September 30, 2022

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are well. As you read these words, Wendie and I are on our way back to Atlanta from a trip with our daughter, son-in-law, and two of our grandchildren to Italy. We had a great time exploring Rome, where we visited the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica, Florence, where we stood in awe of Michelangelo’s sculpture of the shepherd boy David preparing to defeat the giant Goliath, and Milan, where we viewed Leonardo DaVinci’s mural of the Last Supper. We enjoyed great food and family time together with much laughter. It has been a good week, and we are glad to be returning home.

Speaking of laughter, on Sunday, we will bring our series “Bring Back the Table” to a close with a message entitled “Laughter at the Table.” Each week of this fall series, we have considered the central place that the table plays in our lives and the development of our faith. It is at the table that we nourish our souls and bodies; it is at the table that we share stories and have our eyes opened to the presence of Christ in our midst; and it is at the table that we find identity and a sense of belonging. On Sunday, we will consider the role that laughter plays in our lives as we reflect upon the story of Abraham and Sarah and the promise of a son whom they will name Isaac (which is Hebrew for “laughter”). Maybe you are familiar with the following proverb:

“Laughter is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.” – Proverbs 17:12

I hope you will make your plans to join us in person (8:45 am, 10:00 am, or 11:15 am). If not, please participate online through the Livestream of the service here

Sunday also is World Communion Sunday. On this day, Christians from around the world gather at the Lord’s Table to celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Think about that for just a moment. As we eat the bread and drink from the cup, we are joining with Christians from around the world in partaking of the grace of God on this day. We here in Atlanta become a link in a chain that circles the globe. If you are worshiping online, please prepare your bread and wine before the service so you can join us at the Lord’s Table.  

As has become our tradition, on the first Sunday in October, we will offer a “Blessing of the Animals” service at 5:00 p.m. You are invited to bring your pets to the church for a fun time of worship. This service celebrates the Feast of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals. We will gather in the sanctuary, sing praises to God, and approach the altar with our pets for an individual blessing of each animal. In the past, participants have brought their dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, fish, and birds to receive a blessing. You also may choose to bring photos of your pets if it is difficult for the animal to attend the service (it’s pretty difficult to load up a horse and bring it to church!). I hope you’ll take advantage of this community-wide service and invite a friend to join in the fun.

Two giving opportunities for this week:

Disaster Relief – a couple of weeks ago, Hurricane Fiona brought devastating floods to Puerto Rico, and there is a dire need for safe drinking water, especially in the poorer regions of that country. Peachtree Road UMC has partnered with Uzima to provide water filters to the hardest-hit regions, and you can help in that effort by giving here.  And this week, the monster storm Hurricane Ian struck our neighbors in Florida and produced “catastrophic damage.” Through the United Methodist Council on Relief, our church is already represented there, providing food and water, shelter, and relief to thousands. If you would like to contribute, please click here. Thank you for your help. 

Love and Support for the family of Julie Wright – many of you have asked how you can support our associate minister Julie Wright and her family after the death of her daughter Chelsea Benson. Please continue to pray for Julie and her husband Tal, Chelsea’s husband Todd Benson, and their three young children. A memorial service will be held on Monday, October 3, at St. Andrew UMC in Marietta at 2:00 pm. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a fund that has been established for the children’s education expenses here. Thank you for your loving and prayerful support.  

Finally, during the month of October, we will be emphasizing stewardship here at Peachtree Road UMC. Each week we will focus upon the way we live out our lives as disciples of Jesus Christ. The emphasis is entitled “Greater Than,” and we will celebrate the renewal of our covenant with Christ through this great church on Sunday, October 23. I hope you will make your plans to join us for a great day of worship and a delicious barbeque luncheon afterward in Grace Hall. Thank you for your faithfulness, especially over the course of the last two-and-a-half years.  

It is a privilege to worship and serve with you through the ministry of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church! 

Grace and peace,