June 16, 2017
Dear Peachtree Road Family,
I hope this note finds you doing well. The North Georgia Conference came to a close yesterday afternoon, and it was a good week of renewing acquaintances with friends and colleagues, worshiping with United Methodists from across the state, and conducting the business of the church. Our church was well represented, and I once again came to the realization of just how blessed we are here at Peachtree Road. The highlight of the Annual Conference was the ordination of Leslie Watkins on Wednesday night. The length and depth and breadth of our ministry set the pace for churches in North Georgia and beyond. I am grateful for you!
This Sunday, I will be preaching a message asking the question: “Is Anything Too Wonderful for the Lord?” Those words are a quote from Genesis 18 and were asked following the proclamation to Abraham and Sarah that they would have a child in their old age – they both were in their 90’s! At the announcement, Sarah laughed. There are times when you and I, too, break into laughter at the suggestion of something that seems ridiculously far-fetched. Well, as Abraham and Sarah learned, there is nothing that is too wonderful for the Lord. And that’s what I want us to think about this Sunday in worship.
Speaking of Sunday, I am sure you are aware it is Father’s Day. Did you know that the roots of Father’s Day have ties to the Methodist Church? In 1908, a Methodist church in West Virginia sponsored the nation’s first event in honor of fathers. The next year in Spokane, Washington, Sonora Smart Dodd (who was raised with five siblings by her widower dad) heard a sermon honoring mothers and wanted to do something similar for fathers. Dodd worked tirelessly to inspire Spokane to observe its first citywide Father’s Day in 1910. The observance spread nationwide, and the celebration continues this Sunday, June 19. I look forward to joining with you as we give thanks for the men in our lives who have inspired our faith.
Thank you for helping us send Matt Nelson off well. He preached a marvelous sermon last Sunday. (If you were unable to be in the sanctuary, I hope you will follow the link and listen to his thoughtful message inviting us to a “divine dance.”) I do encourage you to pray for Matt, Anne, Caleb, and Sarah as they prepare for their work at Hickory Flat UMC. We will miss them! We do look forward to welcoming our new associate ministers Carolyn Stephens and Geoff Beakley on June 25. They will be introduced at the morning worship services.
Of course, next Sunday (June 25) is our annual Celebration of Freedom Sunday. This is one of the most anticipated services of the year, and once again we will be singing patriotic hymns, honoring our veterans, and praying for our nation. I will be preaching on the topic “The Heart of America,” and we will reflect upon values found in the life of Moses that are at the core of who we are called to be as a nation. The service will conclude with Timothy Miller leading us in singing “God Bless America.” I hope you are planning to be present and encourage you to invite someone to come with you!
Finally, on a personal note, Wendie and I are grateful to be appointed to serve with you here at Peachtree Road for a tenth year. As I wrote earlier, this is an outstanding church, and we count it a privilege to serve with such wonderful staff and laity in this community. Thank you for your support in so many ways – prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness! We are blessed.
See you Sunday!