Dear Peachtree Road Family,

As we head into the Labor Day weekend, I hope you are doing well. This holiday traditionally marks the end of summer and the beginning of the fall routine at Peachtree Road. I am aware that some of you may be reading these words as you make your tailgate preparations as you attend your favorite school’s opening football game. And still others of you are in the mountains or at the beach enjoying one more weekend away from the city. Please know we look forward to seeing you back in your place here at Peachtree Road very soon.

Last Sunday was a wonderful day as we welcomed Admiral Barry Black, Chaplain of the United States Senate, to Peachtree Road UMC. Chaplain Black is an extraordinary Christian. I marveled at his messages – three completely different sermons at the three services! All three were excellent, but the one that touched me the most was the one he preached at the 10:00 am service in the Moore Chapel – “When Your Net Is Empty.” I encourage you to go to the church’s Vimeo page to listen to all three messages that Chaplain Black preached last weekend. He is a national treasure, and it was a privilege to hear him preach to us.

On Monday we hosted a gathering of pastors of “big tent churches” in the Southeast. About 130 pastors representing 105 of some of the largest United Methodist churches in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia gathered in Grace Hall for a day to consider our future together. Chaplain Black inspired us with a powerful devotional and Bishop Tom Bickerton, President of the Council of Bishops, was present to hear our concerns and respond to our questions. I was so proud of our church! Sometimes we take for granted the level of hospitality we experience here at Peachtree Road UMC on a regular basis on this campus, but Monday I saw it afresh through the eyes of some of my colleagues. It was a good day!

I am away this weekend doing some study and writing for the next year. I appreciate the input many of you gave me a few weeks back concerning the spiritual questions and struggles you have and would like to hear addressed in messages next year. The Lord is at work in our midst and we look forward to following Christ even more closely in the days to come.

This Sunday promises to be a good day of worship as our associate minister Rev. Elizabeth Byrd preaches. The Sacrament of Holy Communion will be celebrated at each service this week. If you are away from Peachtree Road, I encourage you to join me in worshiping online at 8:45 am, 10:00 am, or 11:15 am through the church website. Please stay connected to your church family.

Finally, let me remind you of two upcoming opportunities:

  • Fall Kick-off Sunday (September 11) – not only are you encouraged to attend worship, but we also hope you will invite a friend, neighbor, or relative to join you as we begin an emphasis on welcoming others to Christ’s table. All are welcome at Peachtree Road as we consider ways we are inviting others to “Come to the Table” with us. Fall Kick-off Sunday would not be complete without a luncheon in Grace Hall, and you are invited to join us for a day of worship, fellowship, and good food.

  • Journeys of Paul Cruise – Jamie Jenkins and I will be leading a trip tracing Paul’s 2nd and 3rd missionary journeys next fall, and registration now is open! We have been allocated 65 cabins aboard the Azamara Onward for this once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the land of Paul with other United Methodists. The online brochure is here. For more information, please contact Jamie Jenkins:

Thank you for your faithfulness in so many ways. Please call on me if I may be of help to you in any way.

Grace and peace,