We Exist to grow Together in Faith

God’s grace is a continual presence in our lives. Through studying the scriptures, prayer, and serving others, this grace will grow our love and understanding of God. We invite you to join our small group studies and Sunday school classes to help you grow in your own relationship with God.

Our adult Sunday School classes are taught as a single, hybrid class at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings. You may attend in person at the church (*must be COVID-19 vaccinated) or you can attend online via ZOOM. All of our mid-week small group studies and Intentional Prayer time are online-only, via ZOOM.

Get Connected to grow: e-mail grow@atlantafirstumc.org for the ZOOM links, information on how to join a small group or attend Sunday School classes, and other learning opportunities.

Sunday Morning grow Group:
Summer in the City: Elemental

You are invited to join the Sunday grow Group during Summer in the City. During the summer months, we take a more relaxed approach to worship and grow groups, looking at what gospel lessons we can learn from fun family movies and tv shows. During June, we are looking at Disney-Pixar’s 2023 animated movie Elemental. This grow group study directly compliments our summer worship series, taking a deeper dive into the themes covered by Pastor Jasmine and Pastor Chris’ sermons.

The class meets online in ZOOM and in-person in a classroom at Atlanta First at 9 a.m. EDT on Sunday mornings. The ZOOM link and information are below. Let’s grow with God together!

Click Here to Join the ZOOM
Meeting ID: 817 7912 8812
Passcode: 0360
Phone: 301.715.8592

Tuesdays: Disciple Bible Study

The Disciple Bible Study grow Group is currently on Summer hiatus. We will announce the upcoming fall study curriculum soon, so stay tuned!

This grow group meets via ZOOM on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. EDT. Lead Pastor Rev. Jasmine R. Smothers is the facilitator.

Wednesday Evening grow Group

Our Wednesday grow group is beginning a summer movie series called Sacred Cinema! Join in the fun as we discuss the Christian themes of movies selected by group members. We watch the movie during the week in between sessions and discuss virtually on ZOOM every Wednesday night. Grab your Bible, some popcorn, and your ZOOM device, and let’s have fun growing together!

The Wednesday Evening grow Group meets online via ZOOM at 7 p.m. EDT. The group is co-facilitated by Associate Pastor Rev. Chris Rapko and Melanie Long. You may register HERE to receive the study materials. The ZOOM link is below. Let’s grow with God together!

Click Here to Join the ZOOM

Thursdays The Thursday Morning grow group is on Summer hiatus, and will resume in the fall. Stay tuned for an announcment of our next study theem!

This grow group meets online only via ZOOM, Thursdays from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EDT. The class is led by Rev. Dr. Jacqui Rose-Tucker. Please register if you wish to participate, to receive the ZOOM link. All are welcome!

Book Club
Next Meeting: TBA.

Love to read? Join our Book Club on the fourth Monday of every month to discuss some of the hottest reads in the last several years through the lens of faith. The group meets online via ZOOM. To receive the ZOOM connection info, if you have questions or if you need help purchasing a book, please send an email to grow@atlantafirstumc.org.

The Book Club is on summer hiatus, and will resume in the fall.

Click Here to Join the ZOOM
Meeting ID: 872.7351.0270
Passcode: 666318
Phone: 301-715-8592

If you need help purchasing any of the books, please send an email to grow@atlantafirstumc.org.

Creating a Safe Sanctuary

Jesus said, “Whoever welcomes a child … welcomes me” (Matthew 18:5). Children are our present and our future, our hope, our teachers, our inspiration. They are full participants in the life of the church and in the realm of God.

Jesus also said, “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones … it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6). Our Christian faith calls us to offer both hospitality and protection to the little ones, the children. The Social Principles of The United Methodist Church state that “children must be protected from economic, physical, emotional and sexual exploitation and abuse.” (¶ 162C).

Tragically, churches have not always been safe places for children. Child sexual abuse, exploitation, and ritual abuse [“ritual abuse” refers to abusive acts committed as part of ceremonies or rites; ritual abusers are often related to cults, or pretend to be] occur in churches, large and small, urban and rural. The problem cuts across all economic, cultural, and racial lines. It is real, and it appears to be increasing. Most annual conferences can cite specific incidents of child sexual abuse and exploitation within churches. Virtually every congregation has among its members adult survivors of early sexual trauma.

Such incidents are devastating to all who are involved: the child, the family, the local church and its leaders. Increasingly, churches are torn apart by the legal, emotional, and monetary consequences of litigation following allegations of abuse.

God calls us to make our churches safe places, protecting children and other vulnerable persons from sexual and ritual abuse. God calls us to create communities of faith where children and adults grow safe and strong.

Thus, in covenant with all United Methodist congregations, we have a policy for the prevention of abuse at Atlanta First United Methodist Church and accompanying procedures to demonstrate our absolute and unwavering commitment to the physical safety, emotional well-being, and spiritual growth of all our children, youth, and vulnerable adults. Find a copy of that policy HERE.

This form is for unintentional acts which occur on church property or during church events and someone is hurt. For example: A child falls on the playground; an older adult slips on the floor; a tooth is knocked out during youth basketball.

This form is used when an action is observed that does not require reporting to DFCS, but does require attention by staff or clergy. For example: A Sunday School teacher “loses it” with a class; an adult “in charge” walks out of a classroom to get supplies and leaves children briefly unattended.

This form is used when a volunteer or staff person sees, has been told of, or suspects a child, youth or vulnerable adult has been abused in some way. For example: A youth confides abuse to a counselor; a child comes to Sunday School with bruising and injuries he can’t/won’t explain; a homebound visitor finds a senior adult without food in the house.

This Suspected Abuse Follow-Up Form is used to record additional steps taken by staff to address the Suspected Abuse.

A form to give permission to the church to use your image, or the image of someone you are the legal guardian of, in print, web, video, and all other media. Please fill out separate forms for all adults and children in a given household. Please email the completed pdf form to engage@atlantafirstumc.org.

A form for parents or guardians of children and youth to fill out with emergency contact and insurance information. Please email the completed pdf form to engage@atlantafirstumc.org.