Author Archive

Serving in Atlanta – Annual 5-6 grade Mission Project

2015 5th & 6th Grade Atlanta Mission Project

Monday, July 27 – Thursday, July 30

Join Mark, Anna, volunteers and your friends for a wonderful opportunity to live out your faith as you serve and love others in our city in the name of Jesus! We will partner with two Atlanta-based ministries (Resource Service Ministries and Atlanta Mission) for day service projects and we will enjoy a time of fellowship at Stone Mountain Park on Wednesday evening.

Important Information
Resource Service Ministries is a ministry that works with elderly widows. The Atlanta Mission Thrift Stores help to fund the ministries and programs of the Mission. Participants will be involved in scraping & painting a home, doing yard work with RSM and they will assist in sorting donations for Atlanta Mission. Students will need to wear work clothes each day. (*Please know that your children will never be asked to do anything that is beyond their skill level or that is dangerous.)
On Wednesday morning students need to bring a change of clothes, toiletries, sleeping bag, and pillow. After the service project on Wednesday we will return to the Church for dinner and STS Wednesday activities. Immediately after STS we will depart to Stone Mountain to attend the Laser show.
We will arrive back at COTA around 11:00 p.m. and stay overnight at COTA.
*If your child will not stay the night at COTA, please make arrangements to pick them up when we return from the Laser show.

Who can participate in the Atlanta Missions Project?
Current 5th and 6th grade students (2014-2015 school year)

Total Cost: $80.00

(Includes breakfast, transportation, Wednesday night dinner and Stone Mountain Laser Show)
Lunch is not included on a daily basis. Students will need to pack a lunch for each day.

Questions? Contact :
Mark Johnston 404.591.1972
Anna Witt 404. 564.3149
Jenny Sessoms 404. 591.4270

After registration you will be emailed a release form, your balance, packing list and arrival/departure times.


Deadline: Wednesday, July 22nd

*For planning purposes we request that students participate in at least two days.
**If you do not plan on participating in the entire AMP week, but would still like to participate in one or two days, please do not sign up online. Instead, contact one of our staff members who will be happy to assist you in the registration process.  
Monday, July 27th & Tuesday, July 28th
9:00 AM Arrive at COTA
10:00 AM Depart for Project
5:00 PM Pick up at COTA

Wednesday, July 29th
9:00 AM Arrive at COTA
10:00 AM Depart for Project
4:00 PM Arrive at COTA
5:00 PM Dinner at COTA
6:15 PM STS Wednesday PM activities
7:30 PM Depart for Stone Mountain
11:00 PM Arrive at COTA—Sleep at COTA

Thursday, July 30th
9:00 AM Pick up at COTA


This Week in STS {7/5/15 – 7/12/15}

Sunday, July 5:

Donuts served in the cafe at 8:45 am!

Zack Carden will be speaking to 7th-12th grades, continuing in our summer series on the Life of Peter.

5th-6th grade students: after worship in The Loft, Mark will teach in The Den. He is continuing his series “What does it mean to be a Christian?”

Monday, July 6 – Friday, July 10:


Pray for the STS staff & students as we depart for our Beach Retreat in Panama City Beach, FL.

Wednesday, July 8:

No Wednesday Night activities due to the staff being on the Beach Retreat.

Sunday, July 12:

Donuts served in the cafe at 8:45 am!

5th-6th grade students: after worship in The Loft, Mark will teach in The Den. He is continuing his series “What does it mean to be a Christian?”

7th-12th grade students: join us for our “Text Me” panel after worship in The Loft. This is when you can anonymously text questions, about anything, to the panel. We’ll do our best to answer your questions!


This Week in STS {6/28/15 – 7/5/15}

Sunday, June 28:

STS Sunday morning: “Text Me” panel for 7th-12th grade students.

5th-6th grade students: after worship in The Loft, Mark will teach in The Den. He is continuing his series “What does it mean to be a Christian?”

Donuts served at 8:45 am in the Cafe!

STS Water Balloon Fight

Lunch: Flying Biscuit!

Monday, June 29:

5th – 6th Grade Girls Pizza Party in STS!
12:00 – 2:00 pm. Please RSVP to

Tuesday, June 30:

7th-12th Grade Girls: lunch & rock climbing at Atlanta Rocks: 1019 Collier Rd NW, Ste A, Atlanta, Georgia 30318.
Bring your lunch, we’ll eat from 12:00 – 12:30 then climb from 12:30 – 2:30.
Cost: $20 for climbing.

Wednesday, July 1:

Join us for fellowship, games, and dinner from 5:00 – 6:00 pm followed by worship and Bible study.

Take 4

Parents, the “Coffee Connection” room (229) will be open for you during the 5:00 hour! Coffee will be available. This time will be for you to fellowship together as parents. Also,  you’re invited to join us for dinner ($3/person for adults, free for students).

Thursday, July 2:

7th-12th grade students, we’re going to Main Event Entertainment for lunch, bowling and laser tag/arcade/ropes.
12:00-2:00 pm.

Sunday, July 5:

Donuts served in the cafe at 8:45 am!

Zack Carden will be speaking to 7th-12th grade, continuing in our summer series on the Life of Peter.

5th-6th grade students: after worship in The Loft, Mark will teach in The Den. He is continuing his series “What does it mean to be a Christian?”

Highlights from Newsletter

In case you missed our first STS Newsletter, here are a few key events to keep in mind!!!

Use this link for the full May/June edition of the newsletter.


One of the best parts about what I do is getting to know people, their stories, and what motivates them. Over the past few months, I have had the privilege of really getting to know the STS staff. I began to get a picture of who they were as we worked to hold everything together this spring, have been planning for summer, and sketching out the focus for the fall semester.  However, when I took a look at their personality testing I got a much clearer picture of who they are and discovered something interesting.

Mark Johnston, Anna Witt, Jenny Sessoms, and Caroline Germany (as well as Kristin Waites) all share the same personality core. While there are nuances to their personality that cause them to express that core differently, they share common values and vision.  So, what is this core personality?  They are, by nature, “Guardians”.

“Guardians” are loyal, trustworthy, team players who value tradition and responsibility. They thrive in structure and enjoy working a plan. They take their role as protectors very seriously, working hard to care for those they love.  That translates very well into student ministry. What better group of people to entrust with caring for and assisting in the discipleship of your child than a set of people who value tradition, authority, and security?  As a parent of STS students myself, it is a blessing to know that when my kids are in STS, that they are in the loyal, loving, and capable hands of a team whose core desire is to shepherd their souls through guarding and careful guiding.  Most of you, if you have spent any time around this team, knew that already. For those of you who didn’t know this about our team, I wanted to make you aware of it.  Because the Lord has brought us a group of people who take the Word of God seriously and desire to work with you as parents to see your child grow in grace.

I urge you to continue to pray for Mark, Anna, Jenny, and Caroline as they seek to love and serve our STS families. Pray that the Lord would guide to us a Director of Student Ministries who would perfectly compliment this team and help them utilize their giftedness to and reach this generation of students for Jesus.

For the STS Staff,

Zack Carden

STS Dive 2015

DIVE – STS Beach Retreat

2015 STS Summer Beach Retreat

Monday, July 6 – Friday, July 10

We’re so excited to be going to the beach this summer! We’ll be traveling to Florida on Monday, July 6 and spending Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at the beach then returning Friday, July 10. We are blessed to have our good friend Chad Cannon as our speaker for the week.

Who?: Rising 7th grade students – 2015 graduates

Where?:Laguna Beach Christian Retreat Center
20016 Front Beach Road
Panama City Beach, Florida 32413

How Much?: $325.00 / student

*If registering multiple students from same family, multi-child discount applied: 2nd student = $250, 3rd student = $175

**Cost covers lodging, meals, transportation, tshirt, and more!


*Registration opens Sunday, May 10 and closes 3:30 on Thursday, July 2*

Tentative schedule {subject to change}:

Monday, July 6
11:00 am – Student registration and Lunch in STS
12:00 / 12:15 pm – Depart COTA, dinner on the road
7:30 / 8:00 pm – Arrival at Laguna Beach Christian Retreat Center
Tuesday, July 7 – Thursday, July 9
Morning: breakfast, worship, & teaching session
Afternoon: activities at location and on beach
Evening: dinner, worship, & teaching session
Friday, July 10
Morning: breakfast, packing, and departure
Lunch on the road
5:00 / 6:00 pm – Parent pickup at COTA

Spring Retreat – Talk About a PARTY!

It was another exciting weekend of fun, fellowship, and white water rafting on our 2015 Spring Retreat! :)

Our theme this year (Proverbs 3:5-6) was a great reminder that God loves us and guides us as we trust in Him! Here are a few pictures:

CW Spring Retreat

Annual 5th-6th Grade Spring Retreat

5th-6th Grade Spring Retreat

April 24-26, 2015

Whitewater Express, TN

Join Mark, Anna, and the volunteer team for a very exciting trip this spring!  We are heading to the incredible Whitewater express camp in Ocoee, Tennessee!  We will have a wonderful weekend filled with teaching, worship, and fellowship with friends, a selection of activities to choose from and the wonderful experience of rafting down the Nantahala River!

Students need to arrive at COTA by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 24th.  Students will need to be picked up by 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 26th.  Students need to bring clothes for two days in the outdoors, plus one set of clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty (especially if you choose to play paintball). Please pack lightly (no large suitcases, please). Keep in mind that it will get cold at nights. Also, bring rain gear, sleeping bag or linens, pillow, towel, toiletries, flashlight, Bible and journal!

Cost: $130.00 (Includes food, transportation, activities, materials and a T-shirt)

*Students will need to bring money to purchase lunch on the way back to COTA Sunday afternoon.

Online Registration has closed – please call the STS Office with any questions

After registering you will be e-mailed a release form, your balance, packing list, and arrival/departure time.

5:00 pm           Arrive at COTA; Eat Dinner at Church
6:15 pm           Depart COTA for Whitewater Express
8:00 pm           Worship/Teaching Sessions
11:00 pm         Lights Out
8:30 am           Breakfast
9:00 am           Depart Camp
10:00 am         Student Activities
12:00 pm         Lunch
2:00 pm           Fully Guided Rafting Trip
6:15 pm           Return to Camp/ Dinner
8:00 pm           Worship/ Teaching Session
10:00 pm         Campfire
8:30 am           Breakfast
9:00 am           Worship Session
11:00 am         Depart Camp; Lunch on the road
3:30 pm           Parent Pick-up at COTA
Questions? Contact:

 Mark Johnston: 404-591-1972
Anna Witt: 404-564-3149
Jenny Sessoms (for registration questions): 404- 591-4270

Upcoming Events in STS

If you missed our parent meeting, Sunday, March 22nd, don’t worry!

We gave out a lot of information about upcoming events in STS. Below are snapshots of the information we gave out to parents.

If you have any questions, please contact the STS Office: 404-591-2470

“Train Up” Father-Son: Audio


Did you miss the Father-Son event?

Don’t worry, we recorded the audio of Matt Brinkley’s sessions! The Friday night session was him speaking just to the fathers and the sessions on Saturday were to both the guys and their dads. Please let us know if you have any questions! We hope you take advantage of this great resource.

Train Up Friday Night

Train Up Saturday 1

Train Up Saturday 2