Daniel Ogle, Associate Minister at Buckhead-based, Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, delivered a message of encouragement and inspiration to begin the June 5th Transform Westside Summit. A relative newcomer to Atlanta, Ogle has been a frequent Summit attendee, returning time and again for the opportunity to establish relationships and build community.
Ogle’s thoughtful message was intended as a “word of hope” at the end of a week that saw our nation seemingly engulfed in demonstrations and unrest after the killing of George Floyd. Referencing the book of Acts and the story of Nehemiah from the Bible, Ogle emphasized two main points. First, that living a life of purpose and integrity, especially during these times, involves “being a witness.” Ogle elaborated, “Whether we’ve been aware of problems and challenges our whole life because we’ve lived them, or whether we’re just now becoming awakened to what’s been going on…” we have the opportunity to “talk about what we’ve seen and heard” and, indeed, are called to use the gifts we have as individuals. This, Ogle says, makes each of us essential to “God’s work of reconciliation and making things new.”
The Pastor then called back to the story of Nehemiah to illustrate the same idea that we each have a role to play in rebuilding what is broken in our society. This led to Ogle’s second, hopeful point: that in a time when many of us feel we don’t have all (or enough of) the answers, our collective wisdom and energy will be what powers progress on the Westside. Ogle ended his message with the call and reminder that progress for our community depends on everyone stepping in and stepping up to participate.
View Daniel Ogle’s devotional message in the video below starting at minute 9:40.