October 20, 2023

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are well. As you read these words, I am preparing to leave with a group of about 70 persons from our church on a tour of ancient Turkey and Greece as we retrace the missionary footsteps of the Apostle Paul. We will be joining a larger group of about 500 United Methodists from around the country on this journey. We covet your prayers as we travel.

Like you, I have been following the events in Israel and Gaza with keen interest. The images shown on television have been heartbreaking. We have seen the face of evil in the terrorist attacks by Hamas in Israel. We have heard the cries of innocent men, women, and children who are suffering the ravages of war. And, in the ancient words of the psalmist, we have wondered, “How long, O Lord?” I encourage you to remember your faith:

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of the city. It shall not be moved. God will help it when the morning dawns. The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter. He utters his voice, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge. Come, behold the works of the Lord. See what desolations he has brought on the earth: he makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. ‘Be still and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations. I am exalted in the earth.’ The Lord of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge.” – Psalm 46

I also encourage you to pray. You may have friends who are Jewish who are experiencing great anxiety. Reach out to them. Care for them. Pray for them. You may have friends who are Palestinian who are very much afraid. Understand that being Palestinian does not mean they are aligned with Hamas. Reach out to them. Care for them. Pray for them.

Finally, pray for the people of the Middle East. The last two Sundays we have gathered at the altar of the church to pray, and I hope we will continue to pray regularly. Again, in the words of the psalmist: 

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls and security within your towers.’ For the sake of my relatives and friends I will say, “Peace be within you.” – Psalm 122:6-8 

I hope you will find your place in worship this Sunday at Peachtree Road UMC. Our associate minister Josh Miles will be preaching a message entitled “It’s Time to Dive In,” and I encourage you to read Ephesians 2:8-10 in preparation. You will be singing two great hymns of the church (“Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah” and “Grace Greater Than Our Sin”) and the children’s choirs will be singing in the sanctuary. In addition, the Chancel Choir will offer “Sing, My Soul, His Wondrous Love” by Ned Rorem as an anthem. It will be a great day at Peachtree Road UMC, and I encourage you to worship in person at 8:45 am, 10:00 am, or 11:15 am or online at www.prumc.org

Last Sunday was Commitment Sunday here at Peachtree Road UMC, and a good number of you renewed your commitment to Christ last week. If you have not yet turned in your financial commitment card, please do so this week. We are looking to adopt a preliminary budget at the November Administrative Board meeting, and it is important for us to hear from you as soon as possible. Thank you for your faith in Christ and commitment to this great church. For your convenience, you may make your pledge online at www.prumc.org/give

Opportunities in the coming weeks:

  • Book Signing – Sunday, October 22, Charles Schoen will be at Peachtree Road UMC signing his book Unexpected Joy. It is the story of his journey with his son Charlie. You know Charlie as the special needs young man in the wheelchair who chirps with delight when greeting others at worship. This book also is a map for parents with children with special needs to help them find their way. Pick up your copy on Sunday. 
  • Change Your Story, Change Your Life – Sunday, October 22, 5:30 pm, in the Hospitality Suite. This workshop led by Dr. Linda Buchanan is designed to help women rethink their personal stories in a new way and find freedom for living. Please RSVP by emailing info@1Lamb.org
  • Halloween Extravaganza – Wednesday, October 25, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, in the Green Parking Lots. This community event will welcome our neighborhood families to our church! Put on your favorite costume and join us for awesome, Halloween festivity. We will have a Trunk-or-Treat, bouncies, games, a photo booth, hot dogs, a cakewalk, and much more. We would love for your participation as gracious hosts for the Trunk-or-Treat. To help at this event, click here. 
  • Take a Tour of Peachtree Road UMC – Sunday, October 29, 10:00 am, beginning in Heritage Hall. Whether you are new to Peachtree Road UMC or have been here a while but still trying to find your way around, join Brittany Charron for a tour of the church campus and a brief overview of the church’s ministries and offerings. For more information, contact Brittany at brittanyc@prumc.org.  

Finally, are you interested in becoming a member of Peachtree Road UMC? Please join us on Sunday, November 12, at 12:30 pm in the Hospitality Suite for “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 (brittanyc@prumc.org) for more information or to sign up.  

Thank you for your commitment to the ministry of Peachtree Road UMC. Your prayers are heard, your presence is inspiring to others, your gifts are making a difference, and your service shines the light of Christ in our community. I am grateful to be your pastor.

Grace and peace,