September 4, 2020
Dear Peachtree Road Family,
I hope this note finds you well. As one member suggested in a note to me: “I hope you are staying positive and testing negative!” I want to begin this week’s message on a sad note by letting you know of the death of Karen Greer, the wife of Ron Greer who is the director of the Pastoral Counseling Center here at Peachtree Road. Karen was an extraordinary person who served as one of our church’s ambassadors each Sunday and was blessed with a double-portion of the spiritual fruit of loving-kindness. We will miss her light. Please remember Ron and family in your prayers.
Usually, Labor Day marks the end of the summer and the beginning of the fall season. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, nothing is usual in 2020. The good news I want to share with you today is I do see a light at the end of the tunnel! We are beginning to prepare for in-person worship again, and I hope to be able to share those plans with you very soon. Thank you for your prayers and support in so many ways in the past six months.
I am looking forward to Sunday as we worship online together and consider “The Work of Reconciliation.” In my study in preparation for this message I learned the Greek word for “reconciliation” is not really a religious term; rather, it is found in the realm of politics and refers to dispute resolution. So, on Sunday we will reflect upon Jesus’ instruction to his disciples concerning resolving disputes. If you want to get a head start on the message, please read Matthew 18:15-20.
Last Saturday, the North Georgia Annual Conference met virtually through a Zoom webinar. (I imagine John Wesley was watching over the proceedings from heaven in disbelief!) For 5 hours, we met online and conducted the business of the Annual Conference, and I want to let you know about three major decisions that were made:
- We voted to reduce the number of districts from 12 to 8. We now are part of District 2 (also known as the Central North District), which includes all United Methodist Churches in Fulton and Clayton Counties. Our new superintendent is Dr. Michael McQueen.
- We also voted to reduce the 2021 Annual Conference budget from $20 million to $16 million. The reduction in districts helped make this possible.
- The proceeds from the sale of property from the closing of churches has been moved to a fund to benefit the development of new and existing congregations like our new digital campus targeting those living on the Westside of Midtown.
As we begin the fall season, I want to encourage you to participate in one of our offerings of Bible Study and spiritual enrichment:
- Disciple I Sunday School – Sundays from 10:00 am until 11:00 am beginning September 13 (available by Zoom and taught by Michael Solis and Ashi Parikh)
- Disciple I Fast Track Bible Study – Sundays at 6:00 pm beginning September 13 (available in-person and by Zoom and taught by Ed Hamlin)
- Disciple II Fast Track Bible Study – Sundays from 12:30 pm until 2:00 pm beginning September 13 (available by Zoom and taught by Deidra Harrell and Elizabeth Byrd)
To register for any of these three, please click here.
Other study and fellowship opportunities include:
- Deep Waters: Liminality and the Theologies of Howard Thurman and Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Wednesdays from 6:30 pm until 8:00 pm beginning September 16 (available by Zoom and taught by John Cromartie)
- Stepping Stones – 2nd and 4th Thursdays from 10:30 am until 12:30 pm (available by Zoom and in-person in room A-201)
- Journey Together: Jonah – Wednesdays from 10:30 am until 11:45 am (available by Zoom and taught by Julie Wright)
- Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life – Wednesdays from 6:30 pm until 7:30 pm beginning September 9 (available by Zoom and taught by Leslie Watkins)
- Lectio Divina – September 11 and September 18 at 8:00 am (available by Zoom)
- Fear of the Other: No Fear in Love – a four-week study on Wednesdays at a time to be determined (available by Zoom and taught by Carolyn Stephens)
In addition, we offer small groups for both men and women:
- Women – More than Sparrows and Morning Light
- Men – Monday, Wednesday, and Friday Morning Bible Study groups
To register for any of these studies, please click here.
And one more for parents:
- Hope for Hurting Parents – a ten-week Bible study class offered by Prodigal Child Ministries beginning Monday, September 21 from 6:30 pm until 7:30 pm. This class is supported by the newly-formed One Lamb Initiative as a ministry committed to the mental wellness of our congregation and community. Please contact Jeff and Tina Sandlin for more information.
Finally, let me make you aware of the launch of a new ministry designed to help those who are unemployed or underemployed find connection and encouragement. The kick-off event for this new career connect ministry will be held on Friday, September 25, at 12:30 pm and will feature an inspiring message from our own Bill Curry. For more information, please contact Leslie Watkins.
Thank you for staying connected to your church in these days and please keep the ministry of Peachtree Road in your prayers.
Grace and peace,