Saint Alban's Episcopal Church

The Messenger/September 22, 2017

The Messenger/September 22, 2017

In Our Prayers

Please pray for:

Blane; Phil Brassie; Trevor Harris; Bobby Thomas; Robbie Thomas; Savannah Benton; John Cannon; Anne Carter; Edwina Johnson; Bill Pardue; Jeanne Aycock; Marty Atkinson; Lalla Tanner; Laura Guest; Drucilla Malcom; Riley Tucker; People affected by all the Hurricanes

Please pray for our Vestry:

Marty Atkinson; Carole Bond; Libby Martin; Melissa Young; Marvin Gray; Judy Terry; Matthew Hardy and Rev. Pat Merchant.

St. Alban’s Intercessory Prayer Group – Every Tuesday morning at 11:00 a.m. you are invited to come and pray for the needs of our church, our people, our community and nation.

If you would like for us to pray for someone or something special, please fill out a prayer card, which is found on back of the pews. You can place the card in the offering plate or give it to an usher.

Bible Readings

Readings for This Week:

Exodus 16:2-15
Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45
Philippians 1:21-30
Matthew 20:1-16

Readings for Next Week:

Exodus 17:1-7
Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16
Philippians 2:1-13
Matthew 21:23-32

Bishop’s Blurb


There’s a gift in Jesus stories. Each one reminds us how usual we are. How quid pro quo the world that we have designed is. How too often life is cold, scared, prose. Into this world- the world of our usual brutalities- comes the saving poet, Jesus! His stories seduce us with the unusual. His stories touch the unusual in us and for a moment we remember. For a moment we are warmed. Like the story of workers and wages. We think money, hours, fairness. Usual. Jesus thinks unusually: God is generous. Work gives dignity. Equal dignity.

Matthew 20:4

Priest’s Corner

Dearly Beloved,

Last Sunday, I preached about having a common theological language. We are all theologians, meaning that we all think, experience and talk about God. Over the last forty or more years there has been a huge shift not only in Academic Theology, but in the many ways we think and talk about God. My experience of this change has been that the conversation has moved from the Seminaries and Universities to the church, coffee shop, or bar. More people have claimed their experience of God. At St. Alban’s we are invited to learn a theological language, a way of just talking about God so that we may better understand God’s Call to Us.

The DVD, book and Bible study we began last week “Living the Questions,” will give us the community experience of talking about God. I was thrilled that so many of you stayed for the DVD last week. I am happy to report that Daniel fixed the flaw in the DVD and we will begin at that point this Sunday. On Tuesday night another five people shared the conversation.

Monday and Tuesday I was attending a clergy conference held at the 4-H Center in Eatonton. Since I have been semi-retired I have not attended every year. It is a time that I enjoy meeting with friends that I have known for years and new clergy. I enjoy the fellowship in the Diocese of Atlanta. New clergy always bring a perspective that is interesting and the young clergy make the rest of us happy for sharing the work.

On Wednesday morning, I woke up with a migraine. What a bummer. Thursday, the intensity of the migraine was worse. The medicine is good, but strong and has its own problems. I know I drove Shirley nuts as I called her from my dark room to check on the things that I was needing to do. So, I am very grateful to her.

Each of us has some suffering in our daily lives. Especially as we age. I am trying to teach myself to have more patience. I have been working on patience most of my life. I know that when I am down, I am aware of my dependency on others more and this is humbling. We need each other.

Another celebration is our first Newcomer’s Dinner Friday night at Lou and Melissa Young’s home. A great thank you to them and to the Vestry for making this happen.

Please pray for all those who are suffering from the hurricanes, flooding, and earthquakes. Pray that they may know the healing power of Jesus’ love.

Lift up your hearts!





Thank You!-We wish to thank Suzanne and Roy Roberts for hosting us once again at their farm for our annual picnic last Sunday evening. Good food, nice surroundings and good company made for a great time that was had by all!

Episcopal Relief and Development invites you to pray for and support communities devastated by the hurricanes. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria have impacted communities from Texas to Florida to Georgia and the Caribbean islands. To receive more information about relief and recovery efforts and to contribute, go to:

Adult Education Class-Rev. Pat Merchant and Daniel Donaldson conduct an adult Bible study class every Sunday morning at 11:30 am and every Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. The book used in this study is “Living the Questions” by David M. Felten and Jeff Procter-Murphy. This study explores questions and answers about religion in the Bible that people are usually afraid to ask. It is “the wisdom of progressive Christianity.” Please join us this Sunday or Tuesday. We will be discussing the first two chapters of the book on Sunday. Please read Chapter 1-“An Invitation to Journey” and Chapter 2-“Taking the Bible Seriously”. It is only about 20 pages of easy reading and will give us much insight during our discussion.

Blessing of the Animals-In honor of St. Francis of Assisi, we will have a “Blessing of theAnimals” Sunday, October 8th, at 2:00 p.m. Everyone is invited to bring their beloved animals, large and small, to be blessed by Rev. Pat.

Choir Practice-In an effort to encourage membership in the St. Alban’s Choir, we will be changing our rehearsal day and time to Sundays at 9:00 a.m. We hope this will encourage members who are not able to meet during the week to come out and join the choir! Rehearsals will start next Sunday, October 1st, from 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., and will take the place of Wednesday evening rehearsals.

Please email Dr. Donaldson if you plan to join us:

Tai Chi

Tai Chi for Arthritis Lessons with Bill Carter.
Wednesdays – 3:00 p.m.
Thursdays – 6:00 p.m.
$2.00 per person/per lesson

The Monroe Fall Festival is Saturday, October 14th, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. We will be cooking and giving away hotdogs in the church parking lot during the festival. We will also provide a hayride for the children and adults in attendance.

AARP Driver Safety Class Coming Soon!– St. Albans Episcopal Church will host the AARP Driving Safety Class on Saturday, September 30, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The AARP Driver Safety Program is the nation’s first and largest classroom course, designed especially for licensed drivers age 50 and older and for all licensed drivers of all ages. Course completion helps drivers refine existing skills and develop safe driving strategies in today’s challenging driving environment. There are no tests required.

Participants receive a comprehensive course workbook, which provides a thorough review of the “rules of the road” with an emphasis on safety strategies for drivers. The course also covers normal changes in vision, hearing, and reaction time associated with aging, and provides practical techniques to adjust for these changes.

Participants are charged a minimal fee of $15.00 for AARP members and $20.00 for nonmembers.

Auto Insurance Discounts: Legislation in Georgia require all automobile insurance companies conducting business in this state to offer a premium discount to participants completing a state-approved driver improvement course. (Participants must contact their insurance company or agent.)

Please bring your AARP card, valid driver’s license, lunch, and a drink and snack, and of course, your money (cash or check).

Please call Shirley at 770-267-2893 to make your reservation.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry to Visit the Diocese-Our Presiding Bishop, The Most Reverend Michael Curry, will visit the Diocese of Atlanta, October 11 – 13. As our Chief Evangelist, Bishop Curry will bring his passion for the Jesus Movement to Atlanta. The event below is open to the public:

Bishop Curry Keynote Address at Candler School of Theology-Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 7:00 p.m. – This event will include a keynote address by the Presiding Bishop on “Racial Realities and the Beloved Community.” There will also be a panel discussion at 7:45 p.m. including the Presiding Bishop Michael Curry; Bishop Wright from the Diocese of Atlanta; The Rev. Dr. Robert M. Franklin, Jr. from Candler School of Theology; and The Rev. Kim Jackson, Associate Rector at All Saints, Atlanta. This event is open to the public, with registration required by Oct. 9.

Location: Candler School of Theology at Emory University, 1531 Dickey Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322

“Being a Christian is not essentially about joining a church or being a nice person, but about following in the footsteps of Jesus, taking his teachings seriously, letting his Spirit take the lead in our lives, and in so doing helping to change the world from our nightmare into God’s dream.” Michael Curry, Crazy Christians: A Call to Follow Jesus

For more information and to register, visit

If you are interested, notify Pat and maybe everyone can ride together in the church van.

Reformation Day at Emory 2017-The 30th Reformation Day at Emory will be held on Thursday, October 26, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Kessler Reformation Collection and marking the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses. This year’s program explores the question, “Did the Reformation fail?” by inviting bishops from the Lutheran and Methodist Churches and an arch-bishop from the Catholic Church to share their perspectives and thinking with us.

Cost is $10 per person, registration is required by calling 404-727-6352.

The Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection is a repository of rare and valuable documents produced in connection with the Protestant Reformation. The collection now contains more than 3,800 pieces written by Martin Luther, his colleagues, and his opponents, and printed during their lifetimes. The collection is housed in the Pitts Theology Library of Candler School of Theology.

For more information about the collection, contact:

M. Patrick Graham
Pitts Theology Library
Emory University
Atlanta, GA 30322

Registration is now open for our 9th Annual Spirituality Conference!
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Holy Envy: Learning to Live with Religious Difference
A Day with The Rev. Dr. Barbara Brown Taylor

Fifty years ago, only international explorers, foreign missionaries, or soldiers deployed overseas encountered people of vastly different faiths. Now anyone with a computer can go on a virtual Hajj to Mecca or learn meditaiton from a Zen master online. Spirituaity has become as global as trade, raising all sorts of questions for people who never had cause to think about how many ways there are to approach the divine. What is a Chirstian to do? Barbara Taylor has some ideas, based on teaching world religions to college students over the past twenty years. Join us for an introduction to “holy envy” and a few other rules of religious understanding.

If you are not familiar with Barbara, she is a New York TIME best-selling author, college professor, and Episcopal priest. Her first memoir, Leaving Church, won a 2006 Author of the Year award from the Georgia Writers Association. Her last book, Learning to Walk in the Dark, was featured on the cover of TIME magazine. She has served on the faculty of Piedmont College since 1998 as the Buman Professor of Religion and has been a guest speaker at Emory, Duke, Princeton, and Yale, as well as a guest on SuperSoul Sunday with Oprah Winfrey. Taylor and her husband, Ed, live on a farm in the foothills of the Appalachians, sharing space with wild turkeys, red foxes, white-tailed deer and far too many chickens

This day-long conference will include lectures, discussion and question & answer. The cost is $65/person and includes lunch. For groups of 4 or more, the rate is $60/person, and the late registration (after October 22) price is $70/person. To register, go to

The location of the conference is the Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30305.

Remember the Poor-Our Alms Box is located on the right side on the wall when you walk out of the sanctuary. Please remember the poor and give your spare change. Checks and bills are accepted also. Thank you!

September, October Calendars 2017

Lay Liturgical Schedule 3rd Quarter 2017

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