October 5, 2018

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you well. This week we will continue with our fall series entitled “Fruitful.” Last Sunday in my message, I reflected upon a childhood memory of walking with my granddaddy Arrington through his vegetable garden. I remember him pointing toward the rows that would become beans and corn and squash and tomatoes, but I especially remember the way he cultivated those vegetables. He plowed the ground, planted the seeds, fertilized and watered the plants, and weeded the rows. The fruit didn’t just happen by accident. And that’s an important lesson for us. The Holy Spirit dwells within us, and we provide opportunities to thrive in us and produce good fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

And this Sunday, we will focus upon the fruit of “Generosity.” As a part of the message, I want us to consider the life of Zacchaeus and how the presence of Christ transformed him. This tax collector became a disciple who made restitution to those he had harmed and gave generously to others who were in need. I hope you will read the story of Zacchaeus found in Luke 19 and join us Sunday as we celebrate the fruit of generosity in our midst.

Sunday also is World Communion Sunday. Christians from around the world will gather at the Lord’s Table to celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Think about that for just a moment. As we extend our open hands in the form of a cross to receive the bread and drink from the cup, we are joining with Christians from around the world in partaking of the grace of God on this day. We here in Atlanta become a link in a chain that circles the globe. I hope you will make a special effort to be present as we feast at the Lord’s Table.

Of course, as has become our tradition on the first Sunday in October, we will offer a “Blessing of the Animals” service at 5:00 p.m. You are invited to bring your pets to the church for a fun time of worship. This service celebrates the Feast of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals. We will gather in the sanctuary, sing praises to God, and approach the altar with our pets for an individual blessing of each animal. In the past, participants have brought their dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, fish, and birds to receive a blessing. You also may choose to bring photos of your pets if it is difficult for the animal to attend the service (it’s pretty difficult to load up a horse and bring it to church!). I hope you’ll take advantage of this community-wide service and invite a friend to join in the fun.

Let me remind you of two opportunities coming up in the next few days:

  • Mid-Week Prayer Services — each Wednesday at 12:00 noon. These thirty minute services offer a time of spiritual refreshment as participants join together in prayers of intercession for our community, state, nation, and world. You are invited to come as you are, and I encourage you to bring someone with you who might find this a helpful time in his or her life.
  • A Just Cause – Monday, October 22 at Druid Hill Country Club. We are a little over two weeks away from our second annual “Just Cause” Peachtree Road golf outing. This year’s event will benefit Covenant House of Georgia, an agency our church partners with to make a difference in the lives of youth. Covenant House is so much more than a shelter. This wonderful ministry provides a bed and a meal for homeless and trafficked youth and helps them find hope and help for their future. Currently, there are spots available for $450 per person – invite a group of your friends to join you for a day on a beautiful golf course and support a wonderful cause. You may register using this link.

Finally, let me remind you that the fall is stewardship season here at Peachtree Road. Over the course of the next two weeks, you will hear words of testimony and encouragement from fellow members of Peachtree Road as we make our pledges to the 2019 operating budget of the church. Your giving sustains our ministries of worship, nurture, outreach, and witness, and helps us care for our facilities. Next week you will receive through the mail a packet of information including a pledge card. I hope you will make a pledge and commit to being “All In!” at Peachtree Road next year. Please know that I am grateful for your continued support. (You may wish to make your pledge today through the church app or website.) Thank you for your attention to this important spiritual matter.

As ever, thank you for your commitment to Christ through the ministry of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church! See you Sunday!