An Invitation to a Special Day

April 8, 2022

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are well. As I write these words, we are merely hours away from Palm Sundayand the beginning of Holy Week. We have designated this as “back to church” Sunday at Peachtree Road UMC. Please accept this note as your invitation to join us in person for worship at 8:45 am, 10:00 am, or 11:15 am this Sunday. Palm Sunday always has been one of our favorite Sundays of the year here at Peachtree Road; however, the pandemic has made our celebrations the last two years more somber. Well, the celebration is back! With the children entering the sanctuary waving their palm branches, the beautiful music offered by the choirs, and, yes, our favorite donkey “Jerusalem” leading the procession at the 11:15 am service, this Palm Sunday will be extra special. I love the passage we will read at the beginning of worship:

Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” – Mark 11:9-10

With this triumphant passage setting the initial tone for the day, we will bring our Lenten series entitled “Following Jesus” to a close. Over the course of the last six weeks, we have followed Jesus from the banks of the Jordan River, where he was baptized by John, to the wilderness where he was tempted by Satan, to the mountaintop where he preached his Sermon on the Mount to Capernaum, where he healed Peter’s mother-in-law in her home. We have just one leg on our journey – to Jerusalem where we will hear him pray in the Garden of Gethsemane: “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me…” You and I know the agony of that prayer because we have prayed it before. I look forward to worshiping with you Sunday as we consider Jesus’ late-night agonizing prayer. Please join us in person at 8:45 am, 10:00 am, or 11:15 am or online by Livestream at prumc.org.

Speaking of Sunday, please join us at a congregational luncheon in Grace Hall from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm. The menu will feature baked ham, BBQ chicken, honey-butter biscuits, macaroni and cheese, roasted green beans, and coconut cake. I hope you will come and enjoy a delicious meal and good fellowship as we begin this holiest of weeks together. The charge for the meal is $10 for adults, $5 for children under the age of 12, and $40 maximum for a family. I hope you will join us for a wonderful time of fellowship.

As we move into Holy Week, you are invited to join us for our midday services Monday through Thursday in the Moore Chapel. These thirty-minute services begin at 12:00 noon and are followed by a luncheon in Grace Hall. If you cannot make it in person, the services will be Livestreamed at prumc.org. The schedule for the week features the following preachers and soloists:

  • Monday – Rev. Leslie Watkins / William Green
  • Tuesday – Rev. Geoff Beakley / Julia Glicksberg
  • Wednesday – Rev. Darren Hensley / William Green
  • Thursday – Rev. Julie Wright / Emily Skilling

Our Holy Thursday service will be held in the sanctuary on Thursday, April 14, at 7:00 pm with Elizabeth Byrd preaching. We will celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion as we 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 as an invitation to join in somber reflection upon God’s sacrificial love for us.

We will bring the season of Lent to a close by joining with other Christians from throughout Buckhead for a special Community Good Friday Service on Friday, April 15, at 12:00 noon at Wieuca Road Baptist Church. We will worship with members from the Cathedral of Christ the King Roman Catholic Church, New Hope African Methodist Episcopal, Peachtree Presbyterian, and Second Ponce de Leon Baptist, as well as Wieuca Road Baptist in this service. Rev. Rich Kannwischer, Senior Pastor of Peachtree Presbyterian, will be the preacher for the service. I hope you will join us for this particularly meaningful time of worship as we reflect upon Christ’s seven last words from the cross.

In addition to these services of worship, let me remind you of a couple of other opportunities for service during Holy Week:

  • Lenten Offering – our special offering for this season will benefit the local agencies with whom we partner to transform the lives of others. As a part of your Lenten discipline, I encourage each of you to consider giving at least $60 ($1.50 a day for 40 days) toward the offering. Your sacrifice will change your life for the better, and your gift will change Atlanta for the better! You may make your check payable to Peachtree Road UMC and mark for “Lenten Offering” or give online at prumc.org.
  • Easter Cross Flowers – each year we decorate the cross out in front of the sanctuary on Peachtree Road with flowers as a beautiful symbol of our faith in Christ and the Resurrection. This year members of the Flower Guild will be out in front of the church on Saturday morning, April 16, between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm to receive your flowers. Please share them with us and help us offer a beautiful message to our city: Christ is Risen!

I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we begin Holy Week together!Grace and peace,

Bill

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