January 26, 2024

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are well. Thank you for the many emails and notes of appreciation we have received in recent days about last Sunday’s worship. As we considered Jesus’ conversation with a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, we remembered that our faith teaches us that we are made for relationships. Sometimes that means showing up for those who have experienced brokenness, loss, or great pain in recent days and offering them a listening ear, God’s blessing, and a prayer for comfort. Other times it means not isolating ourselves from others and allowing them to be our “bridge over troubled water.” As Rontray Miller sang that song at the close of last week’s message, I imagined Jesus singing those words to the woman at the well…and to us. I hope you found last Sunday’s service helpful.

On Sunday we will continue our series on mental wellness with a message entitled “Overcoming Your Limitations.” Have you ever felt the situation you were in was hopeless? Have you ever felt like you were coming to the end of your rope? Our faith reminds us that when we hit rock bottom, there is a “solid rock” at the bottom, and his name is Jesus. After all, we are the Easter people. We are never without hope because the Lord is with us. I can’t wait to share that message with you on Sunday. In preparation for the message, please read the story of Jesus’ encounter with the parents of a man with seizures found in Mark 9. We will sing “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” as our opening hymn and the choir’s anthem will be Michael Hampel’s “The Call of Wisdom” arranged by Will Todd. In addition, at the close of the service, we will have an opportunity to affirm our faith in song. I hope you will join us. If you cannot make it in person, please worship online at www.prumc.org

I am grateful for the One Lamb Initiative for Mental Wellness team here at Peachtree Road UMC. They offer a number of opportunities during this season to help you cope but also to thrive in your life. As I mentioned last Sunday, we are living in stressful times in which it is anything but “business as usual.” When you sense that this stress is affecting your mental health, don’t go it alone. Ask for help. Our One Lamb team has resources and is ready to support you. If you are in need of financial assistance to get the mental health you need, please visit www.1lamb.org and click on the “Giving and Gifts” menu tab to see the scholarship application that you can submit online. 

Here are a few opportunities being offered by the One Lamb team in the coming weeks:

  • Caring for YOU: Mind, Body, and Soul – Sunday, January 28, 10:00 am in Heritage Hall. Guest speaker Laura McConatha, former executive director of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving will offer support for caregivers so they do not feel overwhelmed.
  • Virtual Experience of Dementia – Thursday, February 1, 12:00 noon. This innovative workshop is designed to give participants a taste of what loved ones with dementia are experiencing. Sign up to participate at info@1lamb.org
  • Sadness, Loss, Depression: A Medical Perspective – Sunday, February 4, 10:00 am in Heritage Hall. Do you or someone you know exhibit the signs of depression? Fortunately, depression is highly treatable. You are invited to this workshop led by Dr. Ben Hunter, Chief Medical Officer at Skyland Trail, as he shares his insights. 
  • Family-to-Family – a core part of One Lamb’s programming is a semi-annual offering of the NAMI Family-to-Family course, which is designed to educate and support family members of those living with a mental health diagnosis. The educational value of the course is as important as the bonds built among the participants from shared experiences. For more information or to participate in a future class, contact Susan Thigpen at thigpensusan@gmail.com or visit www.namiga.org.  

For more information about these and other offerings by the One Lamb Initiative for Mental Wellness, please visit their website at www.1lamb.org

Many of you have expressed interest in learning more about how to pray for those affected by the current conflict in the Middle East. I want you to mark Wednesday, February 28, on your calendar. That evening, the Deep Waters Class is sponsoring a forum at 6:30 pm in Grace Hall featuring experts in the field. We will hear about the history of the people living in that land, the events that have led up 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. Deanna Feree Womack, Assistant Professor of Religions and Multifaith Relations at Candler School of Theology at Emory University, will be with us. I am hopeful that this conversation will help us lean deeper into our prayers for the people of this region. 

It is not too late to reserve your spot at “Tea with the Clergy” set for this Sunday, January 28, at 12:30 pm in the Hospitality Suite. At this luncheon, you will have the opportunity to meet with several members of our clergy staff, hear about the ministry of this great church, ask questions, and even have an opportunity to join at the end of the session. Please contact our director of evangelism and hospitality, Brittany Charron (brittanyc@prumc.org) for more information or to sign up.  

Finally, I was pleased to notice that two new stories have been added to our Centennial Peachtree Road Storybook. Kelly Brannon tells an engaging story about the wonderful music during the early years of our church. Also, Carolyn and Fred Broce share a personal story of how they met and have loved being part of our fellowship for many years. Take a moment to follow our storybook and learn more about our history by visiting the Centennial website at peachtreeroadstorybook.org.

I hope to see you Sunday as we worship, pray, fellowship, and listen for the Lord’s voice speaking words of comfort to us.

Grace and peace,