February 17, 2023

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are well. Last Sunday was Youth Sunday here at Peachtree Road UMC, and our students led us well in worship – their enthusiasm was contagious, and 13 of our seniors offered inspirational testimonies of how their faith has grown through their participation in this ministry.

It was interesting to note that all who spoke Sunday grew up here at Peachtree Road UMC. They were baptized in this sanctuary; they received a Bible as a third grader while kneeling at the altar and learned to use it in Ed Hamlin and Jay Christopher’s Sunday School class; and they stood before us as members of the Confirmation Class to make a profession of faith in Christ and join the church. When their journey began at the baptismal font, we prayed for them and hoped that a spiritual foundation would be laid in their lives upon which they could build a relationship with Jesus Christ. We believed that a life built upon the solid rock of Christ would enable them to thrive even when the inevitable storms of life came upon them. On Sunday, we witnessed the answer to our prayers! I am grateful to our director of youth ministries Chris Mucha and his associates Mary Allred, Rachel Hockman, and Ryan Holder as well as youth choir director Kathy Fletcher and the many volunteers who have given of their time to help guide our children and youth. If you would like to contribute to the special offering for our youth ministry, it’s not too late and you may do so here. Thank you for your support.

Sunday promises to be a great day at Peachtree Road UMC as we make final preparations for the upcoming Lenten season. This week in worship we will celebrate the Transfiguration of Christ and focus upon its significance and relevance for our lives today. I encourage you to read the account as described in the Gospel of Luke:

“About eight days later Jesus took Peter, John, and James with him and went up on a mountain to pray…”

We will think about the power of prayer, spiritual awakenings, and how a glimpse of glory can inspire us in our spiritual walk. I hope you will read Luke 9:28-36 in advance and plan to join us either in person or online.

The Georgia Boy Choir, our ensemble in residence, will be with us Sunday to sing at each service in the sanctuary. They are preparing for their upcoming concert at Atlanta Symphony Hall, and you can read more about that and get tickets to the performance here. We are blessed to have them as a part of our church and look forward to hearing them Sunday.

Please plan to join us for a fellowship luncheon after church on Sunday in Grace Hall. We will enjoy a Mardi Gras celebration complete with a menu featuring pancakes, bacon, toppings, and fruit. The cost is $8 for adults and $4 for children under the age of 10. Please join us for the fun and fellowship

This week we will receive our annual Sponsor a Child special offering to help break the cycle of generational poverty in the country of Georgia and support a program designed to provide year-round food, medical care, and educational opportunities for 300+ children. Your gift of just $1 a day ($365 for the year) will give hope to a child living in the poorest, rural areas of that country. You may discover more information here and sign up to sponsor a child and transform his or her life.

As mentioned earlier, this next week marks the beginning of the season of Lent. We will begin the season on Wednesday, February 22 with our Ash Wednesday services. You may find a link to those offerings featuring the imposition of ashes here. In addition, I encourage you to observe a holy Lent by practicing the following spiritual disciplines:

  • Fast – our congregation will follow the Wesley Fast during this season by fasting each week from Thursday evening until Friday afternoon after 3:00 pm. John Wesley advocated fasting to the early Methodists as a way of remembering our identity. Food does not sustain us. God sustains us. I encourage you to join us in this fast.
  • Pray – we also will participate in an intentional time of prayer during this season. You will receive guidelines on how to silence the noise around you, quiet your spirit, and grow deeper in your relationship with Christ. Let us pray fervently in these 40 days.
  • Give – once again this year our special giving through the Lenten Offering will be used to support the agencies and ministries in the Greater Atlanta area with whom we partner. As you give up a couple of meals each week, consider giving the money you will save to this offering.
  • Serve – our “Season of Service” is a great way to serve others and make an impact in our community. I hope you will join us in this year’s emphasis under the title “Together We Serve.” You may find a list of projects and sign up here.

Finally, let me issue one last call to join us later this year on a “Journeys of Paul Cruise” to Turkey and Greece. Jamie Jenkins and I will be leading a trip tracing Paul’s 2nd and 3rd missionary journeys this fall (October 20-30), and we have just a few cabins left! Join us aboard the Azamara Onward for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the land of Paul with other United Methodists. The online brochure is here. For more information, please contact Jamie Jenkins at jamiej@prumc.org

Thank you for the faith in God, hope for the future, and love for one another that you exhibit in so many ways. I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we catch a glimpse of Glory together.

Grace and peace,