March 22, 2024

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are well. As I write these words, we are merely hours away from Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week. This is one of our favorite Sundays of the year here at Peachtree Road UMC with the children entering the sanctuary waving their palm branches, the beautiful music offered by the choirs, and, yes, our favorite donkey “Jerusalem” leading the procession at the 11:15 am service. The passage we read at the beginning of worship sets the tone for the day:

Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” – Mark 11:9-10

Over the course of the last six weeks, we have focused upon those things we do as disciples of Jesus Christ that can lead to spiritual growth and a deeper relationship with Christ. In our series entitled “Rekindling the Fires of Our Faith,” we have identified five characteristics: a clear focus upon the Lordship of Jesus Christ, intentional reading and study of scripture, regular worship of God, participation in covenant groups for reflection and accountability, and an outward focus of service toward others. I hope you have found this season’s emphasis to be helpful. I am looking forward to worshiping with you Sunday as we reflect upon the last hours of Jesus’ life and their impact upon our lives. I would love to see you in person at one of the morning services at 8:45 am, 10:00 am, or 11:15 am. Certainly, if you are traveling this weekend, worship with us online through the livestream of the services at or later in the week.

Speaking of Sunday, I hope you also will join us at a complimentary congregational luncheon in Grace Hall from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm. The menu will feature glazed ham, macaroni and cheese, green bean salad, yeast rolls, and strawberry shortcake. Our youth will serve as hosts for the meal. I hope you will come and enjoy a delicious meal and good fellowship as we begin this Holy Week together. 

As we move into Holy Week, you are invited to join us for our midday worship services Monday through Thursday in the Moore Chapel. These thirty-minute services will begin at 12:00 noon and will be followed by a luncheon in Grace Hall. If you cannot make it in person, the services will be livestreamed here. The schedule for the week features the following preachers and soloists:
Monday Rev. Julie Wright/William Green
Tuesday Rev. Josh Miles/Rontray Miller,II
Wednesday Rev. Daniel Ogle/Meredith Howard
Thursday Rev. Leslie Watkins/ William Green
Our Holy Thursday service will be held in the sanctuary on Thursday, March 28, at 7:00 pm with Rev. Elizabeth Byrd preaching. We will celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion as we remember Jesus’ last supper with his disciples. During the closing hymn, members of the Altar Guild will strip the altar, signifying the abandonment of Jesus by his disciples and his prayers of anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane. We will process from the sanctuary to the chapel, and the bread and cup will be placed on the altar table there as an invitation to join in somber reflection upon God’s sacrificial love for us.

We will bring the season of Lent to a close with other Christians from throughout Buckhead for a special Community Good Friday Service on Friday, March 29, at 12:00 noon at the Cathedral of Christ the King Roman Catholic Church. Members from New Hope African Methodist Episcopal, Peachtree Presbyterian, Second Ponce de Leon Baptist, and Wieuca Road Baptist will join us at Christ the King for this somber service. We will reflect on the seven last words of Jesus spoken from the cross, and each church’s minister will offer a reflection on the reading. I hope you will join us for this particularly meaningful time of worship with our friends from throughout the community as we reflect upon Jesus’ death upon the cross. 

In addition to these services of worship, let me remind you of two more opportunities for service during Holy Week:

Lenten Offering – once again this year our special giving during the season of Lent will be used to support the agencies and ministries in the Greater Atlanta area with whom we partner. As you give up a couple of meals each week, consider giving the money you are saving to this offering. If each of us gave just $20 a week or $120 for the season, it would make a tremendous impact upon the lives of others. Please give through the church website here

Easter Cross Flowers – I want to invite you to help us decorate the cross out in front of the sanctuary with flowers as a beautiful symbol of our faith in Christ and the Resurrection. Members of the Flower Guild will be out in front of the church on Saturday, March 30, between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm to receive your flowers. You may bring flowering branches, flowers from your yard, or colorful flowers you may have bought. Please share them with us and help us offer a beautiful message to our city: Christ is Risen!

I want to remind you of the called church conference set for this Monday, March 25, at 6:30 pm in Grace Hall. Our District Superintendent Dr. Michael McQueen will be present to preside as we consider a motion from our Board of Trustees to merge with Collins Memorial UMC on the Westside. The members of Collins voted unanimously last month to merge with Peachtree Road UMC, and now it is our turn to consider this important opportunity for ministry. We are excited about this because it would give our Westside campus a permanent location in the neighborhood. A “Frequently Asked Questions” sheet has been prepared to help you understand this opportunity. We would love to have you join us for the meeting. The Administrative Board is meeting at the same time, and the called church conference will be a part of the meeting. (RSVP details are on the FAQ page.) Certainly, be in prayer for our church as we consider this important move for our Westside Table campus.

Finally, we need your help. Our search team charged with recruiting our next Director of Children’s Ministries invites parents with young children to a listening session on Sunday, March 24, from 9:45 am until 10:45 am in the Hospitality Suite. They are interested in getting feedback from folks concerning the current strengths of our program as well as anticipated challenges in the future. Come share your insights so that our ministry with children can thrive well into the future. Please note the job posting here

Thank you for all you do to support the ministry of this great church. I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we begin Holy Week together!

Grace and peace,