Wednesdays @ Peachtree

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  • Bill and Timothy

Through the Life and Love of Jesus Christ

June 22, 2018

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are having a good summer. Many of you are enjoying time away from the city on the weekends, but I do want to keep you up with news from your church family.

This Sunday is our annual Celebration of Freedom Sunday. Once again we will be singing patriotic hymns, hearing inspirational music from our choir, and honoring our veterans. For many, that moment in the service when the veterans march down the aisle to the expressed appreciation of our congregation is one of the highlights of the year at Peachtree Road. I cannot help but notice that fewer and fewer of our veterans are from World War II, and that makes my heart heavy. We owe so much to them and all of our veterans who have willingly served our country in this way. If you know of a veteran who does not have a church home, please invite them to this service and encourage them to participate.

I will be preaching on the topic “One Nation, Under God,” and we will reflect upon the establishment of the nation of Israel as our founders’ inspiration for the creation of this great country. We will spend some time thinking about that which unites us in the midst of our diversity and the important role gratitude plays in our lives. I do encourage you to read II Samuel 7:1-9 in preparation for Sunday.

Of course, the service will conclude with a prayer for our nation as Timothy Miller leads us in singing “God Bless America.” I hope you are planning to be present and encourage you to invite someone to come with you! There is a place for everyone at Peachtree Road.

And, while we’re on the topic of patriotic celebrations, I want to invite you to join us in front of the church on Wednesday, July 4, for our “Party on Peachtree” from 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. We will gather out front to enjoy a time of fellowship as we cheer on the tens of thousands of runners as they sprint/jog/walk past our church as a part of the Peachtree Road Race. If you are participating in the race, I’ll be standing at the curb in front of the church and looking for you. The church bells will be ringing, and your friends will be there. Come spend the early hours of the holiday with your church family.

Finally, let me share something from my devotional reading this past Tuesday. Some of you know that I read a daily meditation from Father Richard Rohr each morning. Earlier this year, he met with an ecumenical group of Christian leaders in the United States and they composed a statement to our churches entitled, “Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis.” I believe it is timely and share their affirmation with you here as a reminder of who we are:

“The church’s role is to change the world through the life and love of Jesus Christ. The government’s role is to serve the common good by protecting justice and peace, rewarding good behavior while restraining bad behavior (Romans 13). When that role is undermined by political leadership, faith leaders must stand up and speak out. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.

  1. We believe each human being is made in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). That image and likeness confers a divinely decreed dignity, worth, and God-given equality to all of us as children of the one God who is the Creator of all things. Racial bigotry is a brutal denial of the image of God (the imago dei) in some of the children of God. Our participation in the global community of Christ absolutely prevents any toleration of racial bigotry. Racial justice and healing are biblical and theological issues for us, and are central to the mission of the body of Christ in the world. We give thanks for the prophetic role of the historic black churches in America when they have called for a more faithful gospel.
  2. We believe we are one body. In Christ, there is to be no oppression based on race, gender, identity, or class (Galatians 3:28). The body of Christ, where those great human divisions are to be overcome, is meant to be an example for the rest of society. When we fail to overcome these oppressive obstacles, and even perpetuate them, we have failed in our vocation to the world — to proclaim and live the reconciling gospel of Christ.
  3. We believe how we treat the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the stranger, the sick, and the prisoner is how we treat Christ himself. ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me’ (Matthew 25:40). God calls us to protect and seek justice for those who are poor and vulnerable, and our treatment of people who are ‘oppressed,’ ‘strangers,’ ‘outsiders,’ or otherwise considered ‘marginal’ is a test of our relationship to God, who made us all equal in divine dignity and love. Our proclamation of the lordship of Jesus Christ is at stake in our solidarity with the most vulnerable. If our gospel is not ‘good news to the poor, it is not the gospel of Jesus Christ’ (Luke 4:18).”

As I read these words, I could not help but think about the people of Peachtree Road and how you embody these words in both word and deed. Thank you for your faithful response to the grace of Jesus Christ. I hope to see you Sunday as we worship together and celebrate our freedom.

Bill

  • Bill Britt 880

Remember, Give Thanks, and Rejoice!

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you doing well. The North Georgia Conference came to a close yesterday afternoon, and it was a good week of renewing acquaintances with friends and colleagues, worshiping with United Methodists from across the state, and conducting the business of the church. Our church was well represented, and I once again came to the realization of just how blessed we are here at Peachtree Road.

You would have been so proud of our chancel choir as it offered the music for the Service of Remembrance on Wednesday afternoon. It was a privilege and a joy for our church to offer the leadership for that service as we remembered ministers, ministers’ spouses, and lay delegates of the North Georgia Annual Conference who have died within the last year. So many of my friends came up later to tell me it was the best memorial service at Annual Conference in their ministry. The length and depth and breadth of our ministry set the pace for churches in North Georgia and beyond, and I am grateful for you!

This Sunday, I will be preaching a message entitled: “The Good Man.” We will spend some time considering Simon Peter’s confession about Jesus:

“You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

That is an incredible affirmation of faith. Of course, Peter did not always live up to those words, and that’s really what I want to talk about Sunday – what it means to grow in God’s love and grace and fully realize the potential each of us has. I encourage you to read our scripture lesson (Matthew 16:13-20) in preparation for this week’s worship.

On Sunday we also will be celebrating Father’s Day, and we look forward to recognizing the oldest father present and the newest father present at each service. I have been thinking about the “good men” in my life (my dad, pastors, coaches, and teachers) who have been influential and inspirations in my life. As we worship together, we will have an opportunity to remember, give thanks, and rejoice.

At the close of the Annual Conference on Thursday afternoon, Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson “fixed” the ministerial appointments, and, as expected our clergy staff is being returned to Peachtree Road for another year. Julie Schendel, Carolyn Stephens, Leslie Watkins, Julie Wright, and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to serve with you another year. In addition, we are pleased to welcome Elizabeth Byrd and Geoff Beakley as new associate ministers on our staff. They are not new to Peachtree Road (Elizabeth has been our “ministry intern” and Geoff has been our “student pastor” for the last year). However, now that they have graduated from theology school, they are ready for full-time ministry. Elizabeth will be helping us with new spiritual initiatives and we share Geoff with Georgia Tech as their director of the Wesley Foundation. I look forward to officially welcoming them this Sunday.

Of course, next Sunday (June 24) is our annual Celebration of Freedom Sunday. This is one of the most anticipated services of the year, and once again we will be singing patriotic hymns, honoring our veterans, and praying for our nation. I will be preaching on the topic “One Nation, Under God,” and we will reflect upon the story of God’s covenant with Israel in the days of King David. The service will conclude with Timothy Miller leading us in singing “God Bless America.” I hope you are planning to be present and encourage you to invite someone to come with you!

Finally, on a personal note, Wendie and I are grateful to be appointed to serve with you here at Peachtree Road for an eleventh year. As I wrote earlier, this is an outstanding church, and we count it a privilege to serve with such wonderful staff and laity in this community. Thank you for your support in so many ways – prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness! We are blessed.

See you Sunday!

Bill

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  • Luke Massee and Son

Be at Peace

June 8, 2018

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are doing well. Last week we celebrated Founder’s Day here at Peachtree Road. It was a good day as we gave thanks for 93 years of ministry and reminded ourselves to focus upon the basics of ministry – “keeping first things first” is how I worded it. At the close of my sermon, I offered some words about the future of the church that I want to share with you at the end of this note.

This week in worship we will be talking about family, and I hope you will join us here at Peachtree Road. Church and family are two very important, formational groups in our lives. Each consists of people who love us unconditionally but also are willing to tell us the truth and hold us accountable. They let us know when they think we are taking ourselves too seriously. They remind us of our shared values and help keep us on the right path. In our scripture reading for this week, Jesus redefines family, and I think you will be a little bit surprised and maybe heartened by his words. I look forward to talking with you about “A New, Extended Family” on Sunday. In preparation for the service, I encourage you to read Mark 3:31-35.

I realize many of you are into a summer routine now and remind you of your options for worship at Peachtree Road:

8:45 am – Traditional Worship in the Sanctuary
9:00 am – Communion Service in the Moore Chapel
11:15 am – Traditional Worship in the Sanctuary
11:15 am – The Road Contemporary Worship in Heritage Hall
5:00 pm – Sundays @ 5 Casual Worship in the Moore Chapel

Also, the 11:15 am Traditional Service in the Sanctuary will be available by livestream through the church app or website.

I remind you that the 152nd Session of the North Georgia Annual Conference is set for next week at the Classic Center in Athens. Peachtree Road will be well-represented. Julie Schendel, Carolyn Stephens, Leslie Watkins, Julie Wright, and I will serve as clergy delegates from our church while Merritt Bond, Gloria Gilley, Susan Rinkowski, Grace Sanders, and Josh Stephens will serve as our lay delegates. Others present from Peachtree Road will include Tom Cook (Conference Chancellor emeritus), Katie Cook (administrative assistant for the Atlanta-Roswell District), and Clara Watkins (youth delegate from the Atlanta-College Park District). Also, Jamie Jenkins, Lindsay Geist, Mace Hall, and Darren Hensley, who are clergy members of the North Georgia Annual Conference whose charge conference affiliation is Peachtree Road, will be attending.

There are three important matters I commend to you for your prayers:

First, I invite you to pray for Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson as she presides over our Annual Conference. The theme for this year’s conference is “Moving Toward Perfection in Love” and our emphasis will be upon spiritual disciplines. Bishop Sue writes that she chose this theme and focus because “…the foundation of our lives individually and as a community must be grounded in prayer and disciplined spiritual practices. The Holy Spirit moves through us when we listen.” Please pray for her as she leads.

Second, on Wednesday, June 13, our Chancel Choir will offer the music for the Service of Remembrance. This is that time when we remember our honored dead – clergy, clergy spouses, and lay members of the Annual Conference. If you would like to watch online, the service will be broadcast on the Conference website at 2:00 pm.

Then, on Thursday afternoon, June 14, Bishop Haupert-Johnson will “fix” the appointments for ministers for the coming year. At that time, she will announce that Rev. Geoff Beakley and Rev. Elizabeth Byrd will become associate ministers appointed to Peachtree Road. I am excited to have Geoff and Elizabeth as a part of our ministerial team.

It promises to be a good week.

Finally, I promised to share a few words with you about the future of the church. As we come to the beginning of our 94th year as a church in Buckhead, I sense some anxiety – not so much here at Peachtree Road as in our denomination. For the last 45 years United Methodists have been wrestling with our stances on gay marriage and ordination. The debate became so intense two years ago that the General Conference asked the Council of Bishops to appoint members to a “Commission on the Way Forward” to seek a way to move beyond the conflict. The Commission has met and has offered its suggestions to the Council of Bishops; the Council of Bishops has met and has endorsed a proposal for consideration; and a called General Conference has been set for February 23-26, 2019, in St. Louis to receive and vote on the proposal. I sense that some people are anxious about the future of the United Methodist Church. What will the General Conference decide? Will the denomination experience schism? Will Peachtree Road be affected? I confess that I have no clue what will happen when delegates depart St. Louis on February 26. However, I do know what will happen at Peachtree Road on March 3, 2019, the first Sunday after the General Conference. We will gather here in our beautiful sanctuary for worship. We will baptize babies, welcome new members, teach the scriptures to our children and youth, and commit ourselves in outreach to be salt and light to the world. It’s who we are – the people of Peachtree Road. So, I encourage you: be at peace. The Holy Spirit is at work. Let us recommit ourselves to “keeping first things first” in our ministry – love God and love others. In the words of that old hymn:

We are not divided, all one body we,
One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.

Thank you for your commitment to Christ and the ministry of Peachtree Road. I am grateful for your prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. Please call on me when you need me. See you in church Sunday!

Bill

Peachtree People: Alexa & Tom Whatley

Alexa and Tom

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The Whatleys are committed to giving back to the church that has given them so much.

PRUMC Members, Alexa & Tom Whatley

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It all started in the pew. One Sunday morning in May 2014, Alexa Holloway and Tom Whatley noticed one another at the 11:15 service. They each made note of the other’s name in the attendance book, and spoke after the closing hymn.

Alexa and Tom’s paths did not cross again until the following summer at a church-sponsored young adults brunch, but they both remembered meeting the previous spring. And, in July 2015, the timing was just right. Tom, a Financial Audit Manager at KPMG, and Alexa, an Account Manager at KForce Staffing, began dating soon after the brunch. On December 9th, they were married at Trinity United Methodist Church in Savannah. PRUMC’s own Leslie Watkins officiated.

The Whatleys are committed to giving back to the church that has given them so much. Alexa especially loves the Great Day of Service and Christmas Kindness. Tom leads a MYF group of 9th grade boys, and has served on the Nicaragua Youth trip. They have been on a mission trip to Belize together and served on the young adults’ council. They plan to continue working with the youth, volunteering in various ways, and of course, attending worship services together, since that is how it all started!

Peachtree People: Sonya Matchan

Sonya

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“Those kids give me 500% back of anything I give– the joy I receive is far greater than what I ever could contribute.”

Sonya Matchan, WOW Teacher & PRUMC Member

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One of Sonya Matchan’s favorite lessons to teach her first and second graders in WOW starts with an old photo. It shows her son, five years old at the time, stepping over a stream at Itasca State Park in Minnesota. Sonya explains to her young students that the tiny stream pictured becomes the powerful Mississippi River. “I tell them that the stream has no idea what it becomes,” she says, “and that is just how their kind words and good deeds multiply. We never know how we impact others, but God does.”

This is the type of theme Sonya stresses on Sunday mornings in the 8:45 WOW class, which stands for “Wonder of Worship.” In addition to learning The Lord’s Prayer, The Apostles’ Creed, Gloria Patri, and Baptismal and Offertory Responses, these young children are encouraged to think about their broader place in the world and what worship means to them. Sonya wants her students to do much more than just memorize the words of our faith–she wants them to truly understand the meaning of Jesus’s teachings and why we worship. In fact, she goes through each text line by line to make sure the children understand every word that they memorize.

Sonya’s Sunday School teaching career spans two churches and over 45 years. She is a native of Minneapolis, where she met her husband. After they married, they moved to Detroit, Charlotte, and then in 1971 settled in Atlanta and joined St. Andrew Presbyterian Church.

From 1972-2012, Sonya taught Kindergarten, first, and second grade Sunday School. At the end of 2012, St. Andrew closed its doors and Sonya joined her daughter, Nancy Nunn, and Nancy’s family, here at Peachtree Road. Sonya immediately signed up to teach, and has been a staple of the WOW program ever since.

Some of the traditions she started at St. Andrew have found their way into her classroom at Peachtree Road. She made an altar in her classroom, and her students talk about the importance of each item placed upon it. She also hopes to include a lesson on the loaves and fishes by making Stone Soup. At St. Andrew each year, Sonya taught the traditional folk tale to her young students by helping them make a big pot of soup to serve the class and their parents. “Peachtree Road is bigger than St. Andrew was, and so pulling it off will be a challenge, but I want the children to understand that sharing is at the heart of the loaves and fishes story, and an integral part of what Jesus did was all started by the boy sharing his food.”

She also incorporates curriculum unique to PRUMC into her class. During December, Sonya’s WOW class was treated to a demonstration of the Uzima water filter, and then the children brought change to donate. Together, all the small gifts were more than enough to buy a water filter for a family in Kenya—truly emphasizing that when we all give what we can, God can use our gifts tremendously.

Although she teaches such timeless lessons, Sonya also recognizes that children at Peachtree Road have a vastly different experience at church than she did in the 1940’s. “Back then all the kids in Sunday School knew each other. We were from the same neighborhood and went to the same school. Now, we have to work to make the church feel like a community. So, I spend a little time each morning before the lesson helping the children get to know each other. We talk about who is playing soccer, what they did that week and more.”

When not teaching WOW, Sonya stays busy. The 80-year-old works part-time as a client liaison for the insurance company Valic, is a docent at the Governor’s mansion, and also volunteers in the library at Warren T. Jackson Elementary School. At Peachtree Road, she is a member of a disciple class and the Timothy Sunday School Class; enjoys the volunteer choir; and serves at Great Day of Service and Christmas Kindness every year. Of all the things she does, teaching WOW is the most rewarding. “Those kids give me 500% back of anything I give– the joy I receive is far greater than what I ever could contribute” she says.

Like the lesson she teaches her students about the mighty Mississippi River that starts as just a tiny trickle, no one on this side of heaven will ever know the full impact of all Sonya does. How fitting that one of her favorite Bible passages is John 7: 37-38. It says, “On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of flowing water will flow from within them.’”

Summer Bible Study Registration

Summer Bible Studies

Summer Bible Study Registration

You are invited to be a part of PRUMC’s ongoing commitment to the study of God’s word. A new season of Bible Study begins this summer with a series of short-term studies. Classes have varied start dates depending on the facilitator. Please check class descriptions via the link below to confirm start dates.

RSVP Here

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  • Communion in Sanctuary

Remind Us Who We Are

June 1, 2018
Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you well as we begin the month of June. Wendie and I have just returned from several days at the beach. It was good to be away, but I really am looking forward to worshiping with you this Sunday. This week we are celebrating Founder’s Day here at Peachtree Road.

On June 7, 1925, 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. (Even from its founding, Peachtree Road has been a church without walls, reaching out into the community to share the love, mercy, and grace of God with others.) And our church was born. I love history. I love the stories that come from our history. They remind us of our identity and inspire us to be the people we have been called to be. On Sunday we worship with hearts filled with gratitude. We remember those who founded our church and give thanks for their faith, hope, and courage:

Mrs. E.H. Wood
Mr. Guy H. Wood
Miss Ruth Wood
Miss Mary Wood
Mrs. M.T. Salter
Dr. and Mrs. F.D. Salter
Mr. and Mrs. R.E. Andoe
Mrs. L.H. Seymour
Miss Caroline Seymour
Mrs. Eva Miller
Mrs. J.C. Henderson
Mrs. Elizabeth Walker
Mr. and Mrs. James L. Respess, Sr.
Mr. and Mrs. C.J. Cofer
Miss Josephine Cofer

History is a great teacher, and I look forward to celebrating our history with you on Sunday. In the message I will talk about the two types of churches I encountered in Europe during my travels as a student (museums and lighthouses) and point the way forward for Peachtree Road as we begin our 94th year in Buckhead. You may want to read the scripture lesson before the service (Mark 2:23-3:6). The message is entitled “First Things First.” I hope you are planning to be with us.

If you are unable to be present on Sunday morning, I remind you that we offer three options for worship:

  1. Live Stream of the 11:15 am service in the sanctuary – this may be accessed through the church app or the church website.
  2. Sundays @ 5 on Sunday afternoon at 5:00 pm in the Moore Chapel – this is a casual “come-as-you-are” service that welcomes everyone for a time of worship.
  3. “Video on demand” of the 11:15 am sanctuary service – you may locate past services for viewing through the church app or through the website usually by Tuesday afternoon each week.

These may not bring you the same spiritual benefit as being present with others for worship, but they are great ways to stay connected to your church family.

On Sunday we will introduce Emily Rivers as our Candler School of Theology Summer Intern for 2018. Emily is from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a graduate of Appalachian State University, and has completed her first year at Candler. You will enjoy getting to know Emily as she will be a welcome addition to our church this summer. I hope you will be present to greet her and welcome her to Peachtree Road. Also, Emily will be leading a yoga class each Wednesday evening from 6:30 pm until 7:30 pm in Heritage Hall, starting June 6. You are invited to take advantage of this opportunity to learn from her.

Finally, I remind you that 2018 continues to be a “year of prayer” for our church, and I want to encourage you to join me in prayer for the following this weekend:

  • Our ministry intern Elizabeth Byrd is being commissioned tonight by the Mississippi Annual Conference and will be appointed to Peachtree Road as an associate minister.
  • Our mission team in the nation of Georgia
  • Doxology, our youth choir under the direction of Kathy Fletcher, is traveling home today from their tour of Seattle and the northwest.
  • Our young adult mission team in Belize
  • Our Kingdom Journey pilgrims traveling in the Holy Land
Thank you for your faithfulness in so many ways to the ministry of Peachtree Road. See you Sunday!
Bill

Summer Yoga at Peachtree

yoga

Summer Yoga at Peachtree
Wednesdays, 6:30 pm, Heritage Hall (no class on 7/4 or 7/18)

Join PRUMC’s summer intern and certified yoga instructor Emily Rivers for a relaxing yet energizing weekly yoga class. No experience necessary, all (ages 14 and up) are welcome. Classes are free of charge, but donations are appreciated. Please bring a mat. For more information contact Emily at emilyr@prumc.org.

RSVP Here

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  • Bill Baptism

The Spirit Continues

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.

Bill

Oberammeragau Passion Play

Oberammeragau Passion Play

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Edu-Travel: Oberammeragau Passion Play

Edu-Travel: Oberammeragau Passion Play
June 3 – 12, 2020, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic

A rare opportunity to witness the famous Passion Play that has been presented every ten years since 1634. In addition to the dramatic highlight, we will tour historic Munich, quaint Innsbrook, beautiful Prague and more! Advance planning is required for this experience, so RSVP soon.

Locate our brochures here, in the church kiosks or contact Jamie Jenkins at 404.771.7031 or jamiej@prumc.org.

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6.24 | Celebration of Freedom

Celebration of Freedom 2017

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Sunday, June 24, 2018
Celebration of Freedom |  One Nation, Under God  |  2 Samuel 7:1-9

We’ll enjoy Patriotic Music with Choirs, Brass, Festival Chorus, and Timothy Miller singing “God Bless America.” Worship will feature our annual Procession of Veterans and an inspiring message from Bill Britt. Be sure to wear red, white & blue!

Worship Bulletin PDF
11:15 am Live Webcast

8:45 am
Traditional Worship  |  Bill Britt

9:00 am
Chapel Communion  |  Darren Hensley

11:15 am
Traditional Worship  |  Bill Britt

The Road and Sundays @ 5 will not take place on this day.

7.01 | Be Blessed

Julie S Communion

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Sunday, July 1, 2018
Summer in the City Series Begins |  Be Blessed  |  Matthew 5:1-13

Worship Bulletin PDF
11:15 am Live Webcast

8:45 am
Traditional Worship  |  Bill Britt

11:15 am
Traditional Worship  |  Bill Britt

11:15 am
The Road Alternative Worship  |  Elizabeth Byrd

Communion will take place in worship and Sundays @ 5 will not take place on this day.

Lemonade on the Lawn
Fellowship with others Sundays in July as part of our annual Summer in the City series. Enjoy cookies and lemonade while visiting with friends, new and old.

  • Bill and Joe Giordano

Breathe In God’s Grace

May 18, 2018

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are doing well. I know many of you were present last Sunday as we celebrated Mother’s Day here at Peachtree Road. If you were not here, I encourage you to go to the church website to hear Mr. Joe Giordano, a resident of the Wesley Woods retirement community, share how Wesley Woods plays a vital role in the quality of his life. His heartfelt words of gratitude touched us all. Later in the service, we received an offering to benefit the benevolent fund of this ministry as they provide financial assistance to some who have outlived their resources. If you have not had an opportunity to give toward the special offering, I invite you to contribute through the church app or online here. Thank you for your generosity.

This upcoming Sunday promises to be a great day here at Peachtree Road as we celebrate Pentecost and recognize the 100+ members who have recently completed Disciple Bible Study (at the 8:45 am service) as well as those graduating from high school (at the 11:15 am service). Also, at the close of the 11:15 am service, we will commission those preparing for mission trips to Belize and the country of Georgia. The message for the day is entitled “Breathe in the Spirit,” and we will reflect upon John’s account of Jesus bestowing the Holy Spirit upon his disciples. We’ll spend a few minutes considering John Wesley’s encouragement to the early Methodists to “breathe in God’s grace and breathe out good works.” I hope you will be with us for worship this week.

Last Monday evening our Administrative Board met, and I wanted to give you a quick look at some of the highlights of the meeting:

  • Beth Spencer reported on the great success of the Lenten Offering. As a result of the generosity of so many in our church, we have written checks totaling $335,000 to our partner agencies who are transforming lives here in the community.
  • Carolyn Stephens introduced the 2017 Impact Report that was mailed out electronically Tuesday morning. I encourage you to read it over and get a good sense of the length and depth and breadth of the ministry of Peachtree Road. Copies of the report also are available in the kiosks at the church.
  • Brad Milsaps gave the first quarter financial report and announced that your giving exceeded projections by $145,000. In addition, Brad reported that the annual financial audit has been completed with everything in order.
  • Lauren Race informed Board officials that the Endowments and Memorials Committee had met, and the current endowment balance is now over $2.6 million. The committee awarded gifts totaling $118,000 to a number of projects including an expansion of the church’s prison ministry, a new initiative in evangelistic outreach beyond the walls of our church, and several capital improvements to address safety and security needs around the church.

It was a helpful and very informative meeting, and I am grateful for the leadership of our Administrative Board members.

Thank you for your faith in Christ and your support of Peachtree Road – your daily prayers for her ministry, regular presence in worship, generous giving, and acts of kindness and service in her name are deeply appreciated.

See you Sunday!

Bill

PS – The color for Pentecost is red. I encourage you to wear red to church this Sunday as we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit into our lives!

7.08 | You are Salt and Light

Acolytes

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Sunday, July 8, 2018
Summer in the City Series Continues  |  You are Salt and Light  |  Matthew 5:12-16

Worship Bulletin PDF
11:15 am Live Webcast

8:45 am
Traditional Worship  |  Julie Schendel

9:00 am
Chapel Communion  |  Darren Hensley

11:15 am
Traditional Worship  |  Julie Schendel

11:15 am
The Road Alternative Worship  |  Carolyn Stephens

5:00 pm
Sundays @ 5  |  Julie Schendel

Lemonade on the Lawn
Fellowship with others Sundays in July as part of our annual Summer in the City series. Enjoy cookies and lemonade while visiting with friends, new and old.

07.15 | Let Go of Worry

Children's Worship

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Sunday, July 15, 2018
Summer in the City Series Continues  |  Let Go of Worry  |  Matthew 6:24-34

Worship Bulletin PDF
11:15 am Live Webcast

8:45 am
Traditional Worship  |  Carolyn Stephens

9:00 am
Chapel Communion  |  Emily Rivers

11:15 am
Traditional Worship  |  Carolyn Stephens

11:15 am
The Road Alternative Worship  |  Julie Schendel

5:00 pm
Sundays @ 5  |  Carolyn Stephens

Lemonade on the Lawn
Fellowship with others Sundays in July as part of our annual Summer in the City series. Enjoy cookies and lemonade while visiting with friends, new and old.

7.22 | Bear Good Fruit

Bill and Child

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Sunday, July 22, 2018
Summer in the City Series Continues  |  Bear Good Fruit  |  Matthew 7:15-20

Worship Bulletin PDF
11:15 am Live Webcast

8:45 am
Traditional Worship  |  Bill Britt

9:00 am
Chapel Communion  |  Jamie Jenkins

11:15 am
Traditional Worship  |  Bill Britt

11:15 am
The Road Alternative Worship  |  Elizabeth Byrd

5:00 pm
Sundays @ 5  |  Bill Britt

Lemonade on the Lawn
Fellowship with others Sundays in July as part of our annual Summer in the City series. Enjoy cookies and lemonade while visiting with friends, new and old.

7.29 | The Integrity of Words and Deeds

Chris and Oak

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Sunday, July 29, 2018
Summer in the City Series Continues  |  The Integrity of Words and Deeds  |  Matthew 7:24-27

Worship Bulletin PDF
11:15 am Live Webcast

8:45 am
Traditional Worship  |  Julie Schendel

9:00 am
Chapel Communion  |  Darren Hensley

11:15 am
Traditional Worship  |  Julie Schendel

11:15 am
The Road Alternative Worship  |  Carolyn Stephens

5:00 pm
Sundays @ 5  |  Julie Schendel

Lemonade on the Lawn
Fellowship with others Sundays in July as part of our annual Summer in the City series. Enjoy cookies and lemonade while visiting with friends, new and old.

Thanks be to God, Amen

May 11, 2018

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you well. I also hope you are planning to be present for worship this week. Of course, this Sunday is Mother’s Day. It is a time of celebration as we remember our mothers and the women who have nurtured us and give thanks to God for them. As a part of our celebration, we will honor the oldest mother present and the newest mother present at each of our worship services. I hope you will join your mom to worship here at Peachtree Road.

Certainly, this can be a difficult day for some. I am aware that there are families in our church who are experiencing their first Mother’s Day without their mother. It is holidays like these that seem to renew the grief we have experienced. You will not be alone in that emotion on Sunday. I also am aware that there are others who experience a different kind of emotion on Mother’s Day – one borne out of grief from the death of a child or a sense of emptiness at not being a mother. It can be difficult to join in the celebration on days like this. In our worship, in the words of the creed in our hymnal, we affirm: “In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us. We are not alone. Thanks be to God. Amen.” My hope is that everyone who worships with us on Sunday will experience the comforting presence of God in our midst.

The message this week is entitled “When You’re Running on Empty,” and we will encounter the faith of two women from the Old Testament – Naomi and Ruth. I encourage you to read the story in Ruth 1:6-22 before worship on Sunday, and I hope you will join us this week.

I do remind you that we will receive the Wesley Woods Mother’s Day Offering this week. Each year on Mother’s Day, United Methodist congregations from throughout the North Georgia Conference receive an offering for Wesley Woods. Since 1953, Wesley Woods has been making the retirement experience healthy and fulfilling for older adults of all income levels, races, and faiths and provides affordable residential and healthcare services. Because of the generosity of Methodist people from throughout North Georgia, Wesley Woods is able to provide the assistance many older adults need. Your giving is changing lives! I hope you will join Wendie and me in giving generously this Mother’s Day when the offering plate is passed. You always have led the way in your giving. Please make your check payable to Peachtree Road United Methodist Church and mark it for Wesley Woods or give through the church app or online through the church website.

This week we are celebrating graduation from seminary with two of our own – Geoff Beakley and Elizabeth Byrd. Each is completing three years of graduate work at Candler School of Theology at Emory University, and they are receiving the Master of Divinity degree. I also am pleased to announce that they both are being appointed to Peachtree Road as clergy members of the North Georgia Annual Conference. Geoff will be a full-time local pastor, and, while he will continue to be a part-time pastor on our staff, his primary appointment will be as the director the Wesley Foundation at Georgia Tech. Elizabeth has been serving as a ministry intern on our staff, and I am pleased that she will be joining us as a full-time member of our ministry team. They are graduating Monday morning. When you see them, offer your congratulations on their achievement.

Finally, some of you have asked me about the work of the Commission on a Way Forward for the United Methodist Church. The commission has completed its work, and last Friday the Council of Bishops recommended that the three proposals the commission has been studying be forwarded to a special called session of the General Conference next February. In addition, a majority of the members of the Council of Bishops has endorsed a proposal known as the “One Church Model.” The Judicial Council will be meeting next week to make sure all that is being recommended is in compliance with the Discipline of the United Methodist Church. Please know that even after the special session of the General Conference, it will take some time before any recommended changes are implemented. If you are interested in reading more about the work of the commission, you may follow this link.

Peachtree Road is an amazing community in which to worship, grow, serve, and share. I look forward to worshiping with you on Sunday and then serving with you throughout the upcoming days.

Bill

  • ConfirmationSunday

How Blessed We Are

May 4, 2018

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are doing well. I also hope you realize just how blessed we are here at Peachtree Road. For those looking for evidence of God’s blessings upon us, last week was “Exhibit A.”

  • On Saturday evening, our children’s choirs, under the direction of Kathy Fletcher, presented their spring musical “Step Right Up!” The student center was filled with family members and friends as our five children’s choirs came together to put on quite a show. We have so much talent in our church, and I am grateful to Kathy and her team of volunteers who lead our children’s music program.
  • At the same time as the children’s musical, Grace Southworth, one of our Associate Youth Directors, was getting married in in a beautiful ceremony in the sanctuary. Grace grew up here at Peachtree Road, is a graduate of Candler School of Theology, and now works with our youth. She is now Mrs. Grace Nadeau, and we look forward to welcoming Zach and Grace back to church very soon.
  • On Sunday morning, we had the privilege of confirming the faith of 94 sixth graders and welcoming them into the full membership of the church. The presence of children and youth is one important indicator of a vital congregation. Another indicator is a church filled with people who are dedicated to helping children and youth grow spiritually. Many of the members of this year’s class were baptized at the altar of this sanctuary, received their Bibles as third graders at that same altar, and were mentored by a host of adults from their time in the nursery through preschool, Sunday School, as well as the Confirmation Class. We indeed are blessed!

I really am looking forward to this Sunday as the celebration continues. This week is Music and Arts Sunday here at Peachtree Road. Allow me to highlight several parts of the day:

  • Our worship services in the sanctuary at 8:45 am and 11:15 am will incorporate music and praise from our children, youth, and adult choirs as well as congregational singing that will make you think you’re already in heaven. I will be preaching a message entitled “In the Beginning God Sang,” and we will reflect upon the power of music to our faith. As a part of the services, the combined choirs will premiere a new arrangement of “This Little Light of Mine,” composed by Mack Wilberg, director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and commissioned in honor of Scott Atchison on his 35th anniversary as our director of music and organist.
  • At the 8:45 am service, we will recognize members of our Peachtree Road Needlepoint Guild and dedicate the six recovered pulpit chairs. We are grateful for the generosity of an anonymous donor and the exquisite design painted by JP Sligh of Labors of Love. The center designs feature the cross and crown (representing Christ’s royalty and sacrificial death) and dove (representing the Holy Spirit). Amazingly, 41,400 feet of wool was used in the project upholstered by Corn Upholstery, Inc., and our volunteers committed over 8,200 hours to stitching 1,386,060 stitches. They will be dedicated Sunday morning to the glory of God, and we will express our appreciation to our needlepoint team: Mindy Bean, Alleen Bratton, Nancy Caldwell, Collier Collier, Beth Culp, Rick Emery, Helen French, Marsha Grout, Mary Janet Harden, Rhonda Hickson, Kathy King, Angela Price, Nancy Rank, Susan Sawyer, Alma Scroggins, Kim Thiessen, and Linda Zimmerman.
  • At the 11:15 am service, we will honor Linda Young, Director of The Preschool at Peachtree Road, who is retiring after 30 years, 21 as Director. We are delighted to have Linda and members of her family present with us for this time of recognition as well as former Preschool board members, teachers, and families who have been a part of this ministry over the last three decades.
  • A congregational breakfast will be served from 9:30 am until 11:00 am Sunday in Grace Hall. This year, our fine arts display in Grace Hall will feature artwork from our own preschoolers, children, youth, and adults, and Mary Carpenter will be “live painting” during the services (her pieces from Sunday will be auctioned off at the UMW’s Southern Summer Sampler later this year).

Finally, let me make you aware of three opportunities for outreach and spiritual growth:

  • Sponsor a Child – you have an opportunity to change a child’s life through this outreach ministry. Your gift of $330 provides the essentials of food, clothing, education, and medical care for an entire year for a child living in the nation of Georgia. Plan to drop by Grace Hall between 8:00 am and 1:00 pm to see pictures of the children, learn more about this vital ministry, and sponsor a child.
  • Mary Grace and Miss Mavis Trunk Show – the Dogwood Gift Shop is sponsoring a trunk show this Sunday from 9:30 am until 1:30 pm. You are encouraged to drop by the Dogwood to meet jewelry designer Mary Grace Easterling and famed folk art knitter and fiber art specialist Miss Mavis. You just might find the perfect gift for Mother’s Day, and remember – all proceeds go toward global outreach.
  • Journeys of Paul Informational Meeting – you are invited to come join your friends from Peachtree Road on a spiritual pilgrimage next year (April 23-May 3, 2019) to Greece and Turkey to follow in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul. Jamie Jenkins is offering two informational sessions to help you learn more about the trip – Sunday, May 6, 12:30 pm in A101 or Tuesday, May 8, 6:30 pm in B118. Please prayerfully consider joining us on this fascinating journey.

I am excited about the impact our church’s ministry continues to have in our community and around the world. Come, be a part of the ministry and invite others to come with you. Thank you for all you do in the name of Christ. I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we sing and celebrate!

Bill

Journeys of Paul: Greece and Turkey Tour

Edu-Travel: Journeys of Paul
April 23 – May 3, 2019, Greece & Turkey

Immerse yourself in ancient lands as you follow the travels of Paul the Apostle. Explore incredible sites in Athens, Corinth and Ephesus. Cruise the blue waters of the Aegean through Mykonos and Santorini. Discover incredible antiquities in Istanbul and much more!

Brochures available in kiosks, online here, or contact Jamie Jenkins at 404.771.7031 or jamiej@prumc.org.

Tour Details Here
  • Bill Photo

You Are God’s Own People

April 27, 2018

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you well. I hope you are planning to be present on Sunday as we celebrate Confirmation Sunday here at Peachtree Road. Over the course of the last nine months, nearly 100 sixth graders have participated in this spiritual formation class. They attended a retreat at Camp Glisson in the early fall, have been meeting weekly as a class to explore their faith, and have developed friendships that will last a lifetime. I am grateful to Grace Southworth and Daris McCullough for their leadership with this outstanding group. They have been assisted by teachers Mary Pillow Cornett, David Cunningham, Chad French, Mary Fletcher Higdon, Ellen Marbut, Stephanie Mattison, and Scott Whitehead, and youth leaders Adeline Allen, Griffin Daniel, Elke Gill, Charlie Hoke, Tyler Hubbard, Taft Meredith, George Pope, Sarah Pope, Charlotte Taylor, Margaret Taylor, and May Lebby Thompson.

In recent weeks, each member of the class and their parents have been meeting with me and other members of our clergy and youth staff to talk about confirmation and their spiritual growth. On Sunday morning during the sanctuary worship services, many of these sixth graders will approach the altar of the church, make a profession of faith in Christ, and become full members of Peachtree Road. We will receive our new members at both the 8:45 am and 11:15 am services in the sanctuary, and I hope you will join me in welcoming them.

The title for this Sunday’s message is “You Are God’s Own People,” and I will be preaching on those familiar words from I Peter:

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. – I Peter 2:9

This letter was written to encourage new Christians to claim their identity and live into that identity. I look forward to reflecting upon the impact of this passage on our church with you.

Speaking of Sunday, let me emphasize two other events occurring:

  • We will welcome the Jack Britt High School Chorus from Fayetteville, North Carolina to our worship services in the sanctuary. They are under the direction of Richard Butler and will be singing five songs in the time leading up to each service. So, I encourage you to get to the sanctuary early to hear these talented young singers.
  • During Sunday’s services in the sanctuary, Michael Layne will share a word of encouragement with us about an opportunity to participate in a life-transforming ministry called “Sponsor a Child.” Your gift of $330 provides the essentials of food, clothing, education, and medical care for an entire year for a child living in the nation of Georgia. Plan to drop by Grace Hall between 8:00 am and 1:00 pm to learn more.

Finally, I want to encourage you to attend our children’s musical this Saturday evening. Peachtree Road’s five children’s choirs are presenting “Step Right Up!” at 6:00 pm in the student center, and I have been told that we will be thrilled by daring feats of strength and skill – with clowns, muscle men, jugglers, tumblers, riders, and more! Admission is free, and popcorn and cotton candy concessions will be available before the show.

I am grateful for your support of Peachtree Road in so many ways and look forward to seeing you Sunday. If I may be of help to you in any way, please do not hesitate to call on me.

Bill

  • Habitat Dedication

A Good Shepherd

April 20, 2018

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you well. Let me begin by thanking you for your support of this year’s Habitat project. Last weekend Peachtree Road members participated in the dedication ceremony for the 47th home we have built in cooperation with Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. Just let that sink in for a moment. Over the last 28 years, this congregation has been a part of helping provide a home for 47 families. You have made it possible for children to grow up in a safe environment and break the cycle of poverty in their lives forever. Thank you for offering this life-changing act of grace.

This year’s project benefits Fliery Robinson and his adopted son, Tony. Fliery is the lead waiter at Yabo Restaurant here in Buckhead, and Tony is an 11th grader at North Atlanta High School. They are thrilled with the new home, and I understand they already have given it a name – “The G House.” Fliery wrote a series of words that begin with the letter “G” on the beams of the house – God, Grateful, Good, Gracious, Glorious, etc. It is such a joy to be able to partner with a family like the Robinsons and an organization like Habitat for Humanity. I am grateful to Patty Harris and Josh Stephens who served as Peachtree Road captains for the 320 volunteers who showed up to work over the span of 8 Saturdays.

You may be interested to know that each Habitat house costs $57,000, needs about 245 volunteers to construct, and requires the homeowner to provide 250 hours of “sweat equity.” In addition, the homeowner must demonstrate the ability to make payments on a mortgage and maintain local residency. A few years ago we spent some time talking about avoiding “toxic charity” in our ministries. Well, Habitat for Humanity is the gold standard for offering help that is helpful. This is an organization with which we are proud to partner, and I am grateful for your support of Habitat and so many other ministries of our church. Know that your efforts are both appreciated and make a difference in people’s lives!

I hope you are planning to attend worship this week. We will continue our celebration of Easter as we reflect upon Jesus as the “Good Shepherd” — one of the great metaphors of the New Testament. I remember being taught that sheep need a shepherd for three reasons:

  1. They have poor eyesight
  2. They have a poor sense of direction
  3. They possess no real line of defense like other animals

Sheep need a shepherd to lead them, to give them guidance, and to protect them from predators. You and I know the feeling. We, too, need a good shepherd, and the scriptures assure us that the Lord is our Good Shepherd. I look forward to focusing upon that idea with you this week. Please make every effort to be present – we miss you when you’re not here! If you will be out of town on Sunday, remember to worship with us online (live or later in the week).

Speaking of Sunday, this week is “Baby Recognition Day” at Peachtree Road. Each year we take time to celebrate the birth of the children who have been born to members of our church within the last year. I am grateful to the United Methodist Women who organize this recognition. At the 11:15 am service in the sanctuary, the names of our newborns (those born between March 1, 2017, and February 28, 2018) will be called; they will be presented with a certificate from the United Methodist Women; and we will offer a prayer of blessing upon them. Over 80 children were born in our church last year, and there are over 6 sets of twins on the list! We should never take for granted how blessed we are!

Finally, I wanted to let you know that our own Merritt Bond was honored last night by Wesley Woods at their “Heroes, Saints, and Legends” banquet. Wesley Woods is a United Methodist agency and one of our partners in ministry offering senior adults the opportunity to age with grace. Merritt has been a longtime champion of Wesley Woods, and this recognition is well deserved. We are proud of him!

Thank you for all you are doing to help make Peachtree Road a vital congregation. See you Sunday!

Bill

PS – In this year of prayer, I hope you are finding ways to strengthen this part of your spiritual life. You may make use of the prayer wall on the church app or on campus at the first floor Rollins hallway. Please stay tuned for more information about an upcoming prayer workshop in the near future.

  • Baptism

The Cause of Christ

April 13, 2018

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are having a great week. As you read this note, Wendie and I are on our way back from a few days away after our son’s wedding. Our son Will and his wife Gina Kim were married in our sanctuary last Saturday evening in a beautiful ceremony. This has been good a good week for us to catch our breath following a busy Lenten season and this family wedding. We are looking forward to being in worship with you this Sunday.

Our Easter celebration will continue this Sunday as we turn our attention to Luke’s account of the “Walk to Emmaus” – Luke 24:13-35. This story is rich in lessons for our faith, but I want us to spend a few minutes on this third Sunday of Easter thinking about a phrase uttered by one of the disciples: “But we had hoped he was the one to redeem Israel.” That haunting phrase rings true, doesn’t it? It rings true because, while there is so much in this life that is beautiful, inspiring, fulfilling, there also is disappointment, heartbreak, and failure. Too often we gloss over these and never really learn how to faithfully deal with loss. On Sunday, I look forward to wrestling with this important lesson with you.

We also will welcome the youth choirs from the First United Methodist Church in Athens and Peachtree Road to our services this Sunday in the sanctuary. Kathy Fletcher has organized a Youth Choir Festival here at Peachtree Road for the Wesleyan Youth Choir and our own Doxology Youth Choir. They will join together on Saturday for a time of collaboration and fun and then sing at the morning services. I am grateful to Kathy for arranging this festival and to Janis Maxwell from Athens. I had the privilege of baptizing many of the members of the Athens choir and look forward to seeing them here in Atlanta. I hope you will be present to greet them and offer them a warm welcome to Peachtree Road.

Easter Sunday served as a reminder to me of how tight our parking situation can be on Sunday mornings. I heard stories of many folks circling the lots searching for a space as the day progressed. As a courtesy to our older members, we are reserving the Green Parking Lot 1 (located behind Grace Hall and between the Rollins Administration Building and the Evelyn Gordy Rankin Children’s Building) for their use on Sunday mornings. We encourage others to use lots further from the building so those who may have mobility issues have closer proximity. I am grateful for your cooperation.

One of the goals that I set for our staff for 2018 is to “up our game” as it pertains to congregational care. I remember the days when hospitals notified us when members of our churches became their patients or when hospitals openly shared their daily census report with church pastors; however, those days are long gone with the Hipaa personal privacy laws. Sometimes our members enter and leave the hospital, have surgery, experience a death in the family, or have another concern without us ever knowing. As I have said to our ministerial staff, this ought not be! Therefore, we are working to formalize some of the informal networks in our church. Going forward, this will include tracking weekly attendance in Sunday School. When a person is absent from Sunday School four weeks in a row, we will be following up on him or her to make sure they are doing well. Please know that we are making congregational care an important priority for our time. You can help by calling or emailing us at the church when you know of a pastoral concern. Thank you for helping us build a strong network of caring.

Finally, let me make you aware of a mission opportunity. Many of you know about our church’s work in the nation of Georgia. We provide for the physical, emotional, and spiritual support for over 300 children in that country. I especially am grateful to Lynn Banks and Gary Schneeberg for their dedication to this ministry and coordinating our church’s efforts. Our “Sponsor a Child” emphasis will be held here at Peachtree Road on April 29 and May 6. You are invited to go to Grace Hall on one of those Sundays, hear the stories from those who have shepherded this ministry, and view the photographs of the children who need your help. I encourage you to get on board and make the commitment to sponsor a child in Georgia this year. Your support of $330 per child provides a year’s supply of nutritional meals, warm clothes, shoes, medical examinations, medicines, and basic essentials for those living in this remote rural region we have served for nearly 20 years. Thank you for helping make all the difference in a little one’s life.

I am grateful for you and all you do for the cause of Christ through Peachtree Road. Know that I am praying for you in these days.

Bill

PS – What are you praying for this season? Please keep the church and its ministry in your daily prayers. At the end of the year, we will look back and see what God has done!

  • Easter Sanctuary

The Spirit of Our Easter Faith

April 6, 2018

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are having a great week. Let me begin this week’s note by sharing my gratitude for your generosity toward our “GiveUp2Give” 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 over $330,000 toward this offering which will benefit the 16 agencies with whom we partner to make a difference in the community. As I mentioned in my message in my sermon last Sunday, the world’s a better place because the people of Peachtree Road didn’t say, “We don’t do compassion!” 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 here.

Last Sunday was one of those mountaintop days here at Peachtree Road. Our celebration of Easter actually began early on Sunday morning in the columbarium with our sunrise service. We gathered in the darkness as Carolyn Stephens read the Easter story from the Gospel according to John. Julie Schendel took light from the fire burning in front of the fountain, lighted the Christ Candle, and led the procession to the chapel as members of the choir led us in singing. That service set the tone for the day as we experienced the unparalleled joy of Easter. 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!

One of my minister friends and I were comparing notes on Monday morning and he said, “My Easter sermon must have been really powerful because several folks told me they thought it would last them until Christmas!” Well, I hope many of those who worshiped with us on Easter will not wait until Christmas to come back because we have some great opportunities coming up:

April 8 The Georgia Boy Choir, under the direction of David White, will fill our choir loft this Sunday and lead us in music at both the 8:45 am and 11:15 am services in the sanctuary. We are blessed to have this talented choir as our ensemble in residence here at Peachtree Road. I invite you to get to the sanctuary early as they will be offering pre-service music.
April 15 – We will be the host church for a Youth Choir Festival featuring the Wesleyan Youth Choir from the First United Methodist Church in Athens as well as our own Doxology Youth Choir here at Peachtree Road. They will be singing at the morning services in the sanctuary. I am grateful to Kathy Fletcher for arranging this festival.
April 22 – Our annual Baby Recognition will take place at the 11:15 a.m. service in the sanctuary. Our United Methodist Women will help us recognize all the babies who were born in the last year and whose parents are members of the church. We will pause to offer a blessing upon them.
April 29 – On the last Sunday of the month, members of this year’s Confirmation Class will have an opportunity to make a profession of faith in Christ and join Peachtree Road as full members. Due to the size of the class, we will receive these youth at both services in the sanctuary. This is a high moment in the life of our church each year, and I am grateful to Daris McCullough and Grace Southworth and their team of adult and youth volunteers who lead the class.

 

As you can see, the month ahead promises to be 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

PS – What are you praying for these days? Please keep the church and its ministry in your daily prayers. At the end of the year, we will look back and see what God has done!

  • Palm Sunday Image

Celebrate the Risen Christ!

March 30, 2018

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are having a meaningful Holy Week. We made a good beginning last Sunday with our Palm Sunday celebration. As usual, the music was grand as we welcomed Scott Atchison back from hip replacement surgery. Of course, our procession was led by our favorite donkey “Jerusalem;” our children’s choirs warmed our hearts with their singing; and the Flower Guild’s arrangements of palms throughout the sanctuary were beautiful. As we reflected upon Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, we observed that when you are in the service of Christ, there are no menial tasks. Let us remember that truth as we live out our Lenten theme of “compassion” in the coming days.

You are invited to join us today at 12 noon for the Community Good Friday Service at the Cathedral of Christ the King Catholic Church. We will gather with members from Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist, Peachtree Presbyterian, and Wieuca Road Baptist, as well as Christ the King and our church, for a special time of worship. We will be reflecting upon the seven last words of Jesus from the cross, and I hope to see you there.

Of course, Sunday is Easter, and we will offer four opportunities to worship the Risen Christ:

  • Sunrise service – This special service begins at 6:30 am in the columbarium (the courtyard area between the sanctuary and the Rollins building where the niches are located). For me, this service really captures the spirit of that first Easter long ago. We gather in what amounts to our cemetery here at Peachtree Road, hear the message of the empty tomb, light candles in the darkness, and process to the chapel to celebrate the good news. If you have not attended this service before, I invite you to give it a try. We would love to see you early this Easter Day.
  • Sanctuary services – Please note the special times for our festival worship in the sanctuary: 8:15 a.m., 9:45 a.m., and 11:15 a.m. Each service will begin with the congregation singing Charles Wesley’s majestic hymn “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” and close with the Chancel Choir offering the “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel’s Messiah, accompanied by The Atlanta Brassworks.

In the message this Sunday, I want us to reflect upon the Gospel of John’s account of the Resurrection and take note of all the running around that took place that day. What were they running away from? What were they running to? Where does Easter take us? I can’t wait to celebrate with you!

We also will give our Lenten offering this Sunday. Many of you have been saving for our “Give Up 2 Give” campaign, and Sunday is the day to present your offering. I am encouraging every member to give $1.50 a day for 40 days ($60 total) to support the 16 agencies with whom we partner to make a difference here in Atlanta. Help us change our city for the better! You may give through the church app, online, or through the envelopes on Sunday when you come to church. Thank you for your generosity.

I also encourage you to invite others who may not have a church home to experience Easter at Peachtree Road. We are pretty good at recommending restaurants, movies, and books to others, but what about church? Think about someone who might need to hear the good news of Easter and encourage them to attend Peachtree Road.

Finally, let me offer two notes about Sunday’s logistics:

  • We will be running golf cart shuttles from our lots to the sanctuary throughout the morning, but parking may be difficult as we expect over 4,000 people for the morning services. One way you can help is by attending one of the early services (sunrise or 8:15 am). Interestingly, in recent years, the largest attendance has been at the 9:45 am service, and we certainly are pinched for parking between that service and the 11:15 am service. In keeping with our theme this Lent, I encourage you to be compassionate toward one another as you look for parking. Remember, as the lots turn over from one service to another, parking spaces do become available.
  • Overflow space will be available in both the Moore Chapel and Grace Hall throughout the morning. A live feed from the sanctuary will be available in each.
  • Also, breakfast will be served in Grace Hall from 7:00 am until 9:00 am. Chef Bob is cooking, and we would love to have you join us.

I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we celebrate the presence of the Risen Christ!

Bill

  • Zell Miller Funeral Service

Zell Miller Memorial Service

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PRUMC was priviledged to hold the funeral of Zell Miller this past Tuesday, March 27, 2018. We were honored to share this poignant time with his family, and touched to hear about his life from relations, dignitaries and friends.

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Zell Miller Memorial Service

Zell Miller Funeral Service

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PRUMC was priviledged to hold the funeral of Zell Miller this past Tuesday, March 27, 2018. We were honored to share this poignant time with his family, and touched to hear about his life from relations, dignitaries and friends.

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  • Sweet Moment

Compassion in Times of Trial

Compassion in Times of Trial

Be Compassionate just as your father is compassionate. Luke 6:36

In his opening sermon for Lent, Bill commented that compassion has often been defined by the Celtic mystics as where the divine and the human touch – the thin places. In times of trial, thin places have the capability to transform a trial into a time of spiritual growth and renewal. A thin place can touch and heal.

What is the link – right in the middle – between human touch and the divine? This Holy Week, I believe the answer is Jesus himself. We have read through the gospel readings of the compassion of Christ for all of mankind and we have witnessed him healing, serving, teaching, comforting, and loving. We have been an eye witness to Jesus’ compassion.

As it is used in the Bible, compassion means to be moved inwardly, to yearn with tender mercy, affection, pity and empathy. It is sharing the feelings of others and possessing a desire to help them in their time of need. And we watch Jesus finalize his week with his deepest feelings saying things like “Not my will but thy will,” and “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Even at the point of Jesus going to his own death, he is thinking of others. He is wanting to please his Father, ignoring his own persecution. And as his death nears he asks God to forgive his murderers. His time of trial becomes this “thin place” between Christ and his Father.

Compassion always comes to us at this thin place – possibly quite often missed by the rapid speed at which we live today. When we are hurting, it is in the unpretentious, humble presence of others where we find solace and comfort. We become part of the uncertainty together, we give up control. We enter the darkness together. And when we do, new strength is born; hope is revived; we discover new directions. God-with-us has committed to live in solidarity with us – our helper, defender, shepherd, our love.

But we must slow down to experience it, and even then, we wonder at the mystery of this divine moment in our lives. Sometimes it comes in the hours before dawn when the world is quiet.

As I cared for my dying daughter, I dreamed of someone instructing me by saying, “Marcia, you can do this.” I would respond, “I don’t think I can do this.” But the voice kept repeating, “You must and you can.” The voice stopped, but I was left with voices singing over and over, “Jesus doeth all things well.” I woke to the music going round in my head and went directly to my hymnal and looked up the phrase. It is from the song entitled All The Way My Savior Leads Me written in 1875 by Frances J. Crosby. We sing it in our church today.

I told my sister about the dream with the music and she quietly remarked, “That was our dad’s favorite hymn.”

All the way my Savior leads me,
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well;
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.

The words stunned me.

Could the compassion of Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, touch my humanness that night in a way that gave me courage, strength, and a fresh understanding of His compassion? When others were certainly the hands and feet of Jesus during my time of trial, I still savor that dream as a “thin place” of connection and compassion with Jesus at a time when I needed it most. He does “doeth all things well.”

Consider the notion that perhaps the purpose of a thin place is to train us to make the other places in our lives thinner. Moreover, when we realize that the Spirit of God dwells within us, we will come to believe that we are called to be thin places for others, as God makes his presence known through us. His compassion becomes our compassion. Our compassion becomes someone else’s compassion. And our lives are made richer for it.

In his wonderful Lenten devotional Show Me The Way, Henri Nouwen writes, “As long as we live on this earth, our lives as Christians must be marked by compassion. But we must realize that the compassionate life is not our final goal. In fact, we can only live the compassionate life to the fullest when we know that it points beyond itself. We know that he who emptied and humbled himself has been raised high and has been given a name above all other names, and we know that he left us to prepare a place for us where suffering will be overcome and compassion no longer necessary. There is a new heaven and a new earth for which we hope with patient expectation. This is the vision presented in Revelation 21:1-4.

‘Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; the first heaven and the first earth had disappeared now and there was no longer any sea I saw the holy city, and the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven as beautiful as a bride all dressed for her husband. Then I heard a loud voice call from the throne, “You see this city? Here God lives among men, He will make his home among them; they shall be his people, and he will be their God; his name is God-with-them. He will wipe away all tears from their eyes; there will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness. The world of the past has gone.’

This is the vision that guides us. This vision makes us share one another’s burdens, carry our crosses together, and unite for a better world. This vision takes the despair out of death and the morbidity out of suffering, and opens new horizons. This vision is indeed of a future world. But it is no utopia. The future has already begun and is revealed each time strangers are welcomed, the naked are clothed, the sick and prisoners are visited, and oppression is overcome. “

Prayer

Compassionate Jesus,

As we walk this final week with you, show us your compassion at a new level of understanding. Fill us by your power with a longing to welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, visit the sick, care for my neighbor, and love my family.

Help me to use your time of trial as an example for when my own time of trial comes. Teach me to say with open hands, “Not my will, but thine.”  Teach me to sing with resurrection confidence, “Jesus doeth all things well.”

Amen

Marcia Gaddis
Luke 6:36
March 25, 2018

  • Kenya 2018

Kenya: 3.21.18

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Today we were able to distribute water filters!  Tonight at our meeting, everyone shared words about their day.  Common phrases used to express the day were inspiring, compassionate, flowing, harmonic, loving.  However, it was evident that the team was overwhelmed with the impact the filters have on the Kenyans’ lives.   We reflected on the scope of impact these filters have.  It is such a privilege be the team on the ground here in Kenya on behalf of the church and all the donations, prayers and partnership.  For those whose first trip this is, they were amazed to witness up close the families receiving the gift of clean water.

After all day meeting with the recipients, instructing them how to assemble, use and maintain their filters, we ended the day with a walk down to the river.  Standing at the river, we took in the scene.  This river is mud colored and dirty.  It is full of their waste and is where their cows also drink.  This is the water source their drinking water comes from.

We gathered around and thanked God that tonight, families would be drinking clean water for maybe the first time in their life.  Many members on our team slipped off their shoes, declaring that riverbank a Holy Ground.  We stood there taking in the truth that Jesus is the water of life.  That because of Jesus, we are washed clean.  Because of God the Provider, we are able to extend our hands, resources and hearts to these Kenyans and meet practical needs that will forever change their health and their lives.

It was a moment of serenity.  The presence of God was all around us down on that riverbank.  In a moment, we were engulfed in the love of God and humbled to be His servants on earth.  We are blessed to be in this specific region, to engage with and serve these specific people.

It was an impactful day.  Impactful for those getting water filters and also those giving water filters.  The day will leave a lasting impact: on both health and hearts.

Gayle Jenks

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Kenya 2018

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Kenya 2018

Doxology Choir Tour

Seattle Tour

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Doxology Pacific Northwest Choir Tour
Doxology Youth Choir will head to Seattle and Victoria, BC on May 26 to perform at Paul Morris’ church, a local food bank and retirement center and the beautiful Paradise Inn at Mt. Ranier!

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  • Bill Preaching

Hosanna in the Highest!

March 23, 2018

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you well. As I write these words, we are merely hours away from Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week. This is one of our favorite Sundays of the year here at Peachtree Road. The children entering the sanctuary waving their palm branches, the beautiful music offered by the choirs, and, yes, having our favorite donkey “Jerusalem” leading the procession at the 11:15 am service make the day extra special. I love the passage we will read at the beginning of worship:

Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” – Mark 11:9-10

With this triumphant passage setting the initial tone for the day, we will bring our Lenten series on “Compassion” to a close. Each week we have gone deeper in our understanding of what it means to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind… and to love your neighbor as yourself.” This Palm Sunday, as we reflect upon Christ’s entry into Jerusalem and his death upon the cross, we will spend some time thinking about those who rendered humble service to Christ – the “donkey fetchers.” I look forward to worshiping with you.

I do want to call to your attention that the church is offering a congregational luncheon on Sunday in Grace Hall from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm. I hope you will come and be our guest for a delicious meal and good fellowship as we begin this holiest of weeks together.

You also are invited to join us for our midday services Monday through Thursday during Holy Week in the Moore Chapel. These services begin at 12:05 pm and are followed by a luncheon in Grace Hall. The schedule for the week is as follows:

Monday  |  Leslie Watkins, preaching  |  Peter MacKenzie, soloist
Tuesday  |  Darren Hensley, preaching  |  Melanie Burbules, soloist
Wednesday  |  Geoff Beakley, preaching  |  William Green, soloist

Thursday  |  Julie Wright, preaching  |  Clarke Harris, soloist

Our Holy Thursday service will be held in the sanctuary on Thursday, March 29, at 7:00 pm with Carolyn Stephens preaching. This service features the celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Communion as we remember Jesus’ last supper with his disciples and the stripping of the altar, signifying the abandonment of Jesus by his disciples and his prayers of anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane. We will leave the sanctuary in somber reflection to close one of the most moving services of the year.

Finally, we will bring the season of Lent to a close by joining with other Christians from throughout Buckhead for a special Community Good Friday Service on Friday, March 30, at noon at the Cathedral of Christ the King Roman Catholic Church. We will join members from Peachtree Presbyterian, Second Ponce de Leon Baptist and Wieuca Road Baptist as well as the Cathedral of Christ the King for the service. I hope you will join us for this particularly meaningful time of worship as we reflect upon Christ’s seven last words from the cross.

In addition to these services of worship, let me remind you of several opportunities for prayer and service:

  • The 26th annual Great Day of Service is tomorrow. Serving is at the heart of compassion here at Peachtree Road, and there is a place for every person to participate on the Great Day. If you cannot join us this year, please pray for those who are serving on behalf of our church.
  • Give generously to our “Give Up 2 Give” campaign. As you “give something up” for Lent, take the money you have saved and give it toward our Lenten offering which will support the 16 agencies we partner with to provide food, shelter, education, and support in our community. I am encouraging every member to give $1.50 a day for 40 days ($60 total) toward the offering. Help us change our city for the better! You may give now through the church app or online.
  • Participate in Peachtree Road’s Holy Week Prayer Vigil. We have set aside 48 hours from 12:01 am on Thursday, March 29, until 11:59 pm on Friday, March 20, for prayer. When you register, a prayer guide will be sent to you by email. I signed up through the church app, and I hope you will join me in prayer during these holy days.
  • Volunteers are needed for Easter Sunday. We are looking for 7 more volunteers for each service on Easter – 5 at each service to help with crowd safety in front of the sanctuary and 2 at each service to drive our golf carts from the campus parking lots. If you are interested in helping at one of the services, please contact Mimi Brunson at MimiB@prumc.org.

I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we begin Holy Week together!

Bill

  • Kenya 2018

Kenya: 3.20.18

Things are different here in Kenya. There is a balance here like any other place but the scales seem old and unfamiliar, prone to pitch and tilt, then over-correct to regain harmony. The pressure of the sun bears down on you, like a weight that you can never get used to. The weather stalks you, waiting to strike when you are least prepared with a sudden squall or gust like a jungle cat that disappears as abruptly as it arrived. Time here is not something that dictates where you should be or what you should be doing but is instead cherished for every moment gifted to you because we don’t know how many we have left.

It is these things, the pressure, time, and environment, that turn the Kenyan people into the diamonds that we have witnessed. Bright and sparkling eyes that can light up any day without taking away from the apparent toughness that is required for children to walk barefoot for miles to get to school every day, or for mothers to sell their bodies to make sure their children won’t go hungry.

Things are different in Kenya, but each of these differences helps to remind that love is the same anywhere we go.

Robert French

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Kenya 2018

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Kenya 2018
  • Kenya 2018

Kenya: 3.19.18

The Kenya mission team is settled into Nakuru. After a long 2 days of travel(and only one lost piece of luggage) today was a day to be reenergized. We started the morning with worship at the church in Gitawamba. For many on the team, it was a chance to reconnect with familiar faces from past trips.

Each evening we gather as a team and each person says a word to describe the day (and surprisingly with 27 of us there are rarely repeats.)  Some of the words from this evening were:

  • Joy – a woman named Joy standing next to me welcoming me to share in the celebration of faith; the dancing, clapping and jumping around of all of us together to the music (something we should do more of on Sunday mornings!)
  • Spirit – a bird flying around in the church before worship began so symbolic of the presence of the Holy Spirit.
  • Teamwork – of the women who cooked us lunch and the team members to deliver household goods to the families.
  • Powerful – the drumbeat of the music but most of all Carolyn Stephens sermon and the young woman who sat in awe, taking notes and being inspired to preach at her own church.
  • Community – I last visited Gitawamba 5 yrs ago with a PRUMC team. It was an IDP camp- internally displaced people who had been moved from what had been their home and literally placed in what seemed like the middle of nowhere- a few sparse “houses” and a broken down barn. Through the amazing work God has called people to come here to do (by many PRUMC mission teams) there is now a church and that broken down barn has been transformed into a safe school for about 500 children. It truly is now a place this community can call home.Keep our team in your thoughts and prayers!Lesley Cogburn

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Kenya 2018

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Kenya 2018
  • Kenya 2018

Kenya: 3.18.18

Each day after breakfast, the team assembles for a Devotion. Having had the opportunity to teach Kelsey Bilthouse in the 3rd Grade, I felt comfortable assigning Kelsey the challenge of delivering the devotion. I knew she would not let me down. Kelsey delivered a heartfelt devotion on the commandment to honor one’s father and mother. To me Kelsey described how her mom and dad adhered to the concept laid out in Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”  Kelsey described how as a teenager her mom recognized that Kelsey needed an adjustment in her perspective and how she challenged Kelsey to focus on others by serving. She told us about the impact it had on her when she had the opportunity to go on Mission Trips with her parents and how that altered the way she looked at herself.  Kelsey’s parents should be proud that they have raised Kelsey in a way that now as an adult she knows who she is and to whom she belongs.

Reverend Carolyn Stephens asked our leader, Clint Smith, if she could offer an additional prayer for the team before we left. In her prayer reminded us that “stuff” happens on Mission Trips that can disrupt the best-laid plans, but our God is a God who turn lemons into lemonade.  Our job site for the day was Gituamba Jeanette Keaton Conley Memorial Primary School. This is the school PRUMC helps sponsors through SWOK. Our schedule was pack with little room for error. Team 1 was tasked with painting a mural in a classroom, Team 2 was doing some cleaning in the school, Team 3 was to begin to build a playground, and Team 4 was to mix and pour concrete for half the floor for two future classrooms.

I am betting you guessed it. Things were derailed quickly. For any Mission trip veteran the word volcano might bring back nightmares. Well that was not going to be an issue on this mission trip because we had a cement mixer. We knew we would need it because we had a charge to mix about 100 bags of cement.  The plan was to get the cement mixer from Bill Coble’s home early in morning and have it at the school when the team arrived. While pulling the cement mixer behind Bill’s truck, one of the wheels fell off the axel and the cement mixer lay in the middle of road. A team of Kenyans was transported to the place in the road where mixer was left and they loaded it on the truck to take it back to the school.  Our Kenyan friends did their part getting the mixer back to the school and welded the tire back on, but it seems the fall was a little much and the mixer’s engine decided not to cooperate. This is where God turns lemons into lemonade.

Several Team 4 members got tired of waiting and decided they would play with the school kids that were outside on break. Before you knew it, the boom box was blaring and kids and adults were dancing as if no one was watching. It was a beautiful dance party. If all goes as we hope, those that assemble for breakfast prior to the Great Day of Service will be able to see the video of this impromptu dance party. Yes, our God does turns lemons into lemonade.

I began to recall Carolyn’s prayer from the beginning of our day. I remembered at how insistent she was that she pray for the team. We had already prayed, but she knew we needed to hear her message. God was clearly speaking through her. I could clearly see God’s fingerprints.

Workwise we did get a lot done. Classrooms were cleaned, the mural was 75% complete, and most of the fence post for the playground were set. When the afternoon rains came, we were at a point it made sense to pack up and head back.  When we got back to Tumaini, our home for the week, we began to sort through the 1,500 lbs. of clothes and supplies. My hat goes off to all of those that generously donated. Thank you so much. It was overwhelming to see the mountain of clothes, shoes, and games that you have entrusted to our team to share with our Kenyan brothers and sisters.

The food on this Mission Trip is very good and again Chef Fredrick who treated us to an evening feast.  After eating supper, we assemble for our time of fellowship. This is when each team member shares his or her day’s experience. This is one of my favorite times. It is amazing to hear how God works.  Almost every night one team member describes their day in way that rocks the group. That was the case when Gayle Jenks described her day. She told us how while working on the mural she realized it was a lot like the way God works in our lives. She said that when they began the project the walls were very dirty. Other than the team leaders, Karen Riddle and Melissa Melissa Longoz, not a single team member could fathom how a beautiful masterpiece was going to rise out the mess they were working in.  Gayle described the way they cleaned the walls as being similar to the way God has to clean us in places we too often do not realize are dirty. She spoke of how God has a vision for our lives even when we doubt anything of worth can come from us. Gayle said that when we allow God to cleanse us we too
become His masterpiece. Few if any had a dry eye. Can you believe such wisdom comes from a recent college graduate?

The day ended the way it began. Reverend Carolyn Stephens told us that she saw unity when we were working and playing with our Kenyan neighbors in the manner she believed God had in mind. No one cared how much money one made, whether we were male or female, or the color of one’s skin. We simply worked and played together as one. She challenged us that when we back to the real world we need to expand our circle of friends to reflect God’s unity.  Our day was complete and we called it good.

Ed Hamlin

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Kenya 2018

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Kenya 2018
  • Communion

I Will Be Their God

I Will Be Their God

Devotion:  Jeremiah 31:31-34

“…I will make a new covenant…and [will] write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people.”

This week set aside time to ponder this Scripture from the prophet Jeremiah. God has chosen you.  What does that mean to you? Have you chosen Him? How is God’s adoption reflected in your daily life?

Covenant means “coming together.” It is a relationship. It takes at least two: you and God. God wants to come together with us. Remember and claim, “for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16   In Jesus, God is born. He is God-with-us. God’s sole desire is for a personal, intimate relationship with each of us. It is born out of love and compassion. Yet something is required of us in return.  It is our choice to accept His invitation.

Charles Spurgeon wrote: “’I will be their God,’ is the masterpiece of all the promises. The Great I AM is all we ever need.  He is all we could ever hope for. It is joy unspeakable.

In Luke 9:35 God speaks to the Disciples, saying “This is My Beloved Son, whom I have chosen, hear Him.”  Do we hear Him when He tells us to “Tarry here and wait with Me?” Are we listening? Are we waiting with expectancy? When He says “Come,” is our response to follow? When we come to His Communion Table, are we willing to be, as Oswald Chambers says, “broken bread and poured out wine” for others? Each Sunday when we baptize a baby, we, as a congregation and individually, promise to “so order our lives after the example of Christ.”  What does that truly look like?

Christ went to a mountaintop (removed himself from the crowd) to pray. Do you?

Christ humbled Himself, do you?

Christ was drawn to the poor and lost, are you?

Christ taught us not to judge lest we be judged, do we?

Christ never forces. He lets us choose. In John 21, Jesus says, “if you love Me….feed My sheep.”  When you read your Bible, stop at that powerful two-letter word ‘if’ … it means you can make a choice.  You can decide.  As you come on Great Day of Service to ‘feed His lambs,’ consider making it more than a one-day commitment. God might be speaking to you to do more. Open your heart.  Hear Him.

We each have our ‘self’ ~ we each have 24-hours. We each can choose how we spend those hours ~ often the greatest gift we can give is our ‘self.’ No money required. One of the most important spiritual disciplines is that of listening. Stop. Listen. Put others first. Pray.

Come into the silence of one of our two prayer rooms. Volunteer to pray for one hour a week.  AW Tozer refers to silence as “the unutterable beatitude.”  Oswald Chambers says that through prayer we come to know God Himself.  Prayer is the greater work. We are told to pray without ceasing.  You have a choice; will you choose to “pray ye therefore?”  Hear Him, He calls you to pray.

We each have our own journey. We each have our own unique, personal relationship (covenant) with God.  He has called each of you His own.  He has named you. You are His.  Is He yours?

 

Prayer:  Dear Abba, Father, our Beloved, thank you. Thank you for being our God and inviting us to be your people. May we yield to you each day. May your light shine through us to others. When others see us, may they truly see You. We know that we might be the only ‘gospel’ someone might read. Lord, may we trust and obey. Come into our heart ~ abide with and in us. Melt us, mold us, use us each day to the glory of your Kingdom.  In humble gratitude.  Amen.

Lynn Banks
Jeremiah 31:31-34
March 18

  • Julie Wright

Living a Life of Compassion

March 16, 2018

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you well. Some of our families are still out on spring break, but I am looking forward to seeing many of you this Sunday as we continue our Lenten emphasis on “Compassion.” This week we will spend time thinking about what it means to live under a “new covenant” with God. I encourage you to prepare for the message by reading Jeremiah 31:27-34. The last verse contains a very interesting phrase:

“…for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.”

Jeremiah writes that God will not remember our sins. Is it possible for God to forget? I look forward to wrestling with that question and sharing the good news about God’s grace with you on Sunday.

Speaking of Sunday, this week the Voices of Hope will be singing here at Peachtree Road. The choir is made up of women from the Lee Arrendale State Prison and is under the direction of Chaplain Susan Bishop. They will be singing pre-service music in the sanctuary from 11:00 am until 11:15 am and will offer special music later in the service. For over a decade, our church has served our incarcerated brothers and sisters through mentoring, tutoring, and leading support groups and Bible studies. In addition, through our Women’s Initiative, we have fostered the reunification of mothers and children through parties and special events.  This is just another way members of Peachtree Road are striving to live a life of compassion.

In keeping with our emphasis on “Compassion,” our ministry spotlight this week will be presented by Keeva Kase, president and CEO of Buckhead Christian Ministry.  Each Sunday we have highlighted a different agency with whom we partner to build a better Atlanta, and this week we will highlight the ministry of BCM. This agency was started 31 years ago by six Buckhead churches (including Peachtree Road) as an emergency assistance provider. In three decades, it has grown to be so much more – providing client-centered financial assistance and financial literacy programs that lead to self-sufficiency. BCM is working toward a day when all the folks in our community are free of hunger and homelessness. We look forward to hearing from Keeva on Sunday.

Earlier this week, the Administrative Board met for the second time this year. Let me share with you a few highlights from the meeting:

  • Report of the Committee of 100 — This planning group met in the latter part of January to consider the church’s current standing, evaluate our progress in ministry, and make recommendations for the coming 3-5 years including goals and key objectives. These now will be forwarded to the various ministry areas for implementation. You may see the report here.
  • Board of Trustees Update — After a delay precipitated by budget concerns, construction on the Murray Cottage, a new parsonage for an associate minister on West Shadowlawn, is set to begin. We expect the home to be completed around the end of the year.
  • Strategic partnership with the Georgia Tech Wesley Foundation — We have been informed that Geoff Beakley, our student pastor from Candler School of Theology, will be appointed by the Bishop as the director of the Wesley Foundation at Georgia Tech and as an associate minister at Peachtree Road. We are excited about this innovative partnership and look forward to this new ministry in the mid-town community.
  • Financially, we are ahead — Through the first two months of the year, giving has surpassed anticipation by $161,000, and our expenses are running a few percentage points below what we anticipated. The finance committee expects these to average out as the year goes forward, but we are off to an outstanding start! Thank you for your generous support of Peachtree Road’s ministry.

Finally, let me remind you of several more opportunities for spiritual growth and service:

  • The 26th annual Great Day of Service is a little more than a week away. If you have yet to sign up, please do so today. Serving is at the heart of compassion here at Peachtree Road, and there is a place for you and your family on the Great Day. Come join us! You may register online here.
  • Participate in our “Give Up 2 Give” campaign. As you “give something up” for Lent, take the money you have saved and give it toward our Lenten offering which will support the 16 agencies we partner with to provide food, shelter, education, and support in our community. I am challenging every member to give $1.50 a day for 40 days ($60 total) toward the offering to help us reach our goal of $250,000. Your sacrifice will change your life for the better, and your gift will change Atlanta for the better! You may start giving now through the church app or online.
  • Participate in Peachtree Road’s Holy Week Prayer Vigil. We have set aside 48 hours from 12:01 am on Thursday, March 29, until 11:59 pm on Friday, March 20, for prayer. When you register, a prayer guide will be sent to you by email. I signed up through the church app, and I hope you will join me in prayer during these holy days.
  • The Dogwood Gift Shop is open for the spring season. You are invited to drop by this Sunday and see the new items available. There is a special trunk show March 18 featuring original art by popular artist Winston Wiant. As always, proceeds will benefit the global outreach ministries of the church.

Thank you for all you are doing. Please call on me if I can help you in any way. See you Sunday!

Bill

PS – What are you praying for today? Consider adding that request to one of the prayer walls (physical and virtual) here at the church. At the end of the year, we will look back and see what God has done!

  • Leslie Hugging

Forgiven and Forgiving

Forgiven and Forgiving

God’s love for us is eternal, having no bounds and no limits. The writer of Lamentations captures this well, telling us “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, God’s mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is [God’s] faithfulness.” It is from this steadfast love and mercy that God’s forgiveness overflows.

Evident in God’s nature is the readiness and willingness to forgive. God’s journey with humanity has revealed this truth as seen in Israel’s story. Repeatedly, the children of Israel sinned against God; repeatedly they rebelled and chose to go their own way. And though angered, which was just for brief moments, repeatedly God would relent, forgive them and care for them as a mother would tenderly care for a child.

God’s compassion and forgiving nature is the basis for many of the Psalms and other books of the Bible. Psalm103, which is ascribed to King David, is one such psalm. David had sinned, committed adultery and executed the plan for the murder of Uriah, so he could cover up his adulterous act. As one who needed and experienced God’s forgiveness, he penned the words “as far as the east is from the west, so far has [God] removed our transgressions from us.” David knew firsthand what it is to be forgiven by God.

The expansiveness of God’s forgiveness and compassion is wonderfully captured in the words of the prophet Micah, “Who is a God like you, who pardons sins and forgives transgressions. You do not stay angry forever, but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; You will cast our sins into the depths of the sea” (7:18-19).

What love! What forgiveness! So much so that we who are recipients should not be able to contain it, we should not hide it, but let it flow from us and extend it to those around us. This loving forgiveness that we have received should now be shown to others.

But how can we, you may ask.

Bill shared two of the ways we can in his sermon yesterday:

We can by looking up. Look up to God who readily forgives. When we have sinned, we should look up and ask for forgiveness. And God who knows our weak nature will readily forgive us of all our sins.

We can by letting go. Let go of the hurt and pain that we have held on to so tightly. If held tightly, the wrongs that have been done to us will be a stumbling block that prevents us from forgiving others. We all have done wrong to those around us at some point or another. We must take on the discipline of forgiving others, knowing that God has forgiven us.

As we go through this Lenten season, let us live in the reality that we have been forgiven by God, and we should live out our response by forgiving others.

Carolyn Stephens
Lenten Devotion 2018
Fourth Sunday in Lent

At the Heart of Compassion

March 9, 2018

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you well. I am looking forward to being back with you this Sunday for worship. Last week, Wendie and I, along with about 25 others from Peachtree Road, participated in a Civil Rights Heritage Tour to Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma, Alabama, and the tour culminated in a march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the 53rd anniversary of what has become known as “Bloody Sunday.” It was a good experience, and I will share with you something I learned about the relationship between compassion and forgiveness on Sunday.

And, speaking of compassion, we will continue our Lenten emphasis on “Compassion” this week, and Susan Bixler will spotlight the ministry of Habitat for Humanity. The sermon title for this week is “Forgiven and Forgiving” and you are encouraged to read Numbers 21:4-9 in preparation for the message. It is a strange story about a bronze snake being placed on a pole and folks being healed when they look up at it. However, the spiritual truth this story reveals is both powerful and freeing. Also, at the close of the 11:15 am service in the sanctuary, we will offer a blessing upon the Kenya mission team that is preparing to deliver water filters to those living in the Rongai region of that country. I hope you will be present Sunday and will consider inviting someone to worship with you.

I do want to give you a “heads up” about next Sunday, March 18. At the 11:15 am worship service, we will welcome the Voices of Hope Choir to Peachtree Road. The choir is made up of women from the Lee Arrendale State Prison and is under the direction of Chaplain Susan Bishop. The women will be singing preservice music in the sanctuary from 11:00 am until 11:15 am and will sing an additional piece during the service. You may be aware that Peachtree Road has a rich history in prison ministry. For over a decade, our church has served our incarcerated brothers and sisters through mentoring, tutoring, and leading support groups and Bible studies. In addition, through our Women’s Initiative, we have fostered the reunification of mothers and children through parties and special events. We also host an annual reunion where returning citizens gather to share their experiences and success stories. This is just another way members of Peachtree Road are living out Christ’s commandment to live a life of compassion. I know it is the back-end of spring break for many families, but I hope you will mark March 18 on your calendar and plan to attend.

Finally, let me remind you of several more opportunities for spiritual growth and service:

  • If you have not signed up yet for the 26th annual Great Day of Service, please do so today. Serving is at the heart of compassion here at Peachtree Road, and there is a place for you and your family on the Great Day. Come join us! You may register online here.
  • Participate in our “Give Up 2 Give” campaign. As you “give something up” for Lent, take the money you have saved and give it toward our Lenten offering which will support the 16 agencies we partner with to provide food, shelter, education, and support in our community. I am challenging every person who attends one of our Easter services to give $1.50 a day for 40 days ($60 total) toward the offering to help us reach our goal. Your sacrifice will change your life for the better, and your gift will change Atlanta for the better! You may start giving now through the church app or online here.
  • Are you interested in learning more about our Methodist roots? Come join us for this summer’s Wesley Methodist Heritage Tour to England! The deadline is looming, and we still have a few spots open for this summer’s tour. Our Chancel Choir has the honor of being the Choir in Residence at Westminster Abbey, and this tour will coincide with their time in London. So, in addition to visiting the sites of significance to our history, we will have the opportunity to hear our church’s choir sing in a cathedral that is steeped in more than a thousand years of history. Wendie and I invite you to join us on this pilgrimage to the land of Wesley. For more information, please contact Jamie Jenkins.
  • In this year of prayer, you are encouraged to participate in Peachtree Road’s Holy Week Prayer Vigil. We have set aside 48 hours from 12:01 am on Thursday, March 29, until 11:59 pm on Friday, March 30, for prayer. Please sign up here for one or more of the time slots during those holy days and pray.
  • The Dogwood Gift Shop opens for the spring season this Sunday. You are invited to drop by and see the new items available. As always, all proceeds will benefit the global outreach of the church.

Let me close this note by asking, “What are you praying for today?” Consider adding that request to one of the prayer walls (physical and virtual) here at the church. At the end of the year, we will look back and see what God has done!

Bill

PS – This Sunday marks the beginning of Daylight Savings Time. Remember to set your clocks forward one hour as you head to bed on Saturday night so you will not be late for church on Sunday!

Angie Howell – Hopeworks

As part of our Lenten focus on local outreach, PRUMC member Angie Howell speaks about Hopeworks. Hopeworks brings long-term solutions to seniors so they may remain in their homes. By providing weatherization, repairs and general maintenance at no
cost, Hopeworks honors these saints of their communities.

Jack Hardin – Homelessness

As part of our Lenten focus on local outreach, Jack Hardin speaks about homelessness in Atlanta.  “Jack has dedicated years of service to the Atlanta community and has an unwavering commitment to education, ending homelessness, and promoting tolerance.  As a member and co-chair of the United Way Regional Commission on Homelessness, Mr. Hardin was instrumental to the development of the Gateway Center, and serves as Chairman of the Board. He is also on the board of the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, formerly serving as Chair.”

  • Lent 2018: Compassion

The Ten Commandments

 The Ten Commandments

Rules, rules, rules.  Does anyone obey all the “rules” anymore?

     Do the “rules” apply to me or just to other people?

     It’s okay for me to drive and text because I am a good driver, but that person holding up the
traffic because of their technology, well that’s another matter.

     What about my child’s “behavior” vs. another child’s?  Those other children really need
discipline, but my child is just being “cute”.

     It’s not my fault.  Somebody else caused me to break that rule.  Don’t blame me.

Years ago I was having a conversation with a man who was proclaiming the 10 Commandments as the centerpiece of his Christian faith.  When I asked why he picked guidelines from the Old Testament and not the New Testament, he asked me what in the New Testament I would pick.  I quickly responded:  “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”  I will never forget his response: “Susan, the 10 Commandments are a lot easier to follow.”

To this day, I can’t think of the 10 Commandments without remembering my conversation with this man.  He was being humorous and truthful at the same time.

When we study the first five books of the Old Testament, or the Torah, we are confronted with lots of rules and instructions for living.  Just continuing to read in Exodus, we find even more ordinances for living.  Sometimes there can be contradictory rules in the same chapter.

Many of us as children probably memorized the 10 Commandments and remember most of them to this day.  Those commandments were picked from among all the words of instruction to give us a template for the Law.  If we were to look more closely at each of those ten, we would find that most people interpret them through their own lens.  We each have our own ideas about keeping the Sabbath, coveting, stealing, murdering, adultery, lying, and all the others. We don’t follow them to the letter, nor do most of us think we should.  And we are not bad or faithless people.

Jesus found himself confronted by people asking questions about the rules, too.

One example is of the rich young ruler.  “I have done everything right.  Am I going to get to heaven?”  Jesus’ reply shows the heart and soul of His message: “Yes, you got the rules, but you’ve missed the meaning.”

So, what do people who want to be faithful and good do?  Can we just pick and choose whatever works for us?  How do we make sense of the message of Jesus and all of the instructions in the Old Testament?

When we juxtapose the New Testament passages such as:
~ Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
~ There is neither slave nor free, male nor female; all are One in Christ Jesus
~ If anyone says they love God and hate their brother or sister, they are lying

With the 10 Commandments and all of the other Old Testament rules, we are met with demands for living.  We may be able to pick around the rules themselves, but we, as Christians, can’t get away from the meaning within them.  Nothing is easy in these examples for sure, but they hold deep within them the roots of the message that God wanted us to get, and Jesus expanded.
The oldest prayer in the Judeo-Christian tradition is the Shema. The opening words are these:

                                    Hear oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is ONE.
The “ONE” tells us about God.  It is about God being One with all the joys and sorrows of living; One with the gamut of all fears and hopes; One with all of the positive and negative experiences of life.  Just as God doesn’t let the rain and sun fall only on the just, but the unjust also, receive God’s bounty.  We are called to be One in God’s love. That is the essence of real compassion.  God calls us out of bondage, even obedience, into relationship.  We can get the rules, but still fail to reach out to our brothers and sisters. My faith tells me that the intent and value of the Ten Commandments is to seek to know God and to love others. To take the rules, the “10” literally, without understanding the context and culture in which they were written, or to say we believe them just as they are, but adjust their meaning to our own comfort levels or interpretations is to miss the meaning.

Susan Anne Bennett
The Week of March 4

  • Lent 2018: Compassion

Compassion Freely Given: What Are You Doing For Others?

Open Your Eyes: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”  Martin Luther King, Jr.

There are two lakes in Israel. One is the Sea of Galilee and the other is the Dead Sea. They are both fed by the Jordan River.  Around the Sea of Galilee is where much of Jesus’ ministry was centered.  Life around those villages was and still is based on fishing.  The Sea of Galilee is alive.

At the bottom of the Jordan River lies the Dead Sea.  It is the exact opposite of the Sea of Galilee.  The only human inhabitants that chose to live in that area during the times of Jesus were the Essenes.  They had fled the corruption of Jerusalem and picked the most isolated place to live out their lives in study and prayer.  The lived in the many caves around the Dead Sea.  It’s an area void of life.

There is one main difference between these two lakes.  The Sea of Galilee feeds the Jordan River with fresh water.  Water that gives life.   The Dead Sea is a taker.  It just receives without releasing. This same principle applies to our lives.   Compassion is a gift from God provided to us without reservation.  There is a catch; however, if we keep this gift we will become like the Dead Sea.  This gift is to be shared.

Call to Action:  I started this week’s Devotion with a “God Moment” and God has compelled me to finish with one.  I was struggling with the way the Devotion was ending and that is where God came to my rescue.  Today, in church, the Covenant Choir sung a beautiful anthem, The Children of the World, by Dr. Terre Johnson.  Read the words from this anthem and think about Dr. King’s question, “What are you doing for others”.

If somewhere a child is hungry or isn’t tucked in, safe and warm; if somewhere a baby’s crying, longing for a parent’s arms; that is where the love of Jesus must be shared by you and me, for if we have plenty, love and safety, we must share with the least of these.

In a world so rich with blessings, where there is plenty to be shared; from our lives of such abundance, we can offer love and care. For we know the love of Jesus can be shared with our own hands, we can share our blessings, help our neighbor, be the hands of Christ to them.

The children of the world are our children, made by God, just like you and me. The children of the world must be fed and held and loved, for if one of them is hungry, so are we.

Prayer:  Father, we ask that you open our eyes, our ears, and our hearts to our neighbor.   In Jesus’ name we pray.

Romans 4:13-25
Saturday March 3, 2018
Ed Hamlin

  • Lent 2018: Compassion

Compassion Freely Given: You Did It To Me

Open Your Eyes: You-did-it-to-me.

People often asked Mother Teresa why she loved the poor so much and how she could honor them with dignity despite their difficult situations. Her response was simple, “You-did-it-to-me.”   She was alluding to Matthew 25 where Jesus teaches about the final judgment.  In that text, Jesus explains that we will be judge by our compassion.  By “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.” But in the passage, the surprised listeners ask, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink?” Jesus replies, “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”

For years I found excuse after excuse on why I could not go with my friends on a Mission trip to Honduras.   That all changed 7 years ago.  I am thankful God took away my excuses.

I went to Honduras thinking I was going to be in service.  What I soon learned that I was the one being served.  For three and a half days, Monday-Thursday morning, I worked side by side mixing concrete, pouring floors, and building latrines with two young ladies and three men from a remote village our church was supporting.  It was hard but good work.   My Spanish was very weak despite more than 5 years of schooling and my new friends spoke even less English.  But before you knew it we started to speak another language, the language of Love.  By the end of our four days together we knew each other’s children’s names, their ages, spouse’s names, each other dreams, and so much more.

When Thursday afternoon came, we had a party. The kids in the village love it, but not so much for me and my new friends.  We knew it would soon be the time to say good bye.  As the party came to a close and our leader was herding us back on the bus, my new friends and I hugged each other and cried.  I am so thankful that God placed them in my life.

During that trip I began to understood why my friends told me I needed to do this.  You do too.  This is Matthew 25.  God knows that we need this.  Our hearts need it.  Please don’t make the same mistake I did and try to wait for the perfect time because it will never come.  I am certain that if I would have participated in this kind of service sooner I would have been a better parent and a more faithful servant. We are wired for this.

Call to Action:  Sign up for a mission trip.  Support PRUMC’s Prison Ministry.

Prayer:  Father, thank you for PRUMC.  Our church provides us so many ways to strengthen our faith through worship, prayer, study, and service.  Let our light shine.  In Jesus’ name we pray.

Romans 4:13-25
Friday March 2, 2018
Ed Hamlin

  • Lent 2018: Compassion

Compassion Freely Given: Service is the Second Grace

Open Your Eyes: Service is the Second Grace

The Bible teaches us “freely you have received, freely give.”  Abraham understood that he did not deserve the promise nor had he done anything to earn it.  It was simply being credited to him because he trusted God.   That trust in God shows up in Abraham as confidence because he knows he will be taken care of.  We see this confidence in the way Abraham treats the three strangers that approached his tent at Mamre.  He invited them in for a meal.  He showed the strangers hospitality.  That is humble confidence.

When we willingly adopt a servant’s posture and truly bear the burdens of our neighbor, that is when we all become equals.  Superiority vanishes as does our selfish behavior.  God built this into our being.  Darwin believed that sympathy was our strongest instinct.

While I was in Houston serving the Jubilee Prison Ministry, I met a young lady who had recently been released.  While incarcerated she had been given the opportunity to participate in a Jubilee weekend.  It impacted her in such a profound way she chose after being released to drive from El Paso to Houston and support the team I was on.  She served by helping in the food preparation and praying for us all weekend.  She, like Abraham, understood what real hospitality meant.

Call to Action:  The next time you eat at a fast food restaurant, buy the stranger in your midst their meal and invite them to eat with you.  Show them you care as you would a brother or sister because they are.

Prayer:  In my job I travel a lot and occasionally I will find this prayer in my hotel room

To Our Guests

In Ancient times there was a prayer for “the stranger within our gates.”  Because this hotel is a human institution to serve people, and not solely a money-making organization, we hope that you will be granted peace and rest while you are under our roof.  May this room and hotel be your “second home.” May those you love be near you in thoughts and dreams.  Even though we may not get to know you, we hope that you will be comfortable and happy as if you were in your own home.  May the business that brought you our way prosper.  May every call you make and every message you receive add to your joy.  When you leave, may your journey be safe.  We are all travelers.  From “birth till death” we travel between the eternities.  May these days be pleasant for you, profitable for society, helpful for those you meet, and a joy to those who know and love you best.

Romans 4:13-25
Thursday March 1, 2018
Ed Hamlin

  • Lent 2018: Compassion

Compassion Freely Given: Play the Cards You’ve Been Dealt

Open Your Eyes: Play the cards you’ve been dealt

Life is not about getting what we deserve if it were, we would all be in a heap of trouble.  When my girls were much younger, Missy and I would often hear these words, “That’s not fair”.   That would immediately send me on a tirade describing what I thought was not fair like a baby born in Africa with HIV and orphaned because both of his or her parents had succumbed to that terrible disease.

I recently had the opportunity to see another version of its not fair.  I spent a weekend serving a prison ministry in Houston, Texas called Jubilee.  What I learned in those three days was eye opening.  I walked out of there knowing there was very little difference between my “brothers in white” (the inmates) and me.  We had all made mistakes along the way.  Lucky for me most of my “mistakes” got minimized because of my particular situation, the color of my skin, or some other reason that was largely out of my control.  Not so for most of my “brothers in white”.   Their chance of living the American Dream was doomed from the beginning.  Most grew up below the poverty line in a single parent home where addiction was common place.  Much to my surprise going in I soon discovered that my “brothers in white” were smart, articulate, courteous, kind, and many with a faith in God that I long to have.

Is it fair?  I am more certain now than ever before that life is not fair.  The real question for all of us is what are we going to do with the cards we been dealt?   I witnessed my “brothers in white” loving each other and me in ways that I have seldom seen before.  Many lead Bible Study with their fellow inmates.  I think they know the cards in their hand are hardly playable, but play they must.  Many are making a difference.

I can imagine that Abraham and Sarah felt that that life was not fair.  In that culture the more son’s one had, the “richer” they were considered.  Their heir was a favorite slave.  But that did not deter Abraham because he knew our God was not normal.  He had hope.  Hope and faith are very similar. Hope is the desire and expectation that something is going to happen. Faith is the confidence that it will happen.   Abraham focused on what he had and not what he didn’t have.

Call to Action:  Prayerfully consider this quote from Aristotle as you try and discern where your gifts and talents can be best utilized for God’s Glory, “Where your talents and the needs of the world cross; there lies your vocation.” Sign up today for the Great Day of Service.

Prayer:  Father, help us to become the person you had in mind, nothing more nothing less.  Forgive us when we measure ourselves against milestones that don’t matter.  In Jesus name we pray.

Romans 4:13-25
Wednesday February 28, 2018
Ed Hamlin

  • Lent 2018: Compassion

Compassion Freely Given: He’s Got This

Open Your Eyes: He’s got this

Trusting in God, especially when you can’t see the big picture is really hard.  It was hard for Abraham and Sarah.  They spent 25 years hoping and waiting for the time they would receive the promise of a son.  More often than not we find ourselves looking at our own circumstances in a logical manner as Abraham and Sarah did.  At 75 and 65 years old they were certain their opportunity to have a child was as good as dead.  Despite what logic or his friends said, Abraham still believed in the Author of Hope.  He knew that his God could bring life out of death.

Abraham’s trust was not without challenges.  Our special couple did what many of us do when they didn’t see the results they are looking for, they decided to take control.  I can hardly blame them.  They had waited for 10 years for the promised son.  I feel certain they began to rationalize what God was saying and decided that God really meant for them to use their mind to figure this thing out.  When we try to make God fit nicely into a little box that we can manage that is generally when we get into trouble.  That is what happened with Abraham and Sarah and thus Ishmael. God’s ways are not our ways and sometimes they just don’t make good sense to us folks with nearsightedness.

Our lives are like a puzzle.  The only problem for us is we are missing some key pieces and that is OK.  God gives us just what we need, when we need it.  Do you like it when people micromanage you?  Let’s try and stop micromanaging God.  He’s got this. He knows the plans he has for our lives.

Call to Action:

Step back and look at pieces to the puzzle that have come together to form the person you are today.  Have you ever considered you are the person you are today as result of the miles in your rear view mirror?  Stop beating yourself up for the wrong turns along the way.  The one who created the universe loves you beyond all comprehension.  Never forget God loves us anyway.

Prayer:

Father, thank you for wrong turns and bumps in the road.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Romans 4:13-25
Tuesday February 27, 2018
Ed Hamlin

  • Lent 2018: Compassion

Compassion Freely Given: Compassionate God

Compassion Freely Given
Open Your Eyes:
Compassionate God

If you are like me sometimes faith doesn’t make sense.  One thing I learned over and over again in Disciple 1 was God keeps his promises.  Sometimes promises show up as unanswered prayers and in time frames not of our choosing.  But one thing for sure, God is always faithful.

In most of the other world religions the emphasis is on what the people do for God.  In our Lectionary text, Romans 4:13-25, Paul uses the example of Abraham and Sarah to show us God’s sequence and perspective.  Paul explains that God will not negate our human responsibility, but we need to remember that always comes second to what God wants for us.   God always acts first in Grace.   God credits his spiritual Grace into our account because of Jesus’ righteousness.   Our slate is clean; we are counted as righteous.

Lent is our opportunity to experience God’s compassionate care for us and to share our love for God by loving our neighbor.  Before we can share, we must first be willing to receive.

Call to Action:

One way we grow in our faith is through study.  Get a spiral notebook and on the outside write boldly, Thanksgiving Journal.  Each day encourage everyone in your household to write at least one thing that has happened that they are thankful for.  Place the journal on your kitchen table.   While everyone is getting ready for the Thanksgiving feast, review all the many blessings you have received.  You will be amazed at how gracious our God really is. Think of your journal as your Thanksgiving perspective.  Hopefully, this exercise will open your eyes to the source of your many blessing.

Prayer:

Father, thank you for the subtle reminders of who and whose we are.  Forgive us when we fail to give credit or when we take credit for your many blessings.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Romans 4:13-25
Monday, February 26, 2018
Ed Hamlin

  • Lent 2018: Compassion

Compassion Freely Given: Faith

Compassion Freely Given
Open Your Eyes: Faith

As I was preparing what to write for this week’s Devotion, I got an email from a dear friend who suggested that if I didn’t get Pope Frances’ daily tweets, I should.  This morning he tweeted, “A faith that does not trouble us is a troubled faith. A faith that does not make us grow is a faith that needs to grow.”  Now my friend had no idea that I was tasked with writing this week’s devotion much less my topic.  Isn’t our God amazing?  Here I am worrying (yea of little faith) about what to say and like mana from heaven it drops in my lap.  I just love these God Moments.

This week our text requires us to think about the word faith.  Some folks in my opinion don’t get it right when studying this week’s text.  They think it was Abraham’s faith that gave him the promise.  God gave him the promise.  Abraham’s faith served as the necessary link to God.

All of us want to have a strong link to God.  We want a link that will weather all the storms we will face.  The link we have is made available to us through our faith in Jesus Christ.  If we choose, we can make that link even stronger.  We can pray, study, and practice.  Like an athlete training to get stronger, we too must exercise our faith.

Call to Action: While driving, turn off the radio and your phone.  Use this new found quiet time to pray.  Find a small group at PRUMC to study God’s word.  And finally, think about James 1:2-3, “My brothers and sisters, think of the various tests you encounter as occasions for joy.  After all, you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.”

Prayer:  Father, thank you for “God Moments”.  Allow us to embrace life challenges and to see them as an opportunity to grow closer to you.   Encourage us to learn to appreciate our humanness and to grow stronger through our weakness.  We offer this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, the link that will not fail.

Romans 4:13-25
Sunday February 25, 2018
Ed Hamlin

  • Nicaragua Mission Trip 2018

Photo Blog: Nicaragua

Women’s Mission Trip to Nicaragua:  Day 1

Our day started off with a devotion by Jena and reading our notes from the church. Then we hosted the widows breakfast where we washed their feet. After the breakfast we hiked through the park then left for the hospital visit.

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Nicaragua Mission Trip 2018

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Nicaragua Mission Trip 2018

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Nicaragua Mission Trip 2018

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Nicaragua Mission Trip 2018

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Women’s Mission Trip to Nicaragua:  Day 2

Another great day!  Leigh started off our morning with a wonderful bible study then the fun began With VBS for the deaf children.  We got to meet the boy we sponsored last year.  Then we toured the school, did our home visits and finally toured the pineapple farm.

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Nicaragua Mission Trip 2018

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Nicaragua Mission Trip 2018

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Nicaragua Mission Trip 2018

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Nicaragua Mission Trip 2018

Juliane McCaleb – Agape

As part of our Lenten focus on local outreach, PRUMC member Juliane McCaleb speaks about Agape. Agape Youth and Family Center works to change the life trajectory of the 2000 children in the Atlanta area. Through a variety of programs, Agape helps children in abject poverty understand that there is a life beyond what they know and help them attain it.

  • Ron Greer on Compassion

Video Blog: Ron Greer on Compassion

Ron Greer discusses making a difference through caring.  How can we best channel our empathy to help others while deepening our human response to care?  The answer is a synergy of heart, soul and mind that creates compassion.

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  • Baptism at the River Jordan

Baptism at the River Jordan

In February of 2018, many of the recently ordained clergy,  along with several District Superintendents and others from the North Georgia Conference, went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson.  This video was taken while we visited the site of Jesus’ baptism at the Jordan River.  Bishop Sue reminded us of our own baptisms and sprinkled us with water from the river.  Thanks to Deidra Harrell for the video.  Enjoy!

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  • Lent 2018: Compassion

Compassion: Empowering Love

“And a voice came from heaven: You are my son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11).

There is no feeling comparable to knowing that we are loved. If we can think back to when we were children and what it felt like when our parents told us they love us, or said or do something that expressed their love for us, we will remember the pride and affirmation we felt in those times. Or even as adults when others express and show their love for us; it does something to our hearts and minds that becomes like a fuel to us and makes us more fully aware of our self-worth and abilities.

Jesus went to the Jordan to be baptized by John the Baptist. When he came out of the water, God affirmed the Divine’s love for him, telling him that he is loved, and how please the Divine One is with him. In the wilderness, although the Tempter tested Jesus, the presence of the Holy Spirit with him must have been a present reminder that God loved him, and that God was with him. I believe that empowered him even in the midst of being tested. Afterwards Jesus went out to do ministry in the power of the Spirit.

I wonder often how many people need to know that they are loved? How many need to hear the words and witness the actions of love shared with them repeatedly? What would our homes, communities, cities, and even the world be when compassion is shown? I think we would see a better world, a more compassion and just world.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to love our neighbor as ourselves. Throughout the season of Lent as we focus on compassion, let us express it both in words and actions.

The First Week of Lent
February 18-24
Carolyn Stephens

  • Bill Britt

Our Path of Compassion

February 16, 2018

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you well. Earlier this week we began the forty-day season of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Our theme for this season is “Compassion” and we are using Ron Greer’s new book entitled The Path of Compassion: Living with Heart, Soul, and Mind as our congregational resource. After reading the book, Bishop Will Willimon wrote this endorsement:

“Ron teaches us how to be more compassionate in a time when that Christian virtue is in short supply among us.”

The events in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday were a sobering reminder that we live in a broken world. Some counselors have suggested these tragedies are occurring so frequently that many have developed “compassion fatigue.” This probably is a natural defense response that enables us to endure and move forward with our lives, but we cannot allow endurance to lead to indifference. Therefore, I encourage each of you to read this book during Lent and discover the blessing of living with heart, soul, and mind. Ron will be speaking at a forum on Sunday at 10:00 am in the sanctuary, and signed copies of the book will be available for purchase in the narthex and Dogwood Gift Shop. All proceeds will be used to purchase water filters for Kenya.

There are a couple of elements in our Lenten worship services each Sunday that have deep meaning to our faith:

Immediately following the processional hymn, we will participate in a prayer of confession, which is in keeping with the penitential mood of the season. As we approach God in worship, we acknowledge our sins, ask for mercy, and accept God’s forgiveness.

After the prayer of confession and words of pardon, we will be led by the choir in singing “Kyrie Eleison.” This is an ancient hymn dating back to the early days of the church, and the words are a transliteration of the Greek words “Lord, have mercy.” Christians throughout the centuries have sung these words as a prayer of penitence.

In addition to weekly worship, I do invite you to consider practicing several spiritual disciplines during the season of Lent:

Fast – I will be practicing the Wesley Fast during this season by fasting at least one day each week. My goal is to not eat solid food from supper one day until supper the next day. John Wesley advocated fasting to the early Methodists as a way of remembering who we are and whose we are. Food does not sustain us. God sustains us. I certainly commend fasting to you as a discipline to help you to hear Christ’s voice more clearly.

Pray – The season of Lent especially is a season of prayer. I encourage you to set aside regular time each day for prayer. Our church has constructed prayer walls (physical and virtual) throughout the campus to share with you the needs of others and encourage you to pray. I remind you that we have designed 2018 as a year of prayer. When you wake up, ask yourself, “What am I praying for today?” Then, consider adding that request to one of the prayer walls here at the church. At the end of the year, we will look back and see what God has done!

Give – This year’s Lenten Offering will be used to support the 16 agencies and ministries with whom we partner in the Greater Atlanta area to make a difference in the lives of others. You are encouraged to give something up during this season (I have given up my Diet Cokes, sweet tea, and desserts) and to give the money you estimate you would have spent on what you are giving up to this offering. I already have saved about $12, and it’s just the third day! We are calling this campaign “give up 2 give Lenten offering” and I hope you will join us.

Serve – In addition to “giving something up” for Lent, how about “taking something on” during this season? What if you added something to your regular week this season and intentionally looked for ways to do something for others? Certainly, one way to serve is to join your friends at Peachtree Road for the 26th Annual Great Day of Service. Wendie and I already have signed up, and I encourage you to do so today.

Finally, let me remind you to register for the Manfred Hoffmann Lecture. Dr. Jenny McBride of McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago will be our featured speaker this year. You are invited to attend on Sunday evening, March 11, in Grace Hall as she shares the church’s role in offering hope and redemption in the world. This will be a very timely lecture, and I hope you will attend. Please join us as we remember and give thanks for Manfred’s ministry here at Peachtree Road. You may register for the dinner here.

I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we begin to tune out the noise of the world, tune into the voice of the Lord, and “breathe” in the Spirit together.

Bill

PS – A number of you asked me to share the Francis Bacon quote I shared at the end of last week’s services. Here it is:

It’s not what we eat but what we digest that makes us strong.
It’s not what we read but what we remember that makes us wise.
It’s not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich.
It’s not what we preach but what we practice that makes us Christian.

  • Ron Greer Speaks on Compassion

Ron Greer Speaks on New Book: Compassion

The Path of Compassion: Living with Heart, Soul, and Mind
Sunday, February 18, Peachtree Road UMC

Ron Greer Forum  |  10:00 am, Sanctuary
Ron Greer Book Signing  |  11:00 am, Dogwood Shop

Ron Greer, Director of PRUMC’s Pastoral Counseling Service, is highly regarded professionally and personally and is a trusted friend to many at Peachtree Road.  He has shared the wisdom of his life experiences in earlier books on grief, integrity and parenting, and now considers the complexities of compassion in his newest publication.

Ron Greer’s new book, The Path of Compassion, explores the awareness of God’s grace within us and our need to share that grace.  How can we best channel our empathy to help others while deepening our human response to care?  The answer is a synergy of heart, soul and mind that creates compassion.

There is a growing need for healing in our divisive world and The Path of Compassion is both a call and a guide to make a difference through caring — and in doing so, become all that we are meant to be.  When we are able to live and love with compassion, we “reclaim the image of God” within us.

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One cannot read a page of The Path of Compassion without at least one ‘Aha’ moment, a profound lesson in etymology, or outright tears of empathy. The volume is beautifully written. As great as Ron’s past works have been, this is his best yet!

Bill CurryBill Curry, Retired NFL player, head football coach, and author

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Weaving stories, scripture, and substantial theological depth throughout The Path of Compassion, Ron Greer offers nourishment and wisdom to deepen our faith and strengthen our witness to Christ’s presence among us.

Jan LoveDr. Jan Love, Dean, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

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Ron Greer Speaks on Compassion
  • Youth Sunday

The Blessings of God

February 9, 2018

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you well. Last Sunday was Youth Sunday here at Peachtree Road, and our students led us well in worship – their enthusiasm was contagious, and several seniors offered inspirational testimonies of how their faith has grown through their participation in this ministry. Each year I hear from young couples who decide to join the church because of this service. They comment, “I want my child to grow up to be like those youth!” It was a wonderful morning! If you were unable to be present and would like to contribute to the special offering for our youth ministry, you may give here. Thank you for your support.

I hope you will be in church Sunday as we talk about “A Glimpse of Glory.” In preparation for the message, I encourage you to read the story of the Transfiguration found in Mark 9:2-9. We will talk about the Celtic idea of “thin places” – those moments when there is no discernible distance between heaven and earth. It is in the “thin places” that we are inspired and begin to see life from a different perspective. I hope you’ll join us Sunday as we reflect upon the presence of God in our midst.

In addition, we will celebrate three important Peachtree Road ministries:

Great Day of ServiceGreat Day of Service Kick-off – our 26th annual Great Day of Service is set for Saturday, March 24, and we will hear from this year’s Great Day co-chair Jo Hodges. Jo and her team have already been working for a number of months to make this year’s event one of the best ever. This Sunday each of us will be invited to be a part of this year’s Great Day. Wendie and I are planning to sign up this week, and I certainly encourage you to join us.

Scout Sunday – at the 8:45 am service, we will celebrate our scouting ministry here at Peachtree Road. If you are a Boy Scout, Girl Scout, or scout leader, you are welcome to wear your uniform to church and process into the sanctuary with the scouts. We will recognize the troop our church sponsors and several scouts who have earned their “God and Me” badge. Join us as we celebrate the ministry of scouting.

Nicaragua Mission Team – at the close of the 11:15 am service, we will commission those heading out next week on a mission trip to Nicaragua. Members of the team will be present as we thank them for their willingness to serve and pray for them as they as they prepare to leave.

Looking ahead, I want to let you know about several more opportunities coming up in the coming weeks:

Ash Wednesday – Our journey through the 40-day season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 14. You are encouraged to observe this day as a time of fasting and prayer and join us for one of our services.

Ron Greer CompassionRon Greer Forum – We are pleased to have Ron Greer as our spiritual guide during Lent. His new book entitled The Path of Compassion: Living with Heart, Soul, and Mind will serve as our resource for this season. Ron will speak at a forum in the sanctuary on Sunday, February 18, at 10:00 am. I encourage you to attend. The Path of Compassion will be available at the Dogwood shop on that day, where Ron will sign copies after the forum.

Lenten Offering – This year’s Lenten Offering will be used to support the agencies and ministries with whom we partner in the Greater Atlanta area to make a difference in the lives of others. You are encouraged to give something up during this season (I plan to give up sweets) and give the money you estimate you would have spent on what you are giving up to this offering.

Manfred Hoffmann Lecture – Dr. Jenny McBride of McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago will be our featured speaker this year. You are invited to attend on Sunday evening, March 11, in Grace Hall as she offers a lecture entitled “Lenten Repentance as the Church’s Public Witness.” Please join us as we remember and give thanks for Manfred’s ministry in our midst. You may register for the dinner here.

Finally, as you prepare yourself for daily prayer, I invite you to consider, “What am I praying for today?” Then, consider adding that request to one of the prayer walls (physical and virtual) here at the church during Lent. At the end of the year, we will look back and see what God has done!

I look forward to seeing you Sunday!

Bill

PS – Last week, as I listened to our youth share their testimonies, I was struck by the words of gratitude they expressed for those who have loved them, mentored them, and helped them to grow. It occurred to me that the joy we all experienced last Sunday was the by-product of their expressions of gratitude. Do you want more joy in your life? Then, be more grateful for the blessings of God – the gift of each new day, family, friends, faith, and opportunities to serve. I know I am grateful for you!

  • Puerto Rico Team

Hurricane Maria Relief

In September of 2017 Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. In response to a potentially deadly cholera outbreak resulting from the hurricane, PRUMC sent 2,000 Uzima water filters to the people living in the mountains of this territory. The relief was immediate and many lives were saved.

Check out the brief video below where a local volunteer discusses the series of “God moments” that lead him to working with Peachtree Road in providing clean water.

Peachtree People: Carolyn Stephens

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“I believe that God’s imprint is on each of us, and the spark of the divine is in all of God’s creation. We are The Divine’s handiwork.”

Carolyn StephensRev. Carolyn Stephens, PRUMC Associate Minister

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You may know little of PRUMC Carolyn Stephens, other than her beautiful accent that soothes us into prayers each week. The Jamaican-born movie enthusiast and beach lover joined the team in June 2017 and is enjoying getting to know our church and its people. This week, we wanted to take a moment to spotlight Carolyn and hope you enjoy learning some “fun facts” on her background, interests, and aspirations!

The youngest of seven children, Carolyn grew up in Montego Bay, just a quick walk from the sea, which she visited frequently. Her childhood was full of running, swimming, and playing on the beach—a very typical Jamaican childhood. “In Jamaica,” she says, “we play a lot of sports. In the schools, all students are divided into ‘houses,’ and the houses compete once a year in giant Sports Day competitions.” These competitions, volleyball, church, and a generally active lifestyle rounded out her formative years.

Growing up in a tropical paradise was idyllic not just because of the scenery. According to Carolyn, Jamaicans are as warm and friendly as the stereotype we Americans believe. And, they love meeting new people, traits that have led Carolyn down the path that she has taken.

Her wide view of the world further developed when she worked for Air Jamaica as a supervisor a few years after leaving college. Over her six-and-a-half-year tenure in the airline, she discovered some of her favorite cities included Montreal and London; however, she settled here in Atlanta and attended Georgia State University. Carolyn originally planned to go to law school, but a chance e-mail about finding your passion made her question her plans. She realized that if she could do anything, she wanted to “teach the Word of God.” So, she abandoned her law school interest and made a U-turn into seminary. After graduating from Emory, she served as senior pastor at 10th Street United Methodist Church, an associate at Cannon UMC in Snellville, and most recently, senior pastor at Brookhaven UMC.

Here at Peachtree Road, one thing she hopes to do is to help our congregation delve further into our relationship with God. Carolyn is passionate about guiding others to go deeper in their spiritual lives, education, empowering girls, and embracing diversity. “I believe that God’s imprint is on each of us, and the spark of the divine is in all of God’s creation. We are The Divine’s handiwork,” she says.

Want to know even more about Carolyn? Check out our “Top 10” list below:

  1. One of her long-term goals is to one day to become the prime minister of Jamaica.
  2. She listens to a wide range of music—you might hear Classical music coming from her office, but she also loves old-school Bob Marley reggae, jazz, soul, and some indie musicians. Aretha Franklin shares space with Alabama Shakes on her playlists.
  3. Carolyn loves blockbuster movies. “If I ever go broke, it will be because I spent all my money at the movie theater!” She is a huge Star Trek fan and also follows Marvel and DC comics.
  4. When not at PRUMC, she takes spin class, cooks, and enjoys climbing Stone Mountain. She also ran her first 5K last year—the Brookhaven Bolt! She doesn’t have any pets currently, but wants a German Sheppard.
  5. Her favorite sports are volleyball, swimming, sprint, and soccer (“the REAL football,” she says with a knowing look)!
  6. Many of Carolyn’s family members have settled in the U.S., Canada, and England, and she has 24 nieces and nephews.
  7. Recently, she read “The Captivating Presence,” by Albert Day, and “Spirituality of Imperfection,” by Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketchum. She also loves the author Tom Clancy.
  8. Her favorite Bible passages include Luke 4:18-20 and Daniel 11:32.
  9. She likes almost all kinds of food, including, of course, Jamaican!
  10. As much as she loves Atlanta, she admits, “The white sand beaches of Jamaica call me every day!”
  • Bill Britt

Overflowing with Good News

February 2, 2018

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you well. Last Sunday we concluded our series on “The Power of Prayer,” but I want you to know that our season of prayer will continue. During Lent, you will be invited to participate in a time of fasting and prayer on Ash Wednesday, a prayer vigil on Holy Thursday and Good Friday, and to make use of the prayer walls that will be stationed around the church campus. We want prayer to undergird everything we do this year and to lead us in living with compassion each and every day. Thank you for your support of this emphasis on prayer.

Sunday is Youth Sunday, and our students will be leading us in worship. They will be present in great number, and several will speak to us about their faith. I am grateful to our youth director Chris Mucha and his leadership team of Ryan Holder, Grace Southworth, and Ashley Zimmerman. They, along with a host of volunteers, do an amazing job to help our middle and high school students grow as disciples of Jesus Christ. Thank you for your support of our students.

By the way, if you are looking for a time to worship Sunday evening before the Super Bowl, I invite you to the Sundays @ 5 service at 5:00 pm in the Moore Chapel. I will be preaching at this “come as you are” service and would love to see you there. Kick-off is scheduled for 6:30 pm, and I promise to have you on your way no later than 5:45 pm.

In church news, the Administrative Board held its first meeting of the year this past Monday evening. Elizabeth Layne is this year’s chairperson, and I was very pleased with the large turnout by our officials, the spirit of excitement in the room, and the good news that was shared:

  • Beth Spencer helped us celebrate the impact of our local outreach ministry in December through Christmas Kindness. We partnered with 30 agencies to provide hope and help to 706 families composed of 950 adults and 1222 children. She also looked ahead to the special Lenten offering that will support our partner agencies and the 26th annual Great Day of Service on Saturday, March 24.
  • Bill and Chat Coble, our missionaries to Kenya, let us know that Peachtree Road mission teams are set to deliver water filters to thousands of households in the Rongai region of Kenya in the very near future. Your generous giving will make it possible for these families to avoid the water-borne diseases that have plagued their lives.
  • Chris Mucha reported that the senior highs are coming off a fantastic ski retreat earlier in the month, and the middle school youth are preparing to participate in the upcoming “Renovatus” retreat (check out this video to discover the top six reasons to go on the retreat).
  • Carolyn Stephens reminded us that our alternative worship service at 11:15 am began anew in January. It has been renamed “The Road,” has a new music team, and meets in Heritage Hall. Attendance has been strong for the first four weeks.
  • The “Committee of 100” offered its recommendations for the coming three years and the report can be viewed here.

In addition, Brad Milsaps, the chair of the Finance Committee, reported that our giving last year was exceptional. For example, consider these statistics:

  • $170,000 to Christmas Kindness
  • $272,000 on Christmas Eve to the clean water initiative in Kenya
  • $4,018,000 toward retiring our debt
  • $6.88 million toward the 2017 operating budget
  • $818,000 prepaid in December toward the 2018 operating budget

Our total giving for the year to the operating budget, capital, and outreach exceeded $12 million, and we ended 2017 with a surplus of approximately $170,000 to the operating budget. Thank you for a wonderful year.

As you can read, the Administrative Board meeting was overflowing with good news. I invite you to pray for your church in these days and resolve to be a part of this exciting ministry.

Finally, as you prepare yourself for daily prayer, I invite you to consider, “What am I praying for today?” Then, consider adding that request to one of the prayer walls (physical and virtual) here at the church. At the end of the year, we will look back and see what God has done!

I look forward to seeing you Sunday at Peachtree Road!

Bill

PS – I wanted you to know that the Preschool will be building a new Creative Play Space and STEM lab. They have begun fundraising efforts. We support their efforts, and we applaud them for their dedication to enhancing their students’ educational growth. To learn more about the new space and how you can help, please go to https://www.thepreschool.org/creative-play-space-stem-lab/.

  • Rongai Update

Transformative Grace

“Grace transforms us into something more than we were before.”

This Lent we are focusing on Compassion and studying the beautiful ideas and words of Ron Greer. Ron writes, “Compassion begins with grace, for there is its source and inspiration.” Because we have received grace from God and from others, we are much more able to give it freely. The more compassionate we are, the more our souls are filled to overflowing with something we need to share.

As we consider this, we are so happy to share a living example of the compassion of Peachtree Road. This Christmas, you shared the grace of God once again with the people of Kenya. Thanks to you, we are able to blanket the people of Rongai with health and love in the name of Christ. We exceeded our goal of $240,000 and collected $270,861 to provide life-saving water filters to a third region in Kenya. Over 140,000 people’s lives will be transformed, and we thank you. We are grateful for the continued support, compassion, and grace you offer to our church and world community.

  • Bill Walking with Bible

Walking in Prayer

January 26, 2018

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are doing well. Here at Peachtree Road, we have spent the last few weeks evaluating the year that has just concluded and making plans for the months ahead. A part of the evaluation process is looking at the data, and I want you to know 2017 was a very good year. Consider these statistics:

Membership – 7895 (+101)
Average Worship Attendance – 1664
Persons Joining – 269
Persons Joining on Profession of Faith – 115
Giving to Budget — $6,896,818
Giving to Outreach – $1.1 million
Giving Toward Debt Retirement — $4,089,526

These numbers reflect an excellent year in ministry; however, I must admit they do not adequately convey the faith, hope, and love of the people of Peachtree Road. For example,

…during the season of Lent, many of you spent time in prayer and self-examination as we emphasized the theme of “Breathe!” Over the course of those forty days, we remembered that when temptations come our way, when life hasn’t turned out like we had hoped, or when we feel like we are living in a nightmare, we can “breathe” because the Lord is always with us. In addition to special worship services and opportunities for prayer and sacrificial living, we built our 46th house in cooperation with Habitat for Humanity and joined with 1000+ of our fellow members in the 25th annual Great Day of Service.

…during the fall, we focused upon what it means to live “The Good Life” in the name of Christ and discovered new ways to grow deeper in God’s grace. We considered what the Bible has to say to us as we wrestle with real life issues such as financial stress, addiction, depression, and caring for aging parents. Together we discovered what it means to live a life worth living.

…finally, as we brought the year to a close, we committed ourselves to being “All In!” at Peachtree Road. Your generous support of Christmas Kindness where folks in our community received warm winter coats, small appliances, a Bible, and a child’s toy and the Christmas Eve offering to fund the purchase of water filters for folks living in the Rongai region of Kenya were extraordinary!

Now is the time for us to look forward, and Sunday promises to be a great day at Peachtree Road. This week marks the conclusion of our January series of messages entitled “The Power of Prayer.” We will be talking about “Praying at the Table,” and I hope you will be present.

In my study of prayer, I came across the concept of “prayer walking.” This discipline is defined by Steve Hawthorn and Graham Kendrick as “praying on-site with insight.” I like that. Certainly, few people prayer-walked more than Jesus. He prayer-walked by himself, with his disciples, all night long, and before important decisions and crucial events.

Leonard Sweet has suggested that when Jesus taught his disciples the prayer we call the Lord’s Prayer, his intention was not for them to pray it but to live it – to walk it every day. Archbishop of Canterbury Ramsey once was asked, “How long do you pray every day?” He replied, “For one minute.” Unimpressed, his interviewer responded, “That’s not very long.” The Archbishop replied, “No, but it takes me an hour to prepare for that minute.” Sweet’s point is that in order for our lives to become the “The Lord’s Prayer” for even one minute, we may need to spend twenty-three hours and fifty-nine minutes in prayer-walking preparation. Many of our most significant spiritual experiences are associated with walks.  Some of us have gone on weekend retreats called the “Walk to Emmaus.” Others have participated in a march on city hall. I know of a church in Brooklyn whose members walk the streets of their neighborhood every Palm Sunday to claim it for Christ. On Good Friday in Jerusalem, pilgrims come from all over the world to walk the way of the cross along the Via Dolarosa. I commend “prayer walking” to you. I hope you will be in worship Sunday as we bring this series to a close.

Finally, Sunday also will be the day we install the 2018 Administrative Board. This is the decision-making body of our church, and this year’s chairperson is Elizabeth Layne. At the close of the worship services on Sunday, I will invite members of the Board to come to the altar rail, and we will offer a blessing upon them as they begin a new year leading our church. Their first meeting is set for Monday evening, and a list of Board members is available here.

I am grateful for your wonderful support in so many ways. Please call on me if I can be of help to you in any way. See you at church Sunday!

Bill

PS – I remind you that Jack Mitchener, our Artist in Residence and Assistant Organist, will offer an organ recital on Tuesday, January 30, in the sanctuary at 7:00 pm. You may learn more about Jack here and are invited to attend.

Stone Mountain Laser Show

Stone Mnt Laser Show

Stone Mountain Laser Show
Saturday, June 23, 8:00 pm, Meet at PRUMC

Join us for an evening of lights, music, fireworks and flame cannons! Meet in the back lot to caravan and split the cost of event parking.

RSVP Here

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PRUMC 2018 Vacation Bible School

VBS 2018

PRUMC Vacation Bible School 2018
Monday, June 25 – Thursday, June 28
9:30 am – 12:30 pm, PRUMC

REGISTRATION DEADLINE JUNE 1ST!!

  • For children ages 4 (as of 6/1/18) through completed 4th grade.
  • Special activities for our 3rd & 4th graders.
  • 5th graders can be Youth helpers! (contact Martha Christopher- marthac@prumc.org)
  • Many adult volunteers are needed, so come join us for 4 days of fun! (childcare provided on the days you volunteer)
  • $30 per child; $75 family max
RSVP Here

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Singles Gathering Event

Hudson Grille Singles Event

Singles Gathering Event
Thursday, June 28, 6:30 pm, Hudson Grill/ Brookhaven

Join other singles ages 30-45 to mingle and get to know one another. New to the church? Been attending a long time? All are welcome! If you have any questions, email PRUMC30to45@gmail.com.

RSVP Here

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Party on Peachtree-Watch, Cheer and Volunteer!

Party on Peachtree

Party on Peachtree-Watch, Cheer and Volunteer
Wednesday, July 4, 7:00-9:00 am, PRUMC Front Lawn

Cheer on runners of the Annual Peachtree Road Race. Refreshments, favors and fellowship will be provided. To volunteer to set up, take down, or distribute bottled water, contact Mimi Brunson mimib@prumc.org.

RSVP Here

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  • Jack Mitchener

Jack Mitchener Organ Recital

Jack Mitchener Organ Recital
PRUMC Artist in Residence and Assistant Organist
Tuesday, January 30, 2018, 7:00 pm, Sanctuary

Jack Mitchener has been praised for playing that is technically brilliant, yet expressive and poetic.  According to The American Organist, “Mitchener brings music to life with his supple rhythmic control, clear phrasing, energy, and sensitivity.”  He will play a recital that demonstrates the full resources of the Mander organ at PRUMC. Featured works will be Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in E minor (‘Wedge’) and Franck’s Choral in B minor.  Other composers included will be Handel, Saint-Saëns, Messiaen, Dupré and Ropartz.  The second half of the recital will be devoted to French music.

Jack joined the PRUMC Music Ministry in July 2017 as the new Artist-in-Residence and Assistant Organist.  He is the primary musician for the 9:00 am Communion Service.  He is also Professor of Organ, University Organist, Chairman of the Keyboard Department in the Townsend School of Music, and Director of the Townsend-McAfee Institute of Church Music at Mercer University in Macon.

$15 suggested concert donation/$5 suggested for students.

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Jack joined Peachtree Road in July 2017 as our Artist in Residence and Assistant Organist. He is the primary musician for our 9:00 am Communion Service and assists in our Sunday traditional services and concerts.  As a new member of the Music Ministry, we asked Jack to answer a few questions about himself and his career in our Staff Spotlight!

Scott called me late last February because he desperately needed to find someone to accompany the choir on a challenging anthem.  I was available and agreed to play.  I was thrilled and amazed at the glorious sound of the choir!  It was a very pleasant experience for me.  About two months later, Scott called to ask if I would be interested in serving as Artist in Residence.  My wife, Julia, and I thought about this a lot and decided it was a sign that we needed to move to Atlanta.

sts took me to visit some of the other churches in the area.  The Mander organ was still somewhat new and we stopped by to see and hear it.  I still remember being in awe of this spectacular place!

It’s huge!  This church is unique in offering such a large and versatile music program.  It’s exciting to be a part of it.  And it’s really quite unusual to see a church with so many organs!

I get up very early to help get my kids ready for school.  I then leave early to battle the traffic on I-75 south to Macon.  I am a professor at Mercer University and make a regular commute to Macon.

I began working here in July, so I still feel somewhat new.  There are so many events, so I find it challenging to choose a favorite.  However, I was overwhelmed by all of the services and concerts in preparation for Christmas.  And I enjoyed the Blessing of the Animals earlier in the fall.  Also, I am really impressed with the multitude of activities and programs for youth at PRUMC.  My son is 7 and is having fun playing basketball in the Harp Center.

It seems obvious, but I truly love the Mander organ in the sanctuary.  This is an extraordinary instrument that has great power, but also very subtle and delicate sounds.  It has a tremendous dynamic range and is a joy to play.

I love teaching and performing.  I experience highlights every day when I see students excel after hard work.  As a performer myself, I have been fortunate to play concerts in some notable venues.  Two that remain favorites are the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.  I also have very fond memories of a recital in an abbey church in Zwetl, Austria.  The organ dates back to 1736 and the concert was lit by candlelight.  Of course, there also was that recital in Raleigh, NC when all of the lights literally went out as I was playing!

I grew up in an ecumenical family: my mother was Roman Catholic and my father had parents who were Presbyterian (his father) and Baptist (his mother).  So he chose to be a Methodist! The Roman Catholic church requires those who marry non-Catholics to baptize and rear their children in the Catholic faith.  Even though my seven siblings and I were raised as Catholics, we also attended my father’s Methodist church for services, youth events, Scouts, and choirs, among other things.  I, along with several of my siblings, chose to become an Episcopalian.  But I have always felt at home in the United Methodist Church!

I’ve just finished The Road to Character by David Brooks and have started What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism by Dan Rather.  I read a lot of non-fiction, but I do enjoy a good mystery by P.D. James.  John Updike is one of my favorite authors and I love A Prayer for Owen Meany.  Julia and I were hooked on Downton Abbey and have just discovered The Crown.  We love great English dramas!

I spend as much time as possible with my wife, Julia, and my two children, Sanders and Margaret.  They are growing up so fast that I can hardly believe it.  I also practice the organ a lot, enjoy reading and taking long walks.

Two things:
1)  Be like a duck: let whatever troubles you roll off your back.
2)  When it’s time to do something, don’t go in slowly one foot at a time – dive right in!

PRUMC Middle School Mission Trip

Middle School Trip

Middle School Mission Trip
July 15-21, 2018 | Copperhill, TN

This year, we will head to Copperhill, TN for an unforgettable week of hands-on mission projects, exciting music and programs, and team-building high adventure activities. We will partner with a mission organization called TEAMeffort to provide home repair and renovations to families in need. Our lodging will be at Whitewater Express, a camp that is located in a beautiful mountain setting with bunk houses, chapel, sports fields, dining hall, and high adventure facilities. Students will get to enjoy a beautiful lakefront (with a blob!) in their free time, as well as their choice of available activities, including whitewater rafting, horseback riding, high ropes, low ropes, paintball, and mountain biking.

RSVP Here

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  • Bill Praying

Greatness Graciously Placed

January 19, 2018

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you well.  I also hope you were able to stay safe and warm during the winter storm that rolled through our state on Tuesday evening. This already has been one of the most interesting winters those of us from the South have ever experienced! Temperatures are set to reach 60 degrees by Sunday, and I am looking forward to that!

And speaking of Sunday, I am looking forward to being with you for worship as we continue our series on “The Power of Prayer.” I discovered my favorite metaphor for prayer over forty years ago in a book entitled Wellsprings of Wisdom. It was mentioned in an account entitled “The Vital Link.”

A spider built his web in a barn, high up among the rafters, where he started by spinning a long, thin thread attached to the end of one of the beams. With this thread still attached to him, the spider jumped off the beam and spun out more thread on the way down, until he reached the place he planned as the center of his web. From the center he spun out other threads like the spokes of a wheel, attaching each of them to the walls and other places. Finally he had an exquisitely made web that helped him catch many fine fat flies. But he grew fat and lazy and vain.

One day he was admiring the web he had spun and noticed the long fine thread he had first spun from the top beam and said, “I wonder what that is for? I can’t imagine why I ever put it there – it doesn’t catch any flies.” And so on a sudden impulse, he broke it. But as a result the whole wonderful web collapsed. The spider had forgotten that the one thread – the link to the strongest beam above – supported the whole web. It is very much the same when a person breaks the link with God.

Prayer is that vital thread that links us with God. It keeps our relationship with God growing and vital. This week we will be talking about the importance of persevering in prayer, and I hope you will join us as we continue the journey toward a deeper relationship with Christ.

And, while I’m on the subject of prayer, I want to solicit your prayers. Next Saturday morning, January 27, the Committee of 100 will meet in Grace Hall from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm to prayerfully envision the future of Peachtree Road. The “Committee of 100” consists of 100 laypersons in our church who meet once a year to consider Peachtree Road’s progress in ministry over the last year, offer a critical look to our goals for the coming two years, and recommend new initiatives for the third year out. This way, we always have a dynamic three-year plan in place. We have set several goals for ourselves to be achieved by the year 2025, when we will celebrate our 100th anniversary as a church:

  • Average Worship Attendance of 2500
  • Annual Giving to Outreach of $2 million
  • No Indebtedness
  • Develop an Endowment of $10 million
  • Expanded Ministries with Children and Youth
  • Expanded Space for Recreation
  • Send 30 Young Adults into Full-time Ministry in the United Methodist Church

Obviously, these are seven ambitious goals, but they reveal a church with a firm belief that its best days are still ahead of us. These estimates represent where we believe Christ calls us to be. The “Committee of 100” will meet to form a roadmap to help us reach the destination we have envisioned. Please pray for them as they work next Saturday, and I look forward to sharing the results with you at a later time.

You may not know the name Gutzon Borglum, but you probably are familiar with his work. He is the artist who worked on Stone Mountain and Mount Rushmore. In his lifetime, he created many sculptures that epitomize the great figures of American history including several sculptures of Abraham Lincoln. Probably the most famous of these is one in which he sculpted the head of Lincoln out of a six-ton block of marble. This “Head of Lincoln” can be found in the Rotunda in the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

While Borglum was sculpting Lincoln’s face from the massive piece of stone, some friends visited him in his studio. The couple’s five year-old daughter, gazing in wonder at the marble block, tugged on Borglum’s pants and asked, “Is that Abraham Lincoln?” Borglum smiled and answered, “Yes, it is.” The little girl then furrowed her brow and wondered, “How did you know he was in there?”

I think that describes a part of the mission of the church. God has placed greatness in each of us, and the church helps bring it out. I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we praise God, pray for one another and our world, and allow Christ to bring out the greatness graciously placed in each of us.

Bill

PRUMC Young Adults Shoot the Hooch

Shoot the Hooch

Shoot the Hooch
Saturday, July 21, 10:00 am, PRUMC Back Parking Lot, $15

We will carpool from the church to spend a day on the river. Bring your own food/ beverages. Inner tubes provided. Contact Mason Brannon at mmbrannon@gmail.com for more information.

RSVP Here

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Denim & Diamonds: Southern Summer Sampler

Summer Sampler 2018

Denim & Diamonds!
UMW’s Southern Summer Sampler
Saturday, August 18, 7:00 pm, The Solarium

Gals and guys – polish up your boots and pull out your fanciest dungarees for our all-out annual fundraiser! Pig roast, live music, fantastic auction and fun beverages. Proceeds benefit a children’s library in Kenya and our Christmas Kindness initiative. Early bird tickets are available through June 30. Join us!

RSVP Here

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The Gospel According to Winnie the Pooh

The Gospel According to Pooh

The Gospel According to Winnie the Pooh
Sunday, August 26, 10:00 am, Moore Chapel

Explore the spiritual dimensions of A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh series from a Christian perspective. You may also register to attend a Winnie the Pooh Picnic at 12:15 pm (Hospitality Suite) and a tour of the Winnie the Pooh exhibit at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art with behind-the-scenes stories from PRUMC’s own Julia Forbes. Contact Leslie Watkins at lesliew@prumc.org for more information.

RSVP Here

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  • Matt Westmoreland

Men’s Breakfast with Matt

Men’s Breakfast with Matt Westmoreland
Thursday, February 8, 6:45 – 8:00 am, Heritage Hall

Share an inspired morning with other men of Peachtree Road as PRUMC and Atlanta City Council member Matt Westmoreland shares an uplifting message and experience.  He’ll discuss the impact PRUMC has had on his life and how it influenced his decision to serve our community – first on the Atlanta Board of Education, and now on the Atlanta City Council.

Matt’s message will conclude with a time of Q&A.  All men are encouraged to attend and invited to bring a friend.

I was born and raised in Atlanta, and went to Morningside, Inman and Grady.  My parents taught me to work hard in public school, to serve my community, and to get involved at my church – a place I return every Sunday to sit alongside my grandmom.

I am a son of this city. I love Atlanta. I want to continue my work to help build an equitable, inclusive, and diverse Atlanta for all who call this incredible city home.

Matt WestmorelandMatt Westmoreland, Member of PRUMC & Atlanta City Council

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RSVP Here

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Jack Mitchener Organ Recital

Jack Mitchener

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Jack Mitchener Organ Recital
PRUMC Artist in Residence and Assistant Organist
Tuesday, January 30, 2018, 7:00 pm, Sanctuary

Jack joined the PRUMC Music Ministry in July 2017 as the new Artist-in-Residence and Assistant Organist.  Jack is the primary musician for the 9:00 am Communion Service.  He is also Professor of Organ, University Organist, Chairman of the Keyboard Department in the Townsend School of Music, and Director of the Townsend-McAfee Institute of Church Music at Mercer University in Macon.

$15 suggested concert donation/$5 suggested for students.

 

  • Bill Britt 880

Great Things Are Happening

January 12, 2018

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you well. I realize some of you may be out of town for the upcoming holiday weekend, and I want to give you an update on what is happening at your church.

On Sunday, we will continue our series of messages on the power of prayer. Last week we made a good beginning as we considered Jesus’ baptism. According to Luke, after his baptism, Jesus spent time in prayer, and, as he was praying, the heavens opened, the Spirit descended, and a voice proclaimed, “You are my beloved Son. With you I am well pleased.” According to Luke, prayer was the great essential in Jesus’ life. With that in mind, I have declared 2018 to be a year of prayer here at Peachtree Road. We will provide you with resources to help you grow in prayer, guidance on how to pray, and opportunities to join others in prayer. My hope is that our regular participation in prayer will lead us to a life of compassion with others and a celebration of God’s abundant grace in our midst. This week we will consider the disciples’ request of Jesus: “Lord, teach us to pray.” I look forward to worshiping with you Sunday.

Monday is a day set aside for the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. Some of you are aware that our own Bishop Woodie White is nationally known for writing an annual “Birthday Letter to Dr. King.” As a young pastor in the early 1960’s, Bishop White was active in the Civil Rights movement. In fact, he once was arrested in Jackson, Mississippi and fined $1,000 for trying to worship at St. Luke’s Methodist Church. Nearly 30 years later he was invited to be a guest preacher in that church. Though we have made progress, the Dream still remains unrealized. I hope we will keep that in mind as we reflect this weekend and consider what we can do to fulfill the promise of this great nation.

Speaking of the Civil Rights Movement, I want to remind you of the opportunity we are offering members of our church this spring. You are invited to join me on a Civil Rights Heritage Tour with members of Peachtree Road and other Methodists from our community. The tour is set for Saturday, March 3, and Sunday, March 4, and we will travel from Atlanta to Birmingham, Selma, and Montgomery. Together, we will tour the places where the history of the movement was lived out and hear from those who lived through the events – the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, “Bloody Sunday” on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, and the site where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery. A good number from Peachtree Road already have signed up for this tour. If you would like more information about the tour, please contact my assistant Jane Ogle (janeo@prumc.org) by next Friday, January 19, to let me know of your interest.

Finally, let me share some really good news with you that I learned this week:

  • Our Christmas Eve offering totaled over $260,000! Your generous gifts will be used to buy water filters for those living in the Rongai region of Kenya. Please know that you have given the gift of life and hope to thousands of families living in that area. Thank you for letting the light of Christ shine through you!
  • Your giving to Christmas Kindness made it possible for our church to provide warm coats, small appliances, and Christmas toys to hundreds of families in our community. You generously gave $166,000 and helped fully fund this ministry that brought Christmas joy to so many. Thank you!
  • Welcome home to those from our church who participated in our end-of-the-year Family Mission Trip to Nicaragua. I am hearing that many wonderful things were accomplished on this trip, and I am grateful to Chris and Julie Lee for their leadership. Thank you to these parents who took their children to Nicaragua: Allyson and Jim Maske, Bob Ward, Jim and Bridgett O’Donnell, Daris and Noel McCullough, Thomas and Mikki Hawkins, Gayle Cummings, Tom and Mary Howard, Graves Bell, and Nanette and Jeff Nicholson. Please join me in thanking these ambassadors of Peachtree Road who went on our behalf to be the hands and feet of Christ in Nicaragua.

2017 was an outstanding year here at Peachtree Road, and this year is full of promise. Come, be a part of the great things that are happening at this great church.

Bill

PS – If you have not yet had an opportunity to fill out an Every Member in Ministry commitment card, I have included the link here for your convenience.

Adult Mission Trip – Kenya

Kenya Mission Trip 2019

Adult Mission Trip – Kenya
March 7-17, 2019, Nakuru, Kenyan

Since 2009 PRUMC has been sending teams to Kenya. Our focus is providing clean water and improving education. PRUMC teams will partner with SWOK to continue our sustainable efforts in eliminatine dirty water for thousands of people in Kenya.

Team Leader: Clint Smith

RSVP Here

02.14 | Ash Wednesday

Worship with us on Ash Wednesday.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Ash Wednesday
The Greatest Commandment
Worship Bulletin PDF
11:15 am Live Webcast


7:00 am – 9:00 am

Imposition of Ashes in the Moore Chapel

11:00 am  – 1:00 pm
Imposition of Ashes in the Moore Chapel

5:00 pm
Family Service |  Rev. Julie Schendel

7:00 pm
Evening Service  |  Rev. Julie Schendel
The Imposition of Ashes and Litany of Penitence
The PRUMC Chancel Choir & Chamber Singers
Music by Fleming and Byrd
Scott H. Atchison, conductor

Full of Hope and Promise

January 5, 2018

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you well. As we begin a new year together, I hope you have had time to rest and worship and evaluate your plans for the coming year. These days are full of hope and promise. As you prepare for worship this year, I encourage you to look back over the past year and write down three blessings for which you are grateful. Being thankful is the seed you plant when you want more joy in your life. Also, while you’re making a list, write down one thing you’re hoping and praying for in the coming year, and bring that hope with you to church this Sunday.

Speaking of coming to church, this Sunday we are set to kick-off a new sermon series designed to help you make a good start to the New Year – The Power of Prayer:

January 7  |  Luke 3:21-22  |  Prayer — The Great Essential
January 14  |  Luke 11:1-4  |  Lord, Teach Us to Pray
January 21  |  Luke 11:5-23  |  Praying with Perseverance
January 28  |  Luke 24:28-35  |  Praying at the Table

Each Sunday in January we will consider the power of prayer in Jesus’ life as outlined in the Gospel of Luke. We will begin with Jesus’ baptismal experience. At the close of this week’s services, you will have the opportunity to come forward to touch the water and remember your baptism. This is one of my favorite services of the year and helps me make a good beginning in worship.

Also, after touching the water and remembering your baptism, you will have an opportunity to turn in your Every Member in Ministry commitment card (the online version is linked here). It is my prayer that every member of Peachtree Road will make a commitment to serve in at least one area of the church’s ministry this year. Thank you in advance for your support of our church’s ministry in 2018.

I do remind you of our regular worship schedule for the year:

8:45 am – Traditional Worship in the Sanctuary
9:00 am – Service of Holy Communion in the Moore Chapel
11:15 am – Traditional Worship in the Sanctuary
11:15 am – The Road Worship in Heritage Hall
5:00 pm – Sundays @ 5 Worship in the Moore Chapel

As always, if you are away from Peachtree Road on a Sunday, you may watch the 11:15 am traditional service in the sanctuary on livestream through your church app or online. Please stay connected to your church family.

You may see a few people you don’t know in church this Sunday – “New Year’s Resolutions” folks who have decided to make finding a church home a priority for the year; some Georgia Bulldogs fans who made some promises during double-overtime of last Monday night’s Rose Bowl (you know who you are!); and out-of-town guests who are in Atlanta for the big game. Look for folks you may not know, greet them warmly, and welcome them to Peachtree Road this week.

Finally, I want to invite you to join me on a Civil Rights Heritage Tour with members of Peachtree Road and other Methodists from our community. The tour is set for Saturday, March 3, and Sunday, March 4, and we will travel from Atlanta to Birmingham, Selma, and Montgomery. Together, we will tour the places where the history of the movement was lived out and hear from those who lived through the events – the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, “Bloody Sunday” on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, and the site where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery. I would like for at least 25 from Peachtree Road to join me on this tour. We need to register this month, and I would like to hear from you by January 19. Please contact my assistant Jane Ogle (janeo@prumc.org) to let me know if you are interested in joining us.

This year holds great promise for our ministry. I pray that you will experience the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit as we walk this journey together. See you Sunday!

Bill

Family Mission Trip – Kenya

Kenya Mission Trip 2019

Family Mission Trip – Kenya
June 20-30, 2019, Nakuru, Kenya

Since 2009 PRUMC has been sending teams to Kenya. Our focus is providing clean water and improving education. PRUMC teams will partner with SWOK to continue our sustainable efforts in eliminatine dirty water for thousands of people in Kenya.

Team Leader: Scott Alexander

Families must be members of PRUMC.
Children must be 12 years old by date of departure.

RSVP Here

Introduction to the Enneagram

The Road Back to You

Introduction to the Enneagram
Thursdays, Jan 4 – Mar 8,  9:30 am, C205

Learn about your motivations and views; increase compassion, communication and understanding.
Taught by Emily Wingfield.

$75 includes materials.

RSVP Here

Christmas Offering – Gift of Life

This Christmas, we have chosen Rongai as PRUMC’s 2018 recipient of “Water for Kenya.”  Our Christmas Eve offering will provide the entire region with enough water filters to eradicate the water-borne disease there.  Help create another miracle this Christmas.  A $40 filter can provide a family with clean water for up to 10 years.  Donate any time online or through our app, or at our Christmas Eve worship services on December 24.  Thank you and Merry Christmas!

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Make Another Miracle:  Rongai 2018

This Christmas, PRUMC will celebrate three years of winning the fight for clean water in Kenya.  Our special offering will provide the region of Rongai with enough water filters to eradicate water-borne disease there.  This year, over 90,000 people will experience a new way of life with the health provided by UZima clean water filters.  Our previous efforts have seen a 90% reduction in water-borne disease and the money spent on its treatment.  Consequently, this has dramatically reduced the number of days missed from school and work.   Help create another miracle this Christmas!  A $40 filter can provide clear, clean water for up to 10 years.  Donate any time online or through our app, or at our Christmas Eve worship services on December 24.  Thank you and Merry Christmas!

$40 = 1 family / 1 filter
$80 = 2 families / 2 filters
$200 = 5 families / 5 filters
$480 = 12 families / 12 filters
$1000 = 25 families / 25 filters

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  • Christmas on Peachtree

Nothing Like Christmas Here!

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

Merry Christmas!  As I write these words, we are merely hours away from our Christmas Eve celebration.  The church is buzzing with excitement as members of the flower guild, altar guild, usher teams, hospitality volunteers, children’s choir moms, and pageant helpers all have been making their final preparations for the big day.  The church is at its most beautiful and I am grateful to all who have helped.  There is nothing like the Christmas season at Peachtree Road!

I am looking forward to worshiping with you Sunday as we welcome anew Christ into our lives.  The services are as follows:

11:15 am – Christmas Service of Holy Communion
4:00 pm – Family Candlelight and Pageant
6:00 pm – Family Candlelight and Pageant
8:00 pm – Festival of Lessons and Carols
10:30 pm – Festival Choral Eucharist

Each service is distinctive, and we hope you will select the time that is most helpful to you and join us for the celebration.  The largest crowds attend the Family Candlelight and Pageant services at 4:00 pm and 6:00pm, and it is best to arrive early to find a seat for one of them.   I would encourage you to consider worshiping at the 10:30 pm Christmas Eve service.  This service includes beautiful music, the celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Communion, candle lighting, and offers the added feature of walking out of the sanctuary to the bells peeling at midnight on Christmas morning.  There’s just something wonderful about that experience!

More guests attend Peachtree Road on Christmas Eve than any other service in the year.  They come in search of God’s precious gifts of hope, peace, joy, and love – blessings we experience here on a regular basis.  I encourage you to seek out new faces at the service you attend, warmly welcome them, and encourage them to come back in the future.  Remember that person who first welcomed you to Peachtree Road and pay it forward!

If you are not able to worship at Peachtree Road in person this weekend, I remind you that our services will be livestreamed and available through the church app or online at prumc.org/webcast.  Let others know of this opportunity to experience the pageantry of our celebration of God with us.

Again this year, our Christmas Eve Offering is designated for our effort to provide clean water in Kenya.  Over the last two years, you have been a significant part of an effort to give the gift of clean water to approximately 20,000 families.  You have changed their lives!  This Christmas Eve we will have the opportunity to do it again.  Our special offering will be used to purchase water filters for families living in the Rongai region of Kenya. This is an area that has been devastated by water-borne disease.  The water is plentiful, but it is not clean. (See the video linked here: prumc.org/cleanwater.)  Children are dying at an alarming rate, and their parents cannot do anything about it.  But you can do something.  You can provide them with a life-giving water filter!

We are partnering with “Start with One Kenya” to attempt to raise enough money to buy a water filter for all 12,000 households (90,000 people) living in that region.  The price of each filter (which has a life expectancy of 10 years) is $40, so we are participating in an effort to raise $480,000. The Peachtree Road goal for this effort is $240,000.  I believe this is possible! If every person worshiping at one of our five services gives the gift of at least one water filter, we will reach that goal!  I can think of no better way to honor Christ in this holy season than to give the gift of life.

You may give in one of several ways: make your check payable to Peachtree Road and mark it for “Water for Kenya.”  You also may place your cash or check in the envelope found in your pew or bulletin, give through the church app, contribute online through the church’s website (prumc.org/give), or visit one of our volunteers in the narthex after each service to give by credit card.  Thank you in advance for your gift.

I look forward to seeing you this Sunday as we light candles in the midst of a dark sanctuary and remember the promise: “Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it.”  That is our hope, and that is the source of our joy.

Merry Christmas!

Bill

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Donate Here

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Water for Kenya

Soul Food for Young Adults

Soul Food for Young Adults

Soul Food for Young Adults
Tuesdays, January 9 – 30, 6:30 pm, C210

Soup, sandwiches and Bible study with Rev. Leslie Watkins.

RSVP Here
  • Advent Sanctuary

God’s Gift of Joy

December 15, 2017

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this week’s note finds you well. As I write these words, our journey through Advent is quickly coming to a close. Since Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday this year, our time of preparation has been much shorter than normal.

On Sunday morning, we will bring our Advent series “A Christmas Story” to a close. Each week we have focused upon a character from some of our best loved Christmas stories and considered an important spiritual lesson for the season. From Miracle on 34th Street, Susan Walker helped us reflect upon the importance of watching in this season, and we learned that watching includes being fully awake and tuning our ears to listen for the voice of the Lord. George Bailey, the central character of It’s a Wonderful Life, taught us the importance of faithful waiting. It is important to live life fully while we are waiting for God’s kingdom to come in its fullness. In other words, we are to live faithfully “in the meantime.” This week we will conclude our series with a visit from the Grinch and reflect upon how Christmas changed him and helped him discover God’s gift of joy. Do you need more joy in your life? Then, I hope you will be present this Sunday morning.

Over the last two weeks, I have found our special evening Advent services to be helpful. The children led us in “The Great Tree Lighting” service, and last week we were blessed by the “Many Moods of Christmas” concert. The Chancel Choir, accompanied by members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Brass Works, and the Georgia Boy Choir, offered a concert that has become an Atlanta tradition for the season. I ran into so many people at the reception from other towns who made the trip into the city just for this concert. It was a beautiful event. Let me remind you of three upcoming opportunities at Peachtree Road:

Christmas with the Georgia Boy Choir – Friday and Saturday, December 15 and 16, at 7:00 pm in the sanctuary. The Georgia Boy Choir is our ensemble in residence, and this concert is their biggest event of the year. You will be mesmerized by the transcendent Georgia Boy Choir sound as they perform sacred classics, Christmas carols, and all your holiday favorites in our magnificent sanctuary. You may purchase tickets through their website. I hope to see you there!

Carols by Candlelight – Sunday, December 17, at 5:30 pm in the sanctuary. Our journey through the lessons and carols of this season will be led by our music ministry, and we will conclude by singing together by candlelight. This relatively new addition to our seasonal offerings has become a favorite for many members.

Longest Night Service — Thursday, December 21, 7:00 pm in the Moore Chapel. Rev. Larry Adams will speak at this moving service designed to help those of us who are struggling with loss during the holiday season. I find it helpful that during the week in which the nights literally are the longest of the year, we have an opportunity to worship God, to remember who we are, and to claim the hope that is offered to us through Christ. I invite you to attend this service, light a candle in the midst of the darkness, and realize that you are not alone – you are never alone!

Finally, let me offer a word of encouragement about our giving.

I am grateful for your support of Christmas Kindness. Your generosity has enabled us to successfully fund this ministry for this year and begin making plans for next year. Hundreds of families were helped and will have a joy-filled Christmas because of you. Thanks you. We now are turning our attention toward the Christmas Eve Offering. This year’s special offering is being designated to purchase water filters for those living Rongai region of Kenya. One $40 water filter can provide clean water and good health to a family for up to 10 years. I hope you will come on Christmas Eve prepared to give generously as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.

The most convenient way to give to the ministry of Peachtree Road is through the church’s app or website. However, there may be an even better way for many of you to give in this season. I was talking with a member earlier this week who didn’t realize the church could receive a stock transfer. There can be significant tax advantages to making gifts of appreciated securities to the church. Stocks, bonds, or other publicly traded securities are gratefully received. Did you know you can transfer them directly to Peachtree Road UMC and receive a charitable deduction for the full fair market value of the gift, including all the appreciation? Also, neither you nor the church will have to pay capital gains tax on the gift. I hope this is an avenue of giving you will consider. If you need help, please contact your broker or Raymond Reynolds at the church.

Thank you for your all you do to support the ministry of Peachtree Road. I look forward to worshiping with you and serving with you this week!

Bill

High School Ski Trip

High School Ski Trip

PRUMC High School Ski Trip
January 12 – 15, 2017

We will head back to Snowshoe, West Virginia for a great weekend of skiing, devotions, and hanging out with your friends!

The trip is open to 9th – 12th  graders.

Cost is $650 with a deposit of $325 due at registration.

RSVP Here

Discover Hope

December 8, 2017

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are doing well. This Sunday promises to be an exciting day at Peachtree Road and I hope you are planning to be here with your church family.

  • A Christmas Story – on Sunday we will continue our advent series of messages focusing upon hope, peace, and joy. This week we will have the opportunity to meet the character George Bailey from the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The most poignant line of the story for me comes when George laments to his guardian angel Clarence, “I suppose it would have been better if I’d never been born at all.” Have you ever felt that way? Sometimes life takes unexpected turns and leaves us disappointed and wondering why we’re here. In Sunday’s message, I want us to reflect upon George Bailey’s lament and allow the scriptures to point us toward a new perspective on life – one that helps us discover hope, peace, joy, and love even in the midst of life’s disappointments. If you know someone who might find that message helpful, invite them to worship with you this Sunday morning.
  • Water Filter Forum – the global outreach ministry of Peachtree Road is sponsoring an adult education forum this Sunday at 10:00 am in Heritage Hall. Bill and Chat Coble of Start with One Kenya (SWOK) will be with us to explain how the water filters we have helped purchase the last two years are changing the lives of thousands of Kenyans. Take a look at this video to learn more about our partnership. Once again this Christmas Eve, our special offering will be used to purchase water filters for folks living in Kenya – this time in the Rongai area. We are excited to partner with SWOK – your $40 contribution buys clean water for a household in that region for 10 years! You may even give now through the church app or online.
  • Many Moods of Christmas – the annual concert featuring the Peachtree Road Chancel Choir and members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is this Sunday evening at 7:00 pm in the sanctuary. This event is one of those “can’t miss” holiday traditions in Atlanta and attracts a full house, so make your plans to come early and enjoy the beautiful music. This year’s program will feature music from Handel’s “Messiah.”

Also, let me thank you for your generous giving throughout 2017 and offer you some encouragement concerning some financial matters.

Annual Budget – the Finance Committee met earlier this week, and it was reported that we need an offering of $1.2 million during December to finish the year on budget. While that sounds like a daunting task, that is the average amount we have received during December the last three years. Giving statements went out earlier this week, and Wendie and I sent in our final payment to make sure our pledge for the year is paid in full. I encourage you to make every effort to fulfill your pledge. Certainly, the stock market has risen steadily this year, and you may be in a position to give appreciated stock as an extra gift. Know that your church would be grateful for your generosity.

Matching Gift Opportunity – earlier this fall we shared the good news that you have given gifts totaling $2 million toward our debt retirement effort. As a result of your generosity, we have received the matching gift that has helped us decrease the debt by half. We have turned our efforts toward raising the second $2 million in order to be eligible for a second matching gift. If you would like to give toward this effort, please let us know and mark your gift for “Debt Matching Gift.” With your help, we look forward to being debt-free in 2018!

“All In!” 2018 Pledge Campaign – to date, we have received 627 pledges for a little over $3.7 million for an average pledge of $5,900. The breakdown is as follows:

  • 188 pledges are the same as last year
  • 244 pledges have been increased over last year by $338,000
  • 57 pledges have been decreased from last year by $85,000
  • 133 pledges are new this year for $521,000

This represents a net increase of $774,000 over last year. Thank you to all who have pledged to next year’s budget. The key will be for us to hear from every member (especially those who pledged last year). Please let us hear from you as soon as possible so we can firm up our plans for outreach and ministry for next year.

Christmas Kindness – thank you for your generous giving toward Christmas Kindness last Sunday. The special offering was $29,000 and will be put to very good use purchasing winter coats, small appliances, and toys for families helped in cooperation with our partner agencies here in Atlanta. If you would like to contribute to the offering, please do so through the church app or the website.

Thank you for your attention to this information. I’ll see you in church Sunday morning and at the “Many Moods of Christmas” concert Sunday evening!

Bill

United Methodist Kid’s Fellowship (UMKF)

United Methodist Kid’s Fellowship (UMKF)
A fellowship group for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders
Sunday, January 28, 5:00-6:30pm, The Loft (3rd floor Rollins Building)

Back by popular demand! We’ll kick-off the New Year with BINGO, complete with prizes and great competition! $5 per child (dinner included).

RSVP Here

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  • Advent Devotional

2017 Advent Devotional

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2017 Advent Devotional Desk Calendars
Now Available in the Dogwood Shop, Church Offices, and Online
Prepare your hearts for Christmas with a very special Advent Devotional written by youth, adults and staff of Peachtree Road. Daily readings express the season’s themes of Hope, Peace, Joy, Love and Celebration. Each remind us of the coming of Jesus, the Light of the World. Take one home or follow along online, read daily and be blessed as you journey through the season.

Online Devotional

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03.26 – 03.29 | Holy Week

12:05 pm  |  Midday Service in Moore Chapel
Monday  |  Rev. Leslie Watkins
Tuesday  |  Darren Hensley
Wednesday  |  Rev. Julie Wright
Thursday  |  Geoff Beakley

  • Harvest Sunday at Peachtree Road

Harvest Sunday Encore

Enjoy this encore worship experience of Harvest Sunday featuring Mack Wilberg’s arrangement of “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.”  (At 56:50)

“The music alone will be worth your time.” – Rev. Bill Britt

A pdf of the November 19 worship bulletin is available here.

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Men’s Ministries

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PRUMC Men of Impact

Our mission and purpose is to enable the men of PRUMC to grow as Disciples of Jesus Christ and equip them to make an “impact” for Christ where they live, work, and play.  Matthew 28:19

IMPACT: Innovative, Missional, Purposeful, Accountable, Collaborative, and Transformative

  • Innovative: We’re taking what Jesus taught us about disciple-making and bringing it into the 21st century.  2 Timothy 2:2
  • Missional: We encourage the faithful men of Christ to be the continuing voice, hands, and feet of Christ in the world.  Luke 4:18-19
  • Purposeful: Our love and enthusiasm for Christ gives us the determination and intentionality to love God and neighbor as ourselves.  Colossians 3:23
  • Accountable: Our ministry is founded on scripture, emulates the structure of early Methodism, and promotes holy living and outreach.  Proverbs 27:17
  • Collaborative: Our ministry comprises purposeful relationships that are empowered by the Holy Spirit to guide us as one mind and heart to fulfill the mission of the church.  John 14:26
  • Transformative: Our hope is a life transformed by the grace of God as the inner and outer life are aligned in right relationship with God, self, neighbor, and creation.  Galatians 2:20

Jesus extends the invitation for us to be “Fishers of Men,” in essence, we’re all called to be in the business of Disciple-Making.  How will you make an IMPACT?  Matthew 4:19

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Fellowship, Bible Studies & Accountability Groups

Wednesday Morning Coffee  |  Wednesdays, 7:00 am, C105
Wednesday Morning Coffee is a casual mid-week gathering of men to encourage one another in the faith.  Each weekly fellowship discussion is topical and no preparation is necessary.  Come as you are.  For more information, contact Geoff Beakley at geoffb@prumc.org.

Wednesday Lunch*  |  Wednesdays, 12:00 pm, Grace Hall
*Wednesday lunches will resume this fall. You’re invited to lunch and fellowship at the “Men’s Ministry’s Table.”  Come as you are and look for Geoff Beakley.  For more information, contact Geoff Beakley at geoffb@prumc.org.

Bible Study with Dr. Ken Boa  |  Fridays, 7:00 am, C106
A men’s Bible study that helps uncover the timeless wisdom of Christ and equips men to apply it to their daily lives.  No preparation necessary.  Come as you are.  For more information, contact Geoff Beakley at geoffb@prumc.org.

CLC Accountability Groups  |  CLC is a men’s organization that is commited to training Christian leaders. Groups are comprised of 12 men who follow a proven curriculum to grow as leaders for Christ in the church, at home, and in the community.  For more information about PRUMC’s CLC groups, please contact Geoff Beakley at geoffb@prumc.org.

Short Term & Long Term Bible Study
Studying God’s word can be transformative!  Challenge yourself to deepen your faith.  We offer many topics, course lengths, facilitators and class levels. Visit www.prumc.org/bible-study for complete details and registration, or or contact Geoff Beakley to discuss at geoffb@prumc.org.

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Outreach & Mission

In Matthew 4:19 Jesus extends the invitation for us to be “Fishers of Men.”  All disciples of Jesus Christ are in the business of disciple making, and we encourage you to consider forming an accountability group or Bible study of your own for the men of PRUMC.   Please contact Geoff Beakley to discuss the possibilities at geoffb@prumc.org.

Mission Trips
Please contact Anne French, our director of global missions at annef@prumc.org.

Local Outreach
Please contact Geoff Beakley at geoffb@prumc.org.

Trinity House
We support Trinity Community Ministries by hosting meals for men in recovery.  For more information, click here.  To learn more about hosting a dinner, contact Geoff Beakley at geoffb@prumc.org.

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  • John Ethridge is All In!

Annual Campaign

All In Annual Campaign
November 5-19, 2017

Join us in this final week of our annual campaign to support the ministries of this great church!  Your pledge strengthens the programs and builds the community of PRUMC.  Please prayerfully consider how you will shape our church in 2018.  Every promise builds our future and every pledge counts.  With your support in 2016, we were able to:

WELCOME 215 new members into our church family.

PARTNER with community churches to create an adult respite care program.  (Watch for the launch in early 2017.)

DELIVER 26,000 water filters to Kenyans in need, giving 130,000 more people access clean water.

OFFER 36 classes EACH Sunday for over 500 children, carefully nurturing the faith of our youngest ones.

These are just a few ways your generosity takes shape for the ages and stages of our congregation and community.  Will you be “all-in” with us?  You can now find information on the 2018 Church Budget, a schedule of giving opportunities, budgeting tools and an online pledge form on our All In web pages.  You can make your pledge online, through the PRUMC app, or by using the All-In pledge cards in the church kiosks.

If you have questions about your pledge, or would like to discuss options or concerns, please contact the Business Office at 404.240.8329 or giving@prumc.org.  Thank you for your continued support!  This year’s annual campaign will wrap up this Sunday, November 19 at our Harvest Sunday celebration – a time when we give thanks for our many blessings.  We hope you will join us for festival worship and be our guest for our traditional Thanksgiving luncheon.

 

Pledge Here

11.12.17 | We Are Thankful for the Church

Sanctuary Friends

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We Are Thankful For the Church
Sunday, November 12, 2017
Rev. Bill Britt

Worship Bulletin PDF
Worship Service Video

Sunday Photo Gallery

Sermon Podcast (coming soon)
Sermon Video

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On Sunday, we continued our fall stewardship series entitled “All In” by reflecting upon our gratitude for the church that has nurtured our faith.  We wrestled with the question, “Why should I join the church?”  That is a question many of our young people are asking today.  Certainly, our broken and hurting world needs the church and the grace of God it offers.

This week, let us reflect upon what the church has done for us and express our gratitude by being “all in” through the ministry of Peachtree Road.

  • The Longest Night

How Long, O Lord?

Yesterday we heard words of inspiration and encouragement from Matt Westmoreland during the worship services as he reflected upon the transformation in children’s learning we are witnessing as a result of our church’s partnership with Hollis STEM Academy: “Hope without truth is fantasy, but truth without hope is failure. It’s only in those moments when you are able to confront truth at its harshest and hope at its most powerful, that you believe dramatic change is possible.”

I thought of those words later in the day when I heard the news reports about a deadly mass shooting in a Texas church.  We wonder, “How long, O Lord?”  And we pray.  And we hope with a hope in the powerful name of Christ for a day when violence will be no more.

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11.05.17 | We Are Thankful for All the Saints

All Saints Day

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FEAST OF ALL SAINTS
We Are Thankful
For All the Saints
Sunday, November 5, 2017
Rev. Bill Britt

Worship Bulletin PDF
Worship Service Video

Sunday Photo Gallery

Sermon Podcast (coming soon)
Sermon Video

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On Sunday, we began our fall stewardship series entitled “All In” by reflecting upon our gratitude for our saints and the lessons they have taught us.  One of my “saints” was my grandfather who loved to garden.  He taught me about hard work and planting the right seeds in good soil.

The “Beatitudes” are the seeds Jesus encourages us to plant and nurture deep within our souls so that our lives may produce the good fruit that characterizes the life of a saint.  And the good news is that we who are baptized already are saints.

This week, practice gratitude by giving thanks to God for those saints in your life each and every day.

10.29.17 | The Greatest Commandment

Hugging

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The Greatest Commandment
Rev. Carolyn Stephens

Worship Bulletin PDF
Worship Service Video

Sunday Photo Gallery

Sermon Podcast (coming soon)
Sermon Video

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Archimedes, one of Greek’s leading mathematicians and scientist, after studying the principles of how a lever works said, “Give me a place to stand and I will move the world.”  What can we, who are followers of Christ, stand on to change our world as we know it today?  Love!  When asked what is the greatest commandment, Jesus replied “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your minds.”  And then went on to say, “And the second is like it, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”  If all our actions and responses are from a place of love, if love is the place on which we stand in how we treat each other, then indeed we will move the world.

  • Bill Britt and Sanctuary Windows

Bill Britt: Proud of Our Church

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October 27, 2017

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I want to begin this week’s note by letting you know how proud I am of our church.

Earlier this week, the “Carry the Torch” luncheon was held at the World Congress Center to raise awareness and funds to help address the problem of homelessness here in Atlanta.  Peachtree Road was recognized as one of two “Platinum Sponsors” of the event, and I saw members of our church throughout the room.  Jack Hardin, co-chair of the Regional Commission on the Homeless, spoke to the assembled crowd, and he later asked me to express his personal appreciation to you for all that you are doing to help make homelessness in our community “rare, temporary, and non-recurring.”

Most of us here at Peachtree Road care about those who are homeless, but we may not know how to help. Today, I want to offer three suggestions:

  • First, I encourage you to buy a ticket to see the newly-released movie “Same Kind of Different As Me.”  This true story of an art dealer from Fort Worth whose friendship with a homeless man named Denver changed his life and brought him fulfillment will inspire and encourage you to “carry the torch” in our community.  (We do have about 30 vouchers for the movie at the church that are available on a first-come-first-served basis. They expire November 5.)
  • Second, please join us in supporting our partnerships with agencies such as Action Ministries, Buckhead Christian Ministry, Covenant House, Jerusalem House, and Trinity Community Ministries as a volunteer or financial contributor.
  • Finally, contact our director of local outreach, Beth Spencer, to find our what you can do.

Please know how grateful I am for all that you have done to help to make a difference in the lives of thousands of men, women, and children in our community.

I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.  On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his “95 Theses” to the door of Church in Wittenberg, Germany, and set in motion the events that led to church reformation and the creation of the Protestant Church. Our celebration includes:

  • A community “Reformation Concert” on Saturday evening at 7:00 pm in our sanctuary – the concert will feature over 200 voices from 8 churches, and admission is free.
  • Sunday morning worship in our sanctuary — the services will begin with the signing of Martin Luther’s famous hymn “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” and our associate minister Carolyn Stephens will be preaching.
  • The Inaugural Manfred E. Hoffmann Lecture — this event in Grace Hall will honor our long-time “Theologian in Residence” Manfred Hoffmann, and our guest lecturer is Jonathan Strom, a Lutheran scholar at Candler School of Theology.

Finally, let me share with you some highlights from last Monday’s Administrative Board meeting:

  • We introduced a new church app.  If you have not downloaded it yet, go to your app store, search for PRUMC, and click to get it. The church app will keep you connected to your church family and offer you convenient ways to watch past worship services, register for events, offer your prayer requests, and pledge and give to support our ministries.
  • Ann French updated us on the impact of our efforts to provide water filters to families in Kenya. Amazingly, the data shows a 90%  reduction in water-borne diseases; a 93% reduction in money spent to treat water-borne diseases; a 95% reduction in the number of days children are missing school; and a 96% reduction in number of days adults are missing work!
  • Beth Spencer let us know that a local company has created a “Go Fund Me” page for its employees to support Christmas Kindness. They also are inviting their corporate clients to participate and have pledged that whatever is given will be matched. In addition, the company has signed employees up to volunteer at Christmas Kindness. They are hoping to raise $20,000 for this ministry.

These are exciting days. You are making a difference both here in Atlanta and around the world. Thank you for all you are doing!  I look forward to seeing you Sunday.  If you can’t make it to the church, I hope you will join us online at 11:15 a.m. here.

See you Sunday!

Bill

 

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  • Disaster Relief Response

How We Are Responding

Part of PRUMC’s call to mission is to aid in long-term recovery efforts for disaster relief.  These past few months have seen incredible storm damage resulting in inhumane living conditions.  We are helping by teaming up with agencies to provide food, clean water, temporary shelter, hygiene and other critical needs.  Thank you PRUMC for your generous response to these critical needs.  To date, funds and items have been distributed in the following ways.

Puerto Rico – 5000 UZima water filters

UMCOR – $21,658 direct storm victim aid

BCM – $10,000 direct evacuee aid

SERV International – $5000 of UZima water filters

Florida – $4000 chain saws, batteries, lights

St. Thomas – $3000 UZima water filter back packs

If you would like to donate to PRUMC’s disaster relief efforts, click the button below and choose “OTHER” to designate  your gift.  Thank you.

Give Here

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From NBC News:  Puerto Ricans at Risk of Waterborne Disease Outbreaks in Wake of Hurricane Maria

 Waterborne illnesses are on the rise in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria — and health professionals fear the storm’s aftermath could unleash an epidemic on the devastated island.

The death toll from the storm rose to 51 on Tuesday, with the two latest victims dying of leptospirosis, a bacterial disease usually spread by contact with contaminated water, Puerto Rico Public Affairs Secretary Ramon Rosario told The Associated Press.

Authorities are investigating an additional 74 suspected cases of the infection as well, he said, and at least one previous death was attributed to the disease.

“It’s going to be higher — it’s like a perfect storm for leptospirosis, ” said Llamara Padro-Milano, a nurse who returned last week from a relief trip to Puerto Rico with the American Federation of Teachers. “People are going to get sick and suffer.”

A spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed to NBC News on Wednesday that they had received a shipment of specimens from the U.S. territory and were currently analyzing them at their laboratory in Atlanta for signs of leptospira, the bacteria that causes the disease.

The disease is transmitted via exposure to the urine of infected animals, but humans are most commonly infected by coming in contact with contaminated water, especially through skin abrasions and the nose, mouth and eyes, according to World Health Organization.

On Thursday, a group of nurses with the union National Nurses United who participated with the trip slammed the federal government’s response to the hurricane in a news conference with Democratic lawmakers.

“Door to door the nurses assessed and found people who may die before food, water and medicine can reach them,” said Cathy Kennedy, vice president of the nurses’ union.

The group released a report Thursday that concluded “the response to the crisis in Puerto Rico from the U.S. federal government has been unacceptable for the wealthiest country in the world.”

The report called a series of measures to address the crisis, including expanding the use of air drops to provide relief supplies, additional personnel and financial resources, as well as an extension for filing disaster relief claims with FEMA.

The over 70 suspected incidents of leptospirosis in just a month would represent a major spike: A total of 729 cases of the disease were reported from 1990-2014 to the Puerto Rico Department of Health, according to a 2016 study in the journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases; of those cases, 78 were fatal. However, the study warned that leptospirosis was underreported or misdiagnosed as dengue.

The disease has a wide range of symptoms including high fever, headache, chills, vomiting and diarrhea, but some may have no symptoms at all, according to the CDC. Leptospirosis is treated with antibiotics, but without treatment it can lead to kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure and death, according to the CDC.

“People are forced to sleep on dirty mattresses,” Padro-Milano said. “If you have no place to wash your hands and you don’t have [hand sanitizer] how are you going to protect yourself?”

“The best that we can do was to teach people how to protect themselves the best way we knew how,” she said.

Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers who was in Puerto Rico earlier this month, said she was “alarmed” by conditions she saw on the ground, and that mudslides, a devastated infrastructure and destruction throughout the island had created a breeding ground for contamination.

Image: People collect mountain spring water, after Hurricane Maria hit the island, in Corozal
Alvin Baez / Reuters file
“I’ve never seen the effects of a disaster in the United States of America like this,” she said.

“You had dead animals and you had debris in streams,” she added, “so the sanitary conditions were terrible, and so you see a level of contamination as a result of this that’s terrible.”

She said the AFT union was coordinating with nonprofits and others to bring water filtration systems and purification devices to households and community-based groups in Puerto Rico through a project called Operation Agua.

Padro-Milano said nurses were encountering many cases of conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, because residents often did not have clean water to wash their hands. And mold from houses damaged by rain and floodwaters was contributing to respiratory conditions and diseases, she said.

A quarter of the island’s population still lacks access to running water as of Wednesday, according to authorities, but the areas that do have water are not evenly distributed.

While 87 percent of the metro area and 88 percent of the south have access to running water, only 46 percent of the north, 68 percent of the west and 77 percent of the east had access, according to a government website.

Carols by Candlelight

Carols by Candlelight
Sunday, December 17, 5:30 pm, Sanctuary

Journey through Lessons and Carols from Advent to the celebration of Christmas, concluding with singing of carols by candlelight.  Choirs, Chorale and Carillon participate in this special service.

If you would like to join the Carols by Candlelight Choir please contact Nicole Marane at 404.240.8206 or nicolem@prumc.org.  Rehearsals begin in December.

No RSVP necessary. To join the Carols Choir click here.

10.22.17 | A Life Worth Living

Jamie High Five

The Good Life Sermon Series
A Life Worth Living
Rev. Bill Britt

Worship Bulletin PDF
Worship Service Video

Sunday Photo Gallery

Sermon Podcast (coming soon)
Sermon Video

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On Sunday, we explored the simple truth that the road we travel determines our destination.

We considered the prodigal son – how he thought the “good life” was “out there” and went in pursuit of it.  In his immaturity, he pursued a life of self-indulgence.  Later, he realized his error and decided to swallow his pride and return home.

We observed that the prodigal son took two steps to get on the right road toward home: repentance and courageously being vulnerable.  We learned to pray two prayers to help stay on the right road:

“Lord, help me to see trouble coming a long way off and give me the courage to act self-lessly today.”

The John Wesley Covenant Prayer:

I am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what you will.  Rank me with whom you will.
Put me to doing.  Put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by you and laid aside by you, exalted for you or brought low for you
Let me be full.  Let me be empty. Let me have all things. Let me have nothing.
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, blessed and glorious God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
You are mine and I am yours.  So be it.
Let this covenant made on earth be ratified in heaven.  Amen.

 

Weekly Announcements

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Sunday, June 24

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This Sunday

Celebration of Freedom Patriotic Worship
Today, 8:45 & 11:15 am, Sanctuary
During our patriotic services today we give thanks for our freedom and honor those who have faithfully served our country. Worship will feature our honored veterans, Timothy Miller, brass, choirs and festival chorus.

Pancake Breakfast
Today, 9:30 – 11:00 am, Grace Hall
Enjoy pancakes served with maple syrup or berry compote, and sausage or bacon. $5/adults, $3 children under 10. Gluten-free options available.

Bible Olympics
Sundays, 10:00 am, Gym
Children (completed K – 5th grade) gather each week for team games and Bible learning and hot competition! 5th graders can junior coaches.

Young Adult Summer Series
Sundays, 10:00 am, Hospitality Suite
YA classes combine to explore the lives of those who walked with Jesus, and discuss what we can learn from them. Coffee, fellowship, service opportunities and celebrations included!

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If You Are New

Methodism 101
Sunday, August 12, 10:00 am, Hospitality Suite
Join us as we explore Methodism’s history and traditions over a light breakfast. Lead by Carolyn Stephens and Julie Schendel. RSVP to Mimi Brunson at mimib@prumc.org.

Fall Programming Kick Off
Sunday, August 26, 10:00 am, Hospitality Suite
Learn about the many ways to connect and grow with the PRUMC community in Fall 2018. We will offer the chance to meet and fellowship with members of the program staff, ministers, and current members as they share the exciting opportunities planned for this church family.

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Worship & Music

July Summer in the City Worship Series
Each Sunday in July we will gather together for favoite hymns, lemonade on the lawn and a special sermon series on the essence of our Christian faith – the Beatitudes. Be reminded of, and inspired by the teachings of Jesus through this series of the Sermon on the Mount.

Atlanta Summer Organ Festival
Wednesday, July 18, 7:30 pm, Sanctuary
Featuring the famous Maestro Hector Olivera! Come hear “one of the greatest organists in the world today.” $15 suggested donation. Dessert reception following recital.

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Special Events

Party on Peachtree!
Wednesday, July 4, 7:00 am, Front Lawn
Join us on our front lawn to cheer on all the participants of Atlanta’s annual Peachtree Road Race! We’ll have refreshments, party favors and tons of fun. To help with hospitality, please contact Mimi Brunson at mimib@prumc.org.

Denim & Diamonds!
UMW’s Southern Summer Sampler
Early bird tickets through June 30!
Saturday, August 18, 7:00 pm, The Solarium
Gals and guys – polish up your boots and pull out your fanciest dungarees for our all-out annual fundraiser! Pig roast, live music, fantastic auction and fun beverages. Proceeds benefit a children’s library in Kenya and our Christmas Kindness initiative. Tickets available here.

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Education & Enrichment

Summer Yoga at Peachtree
Wednesdays, 6:30 pm, Heritage Hall (no class on 7/4 or 7/18)
Join PRUMC’s summer intern and certified yoga instructor Emily Rivers for a relaxing yet energizing free weekly yoga class. No experience necessary, all (ages 14 and up) are welcome! Please bring a mat. For more information contact Emily at emilyr@prumc.org.

Spiritual Discussions
Wednesday, June 27, 10:30 am, C104
Continues July 11 & 25, and August 8 & 15
Join Julie Wright for thoughtful discussion on how Christians can apply their faith to life. Come any Wednesday – each are stand-alone lessons guided by Rob Bell videos. No homework and no RSVP necessary. All are welcome!

Educational Travel
Visit prumc.org/travel for details on incredible travel opportunities coming up: Journeys of Paul April 23 – May 3, 2019 – Greece & Turkey. Oberammeragau Passion Play June 3 – 12, 2020 – Austria, Germany, Czech Republic. You may also contact Jamie Jenkins at 404.771.7031 or jamiej@prumc.org.

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Congregational Care

New! Respite Care Atlanta
PRUMC has partnered with six other congregations to create a safe weekday place for those with mild cognitive impairment. Respite Care Atlanta will provide vital interaction for clients and self-care time to caregivers. We are excited about this wonderful new initiative and volunteers are needed! Contact Julie Wright at 404.240.8203 or juliew@prumc.org.

Movers and Shakers Parkinson’s Support Group
2nd Wednesdays, 12:00 pm, B152
June 13, July 11, August 8
Join us for lunch, support, fellowship and information on Parkinson’s. We welcome excellent speakers each month to keep us posted on the latest news about research, medications, diet and exercises. All are welcome!

Pastoral Care
For the most current information, please visit our Pastoral Care page here.

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Local Outreach

Hollis Volunteers & Notaries Needed
Monday, July 30, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm, Hollis
Hollis Academy needs volunteers to meet and greet in the classrooms for their Open House. Notaries are needed to assist with registration. Contact Beth Spencer at beths@prumc.org.

Agape Lunch Volunteers Needed
Agape needs volunteers to provide lunches for their summer programs of Reading Readiness, Camp Jump Start and Fit/Go-Girl-Go! Contact Dominique Tate at dtate@agapeatlanta.org.

BCM Finance Coaching Volunteers Needed
Buckhead Christian Ministry needs volunteers to coach clients in money management. In the “Budget for Life” program clients are employed full-time and have a lease in their name. Contact Beth Spencer at beths@prumc.org.

BCM Intake & Hospitality Volunteers Needed
Buckhead Christian Ministry needs summertime volunteers to help with Intake and Hospitality during June, July and August Contact Kevin Pranoto at kevinpranoto@bcmatlanta.org.

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Global Missions

Remarkable Life Changes
Two PRUMC mission teams have been in the field living out their faith through service to others. Team Georgia spent 10 days nurturing children and mentoring teens. Team Belize improved school facilities and tutored. Visit prumc.org/global-missions to link to the full stories with photos. Our success is found in the remarkable changes in the lives of others!

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Children & Families

Bible Olympics
Sundays, 10:00 am, Gym
Children (completed K – 5th grade) gather each week for team games and Bible learning. Join us for a summer of hot competition! 5th graders can be Youth Junior Coaches.

Summer Family Worship
Summer Sundays, 8:45 & 11:15 am
During the summer, our 1st – 5th grade children join their families in worship. Traditional worship in the sanctuary at 8:45 and 11:15 am. The Road worship in Heritage Hall at 11:15 am.

Preschool Summer Sunday School
Sundays, 10:00 am, Children’s Bldg
Join us for an awesome summer series with energy, music and fun! We hope to see you each week that your family is in town.

Join Our Teaching Team and “Grow a Soul!”
To volunteer, contact Martha Christopher at marthac@prumc.org, or Jordan Black at jordanb@prumc.org.

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Youth

Middle School Mission Trip
July 15-21, Copperhill, TN
Join us for an unforgettable week of hands-on mission projects, exciting music and programs, and team-building high adventure activities! $650. Sign up here.

Sundays for Youth
10:00 am  |  Foundations for 7th – 12th
10:00 am  |  Confirmation for 6th grade
5:00 pm  |  1/99 Worship & Fellowship

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Young Adults

Young Adult Sunday School Summer Series
Sundays, 10:00 am, Hospitality Suite
YA classes combine to explore the lives of those who walked with Jesus, and discuss what we can learn from them. Coffee, fellowship, service opportunities and celebrations included!

Stone Mountain Laser Show
Saturday, June 23, 8:00 pm, Meet at PRUMC
Join us for an evening of lights, music, fireworks and flame cannons! Meet in the PRUMC back lot to caravan and split the cost of event parking. RSVP here.

Singles Gathering Event
Thursday, June 28, 6:30 pm, Hudson Grill
New to the church? Been attending a long time? Join other singles ages 30-45 to mingle and get to know one another. All are welcome! Sign up here.

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Adults

Salem Camp Meeting – Covington, GA
Thursday, July 19, 9:30 am departure, $12
Take part in an American tradition with music and inspirational message! Self-pay fried chicken lunch at Salem Hotel. RSVP to Julie Wright at 404.240.8203 or juliew@prumc.org.

Wednesday Seasoned Saints
12:00 pm Lunch, 1:00 pm Program*, C104
*Movies begin at 12:30 pm. On Bingo days, please bring a $5 wrapped gift/prize.

Jun 20  |  Dr. Anne-Marie Campbell DiNardo: Leading a Balanced Life
Jul 11  |  Firecracker Bingo & Brown Bag Lunch
Jul 25  |  John Wayne Movie

Trip to Epworth-by-the-Sea, St. Simons Island
September 17 – 20, 2018
Tour the Gullah Geechee community on Sapelo. Walk Amelia Island’s historic North End, and cruise Beach Creek for a close-up look of Cumberland Island’s Seashore. RSVP to Julie Wright at 404.240.8203 or juliew@prumc.org.

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Men

Men’s Volunteer Team
The men’s ministries of PRUMC is compiling a list of men who are open to volunteer service work. We’ll contact you for potential projects throughout the year. Email your contact info to Geoff Beakley at geoffb@prumc.org.

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At-a-Glance

Calendar

Sunday, June 24
Celebration of Freedom | Special Joining Day
9:30 am Pancake Breakfast
2:00 pm Oakland Cemetery Tour

June 25 – 28
9:30 am Vacation Bible School

June 25 – 29
Sports & Recreation Camps: Lego STEAM, Theatre, Soccer, Gymnastics

Wednesday, June 27
6:30 pm Drop-in Yoga Class

Thursday, June 28
6:30 pm Singles Gathering Event

  • PRUMC...there's an app for that!

Download the New PRUMC App!

We are excited to announce the new PRUMC app and improved giving platform!  With the app, you will be able to easily access sermons, events, prayer requests, online giving and more – all on your mobile device.

Visit your phone’s app store, search “PRUMC” and download – or simply click the quick links below.  Be sure to “allow notifications” to receive updates and reminders. 

More features are in development so look forward to increased engagement in the coming months!

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  • Jamie High Five

This Sunday @ PRUMC

The Greatest Commandment
Rev. Carolyn Stephens

Worship Bulletin PDF
11:15 am Live Webcast

8:45 am
Traditional Worship  |  Carolyn Stephens

9:00 am
Chapel Communion  |  Julie Wright

11:15 am
Traditional Worship  |  Carolyn Stephens

5:00 pm
Sundays @ 5  |  Carolyn Stephens

On this day
Turkey Drive
Hoffmann Lecture Series

10.15.17 | Dealing with Depression

The Good Life Sermon Series
Dealing with Depression
Rev. Bill Britt

This past Sunday, our message focused upon the difficult topic of depression.

We observed that, in the church, we’re not very comfortable talking about mental illness. There seems to be a stigma about admitting you struggle with depression or any other mental illness. Occasionally, someone will say, “I’m a Christian; I’m not supposed to be depressed.” That’s nonsense. You might as well say, “I’m a Christian; I’m not supposed to have heart disease or diabetes or cancer.” The brain is an organ in the body, and it is just as susceptible to illness as any other organ.

The prophet Elijah knew something of the condition as we discovered in I Kings 19. He discovered the importance of taking care of himself and staying connected with God who especially is present in the silence of our lives.

You may know somebody who is depressed – someone who’s dealing with pain, disappointment, or loss. Ask them how they’re doing. Listen to them. Be with them. Pray for them. And, when the time is right, tell them, “You are not alone. God is in the silence.” And encourage them to get help. The “good life” in Christ is for everybody.

Christmas Eve Services

Christmas Eve
Sunday, December 24, 2017
All services webcast live here.  Complimentary childcare available at 4:00 & 6:00 pm services for ages 3 and under.

11:15 am
Christmas Service of Holy Communion
A celebration of the Eucharist.

4:00 pm
Family Candlelight & Christmas Pageant
Children’s choirs and Christmas pageant with nativity characters.

6:00 pm
Family Candlelight & Christmas Pageant
Children’s choirs and Christmas pageant with nativity characters.

8:00 pm
Festival of Lessons & Carols
PRUMC Chancel Choir and Brass herald in this most Holy Night.

10:30 pm
Festival Choral Eucharist
PRUMC Chancel Choir and Brass with a celebration of the Eucharist.

Join us! Or, watch our live webcast here.

10.08.17 | Aging and Changing Roles

Bill Baptism

The Good Life Sermon Series
Aging and Changing Roles
Rev. Bill Britt

Worship Bulletin PDF
Worship Service Video

Sunday Photo Gallery

Sermon Podcast
Sermon Video

Are you currently helping to care for your children or grandchildren and your aging parents? If so, you are a part of the “sandwich generation.” It can be a stressful place to live.

By both teaching and example, Jesus encourages us to live the good life in relationship with our parents. First, he encourages us to live out the 5th commandment: “Honor your father and your mother.” Jesus also invites us to expand our definition of family and include others in our concern and care.

Someone has suggested there are three stages in life and each last approximately 25 to 30 years. The first stage is dominated by answering the question, “Where do you go to school?’ The second stage is dominated by answering the question, “Where do you work?” The third stage is spent answering the question, “What difference are you making in the world?” Those living in the third stage have the greatest resources of time, knowledge, and financial means they have ever had. Those in the third stage are invited to serve well.

2018 Annual Pledge Form

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Peachtree Road United Methodist Church
Click here to record your 2018 annual pledge.

10.01.17 | Divine Intimacy

Leslie Hugging

The Good Life Sermon Series
Divine Intimacy
Rev. Bill Britt

Worship Bulletin PDF
Worship Service Video

Sunday Photo Gallery

Sermon Podcast
Sermon Video

Have you ever been in a relationship with someone and wanted it to go to a deeper level, but the other person didn’t? Maybe you were in college and wanted the person you were dating to love you and spend the rest of your lives together, but he or she just wasn’t that into you. She respects you. He is polite to you. You remain good friends, but there is no deep sense of intimacy.

Now, imagine the one who wants the intimate relationship is God, and we are the ones who just aren’t that into God. We are polite to God, respectful, and nice. However, there is no intimacy. As a result, we are missing out on “the good life” and not experiencing all of our joy.

This week we are invited to take our cue from the woman we encounter in Luke 7:36-50 and experience intimacy with the Lord. She shows us to develop the kind of relationship that sustains us through all the times of our life.

An Evening with Dan Cathy

An Evening with Dan Cathy

Faithful Steward and Positive Influence with Dan T. Cathy
Tuesday, October 3, 6:00 pm, Grace Hall

Join us for a very special evening as we welcome Dan T. Cathy, CEO and Chairman of Chick-fil-A and the Chick-fil-A Foundation. At the heart of this successful leader is a humility and willingness to lead by example, endearing him to his colleagues and contemporaries. Mr. Cathy will share how experiences can lead to understanding and gratitude, generosity and purpose. We hope you can join us. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

RSVP Here

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Add to Calendar 10/03/2017 06:00 PM 10/03/2017 09:00 PM America/New_York Dan Cathy Join us for a very special evening as we welcome Dan T. Cathy, CEO and Chairman of Chick-fil-A and the Chick-fil-A Foundation. Peachtree Road United Methodist Church Peachtree Road United Methodist Church jillb@prumc.org false MM/DD/YYYY
  • Acolytes

Experience All Your Joy

September 29, 2017

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are doing well. I really am looking forward to Sunday’s worship services as we continue our fall series “The Good Life.” This week we will spend some time thinking together about the topic of “intimacy” Sociologists have discovered the search for intimacy is one of the primary searches of life. Ironically, in our day and time, a great many people run from intimate relationships. Some of those persons even attend churches. They might talk a lot, or they may talk very little. These persons will never allow you to go deep. They live life at the surface. They do not trust others easily. Many have been hurt and are unwilling to trust again. As a result, in the words of the poet Khalil Gibron, they “never experience all of their joy.” This Sunday I am going to talk about helping folks experience “all of their joy” in a message entitled “Divine Intimacy.” I encourage you to read the text for the sermon in advance – Luke 7:36-50.

Sunday also is World Communion Sunday. Christians from around the world will gather at the Lord’s Table to celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Think about that for just a moment. As we extend our hands to receive the bread and drink from the cup, we are joining with Christians from around the world in partaking of the grace of God on this day. We here in Atlanta become a link in a chain that circles the globe. I hope you will make a special effort to be present as we feast at the Lord’s Table.

Of course, as has become our tradition on the first Sunday in October, we will offer a “Blessing of the Animals” service at 5:00 p.m. You are invited to bring your pets to the church for a fun time of worship. This service celebrates the Feast of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals. We will gather in the sanctuary, sing praises to God, and approach the altar with our pets for an individual blessing of each animal. In the past, participants have brought their dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, fish, and birds to receive a blessing. You also may choose to bring photos of your pets if it is difficult for the animal to attend the service (it’s pretty difficult to load up a horse and bring it to church!). I hope you’ll take advantage of this community-wide service. And why not invite a friend to join in the fun?

Let me remind you of two opportunities coming up in the next few days:

Evening with Dan Cathy – we are delighted to welcome Dan Cathy, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Chick-fil-a, to Peachtree Road for an evening of inspiration this Tuesday, October 3, at 6:00 pm in Grace Hall. Dinner will be served at 6:00 pm, and Dan will speak at 7:00 pm. This event is a fund-raiser for our ministry with those living on the Westside. It is not too late to purchase a ticket. You may purchase a table or individual ticket by clicking on this link. I can’t wait to welcome Dan to Peachtree Road and hear his words of encouragement. Please join me for this event sponsored by our Men’s Ministry,

A Just Cause – we are a little over a week away from our first annual “Just Cause” Peachtree Road golf outing. This event, set for Monday, October 9, at the Druid Hills Country Club, will benefit “Our Westside Story,” our church’s ongoing revitalization project with our partners on the Westside. There are a few spots for individuals. If you are interested in participating, we would be delighted to have you join us. To register, please contact our tournament director Ryan Bush at ryan@hkgolfproductions.com.

Finally, let me remind you again of our upcoming Annual Charge Conference. On Tuesday, October 10, at 7:00 pm, our district superintendent Dr. Bernice Kirkland will be present to preside at our annual charge conference in Grace Hall. This year we will welcome the members of St. John UMC as they also participate in their charge conference at the same time. During this brief meeting, we will have the opportunity to share our reports and vote on new leaders for the coming year. You are invited to attend.

Please call on me if I can be of help to you. See you Sunday!

Bill

9.24.17 | Alchohol: Playing with Fire

Ministers in Sanctuary

During this season, we are considering “The Good Life” – those aspects that contribute to it or detract from it. This week, we spent some time thinking about the role alcohol plays in our culture. We asked the question, “Can Methodists drink?” Well, the answer to that question is the answer to another question: “Can Methodists dance?” And the answer is “Some can; some can’t!”

In his letter to the church in Ephesus, the Apostle Paul encouraged followers of Christ “do not get drunk with wine…but be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:15-20)

On the one hand, we affirmed that wine was used by Jesus as a metaphor for the abundant life; and, on the other hand, we acknowledged that temperance historically has been a major emphasis in the Methodist Church. (After all, Thomas Welch, the founder of Welch’s Grape Juice, was a Methodist!)

This message is not about judgment. This is a time for grace. If you think you may have a problem, seek help! Our faith offers an alternative to being drunk with wine – be filled with the Holy Spirit. Let us hear the song of the ages, the one sung by that great cloud of witnesses, encouraging us to live “the good life.”

  • Bill at Pulpit

I Hope to See You

September 22, 2017

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you have had a good week. This Sunday we will continue our fall series entitled “The Good Life,” as we focus upon the topic “Alcohol: Playing with Fire.” During this season we are thinking about those aspects of our lives that either contribute to or hinder our experience of the “good life” in Jesus Christ. You and I know folks who struggle with addiction, and this Sunday we will listen for the voice of the Lord speaking to us through the scriptures as we seek to help all around us live healthy, whole lives.

In addition to the sermon, we will offer a forum at 10:00 am in the Moore Chapel entitled, Real Recovery Experience. We’ll learn how to recognize the signs of addiction and what recovery truly looks like. If you know of someone who has a family member struggling with addiction, please invite them to worship and the forum this week. This promises to an important discussion, and I encourage you to attend.

And one more note about Sunday — the Reinhardt University Concert Choir will be joining us for worship this Sunday for the 11:15 am service. The group from this Methodist-related school in Waleska, Georgia will offer pre-service music and also provide an anthem. So, I invite you to come early, find a seat, and enjoy the beautiful music.

The fall is in full swing, and I share with you several places where you can find me in the coming days:

Groundbreaking for the Murray Cottage — this Sunday afternoon at 2:00 pm, we will celebrate the groundbreaking of a new parsonage for our church at 3201 West Shadowlawn Road. We are indebted to the Stuart and Eulene Murray Foundation for a generous naming gift and the R. Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation for its generous gift to this project. These gifts make the construction of this new home possible, and the Murray Cottage will be used as a parsonage for one of our associate ministers. I will be there and invite you to join us for this brief ceremony in front of the property.

Evening with Dan Cathy — we are delighted to welcome Dan Cathy, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Chick-fil-a, to Peachtree Road for an evening of inspiration on Tuesday, October 3, at 6:00 pm in Grace Hall. Dinner will be served at 6:00 pm, and Dan will speak at 7:00 pm. This event is a fund-raiser for our ministry with those living on the Westside. You may purchase a table or individual ticket by clicking this link. I will be there and hope to see you.

Finally, let me mention three more events on the horizon:

Annual Charge Conference — On Tuesday, October 10, at 7:00 pm, our district superintendent Dr. Bernice Kirkland will be present to preside at our annual charge conference in Grace Hall. This year we will welcome the members of St. John UMC as they also participate in their charge conference at the same time. During this brief meeting, we will have the opportunity to share our reports and vote on new leaders and a couple of financial matters. You are welcome to attend.

First Annual Manfred E. Hoffmann Lecture — For the last twenty years, we have been blessed to have Dr. Manfred Hoffmann as our “Theologian in Residence.” Manfred taught us, cultivated a desire to learn in us, and inspired us to grow in our faith. His death earlier this year has touched us deeply. To honor his memory, we have created a lecture series in his name. The first lecture is occurring on Sunday evening, October 29, 2017, at 6:00 pm for dinner and the lecture. Manfred’s successor on the faculty at Candler School of Theology, Dr. Jonathan Strom, will deliver the address. This is an especially appropriate date as that week we celebrate the 500th anniversary of Luther’s nailing of the 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg. And, as a Lutheran scholar, Dr. Strom is the perfect person to deliver this inaugural lecture. We also hope to have some Reformation artifacts from Candler School of Theology’s Pitt’s Library on display. I hope you will mark the date on your calendar and make your plans to join me as we honor Manfred Hoffmann and grow in our faith. You may reserve your place by following this link.

Civil Rights Heritage Tour — members of Peachtree Road are joining with other Methodists from our community to tour the civil rights sites from Atlanta to Alabama. I invite you to join me on Saturday, March 3, and Sunday, March 4 as we travel from Atlanta to Birmingham to Selma to Montgomery. Together, we will travel by bus to see the places where the history of the movement was lived out and hear from those who lived through the events – the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, “Bloody Sunday” on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, and the site where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery. I would like for at least 25 from Peachtree Road to join me on this tour next year. If you are interested in joining us, please email Jane Ogle to let us know your interest and we will be in touch on next steps for registration.

I am grateful for you and your participation in the ministry of Peachtree Road. Please call on me when you need me. I look forward to seeing you Sunday!

Bill

  • Elizabeth Byrd Hugging

Finding Peace

September 15, 2017

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you doing well. The remnants of Hurricane Irma moved through the metro area earlier this week, and the clean-up process continues. Thank you for your generous giving the last two weeks to relief efforts in Texas and here in the Southeast. Your giving through UMCOR and Buckhead Christian Ministry is providing help to thousands of folks devastated by the hurricanes. If you would like to give toward the relief efforts, you may do so here by selecting “Other” from the Give To drop down menu and typing “BCM – Hurricane Relief” into the Memo field. Also, if you have been affected by the storm and need your church’s help, please let us know.

The fall season got off to a great start last Sunday as we heard incredible music by our Chancel Choir, the Atlanta Brass Works, and soloist Jamie Barton; welcomed 14 new members into our church family; and began our fall programing emphasis on “The Good Life.”

At the close of last week’s services, I shared some exciting news about the future of our church. You may remember that on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, we learned that a family in our church had issued a challenge to the congregation. If we could raise $2 million during 2017 toward the retirement of our debt, that family would match it. Also, if we could raise another $2 million by the end of 2018 toward the retirement of the debt, they would match that as well. Last Sunday I announced that we have received over $1 million toward this effort and also have received several pledges that will be paid in the next few weeks that will put us over the $2 million mark for the year. Last Sunday we celebrated God’s many blessings upon the ministry of Peachtree Road and looked forward to the future with great hope. If you were unable to be present, we missed you and hope you will join us this week.

This Sunday, we will continue our series with a message entitled “Finding Peace in Your Finances.” Certainly, one of the great stressors in life can be financial. Owing money can have a suffocating effect on relationships and often robs us of the peace we seek. In worship we will reflect upon Jesus’ parable of the talents as we seek financial peace in our lives. Speaking of financial peace, Bill O’Shields will offer a crash course on Dave Ramsey’s famous “Financial Peace University” to learn about budgeting, reducing debt, and planning for the future. Bill is an excellent facilitator and his forum will begin at 10:00 am in Heritage Hall. If you know of someone who is struggling in this area, invite them to come to church with you this Sunday.

Let me offer two updates on ongoing projects of the Trustees:

  • New Sound System – over the course of the last six weeks, we have been in transition from the old sound system in the sanctuary, chapel, and narthex to a brand new system. The work is nearly complete, and you should experience a marked improvement in the next week. Thank you for your patience. The purchase of the new system was made possible by the sale of right of way property on Peachtree Road in front of the parking lot across West Shadowlawn.
  • Murray Cottage – groundbreaking for the church’s new parsonage for one of our associate ministers is set to take place on Sunday, September 24, at 2:00 pm. The location is the site of the house the church owns across West Shadowlawn next to the church parking lot. You may see plans for the new house here. This project is being funded by a grant from the Dobbs Foundation, a naming gift from the Murray Foundation, and proceeds from the sale of the church right of way mentioned earlier. You are invited to join us for the groundbreaking a week from this Sunday.

Finally, I do want to remind you that the Dogwood Gift Shop is now open for the season. All of the proceeds from sales go toward Global Missions and help us make a difference in faraway places like Kenya, the nation of Georgia, and Nicaragua. You are invited to drop by the Dogwood Sunday and see all the new items available for purchase. Hours of operation are 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Thank you for your support of Peachtree Road’s ministry. Your prayers on her behalf, your presence in worship, your generous gifts, and the offering of your time in service make all the difference in the world. I look forward to seeing you Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon!

Bill

12.03 | Hope: Miracle on 34th Street

Advent Worship at Peacthree Road

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Hope:  Miracle on 34th Street
Sunday, December 3, 2017

Worship Bulletin PDF
11:15 am Live Webcast

8:45 am
Traditional Worship  |  Bill Britt

9:00 am
Chapel Communion  |  Darren Hensley

11:15 am
Traditional Worship  |  Bill Britt

5:30 pm
The Great Tree Lighting

On This Day

Great Tree Lighting
Sunday, December 3, 5:30 pm, Sanctuary
Join us to begin the Advent season with all of PRUMC’s Children’s and Youth Choirs.  We’ll enjoy favorite carols in a special program and light the great Chrismon Trees in the Sanctuary!  Cap off the eveing with hot cocoa, homemade cookies and live Christmas music from Ridgeview Charter School’s Jazz Ensemble.  Free and open to the public.

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  • Open with Power

PRUMC Opening at Noon

PRUMC has power and will open at noon today – Tuesday, September 12, 2017.

We should be back to a normal schedule by tomorrow and will be sending along highlights and updates in our regular Wednesday e-blast.

Thank you!

09.17.17 | Finding Peace in Your Finances

Bill Shaking Hands

In Sunday’s sermon, we observed that finances can be one of the greatest stressors in our lives. We considered two lessons on the subject from Jesus’ “Parable of the Talents” (Matthew 25):

  1. Remember who God is — not harsh, judgmental, or demanding. Rather, God is generous and forgiving. God is a God of abundance.
  2. Remember who you are – you are a steward of the abundant resources of God.

When you feel the anxiety of financial stress, try this exercise: first, acknowledge to God your anxiety. Pray, “Lord, I am feeling vulnerable right now. Grant me strength and courage for the facing of this time.” Then, second, offer gratitude for something specific in your life: “Lord, I give you thanks for ___.” You will find your prayers of confession and gratitude will transform your anxiety into peace.

  • Sanctuary Ribbons

Everybody Wants to Live It

September 8, 2017

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you doing well. This Sunday marks “Fall Kick-off” here at Peachtree Road. We are set to enjoy special music by internationally acclaimed singer Jamie Barton that promises to stir your spirit. She will sing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and “The Lord’s Prayer.” At both the 8:45 am and 11:15 am services in the sanctuary, we will welcome new members to Peachtree Road as a part of a special joining day. In addition, you are invited to enjoy a hearty breakfast and warm fellowship in Grace Hall from 9:00 am until 11:00 am. We also have an exciting announcement to make at the close of services this week. You will not want to miss hearing the good news as we kick-off the fall.

Our theme for this season is “The Good Life.” In his introductory note to one of the Bible’s most-beloved hymns (I Corinthians 13), the Apostle Paul called it “the more excellent way.” Through the centuries, songs have been composed and books have been written to depict it. The “good life” – everybody wants to live it.

During the coming weeks, we are going to focus upon living well. We will discuss what the Bible says about it and learn how to avoid that which robs us of it. A number of forums have been planned to give us handles of hope and help in living the good life. Here is a preview of what is to come:

September 10 | Genesis 35:9-15 | Integrity: Know Who You Are
September 17 | Luke 19:1-10 | Finding Peace in Your Finances
September 24 | Ephesians 5:15-20 | Alcohol: Playing with Fire
October 1 | I Kings 19:1-11 | Dealing with Depression
October 8 | John 19:25-27 | Aging and Changing Roles
October 15 | Luke 7:36-50 | Divine Intimacy
October 22 | John 10:7-10 | A Life Worth Living

We will begin the series by considering integrity. Some of you are familiar with Ron Greer’s book on integrity entitled If You Know Who You Are, You’ll Know What To Do. I think Ron phrases it perfectly because, in our culture, it is so easy to forget who you are, wander off your path, and answer to a different name. On Sunday we will take a look at the lives of Jacob (who became Israel) and Simon (who became Peter). We will consider how they claimed who God called them to be and experienced what we are calling “the good life.” It will be a good day as at Peachtree Road.

Thank you for your faithfulness in so many ways to the ministry of Peachtree Road. We are set for a wonderful fall season and I hope you will find your place with us!

See you Sunday!

Bill

  • Weather Updates

Weather Schedule Updates

Friday, September 8, 2017
Weather forecast is clear through Sunday.  Check back Sunday evening for delays or closings.

  • Flood Assistance

Harvey Relief

Thanks to your generosity, PRUMC has sent donations in excess of $9,000 as well as $5000 worth of Uzima water filters to support UMCOR’s hurricane relief efforts.  These funds and filters will help those whose lives were devastated by Hurricane Harvey.  PRUMC will continue to receive donations toward sending a team and supplies to Houston in the near future.  Donate here, or contact Anne French at annef@prumc.org.

 

Other Ways to Give

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If you would prefer to mail your gift, please make your check or money order out to Peachtree Road United Methodist Church and mail to:

Peachtree Road United Methodist Church
Attn: Business Office
3180 Peachtree Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30305

PRUMC’s Business Office staff members would be delighted to discuss your giving options or take your gift over the phone.

To reach our Business Office call:

Cecelia O’Flinn at 404.240.8230,
or
Jennifer Baltimore at 404.240.8329.

Does your employer (or your spouse’s employer) have a matching gift program? If so, you can ask your company to match your support for PRUMC. You can double or even triple the value of your donation simply by notifying your employer of your gift.

You may need to provide PRUMC’s Employer Identification Number (EIN) on the form.
That number is 58-0655363.

To make a gift using publicly traded equities, please give your brokerage firm the following information:

Recipients Account Number:   7848 7248
Recipients Tax ID Number:   58-0655363
Brokerage Firm:   Stifel
Brokerage Firm DTC:   0793

Brokerage Firm Contact:
Richard V. McGalliard
mcgalliardr@stifel.com
404.231.6514

PRUMC Contact:
Jennifer Baltimore
Financial Controller

jenniferb@prumc.org
404.240.8329

For year-end tax and gift planning, please note that transfers can sometimes be delayed because of the holiday season. We recommend submitting transfer instructions to your brokerage firm at least two weeks before the end of the year.  Please provide donor names on all transfers.

Legacy giving (also called planned giving) is the act of coordinating your personal, financial, and estate planning goals with your interest in making lifetime and testamentary charitable gifts.  Most planned gifts allow you to continue receiving the benefits of these assets during your lifetime, after which only the remaining value is transferred to a charity.

Testamentary gifts can involve as little as an addendum (bequest) to your will or making a beneficiary designation in a retirement account, trust, or insurance policy.  For more information, please contact your financial and legal advisors or Jennifer Baltimore, Financial Controller at 404-240-8329.

Please remember PRUMC when formulating your estate plans so your legacy of support can help sustain our mission in the future. Also, let us know if you have already created a legacy gift so that we can add your name to our donor list.

A donor-advised fund (DAF) is a charitable giving program that allows you to combine the most favorable tax benefits with the flexibility to support your favorite causes.

DAF Direct enables you to recommend grants to PRUMC directly from your DAF (as long as your DAF’s sponsoring organization is participating).

We gladly accept donations of personal property such as cars, boats, furniture and collections. Please contact Jennifer Baltimore, Financial Controller 404.240.8329 if you are interested in making a large item donation.

At various times of the year, we also collect diapers and other baby needs as well as school supplies and clothing.
We also gratefully accept packaged food items such as:

  • Cold cereal
  • Peanut butter
  • Jellies/jams
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Rice, grits, pasta
  • Canned meats: stew, tuna, salmon, chicken, pork and beans
  • Green canned goods: spinach, turnip greens, and English peas
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Corn
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Breakfast cereal
  • Non-fat dry milk

Shop with AmazonSmile
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support PRUMC every time you shop online, at no cost to you. When you shop at www.amazon.com/smile , you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Peachtree Road United Methodist Church.

Find Us at Amazon Smile

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Kroger Community Rewards
Make Your Kroger Purchases Count by Supporting Peachtree Road UMC with the Community Rewards Program! Register online at krogercommunityrewards.com.  Enter NPO#37551

Kroger Community Rewards

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Georgia Gives Day
Georgia Gives Day is a day of giving specifically for nonprofits in Georgia. The sixth annual Georgia Gives Day will be Thursday, November 16, 2017.  Use the link below to make your donation to Peachtree Road UMC on this day.

PRUMC @ GA Gives

If you have questions about making a contribution, please contact:

Jennifer Baltimore
Financial Controller
404.240.8329

PRUMC is committed to respecting the privacy of donors.  The information you provide when you make a gift will be used by PRUMC for the purpose of correctly allocating, crediting, and acknowledging your gift.

We will not trade, share or sell your personal information to any third party, although on rare occasions, PRUMC may be legally required to disclose information.

We subscribe and adhere to the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Donor Bill of Rights.

09.10.17 | Fall Kickoff: Know Who You Are

Fall Kickoff

In Sunday’s sermon, we spent some time thinking about the importance of knowing who you are. As Ron Greer has observed in his book on integrity, “If you know who you are, you’ll know what to do.” We get into trouble when we forget who we are.

  • The Bible tells us who we are – In Matthew 16, Simon was given a new name (Peter) and told that he was a piece of the “Rock of Ages.” That is who we are as well. Remember that.
  • Jesus also gave Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven – the point of this commission is to unlock heaven’s gates and unleash God’s goodness on earth.

Invitation: In the midst of a tense political climate, episodes of ugly racism and bigotry, and terrible tragedies such as earthquakes and hurricanes, those of us in the church remember who we are and respond by unleashing God’s goodness on earth.