November 22, 2019
Dear Peachtree Road Family,
I hope you are doing well. I really am looking forward to worship as we celebrate Harvest Sunday here at Peachtree Road. As our hymn for the day reminds us, “We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessings…” I do want to encourage you to take some time this next week to make a list of God’s blessings in your life from the last year for which you are grateful. And, to help you get started, allow me to share part of my list with you.
I am thankful…
…for the fun opportunity to lead the referees for Super Bowl LIII in pregame worship
…for a new phone app that allows me to have a conversation with my deaf mother in real time
…for a “Year of Hope” that has given us a new sense that through Christ all things are possible
…for a Christmas Eve miracle: you gave over $270k to provide clean water in Kabazi, Kenya
…for a Lenten season that stirred our compassion and raised $310k for local ministry partners
…for a Lenten Study in Racial Reconciliation with the folks from Cascade UMC
…for the privilege of officiating at weddings and baptizing babies – two of my favorite things
…for the 44 “saints” we remembered three weeks ago on All Saints Sunday
…for an altar overflowing with 74 youth on Confirmation Sunday
…for lighted candles in a dark sanctuary on Christmas Eve
…for joyous singing in a sunlit sanctuary on Easter morning
…for 174 new members so far this year, 93 of whom have joined on profession of faith
…for the privilege of being the camp meeting preacher for a week at Salem Camp Ground
…for the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul in ancient Greece and Turkey
…for a Great Day of Service, Habitat volunteers, and those who serve in the name of Christ
…for mission teams that go where the need is great, offering clean water, shelter, and God’s love
…for the powerful voice of Timothy Miller singing “God Bless America” on Freedom Sunday
…for Disciple Bible Study groups and those who lead them
…for Sunday School class members who take casseroles to one another in a time of need
…for the talented church staff members who lead our congregation’s vital ministries
…for sunrises at the beach and a cool ocean breeze on a hot summer day
…for our grandchildren Lidia and Lucas – they’re so much fun, we should have had them first!
…for family dinners spent with Will and Sara, son-in-law Diogo and daughter-in-law Gina
…for Wendie who has loved me and put up with me for 36 years of marriage
…for the daily opportunities to worship and serve with you at Peachtree Road UMC
For these and many other blessings, I am thankful!
I hope that will inspire you to make your own list. And while we’re on the subject of being thankful for the church, let me remind you of some wonderful opportunities in the near future:
- Harvest Sunday Congregational Luncheon – come be our guest as we enjoy turkey, dressing, all of the fixings, and warm fellowship in Grace Hall from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm on Sunday.
- Advent Workshop – bring the whole family to Grace Hall on Sunday evening, November 24, from 4:00 pm until 6:00 pm to help prepare for the upcoming season. The food, fellowship, fun, and crafts will put you in the mood for this wonderful time of preparing for Christmas. You may get more details and rsvp through the church app or website.
- Sundays @ 5 this week – you are encouraged to join in the excitement of worship in the sanctuary Sunday morning and the Advent Workshop on Sunday evening, but there will be no Sundays @ 5 this week.
- Christmas Kindness – join your fellow church members as we support many of our partner agencies in Atlanta to help provide warm coats, children’s toys, and household necessities to hundreds of families in need in this season. You can volunteer to serve as a host, wrap gifts, or provide snacks. There are spots still available. You may sign up through the church app or website.
One final note – yesterday our associate minister Rev. Carolyn Stephens took her oath and became an American citizen. She now is a dual-citizen of Jamaica and the United States. Congratulations, Carolyn!
Please know how thankful I am for you. Our thanksgiving leads to joy, and I pray that your joy may be full in this season. See you Sunday!