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August 16, 2018

From The Co-Pastor' Desk:

Dear Friends, 

For everything, there is a season.  A time for work and a time for rest.  As we return from our summer sabbatical and begin again our time for work, we bring with us the lessons we learned about just being and receiving in the presence of God.  We did this in several ways and various sacred spaces -- skipping stones on a beach on the Olympic Peninsula (pictured); observing silence on a quiet trail in the Hoh River Rain Forrest; chanting prayers in an oratorio in rural Minnesota; writing poems on our back porch; or taking notes as Jimmy Carter teaches the Bible.  

Carter reminded us that to work with a purpose, we must rest with intention too. We are incredibly grateful for the leadership of the Reverends Bobbie Wrenn Banks, Sarah Erickson, Rick Neale, Mary Anona Stoops and our faithful staff.  Without their care and passion, we could not have been immersed in the silence and poiesis of being that we were.  

We are excited to be with you again and to support all the ministries that thrive under your vision and faithfulness.  

We also bring with the lessons we learned from Ruby Beach, WA where tide pools are teaming with life and ancient stones line our walks. Be full of life. Live a life of wonder. Look beneath the surface. Weather the storms. Follow the ebb and flow. Know when to hang tight. Glide over rough waters. Balance on one another.   


Beth and David
In this issue:


Sunday, August 19, 2018

10:00 AM Worship

Worship Leaders:
WIW: Marie Schoeneberg
Liturgist: Marie Schoeneberg
Head Usher:  Cindy Hays
Ushers:  Corey Dunn, Susan Constantine, Andrew Godfrey-Kittle
Greeter:  Virginia Legener
AV: Jason Schoenenberg 

Extended Session
Nursery: TBD
2-3 yr olds:  Sherrill Terry
4-6 yr olds: Pat Murphy, Briana Patterson
Floater: TBD

Flowers: The flowers are given by Corey Dunn for all the good work NDPC does in the world.

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 Jamie Jones-Wormley of the Northeast Parish 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


"Strange and Beautiful." Text: Ephesians 1:1-14

There's no doubt about it: going to church is weird. Anyone who's ever skipped church on Sunday knows that the world generally carries on like normal, indifferent to what happens while we worship. We church-going folk are clearly the strange ones, with our kooky songs and peculiar stories. So why do we keep at it?

Rev. Lewicki explores God's salvation--the beautiful, universal gift--that is at the heart of the Christian life.

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."

Music @ NDPC

Everyone is a musician at NDPC whether you participate in an organized group (Balcony Choir, Children's Choir, Handbell Choir), share your gifts occasionally (guitars, flutes, tambourines, drums), sing from the pews in worship, or just tap your toes along with the beat. Here are a few ways you can get involved in the music life of this congregation: 

Children's Choir - is open to all youngsters grades 1-5. We meet on Sunday nights at 6:00pm for dinner (optional) and music time from 6:30-7:30pm. The kids not only learn to sing but to read music and develop musical and team building skills. We begin Sunday, September 9. 

Handbell Choir - You only need two hands, know which hand is your left hand and which is your right, and be able to count to the number 4 (sometimes 6). Rehearsals are Wednesday 6:30-7:30pm. 

Balcony Choir - Your voice is always welcome to become part of the wonderful fabric of music. This group is much like a small community who enjoy making wonderful every week and get spiritually renewed through the music. Don't think your voice is up for it? Give us a try. We meet Wednesdays from 7:30-9:00pm. 

The Kitchen Sink - Guitars, flutes, drums, spoons, combs, harmonicas, theremin, bagpipes...whatever your instrument and gifts, we have a place for you. Let me know what your musical gifts are and we can find a place. If you or someone you know has these gifts but just need the invitation, please rat out your friends to me! All God's critters got a place in the choir!

Please feel free to contact me about how YOU can be involved in the Music Ministry of NDPC at Handbell and Balcony Choir rehearsals begin September 5th. 

Congregational Care

Circle of Care, Sunday, August 26th, 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: 

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 9th at the beginning of our education program year. 

Office Matters

NDPC Office hours are 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 20th at 5:00 pm
In Touch - Monday, August 20th at 9:00 am 
Seasons Quarterly Newsletter - Thursday, November 1st 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.  

Lawn Mower volunteers needed for DCM houses. We've seen acts of hate in recent months, but are ready to put love into action? Sometimes the grandest gesture in fighting homelessness is mowing the yard for your next door neighbors. Literally. NDPC and DCM have two houses right in our own backyard that offer a new start to families transitioning out of homelessness. I’m looking for volunteers with lawnmower experience…or a willingness to mow…to support these families in the neighborly act of lawn care. Sign up for one time only, if needed. It’s do-able for almost anyone. Contact is Susan Cornutt at

“Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve…. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by LOVE.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Apple Tree - Fund Raiser for Backpacks and School Uniforms: Did you pick an apple from the Apple Tree for the Initiative for Affordable Housing Backpacks and Uniforms Fund Raiser? Thank you to everyone who has made their contribution. If you picked an apple but have not yet made your donation, please do so as soon as possible so we can meet our goal for this important fundraiser. Initiative families and staff are very grateful for our support! If you have any questions, please contact Nancy Gathaney at

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

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. 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 

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 .

SAGES (senior adults) Poetry Reading, Tuesday, August 21st, 2:00 pm, Parlor. This is the last chance this summer to share your favorite poem or an original written by you!  Many wonderful poems have been shared from the classics to more modern poets.  Come and join us as we continue to explore the wonderful world of poetry. For questions contact

Creation Care, Save The Date: September 23

Our NDPC Creation Care Committee gathered for a potluck, ideas and fun at the Mosley’s recently. Save the Date for our first congregation-wide activity. (Pssstt.. It involves good food and fellowship).Watch for excitement and email our local conservationist rock star,,  for questions. Though the photo be fuzzy, our plan is not!

Book Club, September 6 at 7:00 PM at Kip Duchon’s.
We will be discussing Leonardo da Vinci” by Walter Isaacson.  Leonardo may have been born in the 15th century, but he has never been far from pop culture.  While scholars have been writing about Leonardo for the better part of 500 years, Isaacson’s has presented him much like a sculptor freeing a figure from a block of marble, taking volumes of academic tomes and molding them into a 21st Century page turner.   

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-pla
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!


Decatur Book Festival, September 1-2 in locations around downtown Decatur, Georgia. All events are free and open to the public.

Photo, clockwise from top left: Bell, Tatum, Harvey, Franklin, Oluo

Rev. Beth Waltemath will be appearing at this year's Decatur Book Festival to interview Diana Butler Bass on her new book, Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks by Diana Butler Bass at the Decatur Presbytery Sanctuary on Saturday, September 1st from 11:15am-12:00pm.

In addition, Beth, David and Iyabo would like to invite you to come hear their friends and former colleagues present at the following events:   

“Lighting the Fires of Freedom: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement”
Saturday, September 1, 12:30-1:15 p.m. 
Decatur Presbyterian Church sanctuary  

Janet Dewart Bell, a member of Beth's former church in Brooklyn and author of Lighting the Fires of Freedom: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement (New Press, 2018) will be in conversation with Candler School of Theology's Laney Professor of Moral Leadership Robert M. Franklin Jr.  A groundbreaking collection of narratives based on oral histories, the book shines a light on the leadership of African American women in the 20th century fight for civil rights and what ignited and fueled their activism that resulted in profound social change—stories that are still relevant today. 

Bell is a social justice activist and award-winning television and radio producer with a doctorate in leadership and change from Antioch University. She founded the Derrick Bell Lecture on Race in American Society series at the New York University School of Law.

“Raising Kids in White Supremacist America”
Sunday, September 2, 2:30-3:15 p.m.
Decatur Presbyterian Church sanctuary

How can we support children of color as they confront everyday racism? How can we help white children understand the opportunity and responsibility they have to help dismantle racist structures? Join three authors whose work engages questions of race, privilege, and dismantling racism for a conversation about the ways that parents, teachers, and anyone who cares for children can help them flourish and empower them to work for a more racially just America.

Ijeoma Oluo is the author of So You Want to Talk About Race (Seal, 2018), which explores the complex reality of today’s racial landscape—from white privilege and police brutality to systemic discrimination and the Black Lives Matter movement—offering straightforward clarity that readers need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide. Oluo is a Seattle-based writer and speaker whose work focuses primarily on issues of race and identity, feminism, social and mental health, social justice, and the arts. She has been named one of The Root’s 100 Most Influential African Americans in 2017, one of the Most Influential People in Seattle by Seattle Magazine, one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Seattle by Seattle Met, and winner of the American Humanist Society’s 2018 Feminist Humanist Award. Her writing has been featured in The Washington Post, NBC News, Elle MagazineTIMEThe Stranger, and The Guardian.

Jennifer Harvey, a seminary classmate of David and Beth's, is the author of Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America (Abingdon, 2018), which asks the complicated questions involved in raising children to be active and able participants in a world of racial tensions. Harvey is a writer, speaker, and professor at Drake University whose work focuses on racial justice and white anti-racism. She is also the author of Dear White Christians: For Those Still Longing for Racial Reconciliation(Eerdmans, 2014). An ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches (U.S.A.), her writing has appeared in the New York Times and Huffington Post

Beverly Daniel Tatum is the author of “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” And Other Conversations About Race (Hachette, 1997, 2017). In the recent 20thanniversary edition, she reflects on the evolution of the discussion around race in America since the book’s original release. Tatum is President Emerita of Spelman College and a clinical psychologist widely known for her expertise on race relations. In 2013, she was recognized for her leadership at Spelman with the Carnegie Academic Leadership Award. In 2014, Tatum received the Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Psychology, the highest honor presented by the American Psychological Association.

The 2018 Decatur Book Festival will also feature Iyabo's colleague from her work as a facilitator of the respected Fearless Dialogues project. Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling Gregory C. Ellison II, who will present on his latest book Fearless Dialogues: A New Movement for Justice (Westminster John Knox, 2017) on Saturday, September 1 from 1:45 to 2:30 p.m. in the sanctuary of Decatur First Baptist Church. Learn more.

Now in its 13th year, the AJC Decatur Book Festival takes place annually over Labor Day weekend. It is the largest independent book festival in the United States.


The Peace and Justice Committee invites you to Justravaganza, Saturday, August 25th at Dunbar Recreation Center. Georgia WAND Education Fund, Inc. proudly invites you to join us for JUSTRAVAGANZA--an electrifying town hall-style event to lift Georgia's voices for justice! We will be helping to kick off the national "Freedom to Breathe Tour" headed to San Francisco, California for the Global Climate Action Summit. Our event also features the final stop of the 2018 "Justice First Tour," wrapping up stops in 16 cities in 9 southern states, raising awareness about the need to center justice in energy equity and sustainability conversations. Join fellow Georgians in our efforts to commit to building power in local communities; addressing systemic racism; helping Get Out The Vote this fall; advancing nuclear harm reduction efforts, and building solidarity with each other across frontlines of struggle. We can't wait to see you there! 

When: Saturday, August 25th, 2018 from 10am-1pm 
Where: Dunbar Recreation Center at 477 Windsor St SW, Atlanta, GA 30312.
Wheelchair accessible. Refreshments will be provided.

To read more and register for JUSTRAVAGANZA, click here.
For more information, contact Jumana by sending an email to 

Needed: Men's Clothing.
Pastor Chad at Mercy Community Church has asked for men’s durable t-shirts and pants (medium) in order to help replenish the clothes closet depleted by the surge in need for clothing this summer. This is a picture from last winter, but now is filled with many empty hangers.

Our Mercy Laundry donation basket is currently located across the hall from the Educator's office. Quarters are also always needed and welcome and are collected in the Tide container in the narthex. Thank you all for your continued support of this directly effective ministry. For information, please contact Dee Raeside

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.

John Morgan's Charge to the Congregation on Sunday, August 5th.

The Journey by David Bartlett*
* (Last week, we inadvertently attributed the poem to Wiliam Barclay.
David Barlett is the proper attribution. Forgive us and thank you.)

I send you forth to the land that has been promised. 
That it has been promised is all that I know. 
I do not know the shape of the land, the route that you must go, 
The dangers certain to befall you along the way. 
My small experience leads me to suggest 
You should expect your share of desert places
Where oases vanish upon close inspection
And water springs forth from most unlikely rocks.
Also, you should beware the golden calf, 
Or any beast pretending to be God.
The likely candidates will have immense appeal
And an unpleasant after taste. 
The great advantage of the promised land
Is that it will wait for you.
If on the road someone waylaid by thieves
Or sudden beauty should detain you, there is time. 
You will know when you have reached the land
By the sudden fear you feel at the edge of grace
And the strong pull of familiar Egypt on your soul.
And the knowledge that there is no turning back. 
Farewell, beloved. 
Put on the whole armor of God, but leave your heart exposed.
Since life, like death, demands a certain vulnerability. (pause)
And learn a song or two to sing in a strange land. 
Be wise as serpents, innocent as doves;
Accepting the worst from all, expecting the best. 
You are less what you’ve learned than what you have learned to love. 
Love is your journey’s name, and your final rest. 
Go in Peace!
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