November 17, 2023

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are well. Thanksgiving Day is less than a week away, and I really am looking forward to worshiping with you this weekend as we celebrate Harvest Sunday here at Peachtree Road UMC. It will be a special day as we sing, pray, and count our many blessings. A complimentary Thanksgiving luncheon featuring turkey, ham, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie will be served in Grace Hall after worship, and I hope you will plan to join your friends at Peachtree Road UMC for a day of giving thanks. 

Over the course of the next week, I also hope you will take time to make a gratitude list of things for which you are thankful from the last year. To help prime the pump, let me share with you some things for which I am thankful. 

I am thankful…

…for a week at the beach spent with all my family for the first time in 17 years

…for days spent in Yellowstone National Park viewing the glory of God’s creation

…for an early morning hike in the Grand Tetons amidst snow and the onset of spring 

…for our church pilgrimage journeying in the footsteps of Paul in Turkey and Greece

…for the thrill of wading in the river outside Philippi where Lydia was baptized by Paul 

…for the talented church staff members who lead our congregation’s vital ministries

…for The Preschool at Peachtree Road UMC that is celebrating its 70th anniversary

…for a Lenten emphasis upon “being still” and sensing God’s presence even in silence 

…for 235 members who have joined our church so far this year, 84 on profession of faith

…for the privilege of officiating at weddings and baptizing babies 

…for lighted candles in a dark sanctuary on Christmas Eve

…for joyous singing in a sunlit sanctuary on Easter morning

…for an altar overflowing with youth on Confirmation Sunday 

…for the 29 saints we remembered three weeks ago on All Saints Sunday 

…for the memories of family members who now are a part of that “great cloud of witnesses”

…for the excitement of spend-the-night parties with our grandchildren…and quiet days after

…for the blessings experienced in 40 wonderful years of marriage to my wife Wendie 

…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, let me remind you of some wonderful opportunities in the near future:

  • Jingle Jam – get into the Christmas spirit early by participating in our Advent Workshop on Sunday, November 19, 4:00-7:30 pm, in Grace Hall. This family event includes seasonal crafts and dinner in Grace Hall, and a screening of the movie Elf with popcorn and hot chocolate outside. Be sure to bring lawn chairs and blankets! You may sign up here
  • Cascade Thanksgiving Giveaway – once again we are teaming up with Cascade UMC on their annual Thanksgiving project to provide food for over 1400 low-income families. Cascade has been feeding those in need for over 20 years, and through our partnership with this great church we have an opportunity to work side-by-side together. If you are interested in being a part of this wonderful holiday project set for November 20 between 8:00 am and 12:00 pm, please contact Beth Spencer (
  • Christmas Kindness – registration is open for Christmas Kindness. Volunteer for this beloved tradition providing Christmas gifts to the community in a dignified and festive manner. Our clients are surrounded by the care of loving volunteers, who help them select and wrap their gifts. We especially need volunteers December 3, 4, and 5. Sign up soon as spots are quickly filling up. 

Finally, I want to invite you to join me next year on a Wesley Heritage tour of England as we explore the roots of Methodism. Earlier this week I looked over my notes from the last time we took a group on this tour, and here were some highlights: traveled to Epworth where the Wesleys were baptized and grew up; walked the grounds of Christ Church College at Oxford University where John and Charles Wesley were educated and ordained and where the “Holy Club” which led to the birth of Methodism was founded; visited “The New Room” in Bristol where John Wesley preached about the unconditional grace of God to thousands and taught class leaders how to lead their small groups; and prayed quietly at the home of John Wesley while remembering his words before taking his last breath: “The best of all is God is with us.” In addition to these highlights for a Methodist preacher, we visited the birthplace of William Shakespeare in Stratford-on-Avon, spent a relaxing afternoon in Jane Austin’s village of Bath, and had tea at Buckingham Palace. Does this sound interesting to you? Then join Jamie Jenkins for one of two informational sessions to gain more information: Thursday, November 16, at 6:30 pm or Sunday, November 19, at 12:30 pm. These also will be available by Zoom: Zoom Meeting 87614943631, Passcode: Trip. Please click on this link to download the brochure or contact Jamie Jenkins ( 

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. 

Grace and peace,