Work for Unity in Christ

March 4, 2022

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are well. Earlier this week we began our Lenten journey. “Journey” seems like the right word, doesn’t it? No doubt you have the sense that following Jesus is full of twists and turns, peaks and valleys. We often cannot see around the next turn; but, just as Jesus trusted in his Heavenly Father to be with him on his journey to the cross, we trust that the one who is “the way and the truth and the life” is with us on our journey through the season of Lent.

Over the course of the next six weeks, we will travel with Jesus on his way to Jerusalem. We will experience with him the refreshing waters of baptism and the inspiring views from the mountaintop as well as encounters with temptation in the wilderness and a night spent wrestling in prayer. I hope you will join us each week on the journey as we follow Jesus and seek his grace.

March 6 | Matthew 3:13-17 | Through the Waters of Baptism
March 13 | Matthew 4:1-11 | Into the Wilderness of Temptation
March 20 | Matthew 5:1-16 | Onto the Mountaintop of Teaching
March 27 | Matthew 6:1-18 | Through the Valley of Prayer
April 3 | Matthew 8:14-27 | Entering the Home for Healing
April 10 | Matthew 26:36-46 | Into a Night of Agonizing Prayer

This first Sunday in Lent we will follow Jesus to the Jordan River and consider what it means to be baptized. I encourage you to read Matthew 3:13-17 in preparation for the message and consider the question, “Why do you think Jesus was baptized?” I look forward to seeing you in worship this Sunday at one of our services: 8:45 am, 10:00 am, or 11:15 am. If you are unable to make it in person, please join us online for the Livestream of one of the services here.

Speaking of Sunday, the Family Builders Sunday School Class is sponsoring a Mental Wellness Forum this Sunday, March 6, at 10:00 am in Heritage Hall, and you are invited. Noted mental health advocate, author, and Atlanta attorney Lynn Garson will be the featured speaker, and she will describe her journey from major clinical depression and thoughts of suicide to recovery, as well as caregiving insight and hope for the future. This event is co-sponsored by the One Lamb Initiative, a ministry of our church focused upon addressing the issue of mental health in our community.

In my sermon last week, I invited members of our church to participate in something called the “John Wesley Great Experiment” during the season of Lent:

  • Pray daily for 30 minutes during this season
  • Be present for worship each of the next 6 Sundays
  • Give the Lord 10% of the money you make during these six weeks
  • Perform at least one act of kindness for others each week during Lent

We often talk about Lent as that time of spiritual preparation that brings our lives in tune with the Spirit of Christ. I would hope that the practices mentioned above would bring you to what the Celtic people call a “thin place” where the boundary between heaven and earth is so thin that you literally can see clearly the glory of God. I hope you will give this “experiment” a try during these 40 days to see what God can do in you and through you.

Here are several other opportunities the church is providing in the coming days:

  • Habitat for Humanity Project – you may be aware that our church is partnering with Habitat for Humanity to build a home for Atlanta educator Tiffany Barron and her daughter. Teams from the church are working each Saturday until April 30, from 7:30 am until 3:30 pm. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old and provide proof of vaccination. Contact Beth Spencer (beths@prumc.org) to sign up or get more information.
  • Season of Service – each year, during the season of Lent, we are pleased to offer meaningful opportunities for persons of all ages and abilities to reach out and make a difference in the lives of others. Just like the ripples on a pond created when a stone hits the water, your service will have a far-reaching impact on our community. Join us once again to help others in a Season of Service. For more information, refer to the following link: https://peachtreeroadumc.ccbchurch.com.
  • Have you registered for Connect-PRUMC yet? We are hoping that an overwhelming majority of our folks will sign up, and over 1100 of you have. It is important that we get as many of us connected as possible. Please help us get you fully integrated into this new digital community of our church by accomplishing these two simple tasks:
  1. Upload a photo of yourself and update your contact information
  2. Review your privacy settings

Written instructions to help you with these can be downloaded here. For further assistance, you may contact Lisa Huni at connect@prumc.org or 404.240.8223.

Finally, let me share some late-breaking news concerning the twice-postponed 2020 General Conference of the United Methodist Church. Yesterday, it was announced thatthe General Conference scheduled for later this year in Minneapolis, Minnesota has been postponed until 2024. There are a number of reasons for the cancellation including access to COVID vaccines for some delegates and the ability to procure visas to travel to the United States for others. What this means is that our denomination will continue to operate under the guidance of the 2016 United Methodist Book of Discipline. We here at Peachtree Road UMC will continue to abide by the Discipline and work for unity in Christ as we seek to fulfill our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. I will have more to say about our path into the future at a later time, but I wanted you to know about this development.

Thank you for making the commitment to follow Christ. I hope to see you in person this Sunday in worship.

Grace and peace,

Bill

PS – Please continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. If you would like to offer financial support to those who are caring for the refugees, please make your check payable to “Peachtree Road UMC “and mark it for “Ukraine Relief.” You also may give online here. Thank you for your help.

Leave your comment

Please enter your name.
Please enter comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.