April 12, 2019

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you well. As I write these words, we are merely hours away from Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week. This is one of our favorite Sundays of the year here at Peachtree Road. The children entering the sanctuary waving their palm branches, the beautiful music offered by the choirs, and, yes, having our favorite donkey “Jerusalem” leading the procession at the 11:15 am service make the day extra special. I love the passage we will read at the beginning of worship:

Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” – Mark 11:9-10

With this triumphant passage setting the initial tone for the day, we will bring our Lenten series on “Faithful” to a close. Each week we have discussed how God is faithful to us even in the most difficult circumstances of our lives. This Palm Sunday, as we Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem and his death upon the cross, we will spend some time thinking about those with whom Jesus was crucified. The message is entitled: “When Death Comes Your Way.” I look forward to worshiping with you.

Speaking of Sunday, please join us at a congregational luncheon Grace Hall from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm. The menu will feature ham, deviled eggs, potato salad, lima beans, rolls, and dessert. I hope you will come and enjoy a delicious meal and good fellowship as we begin this holiest of weeks together. The charge for the meal is $5 per person.

As we move into Holy Week, you are invited to join us for our midday services Monday through Thursday in the Moore Chapel. These services begin at 12:05 pm and are followed by a luncheon in Grace Hall. The schedule for the week features the following preachers and soloists:

  • Monday | Julie Wright | André Peele
  • Tuesday | Leslie Watkins | Nancy Mize Gonzalez
  • Wednesday | Darren Hensley | William Green
  • Thursday | Jamie Jenkins Clarke Harris | Matthew Boatwright

Our Holy Thursday service will be held in the sanctuary on Thursday, April 18, at 7:00 pm with Elizabeth Byrd preaching. As a part of this service we will celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion as we remember Jesus’ last supper with his disciples. During the closing hymn, members of the Altar Guild will stripping of the altar, signifying the abandonment of Jesus by his disciples and his prayers of anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane. We will process from the sanctuary to the chapel, and the bread and cup will be placed on the altar table there in an invitation for us to join in somber reflection upon God’s sacrificial love for us.

Finally, we will bring the season of Lent to a close by joining with other Christians from throughout Buckhead for a special Community Good Friday Service on Friday, April 19, at 12:00 noon at the Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church. We will worship with members from the Cathedral of Christ the King Roman Catholic Church, Peachtree Presbyterian, and Wieuca Road Baptist as well as Second Ponce de Leon Baptist in this service. Monsignor Frank McNamee from Christ the King will be the preacher for the service. I hope you will join us for this particularly meaningful time of worship as we reflect upon Christ’s seven last words from the cross.

In addition to these services of worship, let me remind you of several other opportunities for worship, prayer, and service:

  • Lenten Offering – our special offering for this season will benefit the local agencies with whom we partner to transform the lives of others. As a part of your Lenten discipline, I encourage each of you to give at least $1.50 a day for 40 days ($60 total) toward the offering. Your sacrifice will change your life for the better, and your gift will change Atlanta for the better! You may give today through the church app or online at www.prumc.org.
  • Stations of the Cross – if you are looking for a way to take a brief retreat from the noise and busy-ness of your life during this Lenten season, I encourage you to take advantage of the “Stations of the Cross.” You will find a series of paintings and devotionals on the walls of the second floor in the Rollins Building. The paintings depict successive events on Jesus’ journey from his condemnation to his crucifixion, death, and burial. On Wednesday, April 17, at 11:30 am, several of our ministers will be at each station to guide participants in devotion and prayer and lead them to the next station. The final station will be positioned in the narthex, and participants then are invited to the midday Holy Week service. I invite you to come by any day of the week to walk the stations. You may bring your family or a friend to experience the blessing of this journey with you.
  • Holy Saturday at Cascade UMC – the final session of our church’s “Lenten Journey to Racial Reconciliation” in cooperation with members of Cascade UMC is set for Saturday, April 20, at 10:00 am at Cascade UMC. You are invited to join us for a time of fellowship and worship as Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson leads us and we celebrate together the Sacrament of Holy Communion. This initiative has provided us with a wonderful opportunity to build a relationship that is enriching both churches. Come celebrate with us on Holy Saturday.
  • Volunteers are needed for Easter Sunday – we are looking for 7 more volunteers for each service on Easter – 5 at each service to help with crowd safety in front of the sanctuary and 2 at each service to drive our golf carts from the campus parking lots. If you are interested in helping at one of the services, please contact Mimi Brunson (mimib@prumc.org).

I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we begin Holy Week together!

Bill