Check the Stuffing

Check the Stuffing

Published July 10, 2024

8th Sunday after Pentecost
Just these lines, my friends …

… to say that these summer days are rolling along: mission trips, Music & Arts Camp, 4th of July week, summer worship looking at the Sermon on the Mount, and now this week: the 29th edition of Rainbow Express Camp.

This past Sunday, we continued into week two of our summer worship series, The Good Life … The God Life from Matthew 5:1-12. We took a deep dive into v. 3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” I hope you will click here if you missed worshipping with us.

I’m using Vanderbilt Divinity School professor Amy-Jill Levine’s book, Sermon on the Mount, to help me prepare. She tells the story of a pastor friend who speaks “of the poor in spirit as those who recognize the gap between what we have and what we should have. We may have a bank account, but we may not have compassion, generosity, or love. We may have a watertight home, health care, and a car that works, but we may also have neighbors who struggle with paying the rent, putting food on the table, or getting to work. The poor in spirit are those who see what many don’t, and they are blessed because they have this vision and because the vision compels them to act.” She concludes by saying, “Mind the gap.” MUMC … let’s “mind the gap” as well.

On Sunday, at the 11 am worship hour, I introduced a number of persons who are making their way to be a part of MUMC from a sister church, Wesley UMC on Rea Road. Wesley has had to make the excruciating decision to close their doors due to the inability to sustain ministry life. This brings enormous heartbreak to these friends. We are more than delighted they are coming our way, but sensitive to the grief they are experiencing. Be on the lookout for them and welcome them wholeheartedly into our midst.

As I mentioned earlier, this is Rainbow Express Camp Week. We are profoundly grateful for our deep-level partnership of so many years with Rainbow Express Ministries. This Youth Ministry-sponsored weeklong camp is held in conjunction with Rainbow Express Ministries, and year after year MUMC happily offers our facility, staff and volunteers. Rainbow Express Ministries, led by Laurie Little (who was our Director of Youth Ministries for 25 years), offers Feast With Friends, WillBeans Coffee, Young Adult Groups and so much more. It is a beautiful community offering children and young adults (with and without disabilities) opportunities to share their gifts, to build friendships and to serve others, rooted in the abounding love of God.


2024 Capital Campaign & Questions We Hear You Asking

In case you missed the announcement regarding the feasibility study survey results and background that led to the unanimous Charge Conference vote to move forward with a 2024 Capital Campaign, please click to read the complete details. We appreciate all the feedback, questions and ideas received during the feasibility study process. Please tune in over the coming weeks as we feature answers to your questions or click on the FAQ document for an updated list.

Q. Why add a lift vs. a ramp? (#1 most frequently asked)

The architect guided this process and suggested a lift for our space based on the elevation rise needed to accommodate ADA standards. Unfortunately, the ramp would be so long that it would be obtrusive in the footprint available.

In addition, previous to our work with the architect, Rachel Ladnier from Rainbow Express Ministries visited our space to provide her first-hand experience with a wheelchair. After understanding the architectural challenges around the ramp, she then shared that the better option would be a lift. Rachel’s mother was on Calvary’s building committee and also suggested the lift for their renovations. Staff from MUMC visited Calvary with our architect who was also responsible for Calvary’s renovations. Laurie Little was later consulted, and after discussion with staff about the challenges with a ramp pointed out by the architect, she agreed the lift would be a more practical option.

The Building/Construction Committee is revisiting this subject with the architect. We will share as there are more details.

Q. Will the altar table be on wheels/castors for ease of movement?

Currently, there are sliders on the feet of the altar table, and with new smoother floor it will be much easier to move the table.

Q. Will the new composite floor handle the weight requirements?

It will be the responsibility of the architect to ensure the choices made will meet weight requirement needs.


Wednesday Devotional

Peter Marshall once said, “What you are stuffed with, you eventually become full of.” Decades later, I consider this to be among the wisest one-liners I have ever heard or read. I hope you’ll take a watch at my devotional this week, titled Check the Stuffing.


Signs of Hope in 2024

Each week in our Management Community (Paul Craig, Corey Milliet, Roldan Flores, Beth Lynn, Debbie Fitts, Craig Estep, Shannon Williams, Chuck Wilson) meeting, I ask our staff community leaders to share any signs of hope they may have seen or experienced during the past week. I hope you’ll click here and see what we’ve come up with for the first six months of the year.

Upcoming Events

  • Beatitudes Women’s Small Group – Starting July 11. Delve deeper into our summer series with a Thursday morning small group! Register
  • Check your Voter Registration so you’ll know when/where/how to cast your vote this fall! The Micah Connection and Bridge Builders teams will be in Sanctuary Reception Area, between Worship Services on July 14, August 11 & September 8.
  • Serve at VBS – July 22-26. YOU make sharing God’s love possible: 80% of campers who attend VBS do not attend church or have a church home. All adults & youth are invited to sign up to volunteer and share a few hours at any point during the week.


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), 9:30 am (Family Worship in the Gym), 11:00 am (traditional; in person or online here) or 12:30 (Spanish; in person or on demand here).

Our Spanish-speaking community (CCH) continues their summer worship series, Intentional Discipleship. Pastor Roldan’s sermon is from John 6:24-31 and is titled Disciples with a Good Focus. Also, Saturday will be a big day of new beginnings for CCH with baptism at Cane Creek Park. Hold them close in your prayers.

All are welcome to join us at Family Worship, an interactive, high-energy worship service for the whole family. This month we’ll be looking at our Summer virtue of Joy, as we explore how, with God in our lives, there’s always a reason to celebrate! Plan to stay for a few minutes following the service in The Commons for refreshments and the opportunity for families to take part in a mission project for the Latin American Coalition.

In our morning sanctuary services, we will be in week #3 of The Good Life … The God Life. We’re living with the Beatitudes all this summer, those peculiar exclamations with which Jesus begins the Sermon on the Mount. Ambrose, the 4th Century bishop of Milan, called them “the paradoxes of Jesus.” This week with the second Beatitude, Jesus utters one of the strangest sentences imaginable, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” I hope you’ll be with us as we continue our study.

Moreover, I hope you’ll consider inviting someone to church with you this summer to discover the subtle, subversive and sublime way of Jesus (our summer worship series).

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 the Killdeer birds have nested in our parking lot once again this year? As of now, 3 of the 4 eggs have hatched. Please be mindful of the little birds running around the streetside of the parking lot…they are very little but usually run with one of the parent birds close by. We are excited to have them back for their second year at MUMC!