Unwavering Faithfulness

January 7, 2022

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

Happy New Year! I hope this note finds you well. The past two years have been as difficult as any I have encountered in my 41 years as a pastor in the United Methodist Church. The challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have been great, but your faithfulness has never wavered. I am grateful for you!

I am hoping that we are living through the midst of COVID’s last stand. It seems the current variant of the virus could turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Yes, the Omicron variant has proven to be the most contagious one yet, but it also has produced the mildest symptoms in people. Researchers project that it will peak in a week or so and then decline just as rapidly as it spiked. So, hopefully, we can learn to live with this virus and mitigate its impact on our health. Therefore, we are planning for our worship services and all our church’s ministries to continue to move forward in faith and hope. I do encourage you to wear a mask for your safety and the safety of others when you are on the church campus.

We have set “Blessed are the peacemakers” as our ministry theme for 2022. When Jesus was teaching his disciples the lessons we have entitled “The Sermon on the Mount,” he gave them the “Beatitudes.” The seventh of those beatitudes is:

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

One of our goals this year as disciples of Jesus Christ is to live into that verse – to be “peacemakers.” We want to help folks discover peace of mind, peace with others, and peace with God. As a result, being a “peacemaker” will be a thread that runs through most of our ministries this year. Especially in these days, I believe it is that important!

We will begin the year with a January sermon series focused upon discovering peace of mind. The series is entitled What Keeps You Up at Night? Each week we will consider the anxieties that rob us of restful sleep and search the depths of our faith for help that brings peace, God’s peace:

January 9 | Jonah 2:1-10 | Past Regrets
January 16 | Philippians 4:4-9 | Present Worries
January 2 | Matthew 6:25-34 | Future Fears
January 30 | Luke 12:16-21 | Financial Stress

I am grateful for the “One Lamb Initiative” team that is preparing resources for us for this month. Please note the following two opportunities:

  • Prayer Service for Healing – on the 4th Sunday of each month, Peachtree Road UMC will begin offering a prayer service in the Moore Chapel at 5:00 pm. This service will be led by our ministerial staff and include singing, readings from the scriptures, a brief message, and an intentional time of intercessory prayer. If desired, participants may ask for the ministry of laying on of hands and the anointing with oil. These rituals have their roots in the ancient church down through the Reformation era to the present day. We recognize that Jesus is our healer, and he offers balance, harmony, and wholeness to our lives in body, mind, spirit, and relationships. Please know that you are not alone in your struggle, whatever it might be. Your ministers and fellow Christians want to pray earnestly for you and for your healing. You are invited to join us for the first prayer service on Sunday, January 23, at 5:00 pm.
  • A Conversation about Depression – on Sunday, January 23, Jamie and Lena Jenkins will lead a conversation about depression at 5:30 pm in the Hospitality Suite. They will help participants learn to recognize the signs of depression in themselves and others, know when and how to ask for professional help, and discover some tools for taking care of themselves and others who are struggling with anxiety and depression. Please take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to learn and grow in the area of mental health.

You are invited to join us as the church’s guest for lunch this Sunday, January 9, immediately following worship in Grace Hall. Chef Bob is preparing chili and cheese sandwiches, and we invite you and your family to join us for warm fellowship and a delicious meal.

Finally, if you are interested in becoming a member of Peachtree Road UMC, we have a special joining Sunday set for January 23, and we would love to help you grow deeper in your relationship with Christ and find avenues of service to others through this great community of faith. If you would like to learn more about the steps in becoming a member, please contact our associate minister Josh Miles at joshm@prumc.org.

Thank you for your prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. I pray that you will experience the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit as we journey through this new year together.

Grace and peace,

Bill

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