November 2, 2018

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you well. I really am looking forward to Sunday as we begin a new series of messages with the theme “We Are Thankful…”

Earlier this year, Jennifer Wallace wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal in which she asserted that one of the great social problems of our day is a sense of entitlement. She quotes psychologist Dr. Richard Weissbourd, faculty director of the Making Caring Common initiative at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, who places much of the blame on the self-esteem movement. As Dr. Weissbourd sees it, parents have been fed a myth that if they constantly praised their children, catered to their every need, and made them feel happy, they would develop character. However, what we’re seeing in many cases actually is the opposite: When parents organize their lives around their children, those children expect everyone else to so as well, and they develop an unhealthy sense of entitlement.

Fortunately, Wallace writes that there is an antidote – gratitude. You and I already knew that, and it is one of the primary reasons we gather for worship each week – to praise God and offer our gratitude for the blessings of life. Our worship keeps us grounded, instills in us a true sense of identity, and prepares us to live fruitful lives. Gratitude.

For the next three weeks we are going to carry that word with us every day. And, in our worship, we are going to be specific in our prayers of gratitude. We are thankful…

  • November 4 | Revelation 21:1-6a | …for All the Saints
  • November 11 | Matthew 9:35-38 | …for the Church
  • November 18 | Matthew 6:25-34 | …for All God’s Blessings

We begin our series this Sunday with the message “We Are Thankful…for All the Saints.” We will be giving special thanks for those members of Peachtree Road who have preceded us into death within the last year. We will stand in their memory, ring a bell, and light candles, as their names are called.

Following the reading of the names, we will have an opportunity to reflect as we hear Tom Crawford play “Going Home” and “Amazing Grace!” on the bagpipes. In addition, you will be encouraged to write down the names of your own personal saints and bring them to the altar as we celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Know this: when we partake of the bread and cup, we are celebrating our connection with all the saints through Jesus Christ. This service is one of the most special of the year, and I hope you will be in attendance.

Speaking of worship, this week we are offering two additional opportunities:

  • Choral Evensong for the Feast of All Saints – you are invited to end All Saints Sunday by joining members of the Chancel Choir and the Georgia Boy Choir in a beautiful service of remembrance at 5:00 pm in the sanctuary. If you would like to come early, Kirk Rich will be offering an organ recital at 4:30 pm.
  • Veterans Luncheon – To honor our veterans, Peachtree Road is sponsoring a luncheon on Thursday, November 8, at 11 am. We will enjoy good food, warm fellowship, and an inspirational program as we express our gratitude to those who have served our country. Reservations must be made by today (Friday, November 2).

From what I read, many Georgians already have voted in advance of Tuesday’s Election Day. Once again, I want to remind you of John Wesley’s advice to Methodists concerning voting:

  • To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy
  • To speak no evil of the person they voted against
  • To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side

We now are in the final stage of our fall stewardship emphasis. I am grateful to all who have turned in a pledge card and especially to those who have increased their pledge over last year. Our theme for this year’s campaign is “All In!” and we would like to include your pledge in the total to help the Finance Committee determine our budget for 2019. The easiest way to pledge is through the church’s app. I encourage you to do three things today:

  1. If you do not have the church app on your smart phone, please download the Peachtree Road app today. Just tap on your smart phone’s app store, type in PRUMC, and, when you recognize our church name, click “Get.”
  2. Go to the “Giving” section and press the “Pledge” option. You will be guided through the pledging process. When you finish, a confirmation will be emailed to you.
  3. Consider increasing your pledge for next year. If you are not yet a tither, I would invite you to increase your pledge by 1% of your income for next year.

It’s really that simple. If you already have the church app, you may want to make sure the latest update has been added to your phone.

Of course, you may pledge the old fashioned way by using a pledge card that will be mailed to your home, or you may pledge online through the church website. Whichever way you choose to pledge, please know it makes a difference as we plan our ministry for the next year. Thank you for being “all in” at Peachtree Road!

Finally, I remind you that this Sunday marks the return of Eastern Standard Time. In other words, you will get an extra hour of sleep on Saturday evening. Please set your clocks back one hour Saturday night so you will arrive on time Sunday for a day of worship and remembrance.

I’ll see you Sunday as we practice “gratitude” here at Peachtree Road!


P.S. Charge conference will be held on Thursday, November 15 at 7:00 pm.