June 29, 2018
Dear Peachtree Road Family,
Last Sunday was a remarkable day here at Peachtree Road, and I am so grateful to all who had a hand in its planning and coordination. The annual “Celebration of Freedom” service is a favorite of many in our congregation, but I thought this year’s was especially meaningful. From the patriotic hymns we sang to the music of the large volunteer choir to the parade of veterans to the singing of “God Bless America” by Timothy Miller, it was a special day. If you missed it, you may watch online through the church app or website.
In the sermon, I made reference to the fact that one of the undermining factors in our nation today is the lack of civil discourse, especially in the area of social media. People seem to be bolder and express themselves on social media in ways they never would in face-to-face encounters. Maybe it’s the relative anonymity or the distance the medium provides. This ought not be. On Sunday I shared that if you want a code of conduct for social media, read Ephesians:
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal from the day of redemption. Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has given you.” – Ephesians 4:30-32
What would our lives be like if we heeded these words?
Avoid bitterness, wrath, anger, wrangling, slander, malice
Embrace kindness, tenderheartedness, forgiveness
Note that when we speak harmful words to one another, we grieve the Holy Spirit. In other words, the sensitive Holy Spirit senses that something good has died and is filled with sorrow and grief. While we do not lose the presence of the Holy Spirit, we do lose the power of the Spirit, and we do need the power of the Holy Spirit in order to speak with one another in love and build up the body of Christ. Let’s focus on these words going forward as we seek to live as “one nation, under God.”
This Sunday promises to be a good day as well as we kick-off our Summer in the City sermon series. During the month of July, we will consider several messages from Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount.” We will be focusing upon a different teaching of Christ each week as we join together in singing some of our favorite, familiar hymns. You are encouraged to come casually dressed and enjoy lemonade and cookies out front immediately following the services.
July 1 | Matthew 5:1-13 | Be Blessed | Bill Britt
July 8 | Matthew 5:12-16 | Salt and Light | Julie Schendel
July 15 | Matthew 6:24-34 | Let Go of Worry | Bill Britt
July 22 | Matthew 7:15-20 | Bear Good Fruit | Bill Britt
July 29 | Matthew 7:24-27 | Words and Deeds | Julie Schendel
Let me remind you about our “Party on Peachtree” Wednesday morning, July 4. Please join us in front of the church from 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. as we cheer on the 70,000 participants in this year’s Peachtree Road Race. If you are running the race, swing by and let your church family encourage you. This is a fun event and all are invited to be a part of it.
Finally, last Sunday I announced that we have received $1.5 million in commitments this year toward a $2 million matching gift that will enable us to retire our debt. Stated another way, we are $500,000 away from retiring the debt, avoiding future interest payments to the bank, and ensuring that more of our giving supports the vital ministries of this great church. Now, I am looking for 500 people who are willing to give an extra $1,000 during 2018 to help achieve this goal. We can see the finish line, and I hope you will help us get there! If you would like to be one of my 500, please make your check payable to Peachtree Road UMC and mark it “Imagine Debt Retirement” or make your gift online through the church app or website giving to “Imagine.” If you would like to make a gift of stock, please contact our COO Raymond Reynolds here at the church.
Thank you for your prayerful support of Peachtree Road and its ministry in this community. These are exciting times as we continue to grow into the dream God has for us. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve with you!