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New Elder Statement Of Faith 

Looking forward to the ordination and installation of new elders on Sunday, January 26th, we share with you one of our new elder’s statement of faith.  Each elder has written a statement of faith. You may ask them to share them with you. They are all beautiful. 

I am such a hybrid, such a mix of faiths and denominations. In some ways, I am practically self-ecumenical in the way I have studied and learned from and been nurtured by a variety of faiths. In each of these faiths, I have found the light of God in the worship, sacraments and community of the believers. In each of these experiences, I have sought the Holy Spirit for discernment and guidance.
I was baptized, raised and confirmed in the United Methodist Church. At a later time, I joined an exceptional Presbyterian Church in Wisconsin which lived out its mission and vivid commitment to social justice. Then I served as a member and active leader in the Atlanta Central United Church of Christ for nearly 10 years before arriving at NDPC, where I have been a member for approximately eight years.
In each of these parts of my religious journey, I have watched and been so grateful for the variety of people who accept leadership positions in the life of the church. Growing up, I watched as my father served for 40 years as church pianist at our UMC home church; he also served as a deacon, a home visitor, and a Trustee, spending countless hours in meetings, projects and service to our church, he was a wonderful role model for me and would teach me, in anecdotes and in modeling, that “we each take our turn in offering our talents to our church.” That lesson has served me well (whether in my Methodist church, my Presbyterian church, or my UCC church). I have taken on that lesson, and willingly “take my turn” to serve.
I feel—actually—quite blessed to have such a variety in these various denominations and the way they have formed and informed me and continue to form and inform me. 
In my experience, the purpose of the church is to learn together, to worship together, to examine and explore the tenets of the scriptures together. We are called to form community, to support and to challenge one another in our development –both individually and as a congregation. It is intriguing to me, to learn from a variety of opinions. As humans who strive and stumble, we are stronger when we share stories of the struggles we’ve faced and when we learn deeper respect for other personal styles, approaches and perspective. Questioning together, about times that we’ve been lost and times when we’ve been found, we deepen our life as disciples.
I find myself deeply moved when celebrating the sacraments of the church in community. I have often felt that I can spot the face of God in celebrating baptism – as congregation members are reminded each time of their own baptism, we are called to consider and re-acclaim the vows that we made, or were made in our name, at our own baptism. I feel closer to God and our congregation each time we witness a baptism. With a bit more solemnity, and in the holy setting of the sanctuary, I also feel closer to God each time we share communion. Sharing the cup and the bread remind me of the way that Jesus Christ suffered and died for each of us. I am reminded, refreshed and strengthened when we share the communion sacrament together.
The plain truth is that many parts of my “Faith Statement” evolve and shape along the way, hence my putting a date on this document so I can ruminate and take a look later on as to what I’ve written. But in a truer and deeper way, the essence of my faith statement would likely be consistent, if I were to have done this exercise in intervals of every year, every 3 years, every 5 years.
The essence of my faith statement is that I have known since my earliest times of knowing anything that I am beloved by God. And I have known without a shadow of doubt—from having dear family folks and ministers and dozens of Sunday School teachers tell for me all of my days – that in my short time on this earth, it is my charge to love God with all my soul, with all my heart and with all my mind. And that I am called to love my neighbor as myself, in all of the ways that come to me on my journey.

~ Claudia Brogan

Notice of Congregational Meeting

There will be a meeting of the congregation and the corporation of North Decatur Presbyterian Church on January 26th after the 11 a.m. worship service for the purpose of approving the annual budget and Co-pastor’s terms of call. During the 11 a.m. worship service, we will be ordaining and installing the 2022 class of elders, who were elected on October 27, 2019.  We will be electing a slate for the 2020 elder nominating committee. If you are willing to serve on the nominating committee for the purpose of discerning and contacting new elders, please contact [email protected]. Meetings are mostly by email and phone over the summer.  

We encourage you to review the 2020 Budget in advance of the meeting although copies of the Terms of Call and 2020 Budget will be available at the meeting. If you would like to review the budget in advance, you can review it on our website or the stewardship package you received in the Fall. To review the Terms of Call in advance please reach out to the clerk of session or the personnel elder at [email protected] or [email protected]

Worship live streams on Facebook!

If you can’t be with us but still want to be with us Sunday morning, you can join the worship through the live stream on Facebook. Just go to our Facebook page and look for it under “Videos.” Tell your friends!



Sunday, January 19, 2020 

8:30 a.m. Worship Leaders
Ushers:  Martha Shepherd, Cheryl Parlato

11:00 a.m. Worship Leaders

Liturgist: Staff
Acolytes: Ruth Cannon Bonner, Margaret Lewicki
Head Usher:   Cindy Hays                                    
Ushers:  Rex Levoy, Lynn Levoy, Sallie Owens, Pat Mueller, Kieva Morrison, Ezra Morrison
Greeter:   Jamie Jones-Wormley

Extended Session:

Nursery:  Marie Hodgman-Schoeneberg
Floater:  Jack Kittle
Toddlers: Linda Curry, 
PreK-1st Grade: Deb Miller, Briana Patterson

The flowers in the sanctuary are given by Jerry Coling in memory of his beloved Caroline Coling whose memorial service will be at 2:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary. 

To submit comments or suggestions about worship, or volunteer to donate flowers, or serve as an usher or liturgist, contact [email protected]. Go here to sign up for word in worship. To submit information for scrolling announcements or media presentations during worship, see the official NDPC AV Guidelines and contact Clint Miller at [email protected].


Throughout January, we explore the 5th of the Bible’s “9 Big Ideas”: Wonder. God, by definition, is wonder-ful and fills us human beings with wonder. Wonder is awe and amazement at some aspect of our human experience that we can’t easily understand nor easily ignore. Wonder moves us to inquire into the nature of this experience and animates a life-long search for wisdom. We began the month with a service of poetry and music and reflection to mark the wondrous Epiphany (“revelation”) of Jesus to the magi. On January 12th, we explored the quirky, surprising wonders of the Holy Spirit as she moves our lives and the life of the world. On January 19th, we listen to the disturbing story of Job, whose anger and grief about his own unjust suffering is met by God with a revelation about wondrous height, depth, and breadth of God’s love for the whole creation–including Job.

Change for Change

For the month of January, our loose change offering will go to the Presbyterians for a Better Georgia, which helps both members and visitors to the church with emergency food, medicine, and housing needs

Community Fellowship

Thanks to the South Peachtree Creek Parish for providing our refreshments this Sunday. The 2020 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 Thom Schreck at [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! 

New This Rotation 

End of Life Conversations
Dates: January 19, 26
Facilitators: Lee Nichols, Jean Hill, David Markham and Mary Anona Stoops
Location: Parlor in Sanctuary Building

Next Rotation

Just and Sustainable Food: Transforming our Food System
Dates: February 2, 9, 26, 23, March 8, 15, 22, and 29
Facilitators: Rebecca Watts Hull, Ph.D.
Location: Parlor in Sanctuary Building

Year-Round Classes

Forming Us Parenting Class
Facilitators: Kimberly Broerman, John Morgan, and others
Location: Parent Classroom in the Children’s Education Building
The Artistry of The Bible
Facilitators: Rick Neale, Alice Hickcox, and others
Location: Studio Classroom in Sanctuary Building
Craftivists and Liturgical Arts – On Thursdays!

Dates & Times: 1st & 3rd Thursday, 7 p.m. (Liturgical Arts);
                2nd & 4th Thursday, 7 p.m. (Craftivists)
Facilitator: Ellen Gadberry [email protected]
Location: Studio Classroom in Sanctuary Building                                             

Children, Youth, and Families



On January 12th, we began a new rotation: One-on-One with Elisha. We will look into the life of this prophet and discover how he demonstrates God’s compassion. We will be acting compassionately on January 19th, when we prepare soup for the Souper Bowl of Caring.

Parents of Kindergarten through 3rd grade, please look on the bulletin board in the education wing for your child’s prayer pillowcase. They will serve as reminders that God, our Wonderful Counselor, is there for us as we sleep. Stop by and pick yours up!

Children’s choir will be rehearsing on Sunday, January 19th after the 6:00 p.m. meal.


Field Trip This Sunday – Sign up now! On Sunday, January 19th, the youth will be taking a field trip to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. We will pack sack lunches and leave NDPC by 12:30 p.m. We will walk to the Decatur MARTA station and eat our lunch at the Center. We plan to return to NDPC via MARTA by 5:00 p.m. We will not have regular 6:00 p.m. Youth Group. To register, email Erin at [email protected]. Tickets will be $16.00 per person. MARTA passes are $5.00.
Youth Sunday is March 15th. We’re so excited to have this opportunity to share with the congregation in a unique way. In the next several weeks during Sunday Night Youth Group, we will be exploring the scriptures, planning and practicing the parts. Please make every effort to be present if you (or your child) would like to be a part of this fun project.

Nourish Our Youth! 

Volunteers are needed to provide a simple meal on Sunday evenings so our youth and children’s choir can be fed before their fellowship time. Volunteers agree to provide a meal for 30-40 people, set up tables and buffet in the fellowship hall and serve the meal from 6-6:30-p.m. Lastly, volunteers agree to clean up the kitchen and Fellowship Hall once the youth have finished their meal. It’s a fun way to serve in our church! Need more details? Contact Kate  Mosley [email protected].
Thank you to Dee Raeside who will be providing dinner for the children’s choir only on January 19th.

We need volunteers for January 26th!!!! Please sign up at the link above!

Youth Theological Initiative (YTI) at Emory University: Our 2-week Summer Academy is an ecumenical program in justice-seeking Christian theological education held on the campus of Emory University.

Our goal is to help you explore theological questions and perspectives in a supportive, nonjudgmental, mentoring community where your views, talents, and insights are respected and encouraged.

We offer teenagers serious theological tools in a creative and engaging context. We cover a variety of areas:

  • What is the bible and how can I go about understanding what it says?
  • What are other religions like and how can I make sense of them in terms of my own faith?
  • Why do bad things happen?
  • How do I decide what justice is?
  • How can I make the world better than it is right now?

– July 12-25, 2020
– For rising 10th-12th graders
– $2800 (includes all lodging, meals, transportation within Atlanta, and entrance fees)
– Scholarships are available and we are now accepting applications!
Apply Now 
Transcript Request Form for US Applicants
Transcript Request Form for International Applicants
Accepted scholars can pay fees here
Contact Erin: [email protected]

Congregational Care

Circle of Care, Next Gathering: Sunday, January 26th, 4:30 p.m., Parlor: 
We meet twice a month and offer support and fellowship for caregivers and those living with mental or physical health issues. This group ordinarily meets every 2nd and 4th Sunday at 4:30 p.m. February dates are the 9th and 23rd. Contact Mary Anona, [email protected].

Meals and Transportation: The Meal Care and Transportation teams are under the umbrella of Congregational Care at NDPC. The Meal Care ministry provides meals to those in need of nutritional support due to illness or death of a loved one. The Transportation Team provides support to those who are homebound who want to attend Sunday services. If you think these ministries are calling you, give them a try. The Congregational Care Team members would love to have you join them. Contact Audra Grace: [email protected]

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

Salt Shakers! If you signed up for this year’s program of meals and fellowship, you should have received your assignments by email last Monday. If you did not get your assignments, please send a note to [email protected] and he will send you a copy. If you forgot to sign up it’s not too late – spaces are available in the February and March gatherings. Send a note to [email protected] if you would like to join in the fun!

Liturgical Arts Group, Thursday, January 16, 7:00 p.m., Studio Classroom:  The mission of the Liturgical Arts Group is to support, enhance, and extend elements of worship in our community through the visual arts at North Decatur Presbyterian Church. This group meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month. We will deconstruct our Advent banners and work through some creative exercises around the theme of mercy as we anticipate the liturgical season of Lent and a focus on corporal acts of mercy (Matthew 25). Contact: Ellen Gadberry [email protected].

Gun Violence Memorial Project during Fellowship Hour, January 19, 10:30 a.m.: Folding two pieces of paper to make a lidded box is fun and easy. Confronting the death of a victim of gun violence by creating a Soul Box memorial is hard.

Both tasks are the work of the NDPC Craftivists Group, and we invite you to join us in this community activity that is simultaneously satisfying and sobering during the third Sunday Fellowship Hours of January, February, and March (10:30-11:00, just before the worship service where the names will be read in remembrance during the Prayers of the People.) We will have the simple supplies needed – paper, glue, and scissors – along with names and photos of Georgia victims to be included on these small tribute boxes. The boxes will become part of a temporary exhibit here at NDPC, and will ultimately become part of a 200,000-box exhibition on the National Mall in Washington D.C. in October 2020.
Look for our table in the Fellowship Hall on January 19, February 16, and March 15. To learn more about the Soul Box Project, go to or Contact: Ellen Gadberry [email protected]

Third Monday Men’s Fellowship, January 20 at 6:30 p.m. at Thinking Man Tavern, 537 W. Howard Ave, Decatur, GA 30030: Men of NDPC (and those who love them) are invited to our monthly fellowship gatherings. Our goal is to engage and connect the men of the church: for fun, for spiritual growth, and for service. The Third Monday Men’s Fellowship meets alternate months at restaurants and a member’s home. We hope that alternating locations make our fellowship meetings more inviting. Contact: Tim Merritt [email protected].

Ageless Grace, Tuesday, January 21, 10:30 a.m., Parlor:
 Susan Fraysee and Carole Goodspeed will lead those gathered in a conversation of the fourth chapter of Parker Palmer’s book, On the Brink of Everything: Grace Gravity and Getting Old,  which focuses on work and vocation. It is not necessary to have the book to join the conversation and fellowship.  Contact [email protected] for more information.

Craftivists Group, Thursday, January 23, 7:00 p.m., Studio Classroom:  The mission of the NDPC Craftivists Group is to “craft for a cause,” working toward the priorities of the Peace and Justice Committee to address social justice and contemporary issues calling for activism, focusing on outreach through art-based actions to the larger community. We are currently building and personalizing Soul Boxes to memorialize victims of gun violence in Georgia. This is our FINAL Thursday night meeting before we pause for a Lenten Book Study (look for details in next week’s Communicator) Contact: Ellen Gadberry [email protected].

Church-Wide Potluck Lunch and Celebration of Elders, Sunday, January 26, 12:30 p.m., Fellowship Hall: Everyone of all ages is invited to a church-wide potluck lunch after the congregational meeting on Sunday, January 26 to celebrate our new elders who will be installed that day, as well as all current and former elders. We will enjoy food, fun, and fellowship together. Bring healthy sandwiches, sides, or salads to feed 8-10 people. Beverages and dessert will be provided. Contact: Carol Morgan [email protected]

YOU and God’s Creative Story Workshop, Saturday, February 8, Fellowship Hall, 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.: Join us for a Saturday workshop as we explore God’s Creative Story and what it means to be ourselves created in our Creator’s image. We will come together as a community to explore the creative process as a deep connection with God under the leadership of Karla Kincannon. Karla is a Methodist minister, spiritual director, artist, and author of Creativity and Divine Surprise: Finding the Place of Your Resurrection. This event, made possible at no cost to participants by our Calvin Grant for Vital Worship, will include snacks, lunch, and all materials needed for a day of simple, non-threatening activities that require no artistic skills or experience, just an interest in seeking the image of God buried within each one of us. Registration is limited to 50 participants, so secure your seat as soon as possible with an email to Ellen Gadberry: [email protected] 

Women of North Decatur 

The sun & the 2020 Women’s Retreat!
February 28 – March 1, 2020, at Montreat, N.C.: The weekend is a special time for relaxing, reconnecting and re-energizing.  Our fabulous 2020 “visionary” retreat leaders will be Lesley Brogan and Ellen Gadberry. Woohoo! It’s not too late to register for the North Decatur Women’s RetreatDeadline: Jan. 20. Go to Women’s Retreat Registration You may complete and submit the registration form online – or – print, complete and place the registration form with your payment in the offering plate on Sunday.  Please note: Our “reserved rooms” at the Assembly Inn already have been claimed by NDPC women, but we may be able to reserve additional rooms if needed.  First requests, first served. The registration form includes options for paying and opportunities for being a part of the planning fun.  


Questions?  Contact Fran Mohr at [email protected].   

Atlanta United Game: On June 20 the NDPC Fellowship Team will be hosting NDPC at Atlanta United game. We have a group of tickets in section 340, which is midfield. Tickets to attend are $27 per person. If you would like to join us, please go to this website and complete the form. If you have questions or would like to attend our pre-game meet up but are not interested in getting a ticket with the group, please email [email protected]

Service and Missions

2020 GIPL Green Team Summit, Saturday, January 25, 8:30 a.m., General Board of Global Ministries, 458 Ponce de Leon Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30308: GIPL will feature ethicist an eco-womanist scholar Rev. Dr. Melanie Harris. Facing the Rising Sun: Climate Change and Ecowomanist Wisdom. Register here.  Contact Kate Mosley at [email protected]

Presbyterians for a Better Georgia: Join Presbyterians for a Better Georgia in partnership with Central Outreach & Advocacy Center for our annual Advocacy Training and Lobby Day! Advocacy Training will take place Tuesday, January 28th at 6 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta. This event will give people of faith the opportunity to learn advocacy skills from the experts. No matter your level of experience, this event is sure to leave you feeling equipped to talk with legislators and raise your voice for issues that matter.
Following Advocacy Training, join us for PBG Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, February 12th at 7:30 a.m. at Central Presbyterian Church. Come put what you’ve learned into practice as we convene for a morning of advocacy training and issue briefings, then head over to the Capitol for meetings with our elected officials.
Both events are free to attend! Register online at

Advocacy Training
A Workshop Presented by Presbyterians for a Better Georgia
Tuesday, January 28, 2020
First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta
1328 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309
Training begins at 6:00 p.m.
Light dinner provided! ($10 suggested donation)

PBG Day at the Capitol
In Partnership with Central Outreach & Advocacy
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Central Presbyterian Church
201 Washington St SW, Atlanta, GA 30303
Issue briefing begins at 7:30 a.m.
Light breakfast provided!

Cold Nights In Decatur: North Decatur Presbyterian Church is partnering with A Home for Everyone in DeKalb and other churches to manage a cold-weather shelter in Decatur for nights that are below 36 degrees. This year Decatur First United Methodist is housing the shelter. We need volunteers to provide food and to host the evening and overnight shifts. To volunteer at the Decatur First Methodist building, you must first complete a background check and read their safety information. If you have any questions, please contact Roberta Goldbaugh at [email protected], Annie Godfrey at [email protected] or Debra Robinson at [email protected]. Here are the links:



Town Hall Meeting for Senator Parent, Monday, February 3, 6:30 p.m., Fellowship Hall: Senator Parent invites her constituents to hear about legislative priorities for the 2020 legislative session at her first town hall meeting of the session. She also welcomes questions and concerns from those in attendance. She hopes to see many of you there!


Save the Date

  • Women’s Retreat, Montreat, N.C. – Friday, February 28 to Sunday, March 1, 2020.
  • Men’s Retreat, Highlands, N.C. – Friday, April 24 to Sunday, April 26, 2020. 

Office Matters