23rd Sunday after Pentecost | Joash Chest Sunday
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that Sunday was such a special day for us as we remembered the Saints on All Saints Sunday 2022. If you missed being with us, click to online worship here.
This past Monday, I decided to walk the grounds of the old site for Matthews United Methodist on Ames Street in downtown Matthews. It is now Christ Our Shepherd Ministries (COS Kids) and I went by to welcome the new Executive Director, Tomorrow Allen-Collins, to our community. I’m so excited to introduce her to you one day soon. I walked through the buildings, saw the old church offices, remembered where we placed a couple of trailers, pictured confirmands headed off on retreat, pondered Walk Through Bethlehem, weddings, funerals, and even listened for the train to come roaring down the tracks.
In 1993, our congregation on Ames Street moved to a new church site at 801 South Trade Street. There was a parade of people walking through the streets of Matthews to the new site. There was a big ribbon cutting, a celebration with food and fellowship. People were smiling and happy, rejoicing in all the good ways God was at work in and through MUMC.
Over the years, the educational building, gym, The Commons, the house at the corner of Fullwood (Eagle’s Nest) … all were added. For nearly 150 years, the people of Matthews United Methodist have given generously to ensure that the next generation would have a place to worship, grow in discipleship, serve the community, and cultivate lifelong friendships – a place to call home. This was their legacy.
I wish to express my deepest gratitude to past generations of MUMCers who had the foresight, boldness, and courage to dream, not just for themselves but for the sake of Jesus Christ, to build our church. Without their legacy, we could not call MUMC our church home. Without their legacy, we could not serve our beloved Matthews, Mecklenburg and Union County communities. Without their legacy, we would not be a beacon of hope and a place to welcome all those seeking to walk in the Way of Jesus.
Our THANKS! campaign is one of the most important church financial campaigns in recent years. I’m trusting we’ll be motivated to turn in an Estimate of Giving Pledge primarily out of gratitude for what God has given to us, and in recognition that all that we have belongs to God.
- We will submit our Estimate of Giving Pledges for 2023 this Sunday at our one combined worship service at 10:30 am. You may print a card or complete your commitment via our online pledge link. Extra cards are also available at the Welcome Center & Church Office.
- We will record your pledge 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 pledge.
- 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” booklet 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?
Every giving estimate makes a huge difference. May we be faithful and generous. May we be people whose legacy will be worth sharing with future generations. Your act of generosity and gratitude really matters.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday. Make sure you are in your seat by 10:30 am. You do not want to miss the extraordinary music we have planned for the beginning of our time together. Be sure to stick around afterwards for some great food in The Commons and Gym. I am sure you will leave smiling and happy. You might just say it sure is good to be home.
One other thing. Please pray for the peaceful transition of our newly elected officials as we conclude this election cycle. Join me in the following prayer:
Gracious God, as the election concludes
we seek to better understand the issues and concerns that confront
our city, state, and country, and how the will and way of Jesus compels us
to respond as faithful citizens in our community.
Help us and our newly elected officials to discern a path that leads to
greater justice, mercy, and love for ALL.
Help us respect our fellow citizens and see them from
a place of love even when we don’t share the same opinions.
Through Christ, our Lord, we pray. Amen.
Jon Pollack, our Administrative Council Servant Leader, has been sharing letters with the congregation the past few weeks. Below is his latest letter, and you can read previous letters here.
One of the most remarkable success stories at Matthews is about our Age-Level Ministries led by Pastor Corey Milliet. Pastor Corey and her inspirational team had one of the most difficult challenges during Covid, keeping our youth connected and engaged. Our youth yearn for contact and fellowship with their peers and Covid really impacted our ability to help them.
Our Youth Ministry alone is larger than most congregations in our Conference, so this effort was crucial to our church. Also, the youth are only one group of many within our Age-Level Ministries, so keeping many balls in the air was a challenge. Pastor Corey and her team have succeeded through their determination, creativity, and love through building a vibrant ministry to be proud of.
Here are a few examples of their work this year:
- Our Age-Level Trunk or Treat event drew over 1,500 to campus! Kids enjoyed treats, goodies, train rides in the parking lot, food trucks, music and received branded treat bags with a festive pin, light-up necklace and more. Parents were provided with Invitations to our December 4th Community Movie Night, Kids Events & Christmas Eve services.
- Age-Level Ministries welcomed over 350 kids and adults to the 2022 Back to School Carnival, including 20 new families. Kids and families enjoyed inflatables, games, prizes and a cook-out dinner at this free community event.
- Another sponsored event was the Teen-a-Palooza where over 100 youth from MUMC and friends enjoyed games, water slides, obstacle courses, foam pits and lots of treats to eat.
- Age-Level Ministries created and led the first Easter Sunday Family Worship Service opportunity and also sponsored the fellowship time in The Commons where we welcomed over 1,500 folks to our campus. That morning also featured a special Butterfly Release of over 500 butterflies in the Courtyard. People of all ages gathered to release the butterflies they had been caring for. What a beautiful event it was!
- The team updated United Kids & Youth Ministry brand with new visuals that created a more welcoming and hospitable environment for young people coming to our campus. This included new signage, banners, flags, technology, gifts, and volunteer gear. With this new energy and excitement, we encouraged the kids to bring their families to Family Worship on the second Sunday of each month.
- Age-Level Ministries has been intentionally focused on creating a space for families to mingle and engage with one another following the Family Worship using special events. These have included Mothers Day Bouquet making, Donuts for Dads, Palm Sunday Jerusalem Market, mission projects and so much more!!
- The team also hosted 230 kids from 4-years-old through 6th grade during our “Monumental” Vacation Bible School. This was an incredible event where kids discovered that God is AWESOME!
There is so much to celebrate about what is happening with our Age-Level Ministries. Their energy is contagious and their welcoming spirit lifts our entire church. I offer my thanks and gratitude. I hope you will do the same and show your appreciation for the work they are and continue to do with love.
All of this would not be possible without your financial and emotional support. As we enter our season of financial commitment, please consider what you can do to support all the worthy ministries at MUMC. Thanks for listening and answering the call.
Humbly Yours ,
Administrative Council Servant Leader
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional for the week titled, All Out and All In.
Community Thanksgiving Service
I hope you’ll make every effort to join us on Sunday, November 20 at 6:00 pm at Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist. It will be a beautiful evening of Thanksgiving worship as we join our friends from Mt. Moriah, Matthews First Baptist and Matthews Presbyterian. Let’s make sure we fill the Sanctuary of Mt. Moriah with Methodists.
Christmas Worship Series to Begin on November 20
With breathless excitement the author of I John wrote, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim as the Word of life.” (I John 1:1)
The above words focus on our senses and provide the trajectory for Sunday morning Christmas season focus. As you can imagine, this will be a sense-sational Christmas. Through a series of six messages, we’ll explore the unique paths to the Christ child our senses can provide. Welcome to the feast!
You can dig a bit more into our Christmas worship series by clicking here.
This Sunday in Worship
We invite you this Sunday to one worship service at 10:30 am in-person or online. Adult Classes meet at 9:15, Nursery available for Kids 3 & under from 10-12 pm, NO Kids or Youth small groups.
This Sunday, our Fall Worship Series, A Life Worth Living, reaches its high mark with an opportunity for each of us to say THANKS! Let’s all join together, as we look deep into Luke 17:11-19. The title of my sermon is, The Grace in Gratitude.
And now, as always, during these strange, uncertain, and yet, hopeful days, remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.
We are the church, together,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know that a team from MUMC joined other friends in Lumberton, NC and repaired homes damaged from flooding? Your gifts to Global Impact helped buy building materials for this work. Thank you for your gifts and thanks to this team for their dedication and hard work!
Did you know that The Males Place, a Global Impact partner, celebrated the blessing of the harvest on October 22? The Males Place provides life skills and other help to 12-18-year-olds so they develop into responsible adults.