September 1, 2021
E.P. Corner
by Rev. Aisha Brooks-Johnson, Executive Presbyter
 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:10 – (NIV-UK)
 
I am delighted to share that we will be having two informational sessions around what it means to join the Vital Congregations Initiative with the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta. If you are interested in getting your congregation involved, please join us for our Zoom gathering on Tuesday, October 19th, 10:00am-11:30 OR Saturday, October 23rd, 10am-11:30am. The content of both meetings will be the same. During that time, we will talk about our presbytery’s commitment to health and vitality, the format of the initiative, the extent of the commitment, instructions on how to sign up for VCI, and a time for questions and answers.
 
If your congregation/worshiping community is ready to sign up now, all that is required is a letter of intent from the church sent to ep@atlpcusa.org. Please click here to read my letter of invitation to our churches and new worshiping communities in our presbytery. I invite you to share with your leadership as a way to encourage others to get involved. Click the button below to register.
 
If your congregation is not ready, I would still invite you attend one of these sessions. Over the course of the next two years (2022-2023), we will talk about these 7 Marks (click here familiarize yourself with them) in our presbytery meetings as well as Town Hall events to dig deeper into what this means for our work and witness of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ in the world. I do ask that you continue to pray for all leaders and laity within our presbytery who are considering participating in this two-year journey.
 
~ ABJ

#YouAreVital
#VirtualAndVital
#Atlpcusa
by Donna E. Wells, Stated Clerk
Once again, ZOOM was our friend (!) as the Presbytery gathered for the summer Stated Meeting on August 14, 2021. Church of the Master and Covington First served as our co-hosts supplying our welcome, music, and worship leadership.
 
Our own Phil Brown preached a sermon entitled What is a Successful Church? As a writer for the Vital Congregations Initiative, he shared the vision of this initiative - being vital is about being present, and connected with people:
  • Lifelong Discipleship: Are we following Christ with our whole lives?
  • Intentional Evangelism: Do we engage with people rather than talking at people?
  • Outward Focus: Do we see Jesus in others?
  • Empowering Servant Leadership: Is the entire church empowered to lead?
  • Spirit-Inspired Worship: Are we open to the Spirit in worship rather than just going through the motions?
  • Caring Relationships: Are we truly connecting with our community? 
  • Ecclesial Health: Are we dealing with our conflict in healthy ways? Do we nurture and support pastors and staff?
As Phil concluded, he reminded us this is not a step by step and all will be well! This is instead a call to simply be the people of God.
 
Additional highlights from our meeting:
  • We welcomed three new pastors: Kristy Ray serving Stockbridge, Laura Neely serving First LaGrange, and Sue Kim Park serving at Columbia Seminary
  • Karen Fletcher was moved to candidacy
  • We celebrated the engrafting of Memorial Drive and Eastminister
  • Our offering went to support Memorial Drive Ministries
  • New Worshiping Community, Zo Presbyterian shared their ministry with the Presbytery
  • We approved a new committee for Presbytery: Dismantling Racism
  • We concurred with an overture from New Castle Presbytery
  • Living Waters of the World shared their ministry
 
The next Stated Meeting of Presbytery is November 9, 2021. We are slated for a hybrid meeting but will re-evaluate as we monitor Covid numbers.

Click here to visit the Stated Meeting Information page.
Photo credit: Tima Miroshnichenko @pexels.com
We are Looking for Session Moderators
by Donna E. Wells, Stated Clerk
Validated, At-Large, Retired, and Associate Pastors
Are you interested in moderating a session?

We are such a diverse Presbytery! In these changing times, we have churches being served by non-PCUSA pastors and some churches that go week-to-week with pulpit supply, as they can’t afford installed pastors. What they all have in common is the need for a PCUSA moderator. Constitutionally (and with good sense!), all our churches are to have PCUSA moderators. To fill this need, Donna Wells, for the Committee on Ministry, is hosting a workshop for those ministers who would be interested in serving the Presbytery in this manner, or any who wish to brush up on moderating skills. Churches will pay a small stipend plus mileage for your service. Most churches in need of a moderator usually meet 4 to 6 times per year. 
 
We are offering two sessions via zoom: Tuesday, September 14, from 6:00-7:30 and Saturday, September 25, from 10:00-11:30, and would love to have anyone interested attend either one. To help plan and get you some materials before we gather, please register with this link for one of the sessions. 
 
This is a great opportunity to connect with good folks in our churches and offer a very needed service to the churches themselves and the Presbytery as a whole. Feel free to contact Donna at dwells@atlpcusa.org if you have questions. 
For more information on training for deacons, click here.
HR Connections with Aisha Brooks-Johnson, Executive Presbyter
Thursday, September 23, 2021 at 3-4:30 pm (ET) via Zoom

We continue to connect our honorably retired community with the Lord, each other, and the presbytery team. Aisha will share her thoughts on the work of the Presbytery and challenges of these times. There will be time for questions and answers plus time to fellowship and catch up with fellow retirees.

Register in advance for this meeting by clicking here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
International Peacemaker Programs for Atlanta Churches in October
from the Peace & Global Witness Partnership Newsletter
The Presbytery of Greater Atlanta is privileged to have Rev. Helivao Poget, from Madagascar, as our International Peacemaker this year. Because of the pandemic, we will meet with Rev. Poget via webinar.

Rev. Poget is the director of Ministry with Marginalized People (SAFFIFAA). With colleagues in ministry, Rev. Poget has established centers throughout Madagascar to minster to women who are victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. In 2019, SAFFIFAA was a recipient of the Women's Thank Offering. In addition to the work with SAFFISAA, Rev. Poget works to foster national reconciliation and to address factors that contribute to Madagascar's political instability. As professor of missiology at her denomination's seminary, Rev. Poget has pioneered a research program for her students that exposes them to the realities of social problems of poverty, violence, and exploitation and equips them to meet these challenges as pastors.

We have arranged for three visits via webinar: October 3, 1:00-2:00 pm; October 9, 10-11:00 am; and October 16, 10-11:00 am. Registration information and links will be sent soon, but in the meantime set aside the dates and times for virtual visits with Rev. Poget.
Fall Grant Applications Now Available
by Chip Blankinship, Director of Operations
The Grants Committee is pleased to announce that we are currently receiving applications for the Diaconal Ministry Grants, a grant opportunity which includes what were previously known as the Compassion and PATH grants. We have also greatly simplified the application form; it is now a fillable .pdf file that can be completed without printing and scanning. (If you are unable to complete the online application, please send a request to grants@atlpcusa.org and a text copy of the application will be sent to you.)
 
The application, which is available here, is due by midnight on Sunday, October 17. The committee will meet soon after that date to review grant submissions.
 
We look forward to receiving your applications, and to learning about the innovative and life-changing ministries taking place in our midst.
The REvangelism Conference is designed to take you on a deeper journey into faith: into the lives of others, into justice, hope, and the wonder of God. Together, we will practice habits of Evangelism that will engage us in the gospel of good news — God’s justice and reconciliation for the world.

At REvangelism, you will interact with the wise, diverse voices in the church who contributed to the 8-Habits of Evangelism resource. As you work through each habit together, you will experience the goodness and richness of Christ’s body and the Holy Spirit transforming you, and the world around you.

Click here for more information and to register.
Clergy Crowdsource Zoom Meeting Dates
The PGA Clergy Crowdsource Zoom meeting will meet on the second Wednesday of the month beginning in September, 12pm to 1pm. For the Zoom link, contact the Executive Presbyter or your Congregational Consultant. If you are a pastor and would like to join the Facebook group, you may click here and request to join. You do not have to join the group to get a link to the meeting.

  • Sept. 8
  • Oct. 13
  • Nov. 10
  • Dec. 8
APCE SOAP Regional Event
by Jan Williamson, Kairos Church
All who are involved in the educational ministry of churches are encouraged to join other educators in the APCE SOAP Region (SC, GA, FL, and Puerto Rica) for "Outside the Walls," our 2021 Regional Event, scheduled for November 4 - 6, 2021, at Epworth By The Sea, St. Simon's Island, Georgia. APCE is the Association of Presbyterian Christian Educators.

We are excited to welcome Reverend Aisha Brooks-Johnson as our keynote speaker, and Eric Nanz will lead us in worship. Our time together will be filled with worship, plenary sessions, break-out discussions, informal conversation, and plenty of time to enjoy each other and the beauty of St. Simons Island.

The cost for registration is $150. Meals and hotel-style accommodations are at Epworth; single and double rooms available. Click here for more information and to register.
Save the Date!
Ida: Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
For information on the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance response to Ida, and for ways to get involved, click here.
The Prayer Box
Each month we are taking the time to pray for our churches and new worshiping communities throughout the year. Please take a moment each week to lift up the following communities in prayer:

9/5 - Fellowship, First Afrikan, *Centro Familiar Cristiano
9/12 - First Atlanta, First Bremen
9/19 - First Jonesboro, First LaGrange
9/26 - First Manchester-Warm Springs, First Monroe

*Denotes New Worshiping Communities
The Presbytery Staff will never email you asking for money or gift cards. If seeking donations, Staff would direct you to the Presbytery website or invite you to mail a check. If you have any suspicion, please reach out to one of us directly before responding! Stay safe in cyberspace!!
Upcoming Events
Click here for CTS's Center for Lifelong Learning courses and events.
Click here for the Calvin Center's programs.
The presbytery advertises employment opportunities within our congregations and partnerships. If you would like to browse opportunities or submit a new opening click here.
The next newsletter will go out October 1. Articles will be accepted through September 20th. The following newsletter will go out November 1. To request space for an article, email your Congregational Consultant or Mark Sauls at msauls@atlpcusa.orgClick here to view submission guidelines.
Top Graphic Attribution:
God with Angels and Saints, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=56619 [retrieved August 30, 2021]. Original source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/quaknit/414242160/ - Mike Alda.