May 25, 2018
Dear Peachtree Road Family,
I hope this note finds you well. You may not have been paying attention, but yesterday was an important date in the history of the Methodist movement. On May 24, 1738, John Wesley experienced his “Aldersgate Street” experience and felt his heart “strangely warmed.” He came to understand this moment of inspiration as that time in his life when the Holy Spirit came upon him fully and gave him the courage to live boldly for Christ. That’s what we talked about last week as we celebrated Pentecost. Just as the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples, so the Spirit continues to come into our lives to inspire us and change the world in which we live.
Of course, we are approaching Memorial Day weekend. In keeping with the reason for this holiday, during Sunday’s worship services, our congregation will pause to remember those who have given their lives in service to our country by placing a wreath at the altar in their memory. Wendie and I will be away this weekend, and Geoff Beakley will be preaching at the services on Sunday. I hope you are planning to be present.
Memorial Day marks the unofficial beginning of summer, and I know many of you will use this holiday as vacation time. If you are unable to be at church Sunday, I encourage you to do as we will do and participate in the service online at 11:15 a.m. You also may “make up” by worshiping later in the week when the service is available on the church’s website. Either way, I hope you will keep worship at the forefront of your spiritual life during the summer season and stay connected to your friends at Peachtree Road.
Speaking of worship, let me remind you of some special upcoming services:
- Founder’s Day (June 3) — On June 7, 1925, at 11:00 a.m., the first public worship service of Peachtree Road Methodist Church was held in a partially completed chapel that had a roof and floor but no walls. (That’s a pretty good metaphor for what Peachtree Road has always been – “a church without walls!”) Bishop UVW Darlington was the preacher for the service. The church had organized in May with 19 founding members and on June 7, 20 new members joined, more than doubling the membership to 39. From those humble beginnings our church has grown to become one of the largest in Methodism with an influence felt around the world. We will take the time to celebrate on that day, and I hope you will make your plans to be with us.
- Pilgrimage to England Preview Concert (June 3) – You may be aware that our Chancel Choir has been invited to be the “choir in residence” at historic Westminster Abbey in London from July 30 through August 5, of this year. The Chancel Choir will be leading worship each day and share music with people from around the world. In turn, our singers will be spiritually and musically enriched, ready to share their gifts with our church and community throughout the year. I invite you to come and hear the music the choir will perform at a “preview concert” on Sunday, June 3, at 7:00 p.m. in the sanctuary.
- Celebration of Freedom (June 24) – Many of you tell me each year as you leave worship that this is one of your favorite Sundays of the year. As usual, we will join together for a wonderful celebration of God and country as we sing patriotic hymns, honor our veterans, pray for our nation and world, and give thanks for God’s many blessings. And, yes, Timothy Miller will be with us again this year to sing “God Bless America.” This is a Sunday you will not want to miss!
Finally, I would like to enlist your prayers on behalf of some who are traveling during these days:
- Mission Team to nation of Georgia – you know of our vital mission with hundreds of children living in the country of Georgia (I am grateful to Lynn Banks and Gary Schneeberg for their leadership and passion for this ministry). Earlier this month, many of you signed up for our “Sponsor a Child” opportunity that directly impacts this ministry, and we are grateful. Last Sunday we commissioned a team that will be in Georgia May 27 through June 4.
- Young Adult Mission Trip to Belize – our Young Adult ministry is sponsoring a mission trip to Belize, and I am grateful to Jeff Koon and Jessica Tripp who are leading our team. They will be ministering on our behalf in an impoverished community of this country and offering hope and help to many. They depart Atlanta on June 2 and will return on June 10.
- Doxology Youth Choir to Seattle – on Saturday, our talented youth choir will leave for Seattle to share their gifts on the West Coast. On their 2018 choir tour, Doxology will sing at the church of Paul Morris (retired PRUMC clergy), perform at a local food bank, sing with retirement center residents, and present a concert at Mt. Rainier National Park! We are grateful to Kathy Fletcher and her incredible efforts as she continues to enrich our youth and our church with the gift of music.
- Kingdom Journey Trip to the Holy Land – For the last two years, 16 of our students, along with 18 of their parents and 5 leaders, met twice a month to study the Bible, talk about our faith, and learn how to live out their faith in word and deed in the community. On June 2, this group will leave for the Holy Land to experience the sights they’ve studied! I can’t imagine a more transformative experience for families than the opportunity this program offers. Information about the next two-year study will be posted soon.
Thank you for keeping these travelers in your prayers.
As we move into the days of summer, we find many reasons to remember, give thanks, and celebrate. I hope that when you are in town you will be in your place in worship. When you are traveling, worship online and stay connected to your church family. And, please, do not hesitate to call me if you need me.