January 12, 2024

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are well. We have made a good beginning to the new year here at Peachtree Road UMC. Our theme for the year is “Rekindle the Flame,” and, as a part of this emphasis, we are praying for spiritual revival in our community, our church, and in our own personal lives. Last Sunday I mentioned in the sermon that the early church established rituals to help new disciples leave behind their pagan ways and live into the Christian faith. In that spirit, I am encouraging us to incorporate some “holy habits” into our own life:

  • Weekly worship – there is nothing like worship in our beautiful sanctuary and chapel. I challenge you to set a goal of being in worship 90% of the Sundays this year (45 Sundays). We offer several opportunities to help folks worship each week: Sundays at 8:45 am, 10:00 am, and 11:15 am; Wednesdays at 12 noon; and during the week online at www.prumc.org. Worshiping regularly will keep your heart in tune.
  • Daily scripture reading – have you ever wanted to read through the Bible in a year? Maybe you tried but got bogged down somewhere in Leviticus or Numbers and gave up. Well, we are offering a way for you to read through the scriptures thematically this year. If you sign up for our Bible reading plan, we will email you each morning readings from the Old Testament, the Psalms, the Gospels, and the Epistles so you can read along with other members of the church. Over 800 persons already have signed up. We invite you to join us.
  • Celebrating the Sacraments – last Sunday we approached the baptismal font, touched the water, and remembered that we are baptized. This Sunday we will approach the Lord’s Table, receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion, and celebrate the Lord’s presence with us and in us. These sacraments are the means by which God’s grace reaches out to us and renews us. We celebrate these sacraments regularly to remember who we are and whose we are.

If you want to grow in your faith this year and experience genuine spiritual renewal or awakening, practice these “holy habits.” They will usher you into the presence of God and enrich your faith.

This Sunday promises to be a good day as we kick off a series of messages on mental health. The series is entitled “Come to Me All Who Are Weary…” You remember the words of Jesus who said to the people, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) Mental health professionals tell us that we are a nation that is dealing with an epidemic of anxiety and depression. Many of us are carrying heavy burdens. Some struggle to cope and are in desperate need of hope and help. During this series we will seek to offer the hope that is needed:

January 14Luke 19:1-10Finding Relief from the Weight of Guilt
January 21John 4:1-42Bridge Over Troubled Waters
January 28Mark 9:14-29Overcoming Your Limitations
February 4John 11:1-44Finding Comfort in the Midst of Grief

We begin the series by talking about the way guilt can weigh us down. Where do we turn for relief? In preparation for this message, I encourage you to read Luke 19:1-10. I am grateful for the One Lamb Initiative for Mental Wellness team here at Peachtree Road UMC, and they will be offering a number of opportunities during this season to help you not only cope but also to thrive in your life. On this Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend some of you will be traveling. I hope you will make time to worship online (it counts toward the 90% goal!) through the church website at www.prumc.org.

Speaking of this weekend, our youth are on their annual ski retreat. This year they are going to Breckenridge, Colorado, and I encourage you to pray for their safe travels. They will be back home on Monday evening.

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.

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

Finally, are you new to Peachtree Road UMC and looking for ways to connect? Here are two opportunities to help you navigate this large church and find new connections:

  • Take a Tour of Peachtree Road’s Facilities – Sunday, January 21, at 10:00 am. Meet Brittany Charron in Heritage Hall for a tour of the campus and a brief overview of the church’s ministries and offerings. For more information, please contact Brittany Charron at brittanyc@prumc.org.
  • Explore Membership in Peachtree Road UMC — Sunday, January 28, at 12:30 pm in the Hospitality Suite. At this month’s “Tea with the Clergy” 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, at brittanyc@prumc.org for more information or to sign up. 

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

Grace and peace,