4th Sunday in Lent
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that it was a rainy, gloomy Sunday, but for those participating in worship on Sunday, the Spirit was strong: country music artist Sara Kelly in Family Worship, music from the Sanctuary Choir, the Praise Band featuring Maggie Fraser, Steven Beaver on the trombone and Kathy White on the piano, Katrina Larrison and Darlene Prestbo reading scripture, and how about our acolytes at 11 am, Will Wallace and Joshua Deyton! What a day! If you missed being with us, you can watch here.
Families attending our Family Worship service on Sunday enjoyed beautiful worship songs led by country music artist Sara Kelly. Sara was such an inspiration and stayed after the service to chat with kids about her music and her faith!
Karen and I are headed this week with 40 folks from Matthews United Methodist, Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist, etc. to Montgomery, Alabama. We’ll be immersing ourselves for four days in the history of civil rights in this country. We’ll be visiting Selma, the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the Rosa Parks Museum, The Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, the Equal Justice Initiative, the Legacy Museum, and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and so much more. Please hold us close in your prayers.
My trip to Alabama prompted a text the other day from a distant cousin who lives in LA (lower Alabama) saying, “It’s been a long time, and I saw you were coming to Alabama and thought we might could meet up! I know you’re probably busy, but don’t forget – you got some fam here!”
Connecting with family is a beautiful gift. Having two of our grandchildren this past weekend was a beautiful gift. Grandpa (Karen’s dad) living with us is a beautiful gift. Going to lunch with my youngest daughter most every Thursday is a beautiful gift. FaceTime with all our children and grandchildren is a beautiful gift.
One of my favorite parts of Sunday worship is when we celebrate how Matthews United Methodist Church (MUMC) extends far beyond the walls of the building. Livestream worship and concerts, online membership classes, Adult Education and Bible study have created a space for those we might just call our “far-flung sheep,” members and friends (Colorado, New York, South Africa, Waxhaw, Huntersville, etc.) of MUMC who are seasoning their own corners of God’s world. These folks are beautiful gifts to us as well.
May we never, ever forget — we got fam here at MUMC!
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional for the week titled: Blind Spots.
Update on Postponement of The United Methodist Church General Conference and Protocol
Our MUMC General Conference Team continues to keep up with current information concerning the next UMC General Conference (April 2024, Charlotte, NC) and questions people are having during this time. Over the past year The UMC has compiled and regularly updated a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) concerning these issues. The most current update (Is the United Methodist Church REALLY…?), MUMC FAQs and other important information concerning these issues can be found on our MUMC website by clicking here.
Should you have any questions or concerns about these issues facing MUMC, we would like to hear from you. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Labyrinth and You on March 26
On Sunday morning March 26, we will have a labyrinth set up in the gym for anyone who would like to spend some time experiencing the spiritual practice of walking reflection and meditation. A Labyrinth is an ancient spiritual practice dating back more than 4,000 years. It is used to provide times of reflection while walking. It is a tool for personal and spiritual transformation.
In the Christian life, the labyrinth’s meaning is that life’s journey is challenging, filled with highs & lows, ups & downs and when one feels lost along their path, salvation is at the center with Jesus. There are more than 5,000 labyrinths currently around the world. You may find them in spaces like parks, churches, sanctuaries for healing and hospital gardens. The one I’m most familiar with is adjacent to the Chapel at Lake Junaluska, our United Methodist Conference Center west of Asheville. I spent my 10 years in the mountains walking it regularly.
This Sunday in Worship
We invite you to join 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 continues the study on The Lord’s Prayer: Let’s Follow the Pattern. He will be preaching from Matthew 6:10-11, and his sermon title: Giving Up Control.
In our morning Sanctuary services, Pastor Paul will continue our all-church series on The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:7-13). The phrase of the prayer we are exploring is, “Forgive … as we forgive.” Paul says, “This week we will be considering the connection Jesus makes in the Lord’s Prayer of asking God for “our daily bread,” to sustain our physical life with God’s expectation that we forgive others as we have been forgiven, which sustains our spiritual life.”
Don’t miss Grace Exchange this Sunday at 10:30 am in Room 158! Learn about the Unification Church from retired minister, Dr. Luonne Abram Rouse, American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) National Chairman and retired United Methodist Minister. Contact Kim Layton for more info.
Remember to invite someone to church or reach out to someone you have not seen in a while. There is power in an invitation, and you never know who might want to take a walk with Jesus this Lent. It will be good to be together.
And now, as always, during these uncertain and yet, hopeful days, remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Download our REALM Connect App (click this link from your smart phone or device) for Mobile Check-In for Worship & Groups, Church Directory, Event Registration, Serving, Group Communication & More! Sign In, Sign Up & Instructions at MatthewsUMC.org/Realm
Did you know 34 people attended the Hospitality Volunteer Lunch and Learn this past Sunday of which 10 were new members? Yes, new members are becoming active and supporting the Sunday morning worship services!
Did you know the Hope for Minds and Hearts Mental Health Ministry just received a $2500 grant from Partners in Health and Wholeness? They are busy getting plans together to offer more opportunities for the community regarding mental health & wellness. Watch for details about their lunch and learn event coming on May 7th with Dr Daniel Hale.
Did you know that Cameron (Cammy) Wilson earned a Gold Medal in ice skating at the Southeastern Regionals of Special Olympics in Alabama this past weekend? Cammy is a member of Rainbow Express Ministries, serves as an usher at worship, and is active in the Matthews community. Congratulations, Cammy!
Did you know that we are BACK doing construction work in Lumberton? We are repairing damaged homes, tools are provided, we just need YOUR help. Our first day trip is Saturday, April 1 and we leave the church at 6:30am and return by 7:30pm. Bring your own food and cooler, water is provided. Men and women are WELCOME!! Click here to learn all the details.