The Rev. Dr. Joanna Adams

Denomination: Presbyterian Church (USA) (PCUSA)
Organization: Higher Ground

The Rev. Dr. Joanna Adams is a retired pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She formerly served as pastor of Morningside and Trinity Presbyterian churches in Atlanta and Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago. After retiring she served as interim pastor of Atlanta's First Presbyterian Church for a year.

She is also one of the founders of Higher Ground, an interfaith group based in Atlanta.

Ordained for more than thirty years, she is a graduate of Columbia Theological Seminary, Dr. Adams holds an honorary doctorate of divinity from Davidson College and was awarded an Alumni Association Medal of Honor from Emory University.

She  serves as a trustee of the Presbyterian Church Foundation and as Co-Chair of the Joining Hearts and Hands Mission Initiative of the PC(USA). Formerly, she was a trustee of Agnes Scott College, chair of the Board of Trustees for Columbia Theological Seminary, and an editor-at-large for Presbyterian Outlook. In 2007, she was named Georgia Woman of the Year and was featured in Atlanta Magazine as one of the forty-five most loved Atlantans. She is known for building bridges both in the community and the church. Over the years, she has been especially involved in initiatives to combat homelessness and to build interfaith relations. 

She and her husband, attorney Alfred B. Adams, have a daughter, a son and two grandchildren.

Day1 Weekly Programs by The Rev. Dr. Joanna Adams

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As Through a Glass, Darkly

Friday October 24, 2008

Can We Talk?

Friday October 24, 2008

Treasure in Clay Jars

Friday October 24, 2008

A Beautiful Mind

Friday October 24, 2008
The Rev. Dr. Joanna Adams is pastor of Morningside Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, GA.

Clarity About Your Calling

Friday October 24, 2008
The Rev. Dr. Joanna Adams, pastor of Morningside Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, GA, examines the story of Moses' call in Exodus 3 and offers some "Clarity About Your Calling."

Why Can't We Pull Up the Weeds?

Friday October 24, 2008
The Rev. Dr. Joanna Adams is pastor of Morningside Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, GA. In her sermon "Why Can't We Pull Up the Weeds?" she takes a look at Jesus' parable of the wheat and the weeds in Matthew 13:

The Predicament of Freedom

Friday October 24, 2008
The Rev. Dr. Joanna Adams reminds us that by the will of God and through the power of the Holy Spirit, freedom and responsibility belong together in our lives and in the life of our faith communities.

Should There Be a Clock in the Sanctuary?

Friday October 24, 2008
The Rev. Dr. Joanna M. Adams launches the new year with a thought-provoking look at the times and seasons of life, and the many changes that confront us.

God Believes in You

Friday October 24, 2008
As the church celebrates the Baptism of the Lord, the Rev. Dr. Joanna M. Adams reflects on our own baptism, and how it shapes and empowers us to serve in the world.

Miracles Reconsidered

Friday October 24, 2008
In her anniversary series sermon, Joanna Adams points out that the Bible is filled with miracles, such as the two miracles in John 6. She calls us to open ourselves to see and experience more fully these "unforeseen possibilities."

Articles by The Rev. Dr. Joanna Adams

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Joanna Adams: Going to Extremes

Friday October 24, 2008
I am convinced that extremism in the name of religion is the most destructive force in the world today. We have seen its negative, even deadly effects as waves of protest and violence have washed across the Middle East in recent days.

Joanna Adams: A Voice from the Grave

Friday October 24, 2008
Is it too late to step back and think about the ethical attributes we want in our next President? On the eve of the first debate between President Obama and Governor Romney, I have been pondering the qualities of character I want in the leader of our nation. Here are my top five

Dr. Joanna Adams: Behave Yourself

Friday October 24, 2008
I am not in favor of sending out morality squads to scrutinize leaders with regard to their personal conduct, but I do believe that any time people in positions of power and authority decide that they are in a separate category from everyone else, bad stuff can happen.

Joanna Adams: Beat the Clock

Friday October 24, 2008
Unless you have been vacationing on a desert island in a faraway ocean, you are probably feeling a bit of time pressure yourself this December. For those of us who celebrate Christmas, December 25th is coming upon us at break neck speed. We have fewer than three weeks to shop, wrap, bake, decorate, entertain, assemble bicycles, address cards, hang the mistletoe, sit on Santa’s lap, and stuff the turkey. Time will have its way.

Dr. Joanna Adams: The Blame Game

Friday October 24, 2008
Last week’s round of acrimonious decision-making in Washington sent me back to the Bible in search of a more elevated view of human nature. In the beginning, I found little comfort.

Dr. Joanna Adams: What About the Bandits?

Friday October 24, 2008
One of the familiar stories of the Christian tradition has to do with a man who was beaten within an inch of his life. The poor fellow had been traveling on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho when he “fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him for dead.” (Luke 10)

Joanna Adams: School Days

Friday October 24, 2008
I believe that public schools are the most important institutions in America. If they are broken, let’s fix them, but let us never allow cynicism or negativity to carry the day.

Joanna Adams: For Men Only?

Friday October 24, 2008
At present, at least half of American Protestant denominations do allow for the ordination of women, but that has been the case for a relatively short period of history. When I was a young girl, a vocational path toward ministry was not in the realm of possibility, and hey, I am not that old!

Joanna Adams: With This Ring...

Friday October 24, 2008
How about a shout-out for the month of June? Named for the Roman goddess of marriage, June has been the go-to month for weddings since ancient times.

Joanna Adams: Say It's Not So, Paula Deen

Friday October 24, 2008
I have never met her, but I have always liked Paula Deen. For one thing, she is Southern to the core, and I am too.

Joanna Adams: Tenderness

Friday October 24, 2008
Welcome, royal baby! I know that British royalty is really old school, but let’s face it: the July 22nd arrival of Kate and William’s first born has reawakened tenderness in the hearts of millions of people around the world.

Joanna Adams: In Kindness We Trust

Friday October 24, 2008
I hope most Americans still trust in God, but I am concerned that many of us are losing faith in one another and in the institutions that have long provided the underpinnings of our society.

Joanna Adams: YOLO

Friday October 24, 2008
Today’s texting and tweeting world is experiencing an unprecedented, and rapidly spreading, epidemic of acronyms. One of the most frequently used is LOL, which can mean either “lots of love” or “little old lady,” depending on the context. For the record, I am too tall and too young-spirited to fit into the latter category.

Joanna Adams: Preach It, Johnny

Friday October 24, 2008
The Georgia legislature is considering broadening the state’s concealed weapons rule so that under various circumstances, guns would be allowed in bars, houses of worship, and on college and university campuses. Not a good idea.

Joanna Adams: What's on the Menu Today?

Friday October 24, 2008
Meanness is hard to avoid out there in the world – sometimes within the circles of personal and family relationships.

Joanna Adams: Red Boots

Friday October 24, 2008
Recently, I learned of the impending closing of two shelters/transition centers in Atlanta. I have been waiting for a public outcry over these closings, but I have heard none.

Joanna Adams: In Touch Too Much

Friday October 24, 2008
Not all of us, but many, are busy. We live according to calendars that are overflowing with commitments.

Joanna Adams: Love and Fear

Friday October 24, 2008
Despite constant reassurances from Emory doctors and public health spokespersons that the chances of the Ebola virus spreading are nil because of the rigorous procedures in place, there has nevertheless been an outbreak of fear that the infection will not be contained and could potentially contaminate the American population.

Joanna Adams: Anger Management

Friday October 24, 2008
Have you been following news of the reclining-seat incidents on airplane flights? At least three times in recent weeks, flights have been diverted from their destinations because passengers got into terrible rows with one another over a few inches of valuable cabin space.

Joanna Adams: Say Grance

Friday October 24, 2008
Thanksgiving came in the nick of time this year. After an especially acrimonious political season, it was time for some comfort food. Please pass the cornbread dressing and giblet gravy, and let the only disagreement around the table be about whether or not oysters would have made the dressing tastier. (My answer? No.)

Joanna Adams: Higher Ground: Final Blog

Friday October 24, 2008
The announcement of the conclusion of Higher Ground was made last week. Since then, I have been touched by the comments of so many people, in person and online, expressing sadness over our coming to the end of our journey and gratitude for our efforts over the past five years.

Joanna M. Adams: White Southerners, our souls are at stake. We must speak up now

Friday October 24, 2008
In this moving opinion piece for Opinion, the Rev. Dr. Joanna Adams shares her own experiences and struggles for justice as a white woman of the South.

Video by The Rev. Dr. Joanna Adams

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The Rev. Dr. Joanna Adams - Day1 Conversations with Peter Wallace

Friday October 24, 2008
The Rev. Dr. Joanna Adams sits down with Day1 host Peter Wallace and discusses some of the major changes in her life as a retired pastor, being a "loved Atlantan," the things that bring her joy, and the emergent Church.

The Rev. Dr. Joanna Adams (Part 2) - Day1 Conversations with Peter Wallace

Friday October 24, 2008
The Rev. Dr. Joanna Adams discusses a wide array of issues facing the Church and her own life. The two discuss the future of the Church, women in the priesthood and the changing world of worship in today's world.

The Rev. Dr. Joanna Adams - Day1 Prayer Breakfast

Friday October 24, 2008
The Rev. Dr. Joanna Adams speaks to our prayer breakfast crowd about the challenges, and forward looking excitement, of embracing change.

Dr. Joanna Adams on "30 Good Minutes" - On Not Keeping Score

Friday October 24, 2008
What is the most important message faith has to tell in a world that is filled with vengeance, bitterness and violence? It is, I believe, the message of forgiveness. That is God's antidote to human sin and destruction.

Radio by The Rev. Dr. Joanna Adams

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Day 1 Podcast Extra- Adams

Friday October 24, 2008
In this podcast extra, the Rev. Dr. Joanna Adams, pastor of Morningside Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, GA, shares her personal insights and experiences.