Thanks be to God, Amen

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Thanks be to God, Amen

May 11, 2018

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you well. I also hope you are planning to be present for worship this week. Of course, this Sunday is Mother’s Day. It is a time of celebration as we remember our mothers and the women who have nurtured us and give thanks to God for them. As a part of our celebration, we will honor the oldest mother present and the newest mother present at each of our worship services. I hope you will join your mom to worship here at Peachtree Road.

Certainly, this can be a difficult day for some. I am aware that there are families in our church who are experiencing their first Mother’s Day without their mother. It is holidays like these that seem to renew the grief we have experienced. You will not be alone in that emotion on Sunday. I also am aware that there are others who experience a different kind of emotion on Mother’s Day – one borne out of grief from the death of a child or a sense of emptiness at not being a mother. It can be difficult to join in the celebration on days like this. In our worship, in the words of the creed in our hymnal, we affirm: “In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us. We are not alone. Thanks be to God. Amen.” My hope is that everyone who worships with us on Sunday will experience the comforting presence of God in our midst.

The message this week is entitled “When You’re Running on Empty,” and we will encounter the faith of two women from the Old Testament – Naomi and Ruth. I encourage you to read the story in Ruth 1:6-22 before worship on Sunday, and I hope you will join us this week.

I do remind you that we will receive the Wesley Woods Mother’s Day Offering this week. Each year on Mother’s Day, United Methodist congregations from throughout the North Georgia Conference receive an offering for Wesley Woods. Since 1953, Wesley Woods has been making the retirement experience healthy and fulfilling for older adults of all income levels, races, and faiths and provides affordable residential and healthcare services. Because of the generosity of Methodist people from throughout North Georgia, Wesley Woods is able to provide the assistance many older adults need. Your giving is changing lives! I hope you will join Wendie and me in giving generously this Mother’s Day when the offering plate is passed. You always have led the way in your giving. Please make your check payable to Peachtree Road United Methodist Church and mark it for Wesley Woods or give through the church app or online through the church website.

This week we are celebrating graduation from seminary with two of our own – Geoff Beakley and Elizabeth Byrd. Each is completing three years of graduate work at Candler School of Theology at Emory University, and they are receiving the Master of Divinity degree. I also am pleased to announce that they both are being appointed to Peachtree Road as clergy members of the North Georgia Annual Conference. Geoff will be a full-time local pastor, and, while he will continue to be a part-time pastor on our staff, his primary appointment will be as the director the Wesley Foundation at Georgia Tech. Elizabeth has been serving as a ministry intern on our staff, and I am pleased that she will be joining us as a full-time member of our ministry team. They are graduating Monday morning. When you see them, offer your congratulations on their achievement.

Finally, some of you have asked me about the work of the Commission on a Way Forward for the United Methodist Church. The commission has completed its work, and last Friday the Council of Bishops recommended that the three proposals the commission has been studying be forwarded to a special called session of the General Conference next February. In addition, a majority of the members of the Council of Bishops has endorsed a proposal known as the “One Church Model.” The Judicial Council will be meeting next week to make sure all that is being recommended is in compliance with the Discipline of the United Methodist Church. Please know that even after the special session of the General Conference, it will take some time before any recommended changes are implemented. If you are interested in reading more about the work of the commission, you may follow this link.

Peachtree Road is an amazing community in which to worship, grow, serve, and share. I look forward to worshiping with you on Sunday and then serving with you throughout the upcoming days.

Bill

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