June 9, 2017
Dear Peachtree Road Family,
I hope you are doing well. I want to begin this week’s note by letting you know about the death of one of our oldest members – Georgia Harris. Had she lived one more month, Georgia would have been 102! This saint of the church has finished her race; she has kept the faith; and we are grateful for what she has meant to Peachtree Road. May Georgia rest in peace and rise in glory!
This Sunday, our associate minister Matt Nelson will preach his final sermon here at Peachtree Road at the 8:45 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. services. He, his wife Anne, and their children Caleb and Sarah are preparing to move after Annual Conference to Hickory Flat UMC in Canton where Matt will be the senior minister. We are grateful for the tie that has bound us together with the Nelsons the last two years. A reception will be held immediately following both services, and I hope you will take the opportunity to personally speak to them and wish them well. It will be a good Sunday.
Speaking of Annual Conference, the 151st Session of the North Georgia Annual Conference is set for next week at the Classic Center in Athens. Peachtree Road will be well-represented. Matt Nelson, Julie Schendel, Leslie Watkins, Julie Wright, and I will serve as clergy delegates from our church while Merritt Bond, Claire Bowen, Susan Rinkowski, Grace Sanders, and Josh Stephens will serve as our lay delegates. Others present from Peachtree Road will include Tom Cook (Conference Chancellor), Katie Cook (Administrative Assistant for the Atlanta-Roswell District), Caleb Nelson and Clara Watkins (youth delegates at-large), Jamie Jenkins, Lindsay Geist, Mace Hall, and Darren Hensley who are clergy members of the North Georgia Annual Conference whose charge conference affiliation is Peachtree Road.
There are three important matters I commend to you for your prayers:
First, I invite you to pray for Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson as she presides over our Annual Conference for the first time. She has expressed her hope that this week delegates will catch a glimpse of what Bishop Robert Schnase describes in his book Seven Levers: “Imagine gathering lay and clergy from all the congregations together in one place to reconfirm who we are, what we do, and why it matters. Imagine high-quality worship, preaching, teaching, and service that clarify our common mission, connect us with one another, stimulate best practices, renew our spirits, and help us rededicate ourselves to Christ and to the people God calls us to serve.” Please pray for her as she leads.
Second, on Wednesday, June 14, Leslie Watkins will be ordained as a full-connection Deacon at the Service of Ordination and Commissioning. Leslie is our associate minister and provides leadership with our young adults and creation care team. The ordination service is a high and holy moment in the life of the Annual Conference. If you would like to watch online, the service will be broadcast on the Conference website at 7:30 p.m. I encourage you to offer a prayer for Leslie and her family on that special day.
Then, on Thursday, June 15, at 4:00 p.m., Bishop Haupert-Johnson will fix the appointments for ministers for the coming year. At that time, she will announce that Rev. Carolyn Stephens and Rev. Geoff Beakley will be coming to Peachtree Road as our new associate ministers. We look forward to welcoming Carolyn and Geoff on June 25 at the morning services.
It promises to be a good week.
Finally, I hope by now you have received the “Financial Update” newsletter that was mailed out earlier this week. It is a very informative piece, and I am grateful for all who had a hand in putting it together. Our Finance Committee wants to keep you informed concerning these important matters and to clearly communicate our plans for funding all of the vital ministries of the church. Please read it over and let us know if you have any questions or suggestions to improve our support for the ministry of Peachtree Road.
Thank you for your commitment to Christ and the ministry of Peachtree Road. I am grateful for your prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. Please call on me when you need me.