Children of God

September 17, 2021
Dear Peachtree Road Family,
I hope this note finds you well. Last Saturday, September 11, we held a prayer service in the Moore Chapel to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of 9/11. We sang, prayed, and reflected upon the promises of God during that service. I left the chapel with the prayer of St. Francis in my heart:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

As I said in my sermon last Sunday, our nation was wounded on 9/11, but we also were united. We laid aside our differences. We were not Republicans and Democrats. We were Americans. We weren’t persons of different races, cultures, or religions. We were brothers and sisters, children of God. We offered one another grace, and stories of sacrifice and acts of kindness toward strangers were commonplace. The unity we experienced in the days and weeks that followed inspired us, and we yearn for that unity once again. Yes, we live in a divided world; however, that which unites us continues to be greater than that which divides us. I encourage you to join us for worship this Sunday as we pray for unity and peace. The sermon title is “Bridging the Gap: United We Stand,” and we will reflect upon Jesus’ words: “…a house divided against itself cannot stand.” I hope you will join us at 8:30 am in the sanctuary, 10:00 am in the chapel, 11:15 am in the sanctuary, or 5:00 pm in the chapel. All four services will be livestreamed through the church website.

Speaking of Sunday, at the 8:30 am service we will present Bibles to our third graders. This is one of those holy moments in the life of our church as we celebrate with the 80+ children we have on roll in the 3rd grade, give them their first Bible, and begin to teach them how to use this book of our faith. I will challenge them to memorize ten particular passages over the course of the next year, and we will celebrate with four 4th graders who accomplished that feat.

As we commit ourselves to the work of being bridge-builders, I want to commend to you two resources that you might find inspirational and helpful:

  • The Courage to Love Devotional Readings – these reflections, written by some of our ministers and members, will give you the opportunity to hear different perspectives and stretch your understanding of what it means to follow Jesus’ commandment to “love your neighbor.” Please sign up here to have the daily readings emailed to you.
  • An Evening with Latasha Morrison – we are delighted to welcome New York Times bestselling author Latasha Morrison to Peachtree Road. She will be with us on Monday, September 27, at 6:30 pm to talk about how we, as followers and believers of Jesus Christ, can work towards bridging the gap with our brothers and sisters of different ethnicities and skin color. This is a perfect way for us to conclude a month-long emphasis on hospitality and reconciliation, and I encourage you to make your reservation for this event through the church website.
Let me remind you that we now are offering a new worship service at 10:00 am each week in the Moore Chapel. Last week was our first Sunday, and I was moved by the voices of the choir and congregation as we sang praises in that intimate, beautiful room – the acoustics there are amazing! Come worship with us and hear for youself as we sing, pray, and celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion.Finally, I encourage you to remember those “missionaries” from Peachtree Road we commissioned last week who are launching the Westside Table this Sunday. This is our second campus located on the Westside of Midtown. Our associate minister Daniel Ogle will serve as the campus pastor, and weekly in-person worship begins this Sunday at 11:00 am at Roundtop Brewery. Please join me in praying for this new initiative designed to help folks in a fast-growing part of our city experience the grace of God we have found here at Peachtree Road.

I am grateful for your faithfulness in so many ways to Christ and the ministry of Peachtree Road. We are set for a wonderful fall season, and I hope you will find your place with us!

Grace and peace,

Bill

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