June 7, 2019

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you doing well. Sunday will be an exciting day here at Peachtree Road as we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, the day on which we commemorate the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples. The New Testament book of Acts puts it this way:

“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.” (Acts 2:1-4)

Taking a cue from that first Pentecost, our worship promises to be a festive time of wonder and joy. The music will lead us into God’s presence and help us experience God’s power for living today. The liturgical color for Pentecost is red, and I encourage you to wear red this Sunday to help us celebrate!

At the close of the services, we will recognize those who have participated in Disciple Bible Study this year. Along with Sunday School, Disciple is the primary place where many of our members experience spiritual transformation through Bible Study. I look forward to recognizing and honoring this year’s participants.

I remind you that the 153rd Session of the North Georgia Annual Conference is set for next week at the Classic Center in Athens. Peachtree Road will be well represented. Geoff Beakley, Elizabeth Byrd, Daniel Ogle, Carolyn Stephens, Leslie Watkins, Julie Wright, and I will serve as clergy delegates from our church while Merritt Bond, Claire Bowen, Susan Rinkowski, and Grace Sanders will serve as our lay delegates. Others present from Peachtree Road will include Tom Cook (Conference Chancellor emeritus), Katie Cook (administrative assistant for the Atlanta-Roswell District), and Ben Fletcher (student at Candler School of Theology). Also, Jamie Jenkins, Lindsay Geist, Mace Hall, and Darren Hensley who are clergy members of the North Georgia Annual Conference whose charge conference affiliation is Peachtree Road, will be attending.

There are three important matters I commend to you for your prayers:

  • First, I invite you to pray for Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson as she presides over our Annual Conference. The theme for this year’s conference is “One with Each Other” and we will focus upon what it means to fully live into the words of our liturgy: “…one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world.” Our teacher for the week will be the Rev. Dr. Gary Mason, a Methodist clergyperson based in Belfast, Northern Ireland who works internationally with opposing political and faith groups to bring about peace and reconciliation.
  • Second, on Thursday, June 13, the Service of Ordination and Commissioning will be held in the Classic Center Theater at 7:30 pm. At this service, our own Geoff Beakley will be commissioned as an elder in the North Georgia Conference. Also, Jessica Ethridge Chicken, daughter of John and Cindy Ethridge, will be ordained a full connection deacon. If you would like to watch online, the service will be broadcast on the Conference website at 7:30 pm.
  • Finally, this year is an election year for delegates to next year’s General Conference, and Peachtree Road member Ben Fletcher is eligible to be elected as a lay delegate. Ben has completed his first year of studies at Candler School of Theology and is the son of Kathy and Paul Fletcher. Of course, Kathy is our director of children’s and youth music. We wish Ben well as he offers himself to the conference.

Please keep him and all of our delegates in your prayers this week.

Finally, I want to remind you that our Freedom Sunday celebration is set for Sunday, June 23. On that occasion we will sing patriotic hymns, honor our veterans, and reflect upon our citizenship in the USA and the kingdom of God. Let me take this opportunity to invite you to be a part of the festival choir for that day. There is only one rehearsal and it is on Wednesday, June 19 in the Music Suite. Just show up at 6:30 pm to sign in, receive your music and robe assignments, and join others for refreshments and fellowship. The rehearsal is from 7:00 – 9:00 pm. Then, on the morning of June 23, you will meet at 8:15 am in the Music Suite to lead both the 8:45 am and 11:15 am worship services. This is a fun opportunity to show your patriotic spirit.

As I have been preparing for Sunday, a little chorus penned by Edwin Hatch has been running through my mind:

Breathe on me, breath of God, fill me with life anew,
That I may love what thou dost love, and do what thou wouldst do.

I hope to see you Sunday as we seek to breathe in God’s Holy Spirit and live out our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. And remember, wear red!