THE GOOD NEWS
May 7, 2020
Daily Devotional
Lost or Bewildered?

by Dick Bean

“For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He knows you through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you.” Deuteronomy 2:7

God’s people had escaped slavery in Egypt only to end up on a forty-year journey to the promised land. Ironically, Moses, their leader, would not live to see the promised land.

We are also on a journey not in the sense of the movement of people to a new land but a journey of social distancing and introspection. How are you coping? I hope you can see the opportunity of this event by connecting with family and friends via electronic means and by walking or bicycling if you are able, or completing in-home projects that you suddenly have time to do. In our household, we have completed a number of projects around the house and at Sharon’s parents’ house, a large expanse of mow-able land (we estimate around 4 acres.)

I hope that you are seeing the opportunity in all of this and are not feeling lost or bewildered by it. A family ancestor of ours, Daniel Boone, was asked once if he ever felt lost on his adventures. He said no but he did feel bewildered for several days once.

As we are learning, many people are working on treatments and vaccinations for Covid-19. I have confidence that both a successful treatment and an effective vaccine will be developed quickly. Viral diseases have been around for a very long time, so the Covid-19 virus is just the latest in a long series of viral impacts on us. Smallpox, caused by the variola virus, has been around for thousands of years and at one time resulted in a 30% death rate and infected people worldwide. Many people now do not receive the smallpox vaccination because this virus is no longer considered a threat. The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 resulted in many millions of deaths worldwide. It was an H1N1 virus, which still poses a threat, and is one of the reasons the flu shot is so critical to our well being. When I was young, another disease threatened the world and it, too, was a viral infection. It was called polio. The US had a major polio epidemic in 1952 with approximately 58,000 reported infections and over 3,000 fatalities. Many of the infected and, consequently, fatalities were children. Parents were frightened and worried and action was demanded. All this sounds very familiar to us in our current circumstance. People worked diligently and, in a relatively short time, hope in the form of a polio vaccination became available. When I was in second grade in 1954 -1955, my elementary school class was loaded onto several buses and transported to the county seat, Lawrenceville, GA, to a health clinic there. We were lined up in a hallway and waited until we were led individually into a small room where we were given a vaccination (one of 3 given several months apart) for polio. It was the spring of 1955, and we were some of the early participants in this nationwide effort to prevent the spread of a terrible and debilitating viral infection. At that age, I didn’t know a lot about what was being done to us and for what reason(s) it was being done, but I learned later about Dr. Jonas Salk and the Salk vaccine which our class received.

Later, I lined up for another vaccination series, the Sabin vaccine, which was administered on a sugar cube. As my education progressed, I wanted to know more about science and became a science major in college. I became a clinical microbiologist and chemist and later industrial chemist and microbiologist. As a result, I worked with anthrax, legionella, cholera, hepatitis, TB and a host of other microbiological menaces.

In the 1950’s we had a health emergency and a vigorous response to that emergency occurred. I believe that with the Covid-19, we will develop treatments and vaccine(s) for this virus. It will take time, but in the meantime, we can help by avoiding close contact with others, providing a 6-foot free space from others when we are out, coughing into our elbows, restricting travel and washing our hands frequently. Mask wearing, when we are in public, has been highly recommended, and we are using the ones Sharon made for us. When I was young, parents did not allow their children to swim in public pools. For many children back then, it was a sacrifice. Now our list of do’s and don’ts is longer, and our social distancing is greater, but we can do it.

Keep safe!

God, grant us patience and understanding as we learn to cope with the daily demands placed on us by this pandemic. Help us be ever mindful of your presence as you were for your people in their long journey many years ago. In Christ’s name we do pray. Amen
News and Notes
Sharing Prayers with the Alpharetta Community
If you drive by the church on Academy Street this week, you'll notice a new addition to the front lawn inviting our walk-by neighbors to stop at this colorful prayer station and share a prayer for our local community. People may bring ribbons from home to tie on, representing a special prayer, or just pause a moment to know that APC is praying with and for them during this time. We are in this together!
Mother's Day Offering
This Sunday, APC will participate in the Caring Hands offering for Presbyterian Homes of Georgia. This offering allows Presbyterian Homes to continue to provide care and housing for elderly residents in their retirement communities across Georgia. Thank you for considering making a gift, which you can do through the church website' s Pledges and Donations page. There you'll find instructions on how to give via mail, text or electronic funds transfer, selecting "Presbyterian Homes Caring Hands Fund" from the drop-down menu.
Shopping with Amazon Smile = Free $ for APC
Shopping Online?—Support AP C’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 person's purchase,  which amounted to about $600 in 2019.
Year to Date Financial Update (1 st  Quarter Ended 03/31/2020)
Income: $282,520 Actual; $317,033 Budget
Expenses: $283,224 Actual; $315,958 Budget
Surplus (Deficit): ($704) Actual; $1,074 Budget
Need a Face Mask?
An APC member has donated a large number of face masks for church members who need them. If interested, please contact the church office , 770-751-0033.
Join Your APC Community in Prayer Daily at 6 pm
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.
"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
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 through May 20
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.
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.
Faith in Real Life
Sundays, 9:30 am
Leaders: Deanna Womack and Derek Scheidt
We are using the Animate: Faith video series. All are welcome and people can join the meetings whenever they're available. 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.
Mission Partners
NFCC
Spotlight on: North Fulton Community Charities

APC has a great community partner in North Fulton Community Charities. NFCC offers a number of services that contribute to their mission of building self-sufficiency, preventing homelessness, and stopping hunger by serving individuals and families in North Fulton. Now in response to COVID-19, NFCC has turned all of their focus to emergency services: food and financial assistance. They have reported a huge increase in requests for help and their staff is working tirelessly to meet these needs.

APC has a longstanding relationship with NFCC. We collect food in a bin in Fellowship Hall on an ongoing basis, participate in special collections throughout the year for school supplies, winter coats, and food at the holidays, and provide financial support. We are grateful to have NFCC as a resource and trusted partner in our community.

While our church building is closed, we are unable to collect and coordinate food pantry donations, but APC’s support of NFCC continues. We encourage you to check out nfcchelp.org to learn more about the important work that NFCC does and consider how you can be part of it. There has never been a better time for us to pull together to help our neighbors and one of the ways we do so at APC is through our partnership with NFCC.


Family Promise Update

Our three Family Promise families are thriving with all the support given by the various host congregations. APC provided overnight volunteers as well as $1000+ in grocery gift cards from APC, St James & St Thomas Aquinas! Shannon Pickerel and Yvonne Chrimes shopped for groceries and supplies and three church members provided desserts. Many thanks to St Luke's Presbyterian for housing our families at their church for extended weeks and giving stability when needed most. Kudos to Andrea Brantley and Wanda Hunter with Family Promise North Fulton/Dekalb as they provide much needed frontline services during our chaotic COVID times. As Famiily Promise searches for grant opportunities, if you have a connection with the four companies listed below, please let Shannon Pickerel know: Jackson Healthcare, Bennett Trasher, Country Club of the South, Charity Guild of Johns Creek. Continued prayers for our Family Promise families!
Children's Ministry
VBS 2020
After careful deliberation, the Children’s Ministry Committee has decided due to
COVID-19 we will not be holding our regular VBS on June 29-July 2nd. We are sad we have to cancel but feel that it is the best choice for all considered. We are currently evaluating what activities we will be doing in place of VBS this summer or if we are able to do a modified version and will keep you posted. If you have already paid for VBS, we will be issuing refunds. Please contact Kristin Hicks with any questions.   
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.

Resources for Children and Parents - Covid-19
   Time Capsule for Children---click here .
   How to talk to your kids about Coronavirus (PBS)---click here .
   Talking to your children about the Coronavirus (NYT)---click here .
   Helping Children Cope with Scary News---click here .
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
NO Youth Group on Mother's Day 5/10, 5/24 & 5/31
  • Zoom Bible Study on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm
Senior Slideshow
Attention Graduating Seniors! This is the last call to submit photos for the senior slideshow on Youth Sunday (May 17). Please check your emails for more information or reach out to Anne or Kari with any questions.

Youth Sunday
Mark your calendars - Youth Sunday is on May 17! Youth have planned and will lead this special service. Speaking parts have been emailed out and everyone is asked to record their part and send it in by Sunday, May 10. More details are included in the email.

Youth Instagram
Hey, APC Youth! Connect with APC Youth Ministry on Instagram: alpharettapresyouth
Our Church Family
We continue to pray for all families who are affected by COVID-19.

Ed McLaurin remains at North Fulton Hospital.
Austin Marrs remains in New York after surgery.

We continue to pray for our members who are in hospice care and for their caregivers:
Dot Rouse and her husband, John, who cares for her; Florence Heimlich and her daughter and son-in-law, Susan and Pete Smith, who care for her.

We continue to pray for all of our members who are receiving ongoing treatments:
Tom Hyatt, Katelyn Danson, Nancy Hill.
Church Business
Session Digest:


The next Session meeting is May 8, 2020.
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009
770-751-0033 www.alpharettapres.com