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Faith Blog

Features local churches’ and synagogues’ news, spiritual leaders and special events.

Buy and sell before Passover

 

Passover is right around the corner (April 3-11, 2015). As you prepare for this joyous holiday here is a reminder about two special mitzvahs before the holiday.

First, let’s sell!

As you know, Passover is the holiday in which we eat matzah and refrain from eating or possessing any chametz (leavened bread). In the weeks preceding the holiday we clean our homes and rid them of all chametz. If, however, we still own any chametz — whether food products or dishes — that we’d like to use after Passover, we may designate a rabbi to sell it all for us to someone not Jewish so that we do not own it for the duration of Passover. After Passover the rabbi acquires it back for use.

Most local rabbis offer this service to their local communities, and it’s best to contact your local rabbi to make this sale.

If you cannot do it locally, Chabad.org is pleased to provide this chametz sale service free of charge. Click here to read more about the sale of chametz and to sell yours online today!

But don’t just sell; buy something good, too!

Passover is the holiday of matzah, and it is recommended to use handmade Shmurah Matzah, especially for Seder night. Not only do many enjoy the special taste, but using these matzahs helps us fulfill the mitzvah in the best possible manner.

Handmade Shmura Matzahs are now sold at many supermarkets, and are often available for purchase at synagogues and at Chabad centers around the world. Make sure to include handmade Shmurah Matzah at your seder table and share this sacred tradition with your friends and family.

In case you cannot find Shmurah Matzah locally, here are several links where you can orderShmurah Matzah online.

(Source: Chabad.org) 

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Sunday is Family Fun Day for Rise Up! for Christ

 

RISE UP! and WinShape Camps are hosting a Family Fun Day this Sunday, March 22, 1-4pm at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church. Inflatables, crafts, games, and samples of the camp recreation skills will happen and 8 full WinShape day camp scholarships will be given out. 

Johnson Ferry Baptist Church is located at 955 Johnson Ferry Road in East Cobb.

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Who was St. Patrick?

St. Patrick

The following is an excerpt from the newsletter of Father Robert Certain, an East Cobb Episcopal Priest. 

As a boy growing up in Savannah, Georgia, I knew St. Patrick’s Day as a major event. The city went all out for a day of great celebration … parades, center lines of the route painted green, the Savannah River dyed a deep green, concerts, festivals, and worship services in all manner of churches. And watch out if you did not have on a green item of clothing! Never mind that the day almost always falls in the season of Lent, my home town was a party town.

Other than that, I knew little about the Patron Saint of Ireland. Over the years, I’ve learned a bit more about him and why he seems to have captured the imagination of so many people around the world. Born in the late fourth century on the northwest coast of Britain, at sixteen he was captured and sold into slavery by Irish slave-traders. Five years later he escaped, returned to Britain, was educated as a Christian, and took holy orders. In his early forties he returned to Ireland, this time as a missionary bishop, laboring for thirty years to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity.

Patrick serves as a symbol of forgiveness and reconciliation for all of us. Like King David, he was called from being a shepherd (Patrick’s duty as a slave) to being a leader of a nation. Like Joseph, he went from slavery to leadership, caring for those who enslaved him and those who had sold him alike.

Whatever else you do on St. Patrick’s Day this year, spend some of your time forgiving those who have wronged you and seeking reconciliation with those with whom you are estranged.

(Written by Father Robert Certain) 

 

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Egg Hunt, activities at Powers Ferry UMC

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Powers Ferry United Methodist Church in East Cobb will host their annual Easter Eggstravaganza and pancake breakfast on Saturday, March 28th from 9:30-11am.  Breakfast and crafts start at 9:30 and the egg hunt will be at 10:15.

All children through 5th grade are welcome to this free event.  The church is located at 245 Powers Ferry Road in Marietta.

Please call the church office at 770-973-5271 Monday, Wednesday or Thursday from 10 am until 3 pm for further information regarding church services and activities, or go to the church website at www.powersferryumc.com.

 

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East Cobb Pastor Part of National Clergy Renewal Program

Pastor Byron Wells

 

 

Chestnut Ridge Christian Church is one of 140 congregations across the United States selected to receive a grant to enable its minister, Rev. Byron H. Wells, to participate in the National Clergy Renewal Program.  Funded by the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc., the program’s grants allow Christian congregations to support their pastors with the gift of extended time away from their ministerial duties and responsibilities.  Rev. Wells, like many other ministers whose congregations are awarded the grants, will use the time away from the demands of daily ministry to engage in a period of reflection and renewal during a Sabbatical to take place in 2015.

Since the National Clergy Renewal Program’s inception, more than 1,900 congregations have participated in the program. “Lilly Endowment intends for this program to enable pastors to live for a while at a different pace and in a new environment, in Sabbath time and space,” said Dr. Christopher L. Coble, vice president for religion at the Endowment.  “We can think of no better way to honor these hardworking, faithful men and women than to help them experience personal growth and spiritual renewal in ways that they themselves design and find meaningful.  We regularly hear that these renewal experiences are transformative for pastors, their families, and their congregations.”

“Rev. Wells has served Chestnut Ridge faithfully for seventeen years,” said Dean McCord, Board Chair and President, “And our congregation is pleased that we have been awarded this grant which will enable him to participate in a number of well-deserved renewal experiences during his Sabbatical.”  In addition, the grant also provides funding for guest ministers as well as curriculum and programs that will allow the congregation to study and discuss the topic of Radical Hospitality that Rev. Wells will be focused on during his Sabbatical.  The congregation also plans a celebration to welcome Rev. Wells back from his Sabbatical at the end of the summer.

 

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Stephen Ministry at East Cobb United Methodist Church Grows As New Caregivers Are Commissioned

 

The caregiving ministry at East Cobb United Methodist Church (ECUMC) in Marietta grew on March 1, 2015, as seven new Stephen Ministers were commissioned. These new lay caregivers join nine Stephen Ministers already commissioned and serving at ECUMC. Says Senior Pastor, Brian Germano, “Our Stephen Ministry is truly an extension of our pastoral care ministry, and we are blessed that it not only serves those in own congregation, but also is open to anyone in the community who needs one-to-one care.”

Stephen Ministers offer care and support for people experiencing life difficulties such as the death of a loved one, job crisis, aging, separation or divorce, long-term illness, or for those needing the support of a Christian friend. They have received 50 hours of intensive training covering topics such as effective listening, confidentiality, the stress of hospitalization, feelings, and utilizing community resources. Stephen Ministry is especially attentive to the stresses and needs of those giving care to loved ones.

Stephen Ministry is a confidential ministry; those receiving care can be sure that their identity and what goes on in the caring relationship will remain private. In addition to the training, these lay Christian caregivers will continue to receive twice-monthly continuing education and supervision support sessions as they strive to offer the highest-quality Christian caregiving.

ECUMC is one of more than 11,000 congregations throughout the United States and the world—representing more than 160 different Christian denominations—that have implemented this program of lay caregiving. ECUMC has been part of the Stephen Series since 2010.

ECUMC expects its Stephen Ministry to continue to be a source of warmth, care, and blessing for the greater East Cobb community. According to Pastor Jim Perry, “Life has issues, pain, and adversity. This amazing group of Stephen Ministers work tirelessly to help hurting people invite the healing power of God into their circumstances.”

If you are interested or have more questions about the Stephen Ministry at ECUMC, please contact Rev. Jim Perry, Minister of Congregational Care and Discipleship (770-971-3643) or email stephenministry@eastcobbumc.org.

ECUMC is located at 2325 Roswell Road, Marietta, GA 30062.

 

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The Career Transition Ministries: Happiness is Job One

Attend for a fun, interactive session with Sandy Weaver Carman on Monday, March 16th, at First Presbyterian Church, 189 Church Street, Marietta, GA 30060 starting at 6:30 pm. Personal resume reviewing, interviewing, networking, career assessment help, followed by our presentation. For more information please call Lee Pence 770-428-9350 or Bob Sabin 770-795-9084 or visit http://fpcmarietta.org.

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Mothers and Sons welcome at JFBC event

 

QUEST:  Called. Chosen. Faithful. Mothers and sons are invited to attend this Johnson Ferry Baptist Church event on Sunday, March 15th from 6-8:30pm.

Enjoy a night full of laughter, teamwork, and purpose and celebrate moms and sons and the adventure God has placed in every young man’s heart. Tickets on sale now.

Keynote entertainer is speaker Brandon Rushin as “Coach Bobcat” who brings a hilarious, engaging, and impactful message. Experience a mom/son team-building adventure planned by Camp Highland that just might push mom out of her comfort zone.

Event designed for K-8th grade boys. Cool dri-fit T-shirts for all registered sons.

Tickets are $20 for mom/son, $5 for each additional son, $30 family maximum. Click here to purchase tickets.

Moms and Sons Mission Project:  Bring items to fill Easter Baskets for Foster Children in Georgia’s Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS).Suggested items include: children’s books, coloring books, crayons, small cars, Legos, board games, and candy.

Questions? Contact Melissa McBrayer in the JFBC Women’s Ministry Office at Melissa.McBrayer@jfbc.org

 

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Local Church to Address Muslim Divide

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Emerson Unitarian Universalist Congregation will host a special event titled, “Healing the Muslim – Non-Muslim Divide: A Friendly Faith Exchange,” on March 21 from 1 to 4 pm.

Attendees can share their faith experiences in a supportive, safe, structured environment, to enjoy food from Muslim countries and to pray together for peace, healing and harmony among the peoples of the world. The event is free and open to the public. A donation of food will be accepted. The speaker will be the Rev. Dr. M’ellen Kennedy of Peace and Unity Bridge. Childcare is available for those who register by March 10.

The church is located at 4010 Canton Road in Marietta/East Cobb.

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