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Longest Night Service

by Sam Turpen, Intern


In a season where we hear a constant stream of messages telling us to be happy and joyful, it is important to acknowledge the difficulties this time of year can bring.  Whether we are facing loss, fears of transition, or simply feeling blue, we know we can come to God as we are.  In light of this, we need not only a safe space to express our emotions, but also a time in which we can bring what is weighing us down to our community.  Join us for our Longest Night service, as we gather together to express and name whatever sadness, sadness, anger, and grief we may be feeling during this advent season.  It will be a time of gentle worship as we journey into the night together on our path to wholeness.  We will come as we are, ask God for healing, and turn ourselves toward a future sustained by hope and grace.  All are welcome.


Advent and Epiphany

The contribution of YOUR thoughts, insights, and images will be vital components of NDPC worship and our sermon series for Advent, “Home for Christmas.” Following the gathering of participants’ ideas at each week’s worship, all are invited to join the Liturgical Arts Group on Tuesday evenings in December to work on collage installations for display in the following week’s service. These mixed media pieces will be inspired by the words of the people. That’s all of you – thanks in advance for your unique vision! Questions? Contact Ellen Gadberry: [email protected].

The Feast of Epiphany, the culmination of the Christmas season, celebrates the revelation of Jesus to the world and invites our discernment of Jesus’ identity as the Christ child.  This year the Parish Ministry has encouraged each parish to hold an Epiphany party on the weekend of January 4-6. We hope you will soon receive an invitation to your parish Epiphany gathering. If you are unsure which parish you belong to, or your parish hasn’t planned an event and you would like to participate, or you would like to help plan your parish event, please email  Mary Nevil ([email protected]), Parish Ministry Chair, and she will connect you.  

In this issue:



Sunday, December 16, 2018

8:30 AM Worship Leaders
Head Usher:  Marie Schoeneberg
Usher: Cheryl Parlato 
Acolyte: Tucker Schoeneberg

11: AM Worship Leaders

Word in Worship: Anne Topple 
Liturgist: Carol Tveit
Head Usher: Charlotte Stone Black 
Ushers:  Mary Alice Kemp, Sallie Owens, Sherrill Terry, Bert Weaver, Martin Cochran, Lucy Scalese 
Greeter: Bill Castle 
Acolytes: James Leonard, Jack Bowen 
AV: Thom Shreck

Extended Session:
 Mary Elizabeth Etheridge
2-3 yr olds: Ellyn Cochran
4-6 yr olds: Kate Mosley, Andrew Godfrey-Kittle
Floater: Larry Mosley 

Flowers: Today’s flowers are given by the Worship Committee for all the good work NDPC 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].


Advent 3: Home in the Family (Romans 8:14-17), Rev. David Lewicki preaching: Families influence our view of the world more than anything else. We long for families that are warm, supportive,  and caring to nurture us our whole life long. But our flesh-and-blood families are, in reality, much more challenging. How does a Scriptural view of family allow us to better love our real-life families—both those who are kin and those that we have chosen?


Change for Change

For December, our loose change will go to the Co-pastors’ Discretionary Fund, which we use to help members and visitors with emergency food, medicine, and housing needs. Please continue to contribute your loose change in the offering to help our children learn the habit of giving joyfully. In November, we collected $539 for Decatur Cooperative Ministries to repair a couple of transitional houses. Thank you for your contributions. 

Coffee and Fellowship

Refreshments will be provided by the Westside Parish. Thank you to the volunteer(s) for providing our refreshments this Sunday. 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

Personnel Matters

Note: The church office will be closed the week of Christmas, December 24 -27, and will reopen December 31st. However, we will also be closed January 1st. The regular office schedule will resume on January 2nd, 2019.  

Please continue to direct space usage requests to [email protected].
Send billing or reimbursement questions to [email protected].    
Please forward “copy ready” all items for In Touch and Communicator to [email protected].

Adult Education

The Gratitude: A Way of Being has had a fruitful discussion for 3 weeks and wanted to share some resources with you.  Attached is a guide on how to build giving practices with kids.  Share with the little ones in your lives.  

Weekly Offerings are listed below. Click on the class name to read more. 

Click here to access the Fall 2018 Adult Education Brochure.

Children and Youth

From Elder Marion Reeves 

(contact [email protected])  

Gathering of Parents 

Parents are invited to dinner and a discussion on Sunday, December 16th from 5:15 – 7:15 pm at Melton’s. Childcare at the church will be provided from 5:00 pm – 7:15 pm for a contribution of at least $5. We will fellowship together and discuss how to cultivate a sense of gratitude in our children in good and bad times. RSVP to [email protected]


This Christmas season the Pre-school children will be learning the Christmas story, and the major figures in the story during the Sunday school hour. K-5 children will be experiencing the various ways Christians around the world celebrate Christmas. They will visit Italy, Lebanon, and Sweden, learning some of the customs as they also experience the Christmas story. You can find an online version of the Advent calendar here.  

(Image of shoes outside Italy door waiting for the candy like the Italian children do.) 

  K-1 2-3 4-5
Dec 16  Italy – Mother Theresa
Debbie Miller
Kent Leslie
Sweden – cooking St. Lucia buns
Heidi Gleason
Lebanon – Building nativities
Linda Davis
Bert Weaver

Christmas Eve Pageant Service Rehearsal: Any child who is interested in a speaking role in the 5 p.m. service on Christmas Eve needs to participate in the rehearsal during the Sunday school hour on December 23. Please have your children consider what role they would be interested in from the following list so that we can be ready next Sunday for a smooth rehearsal.  This service is designed for all children and is led by those with speaking roles. All children will have costumes and participate, whether they have a speaking role or not. It is a “Come one, come all” pageant!

Speaking parts:
3 Narrators                            2 Angels
2 Wonderers                         Choir of angels
Mary                                     4 Wise People
Joseph                                   4 Shepherds


December 16: There will be no youth evening meeting.

December 21: Lock-in!!!!! We celebrate the coming of Christmas and the fellowship and friendship of the youth.

Montreat registration: NDPC youth will be attending Montreat from June 9 through 15. Reservations are due. Send to Marion Reeves or Alexandra Mauney by December 15 in order to register. The cost is $400 and an initial $200 deposit is required in December to register those who will be attending and ensure attendance. The second installment of $200 will be due on March 30. 

Confirmation for 8th and 9th graders 

Next meeting: Sunday, January 13th – Session 6: What Does It Mean to Be a Disciple of Jesus?

A full schedule is available here.  Contact [email protected] for information.

Congregational Care

Circle of Care, Sunday, December 23, 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. January dates are 13th and 27th. 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

The Engagement Committee Needs You!
Would you like to help out at NDPC? An important job is available; with enough volunteers (6), you can do it just twice a year! The Engagement Team needs additional people to keep the materials in our pew racks and friendship pads neat and supplied. Timing is flexible; you can do it either before or between worship services on Sunday OR when the church is open, 9-2, Monday through Thursday.
You can do it alone or pair up with someone else. During the week you can spend quiet time in the sanctuary, enjoying the hush and peace of this space. Before services, you’ll help others notice what is being quietly taken care of behind the scenes. Please see or contact Jan Cribbs for further information: [email protected].

Women Together Gathering, Thursday, December 13 at 6:30 pm, Member’s home:  Join us for a $5 or less White Elephant Christmas party. Re-gift or recycle a favorite item wrapped and ready to swap. Vegetarian soup and crunchy bread will be provided. Bring yourselves and perhaps invite a neighbor with whom you have not yet had a chance to engage this holiday season? (Save the Date Feb. 21 at the home of Annie Godfrey for our annual activity and meal planning). Check out our book list at: This month, Dee Raeside is hosting (See Church Life App for address). RSVP to Dee Raeside at [email protected]

Sages Lunch, January 8, 12 pm, Fellowship Hall:  Badda Bing continues to provide wonderful lunches for $8.00 and we always enjoy dessert compliments of one Sage each month. Watch for an e-mail from Jim Goodspeed for a reservation or contact him at [email protected].

Book Group, January 10 at 7:00 PM will be at Kip Duchon to discuss The Undoing Project – A Friendship that Changed our Minds” by Michael Lewis.  Forty years ago, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original studies undoing our assumptions about the decision-making process. Their papers showed the ways in which the human mind erred, systematically, when forced to make judgments in uncertain situations. Their work created the field of behavioral economics, revolutionized Big Data studies, advanced evidence-based medicine, led to a new approach to government regulation. Kahneman and Tversky are more responsible than anybody for the powerful trend to mistrust human intuition and defer to algorithms. The Undoing Project is about a compelling collaboration between two men who have the dimensions of great literary figures. Amos Tversky was a brilliant, self-confident warrior and extrovert, the center of rapt attention in any room; Kahneman, a fugitive from the Nazis in his childhood, was an introvert whose questing self-doubt was the seedbed of his ideas. They became one of the greatest partnerships in the history of science, working together so closely that they couldn’t remember whose brain originated which ideas, or who should claim credit. They flipped a coin to decide the lead authorship on the first paper they wrote, and simply alternated thereafter.  For more, click here. Contact Kip Duchon  [email protected]

Service and Missions 

DEAM Volunteer Opportunities: Anne Hendry is the DEAM (Decatur Area Emergency Ministry – our local food bank) Liaison for NDPC and will be stepping down in June. Would you (or you and a friend) like to shadow her starting in January, and take over this role starting next summer? For more information about this opportunity and the various volunteer opportunities, please visit our website. Contact Anne at [email protected].  

Homeless Laundry Ministry, Wednesday, December 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]

Did you know? On November 15, 2018, our Mercy Community Church Laundry MInistry celebrated our 100th gathering to wash, dry, fold and worship together. We thank those of you who serve and remember to bring your quarters to the orange collection container each week. Our ministry is not a line item in the Community Ministry budget and relies solely on this means of funding. It costs approximately $50 a month to accomplish the cleaning of the Mercy Church clothes closet and ensures that Pastor Chad and his staff do not spend their ministry days sponsoring clothing drives. We also collect durable men’s clothing (size medium)in the basket outside of the main office. Thank you all for keeping us on your radar! Gratefully, Dee, Holly, Anne, John, Cheryl, Kent and Carlos

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 4 pm-7 pm while neighbors pick up their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes. Sign up to “box sit” and get a free box of veggies. (Pssst… get a box of veggies like the one in the lower right-hand corner.) Please check out our suppliers and support their farm at


New Sanctuary Movement of Atlanta & Tzedek Georgia (a Jewish reform advocacy group) Learn How To Influence Your Legislators, Special Workshop – Saturday, Jan. 19, 9 am-1 pm, The Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Road NW, , Atlanta, GA 30305, contact email:  [email protected]

Presbyterians for a Better Georgia Opportunities

  • Advocacy Training is January 29, 2019, 6:00 – 8:30 pm, (light dinner $8 donation) First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta
  • Day at the Capitol – February 6, 2019 – 7:30 am – 12:30 pm

Here is a link to register for one or both PBG events:

Office Matters

Coming Soon: Realm Connect

We are excited to announce a new church information platform that will greatly enhance the way we manage our ministries, our member info, and our giving. Introducing Realm@: a church management system that will make it easier for our church family to connect with each other and serve our community. It will enhance event planning, group coordination, and communication. It will help our staff manage the operational and financial aspects of our church life more efficiently.
Realm was developed by ACS Technologies, the same provider whose older management system we have been using for years. It will do everything from help us find one another’s phone number to managing our entire financial operation. It is entirely web-based. And, there is an app for that: Realm Connect.
Right now we are well into the transition from the old system to the new one. As soon as everything is fully implemented and tested, we will give you everything you need to get connected.

For office information, social media, official documents, and publication information, please visit our website. 

Building Giving Practices
Christmas Concert