First stop: FUSION Church, a startup of the Seventh Day Adventists. Meeting at a rented facility called The Defoor Center, the worship space was simple and sparingly appointed. They had a little pre-worship cafe setup, but it wasn't conducive to meeting people (and no one introduced themselves to me). The space was set for about 75; perhaps 50 were in attendance.
The sermon was the start of a two-week series called "Dirty Gospel"; today's text was Mark 7:14-23 (Jesus being criticized for his disciples' unwashed hands). The preacher was a guest who is not really a preacher; he was identified as a soon-to-be Ph.D., and it showed. He was very didactic in his delivery. I learned one thing about being interactive: it matters how you do it. Usually I hear preachers become interactive by asking: "Are you tracking?" (if the answer is 'no', it's the preacher's fault, right?) or "How many of you ever..." (where there's no right or wrong answer). This preacher asked factual questions such as: "the Pharisees were criticizing... what?" - things you would ask a student (who could get it wrong) but perhaps shouldn't ask a congregation (I was uncomfortable - and I knew the answers!) The core message was that the holiness of God is evident in God's connection to the world, not God's separation from it.
They were very earnest, and I pray for their success, if for no other reason than the fact that there aren't too many contemporary ministries in the SDA denomination, and I fear that if this fails, they'll be reluctant to try too many more such experiments.
Perimeter Church. They are large and polished. Established in 1977 by the Presbyterian Church in America (a conservative denomination that does not ordain women to offices), they are attracting several thousand each weekend in worship. As you might expect in the Atlanta suburbs, there wasn't much racial diversity. However, the guest preacher was an African-American named Leonce Crump, who is planting a church for the PCA elsewhere in Atlanta.
http://www.laurastorymusic.com/) she is the songwriter who penned "Indescribable" - one of the most beloved worship songs of today, popularized by Chris Tomlin. I had stumbled upon hearing an amazing worship leader by accident.
For the offering the band played "How He Loves" (John Mark Mcmillan). Leonce preached on Colossians 1:15-23. He was totally expositional - verse by verse. (Why is it that African-American preachers feel compelled to point out every time in the sermon where a black congregation would have shouted 'Amen!'?) His sermon was entirely focused on the divinity of Christ.
They celebrated the Lord's Supper. I was surprised that the pastor did not employ the words of institution, but simply prayed over the elements. The distribution was interesting. They use a "stacked cup." Using the disposable communion cups, a tiny wafer is placed in the bottom cup. Another cup is placed on top of it and filled with grape juice. So you get both bread and cup at the same time. You are supposed to disassemble it, partake of the bread yourself, then wait to consume the cup together. The band then closed us out with "The Stand" (Hillsong United). There wasn't a lot of fellowship visible, but it was a very satisfying worship service.