Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Making Time for Prayer and Religious Dialogue Top New Year's Resolution Lists

/PRNewswire/ -- The year 2009 will mark a significant return to personal prayer and religious dialogue, according to Dr. Aliza Lavie, a political science professor at Bar-Ilan University and currently a Research Associate at The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute.

Lavie's fields of research include gender, public communications and multiculturalism, and she scoured historical archives and private collections to uncover the forgotten manuscripts and human stories that she presents in A Jewish Woman's Prayer Book, published by Spiegel & Grau/Random House earlier this month.

"What I have discovered in the past few weeks is most remarkable. Throughout the diverse communities and movements that I have visited in the United States - religious cultural and political organizations, student groups, mid-life professionals, the aged - in every place there is interest in the power of prayer and in the development of religious dialogue."

Dr. Lavie notes that her contacts and observations extend far beyond the Jewish community and include Christians, Muslims and people who choose not to categorize their faith.

Prayer as a mosaic of communication and knowledge that is continually growing in real time.

"At Lincoln Square Synagogue in New York, at the JCC in Milwaukee, and at an event in Buffalo, I met women who recognized some of the prayers from a particular 19th-century Czech book of prayers which I had included in A Jewish Woman's Prayer Book. I have not encountered Jewish Czech women in Israel or Europe who remembered those prayers. For other parts of the Jewish nation, this knowledge and this connection was burnt in Auschwitz."

Confessing to prayer

Lavie notes that people who say they haven't read the Bible and never prayed before now "confess" to more than introspection and meditation: they report thinking about and talking to their Creator. "They keep journals, they talk to God while they're driving, they open their mouths and ask for help. Perhaps even more surprising, people report having conversations with others about God."

"They are not new for people," Lavie says of the prayers in her book. "Even though people haven't actually heard or read them before, they've had them in the back of their memory. They have them in their blood."

Making time for diet, exercise, more family time and prayer

"Of course I hear many people saying they hope this year they'll stick to their diet; Others are resolving to refrain from texting in the car and promising to keep to the minutes in their cell phone plans. Maybe it's because people associate me with prayer and so this is what they tell me, but I also hear people saying they plan to keep in touch with God this year. And when they say something like 'please, God' about those other resolutions it sounds like their diet, exercise and cell phone resolve might stick."

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Local Churches to hold Watch Night Services on New Year’s Eve

The Watch Night Service originated with the Moravians in 1733. John Wesley appropriated the event into Methodism where it later became a Covenant Renewal Service. It gained special significance in African American congregations where it is sometimes referred to as Freedom’s Eve when in 1863 they waited eagerly for President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. The entire Christian community is welcomed at any of the following services:

Flat Rock African Methodist Episcopal Church (Reverend Ed Johnson), Free Spirit Ministries (Reverend Dale L. Foster), and Mount Olive Baptist Church (Reverend Melvin Ware), will hold combined services at 8:00 PM at Mount Olive at 1565 Hwy 92 N. and at 10:0 PM at Free Spirit Ministries which is located 7880 Wood Road in south Fairburn. See for directions to Free Spirit Ministries.

Flint Ridge Baptist Church Watch Night/New Year’s Eve Service starts at 9:30 PM, followed by a light breakfast.

The Unity Christian Church's Watch Night Service (Pastor Smith Atwater) will be held on New Year's Eve from 10:00 p.m. and until shortly after 12 Midnight.

Little Vine Baptist Church (Reverend Steven Coleman), located at 115 Handley Road in Tyrone, will have their service at 10:00 PM.

The New Year’s Eve Celebration Service at Redemption Fellowship Church will begin at 10:30 PM. The pastor is Reverend Mike Higgins and Redemption Fellowship is located at 418 Highway 279.

New Hope United Methodist Church (Reverend Belinda McCastle) will hold their service from 10:00 PM to Midnight. New Hope is located at 272 Weldon Road in the Inman area.

Holly Grove African Methodist Episcopal Church (Reverend Eyvonne Whitman) and Flipper Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church (Pastor Sherryl Powell) will be having a combined Watch Night from 10:00 PM -12:00 AM.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

FOX News Channel to Broadcast Saddleback Church Christmas Service: Pastor Rick Warren Delivers Message of Hope for Changing Times

/PRNewswire/ -- FOX News Channel will broadcast four special airings on Dec. 24 and 25 of Saddleback Church's Christmas service featuring an inspirational message titled "When God Changes Your Plans" from Dr. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in southern California and author of "The Purpose Driven Life" and "The Purpose of Christmas."

"What do you do when your plans don't go the way you want them to, like the economy drops out of the bottom?" Warren asks in his timely sermon. "What do you do when all of a sudden your future seems uncertain and you don't know which way to turn or what to do? When things don't go the way you plan you need to remember three things -- God is trying to get your attention; God has a better plan; and God wants you to trust Him."

During the current economic state, many Americans are looking for a sense of peace amidst troubled times. Warren observes that people have been on a similar quest since the first Christmas day more than 2,000 years ago, when one man sought a place for his young fiancee to give birth; shepherds searched for a baby in a manger; and wise men traveled from afar to find a newborn King. Warren's message brings hope by looking past the commercialization of the Season to recognize the true meaning of Christmas.

Saddleback Church will hold a total of 16 Christmas services for the 2008 holiday. The church began services Dec. 20 and will conclude with six on Christmas Eve at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., 7 p.m., 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. PST. FOX News Channel recorded one of the earlier programs that will be broadcast nationwide in real time on Dec. 24 at 10 p.m. EST, repeating overnight into Christmas on Dec. 25 at 1 a.m., 4 a.m. and 2 p.m. EST. Check local listings, as all times are subject to change.

"God's plan is bigger than your plan and God's plan is often harder than your plan but God's plan is also better than your plan," Warren continued. "Whenever you cooperate with God's plan and purpose for your life, you get something that you can't get any other way -- significance and meaning."

This is the third year FOX has chosen to broadcast the Saddleback Christmas services, which in previous years have drawn more than 40,000 people. Various musical selections from the Saddleback orchestra, choir and congregants will be interspersed throughout Warren's inspirational message focusing on the "unexpected change" surrounding Christ's birth and the lessons God teaches through it to help us cope with change in today's society.

"Some of you, since September, have lost a lot of income," Warren added. "Some people have been laid off. Some of you have seen your retirement income, your savings, your investments just go way, way down and all you can do is trust. And God is saying that's exactly what I want you to do."

Founded in 1980 by the Warrens, Saddleback Church is located in Orange County, Calif. With an average weekly attendance of 22,000, it is one of the five largest churches in America. For more information about the Saddleback Christmas services, visit

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Birthday Party for Jesus

All children in the community are invited to attend a birthday Party for Jesus on Sunday Dec. 21st at 2:00 at the Windgate Campus at the Peachtree City United Methodist Church located at the corner of Peachtree Parkway and Windgate Road. This event is for toddlers through 5th grade and includes singing, face painting, ice cream, cake and a special guest from the North Pole! Bring a new, unwrapped toy for our Toys for Tots donation. For more information contact Bob Argumosa at 770 486 8204 or visit

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Special Christmas Season at First Presbyterian Church PTC

Sunday, December 14 at 6:30 pm "The Wonders Of Christmas" concert comprised of a full orchestra, choir and praise band. First Presbyterian music ministry will be joined by other talented musicians from the surrounding community.

Wednesday December 17 at 6:30pm
"The Shepherd's Story"; The children's ministry will be performing a musical in the sanctuary following a family Christmas dinner.

Christmas Eve
Wednesday, December 24
Praise and Worship Celebration of Jesus' birth with two candlelight services at 6pm and 8pm.

December 28
Traditional Worship service at 11:15am
A great opportunity to worship the "newborn king".
First Presbyterian Church of Peachtree City First Presbyterian Church is located in Peachtree City at 206 Willowbend Rd. across from the library and city hall. 770 487-7757;

Love Feasts in Moravian Tradition at Christ Our Shepherd Lutheran Church

Christ Our Shepherd will offer Love Feasts in Moravian Tradition on Saturday, December 13, at 7:00 p.m., and Sunday, December 14, at 6:00 p.m. A tradition of the Moravian Church since 1727, Love Feasts include serving specially-baked buns and coffee or apple juice to worshipers. All adult worshipers will be given a lighted beeswax candle dressed in a red paper “ruff.” Children will substitute a small flashlight for a candle.

Love Feasts include traditional and Moravian carols sung by everyone. Featured also will be anthems by Sanctuary Choir, Joyful Noise Ringers, Christ Our Shepherd Brass, Christ Our Shepherd Flute Choir, and da Chiesa, the Christ Our Shepherd Strings. Karl Dietmeyer founded and conducts the Flutes and Brass, while David Beecher leads the Sanctuary Choir and handbells. James C. Hagberg conducts da Chiesa, and he also conducts the choir for these Love Feasts. Some of the soloists are Ron Linton, Ken Olander, Delee Rehak, and Amelia Merriman

Additions to this year’s Love Feasts include selections from Christmas Oratorio by Camille Saint-SaĆ«ns (1835-1921), and “In Dulci Jubilo” by Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707), both with da Chiesa. Some anthems and carols considered essential by Moravians, such as “Thou Child Divine” and “Morning Star, O Cheering Sight,” with be back, along with favorite anthems and thrilling congregational carols.

The Moravian Church in the United States and the ELCA established a full-communion relationship in 1999. Although not a merger, the agreement fully partnered our two churches, making possible sharing pastors, worship and ministries.
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LifeKeys Course Offered at Christ Our Shepherd Lutheran Churc, PTC

Christ Our Shepherd Lutheran Church in Peachtree City, Georgia is offering a LifeKeys course for adults ages 21 and up. LifeKeys is a spiritually based, comprehensive program that helps individuals discover their life gifts, spiritual gifts, personality type, values, and passions. Classes will meet at the church on Sunday mornings from 9:00 to 10:30 am beginning Sunday, January 11th. Participant Fee is $30. Contact the church office to register, 770-487-8717. For more information contact Kris Schmitz at 770-716-6011 or via email at

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

New Hope Baptist Church - 2008 Living Christmas Tree

New Hope Baptist Church presents the 2008 Living Christmas Tree entitled "The Promise" december 9 - 14! This year's production is on a grand scale with over 400 adults, youth and children taking part in the Choirs, Orchestra and Cast, as well as a 40 foot "singing" Christmas tree with thousands of computerized lights that will amaze and inspire you.

The all new original story tells of a family as they attend their town's Christmas Tree Lighting and Celebration. Upon their return home, the Grandpa tells the children the story of the Manger and the Christ Child, as it comes to life in music and drama. The final song includes a colorful Christmas Parade with special effects that will leave you feeling as though Christmas has really begun.

New Hope would love to invite all to this special Christmas Celebration. The tickets
are free to the community and are available online at , by calling 770-460-4838 or from the church office North Campus 551 New Hope Rd., South Campus Hwy 74. Also after Sunday services (South) 9:15 AM or (North) 10:55 AM.
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Enjoy "The Wonder of Christmas" at First Presbyterian Church of Peachtree City

First Presbyterian Church of Peachtree City will be hosting a Christmas Concert titled “The Wonder of Christmas” on Sunday, December 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary. This will be the third of six concerts given during the church’s 2008-2009 concert series season.

An orchestra and choir, along with organist Sam DeCarlo and accompanist Sue Eutermoser, will accompany the program’s festive seasonal works and carols. Talented ensembles and soloists from the First Presbyterian congregation and community will also share Christmas favorites. The orchestra and Chancel Choir will be conducted by Dr. John Odom. The praise band will be led by Jay Akins.

“The Wonder of Christmas” was created by renowned composer David Hamilton. This concert will weave contemporary songs and traditional Christmas carols with biblically based narrations. You will be reminded of the majesty of the Savior's birth. Sentimental heartstrings will be tugged by well-known songs and carols of the Christmas season and the original underscores that depict the many facets of the Christmas story.

This concert is free to the community. A love offering will be taken. Childcare will be available for children ages 4 and younger.

First Presbyterian Church is located in Peachtree City at 206 Willowbend Rd. across from the library and city hall. For more information, please call (770) 487-7757 or email
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Lighthouse Church to Hold Candlelight Communion Christmas Eve

The Lighthouse Church (a new United Methodist Church) is holding a special candlelight communion service on Christmas Eve (December 24) at 7:00 pm. The location for the event is the Wyndham Peachtree Conference Center, Hwy 54 in Peachtree City. Lighthouse currently meets on Sundays at McIntosh High School. For more info, please visit