May 26, 2023

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are well. I wanted to begin this week’s note with some good news. Earlier this month, our beloved member Claire Yancey celebrated her 100th birthday. She has joined the most exclusive club in our church – the centennial club! I know that you join me in wishing her a happy birthday. She is hoping to be in church with us on Sunday! 

Speaking of Sunday, it promises to be an eventful day in the life of the church:

  • Pentecost – according to the author of the book of Acts, Jesus’ disciples and other followers were together in an upper room in Jerusalem fifty days after Easter. Suddenly, the Holy Spirit descended upon them, and it looked like tongues of fire alighting upon each of them. Then, they went out into the streets of Jerusalem to tell everyone about Jesus. Amazingly, though the people out in the streets were from many different countries and spoke different languages than the disciples, each heard the good news about Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection in his or her own language! That day, 3,000 people believed in Christ, and the church was born. Pentecost Day is many things – fire, wind, and renewal. But, most of all, it is our celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit whose gift is that of understanding (a gift that is severely under-used in today’s world!). That’s one aspect of our celebration this Sunday. We will pray that what transformed them may transform us and, with us, the world for God and Christ. 
  • Memorial Sunday – of course, Memorial Day weekend is more than just the unofficial beginning of the summer season. It also is a time in which we pause to reflect and give thanks for those who have given their lives to ensure the freedoms we enjoy in this country. During Sunday’s worship services, our congregation will pause with a time of silence to remember as a wreath is placed at the altar. 
  • Celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Communion – we also will celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion at all services on Sunday. As you approach the altar, I pray that you will sense the presence of Christ who hosts us at his Table, and the presence of all the saints. We are not alone. We are a part of Christ’s church and a transforming mission in the world. The color for the day is red, and I encourage you to wear red to church this Sunday. 

The message for this Sunday is entitled “Breathe!” In preparation for worship, I encourage you to read John 20:19-3 and consider these words: 

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he has said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” – John 20:21-22

We will spend a few minutes thinking about what it means to be breathed upon by Jesus. We also will sing some great hymns of the church (“God of Grace and God of Glory” and “Spirit of Faith, Come Down”) and hear our Chancel Choir’s anthem “Come Down, O Love Divine.” It will be a good service, and I hope you will make your plans to join us in person (8:45 am, 10:00 am, or 11:15 am) or online through the church website at

Looking to June:

  • Founder’s Day (June 4) – on June 7, 1925, the first public worship service of Peachtree Road Methodist Church was held in a partially completed chapel. From those humble beginnings, our church has grown to become one of the largest in Methodism with an influence felt around the world. I hope you will make your plans to participate in the celebration of Peachtree Road UMC’s 98th birthday.
  • 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” in my life (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 Come join our family of singers and lovers of music!

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.

If you are traveling this weekend, please travel safely, and we look forward to seeing you when you get back to the city.

Grace and peace,