24th Sunday after Pentecost | All Saints Sunday
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that a lot has been going on this past week: people on a work and repair mission in Newnan, GA; men serving at the Charlotte Rescue Mission; Super-Hero Family Night on Friday; Administrative Council leaders participating in the Racial Wealth Gap Simulation designed by Bread for the World; a good group participating in our MAGI Spiritual Gifts Workshop; our first 5th Sunday Fellowship with friends from Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist, men serving at the Charlotte Rescue Mission, and so much more. The last seven days have been filled with God’s people reaching, teaching, praising and serving.
Worship on Sunday touched me deeply. The morning included John Woodall and the Praise Band; the Joyful Ringers under the direction of Kathy White; the Children’s Chime Choir under the direction of Tina Fincher and Karen Price; an moving testimony from Hunter/Paige Ross; Kathy White on the organ and piano; Charlene Bush and Eric White in the reading of Holy Scripture; a poignant pastoral prayer from Pastor Brad; and the Sanctuary Choir under the direction of Craig Estep offering the anthem, I’m Trying to be Like Jesus. The anthem included a stunningly simple summary of how we follow Jesus: Love one another as Jesus loves you. Try to show kindness in all that you do. Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought, for these are the things Jesus taught. Don’t you feel grateful to be a part of a church where so many share their gifts in worship? You can watch and be inspired here.
By the way, we are moving toward the culmination of our season Engage in Generosity, a four-week emphasis within our fall worship series, Engage. On Sunday, November 14 we are planning for one service at 10:30 am to unite all our Sunday worshipping congregations.
During these days you should receive your generosity/stewardship materials for 2022 in the mail. The materials include a 2022 Commitment Card with a letter from me and a reminder to bring your commitment to worship on November 14 at 10:30 am. You may also print a card or complete your commitment via our online pledge link.
- If you are unable to attend worship on November 14, we will place your mailed or online commitment in the Joash Chest. Also, the Chest will also be open on November 21 & 28 for placing your commitments.
- This year, we will record your commitment in our records, and then they will remain (sealed in an envelope) in the Joash Chest until we mail them back to you later next year as a reminder of your commitment.
- Did you know that you can schedule recurring payments from your bank account or credit card? Visit give.matthewsumc.org to set this up.
- Please review this “Frequently Asked Questions” tool that could be helpful to you and yours as generosity decisions are made in the days ahead. It includes questions like the following: Why did Jesus link our spiritual life so closely to financial matters? According to the Bible, how am I to give? Are the members and attendees of MUMC expected to make financial commitments?
If you have never submitted a pledge, we encourage you to do so for the first time. If you have submitted a pledge in years past, thank you!
I love you and can’t wait to see you on Sunday!
Also this past week, I (along with Fred & Amy DeVore and Scott Putnam) joined almost 800 United Methodists from across the U.S. for a few days in Kansas City. One-hundred fifty were young clergy and the remainder were pastors and laity from large United Methodist churches – most from the Southeast and South-Central parts of our country. The conference left me feeling more hopeful about The United Methodist Church than I’ve been in a long time.
Our country and our churches feel very divided, but it was encouraging to hear about all the things we value about being in our church together. When asked, “What do you most value about The United Methodist Church?” the top five responses were:
- Emphasis on God’s grace at work in our daily lives.
- Passionate faith in Jesus Christ lived out in serving others.
- A theology shaped by Holy Scripture interpreted with the aid of our tradition, experience, and reason.
- A church that reaches out to and welcomes everyone.
- A church for thinking people who wrestle with God’s word actively at work through our lives.
We talked about how the last few years has been so difficult in the church and in our personal lives through the pandemic. We shared insights about how our churches could experience a future with a hope. It was community at its best. John Wesley, the founder of our Methodist movement, called it Christian Conference. Wesley described conference as conversations infused with grace and seasoned with salt.
Part of the reason I’m filled with so much hope is this was not a political gathering. One pastor said, “It was not a time to talk about what upsets us or where we might disagree with others. It was a time to worship, pray, and reconsider the power of Christ’s love and what brings vitality to The United Methodist Church.”
I also hope you’ll click here & take a few minutes to watch my “A Good Investment” devotional for today.
This Sunday in Worship
We invite you to join us this Sunday in person or online at 8:15 am (traditional – in person only), 9:30 am (contemporary), 11:00 am (traditional) or 12:30 (Spanish – in person only).
In our Spanish-speaking CCH community, Pastor Roldan continues in the series, An Effective Stewardship. This Sunday he will be preaching about the first Joash Chest from II Chronicles 24:4-11. His sermon title: A Commitment to Quality.
This Sunday in all our morning worship services, we will join with Christians around the world in remembering the saints we have loved and lost. In our faith we trust that they are still surrounding us with their loving presence as the great cloud of witnesses. I hope you will make plans to join us in worship for our All Saints Sunday services as we celebrate the love we continue to share with those who have gone before us.
My sermon for Sunday is titled Engage in the Future from I John 3:1-3. In addition, we will honor the Saints, be moved by stirring music, share in Holy Communion, and hear/see a beautiful witness from Abbie and Greg Mangum.
Finally, if you find yourself disillusioned by the craziness of the last 18 months, then you will find in our transforming community of faith called Matthews United Methodist the steady reliability of the one thing that is ultimately always true: the faithful love and grace of God, given to us in Jesus Christ. And at the end of the day, and now more than ever, it is still good to be the church … it is good to be Matthews United Methodist Church.
And now, as always, during these strange, uncertain, tumultuous, perilous, and hopeful days of pandemic remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.
We are in this … together,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Read below some of the amazing, thoughtful, inspiring reasons why our families support the life and ministry of Matthews United Methodist:
- “We give to MUMC because we believe in giving 10% back to God who has blessed us ..we give because of people like you, Paul, Brad and so many others who give their hearts and their gifts for all of us at MUMC…and who reach out to others so they may know the love of Jesus in their lives…we are so thankful for all you do and feel so blessed to have found a place to worship God and have the wonderful fellowship with others.” – John & Pam Edwards
- “We engage in generosity in and through Matthews United Methodist because it’s what we do! We have been richly blessed and through our giving and support of MUMC outreach programs are able to pass blessings to others in the community, our country, and around the world.” – Roy & Pam Harrington
- “We engage in generosity in and through Matthews United Methodist because giving generously is God’s plan for us to experience true joy while spreading the gospel to all people.” – Howard & Karen Price
- “We engage in generosity in and through Matthews United Methodist because…
1) we want to be obedient to God’s instructions to give our first fruits to him, spread the Good News, and help those in need;
2) we are grateful for the blessings and abilities he has given us and want to give back and share those with others;
3) we draw personal satisfaction from serving in ways that demonstrate Christ’s love for every person; and
4) being obedient, expressing gratitude through more than just words, and serving others keeps us grounded in what is truly important in life and helps us resist the earthly attitudes of selfishness, pride, judgement, and grumbling.” – Robert & Katrina Larrison