2nd Sunday of Easter
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say what a Holy Week 2023:
- Crowds of people gathering for Easter worship, including dozens of new faces
- Volunteers (Home2Home Ministry) helping families with no furniture
- A beautiful butterfly release in the Courtyard
- A powerfully inspiring Maundy Thursday service
- Pastor Paul and Pastor Corey speaking at Easter Sunday morning worship services
- Nearly 100 different people led by Craig Estep and Kathy White offering music through the week that in my humble opinion was simply incomparable
- Ain’t No Grave sung by Shannon Remley at our 9:30 hour
- A vibrant morning in Easter Jam as a praise team of Youth & Young Adults lead worship and Connor Johnson and Pastor Corey reminded the families that even though life is messy through Jesus, we have hope
- Habitat for Humanity home dedication for Lissa Pond and her two children
- Kim Jones assisting Craig Estep in directing the Hallelujah Chorus
My heart is doing backflips as I consider all the many places God showed up during Holy Week 2023. If you missed Maundy Thursday, Good Friday or Easter Sunday (Sunrise, Contemporary & Traditional) worship, you can find these worship services by clicking here.
A special thank you for so many of you that were volunteering through the week as well. Our Holy Week would be infinitely less without each of you: ushers, greeters, musicians, Welcome Center volunteers, Nursery workers, set-up/take-down workers, and so many more. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
In Colossians 3:1-4, the Apostle Paul writes, “So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”
Friends, as we have experienced the highest and holiest day of the Christian year, I was reminded of the power of resurrection. We attempt to solve so many of our problems in life with money, power, and technology. They can buy us time, but they don’t align our lives with Jesus. They don’t give life meaning and purpose.
Again, Paul says in v. 1, “… you have been raised with Christ.” This is past tense! We share life with the Risen Christ! We are no longer subject to the powers of this world! We are to seek the things above and beyond the realm of things that perish. If we only look at the world through death and limitation, we will always feel a sense of loss and desperation. The message of Easter is that we are ALL raised to new life in Christ. Praise be to God!
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional about the new season we’ve entered in the Christian Calendar titled: Eastertide.
Gatherings for You to Know About
We have a couple of opportunities for you to know about in the days ahead:
- All-Church Gathering on Monday, April 24, 7 pm – We will gather in The Commons to catch up on the events and happenings of church life from the last few months. Click here for the details.
- Leadership Information Session on Tuesday, May 2, 7 pm, Room 94 and via Zoom – If you have any interest whatsoever in exploring what elected leadership looks like at MUMC, please make plans to attend. You’ll hear important information on how our church leadership works. Click here for more information.
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 CCH community also enjoyed a beautiful week: They gathered on Holy Thursday and shared a Passover Seder, a Good Friday service, a Sunrise Service and then Easter worship for the whole community.
This Sunday, Pastor Roldan will be leading our Spanish-speaking friends in meaningful worship. He will be preaching from I Peter 1:3-9, and his sermon is titled: A Necessary Test.
In our morning Sanctuary services, on this second Sunday of Easter, my sermon is titled The Benefit of the Doubt, from John 20:24-31. As I said on Easter Sunday, “In case you didn’t know it, you’re sitting in church, this morning, that seeks to create an environment where all feel safe to ask hard, difficult questions, without fear of being judged or shunned.” I hope you’ll join us as we wrestle with some of those questions this Sunday in all our morning worship hours.
I hope you’ll also be thinking about somebody who might really want or need an invitation from you: Someone who’s just recently moved onto your street. A new family you met from school. Someone who’s been going through a tough time lately. A co-worker who’s away from their family. A family member who lives nearby who could use some extra encouragement right now.
We want to make sure that in our community no one is forgotten and everyone is invited. As I always say, you just never now the power that your invitation can have in somebody else’s life!
I can’t wait to be with you on Sunday. It is my great honor to be one of your pastors!
And now, as always, during these challenging, uncertain and yet, exciting, promising and 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 the amazing story of Alan and Amanda Greer will be featured this Thursday at 10 pm on the Fox Charlotte 46 evening news broadcast? Alan went through a liver transplant in November and his wife, Amanda, was his donor. Amazing couple with an amazing story and we get to sit next to them every Sunday!
Did you know that in 2023, the Home2Home Ministry (one of our Global Impact partners), has helped 89 individuals (29 families) with 348 pieces of furniture and household items? They also they helped the Boy Scouts, Hoskins Park, Matthews Help Center, & the MUMC Library (pictured below). Special thanks to all the Home2Home volunteers who help this ministry succeed!