THE GOOD NEWS
June 4, 2020
Daily Devotional
For Life and Health

By Dr. Oliver Wagner, Senior Pastor

Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”
Matthew 9:12

For this morning’s daily devotion, I want to share an update on where APC is with the public health pandemic. In March the session closed the facility and property to all group and organizational use. That decision remains in effect currently. We are accepting no additional facility use requests of any kind at present. Church worship, meetings, pastoral care, fellowship, mission and bible studies are happening only in virtual/electronic format. In many ways we are needing to reorient our focus, shift our expectations and reimagine doing ministry in new and creative ways. I applaud all involved for being so nimble and willing to change. On the whole our move to digital ministry has gone very well!

On a Presbytery of Greater Atlanta zoom call a week ago, we learned that Georgia has still not yet reached Phase One of the of the “Opening Up America Guidelines” put out by the Federal Government. Once we do reach “Phase One” there are still two more phases to go - so please be patient. The Presbytery’s advice on that call was to do as we are now doing: go slowly, hold church meetings remotely, conduct worship electronically and limit singing to solos. To view Presbytery’s guidance, see www.atlpcusa.org and click on the “Covid-19 Resources”.

Our session has appointed a Public Health Advisory Team composed of three persons (Dr. Salpi Adrouny, Elder Susan McBreairty and Steven Wardrup) to guide and advise the session on how to safely conduct ministry in these challenging days. Their advice, expertise and effort is greatly appreciated. That advisory team is now working on formulating a response to the many questions and requests posed to them from our ministries and staff members. They will formulate a recommendation to session on how and when to safely move forward. Session will review, discuss and debate, perhaps edit/change those recommendations, and then prayerfully vote. Of course, the situation with this highly contagious and life-threatening virus is evolving and changing constantly, and so all decisions will need to be monitored and reconsidered in an ongoing fashion.

Further, I want you to know that I am in close conversation with colleagues around the Presbytery. Our sister and brother congregations are in the same situation as we are and so we will remain in close conversation. Now is a time to make sacrifices, work extra hard to maintain the unity of spirit and the bond of peace and be extra-sensitive to the needs and concerns of those most vulnerable. As a people of prayer who strive daily to “deny self” and “carry the cross” of sacrifice and obedience, I trust that God will lead us through this time of crisis, loss, uncertainty and trial. Please add your prayers for those who have lost loved ones and livelihood in this crisis. Please pray for church members and staff. Please pray for the advisory team and session that they might have wisdom, courage and discernment to safely, effectively, creatively and faithfully move forward as “one body” composed of many individual members.

Lord Jesus Christ, you invite all who follow you to deny self, take up our cross and follow you. Lead us forward as disciples in your humble service.
Let our sacrifices and faithfulness make a bright and compelling witness of your life-giving love to a world in need. Amen.
From the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta
News and Notes
Coffee and Conversation
Thursdays at 10 am, starts June 11
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 beginning June 11. Join in for an hour or for 5 minutes - whatever suits you. Email Beverly for the Zoom login.
Congratulations to all who took up the 40-day New Testament Reading Challenge together with Rev. Erin Noh. Following are the names of those who completed the reading. Great job!
Norma Capone
Blake Cherrington
Judy Donnahoo
Barbara Gibson
Richard Gibson
Nancy Hathy
Nancy Hill
Susan McBreairty
Fran Mosher
Lea-Anne Moxley
Augustine Mulia
Hudy Mulia
Erin Noh
Lynn Reiman
Susan Smith
Jerry Temple
Barbara Jones
One Great Hour of Sharing Offering
APC will participate in the PC(USA)’s One Great Hour of Sharing on Sunday, June 14. This special offering supports Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the Presbyterian Hunger Program, and Self-Development of People, all of which work to serve individuals and communities in need. You can contribute to this offering by giving online through APC’s website or by texting the word “alpharettapres” to 73256, and selecting “One Great Hour of Sharing” from the dropdown list. Thank you for considering making a gift.
Calling the Church Office
Even though the church office remains closed at this time, phone messages are checked daily. You may call the church at 770-751-0033, and your call will be returned as soon as possible.
"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
June Adult Education Series
Please register to attend! June Adult Sunday School Series to Focus 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. In June, APC will offer an adult Sunday school series focusing on ways to be more inclusive, welcoming, and loving in our diverse community and world.

June 7: LGBTQ Inclusion. Derek Scheidt and Kevin Isom will discuss what it was like to be excluded by the faith community and to live in fear of discrimination for having a same gender relationship, and how the search for a spiritual place of refuge took many different turns until they landed at APC, a fellowship of believers who welcome all. For details contact Derek Scheidt .
Please register through Realm no later than 5 PM on Friday, June 5. Zoom information will be emailed to you. Realm link

June 14: Serving Refugees . David Roth, from Memorial Drive Ministries in Clarkston, will speak about refugee ministries, the importance of refugee resettlement services in the Atlanta area, and what churches can do to support this work. For details contact Erin Noh .
Please register through Realm no later than 5pm on Friday, June 12. Zoom information will be emailed to you. Realm link

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
Join a Small Group.....Online!
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.

New Book Discussion Begins June 12: Join Us!
"Grounded" by Diana Butler Bass
Winner of the Religious Newswriters Association Book Award and the Wilbur Award.
The headlines are clear: religion is on the decline in America as many people leave behind traditional religious practices. Diana Butler Bass, leading commentator on religion, politics, and culture, follows up her acclaimed book  Christianity After Religion  by arguing that what appears to be a decline actually signals a major transformation in how people understand and experience God. The distant God of conventional religion has given way to a more intimate sense of the sacred that is with us in the world. This shift, from a vertical understanding of God to a God found on the horizons of nature and human community, is at the heart of a spiritual revolution that surrounds us – and that is challenging not only religious institutions but political and social ones as well.
Alpharetta Small Group's New Study :
"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: Memorial Drive Ministries
Memorial Drive Ministries is a new mission partner for APC located in Clarkston, Georgia, “the most diverse square mile in North America.” MDM “is a church-based non-profit that fosters diverse worshipping communities, innovative social services, and transformative relationships.” Onsite partners include Just Bakery which trains, certifies, and employs refugees at a living wage; Inspire Afterschool Initiative which offers middle school students a safe place to spend their evenings, healthy snacks enrichment activities, and academic support; and a number of diverse worshipping communities and recreation groups.

APC members have had the opportunity to visit MDM’s vibrant campus to worship with Shalom International Ministry and attend an open house last November for a cookout, tour, and opportunity to meet some of the people who are part of the ministry happening at MDM. In addition to financial support, APC also hosted a drive to collect children’s books for Refugee Family Literacy and sewing machines for the Amani Women’s Center in February, all of which is greatly appreciated by MDM.

You can learn more about Memorial Drive Ministries by going to their website and planning to attend APC’s online adult education series on June 14 which will be led by MDM’s executive director, David Roth. (Make sure you register on Realm by Friday, June 12!) We are looking forward to growing this new relationship between APC and MDM as we seek to serve our refugee and immigrant neighbors.
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
VBS NEWS!
The Knights of North Castle - Virtual edition
We are excited to announce that we will be using our original theme - The Knights of North Castle as a Virtual VBS for our church family the last week of July. You will be able to sign up and then pick up a box for each participant with all the things you need to do VBS at home. Parents will be sent an email with all the details! Get excited to understand the strength of God’s power by exploring how we put on the armor of God.
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.

How to Talk to Your Young Children About Social Justice
Here is a great resource to save and use to help you discuss social justice issues with your family:
http://www.childrenscommunityschool.org/social-justice-resources/
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 are still in the process of planning our summer youth ministry schedule, coming up with safe and fun ways to connect over the summer. We will keep you posted! Please keep an eye on your email and the GroupMe for updates.

Youth Instagram
Hey, APC Youth! Connect with APC Youth Ministry on Instagram: alpharettapresyouth
Our Church Family
We share our Christian love and sympathy with the family and many friends of  Mary Dantzler , who died on Saturday, May 30. We hold David and Ann Dantzler, John and Nancy Dantzler, Anne and Mike Mahone, and Elizabeth and David Semones, as well as Mary's many beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren and sister-in-law Nancy Chisholm in our prayers. Memorial service details are pending.

We are holding in prayer our members who are in the hospital.

We pray for Keith Wagner , who is having surgery for prostate cancer on June 6.

We pray for our country:
  • for the families of black women and men who have died unjustly
  • for police officers who are working hard to protect their cities and the people who live in them
  • for peaceful protesters who are working towards a more just and equitable society 
  • for violent protesters who believe destruction and death are the answers to our problems - may they be changed
  • for all of us - may we not grow weary in doing good in Christ's name during this long season of overwhelming stress and isolation.
Church Business
Session Digest:


The next Session meeting is June 5, 2020.
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009
770-751-0033 www.alpharettapres.com