March 17, 2023
Dear Peachtree Road Family,
I hope you are well. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! The Irish have celebrated this day annually as a religious holiday for over one thousand years. This is the anniversary of the death of St. Patrick who lived in the 5th century and is credited with bringing Christianity to the Irish people. On this day I encourage you to prayerfully give thanks for those who brought Christianity to you.
I am looking forward to Sunday as we continue our series entitled “The Sound of Silence.” In this week’s message (“Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah”), we will reflect upon the story from Exodus 17 of Moses striking the rock to provide water for the people of Israel in the wilderness. They were traveling from Egypt to Mount Horeb where they would become a covenant people living by the Ten Commandments. They were just learning to trust God, and we will see that this trust came with fits and starts. Does that sound familiar to you? We will talk about that in worship. I look forward to seeing you Sunday at one of our services: 8:45 am, 10:00 am, or 11:15 am. If you are unable to make it in person, please join us online for a livestream service at www.prumc.org.
Today is the day we have set aside for fasting (from sundown Thursday until after 3:00 pm this afternoon) and prayer (an online prayer meeting occurs each Friday morning during Lent from 7:30 – 7:45 am, Zoom 839 784 08295, and the Moore Chapel is open each Friday from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm for prayer). I hope you are finding it easier to make some space in your life in these days of Lent to quiet your soul, calm your spirit, and experience God in the silence.
During this holy season, we as a congregation are engaging in seeking to make a difference in our community in a couple of important ways:
- Season of Service – a great way to serve others and make an impact in our community. I hope you will join us in this year’s emphasis under the title “Together We Serve.” You may find a list of projects and sign up here. Pick one and join your fellow members of Peachtree Road UMC in being the hands and feet of Christ.
- Lenten Offering – once again this year our special giving during the season of Lent will be used to support the agencies and ministries in the Greater Atlanta area with whom we partner. As you give up a couple of meals each week, consider giving the money you are saving to this offering. If each of us gave just $20 a week or $120 for the season, it would make a tremendous impact upon the lives of others. Please give to this offering here.
Two programing notes for this weekend:
- Disney Revue – our talented Doxology Youth Choir will present a “Disney Revue” tomorrow evening (Saturday, March 18) at 6:00 pm in the Harp Student Center. It promises to be a fun occasion for all ages! The students will be dressed in full costume, and you are invited to bring your children at 5:30 pm for a pre-show picture party. The music will include solos, duets, quartets, and full chorus performances in celebration of the choir’s upcoming summer tour to Sarasota and Disney World. This event is free and open to all. Come early to get keepsake photos with the Disney characters! You will hear some of your favorites from Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Princess and the Frog, Cinderella, Frozen, Aladdin, Snow White, Tangled, and The Little Mermaid.
- Church-wide Fellowship Luncheon – on Sunday, we will enjoy a fellowship luncheon in Grace Hall as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day weekend. The menu will feature brisket, parsley potatoes, green beans, and rolls, and you are encouraged to wear green as we welcome springtime to Peachtree Road UMC.
Are you or someone you know interested in becoming a member of Peachtree Road UMC? Then join us for “Tea with the Clergy” on Sunday, March 26, at 12:30 pm. This will be an opportunity for you to meet our ministerial staff, hear about the history and ministry of the church, ask questions, and discover where you fit in this great church. We already have nearly 30 persons signed up for this month’s gathering. If you would like to learn more about the steps in becoming a member, please contact Rev. Elizabeth Byrd at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we look ahead just a few weeks to Easter, I want to invite you to help us decorate the cross out in front of the sanctuary with flowers as a beautiful symbol of our faith in Christ and the Resurrection. This year members of the Flower Guild will be out in front of the church on Saturday morning, April 8, between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm to receive your flowers. You may bring flowering branches, flowers from your yard, or colorful flowers you have bought. Please share them with us and help us offer a beautiful message to our city: Christ is Risen!
Finally, a number of you have asked me to share the texts I mentioned in my sermon last Sunday that help me make my way around the Anglican prayer beads and avoid distractions in my prayers. Here they are:
- Quiet your mind and center your spirit with breath prayers: inhale and exhale the name of God: “Yah-weh”
- Prepare to enter God’s presence by praying the Wesley Covenant Prayer
- Praise God: begin by reciting the 23rd Psalm
- Repent of your sins: recite the Ten Commandments
- Ask/prayers of intercession: recite the Beatitudes and then the Fruit of the Spirit
- Yourself: begin by praying the Prayer of St. Francis
- Conclude the time of prayer with the Lord’s Prayer
- Finish with breath prayers
You will notice that the four main sections of the prayer time is an anagram spelling out “PRAY.” I hope this will spur you on to create your own way of eliminating distractions and developing a vital prayer life.
May God continue to guide you in this Lenten season. See you Sunday!
Grace and peace,