March 26, 2021
Dear Peachtree Road Family,
I hope you are well. As I write these words, we are merely hours away from the beginning of Holy Week. This Sunday has two names (Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday) and two moods – joyous as we celebrate Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem and somber as we commemorate his suffering and death upon the cross. And I am okay with that because you and I know that our lives often are a mix of different moods. For example, last year we found ourselves celebrating the gift of time with family members as we “sheltered in place.” At the same time, we groaned with the psalmist and wondered, “How long, O Lord?” (Psalm 13:1) as we dealt with the uncertainty of the pandemic, the anxiety of an economic crisis, and the ugliness of racism. Even now, as we optimistically look forward to the return of a more normal routine, we have witnessed two mass shootings in each of the last two weeks. We wonder, “Is there a word of hope from the Lord for us?” I believe there is, and we hear it in the midst of the many moods of Holy Week.
Sunday worship will begin with a grand procession with our favorite donkey “Jerusalem” once again leading the way. The music offered by members of the Celebration Singers children’s choir, the Peachtree Road Staff Singers, and Chamber Orchestra will make the day extra special. We also will bring our Lenten series entitled “Suffer and Grow Strong”to a close Sunday as we consider God’s offering of hope in the midst of suffering. The service will be broadcast live online here at 11:15 am on Sunday. If you would like to join us in person, please register through the link here.
As we move into Holy Week, you are invited to join us online here for our midday services Monday through Thursday in the Moore Chapel. These 30-minute services begin at noon, and the schedule for the week features the following preachers and vocalists:
- Monday | Darren Hensley | Emily Skilling and Clark Harris
- Tuesday | Leslie Watkins | Rick Latterell
- Wednesday | Geoff Beakley | Will Green
- Thursday | Julie Wright | Nancy Mize Gonzalez
Our Holy Thursday service will be held in the sanctuary on Thursday, April 1, at 7:00 pm with Carolyn Stephens preaching. As a part of this service, we will celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion and remember Jesus’ last supper with his disciples. During the closing hymn, members of the Altar Guild will strip the altar, signifying the abandonment of Jesus by his disciples and his prayers of anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane. We will process from the sanctuary to the chapel, and the bread and cup will be placed on the altar table there in an invitation for us to join in somber reflection. This service will be livestreamed at 7:00 pm online here. If you would like to worship in person, please register here.
Finally, we will bring the season of Lent to a close with our Good Friday Service on Friday, April 2, at 12:00 noon in the sanctuary. Rev. Daniel Ogle will be the preacher for the service. I hope you will join us for this particularly moving time of worship as we reflect upon Christ’s death upon the cross. At the close of this service, we will hear a musical interpretation of Jesus’ death and leave in silence to contemplate God’s sacrificial love. The service will be offered by livestream online here. If you would like to worship in person, please register here.
Throughout these forty days, we are seeking to grow spiritually through prayer, service, and giving:
- Congregational Prayer Emphasis – please continue to pray for the other seven households in your group by name even as they pray for you.
- Season of Service – we have a few projects to do before we wrap up our “Season of Service” and hope you can be a part. This weekend we are working on preserving the historic cemetery at New Hope AME Church. Click here to volunteer. If you need assistance with registration, please contact Diane Scanlan at email@example.com.
- Lenten Offering – once again this year our giving to the Lenten Offering will be used to support the agencies and ministries in the Greater Atlanta area with whom we partner. Please give generously through our online giving page here.
As previously announced, we will be offering two services on Easter Sunday – 8:30 am and 11:15 am in the sanctuary. We opened registration for those who would like to worship in person last week, and it filled up almost immediately. For those who did not make a reservation, we hope you will worship online with us by logging onto the church website any time after 8:30 am. Please plan now to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with us.
Finally, let me make you aware of two opportunities this week:
- Red Cross Blood Drive – Wednesday, March 31, 10:00 am until 3:00 pm, in the Harp Student Center. You may make an appointment to give blood here or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance
- COVID-19 Vaccine Availability – over the course of the next three Saturdays (March 27, April 3, and April 10), our church will be a site where you can receive the vaccine. CORE is making it available to all adults by appointment. For more information, please click here.
As you can see, this is a very busy time, and I look forward to sharing with you in a most meaningful Holy Week.
Grace and peace,