A NOTE FROM NATHAN
I’m back! I missed you! As you know, I took a month of leave for rest and renewal. I spent time on vacation at the beach, on the mountain (Sewanee) for spiritual retreat, and in Indiana to celebrate my mom’s life during her memorial service. My travels took me near and far, but every step of the way, I felt your support, prayers and presence, SSCC. Thank you for this gift of time with my family. I did not realize how much I needed it. I am grateful to all of you, the staff in particular, whom faithfully led our ministry in my absence.

I am certainly hitting the ground running as I return. I want to make you aware of some things that are upcoming for both your information and participation. This Sunday, I’m beginning a new three-part sermon series we are calling “Weeds to Seeds.” It will follow Matthew chapter 13 and some of the familiar parables Jesus tells his disciples. I hope this series helps us to continue to reflect on all that is happening in the world. Following worship, I hope you will join me for our monthly virtual coffee hour at 11:00 AM. Information about the coffee hour, along with the zoom link, are included in this newsletter.

Then, on both Sunday evening at 5:00 PM in the Whitmire Pavilion and at 7:00 PM via zoom, I will be joining the “Reaching Up and Out” series that Leslie Lady and Kate Lee have been leading on racial injustice. I understand the conversations Leslie has been leading have been thoughtful and engaging. Kate Lee will lead the last three sessions, which will address making sense of the current events in our world, reflecting on the realities of systemic racism and contemplating how we, as a church, can be in ministry to effect positive change. Even if you have not been participating thus far, this is a great time to start!

Additionally, I have begun work with Leadership on assembling a “Welcome Back Team,” which will begin thinking about what it might look like for us to have in-person gatherings again at SSCC, including worship. The team will have representation from the medical community and the most at-risk groups in our church, among others. Obviously, the church, in its entirety, will be consulted about your willingness/desire to return to in-person worship as well. More to come on this group as it is formed and begins its work. It will be a very intentional, likely slow process, so we appreciate your patience.

Finally, equipment has been ordered and will be installed later in July for us to be able to livestream worship from the sanctuary. Regardless of when and how we return to in-person gatherings, when we do, we want to ensure that everyone will be able to tune in, whether it be on the church grounds or from the comfort of your home. We will update you as progress is made.

While I was away, I became even more grateful for my role as your pastor. I pray each of you are well and I look forward to reconnecting with you in the weeks to come. Blessings to each of you!

Peace,
Nathan
WELCOME BACK TEAM
As Nathan mentions above, a Welcome Back Team is being formed to think about what in-person gatherings might look like at SSCC and when they might begin. There is no timeline, at this point, for our return to in-person worship. However, this team will be working with Leadership to ensure a safe, phased-in plan, when the time comes. As always, i f you need something, you can contact a staff member directly by email or call the church office, as voicemails are being checked regularly. Thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding during this unprecedented time. Continue to l ook to the newsletter for ways to stay connected to SSCC.
SERMON SERIES
In the 13th chapter of Matthew, Jesus tells his disciples a series of parables about weeds, seeds, growth and change. They hold wisdom both for his time and ours, as we continue to experience rapid change in the world around us. Sometimes weeds are necessary for seeds to grow. Sometimes growth is only possible if we rethink the very fundamentals
of what we know to be true about planting seeds. Sometimes what we thought were weeds, turn out to be seeds.

More than Planting Seeds
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
Rev. Dr. Nathan C. Brown

Leave the Weeds
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
Rev. Dr. Nathan C. Brown

A Kingdom of Weeds, Seeds and Possibilities
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
Rev. Dr. Nathan C. Brown
PRAYER REQUESTS
Prayers and condolences to Betsy Robinson-Hicks and her family on the peaceful passing of her dad, William David Hammond on July 7th, with his family by his side.

Janet Lochery's friend in Boston, Mary Boyle Dickson, who had a very successful surgery and is now recuperating at home. She thanks you all for your prayers.

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.

JOIN SSCC! 
You can join SSCC by a simple affirmation of faith anytime! If you want to join during this virtual time, just let us you would like to join!
HIGHLIGHTS
REACHING UP AND OUT  
Please join us for a forum discussing the current racial and civil unrest and our role as a church and as humans in this movement. Sundays at 5:00 pm in the Whitmire Pavilion beginning July 12th and Mondays at 7:00 pm via zoom beginning July 13th. Hosted by Kate Lee, we hope to have an open, honest, judgment free conversation about race relations and what our responsibilities might be as church members. In the interest of social distancing please email Kate at Lee.katem@ gmail.com if yo u intend to join and let her know if you’ll be attending in person or via zoom so we can implement safety precautions to the best of our ability. As always, all are welcome!
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VIRTUAL COFFEE HOUR THIS SUNDAY, JULY 12
We know you are missing the social aspect of interacting over a warm, wonderful cup of "church coffee" after service. So we will be holding Virtual Coffee Hour after service this Sunday July 12th from 11:00 am - 12:00 pm (stay as long as you wish). Lets celebrate Pastor Nathan's return together.

We are creating Zoom chat rooms where you can visit with other members, guests and visitors and see their faces and hear their voices. To join, simp ly  CLICK HEREIf you have not previously downloaded zoom on your computer, you may be prompted to do so. Once you join the meeting, Nathan will randomly assign folks to small groups to catch up with one another.

If you don't have a web cam or a smart phone, you can simply call in to 646-558-8656 or 312-626-6799 and enter meeting code  844 7140 6450 and join with your voice .
ACCOUNTING UPDATE
We wanted to update everyone about some staff changes in our accounting department. July 8th was Lily Wang's last day at SSCC. She was a valuable addition to the SSCC family and we are sad to see her go.

We also want to welcome Gini Seely to the SSCC team. She started transitioning into her role, with Lily's help, this week. We will update you in next week's newsletter with more information about Gini.
UPDATE! FROM OUTREACH
Great news!!! The CAC Thrift Store opened last Saturday . Volunteers are needed to assist customers and keep the shop running smoothly.   Your assistance is also requested on several days at the facility with food donation processing and distribution.  Volunteers must be between age 15 to age 65.

Please  CLICK HERE  to access the Sign Up Genius link to access the available time slots. The site is updated regularly so please frequently check back to see if slots are open.

Thank you for your servant hearts.
Cindi McCollough
CAMP CHRISTIAN FUNDRAISER
LAST CHANCE!
Be a part of the new Camp Christian Fundraiser. It’s as easy as tying your shoes!

Although campers will not be at Camp Christian this summer, we can still have some fun outdoors., Lace up your shoes, put on an old Camp t-shirt (if you have one), and walk or run a 5k in your hometown sometime between July 17 and 19, 2020. Grab your running buddies, your camp buddies, and your church buddies and get out there! After you run, you can record your time and post it to the events page. Take some pictures and sing some songs, and let’s raise some money for Camp Christian! 

CLICK HERE to register before midnight on July 15 at to guarantee a t-shirt. Cost is $35. T-shirts will be mailed after the race weekend.

For over 50 years, Camp Christian has brought thousands of kids to Christ. It’s an oasis in Middle Georgia where children can get away from their busy lives at home, relax, and grow closer to Christ. And even though campers will not be “In the Heart of Georgia” this summer, Camp still needs money to pay utilities and staff. 
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Each Tuesday we send out a "Bright Spots" email. We want to encourage folks to participate by sharing pictures, videos, or submitting positive and uplifting messages 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 .
DOING MINISTRY DIFFERENTLY
WOULD YOU LIKE TO PARTICIPATE IN WORSHIP?
We are looking for those of you who would like to participate in Sunday's online worship services. If you would like to do the call to worship, read scripture, call to giving, or even participate in the children's moment, we would love to hear from you.

We prefer that you would participate by recording yourself and submitting a video (1 to 2 minutes at most) or a voice recording, and we can try to help you with that. We can send you guidelines and helpful hints on how to submit your part. Please email Amy@sandyspringscc.org if you would like to participate.
FOOD ASSISTANCE IN-REACH PROGRAM
SSCC Outreach realizes that the Covid-19 crisis is directly impacting many families in our church community. If you or someone you know in our church community are facing food insecurity because of a decrease or loss in income, we want to offer some support. This program is offered for members and regular visitors of SSCC. Please privately contact Jenna Hicks so that we can provide assistance to keep your pantry full. 

For assistance please reach out to Jenna by email  jennakhicks@gmail.com  or call 404-441-1668. 
GROCERY/ERRAND MINISTRY
In the wake of Covid-19, 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.
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SUBMITTING PRAYER AND CONGREGATIONAL CARE REQUESTS
Due to the fact that we are holding "virtual" church service, and are not able to submit prayer requests, submit your requests to Merilyn@sandyspringscc.org or call her at 770-448-8784 and leave a message. Please indicate if your prayer request is confidential (for clergy and Elders only) or for congregational sharing in our newsletter).
CONNECT WITH OTHERS
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 em ail (amy@sandyspringscc.org) t o schedule your group on the calendar. We can help you learn how to send an invite to your group.
WAYS YOU CAN HELP
CAC NEEDS YOUR HELP
Sandy Springs Christian Church is helping an effort to assist local area families who are most vulnerable during this time. In partnership with Community Assistance Center (CAC) we can help families and individuals who face financial hardships due to lost income. The CAC is currently doing financial assistance interviews via phone & online.

CAC is in need of online cash donations to purchase food gift cards and most needed items not currently stocked in their pantry as well as funds to help with rent. Online donations reduce the number of human interactions as we all do our part to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. To donate to Sandy Springs Christian Church Relief Fund for CAC  CLICK HERE . For updates on volunteer opportunities and services visit CAC at  www.ourcac.org .

Food Pantry Needs:
Canned Meat, Tuna, Chicken, Beef Stew, Chili, Rice, Dried Beans, Canned Fruit, Cereal, Mixed Vegetables, Baking Mixes, Milk and Juice Boxes for kids and Plastic Bags.

You may bring donations to the CAC Food Pantry at 8607 Roswell Rd. Sandy Springs, GA 30350. Food Donation Times:
  • Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 9:30 am – 1:30 pm
  • No Saturday hours.
MUST MINISTRIES DONATIONS
Sandy Springs Christian Church has a long standing relationship with MUST Ministries.

Food donations (see list below) are very much needed and can be delivered in the following manners…

1. Drop off at MUST Donation Center at 1280 Field Parkway in Marietta, 30066, is now open 7 days a week with drive up barrels for food 8 AM – 4 PM. Phone # is 770-790-3902 or
2. Drop off at MUST Ministries Cherokee at 111 Brown Industrial Parkway, Marietta, Monday thru Friday, 9 AM – 3 PM
3. They are only accepting the following at this time: Food, Cleaning Supplies, Toiletries, Feminine Hygiene Products, Toilet Paper, and Paper Towels.

Monetary donations are very much needed and can be delivered in two manners…
1. Online via their website, or for those who are reluctant to give online
2. Send a check in the mail to MUST Ministries, P.O. Box 1717, Marietta, GA 30061.

Please CLICK HERE o r on the picture to the upper right to access a flyer that outlines the most needed items.
Alexandra Reese 07/02
Larry Reese  07/06
Tami Brown   07/08
Eleanor Wood  07/09
Becky Strickland 07/09
Philip Rowell 07/11
Alice Villa  07/11
Corey Lee   07/11
Kiera Bass   07/13
Linda Whitmire 07/13
Dottie Gill  07/15
Betty Saygbor 07/16
Lynn McCahren 07/17
Bryant McDaniel 07/18
Breijanna Dyke 07/20
Floyd Hale   07/21
Karla Worley  07/21
Bailey Mooney 07/22
Patty French  07/23
Cooper Gibson 07/25
Heather Rees  07/27
Alan Burgess  07/30
Donna Lassiter 07/31
Tyler Brown  07/31