23rd Sunday after Pentecost in Ordinary Time | November 4, 2020
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say thank you for the many of you who came by the church on Sunday for our drive-in Holy Communion. It was so good to see you and tell you how much we love and miss you. These connections mean so much.
In addition, this past Sunday was All Saints Day and we remembered the Saints. The day was potent for me. I had tears as I remembered powerful stories of our foremothers and forefathers, tears as I remembered the names and faces who have showed me the way toward God and are absent in body but so very alive in Christ. If you missed our All Saints Day worship you can watch it here.
“I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” Luke 16:9
When the sun dawned this morning, we all hoped this election would be over. It is not.
In the hours and days to come, shrill voices will seek to fan the flames of suspicion and outrage. I pray we will model something different.
I pray that we will honor truth in all our actions. I pray that we will calmly and deliberately seek a just outcome. I pray we will be patient and gentle with each other. I pray that we will keep our eyes focused on Jesus, the Good Shepherd, who walks through valleys with us – even this one.
Matthews United Methodist, whatever the outcome of this election we will move through the consequences together. I don’t say that flippantly. I know many are anxious about the future. At times I am too, but our history attests to the truth that things have been hard and unprecedented before, things have been divided before … yet we, as a people, are still here. We have moved through incredibly difficult seasons. Therefore, we can know, come what may, that we will still be people of deep faith. We will still be Americans. We will still be siblings. We will still be children and parents. We will still be family.
No matter what, we will still have our family of faith at MUMC. No matter what we will still continue to be a church for the community. No matter what, we will continue to Reach, Teach, Praise and Serve. No matter what, we will continue to be a faith community that moves onward together … with love. No matter what, we will continue to love God and love like God.
So I invite you to:
- PRAY for our world, our country, our state, our community, your family, ourselves, and those you perceive to be your enemy.
- LOVE no matter what happens in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead. Love like your life depends on it. Love when it’s easy. Love when it’s hard. Love far and wide. Love deep. Love hard. Love loud.
If you find in the hours and days ahead that you are unsure of what the future holds and are uneasy, I invite you to remember that our history reminds us that we have moved through unprecedented times before. Together we will move beyond the unprecedented times of 2020 as well. Hold tight to the truth that you are not in this alone; we are family. You are loved, and you are each in my prayers.
Our Joash Chest Sunday is coming up on Sunday, November 15. This is the annual Sunday for our families to make their financial commitments for the year ahead. It will be different this year, but it can still be holy. Thank you for all those commitment cards we are receiving in the mail. If you’d like, you can drive by the church on Sunday afternoon, November 15, between 2 and 3 pm and place them in Joash Chest without even getting out of your car. That would give us an opportunity to connect and to tell you how much we love and miss you. For more information or to print a commitment card, click here.
Even though we have been in a global pandemic that has brought much uncertainty and struggle, MUMC has continued to do well budgetarily (I think I may have made up a word) in 2020. Through the month of October our unreconciled financial picture is as follows:
Our General Fund goal for 2020 is $2,840,000.
- Our General Fund income is $2,115,100.
- Our General Fund spending year to date is 2,105,400.
- Our Year-to-Date actual (income to expenses) is plus $9,700.
- Our United Methodist Conference payments: all clergy benefits & all apportionments have been paid through October.
- Our Global Impact income is $148,904 plus $27,312 in disaster relief.
- Our ReFresh and ReNew income is $77,756.
Thanks to your faithfulness and generosity 2020 has been hard but not insurmountable. We are maintaining our budget commitments and we have grown in our giving, thanks to each of you. It is our prayer that as we move into the final couple of months of the year we will be able to finish the year strong. How we do in year-end will determine the strength of our ministry in 2021.
Please don’t forget about the following:
- Operation Christmas Child (OCC): Have you picked up your box to fill? Click here for all the info!
- Advent Begins, Sunday, November 29: Our worship series this year, The Many Moods of Christmas, will also be an all-church study with the same title. I hope you’ll sign up to be a part of this study. You can do so here.
This Sunday (November 8) in Worship
This week in our CCH community worship, Pastor Roldan will continue the worship series, The Movement Has to Continue, preaching from Acts 3:17-20. His message is “A Reliable Word.”
I will continue our Generosity 2021 theme titled Onward Together … with Loveon Sunday. My sermon is from II Corinthians 8:1-9 and is titled, “Grace Teaches Us to Give.”
And, as always, during these strange, uncertain and tumultuous days remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.
Onward Together … with Love,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know that Anita McLeod was honored by Providence Day School for being the longest-serving faculty member at the school? She has taught for 48 years. She was celebrated in a wonderful three-page article in Providence Day School’s 50th Year Milestone Magazine.
Did you know Matthews United Methodist helped to publish the book Awakening the Light: A Survivors to Thrivers Going-Forward Story by Tambry Harris? We were able to help with a contribution from the Pastor’s Discretionary Fund. Tambry is a leadership and life coach and survivor of childhood sexual abuse. She leads an organization that provides individual guidance, retreats, and speaking engagements to bring awareness and light into the shame, silence, and darkness that surrounds sexual abuse.
Did you know that Chris Healy, son of Bob & Cheryl Healy, was married on October 17 in Richmond, Virginia? Congratulations, Chris & Haley!
Did you know that Piper, Olivia, and Mason Calhoun (along with their Mommy, Sarah) led Deep Kids on Sunday about gratitude and did an amazing job?!? Click on the picture on this page to view.
Did you know that our Confirmands are on a four-week virtual Fall Retreat Ex-tra-va-ganza?
Did you know that throughout communities of Belize, women are often undervalued? There are many broken families where women are left with multiple children, no income, and a need to provide? This creates a very dangerous environment, where young girls are often left to fend for themselves. The lack of resources often leaves youth and families stuck with no means or hope to get out of the cycle. This pandemic has made the situation much worse, and resources are more scarce. The goal of Est/Her is to provide a way for education, skills, and hope … one woman at a time. Your contributions to the Global Impact Disaster Relief/Recovery Fund are making a difference in the lives of these women.
Did you know that former handbell ringer, Pam Harrington, lovingly made 20 royal blue masks, reversible to black and white music note fabric, for our Joyful Ringers to use in their socially-distanced rehearsals and recordings?
Did you know that 11 members of Matthews UMC, in conjunction with a few other churches, traveled to Cookeville, Tennessee last week? They spent the week repairing homes that were damaged or destroyed on March 3rd by one of the strongest tornadoes to hit the area in decades. Your Global Impact contributions allow us to support mission opportunities like these. Thank you, MUMC family!