Let me begin this week’s note by thanking so many of you for joining us for an incredible Easter service last Sunday. Over 3,000 worshipers filled our sanctuary, and over a thousand more watched our celebration online. An incredible amount of work took place behind the scenes to make Sunday’s services joyous celebrations:

  • Flower Guild members working (in the rain!) most of Saturday to decorate the sanctuary and the cross out front
  • Altar Guild and Pew Duty volunteers preparing the sanctuary for worshipers
  • Musicians rehearsing their anthems and leading us in hymns of praise
  • Ushers, Greeters, and Ambassadors welcoming folks onto our campus
  • Childcare workers caring for our preschoolers while parents worshiped
  • Acolytes bringing the light of Christ into the sanctuary at the beginning of worship

I am grateful to our audio-visual team for their efforts to make the pageantry of our services available online. Week in and week out they do a phenomenal job of helping folks who physically cannot be on our campus on Sunday morning find their place spiritually in our sanctuary for worship. I am grateful for all of our behind-the-scenes folks.

Thank you for your contributions to our Lenten Offering. This offering goes to support several of our partner agencies in the community as we work together to build a better Atlanta. I do not have a final number to share with you, but, if you have not had an opportunity to give, it certainly is not too late! You may contribute by sending your check made payable to Peachtree Road UMC and marked for “Lenten Offering” or through the church app or website here. Please help us give the new life we celebrate at Easter to others who need it so badly.

I am looking forward to worship this Sunday as we continue our Easter celebration. The message is entitled “Born into a Place Called Hope.” Have you ever been to the reading of a will? It is an occasion on which folks find out what they have inherited from a loved one. That’s what we’ll do on Sunday. We will read God’s will for our lives and discover our inheritance:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy, he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you…” – I Peter 1:3-4

Though the large crowds of Easter Sunday probably will not be repeated this Sunday, the same spirit of joy and celebration will be present. We will sing triumphant resurrection hymns such as “Easter People, Raise Your Voices” and “The Day of Resurrection,” the Chancel Choir will sing an anthem entitled “The Easter Song of Praise,” and we will baptize three children on Sunday. In addition, at the 11:15 am service we will recognize those families who have been blessed with babies in the last year (I heard earlier this week there were 54!) and have an opportunity to offer a blessing upon them. All in all, Sunday promises to be a great day, and we look forward to worshiping with you in person or online here.

Finally, I want to call your attention to the announcement made earlier this week concerning the addition of two new staff members: Brittany Charron as our director of evangelism and hospitality, and Matthew McNeill the new assistant organist. These two will be wonderful additions to our team. Welcome Brittany and Matthew!

I do want to express my appreciation to our associate ministers Daniel Ogle, Josh Miles, and Elizabeth Byrd who gave leadership to the area of evangelism and hospitality in recent years. It occurred to me last year that they are juggling many other responsibilities, and this important ministry needs someone who can give it undivided attention. I believe Brittany is the right person to do that (after all, she was trained by our longtime director Susan Marshall), and I am excited about the growth our church will experience under her leadership.

Thank you for your support in so many ways. As I mentioned in last week’s sermon, the stone wasn’t rolled away so that Jesus could get out. No force in the universe could have kept him in that tomb! The stone was rolled away so that we could see into the tomb and believe. I look forward to growing with you in our resurrection faith in the coming days through the ministry of this great church!

Grace and peace,