Category: Faith

Around Town: An activist and grandmother writes her memoir

Sherry Frank wears a small gold necklace. The unobtrusive chain displays a single word: bubbe. It means grandmother, or, more specifically, a Jewish grandmother. “I wear it every day,” Frank said, smiling when the word draws notice. “Bubbe fits me.” Others may see the 77-year-old Sandy Springs grandmother as an energetic activist who has lived a very public life. But her jewelry proudly proclaims she’s also the kind of woman who likes to bake cookies for her grandkids. Still, she’s no homebody. She served 26 years as executive director of the Atlanta chapter of the American Jewish Committee. She...

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Dunwoody approves policy that bans all religious symbols from City Hall

Dunwoody City Hall will not be decorated with any religious symbols this holiday season as part of a new policy approved Nov. 18 by the City Council. But a list defining which religious symbols were to be banned was scrapped after some residents said including menorahs on the list could be discriminatory. The council began discussing in October a policy to ban religious symbols in common areas of city buildings after a resident wanted to put up a Nativity scene in City Hall. The city’s legal staff suggested banning all Christian, Jewish and Muslim symbols including crosses, the menorah...

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TV documentary to feature Sandy Springs Latter-day Saints temple

A TV documentary series about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in north Georgia, debuting Nov. 15, will feature a temple and church in Sandy Springs. The documentary is part of a series about various faiths produced and aired by AIB Network, an Atlanta-based interfaith religious and educational programming channel. Previous series have looked at such religious traditions as Buddhism and Wicca. According to AIB Network president-elect, Audrey Daniels, the AIB Network is dedicated to creating original content that “educates the mind, strengthens the body, and inspires the spirit of viewers.” “We believe it is important to...

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Proposal to ban menorahs in Dunwoody city buildings draws criticism

A policy that would ban Hanukkah menorahs from being displayed in city buildings is getting pushback from at least one resident who says doing so is discriminatory. But the city attorney says all religious symbols need to be banned to ensure the city does not violate the Constitution. Religious symbols on government property have been debated for decades and the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in several cases on the issues. The city was hoping to avoid controversy by proposing a ban on all religious symbols from most areas in city buildings after a resident called for a Nativity...

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Dunwoody may ban religious symbols from city buildings

Requests to set up a Nativity scene at Dunwoody City Hall resulted in a new policy that would ban all religious symbols from most areas of city buildings. Doing so would ensure the city is not accused of endorsing one religion over another and possibly violating the Constitution, according to the city attorney. “This is still a hotly contested issue,” City Attorney Bill Riley told the mayor and City Council at its Oct. 14 meeting. “I drafted a policy that steers us away from all that … from the endorsement of religion debate. I don’t want us to get...

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Buckhead church to present requiem, host AIDS Memorial Quilt panel

Buckhead’s Covenant Presbyterian Church choir and a chamber orchestra will present a requiem on Oct. 27 and collect donations to host a Dec. 1 display of a panel from the AIDS Memorial Quilt. The requiem “For Us the Living” was written by a music minister at a church in Albany, N.Y., and first performed in 2007. The free performance at Covenant is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the church, 2461 Peachtree Road. Donations will be accepted after the performance to help sponsor the World AIDS Day display at the church of a panel from the quilt. Overseen by the...

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Worth Knowing: In a leap of faith, a new church is born

In the last 20 years, attendance at American houses of worship has dropped 20 percent, according to Gallup. Last year, the percentage of Americans reporting church or synagogue membership reached an all-time low of 50 percent. So, why would anyone want to start another church? That’s what I asked a group of Dunwoodians who five months ago started a Bible study in a private home that is now preparing for its official launch as an independent church in a 70-year-old stone chapel in Sandy Springs. Miracle? You decide. It all started last March when a popular worship leader left...

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Anti-Defamation League regional director to speak Aug. 29 at MJCCA

Allison Padilla-Goodman, the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Southeast Regional Office, will speak on “Standing Up to Hatred and Anti-Semitism” on Aug. 29 at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, located in Dunwoody. The talk is from 10:30 a.m. to noon and is part of the MJCCA’s Active Mature Adults department’s KnowlEdgewise Speaker Series. The MJCCA is at 5342 Tilly Mill Road. The program is free to MJCCA members and $5 for the community. Padilla-Goodman has worked as a sociologist, focusing on race relations, migration, public education and urban development before joining the ADL, according to a...

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Episcopal bishop calls for bell-tolling to remember 1619 slave-trade incident

The Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, based at Buckhead’s Cathedral of St. Philip, is calling on its churches and schools to toll bells on Aug. 25 in remembrance of the first enslaved African people forced to come to English North America 400 years ago this month. That 1619 event in what was then the Colony of Virginia was recently highlighted by the New York Times Magazine in “The 1619 Project,” a package of stories about the legacy of slavery in American history. Rev. Robert C. Wright, the bishop of the diocese, said in a press release that the bell-tolling, scheduled...

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Sandy Springs’ Congregation Or Hadash to host event in remembrance of terrorist bombing

Tragedy struck Argentina 25 years ago, when a Jewish community center was attacked in Buenos Aires. In remembrance, the American Jewish Committee’s Atlanta office (AJC) is hosting “25 Years Without Justice: Atlanta Remembers Victims of AMIA Bombing” on Aug. 11 at the Congregation Or Hadash in Sandy Springs. On July 18, 1994, 85 people were killed and more than 300 injured when a suicide bomber drove a car filled with explosive materials into the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) building in an act of terrorism. Argentinian prosecutors have accused Iranian and Hezbollah agents, but investigations continue. Years later, terrorism...

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Mount Vernon Presbyterian in Sandy Springs announces new pastor

  Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church in Sandy Springs announced its new pastor, Barrett Abernethy, will take the post in August. The church, located at 471 Mount Vernon Highway, has been led by Susan Haynes as an interim pastor for the past year and a half. The previous pastor was Rev. Dr. Joe B. Martin, who is now serving in Charlotte, North Carolina. Abernethy, who is originally from Texas, currently serves as a pastor in Livingston, Alabama at First Presbyterian Church. He is a graduate of Hardin-Simmons University in Texas, the University of Alabama and Austin Theological Seminary, according to...

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At marathon Holy Spirit expansion meeting, talk of agreement, threats of lawsuits

A massive, marathon meeting about Holy Spirit Catholic Church and Preparatory School’s controversial campus expansion plan April 24 was filled with tough questions and hopes of compromise — all backed by increasingly tough legal pressure from both sides. Some residents continue to say they might go to court over a 15-year-old legal agreement that could block part of the project, while Holy Spirit revealed that it photographed 170 pro-agreement yard signs with an eye to possibly suing opponents for “defamation.” Despite such saber-rattling, both sides say there’s room to talk about the proposal – which includes a parking deck,...

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