April 5, 2024

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are well. Let me begin this week’s note by thanking so many of you for joining us for an incredible Easter service last Sunday. Over 3,100 worshipers filled our sanctuary, and over 1,600 more participated online. An incredible amount of work took place behind the scenes to make Sunday a glorious day of celebration:

  • Flower Guild members working most of Saturday to decorate the sanctuary and the cross out front
  • Altar Guild and Pew Duty volunteers preparing the sanctuary for worshipers
  • Musicians rehearsing their anthems and leading us in great hymns of the church
  • Ushers, Greeters, and Ambassadors welcoming folks onto our campus
  • Childcare workers caring for our preschoolers while parents worshiped
  • Acolytes bringing the light of Christ into the sanctuary at the beginning of worship

I am grateful to our audio-visual team for their efforts to make the pageantry of our services available online. Week-in and week-out, they do a phenomenal job behind the scenes of helping folks who physically cannot be on our campus on Sunday morning find their place spiritually in our sanctuary for worship. I am grateful for all of our behind-the-scenes folks.

Thank you for your contributions to our Lenten Offering. This offering goes to support several of our partner agencies in the community as we work together to build a better Atlanta. I do not have a final number to share with you, but if you have not had an opportunity to give, it certainly is not too late! You may contribute by sending your check made payable to Peachtree Road UMC and marked for “Lenten Offering” or contribute through the church website. Please help us give the new life we celebrate at Easter to others who need it so badly.

I really am looking forward to worship this Sunday as we continue our Easter celebration. The message is entitled “Believing Thomas.” You know the infamous words of Thomas:

“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” – John 20:25

Those words have forever earned him the nickname “Doubting Thomas.” Well, I want to suggest that in light of words he spoke just a week later, we might need to reconsider that nickname.

Though the large crowds of Easter Sunday probably will not be repeated this week, the same spirit of joy and celebration will be present. We will sing triumphant resurrection hymns such as “Easter People, Raise Your Voices” and “Christ Is Risen.” The Chancel Choir will sing an anthem entitled “The Easter Song of Praise,” and we will celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion. In addition, at the 11:15 am service we will recognize those families who have been blessed with babies in the last year and have an opportunity to offer a blessing upon them. All in all, Sunday promises to be a great day, and we look forward to worshiping with you in person or online through the church website.

Upcoming Special Sundays in April:

  • The Preschool Sunday – on Sunday, April 14, we will celebrate The Preschool at Peachtree Road UMC. We have invited students at The Preschool, their parents, teachers, and administrators to be our guests at the 11:15 am worship service so we may honor and recognize them. The children will sing, and we will offer a special blessing upon them. Mark your calendar and join in the celebration.
  • Confirmation Sunday – on Sunday, April 21, we will welcome 6th graders into the full membership of the church at a special Confirmation Service in the sanctuary at 10:00 am. I am grateful to Chris Mucha and his team in student ministries for the leadership they have provided our youth over the course of the last year. The service is open to all and will be livestreamed through the church’s website.
  • Graduate Recognition – on Sunday, April 28, we will set aside time at the close of our 11:15 am worship service in the sanctuary to recognize and honor our high school graduating seniors. I hope you will be present to hear them as they share their plans for the coming year and join us in a prayer of blessing upon them.

The General Conference of the United Methodist Church will meet in Charlotte, North Carolina on April 23 until May 3. This is the first time the official policy-making body of the denomination has had an opportunity to meet since 2019. 862 voting delegates are expected to be present representing the United States (55.9%), Africa (32%), the Philippines (6%), Europe (4.6%), and the remainder from concordat churches that have close ties to The United Methodist Church. Half of the delegates will be clergy and the other half lay. I encourage you to pray for these delegates as they meet to discern God’s will for our denomination. After the conclusion of the General Conference, we will provide you with an update concerning the decisions they made and how our church might be impacted.

Finally, I want to issue a final call to join me later this year on a Wesley Heritage tour of England as we explore the roots of Methodism. You will have an opportunity to visit: Epworth where the Wesleys were baptized and grew up under the guidance of their mother Susannah; Christ Church College at Oxford University where John and Charles Wesley were educated and ordained and where the “Holy Club” which led to the birth of Methodism was founded; Bristol and “The New Room” where John Wesley preached about the unconditional grace of God to thousands and taught class leaders how to lead covenant groups; and London where the home of John Wesley is located. In addition, you will visit the birthplace of William Shakespeare in Stratford-on-Avon, spend a relaxing afternoon in Jane Austin’s village of Bath, and maybe enjoy tea at Buckingham Palace. Does this sound like something you would like to do? Then sign up to join us October 22-31, 2024, and learn more about your spiritual roots as a Methodist. To download a brochure, please click on the following link or contact Jamie Jenkins (jamiej@prumc.org.)

Thank you for your support in so many ways. I look forward to growing with you in our resurrection faith in the coming days through the ministry of this great church!

Grace and peace,