Atlanta priest leads U.S. Marists

The three-year head of the Atlanta Province of the Catholic Society of Mary has been elected the leader of the newly consolidated Province of the Society of Mary of the USA.

The Rev. Timothy “Ted” Keating now leads the USA province, combining the former Boston and Atlanta provinces; the merger went into effect Jan. 1. The province serves 21 U.S. dioceses and archdioceses.

The Society of Mary, whose members are known as Marists, also has provinces covering Australia, Canada, Europe, Mexico, New Zealand and Oceania; districts in Peru-Venezuela, Brazil, the Philippines and Africa; and Superior Generalate in Rome.

Among the institutions of the Society of Mary is the Marist School in Brookhaven.

As the USA provincial, Keating leads more than 150 priests and brothers.

The 67-year-old joined the Society of Mary in 1981 and was ordained in 1985.

Before leading the Atlanta Province the past three years, Keating was based in Washington, D.C., as the director of formation for the Atlanta Province. In that job, he worked with priesthood candidates.

From 1999 to 2005 he was executive director of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM), a group composed of the leaders of 265 institutes and congregations of priests and religious brothers in the United States. During his tenure, the dominant issue was the sexual misconduct by clergy, and he was a leading voice for reform. The conference instituted independent accreditation standards through the “Instruments of Hope and Healing” project while Keating was executive director.

As director of justice and peace for CMSM from 1991 to 1998, Keating worked with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, international groups, and other justice and peace organizations to promote human rights and made numerous trips to the Middle East and Latin America.

Christian Scientists home in Sandy Springs

The Second Church of Christ, Scientist, has found a peaceful spot in Sandy Springs from which to serve the Atlanta area: the corner of Carpenter Drive and Mountain View Drive, just down from the Comfort Inn and the intersection of I-285 and Roswell Road.

It is the fourth permanent location for the church since its establishment in 1920.

The name “Second Church of Christ, Scientist” represents the fact that the church was the second Christian Science congregation established in Atlanta. The Christian Science Church is not connected with Scientology.

The church’s former location on Peachtree Road in Buckhead was sold in December 2005. For the next three years, the members met at Oglethorpe University in Brookhaven for Sunday worship and held Wednesday testimonial meetings at the Sandy Springs Comfort Inn.

Christian Scientists follow the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy and use the companion book she wrote to the Bible, “Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures.” The church is dedicated to healing as Jesus did.

Eddy’s book defines “church,” in part, as “the structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle.” That established for the local members the true idea of church that is carried in their hearts. They had a “church,” but not a building to put it in.

The congregation explored storefronts, other churches and construction from the ground up while keeping in mind the financial status of the church and a church bylaw that reads, “God requires wisdom, economy, and brotherly love to characterize all the proceedings of the members.”

The search finally brought the Christian Scientists to the building at 347 Carpenter Drive. After nearly a year of planning and renovation, they held their first service in the building on Father’s Day, June 15, 2008.

There are still a few items of furniture to finalize and some pictures to hang, but the congregation is happy in its new home.

The building also houses the Christian Science Reading Room, open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

For more information, call 404-364-9642, or visit www.secondchurchatlanta.org.

Expansion approved for Lutheran church

Apostles Lutheran Church has permission from the city of Sandy Springs to build an 8,770-square-foot addition to the structure at the corner of Hammond and Glenridge drives.

The City Council unanimously approved a use permit and variances for the project at its meeting March 17.

“In order to modernize their facility to retain and grow their congregation the Church proposes this expansion project,” Ashford Engineers project manager Rik Galpin wrote in a letter of intent to the city Dec. 2.

The construction of the Family Life Center will expand the church by about 45 percent. The space will serve various functions, including seating up to 450 people for services and special events.

The proposal breezed through the Design Review Board and the Planning Commission and had the support of the city staff. The main concern of the Planning Commission was that the new structure should not exceed the 43-foot height of the church’s bell tower. One of the five variances with the use permit allows the building to reach 45 feet, rather than the 40 feet otherwise allowed for the site, but the city staff advised that the planned height is 43 feet.

The other variances involved setbacks, parking, parking lot landscaping and the required fence for the play area at the church’s day care center.

The council action included a use permit for that long-existing day care facility. The church has agreed to limit the facility to 135 children and to operate only Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Teens grant $10,000 for special-needs kids

A group of 18 10th-graders participating in a Jewish philanthropy project awarded $10,000 in grants to programs for special-needs children Feb. 2.

The teenagers in the Door and Ladder Society granted $7,000 to the Marcus Jewish Community Center’s Camp Isidore Alterman for the creation of a program for children with autism at the Dunwoody day camp. The teens also gave $3,000 to Amit, Atlanta’s centralized Jewish special education agency, for social programming involving children with and without disabilities through the B’Yachad Buddy program.

“I have been to an Amit buddy program and have seen the fun that the kids were having. I am proud to be a part of the reason why they can continue enjoying themselves,” said Riverwood International Charter School student Tammy Bronstein, a member of the Door and Ladder Society. “And I know that going to camp and being a part of that community is a great opportunity for them.”

The Door and Ladder Society was created last year under a grant from the Jewish Teen Funders Network. The Marcus JCC runs the program with support from the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. The February grants came from the second group of 18 Jewish teens to go through the program.

In addition to Bronstein, the members of the group are Jonathan Berger, Rebecca Gaillard and Kyle Schaffer of Riverwood in Sandy Springs; Kelli Regenbaum, Alex Rubin, Blair Siegler and Erin Smith of The Weber School in Sandy Springs; Benjamin Harris of Pace Academy in Buckhead; Bradley Maran of The Galloway School in Buckhead; Aaron Maslia of Lakeside High School in DeKalb County; Noah Adler and Maia Hoberman of Yeshiva Atlanta High School in Doraville; Marisa Alzadeh, Nikki Cohen and Nicole Gillman of Walton High School in East Cobb; Shayna Brandi of Pope High School in East Cobb; and Nick Myers of Centennial High School in Roswell.

Another group is going through the program now, with allocations scheduled for May. A fourth group will start in the fall.

The participants represent the range of Atlanta Jews, from Orthodox to secular. Those chosen through a selective admissions process study the Jewish philanthropic tradition, collective grant making, venture philanthropy and community needs. Each teen also must make a contribution to the money to be allocated.

The group sends out a request for proposals, then evaluates each proposal received.

For more information on Door and Ladder, visit www.atlantajcc.org/doorandladder.