THE GOOD NEWS
May 21, 2020
Daily Devotional
Breathe

By Dr. Oliver Wagner

"Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being." Genesis 2:7

These are anxious times and anxiety takes a toll on us all. The passage I’ll preach from this Sunday is from 1 Peter 5 and contains one of my favorite quotes: “cast all of your anxieties on God who cares.” A former church employee and friend gave me a button that I keep at my desk. It reads very simply “Breathe.”

From military SEAL training I learned about this exercise to calm down and focus in the midst of a stressful situation. Inhale through your nostrils for four seconds. Hold the air in your full lungs for four seconds. Exhale from your mouth for four seconds. Allow your lungs to remain empty for four seconds. Then repeat, over and over. They say that as you do this you should picture making four sides of a box with your finger— across the top, down the right side, across the bottom, up the left side. Repeat. I do that often and find it very helpful in restoring calm and peace, perspective and focus.

Researchers tell us we take about 25,000 breathes per day. The air we breathe is about 21% oxygen and 78% nitrogen. When we breathe out, the oxygen is down to 16% and 4% of what we breathe out is carbon dioxide. In that exchange we have oxygenated our blood with nutrients and our cells with energy! The Hebrew word “ruah” means breath, spirit or wind! Consider that as we approach Pentecost and receiving the Holy Spirit.
For this devotion I have borrowed from an article in this month’s issue of Presbyterians Today written by Diane Stephens Hogue, a writer and spiritual director. At the end of her column she makes this invitation to do the “Breathe Prayer”:

  • Choose a phrase of up to 12 sacred words, divided into two parts.
  • Pray the first part as you inhale and the second part as you exhale.
  • Sit comfortably with your eyes closed. Tune out distractions.
  • To prepare, take three deep breaths, slowly. Resume your normal pace of breathing
  • Do the breathe prayer, inhaling and exhaling. Repeat the phrase in the silence of your heart, breathing naturally for up to twenty minutes.
  • Slowly let the words fall away. Tend to your breathing. Open your eyes and reorient yourself.
Photo by Morris Estes.
She suggests this phrase from Psalm 23: (inhale) “beside the still waters”…(exhale) “you lead me.” Or, from Romans 8, “Nothing can separate us…from the love of God.” The one I like to use is:” Jesus, Son of God…grant me your peace.” Amen.
News and Notes
APC's exterior received a fresh coat of paint last week.
Alpharetta's Virtual Memorial Day Tribute
The City of Alpharetta and Alpharetta Rotary Club invite you to remember and honor our fallen heroes during a virtual tribute online at youtube.com/user/alpharettagov . The ceremony will be shared beginning at 9 am on Monday, May 25.You may remember that Dr. Ollie Wagner delivered a prayer during last year's Memorial Day Tribute held at Brooke Street Park in City Center.
"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!
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.
Crossroads
Sundays at 10:30 am
Contact Dale Carter for instructions on how to join the class. All are welcome and each session is independent. 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 Drake House
This week we are highlighting another one of APC’s local mission partners. The Drake House provides a lifeline of supportive housing and enrichment programs for mothers and their children experiencing homelessness in north metro Atlanta. APC’s involvement with the Drake House includes financial support, furnishing and upkeep of one of the family apartments, Angel Tree Christmas gifts, and hosting a booth at the annual Miss Mary’s Ice Cream Crankin’ fundraising event each summer.

APC members also serve as mentors to residents living in the apartment we support, providing encouragement and a listening ear. The mentoring relationship begins with an initial meeting with the family and a Drake House caseworker and proceeds based on the level of interaction that the family and mentors agree upon. Judy Donahoo, Sheryl Wentworth, and Terry Conklin have served as mentors for many years and find it incredibly meaningful. They would love to get other APC members involved in providing this personal support to families as they participate in the Drake House’s programs and transition to independent living. Please reach out to Rev. Anne Fyffe if you are interested in learning more.

You can find more information about The Drake House by going to their website, thedrakehouse.org , where they have a list of general needs, updated weekly needs, and a link to their Amazon wish list.

If you would like to donate items to support Drake House families , you may drop off your donations at The Drake Center Tuesday-Thursday from 9 am-2 pm. You may also send items through Amazon Prime to: The Drake Center, 10500 Clara Drive, Roswell, Georgia.
Current needs are: Canned Turnip Greens, White Great Northern Beans, Tuna Hamburger Helper, Paper Towels, Hand Sanitizer, Disinfectant Wipes

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
Summer Sunday School
Even though school is out for summer, Sunday school in your PJ’s will continue for the summer to keep kids connected and re-mind them that God is with them wherever they are! Join us each week for Virtual Sunday school wherever you are! Look for the email from Kristin Hicks each Sunday morning with the video link along with the parent print out to help families continue to hold Sunday school from home each week.
Congrats to all our 5th graders!
Please join us in celebrating the following APC children as they graduate from elementary school and move onto middle school and APC Youth Group! Congratulations to all of you as you cross this new milestone:
Ryder Boyd
Mary Hellrung
Jack Hicks
Deacon Moore
Chandler Murphy
Sophie Sabaj-Griffith
Emily Temple
Eli Yoder
Congrats to all the Parents of the 2019-2020 School Year
You made it! It may have not been the spring you thought it would be but you did it! Hats off to all who worked and/or parented and/or taught kids this spring. We celebrate all that you accomplished this year too!

Virtual VBS/Summer Camp 2020
Stay tuned - we are looking at options for our church family for a fun alternative for our annual VBS. We’ll keep you posted!
Make a Pentecost Pinwheel
Next week, on Sunday May 31, we will be celebrating Pentecost. Help your children celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit by making a Pinwheel: Pinwheel Instructions
Pinwheels show us that the wind is blowing when they spin wildly. Our pinwheels will remind us and the world that on this day the Holy Spirit blew like the wind through the room where the disciples were and changed them in exciting ways and helped them to tell others about Jesus and God’s great love for us all. Please send a picture of your pinwheel to Kristin when you complete it!
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
Thanks to everyone who helped to make our online Youth Sunday service so special! We had a great year of youth ministry here at APC and are looking forward to the next one!

Congratulations to the Class of 2020!
If you missed it, use the link be low to enjoy this year's  SENIOR SLIDESHOW  in celebration of APC's 2020 college and high school graduates. Thanks to Bob Cookson for creating the show! https://youtu.be/OzE_RKo4SFE

Stay tuned for details on Youth Ministry's Summer Schedule.

Youth Instagram
Hey, APC Youth! Connect with APC Youth Ministry on Instagram: alpharettapresyouth
Our Church Family
We celebrate the birth of Jackson Lewis Molnar on May 16 with his parents, Meghan and Bradley, and his grandparents, Craig and Donna.




We share our Christian love and sympathy with  Sue and Marshall White  on the death of their son, Marty White, who died on May 21 in Savannah after a long illness. The family will hold a memorial service in Kentucky at a later date.

As God's people called to love one another, we remember in prayer:

Mary Dantzler at St Joseph's Hospital.
Ed McLaurin at North Fulton Hospital.

Lee Ann Redmond is in rehab at North Fulton after surgery for a broken hip.
Dot Rouse , who is in hospice care and her husband, John, who cares for her.
Florence Heimlich , who is in hospice care, and her daughter and son-in-law, Pete and Susan Smith, who care for her.

All who are receiving long-term treatments.
All who have lost income or employment due to COVID-19.
Lord, hear our prayers.
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