July 9, 2020
Daily Devotional
Foolish Choice!

By Dr. Oliver Wagner, Senior Pastor

“Esau said to Jacob, ‘Let me eat some of that stew for I am famished.’ Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright.’ So Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for the bread and lentil stew which he ate, and then went his way.” -from Genesis 25:29-34

Have you ever been so focused on some present need or circumstance that you made a decision you later came to regret? Esau sure did! He was so hungry he sold his birthright. In “despising his birthright” for stew, Esau satisfied his hunger for a day, but gave up the privilege of being first-born (which was a tremendous benefit in ancient times). Esau met a fleeting and short-term need (hunger) but it cost him a great and long-lasting blessing. So many times we are guilty of the same. We foolishly choose that which makes us happy now…only to regret our short-sightedness later. 

Doing that which is faithful, wise and good is often hard. “Denying self and picking up your cross” isn’t easy work! So instead, we are tempted to take the short cut to pleasure or ease. We are guilty of dismissing negative future consequences for current convenience. (Look it up: how long will that plastic cup be in a landfill?) It is a hard lesson to learn, but it can be learned! Can you think of examples from your life? I know I can. 

Eating healthy, exercising, pursuing education, working and keeping on a worthwhile task, taking time to develop relationships, helping others, assuming responsibility and caring for the well-being of the earth…all of these have benefits “in the long run.” Making good choices in life sometimes means we must delay satisfaction and put-off reward. That cell phone call or text you get while driving can wait! Faithfulness, discipline, sacrifice, mercy and endurance are indeed challenging pursuits. But in time those sacrifices pay great dividends and bring lasting rewards!  

 God of our lives, help us make wise and faithful choices each day as we strive to follow Jesus. Teach us that ‘suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, character produces hope and hope never disappoints us.’ Amen.
July Adult Education Series
"Anxious to Talk About It: Helping White Christians Talk Faithfully about Racism"

Week 2: Sunday, July 12
9:30-10:30 am via Zoom
Led by Rev. Ollie Wagner

Use this link to register through Realm no later than 5 pm on Friday, July 10 . Please make sure you finish the registration process - you will receive a confirmation email once registration is completed. Zoom meeting information will be emailed to you on Saturday morning.

We invite you to join with us in reading and discussing the book "Anxious to Talk About It: Helping White Christians Talk Faithfully about Racism" by Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary professor Carolyn B. Helsel. As Christians, we engage in difficult conversations all the time about sin, forgiveness, grace, among many other issues. But, we often shy away from discussing race. We get anxious, nervous, angry, defensive, and we decide it's too hard or it doesn't apply to us. Our pastors want to read this book with you and use it as an invitation to explore our feelings, embrace our discomfort, and own our responsibility to love our neighbors - especially neighbors who have been devastated by the sin of racism.
We encourage you to buy and read the book so that you may participate in this special series led by our pastors.

Missed Week 1? Watch the class video here .

July 12 - Rev. Ollie Wagner
July 19 - Rev. Anne Fyffe
July 26 - Rev. Erin Noh
August 2 - Rev. Dr. Carolyn Helsel, author of  Anxious to Talk about It and Rev. Steve Miller, founder and CEO of the United States Christian Leadership Organization, will join us for a panel discussion.  Rev. Dr. Helsel  ( website ) teaches at the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, Texas.  Rev. Miller ( website)  is the director of the HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Truth and Reconciliation Oral History Project. 
Memorial Service
Online Memorial Service July 11 for Mary Dantzler
APC's first online memorial service will be shared this Saturday at 11 am as we celebrate the life of our beloved Mary Chisholm Dantzler . Please note: the service will not be held at the church. This will be a pre-recorded service, similar to the online worship service links we share each Sunday. A link to the service will be emailed to those receiving APC electronic communications and also posted on Saturday morning to our website at . The service will include the Sacrament of Communion for those who wish to participate at home using red wine/juice and bread/crackers. At the appropriate time you will be invited to eat, drink and prayerfully remember Jesus’ saving death. The family has asked that gifts be directed to the APC Memorial Fund .
News and Notes
New Roof for Original Phase of APC's Building
Property improvement projects continue this month at APC including preparations for a new roof for the oldest part of our building. Phase One, shown in this photo from over 30 years ago, included the original sanctuary (now the theater), church offices (now the nursery rooms), original kitchen and fellowship area (now the Sunshine Room where handbells rehearse), and APC Dayschool (Garden and Fountain rooms downstairs).
Do You Have the Realm App on Your Device?
Stay connected to APC wherever you go by downloading the free “Realm Connect - Our Church Community” app for iPhone/iPad/Apple devices and Android devices . Use it to communicate with others from APC, RSVP to events, manage your giving, update profile information, and more. It makes it easier for us to connect during this time of disconnection and to know what’s happening at APC. Want to learn more about what the Realm Connect App can do? Watch this video!    
"APC Family" Private Facebook Group
"APC Family" is a closed Facebook group just for APC members. Posts are NOT visible to the public. Members can share prayers, inspiration, and humor---as well as share information or ask for assistance and support. Simply login in to Facebook and search for "APC Family," then request to join. You may also use this link:
APC Announcements
If you have information to share in the Good News, please send it by 1 pm on Tuesday to .
Mission Partners
Blood Drive at APC - THIS SUNDAY
APC's Mission Committee is partnering with LifeSouth to offer a Blood Drive in APC's parking lot on July 12, from 9 am to 1 pm. LifeSouth will test for COVID-19 antibodies as well as cholesterol levels. Since blood plasma containing COVID-19 antibodies is being used to save lives, it is exciting to know we might have some donors who will contribute to saving the lives of COVID-19 sufferers. Donors would be limited to three at a time in the vehicle. The signup link below limits the number of donors in the Bloodmobile to three. All of the LifeSouth employees will be wearing masks and will sanitize the space used by donors as well as pens and other objects after each use.  Donors must be 16 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds, and show photo-ID. 16-year-olds require written parental permission. Check out this sweet deal - a Pint for a Pint. Each person who donates blood will receive a certificate for a pint of ice cream at Publix!
North Fulton Community Charities: School Supply Drive
Did you know? Almost 10,000 children live in poverty in North Fulton. You can help every child in our community feel the excitement of having a new backpack and school supplies to start the year. Due to Covid-19 social distancing requirements, this year's school supply drive will be a little different. Members of our congregation will make monetary donations, then our mission committee members will do the school supply shopping and deliver filled backpacks to NFCC. The estimated cost of backpacks per age group are: $75 (elementary), $90 (middle school), $125 (high school). But ALL dollar amounts will help bring joy and excitement to the student recipients.

To donate, please visit the GIVE page on APC's website , select Electronic Funds Transfer, and select "mission" from the drop-down menu. You may also text the words "alpharettapres" to 73256 and select "mission" from the drop-down menu.
We encourage you to stay connected with all of our mission partners by checking out their websites and newsletters. You can find out more about all of our partners by going to . Let us continue to pray for our community and our world, for those who are in need and those who are working to meet those needs every day.
Join a Small Group.....Online!
Coffee and Conversation
Thursdays at 10 am
Please join Rev. Beverly Markham for coffee one morning per week. We all need some care right now, we need to talk about what's going on in our world, we need to see one another's faces, and we need to laugh together. So, make your coffee and join in the casual conversation on Thursday mornings at 10 am. Join in for an hour or for 5 minutes - whatever suits you. Email Beverly for the Zoom login.
Faith and Modern Life & Centering Prayer:
Fridays 10 am - 12 pm (Centering Prayer starts 11 am) via Zoom
Leaders: Mary Rogovin & Debbie Engler-Key
Contact Mary Rogovin for instructions on how to join the class.
The group is currently reading "Grounded" by Diana Butler Bass.
Alpharetta Small Group :
Tuesdays at 8 pm via Zoom
Contact Derek Scheidt for instructions on how to join the class. All are welcome and you can join anytime. We are discussing "Anxious for Nothing" by Max Lucado, based on Philippians 4.
Monday Morning Men's Bible Study
Mondays at 8 am via Zoom
Join Rev. Ollie Wagner to discuss the lectionary readings for upcoming Sundays. Contact Ollie for details on how to join the meeting.
Children's Ministry
More VBS-at-Home Fun!
More fun pics to share from APC's littlest Knights of North Castle----including Judy D.'s grandson whose VBS kit traveled all the way to the Bronx, New York!
Compassion Camp
We invite all families to participate this summer in Compassion Camp to help children better understand compassion for others, ourselves and the world. See below for ways you can help volunteer and stay tuned for more details.
We are looking for a few volunteers to help with compassion camp:

5 families or adults that would be willing to act out and record ahead of time the following Bible stories:
    Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32)
    Friends bring their friend on a mat to Jesus (Mark 2:1-12)
    The Greatest Commandment ( Mark 12:28-31)
    Ruth and Orpah (Ruth 1)
    God’s Jubilee (Leviticus 25)
One song leader/guitar player - can be recorded ahead of time.
Helping Children Around Us - Virtual School Supply Drive
Each year The Place at Forsyth works with Forsyth County Schools to ensure that all children have the supplies they need to begin school. Usually we have a campaign at our church. This year instead they are holding a virtual school supply drive. See details in the link below. It would be easy to just write a check, but I encourage you to allow your children to be a part of the process. Encourage your children to brainstorm about how they could raise money to donate towards school supplies. Let us know how you plan to help with this by posting in the APC Family Facebook group! When you are ready to make your donation, use this link:
Summer Sunday school
Even though school's out for summer, we are still holding Sunday school. Join us each week for Virtual Sunday school wherever you are! – Look for the email from Kristin Hicks each Sunday morning with the video's link along with the parent print out to help families continue to hold Sunday school from home each week. Summer Sunday school will continue for the summer to keep kids connected and remind them that God is with them wherever they are.
Stay in touch
Stay in touch this school year and receive fun faith resources that connect you to APC for the school year– Join our Facebook page!
Facebook: @alpharetttapreschildren
Youth Ministry
Youth Ministry's Summer Schedule
We’re able to meet in person for youth group again! We will be meeting outside in small groups (no more than 10 people) with appropriate social distancing, mask-wearing, and other requirements. We’re excited to get together and have fun! Upcoming dates -

  • Sunday, July 12 - High School Small Group, 7:00-8:00 pm
  • Wednesday, July 15 - Yoga Night (MS and HS), 7:00-8:00 pm
  • Sunday, July 19 - Middle School Small Group, 7:00-8:00 pm
  • Wednesday, July 22 - Theme Night (MS and HS), 7:00-8:00 pm

RSVP using the SignUp Genius in your email to attend. Check your email for more details and a complete schedule for the rest of the summer. Contact Anne Fyffe if you have any questions. Make sure you’re in the GroupMe.

The 2020 Confirmation class has been working hard and will be confirmed during the online worship service on July 26. You won't want to miss it!

Youth Instagram
Connect with APC Youth Ministry on Instagram: alpharettapresyouth
Our Church Family
We share our Christian love and sympathy with the family and friends of Nelda Grayson who died on July 6. The family's plans for a memorial service are pending.

Congratulations to Woody and Gladys Cannon who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

Dan Gaines is recovering at home after surgery for a crushed heel bone.

Congratulations to Hunter Krenek and Lauren Holland on their wedding on July 11 in Gainesville, Georgia, at Grace Episcopal Church. Hunter is the son of Rose Krenek and the grandson of Bill Masters .

We continue to pray for all people who are caregivers in hospitals as COVID-19 cases increase again, for the people who have the virus, and for their families.

We continue to pray for our country as we do the hard work of changing oppressive systems.

We continue to pray for our church as we continue to learn how to be a community even as we are separate. 
Church Business
Session Digest:

The next Session meeting is July 10, 2020.
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009