Category: Faith

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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Holy Spirit pitches smaller school, church expansion plan; legal agreement’s impact still disputed

Holy Spirit Catholic Church and Preparatory School are back with a new, smaller version of their controversial Buckhead campus expansion onto a Sandy Springs site. While aiming to appease neighbors in advance of an April 24 community meeting, Holy Spirit is also citing a legal technicality to say an old agreement with the community that might partly block the project is invalid. One resident leader says that move has “appalled” the neighborhood and that, while talking is preferable, going to court is not off the table. Holy Spirit’s plan for the combined church and Upper School campus in Buckhead...

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Local leaders offer prayers, hope after Notre-Dame cathedral fire

Local leaders are responding with prayers and reminders that “Spirit” outlasts material things following a devastating blaze that heavily damaged Notre-Dame, a Roman Catholic cathedral in Paris, France, that is a landmark of world art and architecture. Archbishop Wilton Gregory of the Atlanta Roman Catholic Archdiocese offered prayers in a written statement and described Notre-Dame as “a treasure for the Catholic Church, for European history and culture, and for the world of art.” The April 15 fire at the over 800-year-old cathedral came during Holy Week, a Christian observance leading up to Easter Sunday, a celebration of the faith’s...

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Atlanta archbishop will move to D.C. position

Rev. Wilton Gregory, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Atlanta for 14 years, has been named the new head of the Washington, D.C., archdiocese in a move that takes effect May 21. Gregory, who was named to the Washington position by Pope Francis, has served as head of the Atlanta archdiocese since 2005. An Atlanta archdiocese spokesperson did not immediately respond to questions about the appointment of a local successor. In a statement in “The Georgia Bulletin,” the archdiocese’s newspaper, Gregory praised Atlanta and asked for prayers. “While I am humbled and honored by the confidence the Holy Father has...

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Local pastors await possible United Methodist Church split over LGBTQ rights

Senior Pastor Skip Johnson stood at the front of Brookhaven United Methodist Church on a recent Sunday morning and delivered his sermon holding the UMC’s Book of Discipline in one hand, the Bible in the other. “When I held the books up, I said, ‘These aren’t really equivalent,’” Johnson said he told his congregants. He describes one book as God’s words as stated through scripture, while the other contains the doctrine of the church as legislated by the UMC’s governing bodies. Johnson’s sermon came days after the UMC’s global legislative body – the top governing body of the denomination...

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Sandy Springs synagogue hosting Jewish-Latino film series

Congregation Or Hadash in Sandy Springs has set its second annual Jewish-Latino Film Series for the week of March 31 to April 6. The series, open to the general public, showcases five films from Latin America, concluding with the 2018 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival’s closing night film, “The Last Suit,” a press release announced. Guest speakers will introduce each film and provide additional historical context, the press release said. Or Hadash is led by a native Argentinean husband-and-wife team, Rabbi Mario Karpuj and Rabbi Dr. Analia Bortz, who will moderate a discussion and share their personal reflections following each...

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Religious leaders back housing nonprofit’s lawsuit against Sandy Springs with prayer vigil

Some top local religious leaders joined a prayer vigil Feb. 22 to support a housing nonprofit’s lawsuit against the city of Sandy Springs. The nonprofit also recently launched a website directly targeting Mayor Rusty Paul called “shameonrustypaul.com.” MHFH, which helps women with homelessness and addiction issues, in 2017 bought more than a third of the 90-unit condo complex at 9400 Roberts Drive, drawing criticism from other residents and legal challenges from the city. Following several code citations, MHFH sued the city in December 2018, saying it’s trying to push out minorities and disabled people. Now, MHFH is prepping for...

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At anti-Semitic bullying forum, expert panel offers advice, urges reporting

Over 100 parents, students and teachers attended a Feb. 10 forum on anti-Semitic bullying to question an expert panel put together days after a swastika was painted on a Roswell high school, rattling the north metro Jewish community. Local school officials said at the Sandy Springs event they have “strict” punishments and protocols for bullying and harassment and encouraged students to report it immediately. And a state representative said he is hopeful this legislative session will bring the passage of a hate crimes bill that could help reduce such incidents. “Anytime something comes up, you need to say something,”...

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Group to host town hall on anti-Semitic bullying in schools

The Atlanta Initiative Against Anti-Semitism has announced a community town hall to discuss schools’ responses to anti-Semitic bullying incidents. The free, public event will be held Feb. 10 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El, 1580 Spalding Drive in Sandy Springs. The principal of North Springs Charter High School, Rep. Josh McLaurin and representatives from groups like the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Anti-Defamation League and Georgia Commission on the Holocaust will address parent and community members’ questions and concerns. The event will address recent anti-Semitic vandalism reported at Centennial High School in Roswell and the rising rate of incidents nationwide, the grassroots group founded by Dunwoody-area mothers said in...

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Dunwoody church teams up with NFL, nonprofit to help sick children before Super Bowl

Members of Dunwoody’s First Baptist Church of Atlanta are teaming up with the nonprofit “Basket of Hope” next week to pack hundreds of baskets filled with toys, games, crafts and more that will be delivered to sick children before the Super Bowl. More than 150 volunteers from the church are slated to gather Jan. 30 at 10 a.m. at the church, located at 4400 N. Peachtree Road, to pack the baskets. The “Super Baskets of Hope” will then be delivered to infants, children and teens at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Egleston and Scottish Rite hospitals before Super Bowl Sunday...

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Buckhead attorney sues Catholic archdiocese for alleged sexual abuse, claims cover-up

A Buckhead attorney is suing Atlanta’s Roman Catholic archdiocese on behalf of an anonymous client allegedly sexually assaulted by a priest in the 1970s, in a case that claims church officials are continuing to cover up abuse cases. The archdiocese recently released a list of clergy members it says were credibly accused of abuse — including the late Rev. John Douglas Edwards, who is the alleged abuser in the lawsuit. Attorney Darren Penn — who attends Buckhead’s Cathedral of Christ the King, the archdiocese’s mother church — says a goal of the lawsuit is to get a fuller picture...

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Holy Spirit’s traffic plan is coming soon; college aims to grow

A traffic mitigation plan for Holy Spirit Church and Preparatory School’s proposed Buckhead campus expansion into Sandy Springs was expected the week of Jan. 14 in a key attempt to sway neighbors who say the project would violate a 15-year-old zoning agreement. Meanwhile, there may be another wrinkle to the traffic talk. Holy Spirit College, another affiliate institution on the campus at Northside Drive and Mount Paran Road, reportedly has growth plans of its own and is enrolling a new class of 10 to 20 students this fall. Holy Spirit officials and residents with the Northside/Chastain/Mt. Paran Neighborhood Preservation Association...

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