Beside Their Own Pool of Tears

Beside Their Own Pool of Tears

Published May 15, 2024

Just these lines, my friends …

… to say that it was a beautiful day to celebrate our mothers on Sunday. We had a beautiful Mother’s Day Sunday at MUMC (Matthews United Methodist Church). There was extraordinary music all through our morning worship services. Our Children’s and Cherub Choirs who sang in Family Worship received a special surprise from their moms when they stood to sing part of the song back to them. Watch this special gift below! And thank you for digging into the story of Naomi, Orpah, Boaz and Ruth (Ruth 1:15-18) with me. You can worship with us by clicking here.

This past Friday (May 10) was a holy, holy day with the Metro Prom. There were a number of us able to host 16 bus loads of high school-age young people from the Metro School. The school serves approximately 250 students all of whom are cognitively disabled, ranging in age from 3 to 22. Many of the students have severe medical and physical needs; many of the students are in need of total physical care and assistance; and many have other multiple disabilities such as visual impairments, hearing impairments, and autism, in addition to their cognitive challenges. It was a gift for us to dance and serve alongside these wonderful students and their courageous teachers for a few hours at this precious Prom.

And speaking of holy days … the birthday of the Church (the Ecclesia) and the coming of the Holy Spirit, Pentecost, is almost here (May 19).

In preparation for Pentecost, I’ve been reflecting on The Apostle Peter’s Pentecost sermon in Acts 1. It is astonishing, if for no other reason than it’s doubtful this hard-headed fisherman had ever memorized a lick of scripture or taken any public speaking lessons. The crowd present was moved by what they saw and heard…moved enough to believe that God really was up to something new, and they didn’t want to be left out. When they asked what they must do, Peter replied in verses 38-39, “Change your hearts and lives. Each of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is for you, your children, and for all who are far away–as many as the Lord our God invites.”

Barbara Brown Taylor reflects on this moment in her book Bread of Angels. She writes, “I do not believe he [Peter] gave them a three-step prescription to fill. I believe he told them how to prepare for a holy hurricane. ‘Reorient your lives.’ That is the truth of what he told them, knowing full well that was what would happen the moment Jesus came to live in them. Forget everything you ever thought you knew about who is in charge in this world. Get ready to revise all your notions about what makes someone great, or right, or worthy of your attention. If you think you know which way is up, think again.”

The story goes that 3,000 people joined in that Pentecost moment, reorienting their lives and receiving the Holy Spirit in a new and powerful way.

Video Devotional

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional for the week titled, Beside Their Own Pool of Tears. I want to introduce you to a South African pastor who has had a huge influence on my life, Trevor Hudson.

Upcoming Events

Last two sessions:
-Saturday, May 18 at 10:00 am in Room 94 or via Zoom (Meeting ID 913 5626 5970; Passcode: study)
– Sunday, May 19 at 9:30 am in The Commons – Last Chance!

  • May is Mental Health Awareness MonthHope for Minds & Hearts resources.
  • Pentecost and Confirmation Sunday on May 19. Please be sure to wear some red!
  • Graduation Sunday – June 2, 11:00 worship service.

– High School & College/Master/Graduate Degree Graduates deadline to be included in the Graduation Worship bulletin is Monday, May 27. Details
-Scholarship application deadline May 24 at Noon. Details

Summer Worship Series to Begin on June 30

Where do you look for the good life? Do you find it in having a good time? Buying a big house? A new car? Getting the corner office? That next promotion? Enjoying the perfect relationship?

Most of us don’t look for the good life where we should. Rather, deep abiding happiness is found in the most unusual of places. Jesus said you will find it when you are spiritually bankrupt, when you grieve with others, when you are persecuted, or when you work to resolve a conflict.

Now doesn’t that sound crazy. Perhaps, the best way to find the good life is to look where Jesus said it is found. But there’s a warning attached: To look for the good life where Jesus looks is serious business. Such a search is not for the faint of heart.

I hope you’ll join us beginning June 30 in our search for The Good Life … The God Life. Each week our journey will be full of unusual and piercing insights into Jesus’ answer for this age-old quest. We are hopeful you’ll see the Bible verses, most commonly known as the Beatitudes, as fresh and meaningful as they were the day Jesus uttered them. This summer worship series just might change your view of what it means to flourish and challenge you to seek The Good Life … The God Life in all the right places.

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).

Our Spanish-speaking community (CCH) will be celebrating Pentecost as well. Pastor Roldan’s sermon is titled: Let’s Accept that We Need the Holy Spirit from Romans 8:22-27.

It is Confirmation Sunday in all our morning sanctuary services, and Pastor Corey has a special Pentecost message for us, When the Spirit Moves. You can prepare by reading John 14:16-17, 25-27. You’ll remember this is the Sunday when all our worship paraments change to red and clergy transition to red stoles. So, by all means, wear some red!

We will also confirm 26 young people in the work and ministry of MUMC. It will be a high, holy day. Invite someone to come with you to watch a wonderful group of young people make their entrance into the church. It will be moving.

And now, as always, during these strange, uncertain, but hopeful days, 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 Shannon Williams, our church Director of Communications, was a panelist to share about Storytelling That Moves People for leaders attending the Southeast Jurisdiction (SEJ) Association of United Methodist Foundation’s annual meeting on April 29? Matt Garfield from the Western NC Foundation led the panel which also included Dr. Irish Spencer, radio host from 90.1 FM and Dave Mildenberg, editor of Business North Carolina.

Did you know we received a generous grant from the Stuart and Eulene Murray Foundation for $18,500 to help us with our Embracing Disability emphasis during Lent? Our very own Mike Williams is a Trustee with the Foundation. Check out the resources and ways we celebrated the focus “by the numbers” here.

Did you know that the MUMC United Women in Faith (UWF), together with churchwide donations, contributed countless packages of diapers and wipes to support the Alliance Center 4 Education (AC4Ed)? This donation was part of the Metro District UWF Hands-on-Mission Project from the Annual Prayer Breakfast.

Did you know that a new dishwasher has been installed in the kitchen!? User-friendly and able to do loads in a fast and efficient way, we are excited to have the newest edition in our kitchen for all the events that take place on our campus. Many thanks to United Women in Faith (UWF) for making a significant contribution towards this purchase, some of which came from their proceeds from the Bake Sale at the Men’s Pancake Breakfast on May 4th.

Did you know that our community choir, Melody Makers, presented their spring concert in the Sanctuary on Tuesday, May 14? This 50-member choir, which represents approximately 14 area churches, sang a variety of music in their concert, Faith We Sing. From spirituals to hymns to patriotic and Americana, Melody Makers sang to a group of over 200 people from the community which included folks from senior residences, local churches, and family members. Click here to enjoy a recording of the concert!