A NOTE FROM NATHAN

“For Such a Time as This…”
                       Esther 4:14

The call came early in the morning. “Nathan, we’ve got a problem. There are two inches of standing water in the lower level of the church.” So began some of the most challenging months SSCC has ever faced, let alone any church. The Day School has been closed for seven months now because of the flood and pandemic. We have not had a “normal” worship experience in our building for the same period and for the same reasons.

In December, we passed Vision and Mission statements, a new Visioning Plan, and claimed an Open and Affirming status after a year of working with Ministry Architects on our future. Only two months later, we were faced with unprecedented circumstances that could have all but halted our plans. And, yes, we’ve been delayed. On the other hand, I have never experienced a church that could meet those challenges quite like you have, Sandy Springs Christian Church. In fact, there have been remarkable strides forward despite these out of the ordinary circumstances.

Overnight, the church staff began doing ministry differently, learning new technology, and thinking creatively about how to hold our church together during this time. Bryant Gibson and Susan Wallace began learning how to “produce” worship online, in order to make sure that everyone had a worship experience on Sunday mornings. Elizabeth Peterson and Merilyn Dimmitt led the Elders and several deacons in a shepherding program to make sure that SSCC congregants were checked on regularly.

Behind the scenes, Scott Dalton stepped forward to help us navigate the complexities of a large insurance claim, to ensure that we were reimbursed for the expenses to which we were entitled through our policy. Jay Donnelly and Bruce Lady gave oversight to the building of a new sewer line from our church building to Johnson Ferry Rd. Amy Frost all but served as a general contractor, overseeing the logistics of coordinating between all the construction, both inside and outside our walls, to repair the interior damage from water and install the new sewer line. Kathy Gregory continued to lead TDS courageously, keeping a positive spirit with students, parents, and the community, despite having to deliver bad news over and over again.

Then, Jim Armstrong volunteered to lead our effort in applying for Paycheck Protection Program loans to secure payroll expenses for TDS and SSCC during May and June. John Mills secured a line of credit to ensure we have a financial back-up plan, should we need it. Next, Bruce Lady and Jay Donnelly began oversight of the installation of livestream equipment in our sanctuary, in order to bring worship from our church building back to your homes. Leslie Lady has put in hours of training and practice to make sure the worship experience on your device is a high-quality one. Susan McCluskey continues to volunteer her time and gifts to make sure the production of worship comes through clearly each Sunday.

Meanwhile, Janet Gray, Cathy Cortright, and Owen Janeway have been leading an effort to transition our ministry to new church software, meeting a need that has been at SSCC for years. Next, they will begin work on a new website, to more effectively engage our community.

The Day School Task Force, consisting of Chris Dalton, Bryant McDaniel, Betsy Robinson, Al Burgess, Sabra Roegge, Jen Weber and Kathy Gregory recently completed their work, finalizing a new governance structure for TDS and assembling the first TDS Advisory Council comprised of Caroline Filacchione, Laura Campbell, Beverly Mitchell, Nancy Binkow and Mary Catherine Petermann.

All the while, the Leadership Council, consisting of John Mills, Janet Gray, Ronda Hirst, Josh Jones, Jay Donnelly, Elizabeth Peterson, Janis Hill, Jenna Hicks, and Leslie Lady have had to make impossible decisions, over and over again, given the uncertainty of our time. The Welcome Back Team, consisting of Leslie Lady, Ralph Bowlin, Tim Helton, Michelle Leek, and Jay Donnelly are now making difficult, but important decisions to help us navigate how to safely be in ministry, in-person again. I cannot name all of those contributing to the efforts of making sure the ministry of Sandy Springs Christian Church has continued, even while our building has been closed.

Every step of the way, the right people have been in place at the right time to address the challenges of the day -- this, of course, includes you. None of this would be possible without not only each of these individuals, but each and every one of you. Your financial contributions, prayers and the many other ways in which you have given your time and energy to our church have allowed us to continue our ministry, in different ways. We have weathered this storm, thus far, because of the congregants connected to Sandy Springs Christian Church who have tuned into worship, stayed connected to one another and faithfully supported our ministry during this difficult time.

This Sunday we begin a three-week stewardship emphasis in worship. Our stewardship theme this year is entitled, “For such a time as this…” Just as Esther came into the Kingdom to lead during a difficult time for her people, so too have each and every one of us come to Sandy Springs Christian Church to meet the challenges of our day. You are part of the ministry of SSCC for such a time as this. Thank you, in advance, for all that you already have done in 2020, and will commit to do in 2021, for our shared ministry. I am grateful, and proud, to be your Pastor.

Peace,
Nathan

P.S. There are still spots available for Morning Watch, our in-person worship experience in the Whitmire Pavilion this Sunday at 8:30 AM. Click the link in the Morning Watch notice below to sign up.
NEW SERMON SERIES
…For Such a Time as This
A Sermon Series on Stewardship

We are in unprecedented times. And yet, this isn’t the first time. Flood. Pandemic. Social unrest. Political division. Throughout history, humanity has endured such challenges to varying degrees and in different ways. In the midst of it all, the Church has remained. Christians have received the call, listened and responded. God has and continues to call specific people to face particular times and circumstances. We have been called to Sandy Springs Christian Church to carry out our ministry in this time and place. We have been called for such a time as this….

Sunday, September 13, 2020
Call
Jeremiah 1:4-19
Dr. Nathan C. Brown

Sunday, September 20, 2020
Listen
Esther 4:10-17
Dr. Nathan C. Brown

Sunday, September 27, 2020
Respond
James 1:17-27
Dr. Nathan C. Brown
MORNING WATCH SERVICE
A SIMPLE SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE IN THE WHITMIRE PAVILION
This Sunday, September 13th, we will begin offering a simple, in-person worship service in the Whitmire Pavilion at 8:30 am, in advance of our livestream service at 10:15 AM. The service will follow all the guidelines in the Whitmire Pavilion policy, to keep everyone safe. Worship will only include prayer, a scripture reading, a message, an offering and communion. Communion will take place with pre-packaged individual, disposable communion cups and wafers, already placed in the seats.

There will be no music offered for this time of worship. Nature and God’s creation will provide the sounds for the service. We look forward to offering this simple worship experience as the first phase toward meeting in person for worship. In order to attend the service you must sign up in advance, as we are limiting attendance to 30 people, following the Whitmire Pavilion Guidelines recently set. Please click the button below to reserve your seat.
HYMN SING THIS SUNDAY
This Sunday, during our livestream, we will open the service with the ever popular Hymn Sing. If you have any suggestions for your favorite hymns, please email them to Susan Wallace at susan@sandyspringscc.org by tomorrow, Friday, September 11 by noon.
WELCOME BACK TEAM
SURVEY RESULTS
We want to thank everyone who filled out a survey about attending events in-person at SSCC. 148 of you responded to the survey, representing the majority of people who received it. The welcome back team is already using the results of the survey to begin our planning. Simply click below for the results. Thank you again for your participation!
WHITMIRE PAVILION POLICY
NEW WHITMIRE PAVILION POLICY
Because meeting outside is the safest place to currently meet in person, the welcome back team has first developed a policy for using the Whitmire Pavillion for in person events. Church and community groups will be allowed to use the Whitmire Pavillion as long as they adhere to the guidelines approved by Leadership. Please reach out to Amy Frost if you would like to schedule your group. Click below for a copy of the policy.
PRAYER REQUESTS
Janelle Hicks requests prayers for her sister Marilyn Davis and her doctors as she is scheduled for surgery on Thursday the 10th. 

Continued prayers for Ferris Leslie's son, Charles Kennedy, who is in physical therapy after surgery. 

Please pray for Judy Edwards who was recently in the hospital.

Prayers are needed for JoAnn Baright who is recovering from complications from a fall in her home. 

Prayers for Sharon Hanna Nikelson for multiple complications from her cancer treatments.

Lyndsey Alford requested prayer for Randel Meyer. He has been fighting a personal battle for some time and needs all our prayers. 

Please pray for our members and their families who serve as first responders and health care workers: Dr. Tim Helton, Katie Gibson, Tracey McCluskey, 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.

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 know you would like to join!
HIGHLIGHTS
LIVESTREAMING CONTINUES!
This Sunday we will continue to livestream worship from the sanctuary. Worship will be live on 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.
DOING MINISTRY DIFFERENTLY
UPDATE! FROM OUTREACH
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.

UPDATE ON FOOD PANTRY & THRIFT SHOP: 
The Food Pantry will be going to an outdoor market format and the Thrift Shop re-opened 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.
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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, 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).
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 email (amy@sandyspringscc.org) to schedule your group on the calendar. We can help you learn how to send an invite to your group.
Milton Hill 9/4
Asher Rathinam 9/4
Ben Gibson 9/8
Ken Strahm 9/9
Trenton Brown 9/9
Floy Mills 9/9
Megan Kahrs 9/10
Victoria Smith 9/10
John Robeck 9/10
Kelley Rathinam 9/13
Tim Dyke 9/15
Kate Lee 9/21
Katie Gibson 9/22
Stephanie Michels 9/24
Madelyn Rathinam 9/25
Jenna Hicks 9/26
Beverly Mitchell 9/26
Teresa Bensch 9/27
Sid Elliott 9/29
Marilyn Torbert 9/29
Becky Chimera 9/29
Rick Almand 9/29