December 18, 2020
The E.P. Corner
by Aisha Brooks-Lytle, Executive Presbyter
This fall, I was invited to preach Advent 3B on Sunday, December 13th for Day 1 radio program. The text is the Magnificat, Mary’s Song, from Luke 1:39-56. It wasn’t until preparing for this sermon that I thought of Mary as singer-songwriter. It is at verse 46 that we find her spring forth in song. It is a song that reflects God’s love, mercy, and justice for generations. Her song is a declaration of God’s glory in an unprecedented time in her own life. I believe that her song is an inspiration for us to sing a song of hope even as we wait this Advent season and beyond.

Here is an excerpt from the sermon. May it remind you of the hope we find in our soon and coming king.
“It is Mary's song that shines light on the nature and character of God. She sings in gratitude for God's love for her and for all. She sings praise and adoration for the God who is the same God who has looked upon her with favor as she is surrounded by a culture that deems her less than favorable.

In a moment when she would have had every right to sing a broken hallelujah for the complexity of her position and unprecedented situation...

She sings a Holy Hallelujah for God's mercy from generation to generation.
She sings a Holy Hallelujah for God's strong arm, and that strong arm scatters the proud and brings down the powerful and sends away the rich.
She sings a Holy Hallelujah to the one true God who lifts up the lowly, fills up the hungry with good things, and whose mercy is from generation to generation.
Mary sings a song of love for the loveless. She sings a song of hope for the hopeless. She sings a song of joy for ages to come, and she sings this song over us.
Mary's song is an unprecedented song for an unprecedented time. As Christians in the face of a pandemic that is not letting up any time soon, we know what it is like to live in unprecedented times. We are surrounded by pain. We see oppression. We see the high and the proud impact the lowly and the marginalized. We see the gaps between the haves and the have-nots. Gaps in terms of access to healthcare. Gaps as it relates to digital support for education. We see the pain of racial violence and discrimination. All of this pain around us is good cause and good justification to sing the blues.

And yet, it is in this season of Advent that we remember Christ is coming, and Christ has the power to change your tune. Christ is coming, and Christ has the power to turn ordinary servants into composers ready to create songs of hope and justice. Ready to create songs that speak of a promise and a future. Ready to create songs that point to God's mercy, no matter who is in power and no matter who is in control.”

May we sing songs of hope, peace, joy, and love this Christmas, in the new year, and beyond.
With much love and deep peace,
Merry Christmas from the Presbytery Staff!
The Presbytery staff wishes you and your loved ones a safe, meaningful, and merry Christmas! May you be filled with peace by the Holy Spirit, guided by the light of Christ, and loved by our Almighty God.
Upcoming Stated Meeting - February 2021
by Donna E. Wells, Stated Clerk
Our first Stated Meeting of the new year will be February 20, 2021. Council has made the decision that this meeting will be virtual. Please mark your calendars now for a 9:00 AM start time. In your annual statistical packets, you will find out the number of commissioners your church will receive for the 2021 year. 
The rest of the dates for 2021 are as follows:
           Tuesday, May 11 at 9:00
           Saturday, August 14 at 9:00
           Tuesday, November 9 at 9:00

Click here to visit the Stated Meeting Information page.
Pastors, Clerks of Session, Church Administrators!
by Donna E. Wells, Stated Clerk
Annual Statistical packets will be mailed on January 2, 2021. Please be on the lookout. The packet contains all the information you need to get on line to submit your report as well as various pieces of information for clerks, financial folks and administrators. If you do not receive this by January 12, please contact Donna Wells at in order to get a replacement.

Click here to visit the Stated Clerk's Corner page.
General Assembly Changes

Friends, the Nominating Committee began to advertise for GA Commissioner applications in August, encouraging folks at the November meeting to send in their applications. We have just become aware that many changes are afoot! The Office of the General Assembly has made the decision that the next Assembly, in the summer of 2022, will be a combination virtual and in-person meeting. Originally scheduled for Columbus, OH, a change of location has been announced for Louisville. The dates are also now in flux. SO…. If you are interested in applying as a commissioner to the next GA, please stay tuned to any upcoming announced changes regarding date and location. Click here to read the article concerning changes.

News of the 225th General Assembly 2022
by Mary Evans, Nominating Committee
Would you like to serve as a Commissioner from the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta?

The next meeting of the General Assembly is scheduled for summer (June/July) online and in Louisville, KY. We anticipate 10 Commissioners, 5 Teaching and 5 Ruling Elders will be elected. On March 4 the Presbytery Nominating Committee will meet to begin the selection process. Those selected will be voted upon by the Presbytery in November 2021.
GA Commissioner Nominees and Alternates are expected to: 
  • Attend the preparation meeting scheduled for Wednesday, May 4, 2022. 
  • Read and study the provided resources in advance of the Assembly.
  • Attend the entire meeting of the General Assembly in Louisville, KY and online.
  • Report on the General Assembly throughout the presbytery when asked.
  • Serve on the Presbytery Bills and Overtures Committee from July 2022-June 2024.
All Ruling and Teaching Elders who are interested and anticipate being available to serve as a GA Commissioner, including those who “attended” the 224th General Assembly, are asked to complete and submit the following 2 forms before February 21, 2021.
  • Submit a Volunteer Interest Form (VIF): link
  • AND a General Assembly Interest Form: link
GRIT Cohorts
by Jane Hubbard, Pastor-to-Pastor Team Coordinator
GRIT Cohorts are self-selected and self-directed. Each cohort has 4-6 peers sharing around cornerstones of Grief, Resilience, Innovation and Truth.

  • Convene your own group
  • Join one being created in the Fall
Open Cohorts meeting once or twice a month
  • Female Associate Pastors
  • Pastors with young children
  • Senior Pastors
  • Pastors, Chaplains with diverse families (young children)
  • Preaching Group
  • Pastors under 45 working with families, children and youth
  • Pastors from other cultures
  • Validated Ministers (chaplain, educators, spiritual directors, et al)
  • Validated Ministers (Executive Directors/Leaders of Nonprofits)
  • Validated Ministers and Pastors - LGBTQIA  
Contact Jane to convene your own cohort or join an open cohort.
Taking the Enneagram to Church:
An Introduction to Type for Pastors and Church Leaders in the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta

The Enneagram is a tool for spiritual growth and self-discovery. Join Revs. Beth Waltemath and Jamie Butcher, certified teachers with Enneagram Georgia, to explore this ancient path to understanding self and others. 
This 2-part workshop is designed for pastors and church leaders in the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta. You do not need to know your type for this free, introductory workshop.

You are invited to Taking the Enneagram to Church, Sessions 1 and 2. 

Session 1 – Tuesday, February 2, 2021, 2:00 – 4:00 PM - via Zoom
Session 2 – Wednesday, February 3, 2021, 2:00 – 4:00 PM - via Zoom

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Mediation Skills Training Institute
by Lombard Mennonite Peace Center
Does your congregation experience conflict? Does it harm your Christian fellowship and distract from your church’s mission? Learn to transform conflict from a negative force into an opportunity for reconciliation and growth. Register now for one of these six sessions of our popular and practical Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders: March 1-5, May 3-7, June 21-25, August 2-6, October 11-15, or November 15-19, 2021. The “early bird” rate is $695. Currently we plan to conduct this event online via Zoom. NOTE: After December 2020, online registration will no longer be available via Brown Paper Tickets. To register or to learn more, contact the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center at 630-627-0507 or
Executive Presbyter Rev. Aisha Brooks-Lytle will be the featured preacher for on December 13th. The direct link is not yet available, but you can click here to visit on the 13th.

Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary is now offering a Drum Major for Justice certificate program to equip pastors, lay people, activists, and others to find their voice, collaborate with others, and engage the Church’s theology and practice in arenas beyond its four walls in pursuit of justice and societal transformation. Click here to learn more.

Missed the Conversations Across the Aisle town hall meeting but want to hear what was said? Click here to watch the meeting.
Friends, we have had recent inquiries from people asking if the staff is emailing them asking for gift cards and money for emergencies. The Presbytery Staff will NEVER email you asking you for gift cards and, if seeking donations, would direct you to our 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
February 2-3 - Taking the Enneagram to Church - Zoom
February 21 - Stated Meeting - Zoom
March 17 - Into. Boundaries Training - Zoom
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 December 18. Articles will be accepted through December 14. The following newsletter will go out January 30, 2021. 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:
Scott, Lorenzo. Baptism of Jesus, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved November 18, 2020]. Original source: