I can still remember the first virtual worship service we had at the beginning of this Pandemic. Leadership made the decision on a Wednesday to temporarily suspend in-person worship. Four days later, I found myself in my living room with a laptop, a slice of sandwich bread and a cup of cranberry juice, livestreaming, for the first time.

I can recall my heart racing as I pushed the button to “go live.” The green dot illuminated on my computer and, all of the sudden, I (and my living room) was on full display for the world to see. I thought to myself, “What if no one tunes in?” “What if the internet goes down” “What if I clam up and find myself speechless?” Then the screen began populating with viewers. I settled into the moment. Virtual worship was born at SSCC. It was one of the scariest experiences of my ministry.

We’ve come a long way since then. Slowly, we began incorporating music. Then, we added more liturgy. Next we moved to an entirely new worship platform, which allowed us to include your faces and voices. This was followed by including voices and faces of SSCC family and friends, whom we would not otherwise see in person on Sundays. Today, we have a quality, recorded worship experience that broadcasts on our YouTube page weekly. It’s been a journey, to say the least.

The next step of that journey takes place this weekend. I’m excited to share with you that beginning this Sunday, August 16th, we will be livestreaming worship from our sanctuary, to your homes. It’s been almost six months since we last had live worship in our sanctuary. This Sunday, that ends.

No, it won’t be the same. There will be no congregation. Those leading the service will be socially-distanced, wearing masks when they are not speaking and observing other CDC precautions recommended for worship.

Nevertheless, it is exciting to be able to bring worship, from our sacred space, back to your homes, at 10:15 AM on Sunday mornings. In fact, it is even more exciting that we are beginning with a back-to-school Sunday of sorts, as we will be blessing backpacks and devices during the service.

A great deal of time, energy and resources have been invested in this next step of virtual worship at SSCC. It’s a long-term investment. Even when we start meeting in-person for worship again in the future, we will continue to livestream from our sanctuary, so that everyone can tune in on Sunday mornings, regardless of one’s circumstances.

I can’t promise this Sunday, or any Sunday for that matter, will be perfect. We are learning new technology, once again. Please be patient with us as we work through this next phase of our evolution in virtual worship. However, I think you will continue to be pleased with the quality of worship we are able to offer, despite the many challenges we continue to face. I suspect my heart will be racing, once again, when the green light illuminates. Although, this time, perhaps not as quickly. After all, I’m starting to get used to things constantly changing.

I’m asked often, “When is your church going to reopen again.” I gently answer with, “The Church never closed. We just continue to find new ways to be in ministry.” Thank you, SSCC, for being part of that ongoing ministry--specifically, for being one of those viewers that populates on the screen. We may not see your faces, but it’s a reminder that we are together, for every step of this journey.


P.S. A brief survey about in-person activities at SSCC went out yesterday. Please take a moment to fill it out at your convenience!
This Sunday, August 16th, we will start livestreaming worship from the sanctuary! Worship will be live on both Facebook and YouTube at our normal worship hour of 10:15 am. A recorded version will also be posted to our Facebook and YouTube pages following service. Look for the Friday e-blast for more information.

If you are interested/willing to participate in parts of the service (whether at the church following CDC guidelines or via recording) please email Amy Frost at amy@sandyspringscc.org.
Welcome Back Team Survey
A survey went out to SSCC congregants yesterday asking for feedback about resuming in-person activities in our building. Please take five minutes to fill out the survey at your earliest convenience. Your feedback is essential to our planning. Thank you in advance!
How Long, O Lord….
A Sermon Series on Enduring Adversity

Perhaps there are no words that resonate more today than those from the Psalmist, “How Long, O Lord, how long?” We all, for different reasons, can’t help but feel those words in our every day lives. How long before this pandemic is over? How long before the kids can go back to school? How long will we have to endure racial inequality? How long before we can go back to church in person? How long, O Lord, how long? Join us for a sermon series in August, as we gain wisdom from the successes and failures of our spiritual ancestors in Genesis, on how to endure adversity.

August 16, 2020
The Struggle is Real
Genesis 32:22-31
Rev. Dr. Nathan C. Brown

August 23, 2020
Genesis 28:10-19a
Rev. Dr. Nathan C. Brown

August 30, 2020
Let it Go
Genesis 45:1-15
Rev. Dr. Nathan C. Brown
Please pray for Lolly Ross who recently broke her toe and is now wearing a boot. 

Please pray for our members and their families who serve as first responders and those serving in the military: Derrick Brown (Army) and Michelle Brown (Navy), children 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). If we are missing someone, please let us know so that we can include their name in our weekly prayers.

You can join SSCC by a simple affirmation of faith anytime! If you want to join during this virtual time, just let us know you would like to join!
This Sunday, August 16th, we will have our Back to School Sunday. While we don't know what going back to school this year really looks like for most, we want SSCC's students and education staff to know we are thinking about them. Encourage your kids to gather their backpacks, phones, tablets and/or laptops while you are viewing service so we can bless them for this upcoming school year.
Following this Sunday's service on August 16th, we will once again gather for a virtual coffee hour. You can CLICK HERE to get the link to the call. Or you can dial into the meeting from your phone by calling 3126266799 or 6465588656 and use Meeting ID: 890 6254 1315 to join. We hope you enjoy catching up with other members and friends.
We would like to congratulate Lauren and Teddy Ivey as they welcomed Emily Rose Ivey to their family on August 4th at 11:24 p.m. She was 7 pounds 13 ounces and 20 inches long.

She arrived a little early, but mom, dad, and baby and are all doing well.
We want to wish sincere congratulations to long time SSCC members Sid and Kathy Elliott who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on August 1st.

They had a small celebration with close family and friends. We wish them many, many more years together!
The CAC will supply over 1000 backpacks to middle and high school students in need, thanks in part to members of our Outreach Team. While many students will be attending school online, school supplies are still necessary for student success. Volunteers assembled the backpacks complete with pencils, pens, paper, noteooks, erasers, headphones, masks & hand sanitizer. 

Distribution of the backpacks began on Tuesday, August 11 and will go through today outside at the Northwood Drive, the Dunwoody and Hightower Trail offices. 
CAC: For information regarding volunteering at the CAC, please CLICK HERE to access the Sign Up Genius link for available time slots. They are also looking for pantry, cash and boutique donations. If you would like to read the CAC's most recent newsletter, CLICK HERE.

The Food Pantry will be going to an outdoor market format and the Thrift Shop will re-open on 8/17. Volunteers are needed; if you are interested, please contact Debbie Olson at the CAC or contact Cindi McCollough via email at csbfish@bellsouth.net.

Safety of course continues to be a number one priority. Greeters will take each customer’s temperature and ensure each customer sanitizes their hands and is wearing a mask before shopping. Plexiglass is up at the register and dressing rooms. Restrooms are unavailable right now. If you would like to help but aren’t comfortable being in the store with customers, know there are items in the back to sort and price every day of the week. Plenty of spots if you’d like one.

FOOD INSECURITY: If you or someone you know in our church community are facing food insecurity because of a decrease or loss in income, please privately contact Jenna Hicks so that we can provide assistance to keep your pantry full. Email jennakhicks@gmail.com or call 404-441-1668. 

GROCERY/ERRAND MINISTRY: Tim and Breijanna Dyke have offered to pick up groceries or run small errands for those among us who can't get out. If you need some assistance, but do not feel comfortable leaving your home, or would like to help Tim and Breijanna with this ministry, you may contact them at breijney@gmail.com, 360-632-9455 or tim.dyke@icloud.com, 513-615-4609.

MUST MINISTIRES: If you would like to donate and drop off items 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.
Due to the fact that we are holding "virtual" church service, and are not able to submit prayer requests, feel free to reach out to Merilyn Dimmit, Congregational Care, via Merilyn@sandyspringscc.org or call her at 770-448-8784 and leave a message. Please indicate if your prayer request is confidential (for Clergy/Elders only or for congregational sharing in our newsletter).
SSCC has subscribed to zoom for anyone who might need it to virtually meet using a video conference method. Only one group can use our account at a time. If you would like your group to use zoom to virtually meet, please contact Amy Frost via email (amy@sandyspringscc.org) to schedule your group on the calendar. We can help you learn how to send an invite to your group.
Some Tuesdays we send out a "Bright Spots" email. We want to encourage folks to participate by sharing pictures, videos, or submitting positive and uplifting messages or stories with the SSCC community. Be creative!

Let us know what you and your families are doing these days, how you're coping with being cooped up, and what you're doing different that you haven't done before.

You can email your submissions or any questions you may have to amy@sandyspringscc.org.
Janis Hill 08/01
Teddy Ivey 08/02
Henry Leek 08/04
Janet Lochery 08/05
Monalea Dalrymple 08/06
Les Baright 08/06
Tim Helton 08/06
Ruth Brown 08/09
Amy Frost 08/15
Jim Ruehman 08/16
Zachary Chimera 08/16
Benay Gunby 08/16
Aubrey Norman 08/16
Walt Michels 08/19
Jim Bickelhaupt 08/19
Andy Torbert 08/19
Suzanne Ruehman 08/23
Kimberly French 08/23
Brooks Stanley Torbert 08/24
Lisa Berger-Gilmore 08/25
Barbara Duren 08/25
Maggie Driemeyer 08/26
Sheri Mason 08/27
Courtney Strickland 08/28
Jay Donnelly 08/30
Abby Hicks 08/31