• on Friday, March 12, 2021

Experience God’s Love as Grace

    March 12, 2021

    Dear Peachtree Road Family,

    I hope you are well. Let me begin this week’s message by sharing some very good news with you. Our associate minister Elizabeth Byrd has been approved for ordination as an elder in full connection in the North Georgia Annual Conference. She met earlier this week with the Board of Ordained Ministry, and they saw the gifts for ministry in her that we have seen since her first year of seminary as an intern here Peachtree Road! This is a milestone mark in Elizabeth’s life, and we celebrate with her and Philip this good news. She is set to be ordained at a worship service in June, and we will share information on how you can view the service when plans are announced. Please join me in celebrating with Elizabeth.

    What is your favorite verse of scripture? My guess is that many of you would cite John 3:16:

    “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life.”

    Martin Luther often referred to this verse as “the Gospel in a nutshell.” What the 16th century reformer meant is that God is fundamentally a God of love. As we continue our Lenten series entitled “Suffer and Grow Strong,” I want us to consider how some experience God’s love as grace and others experience it as judgment. In preparation for the message, I encourage you to read John 3:14-21. If you would like to join us in person for worship, please remember to make a reservation here. If you are planning to worship online this Sunday, please plan to follow the link on the church website to the service. I look forward to worshiping with you Sunday.

    Throughout these forty days, we are seeking to grow spiritually through prayer, service, and giving:
    • Congregational Prayer Emphasis – our congregational care team has organized us into neighborhood groups. I hope you are praying for the other seven households in your group by name – one each day of the week. As you pray for others, know that they are praying for you by name also.
    • Season of Service – our “Season of Service” is well under way and will continue through Holy Week. Many already have signed up and are making a big impact in our community. Help us “Love Your Neighbor” during this “Season of Service.” For more information, please contact Beth Spencer at beths@prumc.org or Alison Chiock at alisonchiock@gmail.com.
    • 10 Day Challenge – our task force on Christians for Racial Unity encourages you to consider participating in a “10 Day Challenge” this season. Sharing common experiences are one of the best ways of building relationship bridges, and I encourage you to use this season as an opportunity to broaden your experience by reading an article or excerpt from a book, listening to a dialogue or discussion, or watching a movie or short clip by a person of color or on race relations. You may find resources and activities for each day on the church’s website.
    • Lenten Offering – once again this year our special giving through the Lenten Offering will be used to support the agencies and ministries in the Greater Atlanta area with whom we partner. As you can imagine, the pandemic has stretched many of them very thin, and they need our help now more than ever. I hope you will give generously through the following link.

    I remind you about the special joining Sunday set for Palm Sunday, March 28. An online information session is set for this Sunday, March 14, from 10:00 am – 10:30 am, by Zoom (Zoom meeting ID – 974 0921 8018). This gathering, led by Elizabeth Byrd, is designed to help you become more informed, connected, and involved in the ministry of this great church. The actual New Member Joining Session will be held on Thursday, March 18, from 6:00 pm – 6:30 pm, by Zoom, and a link will be sent to each joiner and his or her shepherd. Please reach out to Elizabeth Byrd at elizabethb@prumc.org for more information. We would love to welcome you into this church family.

    Finally, I want to invite you to consider joining Jamie Jenkins and me on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land next year. A group from Peachtree Road will be traveling through the land of the Bible March 7-18, 2022. I can tell you from experience that this journey will make the Bible come alive for you as you walk in the footsteps of Jesus and enhance your appreciation of the scriptures. In addition to visiting the shepherd fields in Bethlehem, you will take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, renew your baptismal vows at the Jordan River, drink from Jacob’s well, and spend time in the ancient city of Jerusalem and see where Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead. We will have brochures available with detailed information very soon. Please reach out to me or Jamie Jenkins at jamiej@prumc.org for more information. We would love to have you join us on this inspirational pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

    I read the other day that more people now have been vaccinated in this country than have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last year. That is a remarkable statistic and suggests hope that we soon will be able to be together in larger numbers again. Until then, I pray that you are staying healthy and safe. Please let me know if there is anything we can do to be of help to you.

    Grace and peace,

    Bill

    PS – This Sunday marks the beginning of Daylight Savings Time. Be sure to set your manual clocks forward one hour before you go to bed on Saturday evening so you will not be late for your Zoom Sunday School class or worship the next day.

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