• on Friday, May 22, 2020

Reverence, Gracious Welcome, and Warm Hospitality

May 22, 2020

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you well. With parts of the state reopening, many of you have been asking when Peachtree Road might open for in-person worship. Earlier this week, the Administrative Board met and received a report that addressed that question. Here are the highlights:

We are making plans for a phased re-opening of the church building and campus:

  • Phase 1 – beginning on Tuesday, May 26, members of the staff will begin to return to work in the church building. Each staff member will be administered a health screening prior to entry into the building. Once inside, they will wear masks, regularly wash their hands, and practice physical distancing of 6+ feet. “High touch” areas regularly will be disinfected, and each person will be responsible for his or her own workspace.
  • Phase 2 – We have targeted Monday, June 15, for the church building to begin opening for small groups of 10 people or less (all will be asked to wear masks, wash hands regularly, and observe physical distancing)
  • Phase 3 – It is difficult to project more than a couple of weeks out, but we are looking toward sometime in July or August for the sanctuary to open for in-person worship. By that time we will have new procedures in place to ensure the safety and well-being of all on our campus.

We not only are following the guidelines provided by the CDC, State of Georgia, and City of Atlanta, but we also are informed by our church’s mission and core values. As a result, we are committed to acting out of an abundance of care for our staff, members, and guests. While we all are anxious to get back together in person, I do not want us to rush back and find ourselves worshiping in a way that does not convey the sense of reverence, gracious welcome, and warm hospitality for which Peachtree Road is known. To see the detailed presentation the Board reviewed Monday night, please click here. I invite you to pray for our staff and leaders as we envision the church’s ministry in the coming days.

In other news from the Administrative Board meeting, we learned:

  • The Lenten Offering, which benefits our ministry partners here in Atlanta, has exceeded $274,000
  • After two weeks, the Mother’s Day Offering to benefit the senior adults of Wesley Woods has exceeded $21,000 (if you would like to contribute, make your check payable to Peachtree Road UMC, mark it for Wesley Woods, and mail it to the church or give online through the church app or website)
  • We elected a 2020 Program Planning Committee (click here to see the names) to work with our church’s architect and ministry program area leaders to develop a master site plan looking toward 2030 and beyond
  • Financially, through the first four months of the year, giving has exceeded disbursements and the church budget currently is on-track as we head into the summer months

On a separate note, let me offer my sincere appreciation for your generous financial support of the church ministry. We are facing an uncertain future, and your faithful giving is making a difference.

This Monday is Memorial Day, and, in keeping with the reason for this holiday, during Sunday’s worship service, we will pause to remember those who have given their lives in service to our country by placing a wreath at the altar in their memory. I hope you will join us online for worship as we remember and give thanks.

Also on Sunday, we will continue our series of messages on the Ten Commandments entitled “Thunder on the Mountain.” This week’s message will focus upon the sixth commandment, and we will talk about “Honoring Life.” One concept I want us to explore this Sunday is what it means to “learn backwards and live forward.” I look forward to being with you in worship.

Please consider inviting someone to worship online with you at Peachtree Road. What would it be like to reach out to members of your family from across the country and invite them to join you for worship virtually? Imagine sitting in a pew together like years ago as you sing, pray, and sense the presence of God together. Or, consider inviting a friend who doesn’t have a church home to join you at 11:15 am in digital worship at Peachtree Road. This is a time when many are feeling the ground shift beneath their feet and are searching for some stability. Invite them to join you this Sunday.

Finally, several of you asked for a copy of the blessing offered at the close of last Sunday’s service. It was inspired by a blessing written by our own Bishop Woodie White several years ago for students graduating from Candler School of Theology. I share it with you here.

Thank you again for all you are doing. I pray that you may experience the assurance of God’s love and grace. Please call me if you need me.


1 Comment

  1. These weekly messages are so helpful, as we shelter in place. As I read this message I f3lt connected to the church family, I am excited to learn of the careful plans to reopen slowly. How does one get a copy of “THE BLESSING?” I am grateful for all the opportunities to worship, study, and to be connected during theses times of sheltering in place.

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