The Communicator is our go-to resource for all the current events at NDPC. We archive recent newsletters so you are up to speed on everything happening in our church community.

Document Description
September 6, 2018

Celebrate the Beginning of Education Year 

On Sunday, we begin the Christian education year at 9:30 am by gathering together in the fellowship hall, praying together as learners and teachers of all ages, sending off our classes by age and stage and previewing our adult education offerings.

In worship, we will commission our learners and teachers for the new year and the children will perform a special song they prepared over August.  

We hope to see everyone this Sunday starting at 9:30 am for this important time of Sunday School registration and learning celebration.  

In Christ,
Beth and David


Worship this Sunday moves to 11 am. Our early worship service (8:30am) starts next week, Sunday, September 16th. 


Seasons, our hard print quarterly newsletter, is available for you in the narthex with your name on it. Please pick yours up to help us save on postage. Thank you. 


In this issue:


Sunday, September 9, 2018

10:00 AM Worship 

Worship Leaders:
Word in Worship: Ellen Gadberry
Liturgist: Holly Williams
Head Usher: Betty Busbee
Ushers:  Glenda Clay, Becky Evans, Kathleen Allen, Deedee Murphy, Pat Murphy
Greeter:  Sherrill Terry 
AV: Jason Schoeneberg

Extended Session:
Nursery: Kent Leslie

2-3 yr olds:  Roberta Goldbaugh
4-6 yr olds: Ariel Hart, Anna Kershaw
Floater: Emily Harris

Flowers: The flowers are given by Becky Evans and is dedicated in gratitude for the good work North Decatur Presbyterian Church 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  [email protected].

Change for Change:

For September, our loose change will go to support Hagar’s House. Please continue to contribute your loose change in the offerings as our children learn this habit of giving joyfully. Thank you for your contributions. 

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.

Coffee and Fellowship:

Before worship, from 10:30 – 11 am, fellowship and light refreshments will be served on the patio, weather permitting. Otherwise, it will be held in the Fellowship Hall. Thank you to Susan and Drew Cornutt and Shannon Scalese of the Oakhurst Parish 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 [email protected] or sign up at


September 9th, Rev. David Lewicki preaching: “Faith for a Lifetime.”

I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
…and your young shall see visions,
    and your elders shall dream dreams. (Acts 2:17)

Throughout worship in 2018-19 at NDPC, we will explore faith at every stage of our human development. From infancy through senescence, God is shaping our lives, giving us every opportunity to grow into what Christ calls “the fullness of life.” Each stage of life is unique in the opportunities it provides for spiritual formation; we move through transitions and grow, or not. And while each stage sounds like an individual reckoning, at every stage it is our relationships that help us through. By the end of the year, we will see the entire “life of faith” unfold before us, all of it–and all of us–under God’s abiding care.

Adult Education

This is a list of the Christian education classes that NDPC will offer to adults this year. Classes will be led by church members with interest and/or expertise in the topic. Each session lasts one hour (9:30-10:30 am) and classes typically last for four weeks. We encourage attendance at all sessions of a class, but you may drop into any class as your time allows. Our classes are also open to any friends and neighbors in our wider community who are interested in learning in community.

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
  • The Theologies We Sing

All Year

  • Wired Word: The Daily News and The Good News 

Inquirers’ Class, November 4,11 and 18, 2018. 9:30-10:30 am, Pastors’ Study.
This is an informal conversation about NDPC, the PCUSA and how God is made visible among each of us, now and in the past.

Strategic Staffing Plan and CYF Director Position Update 


By Wendy R. Cromwell, Personnel Chair

The Personnel Committee of Corey Dunn, Steve Hendry, Mike Johnson, Sallie Owens, David Wilkes and myself in consultation with Revs. Beth Waltemath, Bobbie Wren Banks, and Rick Neale are working on the strategic staffing plan needed to implement the 2018-2020 strategic plan going forward. This work involves considering how each staff position interacts and supports the congregation and the church’s mission.
To do this, we are looking at churches of comparable sizes and missions, as well as mapping each staff position to the new strategic plan. In addition, we are asking each staff member to audit his or her time to see where potential gaps are as well as what administrative activities/tasks consume the most time and how we might streamline those tasks to better allow for implementing the strategic plan and moving the congregation forward.
This important work was ordered by the Strategic Plan as adopted by Session in November 2017. The committee began in earnest in February with the expansion of the personnel committee to include volunteers with backgrounds in human resources, institutional longevity, communications, and corporate strategy. As we began work, our director for Children, Youth and Families took a call closer to home in Denver. The personnel committee is including information gathered through the CYF director’s exit process and the Ministry Architects report to inform discussions with the CYF committee and families around our staffing deliberations. 

Because all staff positions and the personnel budget are being reviewed, and not just the position of CYF director, the committee believes this work must be completed before moving forward with any new hires.  
The personnel committee hopes to present the strategic staffing plan to the Session in November. In the interim, the personnel committee is working with the CYF committee to ensure that all gaps in programmatic coverage are covered. Staff members, David Lewicki and Beth Waltemath, Iyabo Onipede, and Meghan Vessel have stepped up to help cover confirmation planning and teaching, communications and select administration tasks. The youth leaders and Sunday school shepherds also have done an excellent job in cleaning and preparing our rooms, a youth calendar and our curriculum for the new year.  

Our committee is thankful for the commitment that our congregation and the staff have to the spiritual formation of children, youth and families and are hopeful that this time of discernment only strengthens and broadens the skills and love for children and youth in our congregation as we prepare for our next model of leadership in the areas of growth inspired by our strategic plan and in Children Youth and Families. You may help the personnel committee and its work by holding the members in your prayers. 

Children and Youth

From Marion Reeves:

September 9 is the big kickoff day for the children’s Sunday school program! Everyone will meet in the Fellowship Hall at 9:30 to register the children for their classes and meet the teachers and shepherds. Each group will leave for their classes from the gathering.  Children can then be picked up from their classes on the Education Hall following the Adult Education presentation in the Fellowship Hall.
Youth will also start their Sunday school experience in the large gathering and leave to meet their teachers and get to know their fellow class members. The first evening gathering will be at 6:00-7:30 pm, September 9. Supper and fun will be the plan for the evening. The schedule for the fall events will be distributed to both Middle and High school groups that evening to help everyone with planning and scheduling through December.
The CYF Committee is looking forward to seeing all the planning from the summer start to happen. We look forward to experiencing the increased energy level in our Education Hall as the children and youth return to full activities after their summer rest.



Confirmation classes for 2018-2019 is open to 8th and 9th graders. It will be designed and taught by our co-pastors, Beth and David, with the support of the elders, and shepherded by adult mentors. Confirmation classes will take place approximately twice a month during the 6-8 pm youth formation hour on Sunday evenings starting on September 30th and running till May 5th. There will also be opportunities for retreat and service. If you are interested in confirmation or know a youth who might be, please email [email protected] to add them to our contact list to receive more information.  The first session for youth AND their parents will be held September 30th, 6-8 pm.

(Families do not have to be members of the church for their youth to join us in the confirmation journey.  Confirmation is a valuable journey and rite of passage whether or not a youth decides to join the church at its completion.  We celebrate all confirmands throughout and at the end of this process.)

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 in grades 1-5. We meet on Sunday nights at 6:00 pm for dinner (optional) and music time from 6:30-7: 30 pm. 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: 30 pm. 
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: 00 pm. 

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 [email protected]. Handbell and Balcony Choir rehearsals begin September 5th. 

Singing in the Multi-Racial Church, Saturday, September 8, 10 am to 2 pm, Oakhurst Presbyterian Church. The Worship Committee of Oakhurst Presbyterian Church would like to invite members of NDPC to join us in a music workshop. It will be led by Dr. James Abbington, editor of One Life, One Faith, One Baptism, the new ecumenical hymn book and an Associate Professor of Church Music and Worship at Candler School of Theology. It would be of special interest to choir members. It’s a chance to develop music skills and enjoy the experience of singing together! Contact: Anne Hughes for the Oakhurst Worship Committee at [email protected].

Congregational Care

Circle of Care, Sunday, September 9, 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, [email protected].

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 [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].

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, September 10 at 9:00 am.
The Communicator – Monday, September 10 at 9:00 am  (Note different time)
Seasons Quarterly Newsletter – Thursday, November 1 at 9:00 am

Please send all information for publication to [email protected]

Community Life

POETRY SHARING LIVES ON!  Tuesday, September,18, 2:00 p.m., Parlor. Those involved in sharing poetry this summer didn’t want it to end so we will continue on a once-a-month basis on the third Tuesday afternoon. So if you didn’t make it to the sessions in the summer, now is your chance to share your favorite poets, including originals you might have written. This is an invitation to all church members, including your friends who might enjoy poetry. Contact: Barbara Jung [email protected]

Craftivism at NDPC, Tuesday, September 18, 6:30 pm, Large Classroom: All are welcome at the NDPC Craftivists Meet-Up (enter the doors near the church office, then down the hall on your right.) We will be preparing table talk displays for the parish potluck happening later in the month and making plans for others ways to engage in activism through craft. Join us for dessert and fellowship at 6:30, followed by making and more fellowship from 7-8:30. Craftivism is part of our Adult Education offerings. Questions? Contact Ellen Gadberry at [email protected].

Book Club, Thursday, October 4, 7:00 pm at Joe Sandifer’s to discuss “A Place at the Table by Susan Rebecca White. “Alice Stone is famous for the homemade southern cuisine she serves at Cafe Andres and her groundbreaking cookbook, but her past is a mystery to all who know her. Upon Alice’s retirement, Bobby Banks, a young gay man ostracized by his family in Georgia, sets out to revive the aging cafe with his new brand of southern cooking while he struggles with heartbreak like he’s never known. Seeking respite from the breakup of her marriage, wealthy divorcee Amelia Brighton finds solace in the company and food at Cafe Andres, until a family secret comes to light in the pages of Alice’s cookbook and threatens to upend her life.” 

In her most accomplished novel yet, (NDPC member) Susan Rebecca White braids together the stories of these three unforgettable characters who must learn that when you embrace the thing that makes you different, you become whole.


Service and Missions:

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”



Peace & Justice: Education and Action Opportunities:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead (1901-1978)

NDPC Members and Friends, the Peace & Justice Committee has identified 9 priority issues for education and action over the next 18 months:

  • Sex trafficking
  • Gun violence
  • Human rights / LGBTQ
  • Immigration and refugees / Sanctuary movement
  • Mental health
  • Nuclear weapons
  • Torture
  • Peacemaking and reconciliation / Interfaith dialogue
  • Criminal justice & racial justice 

Strategies for each issue, outlined by the committee at its August 5th planning meeting, can be found here. We hope you will join us! To help in any way, large or small, please contact P&J chair Carol Tveit, [email protected].

Call to Action: Click on the link to read the strategies for each P & J issue. Select an area that you have an interest in, volunteer to serve or get educated about and share with NDPC members. 

Mental Health Education Opportunity, First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta (hosted by FPC Atl. and North Avenue Presbyterian) Mental Health Workshop for Faith Leaders, Oct. 18, 12-4 P.M. Members of the Peace & Justice Committee plan to attend this mental health workshop and encourage others to join us.  Please contact Bobbie Wrenn Banks – [email protected] – if you would like to carpool from the church. Join us on for a workshop on mental health for faith workers covering topics including common mental illness and treatment, suicide, how congregations can be more welcoming towards persons with mental illness, and how and when to make a referral to a mental health professional. Workshop leaders will be Dr. John Tumeh, Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and board certified in adult psychiatry, and Rev. Katie Sundermeier, Executive Director of the Samaritan Counseling Center of Atlanta. Click here to view the event flyer. For more information contact Rev. Katie Sundermeier at 
[email protected], 404.228.7721. Click here to sign up. 

Call to Action: If you are interested in attending this mental health workshop, reach out to Bobbie Wrenn Banks [email protected].

NDPC friends, thank you for your continued support of Decatur Emergency Assistance Ministry, DEAM. Summertime is often light on donations for DEAM. This year the trend has combined with a rather substantial uptick in the number of clients needing food and the result is some empty shelves in our food pantry. 

  • In May we served 131 households and 226 individuals.
  • In June we served 171 households and 323 individuals.
  • In July we served 191 households and 349 individuals.
  • In August we served 247 households and 444 individuals.

Please help us replenish our food selection by donating generously. Our most needed list includes:

  • soup of any kind… especially chunky chicken, and chicken noodle
  • canned chili (with or w/out beans)
  • canned lima beans
  • canned black-eyed peas
  • 1 lb packages of yellow rice
  • canned greens (especially collards, turnip greens and mixed greens)
  • canned yams
  • small boxes of corn muffin mix
  • deodorant
  • bar soap
  • toothpaste
  • toilet paper

Since we do a client choice method of distribution, we will gratefully accept any non-expired, non-perishable items. Thanks for your continued support! Contact: Anne Hendry [email protected]

Seeking Volunteers: Support the Inspire Afterschool Program: Shalom! We’ll be hosting our Open House on Friday, September 21st from 5-7pm (and from 11am-12: 30 pm for families who work in the evenings, though we expect that group to be rather small). This is an opportunity for our students’ families to come see our space, learn what we do each day, and get to know all of us who help out! We’ll need volunteers to make the Open House a success, so please let me know if you’re available to help out. We’ll need folks to: serve snack; tell about/show our enrichment activities; take pictures of families and mark where they’re from on our map; and other things that may come up! Contact: Dee Raeside [email protected]

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. Contact: Dee Raeside at [email protected].

The remarkably impactful sponsorship opportunities that Inspire is offering are: 

  • A local business owner can sponsor the Frisbee Tournament fundraiser for $1,000. 
  • An individual or family can sponsor a refugee youth to attend the Inspire afterschool program for $2,000. 
  • A church or civic group can sponsor Inspire’s annual space needs for $7,000.

Homeless Laundry Ministry, Wednesday, September 19, 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, [email protected].

Hagar’s House, week of September 9: NDPC is serving dinner at Hagar’s House shelter, an emergency night shelter and assessment center with support services for families with children. The shelter offers at least 30 nights of short-term housing and has room for up to 30 guests. We ask for a couple people or a family to cook a meal and bring it to the Decatur shelter and a couple people or a family to serve dinner for a couple hours at the shelter each night that week. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Jason Schoeneberg at [email protected]  or by signing up online here:

Creation Care Parish Potluck, Sunday, September 23 after worship, Fellowship Hall. Do you love ugly veggies, funny fruit? We do too, like this heart-shaped red potato.  Farms and groceries are pressured to offer only perfect produce. Buy a less-than-perfect item (yep, perfectly nutritious and tasty.) Tell your grocer it’s more than OK to stock uglies. Tell your friends. We can appreciate Earth’s diverse bounty. “If we picked our friends the way we selectively picked and culled our produce, we’d be very lonely,” said one farmer. 

Let’s gather for a Creation Care Parish Potluck – Bring your favorite salad: entrée salads (this meal is not strictly vegetarian), side salads, and desserts in a dish you’ll take back home. We’ll enjoy great food, fun conversations, quizzes, and prizes. NDPC is joining congregations across the country, raising awareness about a big problem — we waste lots of food, which has a major impact on Earth’s warming. Together we can figure out ways to waste less food and toss less plastic! Meantime, check out these websites:

Save the Food
Reuse This Bag
Food Waste Weekend


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! Contact Kate Mosley: [email protected].

Joining Hands for Justice in Palestine and Israel Discussion and Book Signing, Sunday, September 16, 4:00 – 6:00 pm, Harrington Center Auditorium, Columbia Theological Seminary, 701 S. Columbia Dr., Decatur, GA 30030. (Enter Campus from Inman Dr. – Park in the parking lot on the left behind the library)
Carole Monica Burnett, Ph.D., and Father George Makhlouf, editors of “What Jerusalem Means to Us: Christian Perspectives and Reflections” will feature a discussion and book signing of their work. Come join us to hear from three of the contributors to this timely and unique volume of 23 essays by Palestinian and other Christians of various cultural, ethnic, and national backgrounds. Their contributions – authentic, heartfelt, wise – faithfully address the Christian stake in Jerusalem as well as the universal meaning of Jerusalem. Please RSVP by Thursday, September 13 to Rev. Fahed Abu-Akel [email protected]. For more information, click here:
Contact: Bobbie Wrenn Banks [email protected]

Living Your Beliefs:  Leaving the State Department to Represent Immigrants, Monday, September 24, 7 pm at NDPC and presented by Progressive Salon of Decatur. You heard him on NPR – now meet him in person. Chris Richardson had been a Consul with the State Department in Nigeria, Nicaragua, and Pakistan before being stationed in Madrid, Spain. When the Trump Administration issued the “Muslim Ban” the Emory graduate resigned rather than support what he considered to be discriminatory implications of this ban.  Before he left the State Department, Chris gave a sworn statement to the lawyers who brought the “Travel Ban” case to the Supreme Court. Justice Stephen Breyer quoted Chris’s statement in his dissent. Because Chris spoke out, he cannot be re-hired at State. Chris now has a new career, here in Atlanta, representing immigrants.  Take a break from the bad news and be inspired! With musical guest, the inimitable Dave Soleil of “Sing Out Defiance.” Contact: Dee Raeside [email protected]