Back-to-Church Sunday!

April 1, 2022

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are well. I also hope you are planning to join us for worship this Sunday as we continue our Lenten series “Following Jesus.” Each week we are reading from Matthew’s Gospel and following Jesus on his journey to Jerusalem and the cross. We already have followed Jesus to the banks of the Jordan River where we witnessed his baptism, into the wilderness where he was tempted by Satan, onto the mountaintop where he taught his disciples to bless the lives of others, and to a gathering where he spoke about what it means to live an authentic life of faith. This week we will follow Jesus to Capernaum and witness the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law. I want us to think for a few minutes about Jesus’ ministry of healing. Please read Matthew 8:14-17 in preparation, and I hope to see you in person for one of our services: 8:45 am, 10:00 am, or 11:15 am. If you are unable to make it, please worship online through Livestream.

Speaking of Sunday, Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson will release the ministerial appointments for the churches of the North Georgia Conference Annual Conference on Sunday afternoon. At the close of the worship services here at Peachtree Road UMC, we will announce changes to our clergy staff as well, and I encourage you to be present as we share that information.

Also on Sunday, the Musical Stations of the Cross will be offered in the sanctuary at 7:00 pm. You are invited to experience the Passion of Christ through Scripture, Gregorian chant, organ, art, and quiet beauty. The service will be led by organists Patrick Scott and Scott Atchison, conducted by Oliver Brett, narration by John Lemley, and antiphons by Schola.

The Administrative Board met on Monday evening in person for the first time in over two years. It was a very upbeat meeting, and the Board has recommended that we set next Sunday, April 10 (Palm Sunday) as “back-to-church” Sunday at Peachtree Road UMC. Members of our church plan to reach out to offer a personal invitation to every family to make an effort to worship with us in person that day. It will be a grand day of celebration as we gather to remember our Lord’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem and reflect upon his death on the cross. Our children are preparing to sing at the services, new members will be received into the church, and our favorite donkey “Jerusalem” will lead the procession at the 11:15 am service. Following worship, we will gather for a delicious Palm Sunday meal in Grace Hall. I hope you will make your plans to attend one of our services on Palm Sunday as some of us come back to the sanctuary for the first time in two years.

During the season of Lent, we as a congregation annually commit ourselves to service and giving:

  • Season of Service – we are pleased to offer meaningful opportunities for persons of all ages and abilities to reach out and make a difference in the lives of others. Just like the ripples on a pond created when a stone hits the water, your service will have a far-reaching impact on our community. Join us once again to help others in a Season of Service. For more information, click here.
  • Lenten Offering – our special offering this season is designated for some of our ministry partners here in the Greater Atlanta community. As you can imagine, these helping agencies have been hit hard during the last two years (at a time when the need is even greater than ever before). Your giving will help a child to have food to eat; a veteran struggling with addiction to find hope and help; a single dad trying to raise his family to have a place to call home; and a single woman to receive a job and life skills that will restore her self-esteem. I challenge each of you to give a gift of $100 or more to the offering this year. Please join us in supporting our vision of a better Atlanta. You may give online through the church app or the website. Thank you for your generous support. Together, we are changing lives!

Are you interested in becoming a member of Peachtree Road UMC? – a special joining Sunday is set for April 10, and we would love to help you grow deeper in your relationship with Christ and find avenues of service to others through this great community of faith. If you would like to learn more about the steps in becoming a member, please contact our associate minister Elizabeth Byrd at elizabethb@prumc.org.

Finally, let me offer a word of appreciation for Martha Christopher, who retired at the end of March after 32 years on our church staff. Martha has been such a steady leader on our church staff team and has led our children’s ministry with love and grace. Words cannot express how grateful I am for her steady support of me and wise counsel in difficult days. We will have an opportunity as a congregation to express our appreciation to Martha in worship on Sunday, April 24, as we celebrate Baby Day here at Peachtree Road UMC and recognize those babies born within the last year. I hope you will join me at one of the services that day as we say “thank you” to Martha Christopher.

That is it for this week, but I have so much more to share with you about our plans for the future. I look forward to seeing you soon. Please call on me if I can be of help to you in any way.

Grace and peace,

Bill

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