January 20, 2023

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are well. Earlier this week Scott Atchison shared a saying he picked up from a friend: “Watching worship online is like watching that fireplace on TV. You see it, but never feel the warmth.” Now, that might be a bit of an overstatement (I really do value the opportunity that online worship provides), but the point is well taken. When we gather with others in our beautiful sanctuary at Peachtree Road UMC to sing, pray, and reflect upon the scriptures, the Spirit warms our hearts with a peace and joy that is difficult to describe. I hope you will join us Sunday as we experience that warmth together.

Speaking of Sunday, I really am looking forward to our services as we continue this month’s mental health series of messages entitled “Journey to Wholeness.” This week’s sermon is entitled “We Are Family.” We will sing familiar hymns (“The Church’s One Foundation” and “Wonderful Words of Life”), hear a beautiful anthem by the Chancel Choir (“Christ Is Our Cornerstone”), and reflect upon Jesus’ words about family (Matthew 12:46-50) and their impact upon our mental health. I hope you will join us in person or online through our website.

We have spent the last few days preparing our year-end reports to send to the Annual Conference. I want you to know that 2022 was a very good year. Consider these statistics:

  • Average Worship Attendance – 1885 (including online participants)
  •  Number of Persons Who Joined on Profession of Faith – 66
  • Total Number of New Members – 152
  • Giving to the Operating Budget – $7.3 million ($100k over expenses!)
  • Giving to Outreach Special Offerings – $1.6 million

These numbers reflect a faithful and generous congregation, and I am grateful for the many ways you participate in the ministry of Peachtree Road.

Upcoming Events at Peachtree Road UMC: 

  • An Evening with Jane Pauley – as a part of our church’s mental health emphasis, our One Lamb Initiative is sponsoring an evening with Jane Pauley. You know her as one of the most respected journalists in our country and the host of CBS Sunday Morning. Did you know that she was diagnosed at age 50 with a mental illness? She has written a book about her journey and will be present with us on Monday evening, January 23 to talk about it. To obtain a ticket, please click here. Your $20 gift will benefit the church’s One Lamb Wellness Initiative.
  • Annual Charge Conference – our district superintendent Dr. Michael McQueen will be with us on Monday, January 30, at 6:30 pm for our Annual Charge Conference. At this meeting, we will share our progress in ministry, officially elect leaders for the year, and adopt an operating budget for 2023. This will double as our first Administrative Board meeting for the year with Neal Sumter as our new chairperson.

Finally, if you are interested in becoming a member of Peachtree Road UMC, it’s not too late to be included in our next orientation luncheon entitled “Tea with the Clergy” set for this Sunday, January 22, at 12:30 pm. This will be an opportunity for you to meet our ministerial staff, hear about the history and ministry of the church, ask questions, and discover where you fit here. We already have nearly 60 persons signed up for this month’s gathering. If you would like to learn more about becoming a member, please contact Rev. Elizabeth Byrd at elizabethb@prumc.org.   

I’ll see you Sunday as we experience the warmth of being together in the presence of the Lord.

Grace and peace,