One of the Highlights of Our Year

June 24, 2022

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are well. Many of you are enjoying time away from the city on the weekends, but I want to keep you up with news from your church family. Also, at the close of this note, I will share some important information about our ministry of hospitality.

This Sunday is our annual Celebration of Freedom service. Once again we will be singing patriotic hymns, hearing inspirational music from our Freedom Sunday volunteer choir, and honoring our veterans. For many, that moment in the service when the veterans march down the aisle to the expressed appreciation of our congregation is one of the highlights of the year at Peachtree Road.

Almost none of our marching veterans are from World War II (even the youngest of them would be 96 years old), and that makes my heart sad. We owe so much to them and all of our veterans who have willingly put on a military uniform and served our country. If you know of a veteran who does not have a church home, please invite him or her to this service, and we will encourage them to participate in the procession of veterans.

Here are a few important notes about Freedom Sunday at Peachtree Road:

  • This Sunday I will be preaching on the topic “Freedom’s Holy Light,” and we will spend some time thinking about the important role our faith plays in our citizenship in this land. I encourage you to read Luke 4:16-21 in preparation for the message.
  • The service will conclude with a prayer for our nation as our own Will Green (Timothy Miller needed to cancel for this year) leads us in singing “God Bless America.” We are so blessed to have Will as one of our staff singers and he is one of the finest tenors in the South! This will be a most inspirational service, and I hope you are planning to be present. Wear your patriotic colors and invite someone to come with you! There is a place for everyone at Peachtree Road.
  • You also are invited to stay for a picnic luncheon with your church friends in Grace Hall. I invite you to come to worship and stay for a delicious meal featuring fried chicken and all the fixings. The cost is $10 for adults, $5 for children under the age of 12, with a maximum charge of $40 per family. We will be serving lunch from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm, and I hope to see you there.
And, while we’re on the topic of patriotic celebrations, I want to invite you to join us in front of the church on Monday, July 4, for our “Party on Peachtree” from 6:30 am until 8:30 am. We will gather out front to enjoy a time of fellowship as we cheer on the tens of thousands of participants as they sprint/jog/walk past our church as a part of the Peachtree Road Race. The church bells will be ringing, and the large American flag will be flying! Come spend the early hours of the holiday with your church family.

On Sunday we also will receive a special offering to benefit some retired African Methodist Episcopal Church clergy who no longer are receiving payments on their pensions. I cannot imagine the anxiety they must be experiencing in these days as mortgage payments and medical bills go unpaid. To learn more about this opportunity to help faithful ministers in need, please see the letter I mailed out earlier this week. You may make your check payable to Peachtree Road UMC and mark it for AME Retirees Fund or give online here. Thank you for your generosity.

Opportunities to enrich your life:

  • Journeys of Paul Cruise – Jamie Jenkins and I will lead a group to visit many of the sites the Apostle Paul visited on his missionary journeys: Athens, Corinth, Philippi, Ephesus, Thessalonica, and others. The trip is set for October 23-31, 2023, and the unique feature of this cruise is that it will be a “United Methodist only” trip. We are joining with Adam Hamilton and members of Church of the Resurrection UMC in Kansas City, Davis Chappell and folks from Brentwood UMC in Nashville, Bishop Bill McAlilly, and members of the Tennessee Annual Conference to sail on a chartered Azamara small ship to explore the life and journeys of Paul. Please add your name to the list here to receive more information from Jamie Jenkins as it becomes available.
  • Hospitality Ministry – as I mentioned two weeks ago in worship, one of our goals, as we approach the fall is to ramp up our ministry of hospitality. We want to invite our neighbors to join us for worship and to welcome them with the warmth we all have experienced here at Peachtree Road UMC. As we look to enhance our ministry of hospitality, we want to add parking lot greeters and pew greeters to our teams of ushers and ambassadors. If you are interested in volunteering once a month to be a greeter, usher, or ambassador, or join one of our worship guilds and help us welcome folks to our campus on Sundays, please respond here.
Finally, please be in prayer for our Kingdom Journey families that are in the Holy Land this week. This transformational program of our church brings together 9th and 10th graders and their parents for Bible Study, and at the end of the two years they have the opportunity to travel to Israel to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. Please pray for them to experience traveling mercies.

I hope to see you in worship this Sunday at either 8:45 am, 10:00 am, or 11:15 am. However, if you are out of town or traveling, please worship with us online. Either way, I look forward to worshiping with you as we celebrate our freedom.

Grace and peace,

Bill

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