A Letter from Dr. Kannwischer
he late Phyllis Tickle, religion editor for Publishers Weekly, argued that about every 500 years, the church has a “rummage sale.” She was describing a spiritual and cultural cleaning of the attic, a time of significant upheaval and re-alignment in the Christian faith. Roughly 500 years after Christ were the fall of the Roman Empire and the monastic movement. Another 500 years later was the Great Schism, where the Church divided into East and West, Orthodox and Roman Catholic. Yet another 500 years later still was the birth of our particular church tradition, the Reformation, sparked by Martin Luther’s adhering of the Ninety-five Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Church. And now, 500 years removed from the Protestant movement, doesn’t it feel like we are in another rummage sale right now? I am so excited to be joined in Christian leadership with you in the city of Atlanta. This is a critical moment in the history of our church and culture. During this first year in ministry, we’ve already witnessed growth in attendance and a renewed enthusiasm. My prayer is that enthusiasm turns into transformation, even partnership with the gospel. I heard Pastor Rick Warren once say, “The first Reformation was primarily about belief. The next Reformation will be about behavior.” In other words, we not only need to get the gospel right, but to live the gospel out.
This is why I would like to invite you in joining me, not in simply giving to the church, not in merely celebrating a significant milestone of our tradition, but as a personal expression of reformation and renewal in our time. One of the catch phrases of our historic tradition is “reformed and always reforming.” This means that God not only renewed our faith in the 16th century, but is continually reviving us today. I think it is crucial to finish the actual sentence of the Protestants: “Reformed and always reforming according to the Word of God and the call of the Spirit.” We are not conforming to the times, but reforming to God’s Word and the Spirit’s call. All of this is for God’s glory, not ours. Our motivation is not to have a better church, but to point more clearly to our great God. So as they said centuries before, “Soli Deo Gloria,” or, “Glory to God alone.” I like how the artists and Reformers would use short hand for this. They would sign the letter or work, “S. D. G.” With great joy in Christ,
Dr. Richard Kannwischer, Senior Pastor (S. D. G.)
osting the Ninety-five Theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg would change Martin Luther’s life forever.
His whole world revolved around the Catholic Church with which he was dissenting. He could have been giving up his position, his career, or even his life. It’s easy to only think of him now as the Reformer, but at the time, he was a simple monk putting everything on the line — stepping out of sync with the world and out in faith for his God. Luther did this not to display his own intellectual superiority to those around him, nor to astound his peers with his piety, and not even to be remembered in the history books. It was an act of devotion, to give glory to God alone:
Soli Deo Gloria Looking back, the impact of one man’s commitment, when done for the glory of God, seems obvious. From the birth of the Reformation came our own faith tradition, setting forth the primacy of scripture and a focus on justification by faith alone in Christ alone. The proliferation of God’s Kingdom — even today at Peachtree — can be directly traced back to Luther’s legacy.
ased on this legacy left to us by Luther and the early Reformers, we at Peachtree also seek to glorify God above all else. We believe this is true whether serving as a greeter on Sunday mornings, going on a mission trip, faithfully giving each week, or anywhere in between. In everything we do, our aim is to see Christ exalted and the gospel spread.
Knowing where we come from and to what end we serve is only half of the story. A key tenant of reformation is the progression forward. We cannot merely say that we give glory to God in all that we do; we must put our faith into action and share his glory with the world around us, thereby propelling the gospel into our spheres of influence. This is how reformationâ€”true change â€”happens. All it takes is one person, group, or community to step out in faith, and God can handle the rest. On the following pages you will see a few of the ways in which Peachtree is stepping out in faith and watching God work miraculously in our chuch, our local community, and throughout the world.
Peachtree has always been known as a friendly church, and over the past year, we have made even greater strides to making sure every person who walks through our doors — first time guests to charter members — feel the warmth, vitality, and love of Christ.
This past Easter, more than 100 members volunteered to be the friendly faces that greeted guests, some of whom may not feel the presence of God any other time of the year. —·— In the fall, Peachtree’s hospitality initiative
went into full effect, designating special parking for first time guests, adding the Peachtree Express Mini golf carts to our shuttle service, and swelling our hospitality numbers to more than 200 regularly serving volunteers.
Throughout the span of our history, Peachtree has endeavored to serve vulnerable children both locally and globally. Because of your generosity, Peachtree is able to work alongside our partners and support children in becoming who God created them to be.
Over ten years ago, after realizing the prevalance of child sex trafficking in our city, Peachtree began partnering with local churches and organizations to raise awareness, strengthen legislation, and improve care for victims. —·—
Peachtree sponsors hundreds of students in Malawi to attend high school, technical school, and college. Many of these graduates are the first in their families and villages.
hildren & Family
Emphasizing the love of Jesus and service to the community, our children are being taught to reflect the glory of God at home, in their communities, and around the world.
With a focus on loving Christ in a truly authentic community, Peachtree’s student ministry shows 5th–12th graders how to put their belief into action .
Every year, Peachtree reaches out to our local
Retreats like Apex and Metamorphosis and
community by hosting events like the Peachtree Pumpkin Patch and Easter Egg Hunt.
camps like Ducktown and Rutledge give students opportunities to dig deeper and set down roots in their faith alongside their peers.
The Children’s Ministry annually sponsors
a trip to take famlies to Jamaica to serve at the Salvation Army School for the Blind.
Students put their faith into action by taking
Over the last year, the Children’s Ministry
has been doing some reformation of their own, updating the look and feel of classrooms and hallways along with a change in curriculum to focus families on the gospel and its impact in their lives beyond the four walls of the church.
yearly mission trips to places like Costa Rica, Nashville, or even downtown Atlanta.
Ministry-wide area mission projects serving people right here in Atlanta teach students how to be servant leaders in their communities.
Prayerfully consider how God is asking you to contribute to the work of his Kingdom at Peachtree by doing any or all of the following:
·1· Pray and thank God for the gifts he has given you and the ways he will be glorified in the ministry of Peachtree in 2018.
·2· Consider how God is calling you to share your resources with the ministries of Peachtree.
·3· Return the enclosed Estimate of Giving card by mail or bring it forward at one of the worship services on
Generosity Sunday, November 5 or make your estimate online today at:
Published on Oct 26, 2017