July 27, 2018

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you well. Wendie and I are traveling this week with a group of Peachtree Road members participating in a Wesley Heritage Tour in England. We safely arrived early Wednesday morning and already have toured the town of York, where John and Charles Wesley and George Whitfield preached on numerous occasions, and its magnificent cathedral York Minster, which dates back to the Emperor Constantine and Roman times.

Yesterday, we visited Epworth, where the Wesleys spent their childhood in the Christ-centered home of Samuel and Susannah. Samuel was the rector of the church in Epworth for over 40 years, and it was at the font of that 1000 year-old church that John and Charles Wesley were baptized. As we visited the old Wesley home, I was impressed by the faith of Susannah Wesley. She gave birth to 19 children, only 10 of whom lived beyond infancy. She was an independent-minded woman and loving mother who instilled discipline in her children as well as devotion to Christ. She believed education would be central to their lives and taught them to read and write and lead a life of prayer. And, while we know more about the public ministries of her sons, I learned that Susannah placed an equal emphasis on helping her seven daughters learn and develop faithful devotion to Christ. She influenced her son John to build the Methodist movement on lay preaching and these included women. She truly was the mother of Methodism, and we will learn more about her next Mother’s Day.

Our journey eventually will lead us to London and Westminster Abbey where we will worship in an Evensong service led by the Peachtree Road choir. I look forward to being back with you in August and sharing with you lessons we have learned from our Methodist roots. Please remember those members of our church who are traveling in England this week as we remember you in our prayers.

On Sunday, we are set to bring our “Summer in the City” series to a close. During the month of July, we have been focusing upon several lessons from Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount.” Our final message will explore the emphasis Jesus placed on “The Integrity of Words and Deeds.” You are familiar with Jesus’ story of the wise man who built his house upon rock, and you are encouraged to prepare for Sunday’s message by reading Matthew 7:24-27. Julie Schendel will be preaching in the sanctuary at 8:45 am and 11:15 am, Carolyn Stephens will be preaching at 11:15 am at The Road service in Heritage Hall, and Julie will be preaching the Sundays @ 5 service in the Moore Chapel at 5 pm.

Finally, I want to give you a quick update on our “Imagine” debt retirement effort that I announced last month. We already had commitments of $1.5 million toward the $2 million matching gift opportunity that would retire our debt and need $500,000 to achieve the goal. I am pleased to announce that we have surpassed $240,000 in gifts in the last month. We are nearly halfway there! It is my hope and prayer that we can wrap up this final phase of the “Imagine” campaign by Harvest Sunday and celebrate being debt-free as we celebrate Thanksgiving. If you can help us, please let us hear from you. The simplest way to give is by using the church app or online through the “Imagine” designation. If you would like to give a gift of stock, please contact Raymond Reynolds in the business office.

Thank you for your generous support in so many ways. I look forward to seeing you soon.