December 30, 2022
Dear Peachtree Road Family,
I hope you are well. Let me begin this year-ending note by taking a glance back at 2022. We dedicated the year to living out Christ’s blessing found in his Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9) Throughout the year, we strived to be peacemakers in our community and world:
- We kicked the year off with a mental health initiative designed to bring peace of mind to folks struggling with anxiety, depression, stress, and addiction. The One Lamb Initiative team offered a number of forums on Sunday evenings and continues to share resources through the church website. This initiative will continue in the coming year, and the One Lamb Initiative will welcome Jane Pauley to Peachtree Road UMC on Monday, January 23, for a conversation about mental health.
- We continued our emphasis on the ministry of hospitality as we seek to help all in our community feel welcome on our church campus. We redeployed our usher and Ambassador teams after the pandemic setback, and we discovered new ways to invite folks to return to in-person worship at Peachtree Road. Our 10:00 am Sunday service in the Moore Chapel has grown to an average attendance of over 75 (we have achieved about 60% of pre-COVID in-person attendance while our online participation remains very strong).
- A little over a year ago, we launched a new campus of Peachtree Road UMC on the Westside of Midtown called The Westside Table. It currently averages approximately nearly 100 each Sunday in worship, partners with Bolton Academy School in that community, and is reaching out to families with children. This new campus is thriving!
- We continued our initiative to build bridges of reconciliation through our partnership with Cascade UMC and local public schools, and this year our congregation responded to the retired ministers’ pension crisis in the African Methodist Episcopal Church with an emergency assistance offering of $50,000.
All of these and so much more were accomplished through your generous support of Peachtree Road UMC. Thank you for your faithfulness in praying, serving, and giving in 2022.
Speaking of your giving, 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 2022 giving statement from Peachtree Road and be deductible on your 2022 tax return. You can mail your gifts 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 here. I know many of you donate stock to the church, and others have found it helpful to donate from a maturing IRA. The church would be delighted to receive your gift in that way. 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 2023! For those who have not yet done so, this is really important. I would be grateful if you could do that this week. You can make your pledge through the church app or online here. 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.
Finally, as we prepare for the New Year, let me recommend this Sunday’s worship service to you. On January 1, our congregation is set to gather for one service at 11:15 am with Rev. Geoff Beakley 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, celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion, and pray the 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.
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,