A Good Shepherd

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A Good Shepherd

April 20, 2018

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you well. Let me begin by thanking you for your support of this year’s Habitat project. Last weekend Peachtree Road members participated in the dedication ceremony for the 47th home we have built in cooperation with Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. Just let that sink in for a moment. Over the last 28 years, this congregation has been a part of helping provide a home for 47 families. You have made it possible for children to grow up in a safe environment and break the cycle of poverty in their lives forever. Thank you for offering this life-changing act of grace.

This year’s project benefits Fliery Robinson and his adopted son, Tony. Fliery is the lead waiter at Yabo Restaurant here in Buckhead, and Tony is an 11th grader at North Atlanta High School. They are thrilled with the new home, and I understand they already have given it a name – “The G House.” Fliery wrote a series of words that begin with the letter “G” on the beams of the house – God, Grateful, Good, Gracious, Glorious, etc. It is such a joy to be able to partner with a family like the Robinsons and an organization like Habitat for Humanity. I am grateful to Patty Harris and Josh Stephens who served as Peachtree Road captains for the 320 volunteers who showed up to work over the span of 8 Saturdays.

You may be interested to know that each Habitat house costs $57,000, needs about 245 volunteers to construct, and requires the homeowner to provide 250 hours of “sweat equity.” In addition, the homeowner must demonstrate the ability to make payments on a mortgage and maintain local residency. A few years ago we spent some time talking about avoiding “toxic charity” in our ministries. Well, Habitat for Humanity is the gold standard for offering help that is helpful. This is an organization with which we are proud to partner, and I am grateful for your support of Habitat and so many other ministries of our church. Know that your efforts are both appreciated and make a difference in people’s lives!

I hope you are planning to attend worship this week. We will continue our celebration of Easter as we reflect upon Jesus as the “Good Shepherd” — one of the great metaphors of the New Testament. I remember being taught that sheep need a shepherd for three reasons:

  1. They have poor eyesight
  2. They have a poor sense of direction
  3. They possess no real line of defense like other animals

Sheep need a shepherd to lead them, to give them guidance, and to protect them from predators. You and I know the feeling. We, too, need a good shepherd, and the scriptures assure us that the Lord is our Good Shepherd. I look forward to focusing upon that idea with you this week. Please make every effort to be present – we miss you when you’re not here! If you will be out of town on Sunday, remember to worship with us online (live or later in the week).

Speaking of Sunday, this week is “Baby Recognition Day” at Peachtree Road. Each year we take time to celebrate the birth of the children who have been born to members of our church within the last year. I am grateful to the United Methodist Women who organize this recognition. At the 11:15 am service in the sanctuary, the names of our newborns (those born between March 1, 2017, and February 28, 2018) will be called; they will be presented with a certificate from the United Methodist Women; and we will offer a prayer of blessing upon them. Over 80 children were born in our church last year, and there are over 6 sets of twins on the list! We should never take for granted how blessed we are!

Finally, I wanted to let you know that our own Merritt Bond was honored last night by Wesley Woods at their “Heroes, Saints, and Legends” banquet. Wesley Woods is a United Methodist agency and one of our partners in ministry offering senior adults the opportunity to age with grace. Merritt has been a longtime champion of Wesley Woods, and this recognition is well deserved. We are proud of him!

Thank you for all you are doing to help make Peachtree Road a vital congregation. See you Sunday!

Bill

PS – In this year of prayer, I hope you are finding ways to strengthen this part of your spiritual life. You may make use of the prayer wall on the church app or on campus at the first floor Rollins hallway. Please stay tuned for more information about an upcoming prayer workshop in the near future.

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