March 31, 2023

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are 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 UMC 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. 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 “The Sound of Silence” to a close. Over the course of the last six weeks, we have focused upon learning to be still, to quiet our souls, and to tune out the noises that distract us and hear the still, small voice of God. I hope you have found this season of fasting and prayer to be helpful. I am looking forward to worshiping with you Sunday as we reflect upon Jesus’ suffering and death upon the cross and its meaning for our lives. We would love to see you in person this Sunday at 8:45 am, 10:00 am, or 11:15 am. Certainly, if you are traveling this weekend, worship with us online through the livestream of the services at

Speaking of Sunday, I hope you also will join us at a complimentary congregational luncheon in Grace Hall from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm. The menu will feature glazed ham, macaroni and cheese, green bean salad, rolls, and strawberry shortcake. I hope you will come and enjoy a delicious meal and good fellowship as we begin this Holy Week together.

While you are in Grace Hall, please support the Peachtree Road Flower Guild Fundraiser. Our own Martha Tate, a longtime garden columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and co-producer of the HGTV series “A Gardener’s Diary,” has written a wonderful book that seeks to set the record straight and right a miscarriage of justice that happened 50 years ago in the city of Nashville. The Last Ride will be on sale Sunday, and Martha has generously offered to use proceeds from her book to restore the Flower Guild’s Cutting Garden. The cutting garden is used to cultivate flowers and greenery for the altar arrangements in the sanctuary and narthex on Sundays. Many of the mature plants were severely damaged by the cold snap we experienced the week of Christmas last year. Books will be available for purchase in Grace Hall, and Martha will be there to sign your copy. These will make excellent gifts and support a wonderful cause. Thank you for your support.

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

  •  Monday                    Rev. Mace Hall                      William Green
  • Tuesday                   Rev. Leslie Watkins             Holly McCarren
  • Wednesday              Rev. Julie Wright                   William Green
  • Thursday                  Rev. Darren Hensley             Holly McCarren

Our Holy Thursday service will be held in the sanctuary on Thursday, April 6, at 7:00 pm with Rev. Josh Miles 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 hosting other Christians from throughout Buckhead for a special Community Good Friday Service on Friday, April 7, at 12:00 noon here at Peachtree Road UMC. Members from the Cathedral of Christ the King Roman Catholic Church, New Hope African Methodist Episcopal, Peachtree Presbyterian, Second Ponce de Leon Baptist, and Wieuca Road Baptist will join us for this service with Rev. David Richards, Senior Pastor of New Hope AME, preaching. I hope you will join us for this particularly meaningful time of worship as we reflect upon Jesus’ death upon the cross.

Finally, in addition to these services of worship, let me remind you of two more opportunities for service during Holy Week:

  • Lenten Offering – once again this year our special giving during the season of Lent 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 are saving to this offering. If each of us gave just $20 a week or $120 for the season, it would make a tremendous impact upon the lives of others. Please give through the church website here
  • Easter Cross Flowers – I want to invite you to help us decorate the cross out in front of the sanctuary 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 8, between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm to receive your flowers. You may bring flowering branches, flowers from your yard, or colorful flowers you have bought. Please share them with us and help us offer a beautiful message to our city: Christ is Risen!

Thank you for all you do to support the ministry of this great church. I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we begin Holy Week together!

Grace and peace,