The Coming of the Holy Spirit

May 21, 2021

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are well. Last Thursday, the CDC released updated guidelines for fully-vaccinated people which no longer require masks. This caught us off-guard here at the church as we had just relaxed some of our protocols by dropping the requirements to make a reservation for worship or having a temperature check upon entering the building. Our intent has been to open our campus as safely as possible by gradually relaxing guidelines as the CDC and State allow. However, as I told the staff on Tuesday morning, I feel like I’ve got one foot in the air and am not sure where to come down with the other!

The good news is that the CDC updated guidelines reflect the plunging numbers of new cases of COVID-19 and confidence in the efficacy of the vaccines. This marks a major milestone in the fight against the pandemic that has gripped our lives for the last 14 months. Precautions are still necessary, but we are comfortable accelerating our timeline in safely re-opening our campus for ministry. Effective this Sunday and going forward:

  • Reservations are not required to attend worship in person in the sanctuary
  • Reservations are still required for children in the nursery
  • Sanctuary capacity will return to 100%
  • Masks and physical distancing are no longer required for fully-vaccinated people
  • Upon entering the church building, folks are requested to register their attendance for contact-tracing purposes (this may be done electronically through a smart phone using the QR code or by using the paper registration form available from an ambassador – volunteers will be glad to assist in this process)
  • Those who are not fully-vaccinated are encouraged to continue to wear masks to protect our most vulnerable – senior adults with underlying health conditions and unvaccinated student

People have asked if we will be checking for proof of vaccination, and the answer is “No.” We will adhere to the “honor system” and trust our folks to be honest and do what is right. After all, we are disciples of Jesus Christ and hope everyone is asking the question, “What would Jesus do?” We will continue to monitor recommendations from the CDC and State of Georgia Department of Public Health and follow their guidance. Thank you for your cooperation with these guidelines.

I really am looking forward to Sunday. It will be an exciting day here at Peachtree Road as we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, the day on which we commemorate the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples. The New Testament book of Acts puts it this way:

“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.” (Acts 2:1-4)

Taking a cue from that first Pentecost, our worship promises to be a wondrously festive time of great joy. The liturgical color for Pentecost is red, and I encourage you to wear red this Sunday to help us celebrate! We will offer two services in the sanctuary (8:30 am and 11:15 am) and the live online service through the church app and website at 11:15 am.

At the close of Sunday’s services, we will recognize those who have participated in Disciple Bible Study this year. Along with Sunday School, Disciple is the primary place where many of our members experience spiritual transformation through Bible Study. We have learned a new way to study in the last year as these classes were conducted via Zoom. I am grateful for the commitment of all our Disciple participants and look forward to recognizing and honoring them this week.

Important Notes:

  • COVID-19 Vaccine – through our partnership with CORE, the Phizer vaccine will be available here on our campus for the next 5 Saturdays – May 22, May 29 appointments are now available and June 5, June 12, and June 19 will open in the next few days. The primary target is students, but anyone can register at prumc.org/vaccines.
  • Recruitment Time – as we make preparations to welcome new persons to Peachtree Road UMC in the fall, it is time to ramp up our hospitality ministries. Would you like to be an usher, ambassador, pew greeter, or member of one of our worship guilds? We are looking for persons who have gifts in the area of hospitality to help us invite and welcome our neighbors and help them come to know Christ in a deep and transformational way. Please let us know of your interest by responding here.
  • Pilgrimage to the Holy Land – we are praying for peace in the Middle East in these days and looking forward to a group from Peachtree Road traveling through the land of the Bible next year. About 30 folks already have signed up for our pilgrimage set for March 7-18, 2022, and we would love to have you join us. Please reach out to me or Jamie Jenkins (jamiej@prumc.org) for more information, or attend an upcoming meeting on May 30 or June 6.

Thank you for your prayerful support of the ministry of Peachtree Road. Please call on me if you need me.

Grace and peace,

Bill

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