December 29, 2023

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are well. Thank you for helping make our Christmas Eve candlelight services a glorious celebration of our faith. Light indeed shines in the darkness, and the darkness will never overcome it! We had over 5,000 worship in person with us last Sunday and over 3,200 more online. Thank you to all who worked so tirelessly behind the scenes to make our celebration possible. I do not have a final count on the Christmas Eve Offering for water filters in Kenya, but I am grateful to all who contributed. Thank you for helping us change lives through clean water! 

Speaking of contributions, don’t forget that your year-end gifts must be postmarked no later than December 31 in order for them to be included in your 2023 giving statement from Peachtree Road UMC and be deductible on your 2023 tax return. You can bring your gifts to the church office or mail them to:

Peachtree Road UMC

3180 Peachtree Road, NE

Atlanta, GA 30305

We would be delighted to assist you with your giving by cash, check, credit card, electronic funds transfer, or stock gift. Certainly, the easiest way to give may be through the church app or online at I know many of you donate stock to the church, and others have found it helpful to donate from a maturing IRA. Please contact the church business office if you need any help whatsoever. I hope you will help us finish this year well. Please know that an extra gift to the operating budget would be greatly appreciated. 

Thank you to all who have made a commitment toward the operating budget for 2024! For those who have not yet to do so, this is really important. We have many great plans for the coming year, and your pledge will help make those plans a reality. You can make your pledge through the church app or or online at If you have not registered your commitment with us, please let us know of your support this week. Every member plays a vital role in the ministry of Peachtree Road UMC and is important to us.

Of course, Sunday is New Year’s Eve, and we are preparing to bring the year to a close and begin anew. On Sunday, December 31, our congregation is set to gather for one service at 11:15 am with Rev. Elizabeth Byrd preaching. We will follow the pattern John Wesley set for the early Methodists in the 18th century – the Wesley Covenant Service. On this occasion, we will have the opportunity to worship and pray Wesley’s historic prayer as we renew our covenant with Christ:

I am no longer my own but yours.

Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will;

put me to doing, put me to suffering;

let me be employed for you or laid aside for you,

exalted for you or brought low for you;

let me be full, let me be empty;

let me have all things, let me have nothing;

I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal.

And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

you are mine, and I am yours.  

So be it.

Let this covenant made on earth, be ratified in heaven. Amen.

I encourage you to join your friends from Peachtree Road UMC in the sanctuary or online at

Our theme for the coming year is “Rekindle the Flame.” We will pray for revival in our city as we reflect upon the Apostle Paul’s words to his young disciple Timothy: 

“Rekindle the gift of God that is within you…” II Timothy 1:6

I will have more to say about this theme next week but do want you to know about an opportunity to join with your Peachtree Road UMC family in daily scripture reading. Beginning January 7, we will offer a Bible Reading Plan that will take you thematically through the Bible in a year. As we read together, we will cultivate a daily habit of studying the scriptures, and as a result I believe the flame of our faith will burn even brighter within us. Please click the following link to opt into the plan and receive a daily email with the suggested readings for the day:

In addition, I will be teaching two Bible studies this year – one in the spring on the book of Romans and another in the fall on the book of Galatians. These two books were fundamental to the development of the early church, and I believe we will benefit from a return to the basics outlined in these letters of the Apostle Paul. Look for more details in the near future. 

Thank you for your faithfulness. It has been a remarkable year, and I am grateful for you in many ways. You truly are changing the world – here in Atlanta and in faraway places. May God bless you in the coming New Year!

Grace and peace,