June 21, 2019

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are having a good summer. 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.

This Sunday is our annual Celebration of Freedom Sunday. Once again we will be singing patriotic hymns, hearing inspirational music from our choir, 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. I cannot help but notice that only one or two of our veterans are from World War II, and that makes my heart heavy. We recently commemorated the 75th 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 procession of veterans.

Here are a few important notes about Freedom Sunday at Peachtree Road:

  • I will be preaching on the topic “The Soul of America” this Sunday, and we will reflect upon that which is at the heart of this great country — kindness and caring, not rancor and paranoia. We will spend some time thinking about that which unites us in the midst of our diversity and the important role our faith plays in our citizenship in this land. I encourage you to read Romans 8:18-27 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 fried chicken luncheon with your church friends in Grace Hall. Last fall, we hosted the senior ministers of the 100 largest United Methodist churches in the country, and I wanted to give them a “taste of Atlanta”. As you might imagine, we arranged for the Varsity truck to be at the church one day. You should have seen the looks on the faces of those ministers as the server barked “What’ll ‘ya have? What’ll ‘ya have?” We had to teach them about chili dogs, rings, and FO’s, but they got the hang of it and really enjoyed the experience. For our big dinner, Matthews Cafeteria in Tucker catered the meal – fried chicken, mac and cheese, green beans, rolls, peach cobbler, and sweet tea! Our guests were mighty impressed. Well, it went over so well, we have decided to have Matthews cater our meal for Freedom Sunday. So, I invite you to come to worship and stay for a delicious fried chicken luncheon with your friends here at Peachtree Road as we celebrate our country and our church. The cost is $10 per person and a $25 max for a family. We will be serving in Grace Hall from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., and I look forward to seeing you there.
  • I do want to call to your attention that The Road contemporary service and Sundays @ 5 in the Moore Chapel will not be held this Sunday. We encourage you to join us in the sanctuary for the Freedom Sunday services at 8:45 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. If you are unable to make it, you may watch the service online at 11:15 am by livestream on the church app or website.

And, while we’re on the topic of patriotic celebrations, I want to invite you to join us in front of the church on Thursday, July 4, for our “Party on Peachtree” from 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. We will gather out front to enjoy a time of fellowship as we cheer on tens of thousands of participants as they race past our church as a part of the Peachtree Road Race. If you are participating in the race, I’ll be standing at the curb in front of the church and looking for you. The church bells will be ringing, and your friends will be there. Come spend the early hours of the holiday with your church family.

Finally, I want to 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 February 15-26, 2020. I can tell you first-hand that this journey following in the footsteps of Jesus will change the way we read the scriptures, and you will learn why scholars often refer to such a pilgrimage as the “Fifth Gospel.” In addition to 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 and remember your baptism. If you are interested in traveling with us, please call the church office or contact Jamie Jenkins for more information. We would love to have you join us.

Please do not hesitate to call on me if you need me. I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we worship together and celebrate our freedom.

Bill