February 9, 2024

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are well. We brought our mental health series to a close last Sunday, but our emphasis upon mental wellness will continue throughout the year. Over the course of the last four weeks, we looked at some of the root causes of stress and anxiety and how our faith can enable us to cope with them. I hope you found these messages helpful. I particularly want you to know that, if you find yourself struggling to maintain mental wellness, you do not have to go it alone. You can find hope and help through your friends at Peachtree Road UMC and the One Lamb Mental Health initiative team. Please scroll through the website to find the resources you need. 

This Sunday promises to be an exciting day as we celebrate Youth Sunday at the 8:45 am and 11:15 am services in the sanctuary. Our students will be leading us, and six high school seniors at each service will share testimonies about their faith. I am grateful to our director of youth ministries Chris Mucha and his assistant directors Dory Hatchett, Rachel Hockman, and Ryan Holder. They, along with a host of volunteers, do an amazing job helping our middle and high school students grow as disciples of Jesus Christ. Please join us at either service or online as we celebrate our church’s ministry with youth. Thank you for your support.

Our associate minister Rev. Elizabeth Byrd will be preaching at 10:00 am in the Moore Chapel, and her message is entitled “A Glimpse of Glory Divine.” In preparation for the sermon, you are encouraged to read Mark 9:2-9 and the account of Jesus’ transfiguration before attending this service at which we will celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion. I hope to see you at one of our Sunday morning services.  The Lenten season begins on Wednesday, February 14, with our Ash Wednesday services. The traditional feature of these services is the imposition of ashes, signifying the spirit of humility with which we enter this season of penitence and prayer. We will offer several services on this day. Click here for a list of services.  As we approach this season, I hope you will make weekly worship one of your Lenten disciplines as we experience God’s gift of peace in the midst of life’s struggles. 
The Peachtree Road 2024 Lenten Devotional Guide: – This resource consists of 40 reflections to guide your study and prayer. Each day you will be reminded that the Lord is with you amidst the struggles of life. Please read or download the digital resource here.

Two disciplines to help you observe a holy Lent:
The Wesley Fast
 – fasting may be our most misunderstood and neglected spiritual discipline. However, as John Wesley taught, when properly understood and practiced, fasting can become one of the most helpful disciplines available to us. Please follow this link for an explanation and guidelines for observing the Wesley Fast. I invite you to join me in this spiritual discipline in the coming forty days.

Season of Service – each year, during the season of Lent, we are pleased to offer meaningful opportunities for persons of all ages and abilities to reach out and make a difference in the lives of others. Just like the ripples on a pond created when a stone hits the water, your service will have a far-reaching impact on our community when we come together through a Season of Service. Join us once again to help others as the body of Christ in a renewed and relevant way. For more information, click here

Our church has authorized ten special offerings for 2024. In an effort to help you plan your giving for the year, you can find the list of dates and causes here.
I want to invite you to an educational forum on the current conflict in the Middle Easton Wednesday, February 28, at 6:30 pm in Grace Hall. The Deep Waters Class is sponsoring is sponsoring this forum which will feature experts in the field. You will hear about the history of the people living in that land, the events that have led to the current conflict, and the status of past peace initiatives. I am pleased to announce that Rabbi Peter Berg, from the Temple here in Atlanta, and Dr. Fahed Abu Akel, a Palestinian Christian minister living here in Atlanta, will serve as panelists, and Dr. Deanna Ferree Womack, Assistant Professor of Religions and Multifaith Relations at Candler School of Theology at Emory University, will be our moderator. I am hopeful that this conversation will inform us as we pray for peace in our world and for the people of this region. You are invited to register for the forum here. There is no charge.
Finally, let me also invite you to join me later this year on a Wesley Heritage Tour of England as we explore the roots of Methodism. You will have an opportunity to visit: Epworth where the Wesleys were baptized and grew up under the guidance of their mother Susannah; Christ Church College at Oxford University where John and Charles Wesley were educated and ordained and where the “Holy Club” which led to the birth of Methodism was founded; Bristol and “The New Room” where John Wesley preached about the unconditional grace of God to thousands and taught class leaders how to lead covenant groups; and London where the home of John Wesley is located. In addition, you will visit the birthplace of William Shakespeare in Stratford-on-Avon, spend a relaxing afternoon in Jane Austin’s village of Bath, and maybe enjoy tea at Buckingham Palace. Does this sound like something you would like to do? Then sign up to join us October 22-31, 2024, and learn more about your spiritual roots as a Methodist. To download a brochure, please click here or contact Jamie Jenkins (jamiej@prumc.org.)
I hope to see you Sunday as our youth lead us in worship.
Grace and peace,