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August 23, 2018

A Summer Perspective


By Bobbie Wrenn Banks and Rick Neale

God gathered a community of the faithful
From the neighborhood
And planted a church at the intersection of life and faith.

So begins our congregation’s Vision Poem. Now that the time of sabbatical leadership has come to a close, we wish to say how thankful we are for all of you – the most wonderful of God’s plantings.
You have blessed and amazed us this summer! We have experienced firsthand how rich a reservoir of wisdom and ability there is within our community. You have joyfully shared your gifts, gone extra miles, shown us how things work, and never stopped encouraging us in our task. We have worshiped together, worked alongside one another, marched side-by-side down the streets of Atlanta, shared times of fellowship, reached out in service to our community, and launched mission teams. Together we have mourned the death of those dear to us and stood together as witnesses to the resurrection. We have welcomed babies and marveled at the miracle of new life. Much has happened at the intersection of faith and life that is North Decatur Presbyterian Church.

We have gained new insights into the personality and vitality of this congregation, your commitment to our community and neighborhood, both local and global, and your “get ‘er done” sense of purpose. In our worship, you provided a wonderful variety of voices through your calls to worship, sermons, prayers, invitations to contribute to Change for Change, Words to our children, and the lifting up of names of those lost to gun violence. Thank you.

We also want to give a shout-out to Meghan and Iyabo, whose wisdom and day-to-day know-how we could not have done without, and to Javier for his hard work in caring for our building. Beth and David conceived the overall structure for sabbatical leadership, and Clint created the templates for worship and made sure volunteers were lined up. Sarah Erickson contributed to the administrative and worship plan and provided vital support. Mary Anona guided us through the difficult time of loss of three members dear to us and led the important work of congregational care. Additionally, we all have been enriched by the marvelous artistry and energy of our summer music leader, Jerrell Melton.

You have shown us a genuine desire to be together, to have fun, to learn to walk the deeper path of faith and to make a difference in God’s beautiful but troubled world. We are deeply grateful and will always cherish these months as your sabbatical pastors. 

Our Vision Poem ends with these words: God is calling us to new places in faith and mission, and to ministries not yet imagined. Thank you for the gift of this continuing journey.
In this issue:


Sunday, August 26, 2018

10:00 AM Worship

Worship Leaders:
WIW: Kelly Craigmile
Liturgist: Mary Anona Stoops
Head Usher:  Charlotte Stone Black
Ushers:  Pat Mueller, Anne Sayre, Shelly and David Roberts
Greeter:  Betty Busbee
AV: Dante Renzulli

Extended Session
Nursery: Corey Dunn
2-3 yr olds:  Katie Hahn
4-6 yr olds: Jason Schoeneberg, Ellen Gadberry
Floater: Angela Cass

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

To submit comments or suggestions about worship, or to volunteer to donate flowers or serve as an usher or liturgist, contact

"A Change in Perspective" was our worship theme for the summer.  Please take a moment to offer your thoughts on summer worship.

Complete this Google Form to give feedback to the worship committee.

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 Wendy Cromwell, Jarvis and J.W. Ellis of the Personnel/Property Committees for providing our refreshments.

To find out when your parish or church group is sponsoring Fellowship and Refreshments, or to volunteer to host, please contact Holly Williams at or sign up at


August 26th, Rev. David Lewicki preaching, Genesis 12:1-4, The Call. 

This Sunday, we explore one of the great stories in all of Scripture: the call of Abraham and Sarah from Genesis 12. This story is a kind of archetype of the experience of faith: call, promise, journey, blessing. How can we hear and claim this story for our lives today? What does it mean to be called? How does God bless those whom God calls? What is the nature of the journey?  

Rev. Dr. Jennifer Harvey will be our guest preacher on Sunday, September 2nd at 10:00 am. 

Dr. Harvey
is a writer, speaker, and professor at Drake University. She 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. She will be speaking later that day at the Decatur Book Festival where her books are available for purchase and signing. If you'd like her to sign your book, you will need to order it in advance through an online bookseller.  We recommend independent ones with online retail capacities like Charis Books (that also has a monthly anti-racism parenting group) or order-for-local-pick up at Tall Tales (from a beloved bookseller like our own Susan Diffendorfer). 

Dr. Jennifer Harvey's 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 (Wm. B. Eerdmans). Dr. Harvey has contributed to The New York Times and Huffington Post and is a widely sought-after public speaker and workshop facilitator. She lives in Des Moines, Iowa. Read more at

Please invite friends and neighbors to this service and share the Facebook post about her presence at NDPC. Thank you. 

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. September dates are 9th and 23rd. 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

Adult Education

September 16 – October 7
  • Faith as Resistance and Hope
  • Creation Care
October 14 – November 11
  • Poor People’s Campaign
  • Old Testament 101: What Say the Prophets?
November 18 – December 16
  • Creating a Culture of Generosity
January 13 – February 3
  • Affordable Housing
  • Modern Female Theologians
February 10 – March 3
  • Our Whole Lives: Sexuality and Faith for Adults
  • A Spiritual Gifts Inventory 
March 10 – March 31
  • Bearing the Mother Load
  • Lent and the Arts
April 7 – May 5
  • Revolutionary Jesus
All Year
  • Wired Word: The Daily News and The Good News 

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.

Click on each date to get the related session minutes:  June 10, 2018, June 18, 2018, August 5, 2018 , and August 19, 2018

Publication Deadlines:

In Touch - Monday, August 27th at 9:00 am 
The Communicator - Monday, August 27th at 5:00 pm
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.  

Website Volunteers: We are looking for one or two folks familiar with WordPress to help keep the website fresh. No heavy lifting, just a little light housekeeping. If you are willing to help out, contact Charles at

Creation Care, Veg Out for Volunteering: 
We are asking for folks to sign up for a shift on Tuesdays to be a safe and welcome presence in the entry to our fellowship hall during the hours of 4pm-7pm.  Come read a book, welcome neighbors who are coming to pick up their box of vegetables from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm we host.  In return, Mitch, the farmer, will leave a box of veggies for you to choose a few treats. (Don't be surprised if people coming to get their vegetables or their kids at the new after-school stop you and want to know more about the church that shares their same values for caring for the earth and its children.)  Sign up to "box sit"

Seeking Volunteers: Support the Inspire Ultimate Fundraiser

Inspire: A Shalom Afterschool Initiative will host its 2nd Annual Ultimate Frisbee Tournament Fundraiser on September 29, 2018 at Python Park in Avondale Estates. Help make the event a success by volunteering, donating, or participating! For details on how you can help visit and click the “Ways to Help” button. For more information please contact Dee Raeside at

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

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 

CALLING ALL SAGES! (Senior Adults) Tuesday, Sept. 4, 12 noon, Fellowship Hall. It's time to begin our monthly meetings again. We will continue to enjoy the lunch provided by Badda Bing for $8.00.  Our program will be WOODLANDS GARDEN'S PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE.  Come hear from Kate McAlpin, the Executive Director of Woodlands, as she shares details about this public garden's beginnings as a private residence to the Morse family, growth of the Garden since becoming open to the public in 2011, and exciting plans for construction to make this community resource even more accessible for everyone.   Watch for an e-mail from Jim Goodspeed about lunch reservations or contact him at

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.   

SAVE THE DATE -- Creation Care Parish Potluck – Sunday, September 23, 12:15 PM – Fellowship Hall. Welcome Back & Welcome All! Mark your calendar for a Salad Potluck. Please bring entrée salads, side salads, and desserts in a dish you’ll take back home with you. We’ll focus on reducing waste and reconnecting with our neighbors and church community with conversations, talent, and friendly competition. For more info email

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: 00 pm. For more information about key events, please visit: 

Rally for Climate Justice, September 8th, 11:00 am at Flipper Temple Forum, 580 Atlanta Student Movement Blvd, Atlanta, GA 30314. Bring your voice, claim your power and celebrate with us on this September 8th Rise for Climate national day of action! Bring your voice and be led by leaders of housing, jobs, energy and political justice. Claim your power at the 3:00 pm Rally as we together read our Declaration of Just Demands and sing joyous songs of justice and love. Celebrate in the Park all day with music, art, and action tables. Bring your friends, your family, your neighbors!

Come share this pivotal day with "Green Guy" Eric MoncriefRev. Billy Michael HonorDJ SEDThe New Georgia Project, and many more! There will be family-friendly activities, interactive art projects, food trucks and dancing to the DJ!  RSVP at the Rise for Climate Site. To volunteer and receive an event staff t-shirt reflecting our yellow and black logo, contact For more information, please contact Kate Mosley at

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.
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