May 1, 2023

EP Corner

by Aisha Brooks-Johnson, Executive Presbyter

Vital Congregations Initiative – Mark #6 – Caring Relationships

I want to share a personal story that reminds me of the power of caring relationships. A few months ago, my neighbors stopped by to let us know of the death of one of our senior neighbors on our block. My neighbor who made me aware of this news also brought along her daughter, Eleanor, whom we affectionately refer to as Ella. I had not seen Ella since we hosted the neighborhood cookie exchange during the Advent season. Ella was expressive and playful as she entered the house. Without hesitation, I told her that we should have a nail painting party one day. Her eyes lit up as she smiled and nodded her head in agreement.

A month had passed, and I will be the first to admit that had I forgotten about my offer to host a nail painting party with my littlest neighbor, Ella. I saw Ella’s dad one afternoon, and he looked at me with a hint of concern and said, “Did you schedule the nail painting party with Ella? She’s really looking forward to it. And her birthday is in a few days. But no pressure.” I laughed out loud and admitted that it had slipped my mind. I quickly coordinated with Ella’s parents and got a date on the schedule for our playdate party.

On the day of our playdate, I picked up an assortment of cookies, pulled out teacups for milk, and put on a dress and fancy hat for the occasion. Ella came over with her dad, her stuffed dolphin, and a request to listen to the soundtrack from Frozen. Between the giggles, cookies, milk, and nail polish, I was reminded of the power of caring for our neighbors, strangers, family, and friends. Caring for one another means that we take the time to see one another. We find ways to relate, connect, work, serve, play, and to do life together. Caring relationships reminds us that we are not called to live in isolation, but to collaborate and co-create together. Caring relationships means that we take the time to offer gratitude to the people in our lives through a note, a phone call, or a word of affirmation.

During our May Stated Meeting of the presbytery, I pray that we can celebrate the ways we are connected to one another through our presbytery partnerships, connections, and relationships. After our gathering, I pray that we will continue to practice offering a spirit of love, hospitality, and generosity to all.  


#YouAreVital #YouAreLoved

During the month of May, we celebrate the gifts of Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander voices in this presbytery, nationally, and around the world.

May 2 Stated Meeting of the Presbytery

by C. Anderson James, Stated Clerk

We are looking forward to the next Stated Meeting of the Presbytery on Tuesday, May 2! This meeting will be held via Zoom from 9:00am-12:30pm. Registration closed at noon on Monday, May 1. Those who have registered should have already received a link to join the meeting. If you registered and did not receive a link or have other difficulty connecting, please email for assistance. If you need to download the commissioner handbook or request an excused absence, please visit the presbytery website.

PGA Clergy Crowdsource Zoom Meeting

The PGA Clergy Crowdsource Zoom will meet for the last time on May 10 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.

"At the River" Screening and Q&A

by Jane Hubbard, Pastor-to-Pastor Team Coordinator

At the River is a documentary of southern white Presbyterian ministers who stood up during the Civil Rights Movement. Creator and editor Carolyn Crowder shares remarkable stories from her years of research and interviews with over 60 Presbyterian ministers now in their 80s and 90s. Interviewees include Rev. Dr. Phil Noble; Rev. R. Leon (Lee) Carroll, Jr.; and more.

"At the River" Screening

Tuesday, May 16, 2023 

Decatur Presbyterian Church

6:00 pm - Fellowship Hall for light refreshments

6:30 pm - Film screening followed by a brief Q&A with Carolyn and several ministers featured in the film

For a trailer and additional information about the project:

Columbia Theological Seminary's Baccalaureate and Commencement Weekend

Columbia Theological Seminary will welcome the graduates of 2020 and 2021 back to campus on Friday, May 19, for their annual celebration picnic on the quad, and the Baccalaureate service will be held that evening at Decatur Presbyterian Church.

The Class of 2023 Commencement will be held at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Atlanta at 10 AM on Saturday, May 20 with a reception immediately following in Williams Hall.

The services will also be streamed at

For additional information, visit 

Presbytery Night at Atlanta United

by C. Anderson James, Stated Clerk

Join your friends and colleagues from across the presbytery on Wednesday, May 31, for a night out at Atlanta United! As the Five Stripes take on the New England Revolution, we'll have a tailgate party beginning at 5:30pm and make our way to the match—first kick is at 7:30pm.


We have 30 group tickets available in section 122 for $32 each. If you already have tickets, sign up for the tailgate only. Make an additional contribution and support a ticket for a new worshiping community leader!


Get your tickets and sign up for the tailgate now! Hope to see you on May 31!

National Black Presbyterian Caucus June 15-17

Please visit to register for the National Conference June 15-17, 2023, in Charleston, SC. The website also has several videos explaining the content of the meeting and other opportunities.

Drum Major for Justice Certificate in Public Theology

by Jane Hubbard, Pastor-to-Pastor Team Coordinator

Through moments of pain, frozen silence, disorientation and pure love, I found my voice in collaboration and actions with eleven ordained and lay leaders of the church and community across the US. I highly recommend you take a moment, listen, and plan to join this cohort. There are two offered per year. The next one is starting June 16, 2023 with a registration deadline of June 1, 2023.


This five-month certificate program explores the common roots of racial oppression and resistance movements (e.g., the Black Church, Black and Womanist Theology, Liberation Theology, Indigenous Peoples’ Theology), in order to mobilize churches and communities to pursue racial justice and societal transformation.

This course starts June 16. The deadline to register is June 1.

School of the Laity June Session

The School of the Laity courses are held hybrid with both online (via Zoom) and in-person participants. In-person classes are held at Epworth By the Sea on St. Simons Island, GA. Participants can join a small cohort beginning each June and complete the full two-year program or can take a singular course as their schedule permits.

There are pre-course assignments for each course shared on the registration brochure. March and October Sessions begin early Saturday morning and conclude late Saturday afternoon while June Sessions begin on Friday evening and continue through late Sunday afternoon. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Marty Susie, SOL Registrar, at (800) 616-3671 ext. 703 or

WHAT: Three courses to choose from at June 2023 Session 

WHERE: Epworth by the Sea, Saint Simons, GA OR ONLINE 

WHEN: Friday, June 23rd - Sunday, June 25th 

FEES: $110 tuition for everyone PLUS accommodations & meal fees for those participating in-person 

Register by May 25th 

SOL Registration - Savannah Presbytery

QUESTIONS? Contact Marty Susie, registrar: email at or call (800) 616-3671 ext. 7003

Committee on Ministry Liaisons

by Cassandra Morrow, Congregational Consultant

“As you begin the journey to find new pastoral leadership, the next few months will be exciting, tedious, joyful, spiritually fulfilling, frustrating, inspiring, lengthy, and purposeful. The process is one of discernment and will challenge the congregation to listen closely for the will of God for its mission and ministry in this new stage of the congregation’s life.” -- On Calling a Pastor, PCUSA 


The COM Transition Subcommittee held liaison training on Saturday, April 1, 2023, from 10am-12pm at the Presbytery of Great Atlanta office. A great morning of training took place for newcomers and for current liaisons who needed refresher training.

Steve Cashwell (Ruling Elder at Saint Luke’s PC), Mark Roberson (Ruling Elder at Roswell PC), and Cassandra Morrow (PGA Congregational Consultant) served as presenters for the day. Special thanks to the COM Transition Subcommittee for providing delicious snacks, and the PGA Staff Communications Team/Tech. Deacon from Eastminster PC for video production support.

A COM Pastoral Liaison serves as a presbytery resource to an Associate Pastor Nominating Committee or Pastor Nominating Committee in churches seeking an installed pastoral call. This person is appointed by and accountable to the Committee on Ministry of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta. A liaison will shepherd a congregation from the moment a pastoral leader resigns or retires until a new leader is formally installed.

The primary responsibility of a COM Pastoral Liaison is to assist the session and Pastor Nominating Committee through a pastoral transition for either Head of Staff or Associate Pastor. This includes being present/available during the interim phase.

We are grateful and give thanks for all the trained Presbytery of Greater Atlanta Committee on Ministry Pastoral Liaisons.

For more information on becoming a trained Committee on Ministry Liaison contact Cassandra Morrow, PGA Congregational Consultant at

Volunteer to be a Tech Deacon

by Mark Sauls, Director of Technology and Communication

We are excited to have Steve Cashwell and Robert Hay join our Tech Deacon team and we are looking for a few more!

Are you technologically inclined and need a place to put your skills to use? The presbytery is looking for volunteer Tech Deacons to help with virtual and hybrid meetings.

What’s a Tech Deacon? A person who can help with behind the scenes digital projects such as assisting in Zoom meetings, operating hardware components such as computers, video cameras, or audio mixers, and support presbytery staff operating these systems. Some roles can be done from home, such as Zoom support, while others will require on-site assistance.

Ready to volunteer? Or not sure if your skills fit? Contact Mark Sauls at with any questions or to volunteer.

Rebekah-LeMon-500x500 image

The Rev. Rebekah Close LeMon, senior pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, is the featured preacher May 28 and June 4 on “Day 1” with host Peter Wallace, the nationally broadcast ecumenical radio program also accessible online at and by podcast. 

Click here to read the Peace and Global Witness partnership's May 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:

Keep in prayer these churches:

Alpharetta, First Atlanta, *aijcast

Atlanta Taiwanese, Austell, *Atlanta Good Church

Barnesville, Bethany *Atlanta Mizo Christian Fellowship

And for the month of May:

5/7 - Bremen, Buford, *Atlanta Oikos

5/14 - Carrollton, Central, *Casa Brasil

5/21 - Church of the Master, Clairmont, *Centro Familiar Cristiano

5/28 - Columbia, Conyers, *Chin

*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

May 2 - Stated Meeting of the Presbytery - Zoom

May 3 - John Blake book signing and discussion @ First Baptist Decatue

May 4 - Clergy Gathering: Intown @ J. Christopher

May 10 - Crowdsource Clergy Meeting - Zoom

May 11 - Clergy Gathering: Westside @ The Olive Tree Restaurant

May 16 - "At the River" Screening and Q&A @ Decatur PC

May 20 - Columbia TS Commencement Service @ Trinigy ATL

May 21 - NCDC Baptism Day at the Lake @ Lake Lanier

May 23 - Clergy Gathering: Aged to Perfection @ Fox Bros DeKalb Ave.

May 24 - Clergy Gathering: Southside @ Positano Pizza Napoletana

May 25 - Clergy Gathering: OTP Eastside @ Timberridge PC

May 28 - Rebekah Close Lemon on Day 1 @

June 4 - Rebekah Close Lemon on Day 1 @

June 7 - Clergy Gathering: Eastside @ North Decatur PC

June 8 - Clergy Gathering: Northside @ Pure Taqueria!

June 23-25 - School of the Laity @ Epworth by the Sea

Aug. 15 - Stated Meeting of the Presbytery @ Shallowford PC

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 June 1. Articles will be accepted through May 15. The following newsletter will go out June 30. 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:

Munch, Edvard, 1863-1944. Sun, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved April 26, 2023]. Original source:

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

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