A NOTE FROM NATHAN
It’s called “burying the alleluia.” You may have heard the phrase before. In order to emphasize the penitential nature of the Lenten season, the Catholic Church removes the “Alleluia” from the Mass. As one Catholic publication puts it, “We no longer sing with the choirs of angels; instead, we acknowledge our sins and practice repentance so that one day we may again have the privilege of worshiping God as the angels do.”
 
There is a similar practice during the season of Advent. Many Christian traditions choose not to sing Christmas hymns until Christmas Eve. In order to emphasize the darkness of the world before Christ’s coming, which Advent represents, the faithful abstain from singing words about Christ’s birth until Christ is born again.
 
I love these practices. They help us appreciate what we are truly celebrating on the high holy days of the Christian Calendar. I loved them, that is, until 2020. There has been perhaps nothing more challenging than refraining from singing together during worship in the last year. It’s one thing to “bury the alleluia.” It’s another to bury singing altogether.
 
Which is the reason I’m excited, more than ever, about Easter Sunday. After more than a year of not being able to sing together in-person, on April 4th, we will once again join our voices together (in masks) to proclaim the message that is at the crux of our faith: “Christ the Lord is Risen Today!” On Easter Sunday, we will be singing “Alleluia” like we never have before. After all, how can we keep from singing?
 
In fact, that's the question posed by Robert Wadsworth Lowry in his well-known hymn, “My Life Flows On.” The first verse reads:
 
My life goes on in endless song
Above earth´s lamentations,
I hear the real, though far-off hymn
That hails a new creation.
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear its music ringing,
It sounds an echo in my soul.
How can I keep from singing?
 
Wadsworth’s question is obviously rhetorical. The truth is we can’t keep from singing. Or, rather, we won’t. For a season, perhaps. During the height of a pandemic, absolutely. But not indefinitely. Singing is integral to being a person of faith. Whether you sing with a beautiful vibrato or simply make a joyful noise, we can’t help but raise our voices in song to worship our God. As Wadsworth concludes his hymn:
 
No storm can shake my inmost calm,
While to that rock I´m clinging.
Since love is lord of heaven and earth
How can I keep from singing?
 
I look forward to unearthing the Alleluia on Easter with you this year more than ever before. We need the response to the good news, "He is risen. He is risen, indeed!" I can't wait to hear it in song!

Peace,
Nathan
THIS SUNDAY
Leaving the Land of the Dead
A Sermon Series for the Season of Lent
 
No, it’s not a movie title. It’s the way we have felt over the course of the last year, both literally and figuratively. Let’s just put it this way - it hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park. It has felt more like wandering in the wilderness. Yet, there is a renewed sense of hope in our world – the feeling that there is an end, or at least a new beginning. Could it be that we are finally leaving the land of the dead? The truth is we are always doing so in this life. That’s what Lent is for – to remind us that God is always moving us from death to resurrection. 

March 28, 2021 (Palm Sunday)
Leaving the Land of the Dead: Require
Matthew 21:1-11
To view the service this Sunday on our YouTube page, click here.
To view the bulletin for this Sunday, click here.
To view the scripture for this Sunday, click here.
HOLY WEEK
ROAD TO RESURRECTION - THIS SUNDAY! FOR FAMILIES AND KIDS!
We have a new, exciting way for our families to connect to the Easter story this year! After worship this Palm Sunday, March 28, we invite families to come anytime from 11:30 am - 3:00 pm to experience the Holy Week story including Palm Sunday, Jesus in the Temple, the Last Supper, Jesus on the Cross and the Empty Tomb.

All you need to do is come to the single red door on the bottom level (back parking lot on the Abernathy side) anytime between 11:30 am - 3:00 pm and each family can go at their own pace learning each story with crafts, snacks, prayers and other interactive ways to experience each story!

A faith filled journey that has something for the whole family. We hope you’ll make plans to join us on March 28!
EASTER SERVICES SIGN UP
We celebrate the option of in-person Easter worship on April 4, 2021! In order to do so safely, we must continue to follow our protocols, even on the most significant day of the Christian calendar.

In an effort to accommodate as many as possible, who wish to attend in-person services, we are offering three worship opportunities at 7:00 AM (Sunrise outside in the Whitmire Pavilion), 9:00 AM (Child Dedication) and 11:00 AM (Baptisms). Both the 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM will be in-person, in the sanctuary and livestreamed on our YouTube channel. In order to properly prepare, we would like to know how many plan to attend each service in person.

Signing up is not a reservation. It is simply notifying us of your intentions at this time, for the purposes of planning. Please sign up even if you are serving as a volunteer or participating as staff. An overflow area will be provided in Whitmire Pavilion for viewing of the service, should more attend in person than our protocols allow. While we recognize these circumstances are not ideal, the safety of our community and its most vulnerable members is the highest priority.

Let us find hope in this season, as we are reminded that no restriction or protocol can keep Jesus in the tomb. We thank God for the work of the Welcome Back Team. We give thanks to God for each of you and your perseverance in this most unusual of Easters. We thank God that new life is always coming to us. Please click the button below and let us know your preference, should you wish to attend Easter worship in-person. Thank you in advance.
EASTER EGG HUNT
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
We are so excited to announce that we will have an Easter Egg Hunt after both the 9:00 am and 11:00 am Easter services this year! The egg hunt will take place outside after each service and children over the age of 3 will need to wear masks. We will also do our best to make sure we are still following safety protocols. All families will meet after worship in the green space outside of the sanctuary near the lower parking lot on the Abernathy side of the church grounds.

We need some last minute help from the congregation though!  If you are able, we would love for you to drop some pre-stuffed eggs by the church any time in the next two weeks (Office hours are Mon. - Thurs. from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm) or when you are here for Service on Sunday. We will even take them on Easter Sunday! Any amount you can bring would be helpful.

We look forward to a fun, safe event for our SSCC Kids as we celebrate the risen Christ. Thanks for your help!
EASTER LILIES
We encourage you to sign up to donate an Easter lily in celebration or memory of a family member, friend or loved one. Suggested donation is $10.00.

Click on the link below to sign up. Enter your information in the COMMENTS section and simply indicate the name of the one(s) you are honoring, along with whether you are celebrating or remembering each individual and indicate whether or not you wish to pick up your lily/lilies at church. You may sign up multiple names. You can mail a check to the church, or go to our website and enter your donation there. Please mark your donations "Easter Lilies.”

We will then publish a list and include it in the newsletter. So far we have lily dedications from the following families: B. Duren, C. Evans, V. Smith, the Torberts, B. Kelly, M. Hodgson, L. Prescott, C. Roper, E. Tollman, B. Gunby, the Burgesses, C. Cortright, L. Whitmire, S. McCluskey, D. Gill and G. Hamilton. If you do not see your name on the list and have requested lilies, please contact the church office or email amy@sandyspringscc.org. The deadline to sign up is Monday, March 29, 2021. Thank you in advance!
DOC EASTER OFFERING
The Easter Offering, received by most congregations on March 28 and April 4, 2021, supports several of the general ministries of the Christian Church. Your gift supports college students in leadership development programs, global mission partners, health and social service ministries, the formation of new congregations, support for pastors and chaplains, and so much more. 

You may give online by CLICKING HERE or by sending a check to the church marked "Easter Offering" in the memo line.
SEASON OF LENT
LENTEN DEVOTIONAL VIDEOS
On THURSDAY of this week, you will receive the last Lenten video devotional, which will be from Pastor Nathan, about the Last Supper and Holy Week. We hope these devotionals have deepened your spiritual reflection during this meaningful season.

You can CLICK HERE to view the devotionals on our YouTube page.
ALL-CHURCH COMMITTMENT TO
40 DAYS OF PRAYER
The Worship, Arts and Education Committee, along with Pastor Nathan, would like to invite you to join us in a commitment to 40 days of prayer during the season of Lent. We hope that you will carve out time, each day during Lent, to pray for Sandy Springs Christian Church and our ministry in 2021. As we live into whatever the new normal might be, we hope you will pray for God’s guidance and direction for our congregation. If you are someone who prefers a guide for your time of prayer, Teddy and Nathan recommend a website called, www.pray-as-you-go.org. It offers 10-12 minute daily devotionals that make space for prayer and reflection. Thank you for praying with and for the people of Sandy Springs Christian Church as a spiritual discipline during Lent!
ALL-CHURCH STUDY
We are wrapping up our all-church study for the season of Lent called, “Everybody, Always” based on the book by Bob Goff. The study aims to help us all love one another, even when we, and the times we are living in, might be difficult. The study will take place through three group options listed below. All studies will be offered via zoom.

Group One:
Monday Evenings at 7:00 p.m.
Leader: John Mills
Group Two:
Sunday Mornings at 9:00 a.m.
Leaders: Breijanna Dyke, Casey Evans, Emily Harple, Teddy Ivey
Group Three:
Starting Sunday Evenings at 5:00 p.m.
Leader: Leslie Lady
WRAP UP SESSION WITH PASTOR NATHAN
Join Pastor Nathan for a wrap of of the Everybody Always series, April 1st at 7:00 pm via ZOOM - Meeting ID: 834 0609 8216. Or click the button below to join that evening.


ASH WEDNESDAY SOIL
If you have been tending to your soil this Lenten Season, following the Ash Wednesday Service, please take pictures or videos and send them to Teddy Ivey at teddyuga.org. We'd love to share with the congregation how you have been practicing this spiritual discipline!
HIGHLIGHTS
PRAYER REQUESTS AND GRATITUDE
Prayers are requested for Dawn Abel who had some medical issues this past week.

Fran Michels writes, "After a long month of high stress from medical test predicting a malignant growth in my lung, I am extremely grateful to share that it is a benign granuloma! To those who knew my situation and prayed for me, thank you!  To those who would have prayed had you known, thank you! Please pray my partially deflated lung continues to heal. In gratitude, Fran

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, Robyn Hicks 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), Linda Whitmire's granddaughter, Hayleigh Whitmire (Army) and Kathy Woodworth's step grandson Parker Mansel (Marines). If we are missing someone, please let us know so that we can include their name in our weekly prayers.

JOIN SSCC! 
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!
REQUEST FROM OUR "MARKETING TEAM"
Congregation, as part of our marketing efforts this year the team would appreciate if you could take a couple minutes of your time and leave a review on google of our church. We have 5 stars but only 7 reviews! This will help encourage visitors for those using the internet.

Also along that line, when you come to Sunday service we would appreciate if a few more of you could park in the Abernathy side parking lot and spread out, just so that people know we are open and meeting in-person! 
NEW PODCAST IS AVAILABLE
This episode features Rev. Dr. Nathan Brown, Senior Minister, & Casey Evans, Member, of Sandy Springs Christian Church. The topic was inspired by Casey's reading of Leviticus 25, which speaks about the tradition/law of the sabbaticals which occur every 7 years. This leads to the even more exotic 7 x 7 year Old Testament Hebrew tradition/law called the Jubilee (so on the 50th year). We deep dive into this tradition/law and how it is relevant and is present & interpreted in today's evermore interconnected world.

Work Hard & Rest Hard!
UPDATED CHURCH OFFICE HOURS
We have expanded Church office hours to Monday through Thursday from 9:30 am - 2:00 pm.

We will be retrieving phone messages each day and will return calls the following day. So feel free to call the church if you need anything or email Amy@sandyspringscc.org if you wish.
HELP SUPPORT CAMP CHRISTIAN!
Join us again April 9 - 11 as we run/walk in your hometown for our 2021 Camp Christian Virtual 5K to raise money. It’s as easy as tying your shoes! Put on an old Camp t-shirt (if you have one), and grab your running buddies, camp buddies, and church buddies and get out there! After you run, you can record your time and post it to the events page. Take some pictures and sing some songs, and let’s raise some money for Camp Christian! 

Register before midnight on April 1 at to guarantee a t-shirt. Cost is $35. T-shirts will be mailed after the race weekend.
LET'S RECONNECT!
WINTER MOVIE SERIES
Here’s a perfect way to reconnect with SSCC friends, while social-distancing at home! Care & Connect is wrapping up their Winter Movie Series in March.

The last adult movie discussion will be on the movie White Savior: Racism in the American Church. White Savior explores the historic relationship between racism and American Christianity, the ongoing segregation of the church in the U.S. and the complexities of racial reconciliation. Let’s watch and learn then join us this Thursday, March 25th at 5:00 PM, for the Zoom discussion.

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.
DOING MINISTRY DIFFERENTLY
golf5.jpg
GOLF TOURNAMENT TO SUPPORT CONSTRUCTION OF NEW CAC OFFICE
Join us for a special golf tournament on May 5 to support the construction of Community Assistance Center’s new branch office in Sandy Springs! The Associated General Contractors of Georgia (AGCGA) Young Leadership Program’s 22nd Annual Golf Classic will take place at two golf clubs in Peachtree City. This year, 100% of proceeds will be used on YLP’s interior build-out CAC’s new branch office in south Sandy Springs on Northwood Drive! Registration information is available on CAC’s website at www.ourcac.org.
HELPING THE CAC
Pease CLICK HERE for updated information from the CAC regarding:
  • CAC Thrift Shop Expanded Hours/Volunteers Needed
  • Golf Tourney to Support Construction of New CAC Office
  • Fulton County Honors Tamara Carrera
  • Helping Families Facing Eviction
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FOOD INSECURITY: If you or someone you know in our church community is facing food insecurity because of a decrease or loss in income, please privately contact Jenna Hicks so that we can provide assistance to keep their pantry full. Email jennakhicks@gmail.com or call 404-441-1668. 
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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.
CONNECT WITH OTHERS
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.
Bryant Gibson March 01
Art Edwards March 02
Kate McKinney March 03
Kaitlin Kahrs March 04
Jeff Moore March 04
Joe Moore March 05
Anne Butz March 06
Steve Clark March 06
Elaine Elliott Donnelly March 06
Jordan Moore March 06
Sandie Reed March 07
Bunny Steinmetz March 11
Shelton Blackburn March 12
James Richard Torbert March 13
Teresa Morse March 15
Lauren Ivey March 18
Ann Walker March 19
Nathan Chimera March 21
Ryan Kahrs March 22
Dale Williamson March 23
Maria Hicks March 24
Laura Campbell March 25
Kathy Elliott March 25
Emily Leek March 26
Marlene Rhine March 26
Denise Shipman March 26
Angi Brown March 28
Richard Walker March 28
John Gilmore March 29
Harrison Brown March 31