he follows Rev. Chip Blankinship, whose retirement is effective March 1, 2023. Chip’s rich ministry will be celebrated at the February Presbytery meeting. 

Andy holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, and will be awarded a Master of Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in May 2023. His experience is varied with careers on Wall Street in Finance and Compliance, as a community organizer in New York City, and most recently as Operations Manager at Ormewood Church, a New Church Development in Atlanta. The Search and Personnel Committees were impressed with his high energy level, his experience working with volunteers, and his strong business acumen, and we believe that he will serve the Presbytery Office and congregations well. 


Welcome Andy Hill!

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Black Resistance Bible Study Series

Models of Black Resistance Past & Present

Presented by the Presbyterian Mission – Racial Equity and Women’s Intercultural Ministries 

Racial Equity and Women’s Intercultural Ministries is launching a new virtual Bible study to celebrate Black History Month. 

The series is called “Models of Black Resistance Past and Present” and will stream on the RE&WIM Facebook page at 5 p.m. Eastern Time each Wednesday from February 1 through March 15.

Additional Information: www.presbyterianmission.org/story/new-seven-week-pcusa-black-resistance-bible-study-launches-on-feb-1/

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.


  • February 8
  • March 8
  • April 12

Premiere of Dan Forrest's LUX: The Dawn From On High

by Rev. Katie Aumann, Morningside Presbyterian Church

Morningside Presbyterian Church Choir in Atlanta, Georgia is delighted to host the Atlanta premier of Dan Forrest's LUX: The Dawn From On High arranged for treble voices. Morningside Presbyterian's Director of Music, Dr. Jonathan Crutchfield, will be at the organ, alongside the composer himself at the piano. Other ensembles in the invited choir include Garnet Chorale from the University of South Carolina; Mercer University Women's Choir; and Vox Anima Chamber Choir from Kent, England. Monday, February 13 at 7:30pm. Tickets are available here.

Church Statistics Due February 13

by C. Anderson James, Stated Clerk

Clerks of session and others responsible for statistical reports: Please remember that the session annual statistical report on church membership, worship attendance, and other matters is due by Monday, February 13. Click here to learn more and access the online reporting system.

If you need assistance with your user ID, password, or other questions, please contact Stated Clerk Andy James at [email protected]. Other reports, including any changes to pastors’ terms of call, are also due soon! Visit the Clerk’s Corner on the presbytery website for more information and submission links.

Presbyterians for a Better Georgia Announces February 15 Advocacy Training, March 14 Lobby Day at State Capitol

by Tim Merritt, Presbyterians for a Better Georgia

Join Presbyterians for a Better Georgia for our annual Advocacy Training on February 15 at 7:00 PM. This online virtual training will help you understand the issues that are before the legislature. You will also learn how to effectively use your voice to shape our state's policies.

PBG advocates for policies that are consistent with the caring ministries of our churches. In particular, we are advocating for legislation that will:

  • Create stronger mental health care services for insured and uninsured Georgians
  • Dedicate more state resources for desperately-needed affordable housing
  • Fund tested, proven strategies for moving people out of homelessness and into stable homes

Invite your friends and members of your faith community to join us for the Advocacy Training. Also, mark your calendars for PBG Lobby Day at the Capitol on the morning of March 14.


Presbyterians for a Better Georgia is a partnership of Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) congregations. We amplify the voices of citizens concerned with all Georgians in need of housing and healthcare.

For more information about Presbyterians for a Better Georgia, visit www.p4bg.org.

Upcoming Boundaries Training Dates

by C. Anderson James, Stated Clerk

All active ministers of the Word and Sacrament and others serving in pastoral roles are required to complete Boundaries Training at least once every five years. The next opportunity to fulfill this requirement is coming up on Monday, February 27, from 12:30-3:30pm. The deadline to register is Thursday, February 23. This particular session is designed for ministers serving in congregational settings and will be facilitated by Rev. Holly Tickle. Topics will include navigating the waters of social media boundaries, appropriate friendships with parishioners, sexual misconduct prevention, child protection, self care, and more. Register now! Contact Stated Clerk Andy James at [email protected] with any questions. The next boundaries training will be October 17.

"Crossing Bridges"

Annual Conference of the Assoc. of Smaller Congregations

March 2-5, 2023

Epworth by the Sea, St. Simons Island, SC

This year's Keynote Speaker is Rev. Dr. Lisa Baroody Culpepper. Lisa has pastored several churches in New Harmony, Presbytery, SC, and has served as a presenter for Wee Kirk and Association of Small Membership Church conferences. She is the author of Better Together: How Small Membership Churches Fulfill Their Calling Through Partnerships. Her cross-cultural exposure includes growing up in a Lebanese family and being surrounded with Arabic language and hospitality. She has participated in cross-cultural mission in Lebanon, Syria, and Latin America, as well as in refugee resettlement work in Lesvos, Greece, and most recently in Lexington, KY. She also works with Church Development and Revitalization in Transylvania Presbytery in Kentucky.

Other speakers include Dr. Phyllis Sanders, Phillip Morgan, and our presbytery's own Gad Mpoyo, organizing pastor of Shalom International Ministry.

This year's theme is Crossing Bridges, based on Philippians 1:3-6: "I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for you I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that the One who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."  

Additional workshops will include Creative Use of the Arts in Worship, Matthew 25 in the Small Church Context, Learning From and Partnering with New Worshiping Communities, and many more!

Cost for the 4 day conference (includes housing and all meals) is $350-550, depending on your accommodations. Contact Joy Fisher to ask about scholarship availability. Email questions to [email protected].

For more information and to register, www.presbyasc.org

Hunger Walk/Run 5k - March 12

by Destiny Williams, McDonough Presbyterian Church

Since 1984, the Hunger Walk/Run has been an annual 5K/“fun run” of The Atlanta Community Food Bank and its partners. Proceeds benefit the ACFB and other local nonprofits, programs, and ministries focused on hunger relief. These benefiting partner organizations help recruit participants and receive a percentage of the funds raised to support their direct hunger relief programs.

As a benefiting partner, the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta keeps 60% of the funds we raise as a presbytery, which supports our Diaconal Grants program. All Presbytery of Greater Atlanta churches are eligible to apply for a Diaconal Grant to support hunger initiatives within their congregation. The remaining 40% that we raise goes to the Atlanta Community Food Bank where - among many other outstanding results - they leverage every $1 into $9 worth of groceries for hunger relief (enough for 4 meals!).

How it Works:

  1. Register as part of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta (link below). If you do not register as part of the presbytery, funds raised do not contribute to the presbytery’s grant fund.
  2. Start a Team, Join a Team, Reactivate a Team, Register as an Individual, and/or Donate toward a team/individual’s goal. Your team may be called the “{Church Name} Team” or you can get creative! Churches may have multiple teams.
  3. If you register as a team, your Team Captain will need to register first to Start/Reactivate the Team. Then, additional team members may Join the Team.
  4. Leading up to the Walk/Run, invite people to donate toward your team or individual goal.
  5. Return to the link below to track team/individual progress and monitor the presbytery’s collective fundraising toward hunger relief.

Questions? Contact Destiny Williams - [email protected]

Register Now!

Sponsored by PMA’s 1001 New Worshiping Communities and the New Church Development Commission in partnership with colleagues from the Office of the General Assembly and PMA’s Racial Equity and Women’s Intercultural Ministries

April 25 - April 27, 2023 - 6 PM (ET)


North Avenue Presbyterian Church

607 Peachtree Street NE

Atlanta, Georgia 30308


Did you know God is worshiped in at least 14 languages in PC(USA) New Worshiping Communities? 

Join us for two days of listening, sharing, worshiping and savoring the wisdom of immigrant new worshiping communities, and discover key ingredients for supporting and encouraging our witness together as we explore the ingredients of successful partnerships with immigrant new worshiping communities and learn the kitchen secrets from mid council leaders and denominational staff.

Accents: www.presbyterianmission.org/wp-content/uploads/Accents-Final.pdf 

Written by three seasoned NWC leaders* from Brazil, Korea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, this new resource includes story, case study and best practices centered in the immigrant experience of starting new communities within the PC(USA). The stories and ideas included will help your congregation or presbytery listen for how the Spirit of God is calling you to welcome newcomers with mutuality and solidarity in worship and in witness. 

*The leaders who contributed to this work are our own Rev. Rafael Viana (Brazil), Rev. Sungwoo Sam Kim (South Korea), and Rev. Gad Mpoyo (Democratic Republic of the Congo). 

Info/Registration: Registration is now open! You can register here.

If you have any questions, contact Nikki Collins at [email protected] 

Rev. Jasmine Evans Installation

Sunday, February 5, 2023 

2pm - Sanctuary

North Avenue Presbyterian


Join us as we celebrate the installation of Rev. Jasmine Evans as our Associate Pastor for Young Adults on Sunday, February 5, at 2pm at North Avenue Presbyterian Church. All are welcomed to attend and worship with us in this joyous celebration. Click here to learn more.

Tuesday, Feb. 7 - Rev. Dr. Victor Aloyo, president of Columbia Theological Seminary, will be addressing how faith communities can be places where all are welcome during divisive times. The event will be at Eastminster Presbyterian and is co-hosted by Crossroads PC, St. Andrews PC, and First Pres. Atlanta. A reception is at 6pm and the address is at 7pm. Click here for more information and to register (free).

"We Have Come This Far By Faith"

An African American cultural celebration in memory of Samuel H. Johnson and Edith V. Johnson featuring Michael R. McBride. Presented in collaboration with First World Productions.

Saturday, Feb. 4, 3pm at Hillside Presbyterian Church

Click here to view the flyer larger.

Johnson C. Smith Seminary is offering two certificate programs beginning in 2023.

Drum Major for Justice

Drum Major for Justice is a five-month certificate program in public theology open to faith, civic and justice leaders.

Lead Change

Lead Change Certificate in Community Faith Formation is a ten-month certificate program to support church and faith community innovators in reorienting themselves toward a just faith and activism.

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Green Team Summit

Sunday, Feb. 26, 2-8pm

Temple Sinai, Sandy Springs

Celebrate 20 years of GIPL at the annual Green Team Summit. The Summit is an opportunity for Green Teams, faith leaders, and environmental activists from across the state to gather for a time of fellowship and shared learning. The Summit will feature a series of workshops, speakers, and a shared meal. Click here for more information.

School of the Laity

March 11-12

Savannah Presbytery's School of the Laity is in session March 11-12 at Epworth by the Sea or via Zoom. Courses include New Testament survey, essential elements of worship, and an elective course The Revelation of John.

The cost is $110 plus accommodations and meal fees. Click here to view the flyer.

Organist Vicki Fey Retiring after 50 Years

After more than 50 years of service to the church, organist and musical leader Vicki Fey, CCM is retiring in February. Vicki will be retiring from her post as Organist/Music Associate from Central Presbyterian Church in historic Atlanta. Click here to read more.

Why the Jews?

Northminister Presbyterian

Sunday, Feb 12, 12:30pm

and Monday, Feb 13, 6pm

A two-part multimedia look as the long and tragic history of anti-semitism. Lead by Mr. Brendan Murphy, educator at the Marist School. This two-day, four-hour multimedia program will explore in depth how both governments and religious communities have targeted those of the Jewish faith over the centuries, along with hopeful developments in the fight against anti-Semitism.

Click here for more information and to buy tickets ($10).

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Click here to read the Peace and Global Witness partnership's February newsletter.


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:

2/5 - Oakhurst, Oglethorpe, *La Esperanza

2/12 - Peachtree, Philadelphia, *Zo American

2/19 - Pleasant Hill, Presbyterian Church of the Redeemer, *On the Way Church

2/26 - Radcliffe, Rice Memorial, *Transformation Covenant Church

*Denotes New Worshiping Communities

The Presbytery Staff will never email or text 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

Feb. 1-March 15 - Models of Black Resistance Past and Present - Facebook

Feb. 4 - We Have Come this Far by Faith @ Hillside PC

Feb. 5 - Pastoral Installation of Jasmine Evans @ North Avenue

Feb. 7 - Rev. Dr. Victor Aloyo: Reception and Lecture @ Eastminster PC

Feb. 9 - Clergy Gathering: Westside @ Carrabba's in Douglasville

Feb. 11 - Stated Meeting of the Presbytery @ FPC Covington

Feb. 12-13 - Why the Jews? The History of Antisemitism @ Northminster PC

Feb. 13 - Premiere of Dan Forrest's LUX @ Morningside PC

Feb. 22 - Clergy Gathering: Southside @ Positano Pizza Napoletana, P.tree City

Feb. 23 - Clergy Gathering: OTP Eastside @ First PC Covington

Feb. 26 - GIPL's Annual Green Team Summit @ Temple Sanai

Feb. 27 - Boundaries Training I, Parish Ministry - Zoom

Feb. 28 - Clergy Gathering: "Aged to Perfection" @ Fox Bro's BBQ DeKalb Ave.

Mar. 1 - Clergy Gathering: Intown @ J. Christopher, Kings Cir. Atl

Mar. 1 - Clergy Gathering: Eastside @ Melton's App and Tap

Mar. 2-5 - Association of Smaller Congregations Conf. @ Epworth by the Sea

Mar. 9 - Clergy Gathering: Northside @ Wegman's Bayou Louisiana, Roswell

Mar. 11 - School of the Laity (Savannah Presbytery) @ Zoom or Epworth

Mar. 12 - Hunger Walk/Run 5K @ Home Depot Backyard

April 17-21 - Transitional Ministry Level 1 Training @ Calvin Center

April 25-27 - What's the Secret Sauce? Conf. @ North Avenue Pres.

May 2 - Stated Meeting of the Presbytery - Zoom

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 March 1. Articles will be accepted through February 13. The following newsletter will go out April 1. To request space for an article, email your Congregational Consultant or Mark Sauls at [email protected]Click here to view submission guidelines.

Top Graphic Attribution:

Latimore, Kelly. La presentación de Cristo en el templo, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=54414 [retrieved January 23, 2023]. Original source: Kelly Latimore Icons, https://kellylatimoreicons.com/.

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

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