August 12, 2022

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are well. There is a bit of excitement in the air as the new school year begins and folks return to the city after a long summer. I am excited because that also means I will begin to see more of you in church on Sundays as the fall approaches. 

Last week we kicked off a new series of messages focused upon Wesley’s Words to Live By, and we began with Wesley’s words on prayer:

“Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be lay or clergy. Such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on earth. God does nothing but in answer to prayer.”

Wesley had a very high view of prayer and considered it the chief means of experiencing the presence of God. As I mentioned Sunday, sometimes it’s hard to pray. Your mind races and it’s difficult to focus. I sometimes find it helpful to use Anglican prayer beads to help me with my prayers. If you are interested in having a set of prayer beads, I believe they are available at The Dogwood Gift Shop. We also would be glad to help you learn how to incorporate them into your prayer life. Let us know how we can help. 

This Sunday we will consider Wesley’s general rules for holy living: “Do not harm. Do good. Attend to the ordinances of God.” I hope you will join us at one of our services (8:45 am, 10:00 am, or 11:00 am) or online at

Also, on Sunday we will receive a special offering for the Murphy-Harpst Children’s Centers. As a part of this week’s services, we will hear from Scott Fuller, the Advancement and Stewardship Officer for the center. Hopefully, you recently received a letter from me offering some history of this transformative community that reaches out to children with few or no alternatives, welcomes them, and gives them hope. Please make your check payable to Peachtree Road UMC and mark it for “Murphy-Harpst,” give through the church app, or go online to our church’s website and make your gift there.

Reminder of Upcoming Opportunities for Growth and Fellowship: 

  • End of Summer Celebration (August 21) — We look forward to welcoming everyone back to church. This will be a special day as we consider Wesley’s words about heaven, hear “heavenly music” by our choir, and enjoy a fellowship luncheon of barbeque and all the fixings provided at no charge to the congregation by the church. It’s time to get back to church and Peachtree Road UMC!
  • Welcome to Admiral Barry Black (August 28) – we are delighted to welcome Admiral Barry Black, Chaplain for the United States Senate, to our pulpit at Peachtree Road UMC for all services on Sunday, August 28. Admiral Black has a congregation that consists of 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats and knows what it is like to offer spiritual guidance in divisive times. I hope you will join us for worship on this day to hear this great preacher of our time.
  • Journeys of Paul Cruise Registration Open! – the brochures for the trip Jamie Jenkins and I will be leading next fall are available, and I am told that registration opens today! This trip promises to sell out quickly, so make your plans to join us for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the land of Paul with other United Methodists. For more information, please contact Jamie Jenkins at
  • Hospitality Ministry – preparations are in full swing to welcome folks back to church in September. That includes recruiting new persons for our hospitality teams. Thank you to all who have signed up to be an ambassador and greeter. Our goal is to begin taking up the offering again in September, but we currently do not have enough ushers. Please consider this your invitation to serve in this important ministry. Contact Josh Miles at if you are interested in learning more. Thank you.
  • Tea with the Clergy (Sunday, August 21, at 5:00 pm in the Hospitality Suite) — Are you brand-new to Peachtree Road UMC? Perhaps you’ve attended a service here for years and are looking to take the next step. Either way, “Tea with the Clergy” is a new event designed to help answer your questions, share our vision for the church, and help you get plugged into the church’s ministry. It’s the first step in becoming a member. You’ll learn about our church’s history, the resources we have to support you, and how you can find at least one area of ministry (or several!) in which you are passionate and can make a difference. If you are ready to become a member, you can join at the conclusion of “Tea with the Clergy.” However, if you’re not quite ready, don’t worry. There is no pressure, and we’ll take a break before folks join. Please contact Elizabeth Byrd at to sign up. 

Thank you for all you do to make the ministry of Peachtree Road UMC vital and transformational. Please let me know if ever I may be of help to you. 

Grace and peace,