January 8, 2021
Dear Peachtree Road Family,
I hope you are safe, healthy, and well. Let me begin this week’s note by issuing a call to prayer. The sanctuary will be open today, Friday, January 8, between 10 am and 2 pm for you to join with others in praying for peace in our land.
We are living through some extraordinary days, and I would like to mobilize our congregation to pray for our country – its leaders and all its citizens. Edward Payson was an American Congregational minister who lived in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. He once offered these words of advice to a group of ministers who were shepherding their congregations through difficult days:
“Prayer is the first thing, the second thing, and the third thing necessary to a Christian. Pray then, my dear brothers and sisters; pray, pray, pray.”
The first and best thing we can do in these days to bring peace to our world is to pray!
If you would like to be a part of this vigil in person, please come to the Rollins Building entrance to have your temperature checked, and then make your way to the sanctuary. You certainly may participate remotely by setting aside some time between 10 am and 2 pm to pray wherever you are. A prayer guide will be available at the entrance to the sanctuary and online at the church’s website. Thank you for praying. “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.”
On Sunday we will begin a new series of messages entitled “The Greatest Commandment.” Throughout the rest of January, we will consider Jesus’ answer to the question put to him by a lawyer: “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” It seems to me that, if we can come to understand Jesus’ answer and then live it out in our lives, we will be well on our way to being the persons he calls us to be. Our series begins by considering the depth of God’s love. The title of the message is “God’s Love Never Fails.” It is a message we all need to hear. In preparation for worship, I encourage you to read Romans 8:35, 37-39.
This week also is Baptism of the Lord Sunday, and, at the conclusion of the service, we will have the opportunity to renew our baptismal vows. To those of you who are planning to worship in person, please remember to make a reservation here and to those who are planning to worship online, please prepare by having a bowl of water nearby. The service will be available by livestream through the church’s website. I look forward to worshiping with you Sunday.
Now, let me share with you some really good news concerning your financial giving:
- Your support of Christmas Kindness made it possible for our church to provide a wonderful blessing to hundreds of families in our community. You generously gave over $175,000 and brought Christmas joy to so many. Thank you!
- Our Christmas Eve offering to support our partnership with Start with One Kenya and purchase water filters for households living in the Njoro region of Kenya is still being counted! We are receiving checks every day in the mail, but so far you have given over $100,000 toward this offering. Thank you for letting the light of Christ shine through you!
- Though we have not closed out the year yet, we already are assured of meeting our operating budget for 2020. At the beginning of December, the Finance Committee determined that we would need to receive at least $1.4 million to finish the year on budget. You exceeded that goal! When the pandemic began in March, we approached the rest of the year with great uncertainty, but your faithfulness never wavered. Thank you! We will have final numbers ready in a couple of weeks.
Finally, we now turn our attention to adopting the 2021 church budget. If you have not yet turned in a pledge to support this year’s budget, we need to hear from you. Your generosity and commitment honor God, and they make the church’s ministry possible. All of our worship services, discipleship opportunities, and care for one another and the needs of our community happen because of the gifts you give. The most convenient way to make your pledge is online through the website. Thank you for giving your attention to this matter.
I am looking forward to the year that is ahead under our theme of “Love Your Neighbor.” Please pray for the ministry of Peachtree Road and let me know if ever I may be of help to you.
Grace and peace,