CN Header
Volume LV, Issue 19 - September 29 and October 6      

God's Plan  

This week the question was posed, "How do I know God's purpose for my life?"  The comment was then made by the person asking, "Are the cloudy skies going to part, a ray of light beam down to me and a deep, sonorous voice speaks, '(Name), this is my plan for your life!'" 

I know of several folks who have had mystical experiences where they recount a clear message.  The "Oh, God!" movies were delightful with George Burns being a wonderful God-figure for the John Denver character, Jerry Landers.  I confess that when I first saw the movie, I was too skeptical and could not enjoy it.  But it had a good message, once I lightened up.  But such a mystical encounter has not happened to me nor to most folks that I know. 

But there is communication, my life experience tells me, if I have ears that can hear and eyes that will see, and a heart and brain open to what is going on.  As a Protestant Christian, the reading of the Bible is so primary. As Dr. Albert Outler said on the first Disciple tape in the earlier edition, we read the Bible not because every word is the Word of God, but for those times in reading the Bible that we know it is God's Word for me and for my life.  That has happened to me.  Psalm 8 on a beautiful day: "Lord, our Lord how majestic is your name throughout the earth."  The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30ff) when I forget that interruptions are ministry.  The Resurrection story (John 20) when I need reminding of the victory of Easter morning. 

Music regularly touches my soul and speaks to me of God's presence-everything from Bach's B Minor Mass to Kum Ba Jah.  The traditions and rituals of the church inform me of what God is up to, particularly Baptism and Communion.

But mostly it is people who love and it is relationships that communicate the Word becoming flesh.  I am grateful for the church that has carried the Good News, telling the story. 

No deep sonorous voice, but I will bet my life that all of this is God at work.

Thanks for being the church, for me and for the world.




Transition in Youth Ministry
--As of October 20, Jacob Hill, our Director of Youth Ministry, will transition out this position as he continues  to be a member of this congregation.  We want to thank Jacob for all his wonderful work with the youth!  There will be a reception on Sunday, October 6, after the 10:55 a.m. service for the youth and parents with sandwiches and cake before going to the Greek Festival.

We are hiring!  St. James UMC is seeking a part-time Director of Youth Ministry.  If interested, please contact Emily Bagwell at to receive a full job description and submit an application.

All Saints Sunday
is November 4 (both services).  "Requiem" by John Rutter will be sung by the Chancel Choir with soloists and orchestra.  Please submit names of remembrance to the church office by October 29 to be included.

Award for David Boyd >>  This Saturday right before the UGA-LSU football game, David Boyd will be receiving the Bill Hartman Award, given to University of Georgia student-athletes who have demonstrated excellence in their profession and/or in service to others by 20 or more years of superior performance after graduation. Previous recipients include Gov. Carl Sanders, Fran Tarkenton, Billy Payne. Congratulations, David!

College Care Packages--As a part of "Music on a Mission," we collect items to be sent to St. James' college students. This is scheduled for Wednesday, October 9, and we need your help!  If you have a college age student in your family, please email Linda Merrill with their address or if you would help donate items to put in the packages, that would be great!   Complete list of items needed >>

Fall Kids' Consignment Sale >> will be September 27-28 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Registration has closed.  We are still looking for volunteers. Sign up now >>  

The Education Wing (Lower Level) Renovation Project Preliminary Design will be on display in the Narthex for three weeks beginning Sunday, September 29.  Your comments and questions are welcome.  Please contact Renee Drexler via email or at 404.601.4812.

Costa Rica Mission Trip Planning >> This year's project will be constructing a new Methodist Children's Home outside San Jose.  We are looking for anyone interested in putting YOUR Faith into Action.  Please join us this Sunday, September 29, at 12:15 p.m. in Room 305/309.  We will be discussing the projects, tentative trip dates and answering any questions.  A light lunch will be served.  Please contact Cliff Bates via email >> or at 770.490.9382 if you have any questions.

Court of Honor
-The following BSA Troop 370 Eagle Scouts will celebrate their Court of Honor Ceremony this Sunday, September 29, at 2:00 p.m.:  Sam Fallon, Patrick Hayes, Patrick Moore, James Nutter and Kevin Quigley.

Agape Circle
will meet on Tuesday, October 1, at 10:00 a.m. in the Conference Room.  New members are welcome!  If you would like additional information, feel free to email Stacey Cimowsky >>

Food For Thought--This resource fair for families of special needs and gifted children will be held at St. James UMC on Sunday, October 6, from 1-4:00 p.m.  Sponsored by Kids Enabled, a non-profit group that supports the learning differences community, there will be guest speakers, exhibitors, plus food trucks and fun for the family!  Learn more >>

Women's Retreat >> Retreat for women of all ages:  January 31-Feb 2 at the Peachtree Wyndham in Peachtree City.  The theme of the retreat will center on faith, love and letting go, and will be based on The God Box by Mary Lou Quinlan.  Reservations are due by October 7.  Register online at or complete the registration form outside the church office.

Sidewalk Construction on the Sanctuary Entry begins Monday, October 7, and will take approximately two weeks to complete.

Book Club
--On Wednesday, October 23, we will discuss Anne Lamott's book, Help, Thanks, Wow  after Wednesday Night Supper at 6:45 p.m. She is a wonderful author and this book on the three essential prayers invites us to consider some new ideas about living a life of prayer.  Rev. Emily Bagwell will be guiding the discussion. We hope you will read the book and join us! If you need assistance obtaining a copy please call the church office.

Rex's Helping Hands for Christ--Using donations made in memory of Rex Michel, a group is involved in hands-on local missions such as:  wheelchair ramps, decks, siding, painting, door and window replacement, weather-stripping, and general light construction.  If you want to volunteer or need more information, or if you know of persons in need of assistance in these types of light construction areas, contact Eric Eidbo at 770.757.7157.

"God and..." >> Children and youth grades 1-12 are invited to join in a six-week program in four different classes beginning in October presented by St. James Boy Troop 370, open to all boys and girls.  These co-ed classes use age-appropriate demonstrations, Bible studies and projects to help participants build a closer relationship with Christ.  Those involved in scouting will earn a badge and non-scouts receive a certificate upon completion of their class.  Adult leadership is being sought for God and Me (grades 1-3) and God and Family (grades 4-5) classes.  If you are interested in teaching or if you have questions, please email Kent Watkins or Jeff Hunt.  

GA Tolls to End--The State Road and Tollway Authority will hold a series of public meetings  in September and October to provide information to the driving public on the toll plaza demolition process and timeline.  More information >>

Sunday Schedule

September 29 

Luke 16:13-31
Dr. John Simmons

Altar Flowers this week are given to the glory of God in loving memory of Sharon Joanna Griessman by her mother, Mary Griessman, her sisters, Katrina and Gloria and their families, and her beloved son, Dylan.

Extended Session:
The Linch and Meihofer families
October 6 
"World Communion"
Luke 17:5-10
Dr. John Simmons

Altar Flowers this week are given to the glory of God by Colin and Elizabeth Bessonette in honor of the Music Ministry of St. James UMC, and the many talented people who help lead us in the worship of God.

Extended Session:
The Gregory and Porter families

Sunday Worship Preview >>


Sermons Online >>

Prayer Concerns
Mary Paul Ford - Golden Living Nursing Home

Ruth Gary - home - hospice

Jimmy McLemore -  Ashton Woods

Hugh Thornberry - home

Deanne Raish 
Additional requests are posted outside the church office.


Submit Prayer Requests & Updates >>

In Memory of Andrew Liu by
     Joan and Richard Beam
In Memory of Fran Garban by
     Frank C. Pavlak
Rex Michel Memorial Fund by
     Reed and Pepper Sellers
     Joan and Richard Beam
     Anna and Summey Orr
     Linda and Al Merrill
     Dot and Wil Schwotzer
     Edie and Mike Dreaden

Rex Michel Memorial Fund
     In honor of Diane Michel's birthday by Cissy 
     O'Donnell, Reese Janard, Kate Waddy, Reagan
     Wetenberger, John Millican, Walker Meacham, 
     Reid Bentley, Pierce Hughey and Jeffery Miller.  


Online Donations >>
The next Chapel Notes deadline is October 4.


If you are planning an event at the church, please fill out an Event Request Form no later than four weeks beforehand.
Jump to...
Wednesday Night Supper
Wednesday Pastoral Teaching
Activities Ministry
Music Ministry
Youth Ministry
Children's Ministry

September 15 

Sunday School:  170     

Worship:  292 



September 22 

Sunday School:  201   

Worship:  287

Every Week...




Disciple III
4:00 p
Disciple I
Youth Choir
Men's Pick-Up




Men's Prayer 



Men's Fellow-
ship Breakfast 
Financial Peace University


Teaching (WPT)



Yoga--Aged to
Night Supper
5:45 p


Bridge Club
St. James Bells
Chancel Choir

Wednesday Night at St. James UMC is a time for good food, fellowship and learning opportunities...come for one or come for all!  RSVP online >> or by calling the church office by noon on Monday.

     October 2--Roast Beef
                         Wednesday Pastoral Teaching
                         Pins and Needles*

    October 9--Hamburger Steaks  
                        Wednesday Pastoral Teaching
                        College Care Packages
*Pins and Needles is a group gathering to knit, crochet, quilt, etc. If you are crafty or interested in learning, come join us!

More information on the Fall WNS programs >>

Wednesday Pastoral Teaching (WPT) is held each week by Dr. John Simmons on Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m. and 6:45 p.m. in the Parlor using Adam Hamilton's Christianity and World Religions.  Copies are available for purchase in the church office.

     October 2--Chapter 1
     October 9--Chapter 2

Complete Fall WPT schedule >>  
Basketball Registration is OPEN!
Youth Basketball >> Registration for youth basketball opens on September 16. Church league youth basketball has the unique opportunity to help youth develop athletic abilities in a Christian environment where basketball fundamentals, sportsmanship and character are emphasized.  Practices are held on week nights beginning in November and games are played on Saturdays in January and February.  This program is open to boys and girls ages 7-14 with any degree of experience.

Six Shooters >> Our in-house program for our youngest hoopsters is back!  5-6 year olds are invited to join us on Sundays in November and December for this workshop series where they will learn basic basketball skills.  Space is limited-Registration opens on September 16. 

Volunteers Needed! >>  We need YOU to lend a helping hand with our youth basketball program!  Training is provided and you do not have to have a child in the program to participate.  We need coaches, team assistants and team coordinators. 
Chancel Choir Retreat--Saturday, September 28, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. here at St. James UMC.

Seasonal Choir-If your hectic schedule prevents a long term commitment or if you want a trial period before committing, try Chancel Choir for a limited 6-8 week period on Thursdays, 7:30-9:00 p.m. 
To sing for the Christmas program, Dec. 11, join us no later than Nov. 7.
Questions?  Email Linda Merrill or call the church office. 

SNY Bowling-This Sunday, September 29, the youth will be going bowling.  The cost is $20.  Meet at the church at 6:00 p.m.  Dinner is included.  Please register online >>

Greek Festival
-On Sunday, October 6, the youth are invited to attend the Greek Festival.  The cost is $5.  Sign-up  online >>

October 13
-No SNY due to Columbus Day Weekend

Fall Retreat-
Weekend of October 19-20 at Camp Glisson.  This joint venture between Music and Youth Ministries will be $50/person.  Register online >>
Please note:  There will be no SNY on Sunday, October 20.

Halloween Party
-The Youth Halloween Party will be Sunday, October 27, from 6-8:00 p.m. at the Seeber's house.  There will be dinner and prizes for the annual costume contest, which includes categories such as most original, funniest, and overall best.  Bring $5 for dinner, and be ready for good food, games, and lots of fun!


Movie on the Lawn!  Our annual fall movie on the lawn is this Friday, September 27.  Bring a picnic dinner and blanket and join us for "Epic."  Cartoons begin at 7:00 p.m.; feature film begins immediately following.  Concessions will be available for purchase.  All concession proceeds and any donations will be given to Heifer International.  This program provides families with income-producing animals like bees, chicks, goats and heifers.  These "little" animals provide a reliable source of food AND a reliable source of income, lifting families out of hunger.  Please join us for a fun evening of fellowship on the sanctuary lawn!

God Squad-
On Sunday, September 29, we will be going to the Sandy Springs Funhouse.  Meet at church at 4:30 p.m.  We'll have a devotion time and then off to Laser Tag land!  If your child has not received an E-vite, email Mary Ann Mullins >> or call the church office.

"Fill the Ark" Program
-We will kick off the program to raise money for Heifer International this Sunday, September 29 during the Sunday school hour.  All children will receive an "ark" bank and a calendar that makes participation in this mission program extra fun!  At the end of our 4 week collection time (October 27), we will put our money towards the purchase of an income producing animal for a family in need.  We hope you will support your children as they collect money for this worth while cause!
Save the date-Our 5th Annual Trunkfest is Wednesday, October 30, 5:30 p.m.  Please consider decorating your trunk so that our little goblins will have lots of stops to collect candy!  Registration for dinner (catered by Chick-Fil-A) and registration to decorate a trunk will available on the church website by October 1.
Staff Directory
Senior Pastor

John Simmons 

Youth Ministry
 Jacob Hill
Associate Pastor
Emily Bagwell
Children's Ministry
Minister to
Preschool Director
Activities Ministry
Emily Gantert

 Renee Drexler   

Music MinistryLinda Merrill
Facilities Manager
 Stan Malone
Craig Smith
Office Coordinator
Music Associate
Church Office
Handbell Director
Preschool Office