The Light of Chris in Our Midst

December 10, 2021

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you well. It has been good to see many of you in person the last couple of weeks in worship, and I hope you are planning to join us this Sunday as we continue our series entitled “Hope Is on the Way!” This week we will light the third candle on our advent wreath as a sign of God’s love for us and will consider the question John the Baptizer sent his disciples to ask Jesus: “Are you the one who is to come or are we to wait for another?” That’s an important question we all need answered, isn’t it? If Jesus indeed is the Messiah, then God’s kingdom has come upon the earth, and hope is blossoming everywhere. Do you see it? Are you experiencing it? Join us on Sunday as we look for the light of Christ in our midst.

Have you made it to one of our special evening services the last two Sundays? A couple of weeks ago, the children led us in “The Great Tree Lighting” service, and last Sunday we enjoyed the wonderful talents of some of our church’s outstanding musicians in the “Carols by Candlelight” service. The service began in the Moore Chapel with the reading of lessons from the scriptures followed by musical offerings by our choirs, continued with one final reading by the tree in the narthex and an anthem by the Peachtree Carillon handbell choir, and concluded in the sanctuary with the singing of several familiar Christmas carols by candlelight. I am grateful to all who had a hand in planning this meaningful time of worship. These services have been good for my soul. Let me remind you of the upcoming special services set for this season:

  • Many Moods of Christmas – this concert, in its 32nd year, is set for Sunday at 5:30 pm in the sanctuary. The Chancel Choir, accompanied by members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Georgia Boy Choir, will offer a concert that has become an Atlanta tradition for the season. In recent years, I have met a great many people from other parts of the state who make the trip into the city just for this concert. We have not set a limit on attendance and encourage you to invite your friends to join us for an evening of beautiful Christmas music followed by a reception hosted by Peachtree Road UMC’s “Friends of Music.
  • Longest Night Service – for many, the holidays can be a difficult time. Our Longest Night Service, set for Sunday, December 19, at 5:30 pm in the Moore Chapel, is designed to help participants find comfort in the midst of grief. Our associate minister Rev. Carolyn Stephens will offer a message of hope, and I invite you to join us in the Moore Chapel for this meaningful service.
  • Christmas Eve – there is nothing like Christmas Eve at Peachtree Road UMC! The sight of worshipers filling our beautiful sanctuary, children acting out the Christmas story, and lighted candles piercing the darkness giving us hope are just a few of the lasting images that come to my mind. You are invited to experience the glory of Christmas Eve at Peachtree Road UMC through one of our 5 scheduled services:
Noon – First Communion of Christmas and Candlelight
4:00 pm – Children’s Pageant and Candlelight
6:00 pm – Children’s Pageant and Candlelight
8:00 pm – Lessons and Carols and Candlelight
10:30 pm – Festival Worship with Eucharist and Candlelight

If you cannot join us in person, be sure to tune in online for one or more of these services.

Now, let me offer some information about several giving opportunities:

  • Christmas Eve Offering – once again, this year’s special offering on Christmas Eve will be used to purchase water filters for those living in the Njoro region of Kenya. One $50 water filter can provide clean water to a family for up to 10 years. Please help us give the gift of hope as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. You maygive now online or purchase a water filter gift card through the Dogwood Gift Shop.
  • Year-End Giving – in spite of the challenges of the last year, we are optimistic that we will be able to cover all our projected expenses. However, in order to do that, we need to finish well. Please do your best to fulfill your commitment to the operating budget and consider giving an extra gift in this season. Thank you for your help!
  • Commit to the 2022 church budget – if you have not yet turned in a commitment card to support next year’s budget, we need to hear from you. Your generosity and commitment honor God and make the church’s ministry possible. All of our worship services, discipleship opportunities, and care for one another and the needs of our community happen because of the gifts you give. You may make your pledge online through the church app or website.

Finally, I need your help to reach out to our shut-in members during this season. We are looking for about 45 volunteers who will take the name of one of our shut-ins and reach out to them prior to Christmas with a card, a phone call, or even a visit to let them know their church remembers them and cares for them. If you can help us, please contact Rev. Julie Wright to let her know (juliew@prumc.org). Thank you for your help.

I look forward to worshiping with you and serving with you in this holy season!

Grace and peace,

Bill

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