THE GOOD NEWS
June 19, 2020
Daily Devotional
Sometimes God is Not Very Subtle

By Dave Berry

Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even So. Amen. Revelation 1:7

After nearly four years of study, our Disciple 4 class was rounding the final turn, and heading for home. What a great accomplishment! Through the years we have all learned much and grown in the faith (as well as developed and enhanced great friendships).

As our custom, we distributed class leadership across all participants. It was my turn to lead us into our next and final book. The book of Revelation. On the week of our first lesson of Revelation, a world-wide pandemic was declared - Covid-19. A coincidence? I don't think so.

As we threw ourselves into study and discussion of this and lessons that followed, I think it fair to say we all experienced a sense of dread, considering what was happening in our world. Our world situation made our study of the Great Conflict and the Seven Bowls of Wrath from the book of Revelation much more real. This was not just some abstract description of the church and the world under distress and judgment, it was something we could directly relate to. I think given the circumstances we studied this more intensely than most other lessons.

The book of Revelation is filled with great color and imagery. It is filled with plague, dread, and the conflict with the devil. Because of this, many shy away from reading or studying this book. It scares us and challenges us.
But this book is very relevant today. When you boil it all down, Jesus is challenging us and the churches to make a binary decision. Do we choose Christ, or do we choose the world and our human condition corrupted by sin? One choice offers an everlasting relationship with God. The other a separation from God.

It seems to me that there is only one choice to make. We must accept Christ's great gift of salvation and stay true to His path. Think about how much better this world would be if we followed this path and all loved one another rather than getting into conflict over race, or property, or anything else of this world.
God is always sending us clear messages, but we are often distracted by all of the noise of our world. Take a moment to listen and observe the beauty of His creation and you will see and experience His many wonders. The pandemic was not very subtle at all, but it shook me enough at the right time to pay closer attention.

Alpha and Omega, you call us to yourself and command us to worship and serve you about all else. Help us hear your gracious invitation and gladly obey by daily living faithfully, intentionally and joyfully as your people in this very challenging and stressful time. Amen.
June Adult Education Series
Please register to attend!
June Series on PCUSA's Matthew 25 Initiative
The PCUSA’s Matthew 25 initiative challenges us to embrace Jesus’ call in Matthew 25:31-46 to deepen our faith and become more actively engaged in our community and the world. This includes serving people whom our society has oppressed, marginalized, or excluded. Each Sunday in June, APC will offer an adult Sunday school class focusing on ways to be more inclusive, welcoming, and loving in our diverse community and world.
June 21: Seeking Interfaith Friendship . In the first of two sessions on her book, Neighbors: Christians and Muslims Building Community, Deanna Womack will address how interfaith friendship is a Christian calling and what steps we can take to build better relationships with neighbors of all faiths. For details contact Deanna Womack .
Please register through Realm no later than 5pm on Friday, June 19. Zoom information will be emailed to you. Realm link

June 28: Understanding our Muslim Neighbors . In this second session on her book, Neighbors: Christians and Muslims Building Community, Deanna Womack will challenge us to build understanding with Muslims in our community and stand up against Islamophobia. For details contact Deanna Womack.
Please register through Realm no later than 5pm on Friday, June 26. Zoom information will be emailed to you. Realm link
Previous Class: June 14, Serving Refugees
Use this link to watch the class.
David Roth from Memorial Drive Ministries in Clarkston discusses the importance of refugee resettlement services in the Atlanta area and what churches can do to support this work. David shared the following resources for more information:
Previous Class: June 7, LGBTQ Inclusion
Use this link to view the class.
During Derek Scheidt and Kevin Isom's presentation, they mentioned Susan Cottrell, an international speaker and prominent voice for faith parents of LGBTQ children. To learn more, visit Susan's website: https://www.loveandinclusion.com/ .
July Adult Education Series
Please register! July Adult Sunday School Series
We invite you 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 now in preparation for our four-week class. Sunday 9:30-10:30 am led by our pastors:

July 5 - Rev. Beverly Markham
July 12 - Rev. Ollie Wagner
July 19 - Rev. Anne Fyffe
July 26 - Rev. Erin Noh

Please register through Realm no later than 5 pm on Friday, July 3. Zoom information will be emailed to you. Realm link
News and Notes
Need Masks?
The women of the Amani Women's Center Sewing Group are making cloth masks from their homes. This organization is part of one of APC's mission partners, Memorial Drive Ministries, which supports refugees. The masks are made from cotton material and have sewn-in filters of natural 100% organic cotton muslin. Suggested donation per mask is $10 with an additional $4-10 for shipping. The money goes directly to the women who made your masks. For more information and to order a mask, please visit the following link: www.amaniwomencenter.org .
One Great Hour of Sharing Offering
Thank your for your gifts of $725 to the One Great Hour of Sharing special offering collected last week to provide food, shelter, job assistance and education worldwide to those in need. You can contribute to this offering by giving online through APC’s website ormu by texting the word “alpharettapres” to 73256, and selecting “One Great Hour of Sharing” from the dropdown list.
Realm update
Thank you to all who took the time last week to update your online information in our church database Realm. If you have not yet had the opportunity to do, we hope you will soon. Realm is an important tool which enables staff and church members to contact each other and facilitates small group and volunteer involvement.
Please note that other church members can only see your name, address, email, phone number, your birth date (without the birth year), and the church groups you belong to. You can change your privacy settings by logging into Realm and clicking on "Manage Privacy". Please use these short instructions.
These Days
The July, August, September 2020 issue of "These Days: Daily Devotions for Living by Faith" has arrived at APC. If you would like to have one, please pick up a copy from the bench outside the Narthex doors leading to the sanctuary on
  • Monday, June 22, between 10 am and 1 pm
  • Tuesday, June 23, between 10 am and 1 pm
or email the church office (office@alpharettapres.com) to have a copy mailed to you.
"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: www.facebook.com/groups/APCfamily
Shopping with Amazon Smile = Free $ for APC
Shopping Online?—Support APC’s ministries every time you shop at Amazon, at no cost to you! Visit smile.amazon.com, choose “Alpharetta Presbyterian Church, Alpharetta, GA” as your charity of choice. A percentage of your purchase will come back to APC. APC receives 0.5% percent of each participant's purchase, which amounted to about $600 in 2019.
Join a Small Group.....Online!
NEW: The 100-Day Old Testament Challenge
Come along as we read through the entire Old Testament in 100 days, with a Sabbath rest each week. You will be reading 10 chapters a day. The group will begin meeting on Monday, June 22, 2020. Please email Rev. Erin Noh to join the group.
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 :
"Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World"
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.
Crossroads
The Crossroads Sunday morning class will participate in the Matthew 25 Adult Education Series during the month of June. See the article above for links to sign up for the June classes in Realm. In July we will begin a study of Adam Hamilton's "Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White."
Mission Partners
Spotlight on: La Gonave Haiti Partnership

APC has been involved with the LGHP (La Gonave Haiti Partnership) for many years as a partner of the organization, helping to fund many programs and projects on the island of La Gonave, specifically in the tiny village of Ticotelette. APC’s financial support primarily goes toward meals for children and salaries for teachers at the school in the village. APC also travels to La Gonave on mission trips and dates for the next trip will be announced whenever plans can be made. Through LGHP, APC receives updates about needs and life on the island from Pere Vil, the Episcopal priest-in-charge on La Gonave.

Over the past few years, government corruption in Haiti has led to protests on the mainland affecting the lives of those on La Gonave. Transportation to and from the island has stopped or is intermittent, depending on the daily situation, meaning that residents of La Gonave do not have access to the markets and goods they need from the mainland. As of May 20, there were no cases of COVID-19 on La Gonave, but there is an urgent need for masks to help protect people.

During the pandemic, LGHP has provided funding to purchase Gadyen Dlo, a chlorine product, and Bokit, a 5 gallon bucket, allowing access to clean water for washing hands (important for virus protection) and cooking. Over 800 buckets have been delivered to La Gonave.

APC member Randy Schiltz is our liaison with LGHP and you can contact him at 770-826-3666 if you would like to learn more about APC’s partnership with LGHP or how you can support the people of La Gonave. Please keep La Gonave and all of Haiti in your prayers, especially during this time.
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 https://alpharettapres.com/give-serve/mission-partners/ . 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.
Children's Ministry
Virtual VBS
The Knights of North Castle - Virtual Edition
There is lots of fun ahead for our first ever virtual edition of VBS. We will be learning how to put on our full Armor of God through stories, activities, crafts, science songs and much more. Look for a SignUp Genius email that will come out next week and sign-up to pick up your box of supplies!
Compassion Camp
We will also invite families to participate in an additional camp this summer from our friends at Illustrated Childrens’ Ministries called Compassion Camp. Compassion Camp will help children to better understand compassion for others ourselves and the world. We will hold Compassion Camp in July and will send details on that soon.
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 person to lead us in our movement (Basic Yoga Poses and breathing). This can be recorded ahead of time.
Helping Children Around Us - Virtual School Supply Drive
One of the things we have been talking about in Sunday school this summer is how we can share the love of Christ and the many blessings that we have with others. Here is an idea for you and your children to do just that. 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. Here are a few ideas of how you could get them involved:

Encourage your children to brainstorm about how they could raise money to donate towards school supplies:
• Lemonade stand
• Popsicle stand
• Sell homemade cookies
• Yard work
• Dog walking
• Babysitting

When you are ready to make your donation, use this link:

Let us know how you plan to help with this by posting in the APC Family Facebook group!
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 videos 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 should have a schedule of youth activities for you next week! Thank you for your patience as we’ve continued to navigate how to do youth ministry during a pandemic in a way that’s as safe and fun as possible. We’re looking forward to the next couple months and are excited to connect with all of you!

Youth Instagram
Hey, APC Youth! Connect with APC Youth Ministry on Instagram: alpharettapresyouth
Our Church Family
We continue to pray for our members as we continue to gather virtually even as we travel for summer vacations! This week we especially pray for...

Jill and Daniel Jones on the birth of their daughter, Hallie Ann , born on June 14 at 1:00 pm. We celebrate with big siblings Dalton and Finley. Welcome Hallie, child of God!

We pray for families who are living with the uncertainty of a COVID-19 diagnosis, for those who are hospitalized with the virus, and this who are grieving the deaths of those who have died.
Church Business
Session Digest:


The next Session meeting is June 19, 2020.
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009
770-751-0033 www.alpharettapres.com