The Importance of Our Spiritual Community

June 25, 2021

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are well. Many of you are enjoying time away from the city on the weekends, but I want to keep you up with news from your church family. Also, at the close of this note I will share some important information about our ministry of hospitality.

This Sunday is our annual Celebration of Freedom service. Once again we will be singing patriotic hymns, hearing inspirational music from our choir (welcome back!), and honoring our veterans. For many, that moment in the service when the veterans march down the aisle to the expressed appreciation of our congregation is one of the highlights of the year at Peachtree Road. Almost none of our marching veterans are from World War II (even the youngest of them would be 95 years old), and that makes my heart sad. We recently commemorated the anniversary of D-Day and the landings on the beaches of Normandy in that amazing effort to free Europe from the tyranny and terror of the Nazis. We owe so much to them and all of our veterans who have willingly put on a military uniform and served our country. If you know of a veteran who does not have a church home, please invite them to this service and encourage them to participate in the parade of veterans.

Here a few important notes about Freedom Sunday at Peachtree Road.

  • This Sunday I will be preaching on the topic “A More Perfect Union,” and we will reflect upon that which makes America a great nation and how we can lean more fully into God’s vision for our future. We will spend some time thinking about the important role our faith plays in our citizenship in this land. I encourage you to read Matthew 5:43-48 in preparation for the message.
  • The service will conclude with a prayer for our nation as Timothy Miller leads us in singing “God Bless America.” This is a most inspirational service, and I hope you are planning to be present. Wear your patriotic colors and invite someone to come with you! There is a place for everyone at Peachtree Road.
  • You also are invited to stay for a picnic box luncheon with your church friends in Grace Hall and outdoors. I invite you to come to worship and stay for a delicious box lunch featuring fried chicken, potato salad, and dessert. The cost is $12. We will be serving lunch from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm, and I hope to see you there.

And, while we’re on the topic of patriotic celebrations, I want to invite you to join us in front of the church on Saturday, July 3, and Sunday, July 4, for our “Party on Peachtree” from 6:30 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. We will gather out front to enjoy a time of fellowship as we cheer on the tens of thousands of runners as they sprint/jog/walk past our church as a part of the Peachtree Road Race. The church bells will be ringing. Come spend the early hours of the holiday with your church family. We will only have one service that Sunday (11:15 am), and we hope you will join us.

Let me take this opportunity invite you to join Jamie Jenkins and me on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land next year. A group from the church will be traveling to the land of the Bible March 7-18, 2022. I can tell you first-hand that this journey following in the footsteps of Jesus will change the way you read the scriptures and enrichen your spiritual life. In addition to touring the ancient city of Jerusalem, you will take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, visit Bethlehem where Jesus was born, and touch the waters of the Jordan River. We already have over 30 signed up for this trip. If you are interested in traveling with us, please call the church office or contact Jamie Jenkins (jamiej@prumc.org) for more information. We would love to have you join us.

Finally, as promised I want to share with you some information about our church’s ministry of hospitality. Over the course of the last year, our lives have been disrupted in significant ways, and safety rightfully has been our number one priority. Now that we are coming to the end of the of the pandemic, we have an opportunity to reach out to our neighbors and help folks who are yearning for spiritual community. However, the pandemic has depleted the numbers in many of our hospitality ministries: ushers, greeters, ambassadors, acolytes, altar guild, flower guild, sanctuary guild, and two new groups – parking lot greeters and pew greeters. We are in the process of recruiting members for each of these teams. We will be recruiting new persons during the month of July and offering a hospitality training event on Sunday, August 15 from 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm. The training event will include a box lunch and we hope to record it for others to watch later. If you are interested in joining the hospitality ministry of Peachtree Road, please let us know by reaching out to our associate minister Elizabeth Byrd (elizabethb@prumc.org). We will be reaching out to our neighbors and inviting folks to Peachtree Road in September and want to be ready to offer them a warm and gracious welcome. Thank you for your help.

This week is shaping up to bring a sense of some normalcy to our church life, and I hope you will consider joining your friends for in-person worship at either 8:30 am or 11:15 am. However, if you are out of town or traveling, please worship with us online (www.prumc.org). Either way, I look forward to worshiping with you as we celebrate our freedom.

Grace and peace,

Bill

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