December 20, 2019
EP's Corner
New Year, New Season, and a New Invitation for a 2020 Vision
by Aisha Brooks-Lytle, Executive Presbyter
 
Can you believe that a new year is literally around the corner? Before we can blink, we will have finished celebrating the birth of Christ and will have joyfully ushered in the new year in worship or surrounded by friends and family. Many of us have already thought of New Year's commitments, resolutions, or our theme word for the year. Last year, the word for me was "flourish" and you joined me in an exploration of what it looks like to be a people of faith who are flourishing in our personal lives, in our congregational lives, and in the vocational places in which we find ourselves throughout this presbytery.
 
As we enter 2020, I would love for us to think of the "vision" and to be open to an invitation that has been extended to us out of our denominational headquarters. Rev. Dr. Diane Givens Moffett, our Presbyterian Mission Agency President and Executive Director, has invited churches to say "yes" to becoming a " Matthew 25" church or presbytery. The invitation is inspired by the powerful passage in Matthew 25:31-45. Jesus tells the nations that what they have done for the least of these, they have also done to Christ. Jesus also makes note that what the nations have not done for the least of these, they have not done to Christ. The passage calls on us to be the kind of sheep who have eyes to see Christ in those who are hungry, hurting, helpless, marginalized, and oppressed. Becoming a Matthew 25 presbytery would mean that 20% of our churches would say yes to caring about at least one of the following: 1) building congregational vitality, 2) dismantling structural racism, and 3) eradicating systemic poverty. I know, that sounds like a large undertaking. What would it look like for us to dig deep into the scriptures, to lift up the places where we are seeking to healthy and whole as a congregation, to work against oppressive and divisive forces in the world?
 
Some of our churches have already received this information and are considering declaring themselves to be a Matthew 25 congregation. Special thanks to North Decatur Presbyterian Church who is the first among our churches to do so. Some of our churches are just making sense of this grand invitation. As we journey through this " Matthew 25" invitation, we will do it together. During our 2020 presbytery meetings will deal with each of these themes throughout the year. We will begin our year with Diane as our guest preacher for our February meeting. We will also have "Pop-Up" Bible Studies planned throughout the presbytery during the Lenten season. We will share stories of how we have set our vision to see Christ in others.
 
In 2020, may we have eyes to see Christ in others and may we journey together to work for healing, hope, and justice in our world.
 
-ABL  
#2020  
#vision  
#matthew25
Sign Up Today for Mandatory Boundaries Training
by Donna E. Wells, Stated Clerk 
 
We will be offering a boundaries training focused on those in parish ministry on Saturday, February 22 from 9:30-12:30 at the Presbytery office.  Please sign up for this training if you have not had it in the past three years. Rev. Holly Tickle (a former pastor serving in a congregation and currently serving as a Family and Marriage Counselor) will lead the discussion in areas such as social media, self-care, protecting children, and friendships in the parish. Cost is $30. 
 
Boundaries training for those in validated ministries (such as hospitals and educational settings) will be offered on Saturday, March 7 from 9:30-12:30 at the Presbytery office. Rev. Jihyun Oh will lead the discussion. Rev. Oh has served as a chaplain in a hospital setting, has taught in an educational setting and currently serves in the Office of the General Assembly. Cost is $30. 
 
We are committed to keeping people safe, and to help clergy understand the need for good boundaries to ensure healthy ministry. Please register today.
 
Pastors' Group Begins January 9, 2020
by Aisha Brooks-Lytle, Executive Presbyter 
 
This year, we will focus on practical strategies for building healthy teams in our churches, on our committees/commissions, and among our staff and volunteers.
 
Our sessions will be drawn from the principles found in the work of Patrick Lencioni's The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. (No required reading necessary!)  During our time together, we will be led by presbytery staff and guest presenters for each topic.

Same time, new location! We will meet at the Presbytery Office at 10AM.

* Jan 9 - Building Trust (Jane Hubbard, guest facilitator)
* Feb 13 - Embracing Conflict 
* March 12 - Fostering Commitment  
* April 16 - Shared Accountability 
* May 14 - Bearing Fruit 
 
#healthyvitalcongregations
#healthyinnovativeleaders 
Crossings Community Presbyterian Church: The Domino-Effect
by Rev. Kiman Kim, Organizing Pastor of Crossings Community Presbyterian Church 
 
A domino-effect is happening all around us, but how should we know who is getting affected? First generation Korean-Americans build their lives in the U.S.A. through hardships and deep faith that eventually provide tools, education and opportunity for a better life. Why is it that the second-generation Korean-Americans so often neglect faith? Our new worshiping community feels called to bridge this divide and build a shared, integrated sense of leadership in the church and Christian identity across generations.
 
We, Crossings Community Presbyterian Church, are dreaming of a new way of being church that weaves together the experience, lives and leadership of the many generations of Korean Americans. We are brand new, only starting to organize as a church a few months ago. Already, we are working with ten families, and they all have teenage youth or youth adults who are currently living with them. Most of these young adults attain a high-level of education, which increases the chance that they can be effective Christian leaders one day after the disciple leadership training program. This will cultivate connectivity and the idea of being a role model in our children and youth, so that they can become Christian leaders in this society. The Crossings Community PC has begun connecting with Korean-American people in the Johns Creek area. While we worship weekly on Sundays, we also gather three times a week in the early morning for worship and prayer with "Tong-sung Ki-do," in order to root our identity in God's love and purpose and to reconnect with our children and the inevitable conflicts that come up in a new cultural environment.
 
Because we live in a constantly changing society, I have created outlines and a short-term, adaptable strategic plan that will initially guide ministry. Our objective is to teach and model deep relationship with God at the center of our lives, whilst linking the first generation that immigrated to the United States and the second generation who were born here. Through that, we intend to cultivate shared Christian and cultural identity, guide awareness and help with adjustments in life by providing disciples leadership training. To clarify, the "one on one disciple training program" is meant to encourage others with stories from those who have been reconciled by Jesus Christ, to evangelize and to create shared community story of what can happen when we prioritize relationship and church leadership across generations: the Crossings Community Presbyterian Church Story. Through this vision, the one united community will look and praise "the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and the people will see it together." (Isaiah 40:5)
Save the Date!

All churches are invited to send representatives to this Tech Basics workshop. If you are a solo pastor curious about utilizing more technology or if you are part of the tech/communications team at your church, you should consider attending this workshop.  We will cover such topics as website management, newsletters, video conferencing, social media, and general technology use. 

We will meet at Peachtree Presbyterian Church in The Summit (second floor of The Lodge). The cost is $15 per person, and lunch is included. For more information and registration, click here. Send questions to Mark Sauls at msauls@atlpcusa.org.
 
We are the voices God uses to speak to government leaders on behalf of our most vulnerable neighbors. And that can be scary!
 
In Exodus 4, Moses questions God's call of him to release the Israelites from slavery in Egypt: "But suppose they do not believe me or listen to me, but say, 'The Lord did not appear to you.' ... "O my Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor even now that you have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue." So God suggests that Moses' cousin Aaron help Moses to advocate for God's people.
 
If you're unsure about using your voice like Moses, know that there are many Aarons who are willing to guide and support you. You can connect with them and prayerfully discern your call to speak by attending...
 
Presbyterians for A Better Georgia presents
Advocacy Training!
January 28, 2020, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church-Atlanta
 
Experienced professionals will equip you with the tools you need to speak with elected officials about public policy-in person, on the phone, and through written communication.
 
This event is free! Open to All! Training and dinner will be provided at no cost (meal donations accepted). You do not have to be a member of Presbyterians for a Better Georgia or even a Presbyterian to participate.
 
Register and Get More Info: www.p4bg.org/events
 
God reminds Moses (and us): "Who gives speech to mortals? Who makes them mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to speak."
 
May it be so, because WE make Georgia and it's people better when we speak up together!
Registration Now Open! Join Today!
Registration is now open for the 2020 Hunger Walk/Run! 
Click here to register as an individual, start/join/reactivate a team, 
or donate to support someone you know.
 
Check out this great video from Ryan Landio, Lead Presbyter for Transformation of the Presbytery of Great Rivers in Illinois. It is a great reminder of the gifts we have as a connectional church.
 
Pastor-to-Pastors Update
  • The Rev. Young Chul Jeon is the pastor in New Presbyterian Church of Georgia. His brother, Mr. Hak Chul Jeon, after 3 years with Parkinson's, died on Dec. 12 in Korea.
PGA Highlights
  • Presbyterian Mission Agency co-workers and members of our presbytery, Shelvis and Nancy Smith-Mather, have transitioned from South Sudan to England where Shelvis will be researching the role of the church in reconciliation, using South Sudan as a case study. Click here to view their PMA page and newsletters.
The presbytery has a page dedicated to advertising employment opportunities within our congregations and partnerships. If you would like to browse opportunities or submit a new opening click here.

Dec 21 - A Cherry Log Christmas Carol @ Morningside PC 
 
Jan 9 - Pastors Group @ Presbytery Office
Jan 25 - Tech Basics for Churches @ Peachtree PC (The Summit)
Jan 28 - * P4BG Advocacy Training @ First Pres. ATL 
 
Feb 8 - Stated Meeting @ Alpharetta PC
Feb 12 - * P4BG Day at the Capitol @ State Capitol 
Feb 13 - Pastors Group @ Presbytery Office
March 12 - Pastors Group @ Presbytery Office 
March 15 - Hunger Walk @ Home Depot Backyard/ Mercedes Benz Stadium 

* denotes Presbytery Partnership
  
Click here for CTS's Center for Lifelong Learning courses and events .
Click here for the Calvin Center's programs.
The next newslett er will go out January 31. Articles will be accepted through January 21. The following newsletter will go out February 29. To request space for an article, email your Congregational Consultant or Mark Sauls at msauls@atlpcusa.org . Click here to view submission guidelines.
Top graphic attribution:
Plummer, Lauren. Advent Candle, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=57132 [retrieved December 9, 2019]. Original source: Lauren Plummer. 

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