Category Archives: News

Decatur Christmas Tree & Wreath Sale 2018

First Christian Church of Decatur has announced the dates and hours for its 11th Annual Christmas Tree & Wreath Sale, featuring quality trees and homemade wreaths, on their front lawn from Friday, November 23, 2018 until sold out.

Gentle Spirit Christian Church’s ministries — including our hygiene kit ministry to metro Atlanta’s homeless — are among the beneficiaries of this successful annual effort, which also benefits church and community missions in the city of Decatur, including FCCD’s own Decatur Toy Park.

Volunteers for the Tree Sale are welcome. For full details including sale hours, pre-sale discount, local delivery and more, visit the Tree Sale page on the FCCD website.

Hygiene Kits for the Homeless

We’re grateful to have been able to assemble hundreds more hygiene kits for distribution to local homeless people yet again on November 4, 2018, and we look forward to our next opportunity on Sunday, February 10, 2019.

This ministry happens in three phases:

  • Collection of supplies (see below) year-round.
  • Assembly: In Candler Park, picnic Pavilion 2, in place of our regular Church Without Walls worship service. Volunteers are welcome!
  • Distribution on the streets of metro Atlanta.

For more information, including the ingredients list for a standard kit and more background on this ministry, visit our Metro Atlanta Homeless Ministry page.  We’re grateful for the ongoing support of the Rotary Club of Decatur and First Christian Church of Decatur.

Here is our recent history of assembling hygiene kits for distribution to the homeless:

DateKits Completed
November 2, 2014500
February 8, 2015500
May 31, 2015500
August 30, 2015500
November 8, 2015500
February 7, 2016250
May 22, 2016200
October 23, 2016530
February 12, 2017500
May 21, 2017500
August 27, 2017500
November 12, 2017500
February 18, 2018500
June 3, 2018250
August 26, 2018250
November 4, 20181,000

World AIDS Day Service, November 26, 2017

In honor of World AIDS Day 2017, First Christian Church of Decatur will host Unity Fellowship Church Greater Atlanta and Gentle Spirit Christian Church in their main sanctuary for a joint service and panel discussion at 10:30am on Sunday, November 26, 2017.

For Gentle Spirit Christian Church, this special service in the main sanctuary of First Christian takes the place of its regular Sunday worship as The Church Without Walls in Candler Park.

“Remember, Hope, Act” is the theme of the World AIDS Day service, which will be concelebrated by Rev. Dr. James Brewer-Calvert of First Christian, Rev. Maressa Pendermon of Unity Fellowship, and Rev. Paul M. Turner of Gentle Spirit. The Praise Team from Unity Fellowship will offer a choral anthem. A 30-minute panel discussion follows the service.

“The AIDS pandemic is still far from being over,” said Rev. Turner. “While World AIDS Day normally finds me in somber reflection on that fact, I look forward to the spiritual uplift of this combined service with two of my partners in local ministry. Joining together in voice and song, we will be praying hard for God’s will to be done with respect to all who are affected by HIV/AIDS.”

Decatur Christmas Tree & Wreath Sale 2017

First Christian Church of Decatur has announced the dates and hours for its 10th Annual Christmas Tree & Wreath Sale, featuring quality trees and homemade wreaths, on their front lawn from Friday, November 24, 2017 until sold out.

Gentle Spirit Christian Church’s ministries — including our hygiene kit ministry to metro Atlanta’s homeless — are among the beneficiaries of this successful annual effort, which also benefits church and community missions in the city of Decatur, including FCCD’s own Decatur Toy Park.

Volunteers for the Tree Sale are welcome. For full details including sale hours, pre-sale discount, local delivery and more, visit the Tree Sale page on the FCCD website.

Rev. Turner Signs Interfaith Dream Act Letter to Congress

Today the Rev. Paul M. Turner of Gentle Spirit Christian Church signed the Interfaith Dream Act Sign On Letter, whose text is as follows:

Dear Members of Congress,

As people of faith, we believe we’re all members of one spiritual family. Dreamers are our beloved siblings. We strive to love our neighbor and uphold everyone’s innate human dignity. Dreamers worship in our pews, study in our schools, and work in our communities. For many, this is where they learned to ride a bike, celebrate our nation’s holidays, and serve their communities. They are mothers, fathers, teachers, nurses, lawyers, scientists, and leaders of a new generation of Americans – and they make our nation stronger. The decision to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) before legislation was enacted to protect them from deportation was immoral, as it leaves nearly 800,000 individuals facing an unknown future.

We, a diverse community of religious leaders, ask Congress to act today. Dreamers cannot wait, our businesses cannot wait, and our country cannot wait. We urge all Members of Congress to immediately pass a clean Dream Act of 2017 (S. 1615/H.R. 3440), which provides a long overdue pathway to citizenship for immigrant youth.

Congress must pass the Dream Act immediately as a matter of moral urgency. Despite the purported six-month delay in enforcement, the consequences of terminating DACA are immediate, devastating, and profound. No new applications are being considered, and current recipients will see their protection revoked starting in March. Some recipients may have their protection jeopardized sooner if their status expires before then and they are unable to pay nearly $500 in fees, or ensure that the Department of Homeland Security receives their renewal requests by October 5. Leaving DACA recipients and other Dreamers in limbo violates our nation’s values and sends a message of exclusion to immigrant youth, some of whom do not have family or a support system in their birth country. Many do not remember it, or even speak the language.

Dreamers have worked tirelessly for the country they call home to recognize them as our own. The bi-partisan Dream Act of 2017 is the culmination of that legacy. We stand with these brave individuals who embody our ideals and the future of this great country. Dreamers inspire us to live into our shared faith values of unconditional love for our neighbors and determined belief in the possibility of justice for all people. Their vision is our vision, that we can realize an immigration system that affirms the sanctity of family unity, respects the rights and dignity of all, and makes the American Dream truly achievable.

We have grave concerns about proposals to attach harmful immigration enforcement increases with relief for Dreamers. Pairing relief for Dreamers with policy that puts their parents, siblings, and other immigrants at increased risk of deportation or detention or further infringes upon the rights and safety of border communities is unacceptable. Our outdated immigration system leaves millions unjustly detained, separated from family, and locked out of regularizing their status. Congress must enact a clean Dream Act of 2017 without attaching it to increased immigration enforcement.

We are people of faith, grounded in the teachings of our varied traditions. When there is injustice, we are called to right it. Our faith demands that we be agents of community restoration. We pray for this nation and for all people seeking safe, stable, and fruitful lives. We pray with Dreamers for relief as they face an unknown future. We pray that you – our Members of Congress – will do everything in your power to immediately pass a clean Dream Act of 2017.