April 26, 2019

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you well. I am writing you this morning from Greece – actually we are sailing on the Aegean Sea toward Mykonos. Jamie Jenkins and I are with a good group from our church on a spiritual journey following in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul. We already have visited Athens and Corinth and will work our way to Ephesus and Istanbul in the coming days. Many of those with us have taken Disciple Bible Study and are enjoying seeing the places and events they read about in the Bible coming to life before their eyes. We are finding this to be a time of spiritual inspiration.

One of the first places we visited was the Aeropagus in Athens where Paul preached his most famous sermon:

“Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you…”

You will find the full content of the sermon in Acts 17:16-34, and it is one of the best examples of engaging others with the message of Christ and the resurrection. We are having a great trip!

Speaking of the message of Christ and the resurrection, let me take this opportunity to express my appreciation to all who helped make Holy Week at Peachtree Road extra special. We held services each day at noon in the chapel and on Holy Thursday night, and I am grateful to those who helped organize and lead those services. They were most meaningful. The community Good Friday service was held at Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, and it was good to be together with others in our community for such a meaningful time of worship. All of these helped prepare us for a glorious celebration of Easter.

Easter Sunday began early in the columbarium with our sunrise service. A large crowd gathered in the darkness as the Easter story was read from John’s Gospel, and we processed with our candles and filled the chapel with worshipers. That service set the tone for the day, and I appreciate the work of the Altar Guild, Flower Guild, Ushers, Handbell Choir, Chancel Choir, and Atlanta Brassworks. Because of their efforts, there’s no place like Peachtree Road on Easter!

Thank you for your generous contributions to our Lenten Offering. Many of you gave up something during the forty days of Lent as a spiritual discipline in order to make more room for Christ in your life. You also set aside a financial gift as an offering for Easter Sunday. I am pleased to report that, as of this morning, you have given nearly $200,000 toward this offering which will benefit the 17 agencies with whom we partner to make a difference in the community. Thank you for your generous giving toward the Lenten offering. If you did not have an opportunity to give last Sunday, it is not too late. You may contribute by giving through the church app or online here.

As I greeted folks leaving the services on Sunday, one person shook my hand, thanked me for the wonderful service, and said, “See you next year!” I think he was visiting from out of town. At least, I hope he was visiting from out of town! And I hope many of those who worshiped with us on Easter will not wait until Christmas or next Easter to find their place in worship and the ministry of Peachtree Road.

I am pleased that our newest associate minister, Rev. Daniel Ogle, will be preaching this Sunday in the sanctuary at 8:45 am and 11:15 am. We were delighted to welcome Daniel, his wife Erin, and daughter Georgia to Peachtree Road in January, and this will be our first opportunity to hear him preach in the sanctuary. I hope you will be present Sunday to support him and get to know him better. I will be watching the livestream broadcast from Santorini!

Finally, I am pleased to announce that the ministerial appointments for 2019-2020 in the North Georgia Conference have been published, and all of our appointed clergy will be returning for another year. Geoff Beakley, Elizabeth Byrd, Daniel Ogle, Carolyn Stephens, Leslie Watkins, Julie Wright, and I are excited to be in ministry with you and look forward with great anticipation to the days ahead.

This is an exciting time at Peachtree Road. Let us continue in the spirit of our Easter faith and join together in worship and service. Thank you for your support of this great church’s ministry!

Bill