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Regarding Communications as we Prepare for Holy Week…

From Iyabo Onipede, Communications Coordinator

Hello Friends, Phew! 
It has been a roller coaster ride. I sincerely hope all of you are doing well and actually thriving in an unprecedented state of affairs. My heartfelt desire is health, wellness and epiphanies as we all deal with physically distancing ourselves from one another. I really miss seeing the familiar faces of Doug, Sherrill, Jack Kittle, Ellen Gadberry, Rick Neale, Javier and my wonderful office mate, Nancy. I miss the banging on the piano of the kids from Hess from the music room down the hall in the church office. Some of these are words I never imagined saying but working solely from home has allowed me to appreciate so much more. I am grateful. I miss this wonderful community where I have found a place to be and share my gifts.
I encourage all of us to continue to stay engaged even though we are physically apart by making sure we reduce the barrier to access for worship. I was thrilled on Sunday morning to share our worship time at 11 a.m. with you on a pre-recorded video. Some of you were able to stream the Vimeo video to your tv and comment on your ipad, phone or laptop on Facebook. We are all finding ways to connect online and sharing what is working and what is not.

You can expect to get (at least) two more emails from us this week. The first will be early on Sunday morning with all the adult and children education offerings and the second will be a couple of hours later with worship information in it. It will have links for you to join us in worship either on Facebook or to view a video. Please look out for those emails.

I need several things from you:
1. If you are gathering virtually, (Book Group, Men’s Fellowship, Women’s group, SAGES, etc.) please send me the online information. Even though you are not scheduling space at the church, we still want our members to know what is going on in our community. (Pssssttt….this is a great time to recruit new members and generate sustained interest in your group!) If you need technical help, let me know. 
2. Hit reply to this email and let me know how you are experiencing connection with your fellow NDPC folks. My primary concern is to make sure that I am doing my part to make sure that everyone can engage meaningfully with this community of faith especially during Holy Week:

  • How are you watching worship?
  • Are you feeling connected to your community of worship?
  • On Facebook at 11 a.m.?
  • On Facebook later?
  • Listening to the sermon on the website?
  • Not at all?
  • Do you have easy access to the bulletin?
  • Too many emails? 
  • Not enough information?
  • Do you want to belong to the group where we can do a watch party?
  • Any other ideas or suggestions for how we can improve connection during these times?

Basically, my question is, “What do you need from your church family now, more than ever?”

3. Please fill out your census form. Your voice matters. I feel concerned that the whole world is stressed out and may not fill out their census forms.

4. I live alone and I often think about our church members that live alone or are in a retirement home and prohibited from having access to the larger community. Although I am mostly thriving, I also feel that sense of isolation that others are experiencing. 

  • I am deeply comforted to know that our Visitation Ministry Team (VMT) is keeping in touch with members who have requested check-ins.  
  • I am also thrilled that our children have the opportunity to write letters to members who are confined to home or living alone. 
  • If you are interested in joining the children in letter writing please reach out to Mary Anona at [email protected].  Also, this is a good time to make sure your Realm contact information is accurate and up to date.

Thanks and peace upon our hand washing and practice of physical distancing.


Sunday, April 5th, 2020 – Palm Sunday


Technology pointers

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. 

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.

Virtual Worship

  • For a recording of our most recent worship, look on our Facebook page, for the pinned post for or visit the landing page of our website.
  • Bulletin for March 29 can be found here
  • Sermon notes for March 29 can be found here. 
  • We will send out two dedicated emails on Sunday morning with more specifics. One is for Sunday School and the other is for worship. Look out for them. For Palm Sunday, join us on our Facebook page or on our website as we worship apart, yet together. If you can, do join us on Facebook as we comment together, and “sign” the welcome register and text to each other, even during the sermon!


Palm Sunday 
Holy week begins with the procession of palms, as we tell the story of Jesus’ last days in Jerusalem and ends with Jesus’ anointing at Bethany. This Sunday, we invite you to participate in a virtual journey online.  Erin will lead us through a procession of images of our children enacting parts of the story, David will consider what sacrifice meant to Jesus as he faced his greatest trial, and Mary Anona will guide us in a ritual for self-anointing in the intimacy of our own homes. And Clint will keep us singing all along the way. As we navigate a virtual yet engaging worship online, we invite you to experience Palm Sunday with a different lens this year. 


NDPC invites you to join us in posting the various images you see throughout your week that demonstrate mercy in unexpected in compelling ways. Tag us @northdecaturpresbyterian and use the hashtag #imagesofmercy. If you have any questions or wish to submit away from social media email [email protected].


Adult Education

Our Spring Adult Education Brochure

Do you have an idea for a class, workshop, or small group that you’d like to share? 
Click HERE to tell us all about it! 

Year-Round Classes

Forming Us Parenting Class
Facilitators: Kimberly Broerman, John Morgan, and others
Virtual Meeting Information for 9:30 a.m.:
Zoom Meeting Link:
Password: Psalm46
Phone Number: 1-929-205-6099,,877562121# 

The Artistry of The Bible
April 5th and 19th: Who is Jesus for us today? Given the recent events we find ourselves in, the answer to this question has changed quite a bit. This Sunday we will look at who Jesus is for us, and who Jesus has been for people in different eras. I want to invite you to join us via Zoom as we ask this question. Feel free to have on hand an artistic representation of who Jesus is for you, and we will use it during a time of “show and tell” to start our conversation. — Rob Schoonover.
Facilitators: Rick Neale, Alice Hickcox, Ellen Gadberry, and others
Virtual Meeting Information for 9:30 a.m.:
Zoom Meeting Link:
Password: 611Medlock
Phone Number: 1-929-205-6099,,179846336# 

Craftivists and Liturgical Arts – On Thursdays!
The Liturgical Arts Group has a work-from-home creative activity available for all who are interested. Regular attendees, watch for Ellen Gadberry’s email on Wednesday. First-timers: contact her to be added to the list at [email protected]
Dates & Times: 1st & 3rd Thursday, 7 p.m. (Liturgical Arts);
                2nd & 4th Thursday, 7 p.m. (Craftivists)
Facilitator: Ellen Gadberry [email protected]
Location:  Being facilitated virtually until further notice.           

Children, Youth, and Families

As we move forward with online communications with all of our congregation, we will be reaching out to our children and parents through digital means. If you have any questions or need help accessing our virtual meeting, please contact Erin at [email protected].

Sign up for Remind Texts:

We are meeting virtually every week! Below are the links to our meetings. We invite you to join us! Remember that all online activity needs to be monitored by an adult. We will be sending out Remind texts to Youth and parents one hour before the meetings.

Virtual Children Gatherings 

One, Two and Three Year Old Sunday School Class:
We will listen to the story of Palm Sunday and sing some songs. We invite everyone to find a branch or leaves (real or homemade!) to wave in lieu of palm branches.  And have some rhythm sticks or wooden spoons handy to use with one of our songs.
Zoom Meeting Link:
Password: 611Medlock
Phone Number: 646-558-8656,,8153790937# 

Pre-K through 2nd Grade Sunday School, Sunday, April 5, 8:45 a.m.
Join us for a lesson on Sunday mornings before the Parenting Sunday School Class at NDPC. Younger children may enjoy with a parent.
Zoom Meeting Link:
Password: 611Medlock
Phone Number: 929-205-6099,,751059488# 
3rd through 5th Grade Sunday School, Sunday, April 5, 4:30 p.m.
Join us every Sunday afternoon for a lesson and fellowship. Younger children may enjoy the lesson as well and are welcome to attend.
Zoom Meeting Link:
Password: 611Medlock
Phone Number: 929-205-6099,,953594290# 

Virtual Youth Gatherings 

Middle School Youth Group, Sunday, April 5, 5:30 p.m.
Grades 6-8 join us weekly for check-in, discussion, silliness and more!
Zoom Meeting Link:
Password: 611Medlock
Phone Number: 929-205-6099,,891931921# 
High School Youth Group, Sunday, April 5, 6:30 p.m.
Grades 9-12 join for weekly check-in, discussion, silliness and more!
Zoom Meeting Link:
Password: 611Medlock
Phone Number: 929-205-6099,,117345616#   

Youth Group Midweek Fun, Wednesday, April 8, 4:30 p.m.
We will be hosting this virtual midweek fun event every week on Wednesday. NDPC youth, grades 6-12 are invited to attend and join our games! We’ll have a winner each week- with a for-real prize!
Zoom Meeting Link:
Password: 611Medlock
Phone Number: 929-205-6099,,520858603# 

Congregational Care

Circle of Care, Next Gathering: Sunday, April 5th, 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 practice is that this group ordinarily meets every 2nd and 4th Sunday at 4:30 p.m. but because of Easter, our April dates are the 5th and 19th. Contact Mary Anona, [email protected].
Zoom Meeting Link:
Password: 611Medlock 
Phone 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

Book Group, April 2, 7:00 p.m., hosted via Zoom by Gordon French: Just when you convinced yourself it is NOT safe to go outside, we are still a book group and will still be meeting. We are reading ”Heavy – An American Memoir” by Kiese Laymon. It is the story of an African American boy raised by a single mother in Jackson, Mississippi who copes with the twin issues of having a black body and an overweight body. This generous, searching book explores all the forces that can stop even the most buoyant hopes from ever leaving the ground.  Contact Kip Duchon: [email protected].
Join Zoom Meeting:
Password: 037929, One tap mobile:929-205-6099,,262385029# US (New York)

Liturgical Arts Group: Today, Thursday, April 2, 7:00 p.m.: It is the season of blooming all around us, and the Liturgical Arts Group is busily making paper blooms to adorn the sanctuary on that happy day, whenever it will be when we will all gather again in our communal sacred space. Can you see in your mind’s eye the pops of spring color and bursts of Easter blossoms that these cheerful flowers will bring to our joyful worship experience together? Everyone is invited to join us in this project; these “kusudama flowers” are easy to fold and assemble. All you need is square paper (any size, any color, any type, including repurposed paper from book pages, magazines, junk mail, or NDPC bulletins!) and some white glue. Tonight we will make these flowers “together,” while we check-in, chat, laugh, and pray for our community and our world. Please join us!
This is a church-wide invitation to join us and below are other ways our congregation can cco-create with God during COVID-19.
Contact: Ellen Gadberry ([email protected]
Zoom Meeting Link:
Password: 2020Create
Phone Number: 929-205-6099,,884079870# 

Art, activism, and worship: In these days, here are three ways to co-create with God and community, sharing your gifts of self and soul:
1. Sew face masks – Pull out a sewing machine and some fabric scraps, and join in on a local “make masks” project here. Need supplies or even a sewing machine? Ellen Gadberry has access to at least 3 machines, mounds of fabric, and yards of elastic, so find her contact info in Realm and she’ll arrange a drop-off to you.
2. Make Soul Boxes – Folding Soul Boxes can be comforting during times of stress. You can fold Soul Boxes at home without any special materials. Check out this comprehensive post with how-tos and even a Self-Care Bingo game.  
3. Create Easter flowers – Beth Waltemath has guided us in creating a sacred space in our home even as we long for the day when we can gather again in the sacred space of our sanctuary. All are invited to join the NDPC Liturgical Arts Group in creating spring blossoms to adorn first your home spaces and eventually our sanctuary. Imagine our chancel filled with flowers of all colors and sizes, made by our own hands! Basic folding directions are here and NDPC-specific details are here – watch these two videos and you’ll be all set to add to the bouquet.

Update to RIP Medical Debt

Erasing medical debt – Mercy in action: Throughout Lent, we have been exploring one of the Bible’s 9 big ideas: mercy. To embody mercy, we invited NDPC members and friends to contribute to RIP Medical Debt to erase the medical debts for residents of DeKalb County. We challenged you to raise $15,000.

We are delighted to announce that you have raised more $21,000! That will translate into $2.1 million of medical debt forgiven for our neighbors. You are amazing!

Can you keep it going for one more week? If you haven’t given, make your donation or pledge today!
       • All contributions to NDPC should be marked “RIP Medical Debt”
       • Cash, checks accepted. PayPal donations can be made on
       • Encourage family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors to donate!
Where can I learn more?
Read more about RIP Medical Debt at this link. 


  • Peace and Justice visit to Montgomery, Alabama, postponed from April 4 to a later date. More questions: contact Tim Merritt at [email protected].
  • Men’s Retreat, postponed from April 24 to 26 to a later date. Contact: Kip Duchon [email protected]
  • Presbyterians Got Talent has been postponed until the Fall.

Save the Date

  • God’s Creative Story Photography Fair, Saturday, May 9, from 4 -7 p.m. Details for this virtual event coming soon – to join the planning team, contact Ellen Gadberry, [email protected].

Service and Missions

Opportunity for service to our immigrant community: North Decatur Presbyterian Church is participating with the New Sanctuary Movement of Atlanta which is a collaboration of seven churches and synagogues. NDPC is responsible for providing food for asylum seekers every Thursday.  The food request is for a main meal and then extra food that can be for a snack or second meal. Meals can be dropped off. The New Sanctuary Movement is asking that if you participate, you read and sign a consent form. All pertinent information can be e-mailed to you. If you can help on a one time or ongoing basis, please contact Karen or Bert Weaver at [email protected]. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Updates From Our Partners

DEAM (Decatur Emergency Assistance Ministry), Decatur’s food pantry, is working hard to maintain service to clients during this time while protecting volunteers and clients from unnecessary exposure to COVID-19. If you are interested in helping, please contact Ashley Kane at [email protected] for more information. 

Mercy Community Church: Please make a donation and check out Mercy Community Church’s wish list on Amazon for these members of their community and upon checkout, please select “Mercy Community Church Gift Registry” when prompted to “Choose shipping address.” During COVID 19, the needs of Mercy Community Church are greater than ever. Contact: Dee Raeside, [email protected]

Initiative for Affordable Housing
Please visit our donation page for more information on giving to Initiative’s housing and homeless services programs. 
The re:loom weavehouse operations will continue with CDC-recommended precautions in place until further notice so that our employees have reliable income and a sense of community in the midst of so much uncertainty.”

DCM/Hagar’s House:   Please use this SignUpGenius link here to volunteer for lunches.
Contact: Jason Schoeneberg [email protected] or
Susan Cornutt [email protected].
 Please click here to make a donation.”


A Request From Erika Meyer: I volunteer with Concrete Jungle, an organization that redistributes fruit and vegetables to food pantries and shelters in the Atlanta area. One of their partners has had to reduce its service from 400 clients a week to 15 because the food bank is no longer getting excess food supply from grocery stores. Concrete Jungle has received over 200 calls from families in urgent need of food who cannot go out due to vulnerability to COVID-19. We now have a system set up to pair volunteers with these families. Each volunteer can shop for groceries for one family and do a no-contact drop to keep our neighbors from going hungry during this epidemic.  Here is the link to sign up.

Please help me recruit far and wide for people who can spare the time and money to provide groceries for one family for one week or as long as it takes to “flatten the curve.” Interested folks can email me at [email protected] with any more questions or to get volunteer instructions. I did it last week and shopped for 2 lovely people for $40! Thank you for helping ensure that our neighbors don’t have to choose between food and safety.

Office Matters

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

Lenten 2020 Image-2
Lenten 2020 Image-1