THE GOOD NEWS
April 16, 2020
Daily Devotional
Do Not Worry
by Elizabeth Shevlin


Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today.
Matthew 6: 25, 33-34


Raise your hand if you have worried about something or someone over the last few weeks. For me, I have 52 someones to worry about - 52 fifth graders that should be filling my classroom each day. I worry that they are not eating healthy, getting enough exercise, or sleeping a solid amount of hours. I worry that they are not getting anything out of online learning, no matter how much time I put into creating lessons or hosting live video chats. I worry that they are not going to get to celebrate the end of elementary school the way they deserve to. In fact, I worry about all of the things Jesus tells us not to worry about in Matthew 6. 

Jesus urges us not to worry so much. I don’t know about you, but it is hard for me to read those words and not be filled with more anxiety. If I do not worry, then who will? Jesus reassures us that by being faithful and following the path set for us by God, everything we need will be provided for us. This time that we find ourselves in may prompt us to come up with more stressors than we ever knew existed, but none of those can take away the power of taking one thing at a time. 

I have read a lot of messages of hope the last few weeks, asking us to do what we can, where we can, when we can. The rest we have to just let go, and trust that God will take care of what we need. Matthew 6 makes this seem easy. Let this teacher be the first to say it is not easy. However, instead of letting fear of the future or stress or, yes, worry be what guides my decisions, I choose to hold on to hope and find the silver linings every day. That being said, I would like to leave you with a few of my silver linings and challenge you to think of your own. 

  • Technology: Technology has allowed me to connect with my students, friends, and family via video calls and digital assignments. Without it, I would not be able to continue to foster my relationships.
  • Notes: Throughout the last few weeks, students and their parents have emailed, messaged, and even mailed me sweet notes to encourage and share how much they miss our time together. When else would this happen?
  • Time: Time to spend with my fiance I would not normally get, time to move into my new home, time to polish my Spanish skills, and time to remember what is most important. 

Dear God, help us to trust in your perfect care for us, so that we may be free to build our lives on you. Help us to remain optimistic, try our best not to complain, and find the silver linings every day. Amen.
News and Notes
Join Your APC Community in Prayer Daily at 6 pm
During this time that we take care of ourselves by not gathering in person, please begin this ritual of joining one another in daily prayer. Set up a prayer space in your home with a candle and as you are able, gather your family or come alone to your prayer space at 6 pm every day.   Begin by lighting your candle and then pray the Lord's Prayer so we are all praying this together, and then add other prayers as you choose. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.
ACT1's Digital Balcony on Facebook
 “Like” ACT1 Theater's Facebook page, and tune in to the Virtual Balcony! ACT1 is posting videos every 2 hours from 10 am to 6 pm. S ee songs from previous ACT1 shows, bathroom karaoke, songs in pajamas, etc.  Until live entertainment returns, please enjoy this diversion.
"APC Family" Private Facebook Group
"APC Family" is a closed Facebook group just for APC members. Posts are NOT visible to the public. "APC Family" is a place where members can share prayers, an inspirational book or poem, a funny meme or a photo of how your family is adjusting to the "new normal." It's also a place where you can reach out with a question, 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: www.facebook.com/groups/APCfamily
APC Announcements
If you have information to share in the Good News, please send it by 1 pm on Tuesday to office@alpharettapres.com.
Join a Small Group.....Online!
"Faith 5 with Beverly"
Wednesdays at 2 pm, beginning April 22.
Join Rev. Beverly Markham for a time to read scripture, share together and pray together. Contact Beverly for details on how to join the meeting via Zoom.
"The 40-Day New Testament Challenge"
Do you want to grow spiritually during this time? Come along as we read through the entire New Testament in 40 days--with a Sabbath rest each week. The group began on April 13. Please email Rev. Erin Noh to join the group. 
Crossroads
Sundays at 10:30 am
Contact Dale Carter for instructions on how to join the class. Please feel free to invite your friends, family or neighbors. All are welcome. Each session is independent so you’re never lost when coming in and out of individual sessions. Currently, we are discussing: "Unshakable Hope" by Max Lucado

Here is the schedule for classes
  •     Apr 19, 2020 10:30 AM = Session 9. Joy Is Coming Soon (Chpt 11)
  •     Apr 26, 2020 10:30 AM = Session 10. You Will Have Power (Chpt 12)
Faith in Real Life
Sundays, 9:30 am
Leaders: Deanna Womack and Derek Scheidt
We will start the 7-week Animate: Faith video series on April 19. The series includes an optional participant journal for $20: https://www.wearesparkhouse.org/store/product/9781451472882/Animate-Bible-Journal . All are welcome and people can join the meetings whenever they're available, journal not required. Please contact Deanna Womack to join.   
Faith and Modern Life & Centering Prayer
Fridays 10 am - 12 pm (Centering Prayer starts 11 am)
Leaders : Mary Rogovin & Debbie Engler-Key
Contact Mary Rogovin for instructions on how to join the class.
Pastoral Care & Missions
How Can We Help You?
How can we help you? Please direct pastoral care needs and concerns to one of APC's Pastors or Deacons. You may email them directly using REALM or call the church office, 770-751-0033.

Family Promise Update
APC's next Host Week will be in May. The families will remain at St. Luke's Presbyterian for an extended period of time, but host churches are asked to provide Kroger and Publix gift cards as well as overnight volunteers. Contact Yvonne Chrimes to learn more about this ministry partnership and how you can help.

Helping Others Through Our Mission Partners
During this unprecedented time, we recognize that there is great need in our community. Our mission partners are experiencing an increased number of requests for food and financial assistance as more families face economic challenges. If you are able to give during this time, gifts can be made to APC’s Pastors’ Emergency Fund which is used to assist individuals and families in our congregation and community, including our friends at Centro Familiar Cristiano.

We also encourage you to check out the websites of our mission partners and subscribe to their newsletters so that you can stay updated on their changing needs and donate if you are able:
North Fulton Community Charities: https://nfcchelp.org
The Place of Forsyth: https://www.theplaceofforsyth.org
The Drake House: https://thedrakehouse.org
Family Promise: http://www.familypromisenfd.org
Memorial Drive Ministries: https://mdmatl.org

And we invite all of you to pray for our local and global mission partners, for those who are sick or facing other hardship, for healthcare workers and all those who are working to keep all of us safe, and for each other.
Coronavirus Financial Tool Kit by NFCC
The lo nger the quarantine takes, the more people may be affected by deteriorating finances. NFCC and its member agencies are here to help. Counselors are available by phone around the clock to assist if you are experiencing job loss, temporary loss of income or financial hardship during this time. NFCC has a great website that helps people prepare, and also explains resources they may ask for. Please visit
Giving
First quarter 2020 contribution statements were emailed this week. Please contact Laura Moore in the Finance Office if you did not receive one, laura@alpharettapres.com .

Thank you for your faithful giving during this time! Please visit the Pledges and Donations page on APC's website for helpful information on how to set up online giving using your credit/debit card or electronic funds transfer from your bank account, or making donations via text using your cell phone.


Children's Ministry
Family Support - Living together during a Pandemic - Our differences and preferences become very apparent when we are spending so much time together. Helping your family understand one another instead of getting on each others nerves can be helpful.
 
         Take the 5 Love languages Quiz to help you understand one another -
         https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/

Club 45 - Join us for a night at the Movies: April 26th at 5:30 pm - Zoom
Watch the Movie Spiderman - Into the Universe on Netflix before you come to Club 45. Families are encouraged to watch and discuss together. Look for an email from Kristin Hicks on Wednesday, April 22 with all the details.
 
Online Sunday School in your PJs
Join us each week for Virtual Sunday School! Look for the email from Kristin Hicks each Sunday morning with the videos link along with the parent print out to help families continue to hold Sunday School from home each week.
 
Vacation Bible School: Register Now  
APC invites all children ages 3 – 5th grade to a castle adventure – The Quest for the Kings Armor at the Knights of North Castle VBS! This noble adventure includes exciting new music, amazing science creative mission projects fun recreation, and memorable Bible stories that will help children experience God’s amazing strength! The adventure starts on June 29 - July 2 from 9 am – 12 pm. Visit  alpharettapres.com/vbs  today! 
Become a VBS volunteer and help our littlest knights. Our current VBS needs are: 
Sound, Preschool director, Opening and Closing Assembly, Crew Leaders, Preschool science, Indoor games, Decorations Team, Music. Please reach out to  Kristin Hicks  to learn more!
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 Group
While we can’t get together in person, we are still connecting online using Zoom! Links to the meetings are sent out via email and on the GroupMe.
  • Zoom Youth Group on Sundays at 5:30 pm
  • Zoom Bible Study on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm
Senior Slideshow
Attention Graduating Seniors! Youth Sunday is scheduled for May 17 and we want to recognize all that our seniors have accomplished as they graduate from high school or college this spring. We know that this school year isn’t looking like you had planned, but we still want to take the opportunity to celebrate this important milestone! Please start looking for photos of your graduate so that they will be part of the Senior Slideshow. We also want to include their hopes and dreams for the future. Be on the lookout for an email with further details. Photos and information will be due to Bob Cookson (cookson.bob@gmail.com) by April 17 . Contact Anne or Kari with any questions.

Confirmation Sunday
Confirmation Sunday, originally scheduled for Sunday, March 29, will be rescheduled for a future date.

Youth Instagram
Hey, APC Youth! Connect with APC Youth Ministry on Instagram: alpharettapresyouth
Our Church Family
We continue to pray with and for one another during the COVID-19 pandemic and this time of staying at home.

This week, we hold Judy Donahoo in prayer as she has surgery on Wednesday.

We continue to pray for all in our congregation who are receiving ongoing treatments: Nancy Hill, Tom Hyatt, Katelyn Danson, Austin Marrs . We also continue to pray for Florence Heimlich and Dot Rouse , who are in hospice care.
Church Business
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009
770-751-0033 www.alpharettapres.com