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Faith Blog

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

Make time for Thursday Nights with Rabbi Lebow

Rabbi Lebow’s Thursday night “current events” discussion group comes to Frankie’s Italian Restaurant- Roswell Road and Old Canton Road.

7:00 – 7:45 pm dinner and conversation
7:45 – 8:45 pm Rabbi Lebow leads discussion

Initial topic “Thirteen years after 9/11. What have we learned? Are there REALLY any Arab/Moslem Moderates that Israel (or the US) can negotiate with?”

Classes are expected to continue on an every two weeks basis .

Please RSVP to Paul Heller by 9/9 (earlier the better though).
Text 770-289-1916 or

On the off Thursday night, the discussion will be about Mussar- how to make our lives deeper and more meaningful.

The September schedule is:
Thursday Night, September 11 7 pm- Current Events @ Frankies

Thursday Night, September 18 7 pm- Mussar @ TKE

Thursday night, September 25 ROSH HASHANAH (no class)

Thursday Night, September 25 7 pm Current Events @ Frankies

For more information contact Temple Kol Emeth at or 770-973-3533.

A prayer for 9/11


Dear Heavenly Father,

Today is a difficult day. The memories are painful and some of the wounds I fear may never heal. Yet I pray you will help me to go on living for truth, firm in my hope of your salvation. May I live for you, Lord, and by doing so, be an example to my friends and family. I pray, just like Jesus, I may learn obedience through these things that I have suffered. Help me not to question why, yet even if I do, give me courage to continue to trust you. Help me take the comfort and strength you’ve poured into my life and use it to comfort and strengthen others who need hope.

I pray I might become a better person and help make the world a better place because of this terrible event. Thank you for the heroes that gave so sacrificially on September 11. Help me to remember their courage and learn from them. I want my life to be worthy of you Lord, so make of it what you desire, and use me to fulfill your purposes. May the evil of that day cause me and my family to work harder to do good on this earth and to bring your light into the dark places. Help me to never stop believing in you and living my life for you.

Lord, heal all those who were crushed and broken on that day. May they come to experience your presence and know your peace.

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Where were you on 9/11? Click “Chime In” to comment on our Facebook page, and share your story with your neighbors.

Grace Notes Sung by “The Evangelists” from Catholic Church of St. Ann Bring a Little Bit of Heaven to East Cobb Senior Living Residents

Cynthia Dutoit, Christine Holt and Sabrina Mao teaching hand gestures to a chair dance at Sunrise on Johnson Ferry Road.

Cynthia Dutoit, Christine Holt and Sabrina Mao teaching hand gestures to a chair dance at Sunrise on Johnson Ferry Road.

When Christine Holt formalized a mission statement and a proposal three years ago at the Catholic Church of St. Ann for a performance ministry to spread the message of the Gospel to seniors, she adhered to the message of St. Augustine, when he said, “He who sings, prays twice.”

Their newfound singing group became known as “The Evangelists,” quite appropriately. The name came to mind immediately after Holt and Victor Ojeda, a friend with whom she had provided music together for praise and worship services at Manor Care, heard a priest at a conference call for lay ministers to become “evangelists” for the faith through their ministry work. As a result, within just a few years, over a dozen senior living communities and their residents in the East Cobb, Roswell and Sandy Springs area have come to know them and listen to their grace notes many times over again.

Typically, “The Evangelists” present four or five shows per month on weekdays when residents receive fewer visitors, and even more shows during the holidays. The Evangelists retinue counts 30 volunteers, of which a half a dozen or so perform at any given appearance whenever their work schedules allow. Members all take turns singing solos, playing an instrument or choreographing a song-and-dance routine.

Holt, who besides serving as emcee, sings and plays the flute at these performances, is best recognized, however, by her presence as a harpist strumming angelic music. She further accompanies the St. Ann singers by interspersing the playing of two unique, Eastern European string instruments called the “prim” and the “brac,” members of the “tambura” family of instruments.

“The objective,” says Holt, “is to make the event seem like a personal party.” So, the group starts off by engaging the audience with fun, warm-up songs, such as the exercise music from Romper Room, ‘Happy Birthday’ and the ‘Hokey-pokey.’” The St. Ann Church members personally hand out songbooks to everyone and even help them find the right pages so that they can keep up with the program as it progresses. Then the audience is able to sing along to familiar tunes, such as “Mame,” “Home on the Range,” “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” and “Summer Time” from Porgy and Bess.

Holt breaks up the program at one point with an interlude that includes a few magic tricks and trivia questions for which winners receive token prizes. When Evangelist Tom Bratton strummed his guitar at one community recently to the ever-popular “Georgia on My Mind,” a resident leaned over to inform an acquaintance about his own trivia knowledge: legend has it that the song, written by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell, was written for Carmichael’s sister, Georgia. “Eliciting comments like this and getting warm smiles of appreciation and heart-felt thank-you letters afterward from these people make this calling a blessing for us and them,” says Holt.

After another medley of songs, such as “Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie,” “Bye, Bye, Love,” the recitation of the 23rd Psalm and The Lord’s Prayer and “How Much is that Doggie in the Window,” she introduces her own little doggie, Sally, The Wonder Dog. The residents love watching the Yorkie-Poo, adopted from Atlanta Pet Rescue, do tricks that they get the opportunity to request by drawing and reading them from over-sized flash cards.

A typical ending to the variety show is an upbeat rendition by the Evangelists and their friends in the audience singing, “Adios, Au Revoir, Auf Wiedersehen,” which many fondly recall as the farewell tune from “The Lawrence Welk Show.”

Holt draws from over 35 years experience directing, producing, conducting and arranging various musical and theatrical productions for public and private schools, community groups and professional opera companies. She has earned a BSME in Music Education, a Masters degree in Music Education and a Masters in Vocal Performance/Opera, each at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.

Not only does Holt hit the high notes when she performs musically, she also is very good at replicating her successful formula for other burgeoning organizations. She has helped several other individuals, groups and friends in Pennsylvania, Texas and Florida, who use her materials in their own personal or small group ministries. Similarly, they take their pets, some spiritually uplifting reading materials, birthday hats and cards, trivia questions and enthusiasm for seniors to visit at least one nursing home in their respective towns.

One of her current projects is to finish up work on a “starter kit” for anyone interested in creating their own variety show ministry group, to include sources for trivia, magic tricks, etc., as well as general directions of what worked best for the Evangelists. Or, if other churches are interested in starting their own versions of the Evangelists, Holt says, “They would be most welcome to use our sing-along song materials, which can be downloaded from my website ( in 3 different formats.”

“Any individuals who are interested in joining our group specifically and spreading good news musically are also welcome,” says Holt. Not all members are parishioners of St. Ann’s, nor are they all Catholic. One current member, Karen Frantz, for example, met Holt serendipitously at PetSmart, and, she, in turn recruited a friend, Bonnie, to join. Neither belongs to St. Ann’s.

Holt concludes, “We Evangelists consider ourselves as missionaries and we will go anywhere we are asked to perform in order to bring joy and help to spread the ‘Good News’ to people in nursing homes, senior centers and assisted living communities. After all, Scripture tells us ‘To sing to the Lord…’ such as found in many Psalms, which were also meant to be sung.”

This story was submitted by John Tabellione, an award-winning, professional business writer who resides in East Cobb.

Mt. Bethel Christian Preschool Fall Festival


Bring the whole family out to celebrate Mt. Bethel Preschool’s Annual Fall Festival on October 11 from 10-2 pm. From bounce houses and pony rides to face painting, festival games, live DJ, silent auction, BBQ and more – this is the family festival of the season! Tickets may be purchased the day of the event for cash only. The festival will be located in the Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church parking lot located at 4385 Lower Roswell Rd., Marietta, GA 30068. For more information, please visit

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Greater Atlanta Hadassah Touch A Truck is September 7. Tickets available online!

TAT-event-logo (2)

Greater Atlanta Hadassah is excited to announce a fun-filled and community heart health education event for the entire family, their first ever Touch A Truck Family Festival to Benefit Heart Health on Sunday, September 7, 2014 (Severe Weather Date: Sunday, September 14, 2014), 11am – 5 pm. There will be an hour set aside for special needs children from 11am to noon, giving those children and their families a chance to explore without horns, sirens and flashing lights.

Touch A Truck is an educational hands-on family event for kids of all ages. Children love to climb aboard a fire truck, police car, big rig or bulldozer. Touch A Truck provides a unique opportunity for them to explore and interact with vehicles of all types –public service, crime fighting, emergency, utility, construction, landscaping, transportation, delivery and just plain cool – all in one place! Children will be allowed to touch, climb on and ask questions about their favorite trucks in a safe, supervised environment. Children will meet the people who build, protect and serve the metro Atlanta community. Accompanying personnel will teach them about the equipment displayed and how these machines help us and our community.

Enjoy family-friendly entertainment including crafts, activities, appearances by local mascots, kid-friendly food venders, and more to make this a perfectly entertaining day for the entire family! Health and public safety information round out the fun.September 7th is also National Grandparents Day. What better way for every generation of the family to explore, play and learn together? Cars and trucks fascinate children, and they can explore all different types of vehicles in a safe, controlled environment from noon to 5pm. Food, entertainment, kid-friendly activities and demonstrations for healthy living are all a part of this festival. It is part of Hadassah’s Every Beat Counts: Hadassah’s Heart Health Program™ as we will be focusing on heart health for the entire family and raising funds for Hadassah’s heart health programs in Israel and the United States.

Admission is $5 per person, with a maximum of $15 per family for tickets purchased in advance online at (Buy Tickets), or $20 at the event. Children under 2 are free. Food will be available for purchase at the festival.

Parking is available at Centennial High School. Additional parking is at Kohl’s across from Centennial High School.

Centennial High School is located at 9310 Scott Road, Roswell, GA 30076. Visit for more details.


The Consignment Sale You’ve Never Seen

Members of the New Century Circle with the clothing they pulled for Foster Care Support Foundation.

Last Saturday was a special day in the life of Mt. Bethel UMC. As our Fall/Winter Children’s Consignment Sale was closing to the public, volunteers gathered in the small dining room to pray for the mission ahead while families and charity organizations were arriving to participate in the highlight of our semi-annual sale – the charity pull.

The Mt. Bethel Children’s Consignment and Baked Goods Sale is a longstanding tradition that raises funds for missions. But many people may not know about the other very important way in which the sale helps women and children in need.

At the close of each sale, all of the unsold items that have been marked for donation are made available to families in need, as well as charities such as Project 82, Foster Care Support Foundation, Hands of Hope, The Garden, and so many more. Each family is paired with a volunteer to personally assist them as they select items for their children. It is a wonderful opportunity for us to build relationships with those who may not have a church home. During this time, stories are shared and hearts are changed. Children’s faces light up as they find a special toy. Burdens are eased as parents find much needed clothing items for the upcoming season. Many of Mt. Bethel’s mission partners and other organizations replenish their supplies so that they will be prepared to serve others. Above all, Jesus is glorified as we become His hands and feet to the least and the lost in our community and around the world.

The easiest way to increase the sale’s impact on missions is for consignors to donate their unsold items. This allows for a larger selection during the charity pull on Saturday and saves you a return trip to the church to pick up those items. They will make a world of difference in our community and beyond. Volunteering for the charity pull is also a way to increase the sale’s focus on missions and to extend the love of Christ to those in need. Thank you to all who were involved in the charity pull last weekend. The experience was a blessing and lives were touched in ways that we will never fully realize.

(Written by Gretchen Hornsby. Reprinted from Click HERE for the original article.)

A Collect for Labor Day

Almighty God, who hast so linked our lives one with another that all we do affects, for good or ill, all other lives: So guide us in the work we do, that we may do it not for self alone, but for the common good; and, as we seek a proper return for our own labor, make us mindful of the rightful aspirations of other workers, and arouse our concern for those who are out of work; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(Source: The Book of Common Prayer)


Do you have a favorite prayer from your faith? Email Be sure to include “Faith” in the subject line.

Spend Labor Day at Holy Smoke BBQ Festival at Johnson Ferry Baptist


Forget the backyard cookout, give your grill a rest this Labor Day and head to the Holy Smoke BBQ and Music Festival sponsored by the Men of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church on Monday, September 1, 2014, 11am-5pm. FREE admission and parking!

Enjoy barbecue from Williamson Brothers for $5, live music, BBQ cooking contest, kids games, vendors, a silent auction, classic car show and more. Johnson Ferry Baptist Church, 955 Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta.  More info:  770-794-2972 or

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High Holy Days Institute is September 8

High Holy Day Institute is September 8, 2014, at  7:15 pm at Congregation Etz Chaim, 1190 Indian Hills Parkway.

The High Holy Days are a time for reflection and turning toward God. Attend for an evening of learning with Rabbis Paul Kerbel, Shalom Lewis, Judi Beiner and Albert Slomovitz on the themes, ideas and concepts of The Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur.  Registration fee is $10.

For more information visit


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Sacred Tapestry offers Confirmation Classes

Sacred Tapestry 2-26-11 072

Confirmation classes begin August 24, 9:45am, at Sacred Tapestry, UMC, 3000 Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta, 30062. For more information, call Nancy Kuhn at 770-891-9624.

Sacred Tapestry is a somewhat non-traditional church that has services in an informal environment. You may attend in shorts, jeans, T shirts, etc. and sit at the table and just enjoy the fellowship of Christ.


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