November 28, 2019
Dear Peachtree Road Family,
Happy Thanksgiving! I am writing you on this Thursday morning to wish you a wonderful holiday and express my gratitude for your faithful support of the ministry of Peachtree Road. As was clearly evident last Sunday, we are abundantly blessed!
- We were blessed by the work of the Flower Guild – the arrangements of cornucopia on the altar and flowers in the narthex table were stunning!
- We were blessed by the spirit-lifting arrangement of “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” presented by the Chancel Choir and Doxology Youth Choir (accompanied by the Atlanta Brassworks) and the singing of the spiritual “Amen” at the close of worship
- We were blessed to welcome 26 new members into the active membership of Peachtree Road
- We were blessed by the delicious meal of turkey and dressing prepared by Chef Bob and the warm fellowship in Grace Hall following worship
- We were blessed by the Advent Workshop that took place in Grace Hall later that afternoon, helping us prepare for the upcoming season
In short, we were blessed last Sunday!
I am pleased to announce that our “All In!” pledge campaign is progressing well. We have received 635 pledges for $3.97 million. You may be interested to note the following:
- 394 pledgers increased their pledge over last year by $783,136
- 178 pledgers left their pledge the same as last year
- 63 pledgers decreased their pledge from last year by $118,603
- 82 pledges are new this year
- The average pledge that we have received is $6,250
This is an excellent start toward our goal for this year. If you have not made your pledge yet, please take the time to do that this weekend. The most convenient way is to pledge online through the church app or website. Please know that every pledge is important and helps our ministries of worship, nurture, outreach, and witness go forward. I am grateful for your support.
Finally, I hope you are planning to join us for worship this Sunday as we begin the season of Advent. This year’s series is entitled “Looking for Jesus,” and we will consider the search for Christ from the perspective of several biblical characters:
December 1 | Matthew 2:1-3, 16-18 | Herod
December 8 | Matthew 2:1-12 | Wise Men
December 15 | Luke 2:22-38 | Simeon and Anna
December 22 | Luke 2:8-20 | A Lowly Band of Shepherds
This Sunday we begin the season by acknowledging that not everyone greeted the news of the coming of Christ with joy. King Herod was frightened and all those around him were filled with fear. Does the presence of Christ sometimes frighten you? We’ll talk about that on Sunday.
Please make your plans to join us Sunday evening at 5:30 pm in the sanctuary as the children lead us the Great Tree Lighting service. The children do a wonderful job, and this festive service is the best way to begin the season with your church family.
Thank you for your faith, hope, and love. I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we begin preparing anew for the coming of Christ.
PS – Several of you have asked for the “Ten Hacks for a Better Thanksgiving” I shared last Sunday.
- Everyone stays at the table for a full hour. Set a timer. No one leaves. No one.
- No cell phones at the table. None. If you look at your phone, it goes away until supper. If your phone rings, you are doing the dishes. No exceptions.
Say grace. Old fashioned. Heads bowed, eyes closed, holding hands.
- Remember those who are not in their chairs this year. Speak their names out loud.
- Tell your favorite family Thanksgiving stories.
- Laugh. Tell your funniest family stories to the new people around your table. Let them laugh their way into your family!
- Count your blessings. Focus on what you have in front of you instead of what is missing.
- Love. Tell the people around your table just how much you love them and tell them why. There are no guarantees they will be here next Thanksgiving (or you, for that matter).
- Help clear the table. Watch some football. Take a nap. Go on a walk. Drink coffee. Just don’t go shopping. Retail workers need Thanksgiving too. You can shop on Friday.
- Find a moment to get away by yourself, bow in prayer, and count your blessings. Tell God, “Thank you.”
(These are suggestions by United Methodist minister colleague Shane Bishop of Christ UMC in Fairview Heights, Illinois)