Dear Peachtree Road Family,
I hope you are well. As you read these words, I am on my way to Petoskey, Michigan to preach at the Bay View Association, a Methodist campground in northern Michigan. I will preach on Sunday, lecture Monday through Thursday, and have the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of summer in in that part of the world throughout the week. Please pray for me as I pray for you in these days.
Last week we began a sermon series on “What Methodists Believe,” and I was reminded of a scene from the movie “42.” You may remember that it retells the story of the men who helped break the color barrier in Major League Baseball – Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey. It is an inspiring story of faith, courage, and perseverance. In my favorite scene, Branch Rickey, the general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, is looking over player profiles, searching for the right person – one who not only has the physical ability to play at the major league level but also the inner strength to endure the abuse he will encounter. He picks up the scouting report on Jackie Robinson, smiles, and announces, “Here’s our man – Jackie Robinson. He’s a Methodist. I’m a Methodist. And God is a Methodist.” I just love that scene! Now, I don’t really believe God is a Methodist, but you and I areMethodists. Have you ever wondered what we Methodists believe? That’s what we’re talking about this month.
This week we will consider the second lesson in our series: “Methodists believe in the new birth.” Our associate minister Geoff Beakley will preach. Geoff is doing an outstanding job leading our church’s men’s ministry and directing the Georgia Tech Wesley Foundation. I hope you will make your plans to participate in worship either in person in the sanctuary at either 8:30 am or 11:15 am or online here at 11:15 am.
If you are planning to attend worship in person, I remind you that the City of Atlanta currently is under a mask mandate. All persons (vaccinated and unvaccinated) attending indoor gatherings must wear masks in the city of Atlanta. Our clergy, choir, and other worship leaders will be wearing masks as they greet you Sunday as will all persons teaching and caring for our unvaccinated children. We encourage you to wear your mask to protect the lives of the most vulnerable. If you have not been vaccinated, I do encourage you to prayerfully consider having a conversation with your healthcare provider to discern what is best for you and your loved ones. While these are unsettling times and difficult days may lie ahead, I believe we are moving closer toward the end of this pandemic and am hopeful that we soon will see a return to a more normal life. Thank you for your faith in God, hope for the future, and love for others.
As a part of Sunday’s service we will have an opportunity to give to support the ministry of the Murphy-Harpst Center. You recently received a letter from me offering some history of this transformative community that reaches out to children with few or no alternatives, welcomes them, and gives them hope. Peachtree Road member Martha Carroll is the chair of the board of Murphy-Harpst. As you can imagine, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant shortfall in giving to this vital ministry, and your help is needed now more than ever. Please send your check payable to Peachtree Road United Methodist Church and mark it for “Murphy-Harpst,” give through the church app, or go online to our church’s website and make your gift there. Thank you for your support.
Please place these special events on your calendar:
- End of Summer Celebration and Promotion Sunday (August 22) – We look forward to welcoming everyone back to church as our children are promoted to the next grade of Sunday School, the youth welcome new sixth graders to the Harp Student Center, and many of our adult classes begin meeting in person again. This will be a special day as we consider what Methodists believe about heaven, hear “heavenly music” by our choir, and enjoy a fellowship luncheon of barbeque and all the fixings provided at no charge to the congregation by the church.
- Fall Kick-off Sunday and Launch of Our Hospitality Initiative (September 12) –Not only are you invited to attend worship on this day, but you also are encouraged to invite a friend, neighbor, or relative to join you as we begin an emphasis on hospitality. All are welcome at Peachtree Road as we consider ways we are “Bridging the Gap” with our neighbors.
I look forward to worshiping with you Sunday as we pray for renewal and remember what we believe as Methodist disciples of Jesus Christ.
Grace and peace,