SSCC Closed through Easter

At our Leadership Meeting this last Tuesday night, we decided that the church will continue to be closed through Easter. We will reevaluate in mid-April. While we, unfortunately, would love to have Holy Week activities and Easter worship in person, unfortunately, the CDC recommends that groups larger than 10 not meet together at this time. We will continue to livestream worship on Sunday mornings at 10:15 AM on our YouTube Channel. Information about worship will be sent out each Friday. Remember that the staff continue to work from their homes. If you need something, you can email staff members individually or call the church office. We are picking up messages regularly. Thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding. Be safe and be well.

SSCC Leadership Council
A NOTE FROM NATHAN
Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I will be also….
Matthew 18:20

I’ve been thinking a lot about Jesus’ words from Matthew these last few weeks. After all, the coronavirus has radically changed the way we gather. My son Harrison shares a Google document with his friends, on which they write to one another in real time. Our neighborhood has put together an animal scavenger hunt in which families are encouraged to walk from house to house, looking for the different stuffed animals that are placed in the windows of our homes. The picture I’ve included in this article depicts a recent play date Clara had with her friend, Evelyn, who lives in our culdesac. It’s remarkable what games can still be played at six feet apart from one another.

Of course, the Church is no different -- Sandy Springs Christian Church, in particular. We are livestreaming worship on Sunday mornings. We are sending out pictures, videos and stories of one another. We are meeting virtually through video and phone conferencing. Our Elders and Deacons have put together a shepherding program we will utilize to stay in touch with one another on a regular basis.

It’s certainly not the same -- that’s for sure. There is something fleshy about living our faith. It’s incarnational, earthy, and physical. That’s the reason we gather together, in person, on a regular basis. That’s the reason we eat from a shared loaf and drink from a common cup. That’s the reason we call ourselves the body of Christ.

While we may not be meeting in the flesh, we are still gathering – two and three, here and there. And Jesus says, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I will be also.” Just because we are meeting at a distance, doesn’t make God any less present.

We all look forward to the time that we can again gather in-person. In the meantime, we will continue to experiment with new ways of being the Church. In fact, I suspect this will forever change the way we meet in some ways. That change will bring its own benefits and challenges. But…as long as we are gathering, Jesus is present. So, take some time today to experience the divine – reach out to two or three, in Jesus’ name. 

Peace,
Nathan
NATHAN'S LEADERSHIP REPORT
My report to leadership this month is a fairly comprehensive summary of all that has transpired over the last month. Since we are not meeting in person or as frequently right now, I thought it would be good to share with the congregation so that you can be aware of what is going on behind the scenes. Thank you for your continued interest in and support of the ministry of SSCC!
 
CLICK HERE for Nathan’s Leadership Report
SSCC UNPLUGGED
As you may well know, we are livestreaming SSCC's Sunday service on our YouTube channel . You will receive an email tomorrow with all of the links necessary so you can join us.
CROSS-FIT: Training for the Soul
The Lenten season is a time of interiority, personal introspection, and contrition--all intentionally aimed at transformation. Of course, change is not easy. It requires work, hard work. In fact, Lent can be like a training of sorts. Trainings prepare us for all kinds of things--a race, a new job, a marriage, the cross. Are you fit to follow Jesus, once again, to the cross? Lent is preparation for our souls.
 
March 29, 2020
Stay
John 11:1-45
Rev. Nathan C. Brown
 
April 5, 2020 (Palm Sunday)
Tapering Down
Matthew 21:1-11
Rev. Nathan C. Brown
 
April 12, 2020 (Easter Sunday)
Run
John 20:1-18
Rev. Nathan C. Brown
DOING MINISTRY DIFFERENTLY
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.
NEW FEATURE - BRIGHT SPOTS @ SSCC
In an effort to stay connected during this time, we plan to send out a weekly “Bright Spot” about the ways in which you are spending your time during this period of social-distancing. Each week we will feature a story that we hope brightens your day. It might be a picture of one of you, along with how you are spending part of your time. It could be a video, like the one this week, about a way that you are reaching out to others. It might just be a story you’d like to share about how someone might have reached out to you. During this seemingly dark time, we hope this is a weekly reminder that there are still many bright spots in the world.

CLICK HERE to view the first installment, Tanner Hicks' "Letters of Love".
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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, please use the following emails and/or phone numbers to submit your requests:
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SHEPHERDING PROGRAM
Over the next couple of weeks, the elders and some of the deacons will be rolling out a new congregational outreach effort, called shepherding. As part of this program, one of us will be reaching out to you on a regular basis to ensure you know what is going on at church and to check in on you during this time when we are unable to meet in person.

Like me, I’m sure that many of you learned as a child that the church is not a building. The church is the people. While I wish we were not in the midst of a pandemic, and I pray that it will pass quickly, the COVID-19 pandemic, as unwelcome as it is, gives us an opportunity to live into this in an entirely new way. It is my hope and prayer for us that during this time, we will truly learn that the building is not what holds us together. We are bound together in our love for God, our desire to follow Jesus and live out his teachings, and our love for one another. While we will be reaching out to you, please do not hesitate to reach out to us as well if there is any way we can assist and support you during this time. My email is eliz.peterson@att.net and my cell phone is 404-805-1022.

Elizabeth Peterson
Chair of Elders
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.
A MOMENT FOR STEWARDSHIP
In an effort to do more year-round stewardship at SSCC this year, we are including regular testimonials from congregants about how/why they give to SSCC. See this month’s below from Elizabeth Peterson.
 
"In light of the pandemic, we are all being challenged to find new ways to do things. For me, one of the new ways to do things is to pay my pledge online. I already pay most of my bills online, but always found it easy to pay my pledge by putting my check into the offering plate -- until now, that is. With all of the challenges of social distancing, I am grateful that technology makes it easier than it ever has been to stay connected even when we cannot be together. Part of staying connected is to continue to give financial gifts to the church, and I found it very easy to do this without leaving my house by simply going to our website ( www.sandyspringscc.org ) and clicking "Give Online." The steps to give online were simple and easy to follow, and it saved me the time and inconvenience of driving to the post office to mail my check. Let us continue to give thanks to God for all that we have been given, by giving in new ways to the ministry of Sandy Springs Christian Church."   
 
Elizabeth Peterson
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A NOTE FROM THE BOOKKEEPER
"Thank you to those who have transitioned from bringing a donation to our church to using the online giving system. We are so thankful that giving is able to continue even though we may not be able to gather together in our church building. All check payments are processed with a tiny .45 cent fee. Credit card payments are processed similarly but with a swipe fee as a % (percent) of the donation. We continue to give donors full credit for the total of their donation with SSCC picking up the fee. The online giving allows us to be blessed with your generous spirit. It's yet another witness that we are still together -- just worshiping separately. Be BLESSED." Kathryn Hartman, SSCC Bookkeeper
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 the Coronavirus Pandemic. In partnership with Community Assistance Center (CAC) which is located in Sandy Springs and houses one of the largest Food Pantry programs in the Metro Atlanta area, we can help families and individuals who face financial hardships due to lost income and medical expenses.

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 .

Pam Jones, CAC Development Director
MUST MINISTRIES DONATIONS
Sandy Springs Christian Church has a long standing relationship with MUST Ministries.

Food donations are very much needed and can be delivered in two manners…
1.) Drop off at the MUST Donation at 1280 Field Parkway in Marietta, 30066, Tuesday through Saturday, 9 to 5pm or
2.) Order food through Amazon and have it delivered to the address above.

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 or on the picture to the right to access a flyer for more information and how you can help.
HIGHLIGHTS
PRAYER REQUESTS AND PRAISE
From Dottie Gill, "I am excited to announce I will begin a new job April 13, as an administration assistant with an insurance company. The virus has moved my start date back some but hope that I can start soon. Thank you for all of your prayers and support through my time of unemployment."

We pray for our SSCC family members who serve as first responders and SSCC's own serving in the military: Jamie Price Smith, Rachel Robeck, Michelle Brown, Tyler Brown, Derrick Brown, Kevin Mooney, Jared Mills and Dalton Brown. (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 Pastor Nathan know and we will make that happen. He can announce it during the livestream on Sunday morning! Simply e-mail Pastor Nathan  to let him know you would like to join!
Bryant Gibson 03/01
Art Edwards 03/02
Kate McKinney 03/03
Kaitlin Kahrs 03/04
Joe Moore 03/05
Elaine Elliot-Donnelly 03/06
Anne Butz 03/06
Steve Clark 03/06
Jordan Moore 03/06
Sandie Reed 03/07
Lauren Ivey 03/08
Bunny Steinmetz 03/11
Shelton Blackburn 03/12
James Richard Torbert 03/13
Teresa Morse 03/15
Ann Walker 03/19
Nathan Chimera 03/21
Ryan Kahrs 03/22
Dale Williamson 03/23
Maria Hicks 03/24
Laura Campbell 03/25
Kathy Elliott 03/25
Marlene Rhine 03/26
Denise Shipman 03/26
Emily Leek 03/26
Richard Walker 03/28
John Gilmore 03/29
Harrison Brown 03/31