7th Sunday of Easter | Confirmation Sunday
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that this past week was filled with much to celebrate. On Tuesday evening our Bridge Builders Fellowship met with the Matthews Town Manager (Becky Hawke), the Assistant Town Manager (Melia Gordon), the Town of Matthews Human Resource Director (Tonya McGovern), and the newly appointed Assistant Human Resource Director (Shanelle Tomlin). We heard an outstanding presentation from these leaders about the meaningful strides the Town of Matthews has made around diversity, equity and inclusion.
On Thursday, Pastors Corey and Paul officiated at the graveside service of Ray Barall (husband to Wendy, father/grandfather to the Havican family) at the Salisbury National Cemetery and then made their way to Nashville to officiate at the wedding of Wil Prewitt, son of Kurt & Sarah Prewitt.
And then Sunday brought a special celebration of Mother’s Day across our campus. In our Sanctuary Worship, Pastor Jenny offered us a beautiful Mother’s Day message. If you missed worshiping with us, you can do so here. In our Gym, Family Worship was led by Pastor Corey, our age-level staff community and volunteers. Click here to watch our Cherub Choir singing with all their hearts in that service.
Speaking of extraordinary mothers, on May 22, Karen and I will celebrate 41 years of marriage. Her love, counsel, and support have sustained me in the difficult times, encouraged me in the challenging times, and cheered me on in the happy times. It is a cliché for a spouse to say that “I couldn’t have done it without her (or him).” But in my case, that cliché is also gospel truth. Of all the gifts God has bestowed upon me in my life, Karen is the greatest.
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional for the week titled, Church Hurt.
Staff Community Transitions
It is with great sadness that I share with you the departures from our staff community of Abigail Okland and Rona Swakopf. They both have served so faithfully: Abigail, as our Music & Worship Arts Admin, Children’s Music Director (including Music & Arts Camp); Rona as our Accounts Payable Coordinator. Both have done remarkable work and we are profoundly grateful. We wish them the very best as they move into unique chapters of their lives: Abigail in event management and Rona to care more deeply for her aging parents.
Good news though! We have people ready to serve: Shannon Remley to become our Music & Worship Arts Admin, Children’s Music Coordinator and Cherub Choir Director; Ashley Broome to step in as our Children’s Choir Director; and Deborah Morrison to take over Accounts Payable.
We are so very grateful for the amazing people who have served so faithfully, and the amazing people God has brought our way.
On Campus This Week
- Second Chance Prom, a special community event for adults, is this Friday night (May 19, Doors open at 6:30). Purchase your tickets & reserve childcare before tomorrow at midnight. We’ve heard stories about one staff member bringing their 90-year-old neighbor who has never been to the prom and a group of girl friends who can’t wait to dress up old-school. Music will span the decades. Come casual or dress up – either is appropriate for this event. •
- Our Global Impact Missions is hosting a food drive through June 4. We are collecting non-perishable items (see list) to be placed in carts at Church Entrances. All items will be going to Common Heart, which provides food to hungry neighbors. Their pantries NEED FOOD. We delivered 163 lbs of food on Monday but our GOAL is 5,000 LBS OF FOOD to fill the need from their food shortage.
Offering of Letters for the Farm Bill
Bread for the World, one of the most respected ministries in the world, has alerted our Micah Connection to the Farm Bill. The Bill is our nation’s most important national food system legislation. It is critical to the work of ending hunger at home and abroad. The Bill provides $428 billion in various programs that support our farmers and food production in the U.S., but also includes the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). The Bill has been in place a long time but was created with a 5-year expiration. It must be voted on and renewed every five years. The current Farm Bill expires September 30, 2023. As you can imagine, there will be pressure to make cuts in funding the Bill. There is no piece of legislation that has more impact on the US food system and nation’s ability to provide healthy food at affordable prices for everyone.
An Offering of Letters is a Bread for the World effort to engage citizens in writing (or emailing) our respective Senators and Representatives to make our perspective known about policies and programs than can help end hunger in the U.S. and around the world. Please click here to make your Offering of Letters or stop by the table in the Sanctuary Reception Area this Sunday between worship services.
“Speak up for those that cannot speak for themselves … defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
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 will be continuing the worship series, Facing the Inevitable. Pastor Roldan’s sermon is titled: Encounter with Grace from John 8:1-11.
In all our morning sanctuary services, Pastor Corey will be preaching. Her sermon is from Matthew 7:24-27 and is titled: Building Our Life Upon the Rock. Corey says, “Many people think that building your house upon the rock means saying that Jesus is your Rock. So, what DOES building your life on the rock mean?” I hope you’ll join us on Sunday as Pastor Corey helps us answer this question and as we celebrate the commitments made by our 2023 Confirmation Class.
I look forward to seeing you – be sure and invite someone to join you! You never know who might need to hear the words of hope, that only Jesus can bring.
By the way, Pentecost is coming on Sunday, May 28: the birthday of the Church, the coming of the Holy Spirit. We have a special Sunday planned for you. Be sure to wear RED.
And now, as always, during these strange, uncertain, but hopeful days, remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.
Jesus is on the loose!
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know that Peter Wright shared his story in the podcast Depression to Joy: One Man’s Journey (click to listen) with The United Methodist Communication team? You’ll remember that we heard Peter’s GodStory in worship a couple weeks ago on our Mental Health focused Sunday.
Did you know that 80,000 Stephen Ministry leaders have been trained globally? Stephen Ministers from Matthews UMC invite you to a free dinner and education event on May 30 at 6:15 pm led by Pastor Paul on “Prayer Points for Praying” – Register by May 29.
Did you know that CCH (our Spanish-speaking congregation) enjoyed a Mother’s Day Celebration this past weekend at the Eagle’s Nest? They enjoyed barbeque, a piñata, and lots of great fellowship!
Did you know that the New Directions Class and other volunteers provided lunch for the staff at Greenway Park, a Global Impact partner? They celebrated the 2022/2023 school year with an appreciation lunch and amazing desserts! Thank you, volunteers!!
Did you know that the Education Wing has been repainted & looks great! Swing through & take a look!
Did you know that a new video wall has been installed in The Commons? This is a definite upgrade for showing visuals & videos for all events held in that great space!