February 24, 2023 

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope you are well. Earlier this week we began our journey through Lent with our Ash Wednesday services and entered a season of fasting and prayer. Several of you have asked me if I was serious last Sunday when I suggested we make each Friday in this season a day of fasting and prayer. Well, yeah, I was serious about that. Jesus fasted and prayed in the wilderness for forty days before launching his ministry of preaching, teaching, and healing. John Wesley insisted that the early Methodists devote themselves to fasting and prayer by fasting from sundown on Thursday until after 3:00 pm on Friday. These are spiritual disciplines that have enabled Christians to quiet the noise that surrounds them and become aware of the presence of God in their midst. So, yes, I am recommending these disciplines to each member of Peachtree Road UMC for this season.  

Lent is that time in which we reflect upon Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem and death upon the cross. Our theme for this season is “The Sound of Silence,” and each Sunday we will reflect upon what it means to quiet our hearts and to listen for the still small voice of the Lord. I hope you will join us each week on the journey as we seek God’s grace. 
February 26 | Psalm 131 | Be Still, My Soul
March 5 | Isaiah 6:1-8 | Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
March 12 | Jeremiah 9:23-24 | Be Thou My Vision
March 19 | Exodus 17:1-7 | Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
March 26 | Matthew 11:28-30 I Need Thee Every Hour
April 2 | Mark 15:33-39 | When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
This first Sunday in Lent we will consider the words of the psalmist:

“…I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother…”

Do you sometimes find yourself worrying about things that are beyond your comprehension? Do you lie in bed with your mind racing to the point where you cannot fall asleep? On Sunday we’ll talk about a perspective on life that may help you to be still and grow your faith. 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 at www.prumc.org

This week we will wrap up our annual Sponsor a Child effort that began last week. Your giving through the years has helped break the cycle of generational poverty in the country of Georgia and support a program designed to provide year-round food, medical care, and educational opportunities for 300+ children. Your gift of just $1 a day ($365 for the year) gives hope to a child living in the poorest, rural areas of that country. You will have the opportunity to hear a word of gratitude from Tamuna Grigolia, our partner in Georgia, on Sunday. She also will offer a forum at 10:00 am to talk about current events in the region and how they are coping with the recent invasion of Russia into Ukraine. You may discover more information here and sign up to sponsor a child here.  During this holy season of Lent, we as a congregation are engaging in several spiritual disciplines: 
Fasting – our congregation will follow the Wesley Fast during this season by fasting each week from Thursday evening until Friday afternoon after 3:00 pm. John Wesley advocated fasting to the early Methodists as a way of remembering our identity. Food does not sustain us. God sustains us. I encourage you to join us in this fast.
Praying – we also will participate in an intentional time of prayer during this season. We encourage you to join us in regular prayer as we silence the noise around us, quiet our spirits, and grow deeper in our relationship with Christ. Let us pray fervently in these 40 days. 
Giving – once again this year our special giving through the Lenten Offering will be used to support the agencies and ministries in the Greater Atlanta area with whom we partner. As you give up a couple of meals each week, consider giving the money you will save to this offering.
Serving – our “Season of Service” is a great way to serve others and make an impact in our community. I hope you will join us in this year’s emphasis under the title “Together We Serve.” You may find a list of projects and sign up here.
Finally, let me issue one last call to join us later this year on a “Journeys of Paul Cruise” to Turkey and Greece. Jamie Jenkins and I will be leading a trip tracing Paul’s 2nd and 3rd missionary journeys this fall (October 20-30), and we have just a few cabins left! Join us aboard the Azamara Onward for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the land of Paul with other United Methodists. The online brochure is here. For more information, please contact Jamie Jenkins at jamiej@prumc.org

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

Grace and peace,