THE GOOD NEWS
May 14, 2020
Daily Devotional
Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

By Dr. Oliver Wagner

“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

I love the story of Esther. Esther, in case you don’t remember, was an ancient Queen in Persia while the Jews were scattered in diaspora. She was a Jew, but her husband did not know it. She kept her religion hidden and private….at least until she could stay quiet no longer! Though not historical, the old tale spins many truths and lessons for modern readers. Chief among them is the call to take risks, be courageous and act on behalf of your people.

Congressman John Lewis will be featured in an upcoming documentary titled Good Trouble.  Lewis and many other civil rights protesters caused all kinds of trouble to change the laws and attitudes of our land. They were beaten and jailed, threatened and hated and all for the cause of freedom and equality in a racist society. When U.S. Rep. John R. Lewis was a child in Alabama, he was puzzled by the evidence that he saw around him of the South’s Jim Crow laws — segregated rest rooms, segregated movie theaters. He wanted to know why that should be. His mother discouraged his curiosity, saying, “Don’t get in the way. Don’t get in trouble.” But he didn’t listen to her. He went in the other direction instead.

“I was inspired to get in trouble. I was inspired to get in the way.” Lewis said. It was that attitude — along with the example of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. — that made Lewis a true hero of the civil rights movement, a man whose personal story is virtually a history of the movement. Thank God for the trouble he and his colleagues made—they changed the world!

Queen Esther sat on her throne, living in the lap of luxury, but all was not well for her people. She learned that the Jews were about to be annihilated and destroyed by a decree of her husband, the Persian King. In this Old Testament book the name of God is never mentioned. What is on display is not God’s, but Esther’s courage, compassion and wisdom. She gets advice, prepares herself and forms a plan, then executes it to successful completion. In short, she risked her neck to save her people and it worked! She used her office, her influence and her power to help those in danger and need. She was willing die for them.

That is also the story of Jesus, of course, in the New Testament. And isn’t that also our calling…to deny our selfishness, bear our responsibility to serve others with sacrificial love, and follow the example of Jesus who faithfully and courageously drank from the cup of suffering for us and our salvation. Let’s stir up some good trouble and change the world!


Self-giving God, give me strength and wisdom to act for the well-being of others. Let me not count the cost but delight in the doing of your saving will until your kingdom comes. Amen.
News and Notes
Youth Sunday This Week
Be sure to join us for online worship this Sunday, May 17, as APC's youth lead the entire service and four graduating seniors share mini sermons. The annual slideshow honoring APC's graduating seniors will be shared in a special email link separate from the service, so be looking for that as well. We are grateful for the unique gifts our youth bring to our church family!
Caring Hands Fund
Thank you for your support of the special offering on Mother’s Day for Presbyterian Homes of Georgia Caring Hands Fund which allows Presbyterian Homes to continue to provide care and housing for elderly residents in their retirement communities across Georgia. So far, we have raised $655. You can still make a gift by going to the church website’s Pledges and Donations page and 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!
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.
"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
Join a Small Group.....Online!
NEW : 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 on how to join the class via Zoom, contact Derek Scheidt .

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 on how to join the class via Zoom, contact Erin Noh .

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 on how to join the class via Zoom, contact Deanna Womack .

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 on how to join the class via Zoom, contact Deanna Womack
Monday Morning Men's Bible Study
Mondays at 8 am
Join Rev. Ollie Wagner though Zoom to discuss the lectionary readings for upcoming Sundays. Contact Ollie for details on how to join the Zoom meeting.

"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
Spotlight on: The Place of Forsyth County
Where Every Person, Dollar, and Hour has a Purpose
Since the mid-1970s, when four nuns came to north Georgia to serve the poorest of the poor, The Place of Forsyth County has been a source for good in our community. During normal times, The Place assists families with emergency basic needs and operates a thrift store onsite that provides affordable merchandise to the public, as well as a food service program and a community garden. 
 
In recent weeks, The Place turned their thrift store into a food distribution center and subsequently provided food through a drive-thru in front of the store, serving over 1200 households with first time requests. They also filled about 400 applications for financial assistance, most due to reduced work hours or loss of employment because of COVID-19. In the last two weeks, friends of The Place organized a “Giving Tuesday” beginning with a grant of $1250. That sum grew and eventually over $80,000 was raised to restock funds and food.
 
The Place of Forsyth is one of APC’s local mission partners and Eva Wardrup serves as our liaison. We normally provide canned food donations on a regular basis, as well as school supplies, warm coats and blankets, and gifts for Holiday House from drives throughout the year. While APC’s buildings are closed, our funds from your offerings continue to support this important ministry in our midst. For more information on how you can help directly, go to  https://www.theplaceofforsyth.org/ .


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 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 5/24 & 5/31
  • Zoom Bible Study on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm
Youth Sunday - May 17
Youth have planned and will lead this special service. Be sure to worship online with us.

Youth Ministry Summer Schedule
More info to come!

Youth Instagram
Hey, APC Youth! Connect with APC Youth Ministry on Instagram: alpharettapresyouth
Our Church Family
Congratulations to Katherine and Charles Heyen and big siblings Guiliana and Charles on the birth of Jacob Michael Heyen , born May 7. Welcome, beloved child of God!



Mary Dantzler has begun radiation treatments that should end on May 22.
Sheryl Wentworth had outpatient surgery on Thursday.
Ed McLaurin is home following hospitalization
Austin Marrs is home following surgery in New York.

We pray for all families affected by Covid-19.

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 22, 2020.
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009
770-751-0033 www.alpharettapres.com