The Wonder of Christmas

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The Wonder of Christmas

December 7, 2018

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are doing well. At the close of this note I have some important information about parking for upcoming special evening services. However, I want to begin this week by letting you know about three opportunities coming up this Sunday:

  • “The Wonder of Christmas” – we will continue with our series of messages this Advent season as we focus upon “Hope – Giving Up on Perfection.” Last week we described Christmas as a time of miracles and remembered that God still is at work in our world and miracles still do occur – especially when we are open to the Spirit working in us and through us. This week we will remember that Christmas also is a season of hope. Some do not experience this hope because they are so focused on doing everything perfectly – the perfect Christmas tree, the perfect pose for the family Christmas card, and the perfect meal for the perfect party. It’s enough to drain you and leave you feeling listless. If that’s how you feel, then this message is for you. Plan to join us for worship Sunday morning and invite someone you know who might be struggling in his or her life to join you for worship this week at Peachtree Road.
  • Water for Kenya – you are invited to experience through virtual reality the miracle of clean water that is taking place in Kenya. On Sunday morning at 10:00 am, come to Grace Hall and meet Lucas, a young Kenyan boy whose family recently received a water filter provided by our church. See for yourself the water he was drinking and marvel at the transformation that has taken place in his community. Once again this year our Christmas Eve offering will go to provide water filters for folks in Kenya. Just think, your $40 contribution could help buy clean water for Lucas’ neighbors in the Kabazi region for the next 10 years! You certainly don’t have to wait until Christmas Eve to give! Watch the video here and give the gift of hope now through the church app or website. Thank you for your generosity.
  • Many Moods of Christmas – Peachtree Road’s “can’t miss” Atlanta holiday tradition is set for this Sunday evening at 5:30 pm in the sanctuary. This year’s concert features Christmas hymns and traditional carols with new arrangements by the Peachtree Road Chancel Choir, Georgia Boy Choir, soloists, and members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. We are expecting a full house, so get your tickets at The Dogwood Gift Shop and plan to arrive early to enjoy the beautiful music.

Also, let me thank you for your generous giving throughout 2018 and offer you some encouragement concerning some financial matters.

  • Annual Budget – the Finance Committee met earlier this week, and it was reported that we need an offering of $1.6 million during December to finish the year on budget. While that sounds like a daunting task, that amount is a little more than the average we have received during December the last three years. Giving statements went out earlier this week, and I encourage you to make every effort to fulfill your pledge. I realize we made such a concerted effort to meet the “challenge gift” for this year and retire the debt that some may have diverted giving from the operating budget. If you are in a position to help us meet all of our commitments by making an extra gift, your church would be most grateful. Appreciated stock may be the most convenient way you can give, and we would receive your gift with gratitude. Please contact Roger Laney in the business office for assistance. Know that your church is grateful for your generosity.
  • Christmas Kindness – thank you for your generous giving toward Christmas Kindness last Sunday. The special offering was $17,758 and will be put to very good use purchasing winter coats, small appliances, and toys for families helped in cooperation with our partner agencies here in Atlanta. If you would like to contribute to the offering, please do so through the church app or the website.
  • “All In!” 2019 Pledge Campaign – to date, we have received 513 pledges for almost $3.6 million for an average pledge of $6,881. The breakdown is as follows:
    • 200 pledges are the same as last year
    • 194 pledges have been increased over last year by $132,413
    • 53 pledges have been decreased from last year by $85,000
    • 61 pledges are new this year for $247,331

Thank you to all who have pledged toward next year’s budget. The key will be for us to hear from every member (especially those who gave last year). Please make your pledge as soon as possible so we can firm up our plans for ministry for 2019.

Finally, let me offer a word about parking for our upcoming special services. There are signs posted in the Buckhead Forest neighborhood and behind the church that state parallel parking is not permitted on the streets after 7:00 pm Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The signs are very old and have rarely been enforced. It came to my attention that several of our members who parked on Mathieson Place in front of the student center last Sunday evening for the Great Tree Lighting service were ticketed. We have reached out to the City asking that we receive “relaxed enforcement” of this restriction through the Christmas season. We are waiting to see if that request will be granted. We ask that you not park in front of the homes along West Shadowlawn and Mathieson Drive. If you do, you may be ticketed. We are continuing to work to identify opportunities for safe parking for these special evening services, but you may want to consider carpooling with your friends and neighbors or Uber/Lyft. We hope to be able to give you a definitive word by the end of today. Thank you for your understanding.

I appreciate your attention to this information and look forward to seeing you on Sunday morning and at the “Many Moods of Christmas” concert Sunday evening!

Bill

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