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May 21, 2020

This Sunday, May 24, Memorial Day weekend, virtual worship on Facebook will move to 10 a.m. through Labor Day weekend. 

Look out for only one email on Sunday morning with all the day’s details.

From Stewardship…

Friends – after two months of living into being a virtual church, we are learning much about ourselves, our community and ways of being together. As we near the end of Eastertide, we invite you to reflect on the covenant you made with God during stewardship season. Have you learned or discovered new talents you can share with your church family and our partners in Christ? Are you thinking of new and creative ways to dedicate your time to serve others and enrich your spiritual life? Or are you trying to simply maintain sanity and need to dedicate more time to self-care? As a church, we care about each one of you during these uncertain times and want to ensure you are receiving the care and support you need and that you are given opportunities to give when and how you can. 

We want to also plan for the rest of the year as best we can. Your Session is working on plans for the year which will be shared over the next one to two months. In the meantime, we invite you to reflect on the covenant of your pledge of time, talents and money. If there is anything you wish/need to change, please update your Realm information (pledges and time and talent information are a part of your profile). If you need to change your pledge to account for unforeseen hardships or because you want to give more, we invite you to do so in Realm (which you can access from and also email Jack Kittle, the keeper of confidential pledges at [email protected]. If you need assistance on how to access your Realm account, please email [email protected].

Since we will continue to be a virtual community for a while, please ensure you are keeping up with your pledges even if we can’t pass the plate in the sanctuary. You can:

  • 1) mail a check to the church office and/or
  • 2) set up a New Payment Method in Realm.

To give in Realm:
1) Simply go to your account and click on the “Giving” link on the left side.
2) Then click on “Manage Payment Methods” on the right side,
3) and “Add Payment Method.”
You have a choice to pay from checking, savings or credit card. We encourage you to pay through checking or savings, so the church doesn’t pay transaction fees. But, if you need to pay by credit card, that’s ok too.

The great news is that we have received almost 50% of your pledges thus far – thank you! As we enter summer and plan for the rest of the year, we’re hopeful to continue to fulfill our 2020 commitments to our staff, programs and partners. You are a vital ray in God’s rainbow for NDPC, so we invite you to reflect, reimagine and recommit what God has so freely given to you.

In Christ,
~ Jill Jacques (Stewardship Elder)
~ Gabriel Ramirez (Finance Elder)

Flowers for Virtual Worship  

Share your gift of gardening with your NDPC family. Take a photo of flowers as they bloom in your garden this summer (or as an arrangement you’ve made) no later than Friday each week to [email protected]. We’ll include them in our virtual worship each week.

Virtual Worship

  • Please visit our Facebook page for recordings of our recent worship services. Also, these recordings and the accompanying bulletins and sermon notes can be accessed on our website. 
  • We will send out two dedicated emails on Sunday morning for our Sunday education and worship opportunities. Look out for them.
  • Our early risers will enjoy worship by accessing the worship video and bulletin on the website early on Sunday morning. 
  • For Sunday worship, join us on our Facebook page at 11:00 a.m. as we view the pre-recorded video together, comment, “sign” the welcome register and text to each other, even during the sermon.
  • If you are not on Facebook, the Sunday Morning email will have a link to the pre-recorded worship video along with a link to the Bulletin. 
  • To access Facebook and be part of the worship of the pre-recorded video on Sunday morning at 11 a.m. on your computer or phone, please view this video. 
  • See below for troubleshooting guide for viewing online worship and zoom. 


Sunday, May 24: Rob Schoonover preaching: Thursday, May 21st marks an obscure, but important day in the Christian tradition, Ascension Day. We often forget this event in the midst of our busy spring schedules. We don’t hand out Ascension Day cards and we don’t give Ascension Day gifts, yet I think this day bears real importance for our present context. This Sunday we will look at Acts 1:6-14 and discuss the importance and beauty of the ascension. 

Image: The Women at Christ’s Tomb and the Ascension (The “Reidersche Tafel”), Rome, circa 400,Ivory plaque,Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Inv.-Nr. MA 157


Text ‘NDPC $20 (or any amount)‘ to 73256 for general fund or text ‘NDPC C4C $20‘ to 73256 for Chore-A-Thon

Appreciation for Graduates and Teachers

Request: We are creating opportunities for you to share a message of appreciation and congratulations for Sunday School Teachers and Graduates. Expect an email to later this week and let us know if you have a graduate in your household. If you have any questions, contact Erin at [email protected]


Zoom into the Choir Room

Wednesday, May 27, 7:00 p.m.: 
All are welcome to join in for some music sharing, learning about some of our favorite hymns and anthems, and social time together.  The remaining May hymn is:

  • May 27 – #408 There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit. 

Just click on the link below to join us. For more information, or if you would like to receive an email with the study materials prior to the Zoom meeting, contact Clint at [email protected] or ask any choir member. 

  • Eat!  Each week we will nourish our spirits looking at the texts and music of a hymn or anthem (yes, we are taking requests). We will explore the richness of the text, learn about the text author, the music, and the composer. For instance, did you know that the spiritual “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord” didn’t enter a mainline Protestant until the release of The Hymnal 1940 (Episcopal)? 
  • Sing!  We will sing! Gotta stay healthy and singing is certainly a good physical activity. This time will be modeled like a group voice class. Come make some noise! (You can mute yourself to us if you do not wish others to hear you.)
  • Pray!  We will have prayer time each week raising concerns and celebrations we are experiencing throughout the week. Choirs are very social people so much of our “prayer” time is engaging in good conversation and joyful laughter with one another. 

Zoom Meeting
Password: 611Medlock
One tap mobile: +19292056099,,85419581195#,,1#,072112# US (New York)
Dial by your location: +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
Password: 072112

Help Make Music with Technology

Do you have an old iPhone or iPad you could loan to a choir member? The Choir is using an app called Acapella to record music for worship. Unfortunately, this app is only supported on Apple products. The app requires iOS 11.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPad touch and requires 123.4 MB of space. If you happen to have an extra you can part ways with for a while during this quarantine, a choir member could use it to “lend their voice” to our music-making during this time. Contact Clint at [email protected].

Children’s Music This Summer

Beginning in June, all children are welcome to join a time of music-making together on Sunday mornings via Zoom. Our K-2 grades will meet from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 3-5 grades will meet from 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. The Virtual Choir Room will open 10 minutes early. Each week we will have some social interaction with one another, play some music games, learn about singing and reading music, and learn some music together. I hope you will encourage your children to join us on Sundays! For more information, contact Clint at [email protected]
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 867 2529 8860
Password: 611Medlock
One tap mobile – Iphone: 19292056099,,86725298860#,,1#,808203# US (New York)
Dial by your location: +1 929 205 6099 US 
Meeting ID: 867 2529 8860
Password: 808203

Music Ministry Survey Update

Your participation in our survey effort has been wonderful. We received 153 completed surveys, a response which in itself shows how much you value our music ministry at NDPC. Right now Marion Reeves is analyzing the results and we will share them with you soon. Thank you all for your dedication to our music and to one another.
~ Rick Neale, for the Music Committee

Adult Education

If you’d just like to submit an idea for a topic for next year or have a great idea for a virtual small group this summer, please fill out this GoogleForm by Sunday, May 24th.

Forming Us Parenting Group
Facilitators: Kimberly Broerman, John Morgan, and others
Virtual Meeting Information for Sunday, 9:00 a.m.:
Zoom Meeting Link:
Password: Psalm46
Phone Number: 1-929-205-6099,,877562121#

Children, Youth, and Families

Adults and Kids – Sign up!

We’d love for you to participate in our Chore-A-Thon!
This week’s Throwdown Challenge is brought to you by Tim Merritt, who will give you some hot tips on how to wash your dishes (and how NOT to wash your ukulele.)

Would you like to sponsor a child or youth? Do you have a chore you’d like to teach our kids to do?

Children’s News

We have come to the end of our Sunday School Year. We are so grateful to the amazing volunteers who got us going this school year with a journey through the Exodus, the Still-Small voice of God to Elijah, The Firey Chariot of Elisha, and the Holy Zoom Room. We want to say thank you to all the volunteers who made these classes possible for our children.
To say thank you, we are putting together a Vidhug. Please record a short clip of your children and you saying thank you which will be edited together into a video that will be sent to our teachers. Please take a moment to participate in this thank-you!
Summer Schedule

This week, we begin our Summer Sunday Schedule. Beginning in June, your children are invited to join Mr. Clint for singing on Sunday mornings. Age groups are based on children’s 2019-2020 school grade, but don’t hesitate to reach out to Clint or Erin to discuss the best placement for your child. We hope you’ll enjoy this opportunity to keep your kids involved in NDPC fun through the Summer. Questions? Email Erin at [email protected]
The Virtual Choir Room will open 15 minutes early. 
Kindergarten through Second Grade Summer Singing
9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 867 2529 8860
Password: 611Medlock
One tap mobile – Iphone: 19292056099,,86725298860#,,1#,808203# US (New York)
Dial by your location: +1 929 205 6099 US 
Meeting ID: 867 2529 8860
Password: 808203

Third through Fifth Grade Summer Singing
9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 867 2529 8860
Password: 611Medlock
One tap mobile – Iphone: 19292056099,,86725298860#,,1#,808203# US (New York)
Dial by your location: +1 929 205 6099 US 
Meeting ID: 867 2529 8860
Password: 808203


Youth Group: This week we begin our Summer Sunday schedule. We have decided to continue to meet as a youth group on Zoom for the forseeable future, at 5:30 p.m on Sunday evening. We will play games and check-in to help us keep connected as a group. Please put this time and day on your calendars, and join your youth group friends to start the week off right!
Sunday Youth Group
Sixth through Twelvth Grade @ 
5:30 p.m.
Join Zoom Meeting:
Password: 611Medlock
Phone Number: 929-205-6099,,891931921#

Youth News

Congrats Grads!
Our Seniors have had quite the end to their high school career! Please help us celebrate their amazing accomplishment from home! We’re recording VidHugs for each of them. Expect an email on Friday with the links but be thinking about your message of love, encouragement and congratulations! VidHug puts together a video that will surprise and delight them.

If you have a Senior, please let Erin know and we’ll include them. If you have any questions or need help accessing VidHug links, please contact Erin at [email protected].

Congregational Care

Circle of Care, Next Gathering: Sunday, May 31st, 4:30 p.m., Virtual: We meet twice a month and offer support and fellowship for caregivers and those living with mental or physical health issues. Our May dates are the 17th and 31st. Contact Mary Anona, [email protected].
Zoom Meeting Link:
Password: 611Medlock 
iPhone Number: 929-205-6099,,200682091# 
Meals and Transportation update during COVID-19:  During this exceptional time in our lives and our community, the staff and Session are listening to members and discerning how best to support needs of the congregation. As clarity emerges Congregational Care Elder Mark Cochran will work with Mary Anona and the full staff to develop teams of volunteers who are willing to respond. If you have a need brought about by the new restrictions related to COVID-19, you may contact Congregational Care at [email protected]. Any coordinated response through Congregational Care will take into consideration the safety and comfort level of volunteers. 

Need Congregational Care? Do you or someone you know need congregational care? The phone number for care at the church is 404-981-6372, or contact [email protected] 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 [email protected].

Community Life

Volunteers needed! Saturday, May 23rd: We need to spread out a huge mulch pile under our playground equipment. Volunteers can come on their own ANY time–bring your own wheelbarrow, shovel or fork, and rake. We are also encouraging folks at 8 a.m. on this Saturday, May 23rd, to come for 2 hours for a social-distance mulch spreading party. RSVP to [email protected] to say if you can make it and what tools you can bring. ~ Submitted by Rusty Godwin, LCSW.

Craftivists/Liturgical Arts Group
are on break from Thursday meetings, but still busily working on Eastertide Blooms and the Soul Box Project. “In Touch” from May 19th addressed our Eastertide Blooms Project and asked that you fill out a simple survey here. Links on church website for more info: and Contact: Ellen Gadberry: [email protected]

Men’s Fellowship via Zoom, Monday, May 25 at 8 p.m.: The Men’s Fellowship group meets every two weeks for conversation and connection: we vent, we discuss movies and TV, how we’re coping, opportunities for service, recipes, you name it. Join us! We had 13 people last time – there’s room for you. If you don’t receive an email with the Zoom link by Monday afternoon, send an email to [email protected] and he’ll hook you up. 
Join Zoom Meeting:
Password: HeyGuys
One tap mobile: 19292056099,,81039060353#,,#,576151# US

Member Updates

Calle Latina and Badda Bing Catering are both open for take out meals. Please support our members. Badda Bing catering site

Organic Tomato Plants — pick up –Decatur, GA – support Friends of Refugees: Hi, I’m Deedra Rich, NDPC member and the garden site manager at the Friends of Refugee’s Jolly Avenue Garden in Clarkston, GA. We have 200 tomato plants we are looking to give away for a small donation. All money raised goes to the garden to plant more food. Because of the current events, most of our community garden space is now being used to grow food for food boxes for the refugees, many of whom have or will lose their job in the coming months due to the pandemic. Pick up for the tomatoes is at my house Decatur, GA. I’ll put them out in the front yard with your name on them. Just let me know how many and when you will stop by. We have both Cherry and Roma. The donation amount is up to you. We suggest a minimum of $2 a plant but welcome your generosity as you are able. Please share with others. Thank you! Contact: Deedra Rich [email protected].

Service and Missions 

Casa Materna Ana Sayre and CEDEPCA News: Four members of the local Board of Casa Materna Ana Sayre made an exploratory trip to Guatemala at the end of February to determine the feasibility of reopening the Casa after having to cease operation in the fall of 2019. The Casa operated in a rental space for one year. Despite having had a successful fundraiser to purchase a house, we were unable to find an affordable property with a clear title in Cahabon, where the Atlanta Presbytery built the original house that closed in 2018.  (Donations were returned to those who requested it.) The exploratory team, along with members of CEDEPCA’s women’s ministry team, met with multiple government officials including the Regional Assistant Director of the Ministry of Health, the new mayor of Cahabon, and the physician at the health center.  All of them were supportive of us returning to Cahabon, as the community has felt the negative effects of our closure. Good and reasonable ideas were on the table, but almost immediately following the trip Covid-19 hit Guatemala along with the rest of the world. The Board has not been able to meet, but voted unanimously (by email) to donate $10,000 of the remaining funds to CEDEPCA.

CEDEPCA continues to educate, support, provide and communicate to those most vulnerable. While CEDEPCA has closed its actual building in Guatemala City during the COVID-19 pandemic that doesn’t mean work is not being done. The staff has moved to working from home and “meeting” online creating new ways to continue meaningful work in each program.

  • The Biblical-Theological program quickly transitioned to online classes: History of Guatemala II, Introduction to Theology, Old Testament II and Hebrew II. The staff is working with teachers and preparing Bible reflections and theology reflecting hope.
  • The Women’s Ministry is also offering two online courses while providing help and cell phone counseling to victims of domestic violence.  Incidents have skyrocketed as women are trapped in their home with their abusers.
  • The Disaster Ministry is providing bags of food staples, hygiene kits and psychosocial counseling to vulnerable families.  Through FB, they continue to share accurate, factual information, counseling people on how the epidemic is spreading and what people can do to protect themselves.
  • Finally, the Intercultural Encounters team has been communicating both with groups that have already visited and with those groups who planned to visit this spring and summer hoping to reschedule as many as possible.  Weekly, the team is sending out messages of hope to all supporters and participants through Constant Contact.
  • CEDEPCA has also started a small Emergency Rapid Response project to support the families of local partner in rural Guatemala.  Their main concerns are for the safety of the families of their partners and also their staff.  As of now, CEDEPCA has not had to lay off any employees.  NDPC is a part of that effort as we continue to partner with CEDEPCA. 

Thank you, NDPC!! ~ Submitted by Judy Moore and Deedee Murphy

Haiti Eco Village: Hunger Emergency
We are writing to ask for your help in a desperate time. The children in the EcoVillages are hungry. Their parents are hungry. The dry season drought devastated their gardens. Widespread food shortages stress the already fragile Haitian economy. All schools are closed. Families must remain in their homes due to the pandemic. They are barely holding on.

Our goal of finishing the school remains unchanged. At the same time, we know from our partners in Haiti that the families are focused on finding their next meal. A few months ago, we were concerned about the survival of the school because of the impact of the political unrest in the country. Today we are worried about the survival of the children. 

In response to this, the Haiti EcoVillage School Partnership met this week (via Zoom) and voted to launch an emergency campaign. Our goal of a sustainable school is still our purpose; and we know children must be fed. Pat Murphy, Fund Raising Chair for the Partnership, states “We can’t help educate children when the entire family’s priority is securing the next meal. We are asking your help to raise $5,000 for basic staples and seeds for yard gardens.  As we continue to focus on the school, we need to show our Haitian friends that we have not forgotten them.” 

Can you help us? We need to raise $5000 immediately. These funds will provide basic food staples and seeds. The seeds must be planted soon as the rainy season arrives in the next few days. The staples – rice, beans and oil – will feed the families until they can eat from their own gardens again. Because of the urgency, we will send the funds this week. 

We need to help now to demonstrate our concern and connections to them. As we continue to focus on the school, we need to show our Haitian friends that we have not forgotten them. Food and seeds will feed their bodies and their hope. Can you help?

~ Pat Murphy, Fund Raising Chair, Atlanta EcoVillage School Partnership

To Contribute:

El Refugio: Our friends at El Refugio has been awarded a Recurring Donors Matching Grant from the Fund for Democratic Communities, a Greensboro, NC foundation that supports grassroots community initiatives. For every donor (up to 60) who makes a recurring monthly donation of $5 or more, El Refugio will receive $100 from the foundation, for a maximum of $6,000.  This will be significant for El Refugio’s annual budget. It is very easy to do. Just click on the link ( and make a donation making sure to click on ‘monthly.’  Please let Joe know if you have any questions or want more info about the arrangement. In this time of limited opportunities to help, this matching grant donation is welcomed. Contact: Joe Sandifer [email protected]

Coalition For A Diverse DeKalb: We want you to join the growing movement to create local affordable housing! Connect through our new website: CDD meets (online) every 2nd Tuesday of the month. All are welcome to join—you don’t have to be an expert to make a difference! Contact Annie Godfrey at [email protected]

Decatur Emergency Assistance Ministry (DEAM) has joined forces with other Decatur-area ministries and non-profits to coordinate a unified community-wide response to COVID. Organizations are participating in a weekly call to gauge numbers and needs. Additionally, these organizations have created a Decatur community Facebook group specifically to ask community members to help meet needs for each organization as they arise. We ask all of our member churches to encourage church members who want to help to join our Facebook group.


Compassionate Atlanta Youth Program, May 25th, 3:30 p.m.: Compassionate Atlanta has launched a youth ambassador/intern program to guide the future generation to spread kindness using their creative minds and resources. This program is run by two college interns and we think this would be a perfect opportunity for youth seeking to do some good in their communities during the Summer. Some of you may be aware that  Iyabo Onipede (church office). also works with Compassionate Atlanta. is a grassroots non-profit whose mission is to educate, inspire and empower local communities with compassion. Ages 13-18 are welcome to participate and can contact [email protected] or [email protected] for more details. Find out more at an introduction zoom call on May 25th at 3:30 p.m. link

Technology Support

Trouble Shooting Guide for Viewing Online Worship?

Here are some common problems that have come up and Tim Merritt put this list together so your online viewing experience will be satisfying. 

  • I can’t find the video link for Facebook Live.

It’s different every week. The church will send this week’s link to your email 15 minutes before worship starts. They also post it at

  • I need the worship bulletin.

This week’s bulletin is available at

  • The video stops. 
  • Sometimes it has a circular symbol rotating in the middle.
  • The sound is out of sync with the picture. 

The video is buffering. It means somewhere between you and the source of the video there’s a holdup. It could be a slow connection at your home, a problem with your Internet Service Provider (ISP – AT&T, Xfinity/Comcast, etc). It could be heavy traffic on the internet, or an outage somewhere. Many of these things are like Atlanta traffic: unpredictable but sometimes inevitable.

  • What can I do?

If it persists on that day, here are some possible fixes:
* Try to limit your internet connection to one video stream at a time. If someone else is streaming video or playing an online game, that can affect overall performance
* Reload the web page and restart the video
* Try a different browser: Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Edge
* Connected via Wifi? Move your computer closer to your wireless device  (“modem,” “router,” “access point”)

  • Next-level fixes:

* Restart your internet provider’s device: cable or fiber optic modem, wifi access point. You may want to do this on a semi-regular basis anyway.
* Restart your computer.

Thanks to Tim Merrit for compiling the above pointers.

Zoom Technology Pointers

Zoom 5.0 updates have been issued. Please update your zoom app on your phone and your computer. Find Zoom 5.0 link here. As we move to more virtual interactions, anticipate a learning curve with technology. Here are a couple of pointers. If you are having a difficult time accessing events online, email [email protected] with your questions. 

  • For Zoom meetings, download the app on your phone and create a free account. Several groups are using Zoom and will share the specifics of the particular meeting with you. However, you do not need a zoom account to access the meeting.
  • Note that some of our meetings are on Google meets and it may have a different feel to it. 

We strongly recommend that you download the Zoom app, and create your own unique account, rather than using the browser version. Please use this link and the following instructions to download the Zoom app prior to the gathering based on the device you’re using:

  • For laptop/desktop: To download the Zoom app for your desktop or laptop, click on the “Download” button under “Zoom Client for Meetings,” which should be the first option. Once the download is complete, proceed with installing it onto your computer. The download should happen automatically.
  • For mobile device: To download the Zoom app for your mobile device, click this link from your device, scroll down to “Zoom Mobile Apps” and click the option for your device–you’ll be directed to either the Apple Store or Google Play; follow directions accordingly.
  • A user hint from Roger Duvall: “My screen kept jumping to people whenever they set down their drink, scooted their chair, or cleared their throat. I could have fixed this myself if I had set my screen to ‘gallery’ instead of ‘speaker.’ I don’t know about other devices, but on a laptop, I think the “gallery” setting works better.”

Office Matters

The Church Office is closed until further notice. Send emails as we are working virtually.

Ear Saver In Use
Lenten 2020 Image-2
Lenten 2020 Image-1