Faithful Blessings

October 1, 2021

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you well. Let me begin this note by announcing the good news that our associate minister Elizabeth Byrd and her husband Phillip are now proud parents! Tillis Ann Byrd was born on September 29, and weighed 7 lbs 5 oz. Please join us in celebrating Tilly’s birth and praying for Elizabeth and Phillip.

This week we begin a new series for the month of October entitled “Under Pressure.” The stress we all are feeling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is real. Many of you are facing big changes in your life. Worrying about the future and sensing you have little control can be overwhelming at times. Expectations at work may be very high. The uncertainty of it all makes it difficult to plan for the future. Many of you have lost a regular routine that has served you well for many years, including Sabbath rest and a day of worship with other faithful Christians. How are you handling your stress?

During the month of October, our church will be exploring ways in which our faith helps us develop good mental health:

October 3 | Mark 2:1-5 | Caring for Each Other

October 10 | Deuteronomy 6:5-7 | Caring for Ourselves
October 17 | Exodus 18 | When You’re Experiencing Burnout
October 24 | Mark 6:30-32 | Come Apart So You Don’t Come Apart

In addition to these messages, several forums will be offered through our One Lamb Initiative team whose mission is to nurture and embrace mental wellness in a community of connection and support. You may find the schedule of opportunities here.

We will kick off the month by focusing upon one of my favorite Gospel passages – the story of the men who dug through a roof to lower their paralyzed friend to Jesus so he could be healed. (Mark 2:1-5) The title of this week’s message is “Caring for Each Other.” I hope you will make your plans to join us in person (8:30 am, 10:00 am, or 11:15 am) or online at one of these times for the livestream of the service.

Sunday also is World Communion Sunday. On this day Christians from around the world gather at the Lord’s Table to celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Think about that for just a moment. As we eat 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. If you are worshiping online, please prepare your bread and wine before the service so you can join us at the Lord’s Table.

As has become our tradition on the first Sunday in October, we will offer a “Blessing of the Animals” service at 5:00 pm. 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 particular opportunities for this week:

  • Mental Health IS Health Forum: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Psychiatry – Join us this Sunday, October 3 at 10:00 am in Heritage Hall or viaZoom. Psychiatrist Dr. Michael Lyles has worked in the private sector in a community mental health center, state psychiatric hospital and county, state and federal prisons. He is committed to raising the standard of care in the community by teaching gatekeepers such as clergy and primary care doctors, along with lay groups. His major areas of clinical activity are mood disorders, anxiety disorders and ADHD.
  • Midweek in the Moore Chapel – each Wednesday at 12:00 noon, we offer a thirty-minute service as a time for spiritual refreshment in the middle of the week. Our ministers lead this time of prayer and praise with special music and offer a message intended to inspire you for the rest of the week. Come as you are from home or work to the Moore Chapel or join us online. Lunch is available in Grace Hall immediately following the service. Come spend your lunch hour with us on Wednesdays.
One final note concerning the early service on Sundays – beginning Sunday, October 10, we will be moving the first service to 8:45 am in the sanctuary. We now believe the 8:30 am time allotted too much of a gap between that service, Sunday School, and other fellowship activities and are returning to the later time. Thank you to all who offered your feedback. We look forward to seeing you on Sunday mornings at Peachtree Road UMC.

Finally, let me thank you for your faithful financial support of the church’s ministry. Many of you have given regularly throughout the year, and your generosity has helped us keep our facilities open and safe for worship, education, and fellowship opportunities. You have enabled us to reach out to thousands who are struggling in our community and help them get to a better place. You have enabled us to bless families, nurture children, and help students grow in their faith. God has richly blessed us. Thank you for your generosity. As we begin the last quarter of the year, we need your help. During these last three months of 2021, please consider giving an extra gift to help us meet all of our commitments. You may give by check, online, or stock at prumc.org/give. Please let us know if we can be of help to you and, again, thank you for your support.

It is a privilege to worship and serve with you through the ministry of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church!

Grace and peace,

Bill

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