Blessed is the One

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Blessed is the One

July 14, 2017

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you have had a good week. Let me begin this note by sharing with you the news that Dr. Spencer Brewer died at home earlier this week. Spencer joined Peachtree Road as a member of the Confirmation Class in 1936, and has been a faithful member for over 80 years. He was a gifted doctor, a vital member of the Timothy Sunday School Class where he led the singing each Sunday, and was one of the most joyful men I have ever known. A memorial service for Spencer will be held this Saturday, July 15, at 11:00 am in the Moore Chapel. Please remember his wife Nancy and their family in your prayers.

Sunday promises to be another great day in worship as we continue “Summer in the City.” Carolyn Stephens will be preaching for the first time as our new associate minister, and I hope you will make a special effort to come and hear her and get to know her and her passion for the church. We will continue our sermon series “Summer Psalms.” This week Carolyn will be encouraging us with words from Psalm 32, which is about the joy of forgiveness. :

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Blessed are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

Carolyn’s message is entitled “Blessed Is the One…” You and I know how the burden of a broken relationship can weigh us down. The psalmist reminds us that there is forgiveness in the Lord:

“Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you; at a time of distress the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them. You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance.” (Psalm 32:6-7)

These words are good news we all need to hear. I hope to see you Sunday as we sing, pray, and reflect together.

As we move through the summer months, I want to solicit your help. Now is the time that I begin my planning for sermons in the coming year. We are blessed when we gather at Peachtree Road for worship with space that is designed to remind us that we are in the presence of God. Just entering the sanctuary or chapel fills us with a sense of awe and reverence. And the music we hear stirs our souls and draws us together. We also want the messages you hear to be helpful and relevant to your life. Therefore, I want to request that you take a moment to let me know your answers to the following questions:

What are you searching for most in life?
What is your greatest fear?
What are you struggling with right now – relationships, finances, or a health concern?
What is your most important faith question?

If you could take some time in the next couple of weeks to answer these and send the answers to the email address, I would be grateful. I have set aside a few days around Labor Day to work on worship themes for 2018. Thank you in advance for your help.

Speaking of the future, let me encourage you to “save the date” for an upcoming event here at Peachtree Road. For the last twenty years, we have been blessed to have Dr. Manfred Hoffmann as our “Theologian in Residence.” Manfred taught us, cultivated a desire to learn in us, and inspired us to grow in our faith. His death has touched us deeply. To honor his memory, we have created a lecture series in his name. The first lecture is occurring this fall on Sunday, October 29, 2017, at 6:00 pm for dinner and the lecture. I am pleased to announce that Manfred’s successor on the Candler School of Theology faculty, Dr. Jonathan Strom, will be delivering the address. We believe it is especially appropriate to hold this first lecture the week of the 500th anniversary of Luther’s nailing of the 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg. And, as a Lutheran scholar, Dr. Strom is the perfect person to deliver this inaugural lecture, and I hope you will mark the date on your calendar and make your plans to join us as we honor Manfred Hoffmann and grow in our faith.

I know many of you are traveling this summer. In fact, Wendie and I have just returned from four days at the beach! If you are unable to worship in person at Peachtree Road, I encourage you to stay connected to your church family by worshiping online or viewing the service later in the week through the church’s website. Thank you for your support in so many ways.

See you Sunday for Summer in the City!


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