22nd Sunday after Pentecost
Just these lines, my friends …
… to ask if you heard our Sanctuary Choir singing the Irish Blessing as a Benediction this past Sunday? If you missed hearing them or my sermon on The Pathway of Worship, you can click here. By the way, I love so many things about our church … BUT I love, love, love, all things musically about our church … like precious little children singing (watch here) so wonderfully this past Sunday during our 9:30 hour.
Let me offer a few quotes from my sermon:
- Let’s be careful today not to worship our worship … that is, worshipping the way we like to do worship.
- When the checkbook doesn’t balance; when the sun doesn’t shine; when your boss doesn’t smile; when the hoped-for phone call doesn’t come; when you’re frustrated; when you’re sad; when you’re discouraged; when you’re stuck … just stop and try some NEVERTHELESS worship. (Habakkuk 3:17-18).
- The God of all eternity is no narcissist. This is a God that commands our worship so that our hearts can be softened into service, and gentleness, and humility and love. This is the God who offers us the practice of worship as a gift.
On another note, did you hear about our 40,000 lb. Potato Drop sponsored by our Global Impact Committee? On Saturday morning, we had over 200 hundred volunteers serving over 40 groups working with food at risk populations. How fun for us to partner with our friends at Faith United Methodist Church in Lake Park in this exhilarating action of service. Read this article that was in the Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly a few weeks ago, and watch this video featuring the sights and sounds of the drop.
Twice a year we have an All-Church Gathering in The Commons hosted by our Lay Leader (Lee Goldstein). We gathered this past Monday, October 23 for an inspiring night of sharing. If you missed it, you can watch by clicking here.
In case you didn’t know it, we are now fully immersed in our annual generosity emphasis. Interestingly enough, we are calling it The Pathway of Generosity. Ha! Ha! There are two things I’d love for you to review in preparation for these days. First of all, take the time to read this FAQ booklet on generosity/stewardship matters where I try and answer a lot of generosity questions. Please click here to read. Secondly, please look over this inspiring brochure that mentions many things where we’ve seen God at work in our midst in the last few months. We’ve clipped some quotes, some happenings, some activities to speak to how God is with us. Please click here to review.
In the next week or so, you will receive your Estimate of Giving Pledge Cards for 2024 in the mail, which you are invited to bring with you on Sunday, November 12th and place in the Joash Chest. We will record your commitment and then 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 (featuring a local band, Remnants of Bluegrass) in The Commons & Gym. Also, our combined service will begin with our annual tribute to our Veterans. We hope you will all plan to join us!
- Trunk or Treat – Sunday, October 29, 6-7:30 pm. This event is for everyone! Candy donations needed! Details.
- Family Worship in the Gym – Sunday, November 5, 9:30. (Special November date!) Details.
- Commitment Sunday: Combined 10:30 Worship, followed by BBQ Lunch & Bluegrass – Sunday, November 12. Details.
My title for this week’s devotional is, Do You Believe in a Higher Power.
A Prayer for the Holy Land
I confess to you, I’ve been struggling with how to pray right now. The relentless waves of violence, terror, and human atrocities taking place in the Holy Land are beyond the heart’s capacity to bear. I am embarrassed to admit that while I have been watching the unfolding of events, I have not been praying because I simply do not know how to do so. I am profoundly aware that I need the Holy Spirit to help me in my weakness. As accustomed as I am to wordless prayer that relies on the Holy Spirit’s groaning, right now it would also help to have some words. Maybe you feel the same way.
If you, like me, are looking for a way to pray during these fearful days, then click here to pray a beautiful Litany for the Holy Land.
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).
In our Spanish-speaking CCH (Centro Cristiano Hosanna) community, Pastor Roldan continues the worship series on Biblical Stewardship, preaching from Matthew 25:24-29. His sermon is titled, Servants, Not Lords.
Sunday will be rich with so many things: inspiring music, moving visuals, prayers to express the heart, baptism, and so much more. We also continue our fall worship series, Pathways to Discipleship. We will dig deep into our next pathway, the Pathway of Generosity. You can prepare by reading I Corinthians 16:1-4.
If you haven’t seen our fresh new look in the Sanctuary and auxiliary spaces, I hope you’ll do so as soon as possible. It stands out. A lighter look. A fresher feel. Also, think about inviting someone along with you to see our space update and experience the spirit of our vital, dynamic community of faith. Who knows, it may be just what your friend is looking for.
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 that our pastors were celebrated this month for Pastor Appreciation Month? We honored them in our All Staff Meeting on October 11, and CCH honored Pastor Roldan & his family in worship this past Sunday. We love all of our pastors…thank you for ALL you do!