Climbing Together

Climbing Together

Published November 1, 2023

23rd Sunday after Pentecost | All Saints Sunday
Just these lines, my friends …

… to say that my heart breaks for so much going on in the world; I have been spending extra time in prayer these days, offering to God my prayers for peace in Palestine and Israel, prayers for our national government amid chaotic leadership in Congress, prayers for members of our community facing challenges, prayers for the enduring and relentless challenges of racism and white supremacy, prayers for our denomination in a time of ongoing uncertainty. And so much more.

There are very many things that I cannot control; I continue to lean on my faith to give me courage and patience in my woeful attempts to practice love and live with Christ-like grace. I’m encouraged by the gift of doing this together, and grateful for moments in life that are sweet and nourishing.

This past Sunday evening, our Trunk or Treat was both of those things, in both literal and metaphorical ways for hundreds of families in our community. Forty-six creatively decorated trunks greeted over 2,500 kids and adults and handed out well over 45,000 pieces of candy and goodies! A huge thank you to all the trunk hosts for giving so much time and energy, and to everyone who donated candy and gift cards to help make this free community event possible. One family wrote, “I just wanted to take a moment this morning to thank each and every one of you for what you do for our community. Every event so thought out and wonderful. We are blessed to be a part of something so special. Thanks again.”

It was also a gift to worship together on Sunday. The music was incredible, the conversation and community were deeply meaningful, and it made a difference that we were together. The baptism at 9:30 was lovely. AND hopefully the sermon was helpful. Here a few takeaways you might consider:

  • Giving is a spiritual matter, not a financial matter.
  • The Apostle Paul suggests that our giving needs to be based on some predetermined thinking. To set aside on the first day of the week implies that one has given some thought beforehand.
  • The Apostle Paul says, “Let each of you …” That is to say, let each of you give not because of what you think the financial resources of the church might be, not because of who you know or who knows you, not because of what others think you should give, not solely because of what the church needs. Let each of you give in grateful response to what God has done for you.
  • We give systematically, inclusively and proportionally, not in order to meet the budget, as important as that is, but so that each and every one of us can have a sense of joy and a sense of purpose that we are doing something spiritual … that we are able to give and to know that our giving is an expression of our gratitude for God’s magnificent, amazing, unrelenting love. 

You can click here to join in worship for Sunday, October 29.

When you consider those quotes, you know we are talking about our annual generosity emphasis. Please click here to read through a FAQ booklet on generosity/stewardship matters. Also, look over this inspiring brochure by clicking here. We’ve clipped some quotes, some happenings, some activities to speak to how God is with us.

Next Sunday, November 12th is Commitment Sunday, when we bring our Estimate of Giving Pledge Cards for 2024 (mailed to homes later this week) to the Joash Chest. We will record your commitment and place it back in the Joash Chest where it will remain until we mail it back to you later next year. That Sunday (Nov 12), we will have One Combined Bilingual Service at 10:30 am, followed by a BBQ Lunch & Bluegrass Music (featuring a local band, Remnants of Bluegrass) in The Commons & Gym. Also, our combined service will begin with our annual tribute to our Veterans. Nursery (up to age 3) available 10am -12pm. NO Services at 8:15, 9:30, 11:00 or 12:30. NO kids or youth morning small groups. Family Worship has been moved to this Sunday, Nov 5! We hope you will all plan to join us! If you are unable to be with us that day, you may mail your pledge card to the Church or pledge online.

Wednesday Devotional

My title for this week’s devotional is, Climbing Together.

MUMCers in Georgia on Mission

We rejoice over the faithful service of Don Morrison, Sid Riddick, Fred and Carol Goolsby, Joe Culpepper, John Klotz, Mike Butts, Ivan Johnson and Beth Dasher who traveled to Georgia for a rebuild mission that UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) is leading in a 5-county area south of Atlanta. They worked on 5 homes damaged by tornadoes in and around Griffin, Ga. The homeowners couldn’t afford homeowner insurance, and FEMA left months ago. Three of the homeowners had been out of their homes, living with friends or relatives since the tornadoes. Our team was the first volunteer team to work at 4 of the homes. Our team moved belongings to empty the houses; demolished interior walls; cleaned up yard debris; repaired holes in a roof and ceiling and roofed another home; covered one home roof with tarps; and installed dry wall and flooring.

Thank you, Sid Riddick (Team Leader) and all the wonderful saints from MUMC. You were the heart, hands and feet of Jesus.

Update on General Giving

Together, our giving makes the transforming work of the church possible. As we head towards the end of the fiscal year, it is important to share this update on General Giving and ask that you continue to prioritize ministry in all that you do. Matthews UMC makes God’s love real right here in our community in impactful ways. Please consider helping to close the gap between now and December 31 so that we can continue to fulfill our mission to Reach, Teach, Praise & Serve.

Let’s finish this year strong together!

Upcoming Events

  • Family Worship in the Gym – This Sunday, November 5 at 9:30 (moved from November 12th because of Commitment Sunday that day), 9:30. Details
  • Commitment Sunday, November 12: Combined 10:30 Worship, followed by BBQ Lunch & Bluegrass. Details
  • Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes due Sunday, November 12! – Pick up a box this Sunday from The Commons, Children’s Wing or Welcome Center. You can also Build a Shoebox Online. Help us reach our goal of 500 boxes!
  • Arts & Crafts Extravaganza – Saturday, November 18. Details
  • Advent Studies – Starting the week of November 26. Details

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).

In our Spanish-speaking CCH (Centro Cristiano Hosanna) community, Pastor Roldan begins a new worship series titled A Necessary Moment from I Kings 19:11-20. His sermon is titled, The Place Where We Can Best Listen.

Our Family Worship will be an action-packed service for the whole family focused on our monthly virtue of Gratitude. Music, games, skits and activities will help remind us that we should “Let others know you see how they’ve helped you,” based on the scripture from Psalm 136:1: “Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good. His faithful love continues forever.” Join us afterwards in The Commons for a cup of coffee/juice and snacks, and enjoy a special “Gratitude” activity.

This Sunday is one of our high, holy days. It is All Saints Sunday. In our Sanctuary services, we will roll call the Saints, ring a bell and remember all who have entered eternity since All Saints Sunday 2022. You will not want to miss this powerful, holy ritual in our worship. My sermon is titled The Pathway of Community from Hebrews 12:1-2.

Maybe you can consider inviting someone who has never experienced an All Saints observance. The roll call of the saints is a powerful expression of remembrance and not easily forgotten. Who knows, it may be just what someone in your world needs.

And now, as always, during these strange, uncertain, and hopeful days, remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.

In the Community. For the Community.
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II

Did you know our Hope for Minds and Hearts Mental Health Ministry provided an outstanding workshop on October 25 for six area churches? The workshop was built around the question, “What is the church’s role in mental health?” This was a collaborative opportunity for area churches to explore their role in supporting mental health. Reverend Jessica Stokes was the keynote speaker and various churches shared their best practices. Thanks to our Hope for Minds and Hearts for making this effort possible.