I’ve been having a hard time finding the words lately. It takes me a few seconds longer to describe that for which I’m looking, when something is lost. It takes a moment or two more to think of the right way to phrase what I’m trying to say. It’s even taking longer to write a note for this newsletter and the sermon for Sunday.

I’m not exactly sure what it is, except that perhaps it’s just hard to describe the time in which we are living. It’s not easy to find the words because most of us have not lived through something like this. In fact, we’ve had to create new ones. Zoom fatigue. Learning Pods. Contactless delivery.

So, you can imagine I was thrilled when someone recently shared some words are helping me process this time. Sam Wells, in a recent Christian Century article, was writing about the words he turns to in times of grief and distress. Several years ago, he was asked by a group of people what he’d like inscribed on his tombstone. Without thinking, the words came out: “If it can’t be happy, make it beautiful.”

About these words he writes, “Notice those words don’t say, ‘If it can’t be good.’ Beauty isn’t an alternative to goodness; it isn’t a distraction from depth, seriousness, honesty, or integrity. Nor do they say, ‘Make it pretty.’ Making it beautiful is about realizing we’re usually operating on a mundane level, where things will seldom make sense and where most things are fragile and contingent. In the face of dismay, the best approach is to go up a level, to a realm of fittingness, recalibrated priorities, and God’s kingdom. But making it beautiful also addresses the powerlessness at the heart of grief. There is, it turns out, something you can do, and that is to take the wisdom, grace, or soul of what’s been lost and portray its transcendent quality in word, deed, or collective gesture.”

I needed these words. They’ve helped me reframe the way in which I not only think about, but also altogether live through this time. After all, they are so true. I’ve experienced them. I suspect you have too. In a solo sung during a funeral. In a conversation with a congregant who just received a difficult diagnosis. In a note that was hard to read, but heartfelt, genuine and sent with the best of intentions.

It may not always be happy, but we can still make it beautiful. I hope these words are helpful to you today, as they were to me. They certainly don’t change our circumstances, but they might just help inform the way we approach them.

Blessings to you, SSCC.

Sandy Springs Christian Church
2020 Advent Worship Schedule

It’s going to be a strange Advent season this year, not being able to sing in worship our favorite Christmas hymns. Sure, we can listen to others sing them and play them instrumentally. We, ourselves, can even hum or vocalize them in the car or in the shower. It’s not the same. It’s going to be a quieter Christmas season. There will be more than one silent night. Which, believe it or not, is in step with the tradition of many churches, even before this year. Many congregations refrain from singing Christmas songs until Christmas day. They lay in wait, in darkness and absence, yearning for light and presence, before celebrating with song. Perhaps this is the reason Advent seems to ring more true this year than others. Haven’t we been waiting in silence throughout 2020? Let’s come together this Advent season, quietly awaiting the light of the world to come once again, and, as result, appreciating even more this amazing gift.

December 6, 2020 - 10:15 AM - Sanctuary
Apocalypse Now
Mark 13:24-37
Rev. Dr. Nathan C. Brown
To view the bulletin for this Sunday, click here.
To view the livestream on our YouTube page, click here.

December 13, 2020 - 10:15 AM - Sanctuary
What Are We Waiting For?
2 Peter 3:8-15a
Rev. Dr. Nathan C. Brown

December 20, 2020 - 10:15 AM - Sanctuary
NOT Left Behind
Luke 1:26-38
Rev. Dr. Nathan C. Brown

We hope you will join us for in-person worship in the sanctuary. Our team has worked on the logistics of in-person worship to comply with the guidelines which you can review by clicking on the button below. Also, if you have not already, please click on the button below to watch the video by the Leek children explaining our new safety rules.
Please continue to pray for Sharon Hanna Nickelson, husband Steve and daughter Kelly as Sharon continues in Hospice at home.

Prayers are requested for Denise Shipman who broke her ankle recently.

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 and Pete French. Also 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!
Dear SSCC,
We want to thank you for your ongoing support of Sandy Springs Christian Church. We concluded our stewardship campaign for 2021 last Sunday, blessing and dedicating our commitments for the coming year during worship.

If you have not yet, please take a moment to fill out your electronic estimate of giving form. For your convenience, we have included a link to the form below. Simply click on the button. You may also call the church office or email Kathryn at accounting@sandyspringscc.org. Each and every one of us have come into the life of Sandy Springs Christian Church for this time. May we use our gifts in the coming year to continue our ministry in new and exciting ways. Again, thank you for your generosity. Have a wonderful holiday season.
In Gratitude,
Caroline and Rusty Grant
December 20, 2020
6:00 PM
Blue Christmas Worship
Rev. Dr. Nathan C. Brown

2020 has certainly brought a great deal of grief into our lives. That grief can be particularly hard as we approach the holiday season. If the Christmas season is bringing you sadness this year, join us for our Blue Christmas service on December 22nd at 6:00 pm led by Pastor Nathan. Come and feel God's love and healing.
December 24, 2020
6:00 PM
Candlelight Christmas Eve Worship
Luke 2:1-20
Rev. Dr. Nathan C. Brown

Our annual Candlelight Christmas Eve service will look a little different this year. We are planning an outdoor service on Thursday, December 24th at 6:00 PM. The service will take place on the the Abernathy side of the building. We hope it to be a beautiful candlelight celebration of the birth of Jesus that will be safe for everyone. 

Given the increased number of families experiencing food insecurity at this time, this year's Christmas Eve offering will be designated to MUST Ministries. MUST Neighborhood Pantries give away over a ton of food a day to those in need. 
from Allen Hilton - Courageous Conversation
As a follow up to our Courageous Conversation Weekend held last month, we finally have the video session from Saturday for you to watch, if you missed it. Allen was kind enough to record the content and send to us for our use. We hope you will take some time to watch it and learn more about our Vision at SSCC, to be a congregation that embodies and models more courageous conversation for the world!
Please sign up to donate a poinsettia in celebration or memory of a family member, friend or loved one. Suggested donation is $10.00. You can mail a check to the church, or go to our website and enter your donation there. Please mark your donations "Poinsettias.” Enter your information in the COMMENTS section and simply indicate the name of the one(s) you are honoring, along with whether you are celebrating or remembering each individual. You may sign up multiple names. We will then publish a list and include it in the newsletter. We will also email the list closer to Christmas. The deadline to sign up is December 18, 2020. Thank you in advance!
As in past years, we would like to present our incredible staff with a special acknowledgement of our appreciation for all that they do and all that they’ve done this year.

If you would like to contribute to this effort, please place your gift in the offering plate, drop it by or mail it to the church, or donate online. Be sure to indicate that the funds donated should be directed “Staff Christmas.” Please submit your contributions by Tuesday, December 15th so that gifts can be distributed to the staff on Sunday, December 20th, just in time for Christmas.

Thank you, John Mills and Bryant McDaniel
IMAGINING A NEW WORLD - An Advent Devotional
by Terri Hord Owens

Dare we imagine a new world? In this new daily devotional for the four weeks of Advent, Terri Hord Owens, leader of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination, delves into the Advent lectionary texts to reflect on God’s vision for the world and how we might find the courage to imagine, the permission to change, and the freedom to fear no more. 
Print copies are sold out. Digital delivery and ebooks still available.
Receive four weekly emails via Constant Contact with the coming week’s daily devotions beginning Saturday, Nov. 28. To subscribe visit www.chalicepress.com.
Ebook available wherever you buy ebooks.
The Christmas Offering will be taken up December 13th and 20th which supports regional ministries. In 32 regions across the United States and Canada, ministers are nurtured and congregations are provided opportunities for work and worship. Often recognized for the ministries of camps and conferences, regions also play a critical role in the preparation and authorization of ministerial ordination. Both are key to church leadership and development. Regions partner with congregations to support the work required to call a new minister.
Just a reminder that the Church office will be staffed Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 am - 1:00 pm.

We are also retrieving phone messages remotely each day as well. So feel free to call the church if you need anything or email Amy@sandyspringscc.org if you wish.
HELPING THE CAC: The CAC has seen increased requests for food for the pantry. Let's help our neighbors, from young to senior citizens, have the food and nutrition they need for the coming weeks and months. Collection barrels will be in the Church lobby and items may be dropped off during church office hours (Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays 9:30 - 1:00) or on Sundays. 

The CAC Food Pantry is requesting donations of: 
Canned meats, rice, pasta, and canned fruits and vegetables, small bottles of cooking oil, shortening, toilet paper, paper towels, small bottles or pods of laundry detergent, and anything that you might consider a special holiday food. There’s an urgent need for: canned tuna, sardines, and cereal.

If you have any questions, please contact Cindi McCollough via email -csbfish@bellsouth.net or cell 770-365-0365.

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. 

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.
Bryant Hodgson 12/03
Blake Turner 12/05
Kendra Plotkin 12/07
Caroline Money Grant 12/07
Larri Wolf 12/10
Niki Norman 12/10
Haleigh Mason 12/12
Laura Prescott 12/13
Elinor Tollman 12/15
Lorelei Lee 12/15
Kyle Norman 12/15
Presley Campbell 12/18
Jonah Mills 12/18
Jared Mills 12/18
Tim Dalrymple 12/18
Evan Brown 12/20
Daniel Kahrs 12/20
Lorelei McGahee 12/21
Elizabeth Adrion12/22
Dianne Almand 12/24
Julie Sanford 12/27
Vicente Turner 12/28
Janelle Hicks 12/29