In February, for my children’s mid-winter break from school, we went to North Carolina to ski for a few days. It was the first time Marion, Harrison and Clara had ever been skiing. While I grew up skiing, it had been the first time I had been in more than 20 years. My family was excited. I was nervous.
Of course, I thought it should be the other way around. After all, we typically fear the unknown. I had been skiing before. They had not. So, why was I the only one scared?
I remember spending the majority of the first day on the “bunny hill.” While my family went to ski school, I re-trained my mind, and muscles, on how to navigate going down the hill. Turns out, it was like riding a bike. I picked it back up relatively quickly and found myself feeling confident by the end of the day.
Naturally, after spending the first day on the beginner hills, the second day I decided a black diamond was a fantastic idea. I thought to myself, “I’ve done black diamonds on the Rockies in Colorado. How difficult can these be?” Turns out the answer is, “VERY difficult.”
The slopes were steeper and narrower than I had remembered. One false move and I was falling off the side of the mountain. I treaded very slowly and carefully down the mountain that day. When I reached the bottom, my 41-year-old body was feeling the effects very differently than my 21-year-old body. I decided I wouldn’t go back. I was much happier on the gentler slopes with my family.
I got to thinking about that experience this week as we, more and more, start emerging from this pandemic. I’ve had glimpses recently of the black diamonds in my past and I have been reminded that, while those seemed important at the time, I don’t want to go back, at least on a regular basis. I’m ready to make new memories, to find a better sense of balance in life and help recreate a world that brings more joy to us all.
Of course, this can be scary at first. As many times as we have emerged from hardship, it’s never easy to take those initial steps. In fact, as a result, it’s easy to fall back into old traps like workaholism, filling our schedules to the brim because of FOMO and attempting to do all and be all to everyone.

The problem is it's not sustainable. It wasn’t before. It’s not today. If this time has taught us anything, it’s that we need a new path forward – one that carries the lessons learned from this last year forward, while leaving behind the problems that literally, and figuratively, plagued us.
Change won't be easy. It will take a great deal of intentionality on our part. It begins with an inward journey – carefully discerning within ourselves what brings us health, happiness and wholeness. Then it calls for living lives that find balance in those things. By doing so, we can more faithfully and abundantly share God’s love with the world.

My kids want to go skiing again next year. They loved it. At some point, they will probably want to trudge up the mountain and take on a black diamond too. When it’s time, I will certainly go with them, but not without teaching them the lessons I learned along the way. It can be a thrill. But it also can take a toll. I hope, in the end, we can find a balance of enjoying the mountain, in its entirety, together. 

I Am
A Sermon Series for Eastertide 
I am ____. How would you fill in the blank these days? Tired? Overwhelmed? Hope-filled? Optimistic? Jesus fills it in several different ways throughout the gospel of John. "Light." "Bread of Life." "The way, the truth, and the life." On the one hand, on any given day, we might fill in the blank differently. On the other hand, every day, we fill in the blank the same. After all, if Jesus is _____, then we are always _____. Let’s fill in the blanks together during worship as we explore an Easter sermon series we are calling, “I am.”
May 16, 2021
John 6:35-51
Rev. Dr. Nathan C. Brown
To view the service this Sunday on our YouTube page, click here.
To view the scripture for this Sunday, click here.
Obviously, one of the things we have missed most the last year has been singing our songs of faith together in worship. Finally, we are singing hymns again in person! In order to celebrate this gift of practicing our faith, Nathan is going to preach a sermon series this summer on the gift of song. He and the staff would like to incorporate many of your favorite hymns and the stories behind them in worship during that season. Please take a moment to click on the button below and share your favorite hymns. If you are willing, please also share stories or reasons for which you enjoy them. Look to the newsletter for more information about this upcoming series!
We look forward to hearing David McGahee and his daughter, Ryleigh, singing a special song this Sunday titled "Nobody".

Also Susan Wallace wanted everyone to know that the choir started back with in-person practice Wednesdays in the Whitmire Pavilion. The ladies will practice from 6:00 - 6:30 pm and both ladies and gentlemen will practice from 6:30-7:30 pm.
Our fifth episode, titled "Journey" features Rev. Dr. Nathan Brown, Senior Minister, & Casey Evans, Member, of Sandy Springs Christian Church. This conversation was inspired by the life journey that Jesus took between his well known birth & death/resurrection. This conversation is a reminder that while every story has a beginning & an end... the middle is the journey & where the most learning, growth & experience of life truly happens! Enjoy & God Bless all of you who listen to this podcast on your spiritual journey of life!
Last chance! If you have been visiting Sandy Springs Christian Church we hope that you have found your time with us meaningful and that you are beginning to feel a sense of belonging. Our Care and Connect team will host a special “Intro to Sandy Springs Christian Church” luncheon this Sunday, May 16th, in the Whitmire Pavilion following worship in the sanctuary.

This is an opportunity to learn more about the ministry of Sandy Springs Christian Church, to meet some of our leadership and to ask any questions you might have. The luncheon will be relaxed and informal. If you are considering church membership, want to become more involved or are simply interested in learning more about SSCC, this is a great opportunity.

Sack lunches will be provided at no cost to you and your family. If you are interested or have questions, please reach out to Janis Hill at janishill@comcast.net.
For the past thirteen months, many of us have stayed away from our places of worship to keep ourselves and our faith communities safe.

How have new church leaders responded? By spreading the word about Disciples through DoorDash, meeting with folks struggling with anxiety on Zoom, and addressing returning citizens’ needs.

Chaplains, pastors, and others have answered the call to be the new church.
To support them, contribute to the Pentecost Offering on May 16 and 23. Half of the gifts go to regions to support new church development. The other half goes to New Church Ministry, which trains, equips, assists, and multiplies new church leaders.
Let’s all be the new church, together.
SSCC Members should have received a reminder email invitation on Monday to sign up for our new Church Member software called Breeze. Please remember to sign up, log in and verify your profile information in the system. It's a great new way to keep up with your SSCC Family! More exciting updates to come soon!
Join John Mills and the Pathfinders for Zoom discussions every Monday evening from 7:00 - 8:30 pm. You can CLICK HERE to join the video call each week, or you can call in 929-205-6099 and enter Meeting ID: 985 6868. The passcode is 831869. For more information please contact John Mills.
Please pray for Larri Wolf's brother, Jeff Ploughe who has third degree burns on his left hand and arm, and right hand from a cooking fire. He is going to be in a lot of pain and stuck at home for a while. so please also pray for his wife, Raeann and Larri's stepmom, Betty, because he doesn't sit still well. 

Steve DeVinney, son-in-law of Carolyn Dishman, is having serious complications related to his cancer. Please keep him in your prayers.

Becky Kelly requests prayers. There was a fire in her house the evening before Mother's Day. All are safe and cared for and the fire was contained to one bedroom. At this time she has asked for prayers as they move through the process of getting the house fixed up properly.

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: Michelle Brown (Navy), daughter 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.

If you have any prayer requests or would like to reach out to Teddy Ivey, our Director of Congregational Care, please email him at Teddy@sandyspringscc.org.

You can join SSCC by a simple affirmation of faith! If you are attending virtually, just let us know you would like to join!
Please 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

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. 

MUST MINISTRIES: If you would like to donate and drop off items at Must Ministries 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.
Monica McGahee May 13
Casey Evans May 16
Jim Armstrong May 17
Steve Butz May 17
Anslie Worley May 21
Owen Janeway May 22
Ruth Michels May 23
Derek Harple May 24
Susan McCluskey May 25
Maisie Worley May 26
Delane Bickelhaupt May 27
Michelle Brown Kahn May 30
Josie Worley May 31