May 10, 2019

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you well. I also hope you realize just how blessed we are here at Peachtree Road. For those looking for evidence of God’s blessings upon us, last week was “Exhibit A.” On Sunday morning, we had the privilege of confirming the faith of 74 sixth graders and welcoming them into the full membership of the church. The presence of children and youth is one important indicator of a vital congregation. Another indicator is a church filled with people who are dedicated to helping children and youth grow spiritually. Many of the members of this year’s class were baptized at the altar of this sanctuary, received their Bibles as third graders at that same altar, and were mentored by a host of adults from their time in the nursery through preschool, Sunday School, as well as the Confirmation Class. We indeed are blessed!

This Sunday we will continue our celebration of Easter as we give thanks for the ministry of Music and Arts here at Peachtree Road. Our worship services in the sanctuary at 8:45 am and 11:15 am will incorporate music and praise from our children, youth, and adult choirs as well as the Atlanta Brassworks, Peachtree Carillon, and congregational singing that will make you think you’re already in heaven. Sunday’s anthems include:

  • “A Prayer for Tomorrow” by the Combined Children’s Choirs
  • “It Is Well with My Soul” by the Doxology Youth Choir
  • “Come Forth, O Choirs” by the Chancel Choir, Celebration Singers, Doxology Youth Choir, and Peachtree Carillon

It promises to be a grand celebration of music, and I hope you are planning to be present.

Of course, this Sunday also is Mother’s Day. We will take time to remember our mothers and the women who have nurtured us and give thanks to God for them. As a part of our celebration, we will honor the oldest mother present and the newest mother present at each of our worship services. I hope you will join your mom to worship here at Peachtree Road.

Sunday’s message is inspired by the life of Susanna Wesley, the mother of John and Charles Wesley and the woman who often is referred to as the “Mother of Methodism.” She was the 25th of 25 children, married Anglican priest Samuel Wesley when she was 19, and gave birth to 19 children. Nine of her children died as infants, and two others preceded her in death. She certainly was acquainted with grief. Her husband once left her and the children for over a year because of a minor dispute, and to her absent husband, Susanna Wesley wrote:

“I am a woman, but I am also the mistress of a large family. And though the superior charge of the souls contained in it lies upon you, yet in your long absence I cannot but look upon every soul you leave under my charge as a talent committed to me under a trust. I am not a man nor a minister, yet as a mother and a mistress I felt I ought to do more than I had yet done. I resolved to begin with my own children; in which I observe the following method: I take such a proportion of time as I can spare every night to discourse with each child apart. On Monday I talk with Molly, on Tuesday with Hetty, Wednesday with Nancy, Thursday with Jacky, Friday with Patty, Saturday with Charles.”

She was an extraordinary woman of faith who instilled in all of her children a devotion to Christ and a desire to learn and make a difference in the world. This Sunday we will pay homage to her and the women who have nurtured our faith, and I hope you will be with us.

As has become our tradition, we will receive the Wesley Woods Mother’s Day Offering this Sunday as well. Wesley Woods is a ministry started by Methodists in the North Georgia Conference to provide for the needs of the elderly in our communities through residential services as well as health care, rehabilitation, nursing home care, and specialized care for persons suffering from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. People certainly are living longer than ever before, and many are outliving their financial resources. Sunday morning we will hear a word of testimony from Carolyn Roper, a resident of Wesley Woods, who will share with us the difference this ministry makes in her life and her fellow residents. I hope you will join me in welcoming them to Peachtree Road.

Through the years, Peachtree Road has given very generously to this ministry. Please help us continue to lead the way by participating when the offering plate is passed. You may make your check payable to Peachtree Road UMC and mark it for Wesley Woods, place your cash gift in the envelope provided in your worship bulletin, or give online through the church’s website at www.prumc.org/give. Thank you in advance for your generosity toward this offering.

Finally, as part of our “Journeys of Paul” pilgrimage last month, we spent time in the country of Turkey. I had never been to this country and was so impressed with the archeological sites of Ephesus and Philippi as well as the rich Christian history found in Istanbul which was formerly known as Constantinople. The country now is 99% Muslim, and there literally are mosques on every street corner. I must say that it is impressive when the call to pray goes out from the minarets at every mosque. I also was moved by this public invitation and encouragement to pray and yearned for something like that in our own faith tradition. And that leads me to remind you that our church offers a Mid-Week Prayer Service every Wednesday at 12 noon in the Moore Chapel. You are invited to join us for this 30 minute service to renew your faith, rekindle your hope, and rest in God’s love. I will be leading the service this next Wednesday and would love to see you there.

Peachtree Road is an amazing community in which to worship, grow, serve, and share. I look forward to worshiping with you on Sunday and then serving with you throughout the upcoming days.

Bill