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Youth Sunday, March 3rd.

Worship service at 11 am only.
No 8:30 am Worship Service.

This Sunday, our youth group members will lead us in worship at 11 AM! There will be no early service on Sunday, but we invite everyone to join us at 11 as we journey together through Scripture, preaching, prayer, song, and Communion.

As we began our planning work for Youth Sunday many weeks ago, we began by asking this question: Why do we worship God? As we pondered this question throughout our planning, we discussed what it means for us to worship God in an age where church attendance isn’t necessarily the norm among our peers and their families. What do we do in worship that we don’t do anywhere else? If we can engage in acts of service in our neighborhoods, pray in private, hang out with our friends at the gym, and learn about the Bible at home or with peers, then what is it about coming to church that sets this place apart from the other spaces in our lives? The answer, of course, is worship! At NDPC, we have a place to come where we can bring our whole lives before the presence of the living God, journeying together in the life of Christian discipleship in community with one another. In our worship, we are confronted with the very depths of our humanity: the joys of dancing and playing sports; the anxieties of peer pressure and academic struggle; the pain of losing friends and ending relationships; the vibrancy of playing outside and learning more about ourselves. We bring all these things before the God who knows us better than ourselves, and we offer God our praises, laments, intercessions, and confessions in worship. 

So this Sunday, we invite you into this holy space where we gather every week to commune with God in the presence of our community. But we invite you to come with fresh senses: where might you be seeing, smelling, tasting, and feeling the presence of God? As our young people lead us in worship, what new things do you perceive that God is doing in the midst of this community? Do join us!  ~ Alexandra Mauney

Note: Next week, our e-publications will be issued earlier because Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 6th. In Touch will be issued on Monday, March 4th and The Communicator will be issued Tuesday, March 5th. Please send in your “copy ready” publication requests early to observe this schedule to [email protected]


Daylight Saving Time starts Sunday, March 10. 
Set your clocks forward. 

In this issue:


Sunday, March 3, 2019 – Youth Sunday

11:00 AM Worship Leaders
Word in Worship: Youth
Liturgist: Youth
Head Usher: Youth    
Ushers: Youth
Greeter: Marie Schoeneberg
Acolytes: Lucy Scalese, Donovan Biagioni

Extended Session:
Nursery: Susan Fraysee
2-3 yr olds:  Shannon Scalese
4-6 yr olds:   Anthony Scalese, Kara Morrison
Floater: Jack Kittle

Flowers: For this week, flowers are given by Jane Howe.
To submit comments or suggestions about worship, or to volunteer to donate flowers or serve as an usher or liturgist, contact  [email protected]. To submit information for scrolling announcements or media presentations during worship, see the official NDPC AV Guidelines and contact Clint Miller at [email protected].

From The Music Committee

We appreciate your silence during the organ prelude on Sunday mornings. The beautiful organ music is a wonderful beginning to our worship service.


Youth group senior Ryan Cass will lead us in a sermon this Sunday as part of NDPC’s Youth Sunday. Together in community with the youth group, Ryan has explored the day’s text to see what fresh insights the Spirit might be leading us to ponder together through this story. The narrative of the day is one we call the “transfiguration,” where Jesus is led up a mountain and is transfigured in the presence of the disciples. Moses and Elijah appear, and the experience is one of glory and disorientation- much like many of the experiences in our own lives!

Change for Change

For March our loose change will go to the support of Youth Mission Projects. Please continue to contribute your loose change in the offering to help our children learn the habit of giving joyfully. Thank you for your contributions.


Community Fellowship

Thanks to the Communications Committee and Charles Bonner for providing our refreshments this Sunday. The 2019 Sign-Up Genius is now available! Click here to see which Sunday your parish or committee is scheduled to provide the refreshments for fellowship between Sunday School and Worship. There is also one Sunday each month available for any individual volunteer who would like to host. This is a popular opportunity to meet and greet old and new friends each week and enjoy snacks together.  We are totally dependent upon folks stepping up to offer this hospitality, so please volunteer! Contact Holly Williams at [email protected].

Music Ministry

Don’t stay cooped up in these (60 degrees) winter months…. Join a Choir! The Children’s Choir meets on Sunday evenings from 6:30-7: 30 pm with dinner at 6:00 pm. Handbell Choir meets Wednesdays 6:30-7: 30 pm. Balcony Choir meets Wednesdays 7:30-9: 00 pm. Play an instrument? Let me know and we can get you playing with us in worship. You might be tempted to stay in the comfort of your home but you’ll have much more fun with us! 

Adult Education

We are already gathering ideas for the 2019-2020 school year.  Our process is to collect ideas and suggestions for teachers over the Spring semester and to have an open voting and development day in May (this year on May 17th:  Save the Date.  We need everyone’s brains!).  Please go to this GoogleForm to make your suggestion of a class idea.  (Requests for repeats also welcome). We hope you will check out the Spring Adult Education Course booklet HERE.
 In Christ who surpasses understanding but inspires wisdom,
   ~ David Wilkes, Adult Ed chair and Beth Waltemath

Upcoming Classes

Lent: The Arts and The Life of Faith 
We will venture deeper into the Lenten story and the meaning it brings to the life of faith by immersing ourselves in a variety of media including scripture, visual arts, music, poetry, and film.
Facilitators: Rick Neale, Ellen Gadberry, Clint Miller
Location: Large Classroom
Dates: March 10, 17, 24 and 31

The Spirituality of Parenting 
For all its amazing joys and gifts, parenthood can often be challenging and quite frankly humbling. How many of us have felt lost, insecure, and even guilty when it comes to our own parenting choices? In this class, we’ll explore what it means to bear the whole load of parenthood – the struggles as well as joys, the questions and doubts as well as the know-how, the utter failures as well as successes. We’ll seek a more gentle and gracious narrative to apply to ourselves as parents, seeking to recognize how God is present and working in the holy thick of it all. Come join us to share the load and find some relief for your weary parent souls!
Facilitators: Kimberly Broerman and Susan White
Location: Parlor
Dates: March 10, 17, 24 and 31

Current Class

Modern Womanist Theologians
Facilitators: Nicole Symmonds, Ph.D. candidate, Candler Theological Seminary
Location: Large Classroom
Dates: March 3

Continuous Classes

Wired Word
Dates: March 3,10,17, 24, & 31; April 7 & 14
Facilitators:  Sam Turpen and various facilitators.
Location: Library

Craftivism and Liturgical Arts  – On Tuesdays!
Dates and Times: 1st & 3rd Tues, 7 pm (Craftivism); 2nd & 4th Tues, 7 pm (Lit. Arts) 
Facilitator: Ellen Gadberry [email protected].
Location: Art Room, Education Hall

Inquirer’s Class 

Are you visiting NDPC? Would you like to learn more about this church, who we are as Presbyterians (PCUSA), and what we are doing? We try to follow Jesus by doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God. Let’s get to know one another and talk about how we at NDPC approach this ancient call and how you can be part of our journey.
Facilitators: Pastoral Staff and Engagement Team
Location: Pastor’s Study
Dates: March 3, 10 and 17



The Personnel Committee is pleased to announce the following members, Jonathan Ball, Angela Cass, Ellyn Cochran, and Corey Dunn, have agreed to serve on the search committee for hiring a new director of Children, Youth and Families. Jonathan Ball has agreed to serve as chair. The committee is charged with moving quickly, and thoroughly to find a suitable candidate for the position. Our youth elders, Macon Sandifer, and Ike Veal will consult with the committee during the interview stage.

For Such a Time as This

Final report from our Fall Commitment Campaign
We know you’ve been breathless with anticipation – so, after receiving a few delayed pledges and checking all the numbers, here are the final results of our Commitment Campaign:


Pledge Returns 2018 2017 Difference
No. of Pledges 154 154 0
Total Pledged Amount $643,904 $617,425 $26,479

The total number reflects several new pledges that offset those that were not renewed. What this means is that even with the same number of pledges as the previous year, our giving has increased by $26,479 – over 4 percent! Congratulations!
Now, just in case someone might still want to play a part, you are always welcome. Go to our Commitment Page on our website, where you can download a Pledge Card and a Time & Talent Sheet.
With deep appreciation for your generous commitment to the ministry of NDPC,
~ Your Stewardship Team
Laurie Carter, Ellen Gadberry, Jill Jacques, Jack Kittle,
Rick Neale, Larry Mosley, Sallie Owens, Susan White

Updating Our Church Directory

We are almost ready to produce our updated NDPC directory. We have sent Realm sign-in invitations to all of our members, staff, and clergy affiliates to activate their accounts and participate in the directory. (Realm™ is our new church management system. For more information go to our Member page at  
If you are a member and you’ve signed in to Realm at least once, you are all set. If you are having trouble signing in, or for any other questions about using Realm, there are two ways we can help:

  • Meet with Thom Schreck this Sunday morning, 9:30 am, in the Large Classroom. He will give you one-on-one support with Realm login and privacy settings.
  • Email Rick Neale ([email protected]

If you prefer not to sign in to Realm but you DO want your contact info to appear in the directory, please let Rick know. He will make sure you receive a copy when it is completed. If you prefer NOT to sign in, and you DO NOT want your contact info to be in the directory, please email Rick right away.
Once this process is completed, we will make the directory available to NDPC members, staff, and clergy affiliates. You will also be able to locate each other’s directory info via the Realm web page (click Directory) or through the smartphone app Realm Connect (Download the app: click here).
Thank you for your cooperation! ~ Rick Neale

Children and Youth

From Elder Marion Reeves 

(contact [email protected])  


Sunday School
Coming to the K-5 Sunday school for the next three weeks is a look at Jonah and his life trying to run away from his call from God. 
Look for the bulletin board featuring the work of the children in a scene from Jonah.  It will grow each week as the children add portions of their work form the various rotations. Here are the lessons for this coming Sunday:

  K-1 2-3 4-5
March 3 Drama Room
Write (draw) your own ending to the Jonah story.Mercy
Marion Reeves
Art Room
Making water color fish for the bulletin board.
Woody Hickcox & Janet Jasper
Gathering Room
Raise Jonah from the depths.
Larry Moseley


Here is a picture of the children making Haman’s hat cookies as part of a mini Purim celebration from February 10th study on the book of Esther. 


Coming this Sunday:  YOUTH SUNDAY in worship! The middle and high school youth have been preparing to lead the congregation in worship and the time has now arrived! Come this Sunday to experience worship led by the NDPC youth. Rehearsal is the morning of March 2nd, from 9 am to 10:30 am in the sanctuary. Please, mark your calendar.
At 7:00 pm on the evening of March 10th,  the middle school youth will be leading worship at Wesley Woods where the Vardemans, Godwins, and Wade Medlock are residents. The group has been preparing since January to be a part of the worship service.

Confirmation for 8th and 9th graders 

Next Gathering: Sunday, March 3rd – Session 9: Will You Devote Yourself to the Church’s Fellowship?   

Bible: 1 Corinthians 12:12–31; John 13:1–17 As Presbyterians, we know that every person has a place and purpose in the body of Christ. Our different gifts find purpose when we work together in service.
A full schedule is available here.  Contact [email protected] for information.


The NDPC Church Wide Retreat team needs everyone’s feedback for this year’s retreat. If you are interested in helping plan this years trip, please email [email protected] to join our team.  

Please fill out our survey. 

NDPC members and friends love a chance to get away and connect with one another and God. An All-Church retreat is in the works for October 2019. Jill Jacques and April Biagioni are working with Community Fellowship chairs, Holly and Thom on this. 
The Women’s and Men’s full weekend retreats are taking a hiatus this Spring (2019) but will be back in 2020. The women will gather for a day-long mini-retreat on April 13th. Traditionally, these retreats take place on the first weekend of March and the last weekend of April, although they are subject to the liturgical calendar cycle of Lent and Easter. If you want to help make these happen, talk to past leaders and sign up for the leadership team through the Community Fellowship and Special Events committee: [email protected].
(Chairs, Holly Williams and Thom Shreck).

Save the Date and Sign up for the leadership teams:
Women’s Retreat: March 6-8, 2020 until further notice
Past chairpersons and leaders: Sherrill Terry, Linda Davis, Sallie Owens, Fran Mohr, Deb Robinson
Men’s Retreat: April 25-27, 2020
Past chairpersons and leaders: Kip Duchon, Larry Mosley, Rick Neale

“Women in The Woods,” The NDPC women’s retreat (a one day retreat) at ent Leslie’s “farm” on the south side of Kennesaw Mountain (1100 Burnt Hickory Road, Marietta, GA); Saturday, April 13, from 12 noon to about 8:00 pm:

  • 12:00 to 2:00 pm – Time together. 
  • 2:00 to 5:00 pm – Free Time – Hike, canoe, fish, see the mineral collection or civil war collection, tour souse, read a book under a tree (or in the barn, or “Chicken House,”), nap or te to know our newest members in peace and quiet.
  • 5:00 pm – Communion
  • 6:00 pm – Supper provided – Bring something to drink if you wish. 
  • 6:30 pm – Singing by the fire in the pool house.
  • 8:00 pm – Closing prayer.

Please RSVP to Kent Leslie at [email protected]. Please carpool when possible. Do come and commune together and have fun. 


Congregational Care

Circle of Care, Sunday, March 10th, 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. March dates are 10th and 24th. 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].

Community Life

NDPC warming shelter expects to be open in the next week. We need volunteers! Please remember to check out the SignUpGenius for NDPC’s warming shelter and sign up on the dates when you can be available. The organizers will let you know at least a day in advance if you will be needed.  Thank you! Jerry Coling, Deb Robinson, Roberta Goldbaugh. Sign up here: Winter Shelter: North Decatur Presbyterian Church.
SAGES (Senior Group), Tuesday, March 5, noon, Fellowship Hall: Lunch catered by Badda Bing is $8.00 for lots of delicious sandwiches, soup and salad.  Please make your reservations by 4 p.m., Sunday, 3/3. Kent Leslie will speak about her experiences as she did research for her books and other topics related to her interest in mixed-race women of the Old South. Her book, “Woman of Color Daughter of Privilege: Amanda America Dickson, 1849-1893” was made into a movie, “A House Divided.” Kent has taught History and Women’s Studies at several local universities and retired as a Professor of History at Agnes Scott. Watch for an e-mail from Jim Goodspeed to make your reservation or contact him directly at [email protected].

Book Group, March 7 at 7:00 pm at Kip Duchon’s: We will discuss “The Devils of Cardona” by Matthew Carr. For a full list of books for the year, visit our page on the website. Contact: Kip Duchon [email protected]

Poetry Group, Tuesday, March. 12, at 2:00 pm, Parlor: Come and join us as we explore a variety of poetry, including today’s poets as well as the classical poetry many of us grew up with, and our very own NDPC poets who share their original poems.  Bring your favorites (which could include even Dr. Seuss) and join in the fun. Contact [email protected].


Service and Missions

Homeless Laundry Ministry, Wednesday, March 6, 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].

DEAM Benefit: A Choral Presentation to Benefit The Decatur-area Emergency Assistance Ministry, Sunday, March 3, 4:00 pm Avondale Pattillo UMC 3260 Covington Highway, Decatur GA 30032:The Decatur Civic Chorus, in conjunction with other local choral groups, is sponsoring a concert to benefit DEAM and the people of the community they serve. Admission is free. However, attendees are encouraged to make a cash donation to DEAM. For more information, see or send an email to Anne Hendry at [email protected].

Shalom International Ministries Talent Show, March 16, 7 pm, Sanctuary: 
We are delighted to host our very own Co-pastor David Lewicki, David Leonard, Elsa and Henry Cayce, Debbie Miller, the Garden Fresh Pickers (and many more) among our performers this year!” Free to the public. If you would like to donate refreshments or serve on the host committee, please contact [email protected].

Anniversary Bash – DCM Turns 50! Friday, March 22, 5 pm to 8 pm, The Solarium at the Historic Scottish Rite, 321 W Hill St # 1A, Decatur, GA 30030: Plan to attend DCM’s Anniversary Bash for sweet treats and live music, some fantastic auction items, and a possible international getaway! Tickets are available here. DCM was founded in 1969 and NDPC has long been a part of it’s history, providing the first house for DCM’s Family Transitional Housing program in 1983. If you or a family member have served on DCM’s board or been a long-time volunteer there, we want to hear your story and so does DCM! Contact Susan Cornutt [email protected].

Save The Dates

  • Advocacy Training Weekend and Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day, “New Troubling the Waters for the Healing of the World,” April 5-8, Washington, D.C. Contact Carol Tevit at [email protected]
  • Haiti EcoVillage Flavors of Haiti fundraiser, May 19, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm Contact Gordon French at [email protected] or visit


Home Wanted: Ray Glier and Jessie Bond really, really want to move from the city of Decatur to Medlock Park, mostly to be closer to NDPC. We want to beat the “flippers,” the home renovation specialists to the door. We are looking for a brick, ranch-style, one-floor home to update. Please let us know if a house is coming available in Medlock Park. Please email us at [email protected] 

Wild Goose Festival:
If you are interested in going to the Wild Goose Festival this July and want to coordinate a camping area or otherwise meeting up, let Heidi Gleason know ([email protected]) Wild Goose is a fantastic kid-friendly progressive Christian event on the French Broad River in North Carolina. There were a handful of NDPC folks there last year and we had a great time connecting while there.


Presbyterians 4 A Better Georgia Alert: INCREASE ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE

Please contact your legislators and urge them to support health coverage for all eligible Georgians by eliminating the 100% cap on eligibility for Medicaid coverage in SB 106 for the 115 waiver, and insure insurance protections are provided in the 1332 waiver.

The Governor has proposed Georgia apply for two waivers to provide more insurance coverage for Georgians under Medicaid. However, this proposal falls far short of what is needed as it would cover fewer people at a higher cost then Medicaid expansion.

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) provides for Medicaid coverage up to 138% of the federal poverty level. Georgia would receive reimbursement from the federal government of 90% of every dollar spent for this population. However, if as SB 106 proposes, a 100% cap is imposed on the proposed waiver application, we know that no other state has had this limitation approved, and it would mean that Georgia would receive less funding (only 67% matching rate) to cover fewer people!  This proposal would leave out hundreds of thousands of Georgians who need insurance coverage.

Urge your elected officials to be sure that any 1332 waiver also preserves critical consumer protections such as those with pre-existing conditions, and provides comprehensive quality health coverage, without leaving consumers on the hook for higher costs.

For more information, see the OpEd by Laura Harker of GBPI in last week’s AJC here

Join The Presbytery of Greater Atlanta and help reach the $40,000 FUNDRAISING GOAL FOR HUNGER WALK/RUN 2019! The Atlanta Community Food Bank also has a new goal – By 2025 everyone in ACFB’s 29 county service area will have access to the nutritious meals they need when they need them. Imagine what would it mean for Atlanta to be the first city to close the hunger gap? The Presbytery of Greater Atlanta has the opportunity to make a big impact on this transformative social shift. 
Find out more about the PGA’s response to hunger through our participation in Hunger Walk/Run here. As a benefitting partner, we keep 60% of the funds we raise to fund our P.A.T.H. Grant Program (Presbyterians Answer to Hunger). You can find out more about the P.A.T.H. Grant here.
Over the past 5 years, the youth of our Presbytery has raised close to $140,000 for hunger relief, nearly $35,000 last year alone. Our youth have built a powerful grassroots ministry and it’s time for the rest of Presbytery to join with them. How to be involved:

  • JOIN Team NDPC. Donate, Walk, or Run for NDPC and PGA here.
  • RAISE MONEY. There are amazing fundraising tools like the Social Media App that will make fundraising easy. You can download it here.
  • COME TO THE HUNGER WALK/RUN EVENT. Join thousands of people from around Atlanta working to end hunger at The Home Depot Backyard on April 28, 2019. Get event info here.

If you need more information about the walk/run contacts Carlos Moore – [email protected] or Rev. Phil Brown – [email protected]. For NDPC related issues to the walk, reach out to Thom Schreck at [email protected]

Office Matters

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