22nd Sunday after Pentecost | All Saints Sunday
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that while the world is quick to tell you what it is against, but here at Matthews United Methodist we’re always staking our claim on what we are FOR … AND being FOR has never been more fun! Take a look at a few joyous pictures coming from our Trunk or Treat on Sunday evening where approximately 1,500 people joined us from church and community. One of our church members wrote me and said, “Wow … is all I can say! To say Trunk or Treat was a success is an understatement! I love how our church actually does what we say, and we truly reach out to the community!”
Sunday brought so much more as well: one hundred Operation Christmas Child boxes packed, beautiful music from our children (bells and singing); our extraordinary orchestra in the chancel space while the Sanctuary Choir sang from the balcony – all under the direction of Craig Estep; Brad Crossley blessing us with his amazing voice, John Woodall & John Biggers and our Praise Band, and gathering with our friends from Mt. Moriah for lunch on a 5th Sunday. If you missed being with us, you can click to online worship here.
This past Thursday night (October 27), the Hope for Minds & Hearts Mental Health Ministry hosted a symposium featuring Dr. Warren Kinghorn from Duke University and Duke Divinity School and Dr. Gina Duncan, from here in Charlotte. The evening was filled with wisdom and insight. You can watch here.
All of the above, brings us to the doorway of the month of November, as we enter this season of gratitude. These days culminate for us on November 24 with the observance of Thanksgiving. I hope you will take time to acknowledge the many blessings of God that we might otherwise overlook.
Let’s remember that gratitude is more than just giving thanks. It is also about doing thanks. It is about performing acts of gratitude, as generosity and gratitude are intrinsically linked. Numerous studies over recent years conclude that people who live gratefully are more likely to demonstrate generosity.
So, as we enter this month of thanksgiving, here are some simple ways that you can not only give thanks and feel thankful, but actually practice gratitude through generosity:
- VOLUNTEER TO SERVE FOR A DAY with one of our Global Impact partners. Click here for ways you can serve at Hoskins Park (there is an opportunity this Saturday), Matthews HELP Center and other local partners.
- ATTEND OUR COMMUNITY THANKSGIVING SERVICE on Sunday, November 20, 6 pm at the Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church. We will join together with our friends from Matthews Presbyterian, Matthews First Baptist and Mt. Moriah.
- BE PRESENT ON NOVEMBER 13 TO TURN IN AN ESTIMATE OF GIVING PLEDGE CARD FOR 2023. We will gather for one service at 10:30 am, celebrate our military service branches, make our commitments and share together in a wonderful meal in The Commons and the Gym.
Our current generosity campaign, Thanks!, is so important. Let’s be motivated to turn in an Estimate of Giving Pledge Cards primarily out of gratitude for what God has given to us, and in recognition that all that we have belongs to God. If you have not received your card in the mail, you can pick one up at the Welcome Center, print one here, or pledge online here.
Every pledge makes a huge difference! Your act of generosity and gratitude really matters.
- READ JON POLLACK’s SERIES OF LETTERS TO MUMC. Jon is the Servant Leader for our Administrative Council. His latest letter is below, and you can view his past letters here. They celebrate so much of what our generosity has accomplished together.
One of our key objectives coming out of our Covid coma was to re-engage with our community in and around Matthews. Our Faithful Next Steps document called on us to build connections both within our congregation and to also Reach outside the church.
For the last year and a half that’s exactly what our Communications Ministry has been doing under the leadership of Shannon Williams. I want to share with you some of the amazing ways we have been reaching out and increasing engagement.
We have invested in community partnerships with the Town of Matthews, the Matthews Chamber of Commerce, and the Matthews Athletic and Recreation Association (MARA). This has allowed the Communications Ministry to reach a wide demographic of newcomers, young families, and people of all ages. Here are just a few of the efforts thus far:
- Matthews UMC was a viewing location for the Town of Matthews Fourth of July fireworks event. Our outdoor space on campus was packed with people! With the help of Young Adult & College-Age Ministries we were able to create a fun atmosphere, show our MUMC hospitality, and hand out invitations to worship. Glow sticks were given to children, frisbee/fans featuring our Kids & Youth Ministry were a big hit (especially with the heat), and branded items provided quick access to our church website. Invite cards included summer happenings, back-to-school events and more.
- If you attended one of the monthly Beats ‘n Bites we sponsored with live music and food trucks at Stumptown Park, you likely saw our welcome tent advertising our worship times and age-level ministries. Live announcements were shared from the music stage for Matthews UMC while volunteers in “We Are Matthews” t-shirts handed out invitations and church swag with our website address. We met someone at the first event who now regularly attends a small group…and many others who have come to Family Nights, United Kids events and worship!
- Matthews Alive parade participants and festival goers were welcomed to our campus and given a reprieve from the heat when our volunteers invited them into The Commons. We served 820 cups of lemonade in just four hours on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend.
- Well over 4,000 branded items with invitations to Matthews UMC have been distributed so far this year at these community events. This is having an impact, which is helping us to reach people and grow MUMC.
It’s because of your love and generosity that we are able to fund our Communications Ministry work. Thanks to you and all our wonderful volunteers, we are making a difference!
Administrative Council Servant Leader
My Wednesday Devotional
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional for the week titled, Do I Believe in Heaven?
This Sunday in Worship
We invite you this Sunday to join us in person at 8:15 am, 9:30 am and 11:00 am, or online at 9:30 am (contemporary), 11:00 am (traditional) or 12:30 (Spanish – in person or here on demand). Also, join us for Family Worship in the Gym at 9:30 (moved to this Sunday). Just a reminder that Daylight Savings Time ends this Sunday, so turn your clocks back so you’ll arrive at the correct time!
In Family Worship, we’ll learn to “be brave enough to do what you should do, even when you’re afraid!” Songs, games, skits and activities will concentrate on this month’s virtue of Courage, based on Joshua 1:9b. Plan to stay after the service to enjoy activities and snacks in the Commons.
In our Spanish-speaking CCH community, Pastor Roldan is preaching from II Timothy 4:9-18 and his sermon is titled, Stay Focused and Productive.
This coming Sunday is All Saints Sunday and we will join with Christians around the world in remembering the saints we have loved and lost. In our faith we trust that they are still surrounding us with their loving presence as the great cloud of witnesses. I hope you will make plans to join us in worship as we celebrate the love we continue to share with those who have gone before us.
My sermon for Sunday is titled, Closer Than They Appear from Hebrews 11:29 – 12:3. In addition, we will honor the Saints, be moved by stirring music and share in Holy Communion.
Finally, if you find yourself disillusioned by the craziness of the last few years, then you will find in our transforming community of faith called Matthews United Methodist the steady reliability of the one thing that is ultimately always true: the faithful love and grace of God, given to us in Jesus Christ. And at the end of the day, and now more than ever, it is still good to be the church … it is good to be Matthews United Methodist Church. You might want to invite someone to come along with you on Sunday who could be looking for that steady reliability.
And now, as always, during these strange, uncertain, and yet, hopeful days, remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.
Let’s go all in, together,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know our very own Amy DeVore, Director of Missions and Justice Ministries, is attending the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference of The United Methodist Church at Lake Junaluska, NC this week? Amy, along with several hundred other delegates, will be electing and assigning three bishops in the southeast. Thank you, Amy for your faithful service.
Did you know Melissa DeLong (wife of Ryan DeLong, daughter-in-law to Chuck & Julie DeLong, sister-in-law to Kristen Weaver) was presented the 65 Roses Award at the annual Cystic Fibrosis Banquet. The award is given annually for work on raising awareness for Cystic Fibrosis. It was named 65 Roses due to a child pronouncing Cystic Fibrosis as 65 Roses. This year marks Melissa’s 5-year anniversary of her successful double lung transplant.
Did you know that 53 people joined the Bridge Builder group for 5th Sunday lunch on October 30? Food, fun and fellowship was on the menu, it was a great day!
Did you know that we packed 100 boxes for Operation Christmas Child on Sunday? There is still time to pick up your shoebox, pack it and return it by November 13th. Help us reach our goal of 500 boxes!
Did you know that members of the Faith Class painted at Blessed Assurance Adult Daycare on Saturday? Now this Global Impact partner has a fresh look for their clients!