June 9, 2023

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are well. Let me begin this week’s note with a look back to last week’s Founder’s Day Celebration. It was a wonderful day as we remembered 98 years of ministry in this community and looked forward to staying true to our mission in the coming years. If you have not heard Ed Hamlin’s testimony from last Sunday, I hope you will take a few minutes to do so soon. He talked about how his faith has grown over time as he has become more connected with God and others here at Peachtree Road UMC – first, through his participation in Sunday School with the New Beginnings class, then as a teacher for third-graders, facilitator of Disciple Bible Study for adults, and, finally, as a participant in the church’s outreach in Kenya and the prison restoration ministry right here in Atlanta. You can hear Ed’s testimony here.

Last Sunday also marked the launch of the Peachtree Road Storybook. In honor of our upcoming centennial celebration in two years, we have launched a new website designed to tell the story of Peachtree Road UMC. The opening pages are ready, and each month for the coming two years a new story will be added. If you would like to share your story, please let us know by using the contact form found online at www.PeachtreeRoadStorybook.org. You are a part of the Peachtree Road story!

As I write these words, Wendie and I are away for a few days celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary. We have traveled to Montana and Wyoming and are exploring together Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. So far, we have seen Old Faithful’s eruption, bison (a little too up close and personal for my comfort), some elk grazing in a pasture, a couple of black bears climbing a tree, and a grizzly bear with her two cubs (at a very safe distance!). This is an incredibly beautiful part of the world. We will miss being with you Sunday, but you are in for a treat as our associate minister Elizabeth Byrd will preach. I hope you will worship at Peachtree Road UMC this Sunday either in person at 8:45 am, 10:00 am, or 11:15 am or online at one of those times through the church website here.

Upcoming Special Sundays:

  • Father’s Day (June 18) – as we have done in recent years, we will recognize the oldest father present and the newest father present at each service. I have been thinking about the “good men” (my dad, pastors, coaches, and teachers) who have been influential in my life. Join us for worship as we remember and give thanks.
  • Celebration of Freedom (June 25) – as is our tradition, we will sing patriotic hymns, honor our veterans, pray for our nation and world, and give thanks for God’s many blessings. And Timothy Miller will be with us to sing “God Bless America.” To cap off the morning’s celebration, we will join together for a picnic featuring fried chicken and all the fixings in Grace Hall. This is a Sunday you will not want to miss!

Have you ever considered being a part of the choir for Celebration of Freedom Sunday? Then consider this note as your invitation to don a robe and join the Chancel Choir on Sunday, June 25 to sing some of our favorite patriotic hymns from the choir loft. It is a great opportunity to raise your voice in praise to God and be a part of the joy of this day. There will be only one rehearsal (Wednesday, June 21 – come early for refreshments at 6:30 pm with the rehearsal from 7:00 – 9:00 pm). If you have questions or would like to sing in the chorus, contact Ruth Sommerville at 404.240.8212 or ruths@prumc.org. Come join our family of singers and lovers of music!

Let me offer a quick announcement about new members of our youth staff:

  • Dory Hatchett – Associate Director of Youth
  • Aleah McClendon – Youth Ministry Associate
  • Leighton Dickson – Peachtree Road UMC Summer Intern

I am so excited that these three are joining our team and hope you will meet them soon, welcome them to our church, and support them as they offer their leadership to this vital ministry.

Finally, you are invited to participate in the Anniston Civil Rights Trail experience on August 26. This is a joint venture being sponsored by Cascade UMC and Peachtree Road UMC. Members of our two churches will travel together on Saturday, August 26, to Anniston, Alabama to commemorate the events of the American Civil Rights Movement and receive an introduction to the cultural changes that have transformed Anniston into the city it is today. Participants will leave Atlanta at 10:00 am, travel together via charter bus, eat lunch together, learn together, and return by 5:00 pm. The cost is $20/per person, and you may register here. We already have one bus nearly filled and are looking at adding a second bus. Join in the experience.

I need to run. Wendie and I are going on a hike to learn more about the ecosystem with a knowledgeable naturalist. My faith grows deeper with every new discovery of God’s creation. I look forward to being back with you soon.

Grace and peace,