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August 2, 2018

Perspective from Gabriel Ramirez:

"Summer is gone!" This is the feeling or appreciation among many of us (particularly families with kids in school). “Almost gone!” for some others. Summer has a peculiar place in the minds of most of us and perhaps more so this time around: It has been a time for our pastors, David and Beth, and for Clint to be in a sabbatical. But it also has been for us, as a community, to have a “sabbatical” as described in David’s letter in May. As we took time either to travel, to engage in studies or practices, to socialize and participate in group activities, or to simply have downtime, each of us,  in our own way, has experienced a sort of sabbatical, a time that permits in one way or another the possibility of a change of perspective.
In this sense, I would like to share with our community what we experienced during our summer vacation. We went to California and among other things visited the redwoods and sequoia forests (Yosemite, Armstrong, Mariposa Grove, Tuolumne Grove, and Muir Woods). We walked among giants, ancient “creatures” standing tall, firm, steady, all mighty witnesses of time (some close to 4,000 years old, many in the 700-1000-year range). In many of our walks among these massive trees, and particularly on those times where there was no one else in the path, we felt God’s presence all around us. There was a satisfying feeling of peace and tranquility and of wonder; there was definitively a charging energy in the air. We even felt many times the voices of the trees and wished we could communicate back. We can say for sure that our spirits were refreshed and our perspective of who we are and why we are on this planet definitively changed. We realized how our planet is a precious home and we received inspiration to be more actively involved in preserving it by being good stewards of nature. It gave us assurance that we are all in this together and as such we can change or reverse our course. We are one with the earth, we are all connected to one another, and we live in a community of God.
What I take from our experience is that to feel God’s presence, we simply need to be present and live in and savor each moment. Each of us, in our own ways, has had a sabbatical this summer and one that we can use to bring a refreshed perspective to our community, to our church, to our mission, to our ministry. Each day we are giving a gift. It is now up to us to make greatness of that gift.
In this issue:


Sunday, August 5, 2018

10:00 AM Worship

Worship Leaders:
WIW: Ellen Gadberry
Liturgist:  Carol Tveit 
Head Usher: Roberta Goldbaugh  
Ushers: Jaimie and Lin Wormley, Ashley Kane, Susan Diffenderfer
Greeter: Esther McQuaide 
Communion Servers: Ellen Herbert, Michael Johnson, Wendy Cromwell.
AV:  Thom Shreck
Guest Musician: Jerrell Melton
Guest soloist: Jeanné Brown

Extended Session
Nursery: Virginia Legener
2-3 yr olds:  Ginny Bowen
4-6 yr olds: Emily Harris,  Shannon Scalese
Floater: Corey Dunn

Flowers: The flowers are given by Kent Leslie in honor of Randall M. Anderson.

Fellowship and Refreshments:

Weather permitting, after worship, fellowship and light refreshments will be served outdoors on the patio. In the event of rain, we will gather in the Fellowship Hall. Thank you to the Stewardship Committee for providing our refreshments.
To submit comments or suggestions about worship, or to volunteer to donate flowers or serve as an usher or liturgist, contact


August 5, 2018, Rev. Dr. John Morgan preaching: Exodus 16:1-15 (manna from heaven), “Hangry In the Wilderness!” We will explore the wilderness together and look together for the God who gives life there!
Rev. Dr. John Morgan is a Presbyterian minister who served churches in the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta for 10 years. He spent most of that time as an associate pastor at Druid Hills Presbyterian while also serving as the Presbyterian Campus Minister at Emory University. He left his last church in 2007 and started working as a realtor but continued working on his Doctor of Ministry degree (2011) at Columbia Theological Seminary. He thought he would end up going back to parish ministry but has thoroughly enjoyed selling residential real estate for the past 11 years and even getting to sit with his family in worship on Sundays! He is the husband of Andrea Morgan and the father of Cora Anne Morgan (almost 5) and John Benjamin Morgan (6 months)! He and Andrea, before having the kids, were super involved with the Israel Palestine Mission Network of the PCUSA, the Joining Hands for Justice in Palestine and the Peacemaking Partnerships of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta. 

August 12th, 2018, Rev. Rick Neale preaching: John 4:5-26, Exodus 17:1-7; “Thirsty?” 
In their 40-year trek through the desert from Egypt to Canaan, the Israelites experienced times of extreme thirst. Jesus was thirsty when he came to a certain well in a Samaritan village. These hot summer days can cause outright dehydration. What does it mean to be thirsty?

The Reverend Richard G. Neale: During his 30-year career as a pastor Rick led churches in upstate New York, Miami, and Atlanta, and he served as a chaplain at Northside Hospital in Atlanta. He is the current Moderator of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta. He also serves on the Committee for Preparation for Ministry and as a member of Presbyterians for a Better Georgia. He enjoys hiking, reading, nerd stuff like computers and multi-media gear, listening to a wide variety of music, and doing household repair projects. Rick has three grown daughters, two of whom have growing families of their own. Rick’s wife, Ellen Herbert, serves as an elder here at North Decatur. Together they enjoy choral singing, caring for their yard and gardens, and spending as much time as possible with their six grandchildren.

Please Note: Thanks to the hard work of Tim Merritt, NDPC's website is up to date with great preaching in the tradition of NDPC! Go to and select "sermons."

Congregational Care

Circle of Care, Sunday, August 12th, 4:30 pm, Parlor. Circle of Care meets twice a month and offers support and fellowship for caregivers and those living with mental or physical health issues. This group meets every 2nd and 4th Sunday at 4:30 pm. August dates are 12th and 26th. Contact Mary Anona,

Do you need care or know someone who needs congregational care? The phone number for care at the church is 404-981-6372. Or contact at our confidential email address to let a pastor know of a concern that needs prayer, a visit, or pastoral attention. If you would like to be added to the weekly In Touch prayer list, for a concern or a celebration, contact

Children and Youth

Focus on Music For Children: 

Starting on August 12th and through Labor Day weekend, extended session will focus on music with children. All children up through those rising to 5th grade are invited to leave worship after Word in Worship and join Kathy Smith for a time of learning about music and learning a song the children will sing on September 9 at the beginning of our education program year. 

Office Matters

NDPC Office hours will be 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, Monday through Thursday and upon request by members.

Please take the time to like our posts on Facebook and share them on your timelines. We are trying to expand our reach through that media organically. Thank you.

NDPC Three Year Strategic Plan: You may access the NDPC strategic plan 2018-2021 presentation by clicking here.

Publication Deadlines:

The Communicator - Monday, August 5th at 5:00 pm.
In Touch - Monday, August 12th at 9:00 am.
Seasons Quarterly Newsletter - Friday, August 10th at 9:00 am.

Please send all information for publication to

Community Life


Elder Nominating Committee

The Elder Nominating Committee is receiving recommendations from the congregation until Sunday, August 26th. We will be nominating six adult members to serve on the Session in the Class of 2021 and one youth to serve in the class of 2019. You can access the nominating form by clicking on this link.  

Fun on the Farm: Saturday, August 4
, at Kent Leslie’s family farm at 1100 Burnt Hickory Road, Marietta. 3:00 pm. Join us for a church-wide barbeque and pool party. Please bring a friend.

Sages Program Suggestions: Friends, it is that time once again when we are planning the programs for next year and we need your help.  We always have a wonderful variety of programs so we would love any suggestions you have, even if they might seem off the wall to you! We want to continue to present programs that we can all enjoy so your input is very much appreciated. If you suggest someone to speak, please send any contact information you have to Barbara Jung at

Fundraiser for Backpacks and School Uniforms. Starting the school year with the right supplies and uniforms is so important for children. The children living in housing provided by the Initiative for Affordable Housing are already dealing with so much; let’s get their school year off to a great start by giving generously. The apple tree will appear in the narthex full of “apples.” When you pick an “apple,” you are pledging to give a $30 donation which will provide a backpack full of the required school supplies for a grade school student. New this year, a $30 donation can also be used to provide 2 sets of uniforms for a grade school student. If you want to support a high school student, pick two apples. Your $60 donation will provide a full backpack or 2 sets of uniforms for a high school student. Instructions on how to make your donation are printed on the apples. This fundraiser is set to conclude August 5. So pick your apples fast!

Book Club, August 2nd at 7:00 pm, at Mike Nichols' home to discuss "The Orphan Master's Son" by Adam Johnson. This novel takes place in North Korea, which is timely to say the least. "Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother - a singer 'stolen' to Pyongyang - and an influential father who runs a work camp for orphans. Superiors in the North Korean state soon recognize the boy's loyalty and keen instincts. Jun Do rises in the ranks. He becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the absolute limit of what any human being could endure, he boldly takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong II in an attempt to save the woman he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress 'so pure, she doesn't know what starving people looked like.’” For more information contact:

SAGES Summer Poetry Readings, Tuesday, August 7th and 21st, at 2:00 P.M. Church Parlor: After this get-together, we will meet for the last time on August 21. So if you have been wondering about what goes on at poetry readings, now is the time to find out!  Our "theme" for the August 7 meeting is "poems that tell a story" but all poetry types are welcome, including original poems.  For questions contact

The Creation Care Committee, Kate & Larry Mosley's home, Sunday, August 5th, from 5 - 7 pm. Join us for a planning meeting and a potluck meal to share your passion for environmental stewardship! Bring a favorite dish to share. Please RSVP to and to learn more about this committee. The Creation Care Committee welcomes your participation in our efforts to be good stewards of our church resources, property and ministries!

Homeless Laundry Ministry, Wednesday, August 15th, 6 pm, Medlock Laundry. Help wash clothes for our neighbors who are homeless. Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday, a group of volunteers meets at the Medlock Coin Laundry to wash clothes, study scripture, and pray with each other. Contact: Dee Raeside,

Women Together, Thursday, August 16, 7:00 pm at Deedee Murphy’s home
.  Marion Reeves will provide the main dish, so please bring a drink, appetizer, side or dessert to share.  We are honored to hear the remarkable and inspiring life story of our very own Mary Alice Kemp.  Any questions?  Contact is Deedee Murphy at .

Haiti Book Drive, Sundays, August 19th and 26th, Narthex, after Worship: It’s back to school all over the world, and book drive time for the EcoVillage School in Haiti that NDPC helps to sponsor along with Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church and Emory Presbyterian, otherwise known as the Haiti EcoVillage School Partnership. The three churches will be holding drives in August and September to supply books for the Haiti school’s library and classrooms. You can help by making a donation in any amount on NDPC’s Sundays, Aug 19th and Aug 26th.  No amount is too small or too large. Bring cash or checkbooks and look for the EcoVillage book display next to the Global Missions table at the reception immediately following worship on the last two Sundays in August. For more information about the book drive contact

 For more information about the school, see the webpage

AFFORDABLE HOUSING: A Call to Serve. To tell the history of North Decatur Presbyterian Church is to tell of determined members launching bold programs for families to have a place to call home. That determination continues today and is named as a top priority in our 2018-2021 strategic plan: ndpc-plan
We ask that you prayerfully consider joining a newly-forming working group to guide our congregation's affordable housing efforts into the future. Opportunities for involvement include:
  • attending local events and conferences;
  • contacting elected officials;
  • identifying and strengthening partnerships with other churches and organizations; 
  • creating learning opportunities for our congregation;
  • being part of a prayer group, praying daily that everyone has a place to call home, asking God for wisdom in our efforts and listening for guidance; and
  • leading or co-leading these efforts within our congregation.
The session will discuss this important work at its meeting on August 19th and by then we hope to have the beginnings of a working group taking shape. If you are interested, please contact Bobbie Wrenn Banks at, or Nancy Gathany at Thank you!


The Presbytery Nominating Committee invites all who wish to participate in the life and decisions of the Presbytery to indicate an interest in serving on Presbytery committees/commissions that support mission, administration, education, leadership, and communities throughout our region and abroad. Please encourage gifted and willing members to express interest in the work of the Presbytery. 

The descriptions of the opportunities for presbytery service are available HERE. The signup/nomination form is HERE.

The Presbytery Nominating Committee will meet in August to nominate members for the 2019-2021 term, and the presbytery will vote on nominees at the November 10 Stated Meeting of the Presbytery at Clairmont Presbyterian.

If there are persons you think would serve well on a committee/commission who may be reticent to complete a form, please notify Nominating Committee Chair Mary Evans with contact information so that she may reach out to them directly. Nominating Committee Chair Mary Evans: at 770-493-9489.
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