Wednesday, January 21
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Presbytery of Greater Atlanta
The Presbytery of Greater Atlanta is made up of almost 100 congregations and nearly 40,000 members. We have congregations that represent people and cultures from across the globe. We are of every theological persuasion, and our congregations, which come in all sizes, can be found in urban, suburban, and rural settings. We are therefore always looking for ways to unify our diverse presbytery, in particular through missions and justice opportunities that can speak to all Christians.
Our own Emory Presbyterian Church found just that in Life Sentence, a music project that tells the gripping tale of Clarence Harrison through live performances and a series of recordings. Wrongfully imprisoned for 18 years, Harrison was changed through the amazing love and witness of a stranger. The live performances, presented by Harrison and musicians Melanie Hammett and Ben Holst, offer a deep and moving testament to the strength of love and faith. The Life Sentence project has also become a way of telling the story of the Georgia Innocence Project, the nonprofit that secured Harrison’s release and works do the same for others who have been wrongly convicted.
Emory Presbyterian Church, under the leadership of Rev. Jill Oglesby-Evans, is right in the heart of the Emory University and Emory Hospital community. It is a congregation willing to take risks and to get deeply involved in justice issues that call for a true witness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Its people are open to changing in order to stay relevant to an intellectual and sometimes very secular local community. They are sponsoring a 1001 new worshiping community called the Well, pastored by Rev. Schaap Freeman.
Emory Presbyterian is to be admired for its deep commitment to the PC(USA) and the larger body of Christ. The congregation and the other pastors who saw Life Sentence have been forever changed. The presbytery itself sponsored a live performance for early fall 2014 as a way of inviting even more congregations to get involved in this vital ministry of testimony and justice.
—Rev. Penny Hill, executive presbyter
Let us join in prayer for:
Steve Bacon, corresponding member, PMA Board
Rev. Penny Hill, executive presbyter
Donna E. Wells, stated clerk
Mark Sauls, director of communications
Cassandra Morrow, congregational consultant
Joy Fisher, congregational consultant
Chip Blankinship, director of operations /congregational consultant
Gwen Hairston, financial support specialist
Young Adult Volunteers
Bethany Apelquist, Ji-Hye Chung, Katherine Leware, and Kenya Philipps
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
God of mercy, we are privileged to be called to join Christ in the world as we seek to do ministries of justice and kindness and to bring glory to your name. Give us the courage to act boldly, and let all that we do be conducted in a spirit of humility and love. In Christ’s name. Amen.