A Lover’s Quarrel

A Lover’s Quarrel

Published August 30, 2023

14th Sunday after Pentecost
Just these lines, my friends …

… to say that Sunday was such a special day: music that moves me week after week (I simply cannot get enough of it), the sacred baptismal renewal for Johnny Clevers, all the students and teachers with the blessing of the backpacks, and Pastor Corey’s outstanding message. My Lord, what a morning!

I had the privilege of walking the halls on Sunday. It was so encouraging to see them teeming with activity. Also, I had the privilege of leading a healing service in our Chapel.

I’m so excited about the good number of you who have already signed up for my Wednesday evening Fall study, The Good and Beautiful Life, by James Bryan Smith. Smith says, “We have bought into false nations of happiness and success. These self-centered decisions lead us further into the vices that cause ruin: anger, lust, lying, worry and judging.” He continues, “Eventually we find ourselves living in a beautifully packaged life of self-destruction.” Following the Sermon on the Mount we’ll look behind these character notions and replace our false beliefs with Jesus’ narratives about life in the kingdom of God. Join me on Wednesday evenings (September 13 through November 15) from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm in The Commons. There is also an online option on Tuesday evenings led by Connor Johnson. You can sign up by clicking here.

Speaking of Jesus and his Sermon on the Mount, you know he said and did a lot of things that were surprising, things that nobody expected him to say or do.

  • Jesus turned water into wine. Nobody expected it. Nobody complained about that one.
  • Jesus walked on water.
  • Jesus raised people from the dead.
  • Jesus transformed the religious rules of the day. That one made people real mad.

It seems that Jesus had a lover’s quarrel with religious rules of his day. The way of religion, the way of the Pharisees, was one of coercion. But with the grace of Jesus, you move toward it and you’re drawn to it because it compels you, which means there are things you put down and move away from, but not because you’re forced to, but because you want to. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me–watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” MSG

What an invitation! What steps are you taking towards Jesus this week?

Lay Servant Training

Did you know this about Pastor Jenny Savage?

“Many years before I became a Licensed Local Pastor, I attended leadership courses in my late 30’s held by the Western NC Conference (Metro District) of The United Methodist Church. Lay Servant Ministry training introduced me to a diverse population of people in Charlotte that wanted to follow God’s call on their lives. The classes sparked a fire in my heart to serve Christ through teaching the scriptures in Sunday school for many years. God’s calling deepened as the seasons of my life changed.

I retired from a 25-year career and for 9 years, quietly heard God calling me to trust Him, yet I resisted because I didn’t feel qualified to take the next step. Classes offered by The United Methodist Church did the equipping, and I am now a licensed local pastor at the age of 60. I believe, God knew me better than I knew myself by placing me in hospitality and welcome here at Matthews UMC.”

So, whether you are 30, 50, or 70, you may have a calling to serve God in a deeper and more meaningful way. I hope you’ll consider exploring the Lay Servant basic training course to see where God is leading you in this season of life!”

Lay Servant Training is a leadership development program in The United Methodist Church focused on equipping and empowering laypersons who have responded to the call of God to serve in mission and ministry. If God is calling you to develop and engage more in ministry, please click here to learn more or reach out to Rev. Jenny Savage (704-815-1917) or Kim Layton (704-815-1913). The registration deadline is September 6th.

A Note from Greg Klein & the Finance Committee

Did you know that the IRS has a program that can help lower taxes for seniors? This program is the Qualified Charitable Distribution. It allows seniors who are over 70 ½ years old to make charitable contributions directly from a taxable IRA, by using a portion of their Required Minimum Distribution. This may keep some people from being pushed into a higher income tax bracket. There are some limitations, so talk to your tax professional to see if you would benefit from this type of giving. It’s always good when the IRS can help make us Cheerful Givers!

Upcoming Events

  • Lemonade Outreach at Matthews Alive: This Saturday, September 2. Click here to learn more & volunteer.
  • Explore Church Membership at Meet the Pastors: Sunday, September 3, 3:00-4:30 pm. Membership classes (A Disciple’s Path) Sundays, Sept 17 – Oct 5, 8-9:15 pm. Register here.
  • Teen-A-Palooza: Sunday, September 10, 5:00-7:30 pm. All the info here!
  • New Studies starting soon: Singles in Scripture, Faithful & Inclusive, The Good and Beautiful Life (In Person & Intergenerational Online Study), Luke: Gut-Level Compassion, and The Anxiety Opportunity. View all opportunities.

This Sunday in Worship

We invite you to join us this Sunday at 8:15 am (Traditional; in person only), 9:30 am (Contemporary; in person or online here), 11:00 am (Traditional; in person or online here) or 12:30 (Spanish; in person or on demand here).

In our Spanish-speaking CCH community, Pastor Roldan will be starting a new worship series, Maintaining Family Unity and Sanity. He will be preaching from Deuteronomy 6:1-9 and his sermon is titled, Let’s Take Care of our Spiritual Health.

I will be away on Sunday with all the Wilson family at our annual Labor Day gathering on Lake Oconee in Georgia with two other families we’ve known since our children were small. Karen and I will be holding you close in our hearts.

Pastor Paul will be your preacher for Sunday. His sermon is titled, Encounter at the Border from Matthew 15:21-28. Paul prepares us for Sunday by saying, “The encounter between Jesus and the Canaanite woman who begs for her daughter to be healed reminds us that at all of life’s borders, our determination to act in a Christlike way is often tested and may be difficult but is always possible.”

And now, as always, during these strange, uncertain, and hopeful days of pandemic remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.

We are better … together,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II

Did you know that the Family Covenant Sunday School Class helped cut 5000 mesh bags for our upcoming Potato Drop sponsored by Global Impact? This will help us distribute 42,000 lbs of potatoes to neighbors who need food. THANK YOU, Family Covenant Class!

Did you know the Metro District United Women in Faith gathered on Saturday, August 26, in The Commons and Sanctuary of our church for their annual celebration? Our very own Rev. Corey Milliet was the speaker for the morning. She was joined by John Woodall, our Director of Contemporary Worship and Maggie Fraser, one of our outstanding high school seniors sharing in music. Thank you to our own United Women in Faith for their preparations for this lovely morning. Also, thank you to the United Methodist Men for preparing a delicious breakfast before the event! Click here to view the program.

Did you know that MUMC is a proud sponsor of the Town of Matthews monthly Beats ‘n Bites in Stumptown Park? Hundreds gathered for music and fun on Friday night, and the Global Impact Team offered hospitality and fun fans on a hot and humid evening.

Did you know that Home2Home Ministries, a Global Impact partner, filled the apartment for a Hindu family that had nothing? Their apartment is now full of furniture and bedding! Earl Coggins said, “This never gets old!” Thanks for supporting Global Impact, where 100% of every dollar goes outside the walls of MUMC.