A NOTE FROM NATHAN
In case you were wondering, it’s official: snakes are out of hibernation. I know because I came across two the other day while running--that’s right, two, on a five-mile run! Although, there was one positive aspect of coming across the second; I was self-aware enough not to scream out loud again.
 
I’m not sure what it is about snakes that seem to crawl all over me. It doesn’t help that they have been given a bad rap throughout history. Let’s be honest, scripture doesn’t exactly help either.

In Genesis, evil incarnate shows up in the garden of Eden, in the form of a serpent. In Numbers and Isaiah, fiery serpents are described as attacking the people in the wilderness. In the Gospel of Matthew, if you remember, John the Baptist describes the Sadducees and Pharisees as a “brood of vipers.” I’m pretty sure he did not intend it as a compliment.
 
The truth is most snakes are harmless. In fact, many species you would prefer have around. They serve as free pest-control service, ridding your yard of rodents and insects that can spread disease and damage your property. They maintain balance in the ecosystem, serving as both predator and prey. In some cultures, snakes are even seen as good luck. In fact, there is an Australian Aboriginal tribe that flips the script on Genesis, telling the story of the Rainbow Serpent which, as it turns out, is the deity that creates the world.
 
Several summers ago, I remember seeing more snakes than usual. A little concerned about what the universe might be trying to tell me, I looked up what Shamans say about snakes. Turns out, snakes are not just a symbol of death, but also of new life. As a snake sheds its skin, so too does it shed its past, becoming renewed in the process. At least according to shamanic thinking, seeing snakes is a sign that new life is coming.
 
I’d prefer not see any more snakes this spring or summer. I’ve had my fill. Although, if I’m honest, I need what they represent. I suspect I’m not alone. We all need to shed the unnecessary weight we’ve been carrying around this year, only to take with us, and hold onto, what we’ve gained to live more fully in this new year. Sounds a lot to me like a story we hear during the season of Lent about a cross, a tomb and resurrection.
 
It’s no secret. I don’t like snakes. I probably never will. Although, I have come to appreciate them. After all, I know how much we need them.

Peace,
Nathan
THIS SUNDAY
Leaving the Land of the Dead
A Sermon Series for the Season of Lent
 
No, it’s not a movie title. It’s the way we have felt over the course of the last year, both literally and figuratively. Let’s just put it this way - it hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park. It has felt more like wandering in the wilderness. Yet, there is a renewed sense of hope in our world – the feeling that there is an end, or at least a new beginning. Could it be that we are finally leaving the land of the dead? The truth is we are always doing so in this life. That’s what Lent is for – to remind us that God is always moving us from death to resurrection. 

March 21, 2021
Leaving the Land of the Dead: Renew
John 11:1-45

March 28, 2021 (Palm Sunday)
Leaving the Land of the Dead: Require
Matthew 21:1-11
To view the service this Sunday on our YouTube page, click here.
To view the bulletin for this Sunday, click here.
To view the scripture for this Sunday, click here.
HOLY WEEK
EASTER SERVICES SIGN UP
We celebrate the option of in-person Easter worship on April 4, 2021! In order to do so safely, we must continue to follow our protocols, even on the most significant day of the Christian calendar.

In an effort to accommodate as many as possible, who wish to attend in-person services, we are offering three worship opportunities at 7:00 AM (Sunrise outside in the Whitmire Pavilion), 9:00 AM (Baptisms) and 11:00 AM (Child Dedication). Both the 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM will be in-person, in the sanctuary and livestreamed on our YouTube channel. In order to properly prepare, we would like to know how many plan to attend each service in person.

Signing up is not a reservation. It is simply notifying us of your intentions at this time, for the purposes of planning. Please sign up even if you are serving as a volunteer or participating as staff. An overflow area will be provided in Whitmire Pavilion for viewing of the service, should more attend in person than our protocols allow. While we recognize these circumstances are not ideal, the safety of our community and its most vulnerable members is the highest priority.

Let us find hope in this season, as we are reminded that no restriction or protocol can keep Jesus in the tomb. We thank God for the work of the Welcome Back Team. We give thanks to God for each of you and your perseverance in this most unusual of Easters. We thank God that new life is always coming to us. Please click the button below and let us know your preference, should you wish to attend Easter worship in-person. Thank you in advance.
EASTER EGG HUNT
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
We are so excited to announce that we will have an Easter Egg Hunt after both the 9:00 am and 11:00 am Easter services this year! The egg hunt will take place outside after each service and children over the age of 3 will need to wear masks. We will also do our best to make sure we are still following safety protocols. All families will meet after worship in the green space outside of the sanctuary near the lower parking lot on the Abernathy side of the church grounds.

We need some last minute help from the congregation though!  If you are able, we would love for you to drop some pre-stuffed eggs by the church any time in the next two weeks (Office hours are Mon. - Thurs. from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm) or when you are here for Service on Sunday. We will even take them on Easter Sunday! Any amount you can bring would be helpful.

We look forward to a fun, safe event for our SSCC Kids as we celebrate the risen Christ. Thanks for your help!
EASTER LILIES
We encourage you to sign up to donate an Easter lily in celebration or memory of a family member, friend or loved one. Suggested donation is $10.00.

Click on the link below to sign up. 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 and indicate whether or not you wish to pick up your lily/lilies at church. You may sign up multiple names. You can mail a check to the church, or go to our website and enter your donation there. Please mark your donations "Easter Lilies.”

We will then publish a list and include it in the newsletter. The deadline to sign up is Monday, March 29, 2021. Thank you in advance!
DOC EASTER OFFERING
The Easter Offering, received by most congregations on March 28 and April 4, 2021, supports several of the general ministries of the Christian Church. Your gift supports college students in leadership development programs, global mission partners, health and social service ministries, the formation of new congregations, support for pastors and chaplains, and so much more. 

You may give online by CLICKING HERE or by sending a check to the church marked "Easter Offering" in the memo line.
ROAD TO RESURRECTION
We have a new, exciting way for our families to connect to the Easter story this year! After worship on Palm Sunday, March 28, we invite families to come anytime from 11:30 - 3:00 to experience the Holy Week story including Palm Sunday, Jesus in the Temple, the Last Supper, Jesus on the Cross and the Empty Tomb.

All you need to do is come to the single red door on the bottom level (back parking lot) anytime between 11:30 am - 3:00 pm and each family can go at their own pace learning each story with crafts, snacks, prayers and other interactive ways to experience each story!

A faith filled journey that has something for the whole family. We hope you’ll make plans to join us on March 28!
SEASON OF LENT
LENTEN DEVOTIONAL VIDEOS
This year, each Monday of Lent, we will send out a video devotional via e-blast. Each devotional will be based on the previous Sunday's scripture reading. We hope these devotionals deepen your spiritual reflection during this meaningful season.

You can CLICK HERE to view the devotionals on our YouTube page.
ALL-CHURCH COMMITTMENT TO
40 DAYS OF PRAYER
The Worship, Arts and Education Committee, along with Pastor Nathan, would like to invite you to join us in a commitment to 40 days of prayer during the season of Lent. We hope that you will carve out time, each day during Lent, to pray for Sandy Springs Christian Church and our ministry in 2021. As we live into whatever the new normal might be, we hope you will pray for God’s guidance and direction for our congregation. If you are someone who prefers a guide for your time of prayer, Teddy and Nathan recommend a website called, www.pray-as-you-go.org. It offers 10-12 minute daily devotionals that make space for prayer and reflection. Thank you for praying with and for the people of Sandy Springs Christian Church as a spiritual discipline during Lent!
ALL-CHURCH STUDY
We are conducting an all-church study during the season of Lent called, “Everybody, Always” based on the book by Bob Goff. The study aims to help us all love one another, even when we, and the times we are living in, might be difficult. The study will take place through three group options listed below. All studies will be offered via zoom.

Group One:
Monday Evenings at 7:00 p.m.
Leader: John Mills
Group Two:
Sunday Mornings at 9:00 a.m.
Leaders: Breijanna Dyke, Casey Evans, Emily Harple, Teddy Ivey
Group Three:
Starting Sunday Evenings at 5:00 p.m.
Leader: Leslie Lady
ASH WEDNESDAY SOIL
If you have been tending to your soil this Lenten Season, following the Ash Wednesday Service, please take pictures or videos and send them to Teddy Ivey at teddyuga.org. We'd love to share with the congregation how you have been practicing this spiritual discipline!
HIGHLIGHTS
PRAYER REQUESTS
Please keep the Dalrymple family in your prayers after Monalea's passing this week. She will be greatly missed. If you would like to send the family cards, please send them to Tim Dalrymple, 8125 Innsbruck Dr., Sandy Springs, GA 30350. Tim is very thankful for all the kind words people have said about his mom.

Fran Michels had good results from recent health tests. Much relief for Fran and her family. Walt also recently went to the doctor and had a good report.

Sandie Reed requests prayers as she will be having her knee replaced next Tuesday.

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, Robyn Hicks 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), Linda Whitmire's granddaughter, Hayleigh Whitmire (Army) and Kathy Woodworth's step grandson Parker Mansel (Marines). 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!
REQUEST FROM OUR "MARKETING TEAM"
Congregation, as part of our marketing efforts this year the team would appreciate if you could take a couple minutes of your time and leave a review on google of our church. We have 5 stars but only 7 reviews! This will help encourage visitors for those using the internet.

Also along that line, when you come to Sunday service we would appreciate if a few more of you could park in the Abernathy side parking lot and spread out, just so that people know we are open and meeting in-person! 
NEW PODCAST IS AVAILABLE
This episode features Rev. Dr. Nathan Brown, Senior Minister, & Casey Evans, Member, of Sandy Springs Christian Church. The topic was inspired by Casey's reading of Leviticus 25, which speaks about the tradition/law of the sabbaticals which occur every 7 years. This leads to the even more exotic 7 x 7 year Old Testament Hebrew tradition/law called the Jubilee (so on the 50th year). We deep dive into this tradition/law and how it is relevant and is present & interpreted in today's evermore interconnected world.

Work Hard & Rest Hard!
UPDATED CHURCH OFFICE HOURS
Starting next week we will expand Church office hours to Monday through Thursday from 9:30 am - 2:00 pm.

We will be retrieving phone messages each day and will return calls the following day. So feel free to call the church if you need anything or email Amy@sandyspringscc.org if you wish.
HELP SUPPORT CAMP CHRISTIAN!
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. Camp is more than a place or just another church program – it is a community we can all belong to and find God’s peace and love.

Join us again April 9 - 11 as we run/walk in your hometown for our 2021 Camp Christian Virtual 5K to raise money. It’s as easy as tying your shoes! Put on an old Camp t-shirt (if you have one), and grab your running buddies, camp buddies, and 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! 

Register before midnight on April 1 at to guarantee a t-shirt. Cost is $35. T-shirts will be mailed after the race weekend.
WOC GIVING UPDATE
We are excited to announce that we had even more additional giving towards the Week of Compassion. The total amount our SSCC Members and friends gave was $3660.00.

We thank you for your generosity!
LET'S RECONNECT!
WINTER MOVIE SERIES
Here’s a perfect way to reconnect with SSCC friends, while social-distancing at home! Care & Connect is wrapping up their Winter Movie Series in March.

The last adult movie discussion will be on the movie White Savior: Racism in the American Church. White Savior explores the historic relationship between racism and American Christianity, the ongoing segregation of the church in the U.S. and the complexities of racial reconciliation. Let’s watch and learn then join us Thursday, March 25th at 5:00 PM, for the Zoom discussion.

You can search the movie titles, listed below, on the internet or through your TV service provider to see your best option for viewing. Some of the movies will be free or have a nominal cost depending on whether you subscribe to Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Vudu, etc. Pick a time to view the movie(s) that best fits your schedule.
DOING MINISTRY DIFFERENTLY
HELPING THE CAC
The CAC is in need of volunteers. 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 is facing food insecurity because of a decrease or loss in income, please privately contact Jenna Hicks so that we can provide assistance to keep their 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.
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.
Bryant Gibson March 01
Art Edwards March 02
Kate McKinney March 03
Kaitlin Kahrs March 04
Jeff Moore March 04
Joe Moore March 05
Anne Butz March 06
Steve Clark March 06
Elaine Elliott Donnelly March 06
Jordan Moore March 06
Sandie Reed March 07
Bunny Steinmetz March 11
Shelton Blackburn March 12
James Richard Torbert March 13
Teresa Morse March 15
Lauren Ivey March 18
Ann Walker March 19
Nathan Chimera March 21
Ryan Kahrs March 22
Dale Williamson March 23
Maria Hicks March 24
Laura Campbell March 25
Kathy Elliott March 25
Emily Leek March 26
Marlene Rhine March 26
Denise Shipman March 26
Angi Brown March 28
Richard Walker March 28
John Gilmore March 29
Harrison Brown March 31