April 7, 2017
Dear Peachtree Road Family,
I hope this note finds you and your loved ones well. As I write these words, we are merely hours away from Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week. This is one of our favorite Sundays of the year here at Peachtree Road. The children entering the sanctuary waving their palm branches, the beautiful music offered by the choirs, and, yes, having our favorite donkey “Jerusalem” leading the procession at the 11:15 am service make the day extra special. I love the passage we will read at the beginning of worship:
The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.” (Matthew 21:9-11)
With this triumphant passage setting the initial tone for the day, the service invites us to consider, “To whom do we shout, ‘Hosanna!’ and who do we say Jesus is?” We will bring our series of messages under the theme of “Breathe” to a close as we consider how to live when death draws near. I believe you will find this service to be helpful.
We are offering something new this year on Palm Sunday – a congregational breakfast being served in Grace Hall from 9:00 am until 11:00 am. I hope you will come and join your friends at Peachtree Road for a delicious meal and good fellowship as we begin this holiest of weeks together.
You also are invited to join us for our midday services Monday through Thursday during Holy Week in the Moore Chapel. These services begin at 12:05 pm and are followed by a fellowship luncheon in Grace Hall. The schedule for the week is as follows:
Monday | Julie Wright (preacher) and Will Green (soloist)
Tuesday | Leslie Watkins (preacher) and Clarke Harris (soloist)
Wednesday | Jamie Jenkins (preacher) and Peter Mackenzie (soloist)
Thursday | Darren Hensley (preacher) and Nancy MizeGonzalez (soloist)
Our Holy Thursday service will be held in the sanctuary on Thursday, April 13, at 7:00 pm with Julie Schendel preaching. This service features the celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Communion as we remember Jesus’ last supper with his disciples and the stripping of the altar, signifying the abandonment of Jesus by his disciples and his prayers of anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane. We will leave the sanctuary in somber reflection to close one of the most moving services of the year.
Finally, 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 14, at noon at Peachtree Presbyterian Church. We will join members from Wieuca Road Baptist, Peachtree Presbyterian, the Cathedral of Christ the King Roman Catholic, and Second Ponce de Leon Baptist for the service. I will be the preacher for the service and hope you will join us for these particularly meaningful times of worship as we reflect upon Christ’s love for us.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who contributed toward this year’s Lenten devotional guide. This devotional piece, centered upon the theme “Breathe,” has been both helpful and inspirational. I am grateful to Jamie Jenkins, Darren Hensley, Ed Hamlin, Deidra Harrell, Lindsay Geist, and Marcia Gaddis for their willingness to offer daily reflections that have challenged us to think deeply about our relationships with Christ and one another. We are blessed to have such gifted writers in our congregation. I also am grateful to Leslie Watkins for suggesting the creative idea of offering the guide as an adult coloring book filled with “mandalas” to encourage relaxation and an opportunity for deeper meditation upon the themes of this season. While I admit I did not do any coloring in my book, I have heard from a number in our congregation who did and found the practice spiritually energizing. Thank you to all for this wonderful gift during the season of Lent.
Finally, let me thank you for the support you provided last week for our “Sponsor a Child” emphasis. We were blessed to have Tamuna Grigolia, the program director for the children’s ministry we support in the country of Georgia, with us last week. She directs a program that changes the lives of nearly 350 children, providing them with love, support, and hope for living. Your gift of $330 supports one child in Georgia for an entire year. Please drop by Grace Hall this Sunday, meet Tamuna, and make your gift to sponsor a child for the coming year. Local and global outreach are at the heart of who we are at Peachtree Road, and our commitment to support these life-changing ministries will not waver. Thank you for your support.
Please call on me if you need me. I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we begin Holy Week together!