November 23, 2023

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 United Methodist Church. As was clearly evident last Sunday, we are abundantly blessed!

  • We were blessed by the spirit-lifting arrangement of “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” offered by the Chancel Choir and Doxology (accompanied by the Atlanta Brassworks)
  • 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 Jingle Jam that took place later that afternoon, helping families prepare for the upcoming season of Advent

We are blessed!

I hope you are planning to join us for worship this Sunday. This Sunday is the last of the liturgical year and ends with a celebration of the Lordship of Jesus Christ – it is “Christ the King Sunday.” The music promises to be uplifting as we sing two great hymns of the church (“Come, Christians, Join to Sing” and “Lead on, O King Eternal”) and hear our Chancel Choir’s offering – Noel Rawsthorne’s triumphant anthem “Christ Is Our Cornerstone.” I will be preaching a message entitled “He Is Lord of Every Age.” In preparation, I encourage you to read Revelation 1:4-8 and reflect upon what it means that “Jesus is the one who is, the one who was, and the one who is to come.” If you are away from Atlanta this weekend, please join us online at 8:45 am, 10:00 am, or 11:15 am, or even later in the week.

The Advent season will begin next week, and our theme will be “Light Shines in the Darkness.”

December 3                    Luke 3:1-6                Waiting for the Light

December 10                  Luke 2:8-20              A Thrill of Hope

December 18                  Luke 2:25-35            A Weary World Rejoices

You may recognize familiar words in the sermon titles from “O Holy Night.” I hope you will join us each week as we celebrate the coming light of Christ into our dark world. 

Also, make your plans to join us for our special services during this season:

Great Tree Lighting – Sunday, December 3, at 5:30 pm in the sanctuary. The children’s choirs will help us begin the season with a festive service as we celebrate with our church family. 

Christmas with the Georgia Boy Choir – Friday, December 8, and Saturday, December 9, at 7:00 pm in the sanctuary. Come hear all five levels of the Georgia Boy Choir, our ensemble-in-residence, as they perform sacred classics, traditional Christmas carols, and all your holiday favorites. You may purchase your tickets here.

Carols by Candlelight – Sunday, December 10, at 5:30 pm in the sanctuary. You are invited to join us as the Chancel Choir and Doxology Youth Choir lead us in a service of lessons and very familiar carols. The service closes with the lighting of candles as a symbol of our hope that “light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it.”

Many Moods of Christmas – Sunday, December 17, at 7:30 pm in the sanctuary. Tickets for this classic Christmas concert are complimentary but may run out, so reserve your seat today – online, at the Dogwood Shop, or in the church office.
Finally, let me offer an update from last week’s called session of the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. In what was a solemn day, delegates of the Annual Conference ratified the disaffiliation agreements of 261 churches. The requests of four churches were not ratified following discussion by the members of the Annual Conference. Those churches are The Fountain UMC at Sugarloaf in Duluth, McEachern Memorial UMC in Powder Springs, Trinity UMC in Rome, and Griffin First UMC. The date of disaffiliation for the departing churches is November 30, 2023. They have an additional 30 days to fulfill the terms of the agreement which include financial and other obligations. In December, approximately 440 North Georgia Conference churches will continue the work of fulfilling the mission of the United Methodist church in our communities and beyond. Additionally, during the month of December, we anticipate the beginning of several new United Methodist faith communities in our Conference. As I said at the close of my sermon last Sunday, I left the session last Saturday with a broken heart. My home church, Wendie’s home church, and the first church I served out of seminary all disaffiliated. However, I want you to know that the depth of my grief is surpassed by my gratitude for what those churches have meant to me over the years. Though these churches are no longer United Methodist, they consist of our brothers and sisters in Christ. I am determined that we will continue to work together as long as we have life and breath. On this day of Thanksgiving, I hope you will join me in being grateful for those who have mentored us in the faith and pray God’s blessings upon one another. If you have any questions about the future of the United Methodist Church or Peachtree Road UMC, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

Thank you for your faith, hope, and love. I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we celebrate the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our lives.

Grace and peace,