August 2019 CrossTie

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Vol 3 | Issue 8 | August 2019

Kick-Off Sunday! August 11 9:00 am 9-9:45 am 9:45 am 11:00 am

Worship in the Chapel Breakfast Sunday school Worship in the Sanctuary Blessing of the students and teachers


Wednesday Night Schedule 4:45-5:45 pm Dinner in the Fellowship Hall Adults: $7.00 Children (10 and under): $3.00 Salad Plate: $5.00 Take-out: $7.50 Immediate Family Maximum: $20.00

5:45-7:45 pm Nursery Care for birth - two years old 6:00-7:00 pm Journeys Bible Study Children’s Activities Youth in the Basement Ensembles 7:00-7:45 pm Sanctuary Choir Rehearsal




Be c k y C a s w e l l - S p ei gh t Minister to Families, Faith Formation and Connection 678.533.0546


From the Pastor











Je r e m y C o l l i v e r Minister of Communications, Missions and Youth 678.533.0551 Ch r is G e or ge Senior Pastor 770.469.5856 Ba r t M c N i e l Associate Pastor 678.533.0540 Da nny Va n c i l Minister of Music and Worship 678.533.0560 smokerise

10 Generosity 11

50 Years of Smoke Rise

12 Family Ministry 13



Monthly Snapshot SmokeRiseBC

Smoke Rise





August may be the end of the summer, but it is a season of new beginnings at Smoke Rise. Our church calendar is packed with a wonderful array of opportunities for people of all ages as we begin a new year of ministry together. For some time now, you might have noticed that our pastor takes time to welcome those who join us for worship on Sunday by streaming online, including residents at Park Springs who gather for worship. Since we launched our Park Springs satellite streaming service, we have worked to improve technology and support on our end.



During our 50th Anniversary Celebration on September 22, we look forward to welcoming past and present church members, staff members, family and friends for an open house and worship at Smoke Rise as well as a luncheon at the Marriott Evergreen in Stone Mountain Park. We look forward to this wonderful time of reunion and express gratitude in advance for those who want to support this special celebration.

A B O UT S M O K E RIS E 5901 Hugh Howell Rd. Stone Mountain, GA 30087 Tel: 770.469.5856 Fax: 770.498.3598 Office Hours M-F 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Smoke Rise Baptist Church is a loving and caring faith community where people come to grow spiritually, worship communally and serve faithfully. We are committed to fostering authentic relationships and engaging in meaningful ministry in our congregation, our community and around the world. We partner with others in an effort to be about God’s work. We commit to love God with all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds and all our strength and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. We seek to proclaim the Good News of Christ in all that we say and do.



CH RIS G E ORGE - Senior Pastor

August may be the end of the summer, but it is a season of new beginnings at Smoke Rise. Our church calendar is packed with a wonderful array of opportunities for people of all ages as we begin a new year of ministry together. Danny Vancil will be returning from his sabbatical, bringing with him a refreshed spirit and a renewed vigor for his role as our worship leader. Rev. Becky Caswell Speight, in her new role as Minister to Families, Faith Formation and Connections has worked diligently to create meaningful Sunday school experiences and Wednesday night programs for the children and the adults in our congregation. We will send Rev. Jeremy Colliver and our Uganda Mission Team to serve and share God’s love in Africa. As you look at your own calendar, I want to encourage you to remember these important dates on our church calendar: Sunday, August 11—Kick-off Sunday—We look forward to a church-wide breakfast and, in the worship service, a blessing for the school staff members, teachers and students. Please bring your children and grandchildren, invite friends and neighbors to be a part of this special celebration and dedication. Wednesday, August 14—Wednesday Night programming begins with food and fellowship starting at 4:45pm, followed by choir and missions for our children, and study and fellowship for our youth. In Journeys, our adults will have the opportunity to worship God with heart, mind, soul and strength by participating in the “Rediscovering the Bible” study or one of the other spiritual formation offerings. Sunday, August 18—Sunday evening youth choir and youth worship will begin. Sunday, August 25—Connections, our young adult Bible study will begin, and meeting at the home of Graham and Lynne Felton with childcare provided at the church. As we embark on this season of new starts, I would encourage you to consider adding a new spiritual practice to your life. You may want to set aside 5-10 minutes every morning to be still, to pray and meditate. Perhaps you will make a commitment to read one chapter of your Bible each day in an effort to learn more about God’s word and God’s work in the world. Perhaps you will find a new place to serve in our congregation or in our larger community. Perhaps you will set aside time to send a card each week to someone who is at home or in an assisted care facility as an expression of love and support. God spoke to the prophet Isaiah saying, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up…” In this new school year, God is doing something new and special at Smoke Rise Baptist Church. Let us open our eyes to see God’s work, then let us commit to playing our part in this new work as we continue to seek to be the body of Christ, sharing God’s love and grace in our congregation and our community.



DANNY VA NC IL - Minister of Music and Worship

When in our music, God is glorified, and adoration leaves no room for pride, it is as though the whole creation cried alleluia! How often, making music, we have found a new dimension in the world of sound, as worship moves us to a more profound alleluia! So has the church, in liturgy and song, in faith and love, through centuries of wrong, borne witness to the truth in every tongue, alleluia! And did not Jesus sing a Psalm that night when utmost evil strove against the light? Then let us sing for whom He won the fight: alleluia! Let every instrument be tuned for praise! Let all rejoice who have a voice to raise! And may God give us faith to sing always alleluia! ~Fred Pratt Green~



B E C KY CASWELL- SPEI GHT- Minister to Families, Faith Formation and Connection

Pews and Pulpits Tour Large Group August 14th, 21st and 28th Ebby Arnold, Chris George and Bart McNiel will help us to complete our study on the books of the New Testament that we began last year.

A scenic bus tour through rural Georgia to see historic churches tucked away but not forgotten.

Small Groups Wellness - August 14th, 21st and 28th This small group is an introduction to Mind-Body Nutrition and the impact not only of the food we eat, but also of the life experiences that eat at us and wreak havoc on our health. We will follow up this informative small group with a around of yoga classes. This group will be led by Deborah Garrard. Deborah is the founder of Bee Well, Serve Well. She is certified in Whole Food Plant-Based Nutrition through the Cornell University Center for Nutritional Studies program.

October 11, 2019

Fellowship - August 14th, 21st and 28th Need a place to unwind with friends? Need a place to finish up work while your children are busy in music and missions? Then come to the Gathering Space. If you can’t make dinner, don’t worry. We will have light snacks and drinks in the Gathering Space each week. This group will meet in the Library. Grief Group - August 28th This is a support group for people who have lost loved ones and is led by Adam Arnold, therapist extraordinaire. This group meets the 4th Wednesday of every month in room 223.

August 25; 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm Childcare 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm Hosts: Graham and Lynne Felton 1853 Chedworth Lane, Stone Mountain Connections is a once a month gathering for individuals and couples in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s. Light snacks and drinks provided. Childcare is provided at the church. Parents can drop off children at the preschool area beginning at 5:30 pm. Please RSVP for children by the previous Wednesday through the church office at 770.469.5856;

This year’s retreat is designed for the convenience of all women and will provide inspiration, great fellowship and food at the historic Stone Mountain Inn. Leading us again by popular demand, Darlene Swanson will use the Psalms to help us embrace our true selves and emotions.

Smoke Rise Baptist Women's Retreat September 13-14, 2019 The Stone Mountain Inn Stone Mountain, GA

Registration The retreat costs $125.00 (includes double occupancy room for Friday night, dinner buffet on Friday, breakfast and lunch on Saturday, and entrance into the park) or $60.00 without lodging. A $50.00 deposit will hold your place; final payment and all registration is due August 21, 2019. No room cancellation after this date. Make checks payable to SRBC and send to Becky Caswell-Speight. Specify roommate if you know who it will be.



J E R E MY C OLLI V ER - Minister of Communications, Missions and Youth

Please pray for those serving in Uganda, August 1-18 Carol Brasher Gregg Brasher Brad Burch Jeremy Colliver Wilson Echols Graham Felton Sarah Martin Walter Martin Anita Nelson James Nelson Janet Palmer Paula Rowell

New York Mission Trip

Tijuana Mission Trip


CON N E C T I N G AT SM OK E R I SE Streaming Ministry Spotlight: Park Springs Satellite Service For some time now, you might have noticed that our pastor takes time to welcome those who join us for worship on Sunday by streaming online, including residents at Park Springs who gather for worship. Since we launched our Park Springs satellite streaming service, we have worked to improve technology and support on our end. In its infancy, the Park Springs ministry was nurtured by Brian Abner. Brian continues to volunteer with the ministry at Park Springs, along with his father, Jimmy Abner. Last year, Rev. Joel Harrison volunteered to be the Park Springs Worship Team leader and serve alongside a team of rotating volunteers who help each week with set-up, greeting and other support for the residents who attend the service. Other team volunteers include Jim and Marcella Howard and Laura Willis. The Crossroads

Sunday School class has also been volunteering and worshiping at Park Springs for some time, and is set to cover 5th Sundays going forward. There have been bumps along the way as we learn the best way to navigate the space and technology available at Park Springs. Recently, Park Springs updated its technology, and even though there are some bugs to work out, our team is committed to the ministry. On weeks when technical difficulties arise, Joel Harrison steps up to bring a sermon and, on at least one other occasion, Smoke Rise members and residents at Park Springs have shared through a time of testimony and song. The streaming service is also supported by faithful volunteers in our sound booth each week who make sure our stream is live on multiple platforms. These volunteers include Dave Riggs, Kelly and Joel McLendon, and Jim Farmer. We are also grateful for the many hours of time and service that Mike Danishek and Jim Farmer

put into upgrading equipment as they worked each week over the past two years to improve the live streaming experience and viewing options for those who join us online each week. We are exploring other venues that might be open to a streaming satellite service. Even though the service is broadcast electronically, those who attend have discovered that gathering together in one place and worshiping live with the Smoke Rise family of faith to be a life-giving faith experience, connecting them to each other and to God in a way that is welcoming and familiar. The next time you hear the pastor welcome our friends at Park Springs or at home, say a little prayer of thanksgiving and support for our friends at home, at Park Springs, for our volunteers in the field, and those volunteers on-site who help us live into new ways of being the church together each week. -Bart Pastor Leading Park Springs Bible Study Series Starting Tuesday, August 13, Dr. Chris George will teach a Bible study series, Rediscovering the Bible, at Park Springs in the Member Meeting Room. The Bible study will take place every second Tuesday from 2:00-3:00pm. We are excited about this new way to connect with the residents at Park Springs. If you have any questions, please contact Joel Harrison at 404.771.6131.



BART Mc N IE L - Associate Pastor

Meet Our New A/V Managers Ron and Bruce work as a team to coordinate A/V and streaming for Sunday morning, along with any A/V needs for larger events here at Smoke Rise. We are excited to have both as a part of our staff! Bruce Prescott Bruce joined Smoke Rise Baptist Church in 2000 with his wife, Faith, and his children Steven and Shleby. Bruce has been working with audio systems in the church for 12 years, and has run sound for the Smoke Rise Academy of Arts Drama program for 10 years. Bruce is a musician who started working with audio systems in high school with his first band and has done setup and sound for several other bands he played in over the years. Bruce graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a major in marketing and minor in economics. He worked in electrical sales at Noland Company starting in 1985. After moving to Atlanta in 1991, began a career in broadband communications with Scientific Atlanta and is currently General Manager of Tulsat-Atlanta. Ron Johnson Ron began his career while still in high school in his hometown of Marion, IN. He started by working in radio. He would then go on to receive a bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications and a minor in theatre from Indiana University. Since graduating he has worked for CNN, Kodak Dental Systems, Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church, and for the previous 12 years, he was the Minister of Worship Media at Cannon United Methodist Church in Snellville. Along with working at Smoke Rise, he currently works for Ford A/V, estimating and servicing audio visual equipment, and serves as the Assistant Scoutmaster for Eagle Scout Troop 504 in Lilburn. In addition, Ron is married to Amy and together they have four kids: Drew, Emily, Ryan and Evan, and three grandkids.

Welcome Our New Members

Pam and Cathy Carnes June 30

Virgil and Nancy Sorrells June 30

Phil Cantrell July 7

Bobby and Ellen Goss July 7

Volunteers Needed for Clerical and Office Support We are seeking volunteers for clerical and office support, including answering phones and light clerical assistance. If you are interested in volunteering, please email Teri Moore at tmoore@ or call the church office to leave contact information for a volunteer team leader to get in touch with you.


G ENER OS I T Y Thank You to our Deep Cleaning and Room Refresh Team Over the past several weeks, our volunteers and staff have navigated hallways filled at times with furniture and other contents of classrooms and meeting spaces. An important part of our good stewardship of our facilities will continue to include times when we take a “facility Sabbath� to rest and deep clean our facilities. Thank you to our members and community friends for helping accommodate our cleaning work throughout the building. Thank you to our many volunteers, Sunday school classes, Prep School friends, and handymen who helped us paint and refresh shared spaces. We are especially thankful to Carol Ann Fulgham for her tireless work and volunteer coordination, to Antowyn Smith for his continued management oversight, and to our custodial staff who came alongside our team every step of the way.

Giving in Support of 50th Anniversary Celebration During our 50th Anniversary Celebration on September 22, we look forward to welcoming past and present church members, staff members, family and friends for an open house and worship at Smoke Rise as well as a luncheon at the Marriott Evergreen in Stone Mountain Park. Some church members have asked about giving to support this special celebration. If you would like to give, please write "50th Anniversary Celebration" on your offering envelope or the memo line of your check. We look forward to this wonderful time of reunion and express gratitude in advance for those who want to give. -Pastor Chris

MONTH OF MAY Amount Given $176,048.49

Amount Spent $211,477.15

Negative Balance ($35,428.66)


(April 1, 2019 - May 31, 2019) Amount Given Amount Spent Negative Balance $354,062.22 $396,723.67 ($42,661.45)


5 0 Y EA RS OF S M O K E R I SE Mary Ruth Parham's Smoke Rise Story In preparation of celebrating 50 years of Smoke Rise Baptist Church, we have taken a look back. To do so, we have talked to some of the Charter Members of Smoke Rise Baptist Church and asked them some of their fondest memories of Smoke Rise throughout the years. For this issue, we talked with Mary Ruth Parham. “After we moved from Brockett Elementary to Smoke Rise Elementary, everyone had to do everything. We had to wipe the crumbs out of the chairs, break down the nursery, but we were all young, able and willing to help.” One of Mary Ruth’s favorite memories was the day they moved into the Chapel. “We finally had our building. We we so excited we went early to dust, sweep and clean the chapel before everyone arrived. We were so proud of the new space. We had been in two elementary schools, but we continued to do what God wanted us to do, and we had our chapel.” Mary Ruth continued to share about the early days of Smoke Rise after the chapel was built, “What is now the nursery used to be the kitchen and our little Fellowship Hall. The men cooked, cleaned and painted the walls. I remember painting a

wall and then coming in to see that the wall had been moved. Smoke Rise was redone over and over in the early years; moving walls and making space.” “All the stories start to come back when you dwell on them,” Mary Ruth laughed as she began to tell stories about how Smoke Rise impacted her family. “Our entire family went to the first Sunday service in the Chapel.” She continued, “I remember one day we had one of the minibuses at our house and our entire family went out there and cleaned it.” Friends felt like family as well, “People used to think that Sandra [Etheridge] and I were sisters. We sat by each other in choir and people used to ask where her redhaired sister, Sandra, was.”

“Our son Steve even met his wife Christie at Smoke Rise. Diane Aiken told us that when Steve walked back in the College and Career Class after serving in the Navy, Christie looked up and it was love at first sight. Now the Parhams and Butler have grand and great-grand children together.” Mary Ruth wanted to leave this bit of wisdom for Smoke Rise Baptist Church and their next 50 years, “We loved each other and loved working together. We have been so proud of Smoke Rise and the church building that we have. We hope the young people continue to treasure it like we did when we came from having nothing.” -Jeremy

The 50th Anniversary Committee needs your old SRBC photos! Help us create a memorable video to be played during the special festivities on September 22. Please submit your photos to the church office no later than Sunday, August 25. Make sure that your name and phone number are written on the back of each photo.

While you’re at it — Saralyn Jaleel would very much welcome any old Smoke Rise documents such as Crosstie, Eater’s Digest, Informer or Bulletins for the Heritage Room.



B E C KY CASWELL- SPEI GHT- Minister to Families, Faith Formation and Connection

My older daughter swears that the younger one, her sister, collects children. And, if I’m being honest, she is not wrong. On any day, it is not unusual to walk into our home and find a child from neighborhood watching TV or to see our next door neighbor grabbing a popsicle from the freezer in the garage. They bike, run and play together in our yard — sometimes up to a dozen kids. Many evenings, as I have closed the garage door, I see a bike in the garage that I don’t recognize. But I don’t worry, as I know someone will pick it up the next day. Often in the evenings, Josh and I sit by an upstairs window with a wide-lens view of this children's community in our neighborhood. We learn a lot as we watch: We see how all are welcomed; we see how they care for each other; we observe them celebrating one another's accomplishments and how they hurt when another of them is hurt. I believe this crew of children "collected" by my younger daughter is what God means when God says "turn from your wicked ways and become like a child." God calls us to welcome everyone, to feel each others pains, to celebrate our accomplishments, and to care for the needs of the entire group. This year, our theme in the children’s ministry is creating God’s neighborhood. We will aim to do that in multiple ways. This includes hosting a Sunday school teacher training sponsored by GA CBF. This will be based on the teachings of Fred Rogers who taught many children and adults how to live in their neighborhoods. Then, our children will have an oldfashioned “Invite a Friend to Sunday School” Sunday. Finally, there will be fun fellowship days planned by parents as well as our spring family mission trip to Chattanooga. All of these activities will help our children and their families as well as the rest of us to create God’s neighborhood beyond Smoke Rise. -Becky

Thank you to all of our summer volunteers for helping to make our children's ministry a success!



J E R E MY C OLLI V ER - Minister of Communications, Missions and Youth

Words There are over 171,000 words in the Oxford Dictionary; add to that 40,000 words that are no longer in use. The Sami people in Scandinavia have 180 words related to snow and ice and over 1,000 words related to reindeer. Scots have 421 words related to wintry conditions. Why all these different words? Each word is trying to describe a particular condition or situation, because words matter. Words matter as we try and explain the human condition: what we are feeling, what we experience. Words allow us to connect to other people and share our experiences. It can be the reason we struggle to find a particular word for falling in love for the first time, the elation we feel as we win the championship game, or the crushing feeling when we lose someone we love. Words are the building blocks of communication. Our theme with the Youth this year is “Words”. We’re going to look at the words we use to communicate, words of faith and their meaning in society and biblically. Then, we’re going to put our words together to tell our own stories of faith. The hope is that we will be more intentional about the words we use as we discover what they mean to us and others. We would encourage you to join us on this journey as well considering the words you use and the story that you have to tell.

08 25 19

POOLOOZA 5::00 - 7:00 PM

Important August Dates: 5 - First Day of School

Words matter.

11 - Blessing of the Students


14 - First Wednesday Night Back

Before the Youth left for our WITS trip to the Perimeter Mall, Monica Ramirez Leon shared some news with us: Monica has accepted a full-time position with International Women’s House. Here, Monica will be serving immigrant and refugee women and children who have been trafficked and abused. She will be helping these women receive the legal and psychological help that they need. We are excited for this next chapter in Monica’s life and continue to celebrate the good work that God is doing through Monica. You’ll still see Monica around through the end of August in an official capacity and then she plans on being present at Smoke Rise even after her internship is over. The last thing we did was lay hands on and pray for Monica. We gave thanks for her ministry at Smoke Rise and her ministry that will begin at the International Women's House. 13 | SMOKE RIS E BAPT IST.ORG

18 - First Sunday Night Back 25 - Poolooza

Weekly Schedule Sunday Schedule 9:00 AM Worship in the Chapel 9:45 AM Sunday school in the basement 11:00 AM Worship in the Sanctuary 5:00 PM Choir in the Choir Suite 5:45 PM Dinner 6:00 PM Vespers in the basement Wednesday Schedule 5:00 PM Dinner 6:00 PM Youth in the basement


Vacation Bible School

Weekly Schedule

August Dates

Sunday 9:00 AM - Worship in the Chapel 9:45 AM - Sunday school for all ages 11:00 AM - Worship in the Sanctuary 4:00 PM - Liturgical Dance 5:00 PM - Youth Choir

1-18 Uganda Mission Trip 14 Wednesday Night Activities Begins 23-25 Drama Preformance 25 Connections

5:45 PM - Youth Dinner 6:00 PM - Youth Vespers




4:45 PM - Dinner in the Fellowship Hall 6:00 PM - Journeys, Children's Activities, Youth in the basement 7:00 PM - Sanctuary Choir

AUGUST 23-25, 2019 Fri. 7 PM / Sat. 3 & 7 PM / Sun 2 PM Smoke Rise Baptist Church Fellowship Hall Admission is Free



Passport Camp

This Summer at Smoke Rise Baptist Church

Wonderful Wednesdays

PassportKids Camp

You are cordially invited… to the

Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Smoke Rise Baptist Church Sunday, September 22, 2019 Celebration Events Include: Open House: 9:00 AM - 10:20 AM

Come and see renovations made to our facilities in the past few years.

Worship Service of Celebration and Thanksgiving: 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM Guest Speakers, Inspiring Music, Recognition of Charter Members

Anniversary Luncheon: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Center, Stone Mountain Park Food, Fellowship, Sharing of Memories (Ticket information below)

Rededication of the Smoke Rise Baptist Church Sanctuary Piano – 7:00 PM Concert featuring Joseph Martin Sacred Music Artist and Composer Free Admission

Ticket Information for Luncheon at Evergreen Conference Center”

Tickets must be purchased by Sept. 15 Cost: $20/adults; $10/children. $50 maximum per family (Maximum applies to one individual household, parents and children only • Vegan option available) The cost of luncheon tickets includes an Anniversary Celebration Window Card that will allow access into the park at either front or back gate. •

Options for ticket purchase:

Sunday mornings in the upper breezeway from 9:30-11:00 AM, beginning Aug. 4 • Wednesday nights from 5:00-6:00 in the Fellowship Hall, beginning Aug. 14 • Online purchase at, beginning Aug. 4

Join us for our Fall Women's Retreat September 13-14 For registration informtation, please visit the welcome desk

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