• on Friday, January 24, 2020

Be Led by the Spirit of Christ

January 24, 2020

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you well. Here at Peachtree Road, we have spent the last few days evaluating the year that has just concluded and making plans for the months ahead. A part of the evaluation process is looking at the data, and I want you to know 2019 was a very good year. Consider these statistics:

Membership – 8,040 (+21)
Average Worship Attendance – 1661
Number of Persons Who Joined – 206
Number of Persons Who Joined on Profession of Faith – 100
Giving to the Budget – $7,137,874
Giving to Lenten Local Outreach Offering – $315,000
Giving to Christmas Eve Global Outreach Offering – $215,000

These numbers reflect an excellent year, and I am grateful for the generous way you have participated in the ministry of Peachtree Road. Thank you for your daily prayers, regular presence in worship, generous financial gifts, and faithful service in so many ways.

Now is the time for us to look forward, and Sunday promises to be a good day to be at Peachtree Road. This week marks the conclusion of our January series of messages entitled “Beyond Us vs. Them.” This month we have been taking on the controversial issues that tend to divide us and looking for common ground. By now, I hope you know my motivation. If we in the church aren’t willing to talk about difficult social issues like abortion, the death penalty, and immigration, we are giving up the opportunity to be a moral voice in our community and allowing others to shape the way others and our children think. My belief is we can do better. We can set an example for others not only by having these conversations but also by moving beyond them to find common ground.

Does your faith inform your position on these issues? I ask because I know folks who seem to be so entrenched in their political opinions that their faith has little impact upon their outlook. Before you arrive at a political view, do you ask yourself, “Does my view reflect the mind of Christ on this issue?” Do you study the scriptures (not just a few out-of-context passages but the whole of scripture) to inform your opinion? Do you prayerfully ask for the Holy Spirit to guide you? My point is that, for Christians, these are fundamental questions. A few weeks ago I mentioned that I am striving to be as “conservative as the Word of God and as liberal as the love of God.” I hope we all will earnestly seek to be led by the Spirit of Christ in these days.

On Sunday we will consider Christians and euthanasia. I am finding this to be the most difficult subject of them all for me. We have wrestled with the difficult question of when life begins – conception? birth? somewhere in between? Now we will wrestle with when life ends and the difficult decisions that surround the end of life. I look forward to worshiping with you Sunday.

Several notes:

  • On Sunday afternoon, we are delighted to welcome the Voices of Hope back to Peachtree Road for a concert at 5:00 pm in the sanctuary. This 42 member choir under the direction of Chaplain Susan Bishop has inspired us with their extraordinary faith and music on numerous occasions, and we are blessed to have them with us this week. The concert is being hosted by our Restoration Prison Ministry. This team consists of dedicated members of our church who are committed to bringing hope and the prospect of a new future to incarcerated men and women. The concert is free and open to the public. Please join us!
  • We are pleased to announce the hiring of LaKwan Bain as our new Assistant Organist. LaKwan grew up in the Bahamas and is a graduate student in organ studies at Georgia State University. We are delighted to have him with us here at Peachtree Road, and I hope you will seek him out and welcome him.
  • Finally, on Sunday morning, we will install members of the 2019 Administrative Board. This is the decision-making body of our church, and this year’s chairperson is Susan Thigpen. At the close of the worship services on Sunday, I will invite members of the Board to come to come to the altar rail, and we will offer a blessing upon them as they begin a new year leading our church. Their first meeting is set for Monday evening.

I am grateful for your prayerful support in so many ways. Please call on me if I can be of help to you in any way. See you Sunday!

Bill

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