December 23, 2022

Christmas Blessings from Aisha Brooks-Johnson and Family

by Aisha Brooks-Johnson

Aisha and Alonzo -------- Maya---------Baby Kalani--------Jasmine -----Ellington----Momma Debbie

From our big, blended family to yours, we pray that you have a blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year. We ask for prayers as Alonzo and I will become grandparents in January of 2023. Our oldest, Maya, will be having a baby girl (Kalani). We ask for continued prayers for Jasmine who will be graduating from Central High School in 2023 (Louisville, KY) and for Ellington who will completing his junior year at Decatur High School. My mother, Momma Debbie, has been voted in as elder at New Life Presbyterian Church. I also covet your prayers as I begin a D.Min. in spiritual direction from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in January 2023.


It is hard to believe that I am approaching my five-year anniversary with the presbytery. I am thankful for the ministry we share together. I am amazed at the ways in which God has sustained us and “is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine.” (Eph. 3:20) And I thank God in advance for another opportunity to be surprised by hope, surrounded by peace, and secured in love. 


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


ABJ

#YouAreVital 

#YouAreLoved

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


The staff and leadership of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta wish 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.

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Presbytery Holiday Office Hours and Dates

Please note that the presbytery office will be closed Dec. 22 - Jan. 2 in celebration of Christmas and New Year’s.

 

The next newsletter will go out Feb. 1 (Deadline: Jan. 16). There will not be a newsletter published on Jan. 1, as we hope that you will be enjoying the holiday.


Blessings to you this holiday season,

The Presbytery Staff

Conversations with the Clerk

by C. Anderson James, Stated Clerk

Don’t miss our next Conversations with the Clerk event on Saturday, January 7, 2023 at 9am, for an opportunity to review and discuss proposed amendments to the Book of Order prior to the presbytery’s consideration of them at the February stated meeting. Join us for a chance to get to know one another and continue in the church’s discernment of these changes to our national governing documents. Register now!


In Case You Missed It:

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.

 

  • January 11
  • February 8
  • March 8
  • April 12

Annual Reports for Ministers in Validated Ministry and Members at Large

by C. Anderson James, Stated Clerk

As part of the Presbytery’s support of our minister members in in validated ministry and members at large, all ministers in these roles are asked to complete their required annual report form:



The deadline for submission of these reports is Tuesday, January 10, 2023. For any questions, contact Stated Clerk Andy James at cajames@atlpcusa.org.

It's Statistics Season!

by C. Anderson James, Stated Clerk

Attention all clerks of session—the time has come again to prepare and submit church statistics!! Every congregation will receive a packet of materials in early January addressed to the clerk of session containing information about submitting a number of important reports such as the Session Annual Statistical Report, reports to the presbytery’s Operations Committee, and terms of call for all installed pastors and associate pastors. If you would like to get a head start on preparing these reports, blank report forms with instructions are now available in English, Spanish, and Korean. Please be on the lookout for this packet in early January and contact Stated Clerk Andy James at cajames@atlpcusa.org if you have not received it by January 12.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Worship Service

Sunday, January 15, 2023, 4pm at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Atlanta.


This ecumenical event will feature the Rev. Senator Kim Jackson as preacher and the Trey Clegg Singers as the choir. Bishop Sue Haupert Johnson of the United Methodist Church will be with us, along with PCUSA heads, and others.

by C. Anderson James, Stated Clerk

Mark your calendars and plan to attend the next stated meeting of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta on Saturday, February 12, 2023, at the Covington First Presbyterian Church, 1169 Clark St SW, Covington. The meeting will begin at 9:00am, and lunch will be a part of our time together. The theme for this meeting continues our journey through the seven marks of Vital Congregations as we explore Spirit Inspired Worship with worship elements that engage the senses and celebrate the diversity of the Presbyterian experience across our presbytery. Our business for the day will include consideration of a number of amendments to the Book of Order approved by the General Assembly last summer and the installation of our 2023 moderator, Ruling Elder Iris Wallace. The full commissioner handbook of meeting materials will be published on the presbytery website by January 27. For more information, contact Stated Clerk Andy James.

"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. 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.


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

Calling all pastors, mission committees, and elders who are in partnership with immigrant communities! 


Join leaders from YOUR New Church Development Commission, 1001 New Worshiping Communities (NWCs), mid council and denominational staff as we explore the key ingredients of successful partnerships with immigrant communities April 25th -27th in Atlanta, GA. This powerful event celebrates the launch of a new resource written by three seasoned leaders of immigrant new worshiping communities from YOUR Presbytery and will be packed with wisdom, best practices, testimony, music, fellowship, and food! 


You can learn more about the event and register at NCDC’s website: 

www.ncdcatlanta.org/registration

Radcliffe: Moving Forward by Faith

by Rev. Andrew Stephens, Pastor; Charles Easley, Jr., and Tammy Easley, members; and Cassandra Morrow, Congregational Consultant

In 2022 Radcliffe Presbytery Church celebrated 125 years of ministry with the theme “We’ve Come this Far by Faith." This summer, the kick-off event was a picnic for church members and the community featuring a celebratory drumline of the marching band of Frederick Douglass High School, founded in 1968, and musical performances by their Minister of Music, Jackie Hollis. 


Radcliffe continued the celebration with an anniversary banquet on December 3, held at the Ivy Community Center in Southwest Atlanta. The dinner event was hosted by the Rev. Dr. Jerry L. Cannon, who shared memories of his time at Radcliffe as a student minister and brought well wishes and memories from other student ministers. There were reflections on the rich history of Radcliffe and the lives of the saints who have gone on to glory after walking by faith to realize the call of God through this ministry.


Worship on Sunday, December 4th, 2022, culminated a weekend of celebration. With Executive Presbyter Aisha Brooks Johnson and Stated Clerk Andy James rejoicing in song, Radcliffe was commended for being a loving, caring intergenerational community with an emphasis on disciple-making, spiritual growth and education. The Honorable Mayor Andre Dickens attended the service and presented the church with a proclamation from the city about its rich history, faithful leadership, and service.


The Presbytery of Greater Atlanta is grateful to Radcliffe for their love and support, the countless hours spent in preaching and teaching, and the mission and outreach that makes a congregation know that they are not their own but an expression of the kindness and loving goodness of God.

Retired Christmas Luncheon was Wonderful!

by Jane Hubbard, Pastor2Pastor Team Coordinator

Sixty retired ministers and their family and friends, along with members of the Presbytery staff, were hosted by the Pastor2Pastor team at Presbyterian Village in Austell for their first post pandemic gathering! Presbyterian Village provided a beautiful setting with great food and hospitality. Honorably retired minister Louly Hay captured it best:


"I am still enjoying last week’s lovely gathering of retired pastors at PV Austell. People enjoyed every minute and detail. The occasion was certainly a win-win for every entity—each retired pastor, presbyterian homes of Georgia, Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, to say nothing of God’s Holy Spirit! Thank you, thank you!"

175th Anniversary Worship and Celebration


Sunday, January 8, 2023 

10:00 a.m. Worship Service in the Sanctuary

11:30 a.m. Brunch in Fifield Hall

 

Join us for this milestone worship service and celebration brunch as we honor our 50+ year members, welcome and hear from special guests, and learn about some very exciting news regarding our On the Way Capital Project. More information here.

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


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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Nancy and Shelvis Smith-Mathers have written a fall newsletter. Click here to read it and catch up on their journey.

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

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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:


1/8 - New Life, New Presbyterian Church of Georgia,

*Iglesia Presbiteriana Horeb

1/15 - Newnan, Norcross

1/22 - North Avenue


*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

Jan. 7, 2023 - Conversations with the Clerk - Zoom

Jan. 8 - First Pres. Atlanta's 175th Anniversary Celebration @ FPC ATL

Jan. 15 - MLK Jr. Commemorative Worship Service @ Lutheran Ch. Redeemer

Jan. 17 - Council Meeting (date changed from Jan. 23)

Jan. 17 - Caring in Crisis Series - Zoom


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


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


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

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 February 1. Articles will be accepted through January 16. The following newsletter will go out March 1. 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:

Swanson, John August. Peaceable Kingdom, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=56556 [retrieved December 1, 2022]. Original source: Estate of John August Swanson, https://www.johnaugustswanson.com/.

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

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