January 5, 2024

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

Happy New Year! I hope you are well. Many of you were present two weeks ago for one of our five Christmas Eve services. The pageantry of the service, the glorious music, and hearing the story of Christ’s birth read from Luke’s Gospel warmed my heart. Most of all, I was overjoyed to see so many of your faces. Wendie and I took some time off after Christmas, and I’ve found myself humming a little chorus all week:

He is here, Alleluia. He is here, Amen.

He is here, holy, holy. I will bless His name again.

He is here, listen closely. Hear Him calling out your name.

He is here. You can touch Him. You will never be the same.

It’s true. God is in the transformation business, and gathering with others in worship each week transforms our lives into the persons God has created us to be. I invite and encourage you to make it your goal to be present in worship at least 90% of the time this year – that’s approximately 47 Sundays. That may sound like an ambitious number to some, but I remind you that we offer three services on Sunday mornings (8:45 am, 10:00 am, and 11:15 am) and a service at 12:00 noon in the chapel on Wednesdays. Also, if you are traveling or unable to get out, worship online with through the live-streaming option or by watching the service later in the week from the website. Yes, worshiping online can count toward the 90% goal!

The point is we miss you when you’re not present in worship here at Peachtree Road UMC. I hope you will make worshiping in person with your friends a priority this year. You will never be the same.

Speaking of worship, this Sunday’s services promise to offer the perfect way to begin the new year as we gather to celebrate Baptism of the Lord Sunday. At the close of the services, you will have an opportunity to approach the baptismal font, touch the water, and remember that you have been baptized. The music promises to lift your spirits as we sing “All Creatures of Our God and King” and join the choir in singing “Wash, O God, Our Sons and Daughters” to the tune of “Beach Spring” at the close of the service. In addition, the Chancel Choir will offer as an anthem “Springs of Water” arranged by Donald Fellows and featuring soloists Meredith Howard, Sierra Manson, and Will Green. If you are not able to join us in person, please worship online at www.prumc.org.

Following the worship services, you are invited to a fellowship luncheon in Grace Hall. We will be serving chili and grilled cheese sandwiches from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm. This meal is sponsored by the One Lamb Initiative for Mental Health and is complimentary. So, join us Sunday for worship, warm fellowship, and a delicious meal.

We have set “Rekindle the Flame” as our ministry theme for 2024. Throughout the year, we will be praying for revival in our city as we reflect upon the Apostle Paul’s words to his young disciple Timothy: 

“Rekindle the gift of God that is within you…” II Timothy 1:6

As a part of this emphasis, I want us to join together in reading through the Bible in a year. So, beginning this Sunday, January 7, we will offer a Bible Reading Plan that will take us thematically through the Bible in a year. As we read together, we will cultivate a daily habit of studying the scriptures, and as a result, I believe the flame of our faith will burn even brighter within us. Please click here to opt into the plan and receive a daily email with the suggested readings for the day.

Finally, are you new to Peachtree Road UMC? 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 “Tea with the Clergy.” At this luncheon meeting, 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. 

As you have heard me say before, we are a people of hope. We are the Christmas people. We believe that light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it. We are the Easter people. We believe death has lost its sting and the grave has been defeated through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we come to New Year’s Day with hope and believe this new year can be better than just a return to normal. I believe 2024 can be a year of spiritual revival. We here at Peachtree Road are committed to making Christ’s encouragement to “rekindle the gift of God that is within you” at the heart of all that we do. I hope you will join us in worship each week. 

And I pray that you will experience the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit as we walk this journey together. 

Grace and peace,