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Unity Atlanta Church Holds Drive for Front Line Service Providers and Students

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Unity Atlanta Executive Director Pam Johnson and Outreach Coordinator Nan Smith.

Unity Atlanta Church is currently collecting various needed supplies for front line service providers and students at Peachtree Elementary, as part of the Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services’ Gwinnett Great Days of Service.

With the supplies collected, Unity Atlanta, in partnership with the United Church of God, have already filled 30 backpacks for Peachtree Elementary students.

The church will be collecting onsite at 3597 Parkway Lane, Peachtree Corners 30092. Drop off times are Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Unity Atlanta Church appreciates the support of the Peachtree Corners Community.

The most needed items are cleaning supplies, food (i.e. peanut butter, pasta and sauce), personal care and books.

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Faith

The Light Shines in the Darkness: Advent Study by Christ Church Episcopal of Norcross

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Outdoor service at Christ Church Episcopal

Christ Church Episcopal announces an Advent Study via Zoom led by Reverend Andrew Frearson on Sundays, November 29 – December 20 from 9:15 – 10:15 a.m.   

The study will reflect on four influential figures, looking at how each overcame great difficulties to find rays of light that sustained them and brought consolation and hope to many through their lives, work, and writing.  The study follows:

  • Nov 29:  Meister Eckhart c1260-1327/8; Dominican mystical writer and teacher.
  • Dec 6:  Lilian Staveley 1871-1928; from being an Atheist, wrote secretly of her experience of her soul’s journey of love back to God.
  • Dec 13:  Christina of Marykate c1096/8- c1155; Anglo Saxon woman who managed to live the life of faith she desired in spite of the many 12th century obstacles faced by women.
  • Dec 20:  Maya Angelou 1928-2014; American poet, memoirist, civil rights activist, singer, dancer, actress, composer, and playwright.

No advanced preparation is required, but interested folks are welcome to look at these writings as background if they like:

  • On Meister Echkart:  Meister Eckhart:  A Mystic Warrior for Our Times by Matthew Fox or Conversations with Meister Eckhart by Simon Parke
  • On Lilian Stavely:  A Christian Woman’s Secret:  A Modern-Day Journey to God by Lilian Stavely, ed. Joseph Fitzgerald
  • On Christina of Marykate:  The Life of Christina of Marykate trans. by C.H. Talbot
  • On Maya Angelou:  And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

Reverend Frearson is a former Rector of Christ Church Episcopal and currently a Rector at the Scottish Episcopal Church in Gloucestershire, England.

This study is open to anyone.  To receive the zoom link, email Karen Bass at Kbass@ccnorcross.org

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Faith

Christ the King Lutheran Church Welcomes New Pastor Jay Bergstresser

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Pastor Jay greets one of his youngest congregants as the family arrives at church. (Photo provided by photographer Jeffery Wheeler and Liz Simmons.)

First days on the job are always difficult. Now imagine starting a new position as a pastor amid an unprecedented pandemic. That is the challenge facing Pastor Jay Bergstresser, who served his first official Sunday on September 20 at Christ the King Lutheran Church (CtK) in Peachtree Corners.

Despite the struggles that the pastor is bound to face in his new church home, serving a diverse congregation that needs guidance in these trying times, Pastor Jay seems wholly optimistic about his latest placement.

“I love being a pastor. It’s something I always wanted to do and have always enjoyed,” Pastor Jay said.

A background of faith

Pastor Jay’s father was also a man of the cloth, so Pastor Jay grew up in the church surrounded by strong Christian family values. Pastor Jay has served in two other Lutheran churches, the first was Grace Lutheran in Berwick, Pennsylvania, and then Resurrection Lutheran Church in Cocoa Beach, Florida. He served in Cocoa Beach for over 24 years.

In the Lutheran tradition, they have what is referred to as “the call process.” Not unlike a secular dating site, churches in need of pastors, and pastors looking for a change, write descriptions of who they are and what they are looking for in a profile.

“When I read the profile for Christ the King, I knew that it would be a perfect match. The church’s call committee felt the same way about me. They are a wonderful congregation,” Pastor Jay said.

Leaders at CtK have plenty positive to say about Pastor Jay.

“Pastor Jay is a warm, caring person who cannot wait to get out and meet the congregation members and people in our community,” said Lee Davis, Office Manager at CtK. “Pastor Jay is going to be very engaged in the community. He asked how he can get connected in Peachtree Corners events. I’m hoping that [through him] Christ the King gets known in the community as a warm, friendly and welcoming church.”

Worship during the pandemic

Currently, two in-person services are held each Sunday at the church; 8:45 a.m. is the traditional worship service and 11:15 a.m. has a more casual contemporary format. There are many safety protocols in place, including a face mask requirement. The full list of safety precautions can be found at ctklutheran.org/worship-times

Pastor Jay posts devotions three times a week on the church’s social channels. Several Zoom gatherings are also held, in addition to the 11:15 a.m. service that is recorded online and posted every Sunday. There are plans to potentially use the large parking lots for socially distanced events once the weather cools down.

“I’m proud of the social distancing, sanitation and mask wearing rules that the church has in place to keep attendees safe. The church also has an amazing music program led by Grammy-nominated composer and pianist, John Burke,” said Pastor Jay.

Creativity in the face of adversity appears to be the cornerstone of leadership that Pastor Jay hopes to usher in. All this busyness and activity must weigh on him at times, so it is fortunate he has a great support system in his wife Lisa and their two adult children, Anna and Renee.

Pastor Jay seems content to call Peachtree Corners his new home and to serve his community. “I love Peachtree Corners!” he said. “The people I’ve met at the church have been so friendly and welcoming. I’ve also found that out in the community…so I’m right at home.”

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Coat Drive at Peachtree Corners Baptist Church (PCBC)

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PCBC is partnering with the Gwinnett County Police Department to help provide winter coats for those in need. Other churches and organizations in our area are also contributing and PCBC will serve as the host site. Bring your new or gently-used coats (all sizes needed) to the collection bins in the church between Sept. 21 and Oct. 7. Thank you for participating in this community effort! 

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