Published March 31, 2021

Easter | March 31, 2021
Just these lines, my friends …

… to say as we draw into this Holy Week, I want to invite you to let time slow down if you possibly can so you can more fully experience all these days have to offer. While we are all ready for Easter, let us not rush past the experiences of this week. Opportunities for reflection and worship:

  • Maundy Thursday Service April 1 at 7pm OnlinePastor Chuck will distribute communion elements on April 1 from 5:00-6:30 pm under the Portico in the Large Parking Lot.
  • Good Friday Service April 2 at 7pm Online
  • Easter Sunrise Service April 4 at 7am in the Large Parking Lot. Reservations required at OnRealm.org.
  • Easter Sunday Services April 4 Online at 9:30am Contemporary, 11:00am Traditional & 12:30pm Spanish
  • Link to Daily At-Home Prayer Services & Guides (March 29-April 3), the recording of Legal Aspects of the Crucifixion with Attorney Fred DeVore, or more Easter details.

Please note that beginning April 11, the Contemporary service time will change to 9:15 am and the Spanish service will change to 12:45 pm. This is the date we will begin welcoming invited small groups for in-person worship as we seek to refine our protocols and work toward opening reservations for 9:15 am, 11:00 am & 12:45 pm to larger groups of people for Mother’s Day on May 9 (reservations open May 3). Please see our Return to In-Person Worship Plan at MatthewsUMC.org/Updates.

As we have been preparing to regather for in-person worship, this Lenten season has been busier than most, as you might imagine.  It feels as though we are finally rolling the stone away from our sacred space, just like in the Easter story!

This past Sunday, we concluded our Lenten worship series The Jesus Way. You can watch the 6th Sunday of Lent worship service, The Way of the Servant here.

General Conference of The United Methodist Church

The United Methodist Church (UMC) has been struggling for nearly 50 years with issues around human sexuality. The General Conference (the final governing body of the UMC), after several rescheduled times (due to the pandemic), will gather in May 2022 to determine our denominational next steps.

Tom Berlin, a United Methodist pastor from Virginia, captures our current denominational struggles with an outstanding video shown below. I do hope you’ll take the time to watch…just click here.

Please keep up with the ongoing discussions by clicking here. A helpful FAQ can be found here.

Inclusive Grace

Emerging out of MUMC during the days of the 2019 General Conference of The United Methodist Church, came a beautiful and powerful ministry of hope — Inclusive Grace (IG). IG is a ministry of MUMC that supports and celebrates LGBTQIA+ persons, their families and friends, both within and beyond the church community. Galatians 3:28 “…for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Led by the extraordinary Liz Mockler, who writes, “To me Inclusive Grace means hope and love.  The ministry is a community of loving and compassionate Christ followers who affirm LGBTQIA+ persons.  Our meetings are a safe place to learn, share, and grow and members are available to meet with small groups who want to know more.  For those with a personal connection who need a safe place to share questions and feelings, Lifelines are caring individuals available to meet you one on one.”

You can find more information on Inclusive Grace here or email InclusiveGrace@MatthewsUMC.org.

To Uganda on a Mission of Love and Service

I love watching the people of God called MUMC go forth in mission and service, whether it is here in our community or around the globe. Read below about an incredible global opportunity that awaits you. Would you like to go to Uganda to learn, love and serve? You are invited to join a team going July 6-17, 2021 to serve and build relationships with our partners in ministry at Kidron Valley Ministries. The mission will be to help with projects at the orphanage, school and medical clinic while building relationships with the people of the village of Naminya. There will be several objectives for our trip so there is something for everyone. Register at OnRealm.org before April 6. Limited Space available. Contact Michelle Edens at mikkilong1@gmail.com with questions.

Wednesday Devotional

I hope you’ll take the time to watch my devotional for today titled, “Wednesday of Holy Week.” It won’t take but a few minutes of your time. Please click here to watch.

Easter Sunday in Worship

Will you join us for online worship this Sunday at 9:30 am (contemporary), 11:00 am (traditional) or 12:30 (Spanish-speaking).

This week, in our CCH community, Pastor Roldan will begin a new worship series, And Now, What’s Next? Pastor Roldan says, “I believe the pandemic has changed the world as we’ve known it, and the church is not lagging behind.” He will be preaching from Mark 16:1-7, with his message titled, A Step Forward.

At 9:30 am and 11:00 am we will begin our new worship series titled Easter Earthquake! How the Resurrection Rocks the World. We hope to do our best to answer the question: What difference does the resurrection make in the way we face the critical issues/crises/concerns of our time as defined by the people of Matthews United Methodist? Come and see how a new world is offered to us through the resurrection. Click here for a snapshot view of our worship series throughout the Easter season.

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

We are in this … together,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II

Did you know that the “Easter Escapades” occurred last week? Bags of cookies were delivered to 30 shut-ins of our church. Joy and smiles were everywhere. One “Escapader” said, “Truly the highlight of this Easter season. When you see the smiles on their faces and hear them tell you how much they love this church, you can’t help but realize God is at work at Matthews UMC in the midst of a pandemic.”