Encourage One Another

Encourage One Another

Published March 6, 2024

4th Sunday in Lent

Just these lines, my friends …

… to say what a rich, rich day with Amy Julia Becker as our guide for Week 3 in our Embracing Disabilities: Creating an EVERYBODY Mentality. Both Sunday morning and Sunday evening she touched us so deeply. You can watch both Sunday morning worship here and Sunday evening here. You can also read her sermon narrative from Sunday by clicking here.

Here are a couple of important quotes from Amy Julia’s message from this past Sunday:

  • Journalist David Brooks’ latest book, How to Know a Person, says that people fall into two categories: “Illuminators” and “Diminishers.” He writes, “Diminishers make people feel small and unseen. They see other people as things to be used, not as persons to be befriended … Illuminators, on the other hand, have a persistent curiosity about people … They shine the brightness of their care on people and make them feel bigger, deeper, respected, lit up.” Jesus was an illuminator …
  • How can Matthews United Methodist Church be the Body of Christ in response to this story (John 5)? You can go where Jesus goes, see what Jesus sees, and tell the story that Jesus tells. Thank you, Amy Julia Becker, for putting the Word into words for a people called Matthews United Methodist.

I do hope you have been able to participate at some level in Embracing Disabilities: Creating an EVERYBODY Mentality: Wednesday Dinners and/or study, daily devotionals (printed copy or PDF), Sunday Morning Groups, guest speakers in Worship, reading the study book (My Body is Not a Prayer Request) and so much more. Link to resources and ways you can plug in here, and enjoy Wednesday night images shared by Will Little below.

We are thrilled about the return of our group traveling to Kenya with Zoe Empowers. Through Zoe, we send seed money for children and teens to begin their own business and live their own dreams, taking charge of their lives and living into God’s abundant gifts. Through Global Impact, your generosity is making the lives of orphans in Kenya better. Welcome home, friends.

Let me tell you about a new family in our church: Alex & Laura Waits and their five children. Alex spoke to our United Methodist Men this past Saturday. I was blown away by the deep listening this family has done through the years to God’s call upon their lives … a calling that led them to begin and shape a remarkable ministry in Honduras for over a decade and now coming to us in Charlotte. I’m so excited for you to get to know all the Waits family. Please click here to learn more about this amazing family and Reach Out Honduras.


As we continue our Embracing Disabilities Lenten emphasis, I’ve invited some of my friends to help with our weekly devotional. Please click the video below to watch “Encourage One Another” with Caitlyn Belk. Link to our 40-Day Devotional: Complete PDF or Week 4.

Caitlyn Belk- “Encourage One Another”

Annual Report of our Matthews United Methodist Church Endowment

You will love what you read in our annual report for our Endowment. The vision for this tool of mission and ministry was planted in our congregation over the past six years under the leadership of Terry Efird. A huge thank you to Terry. We are most fortunate now to have Sam Hatcher leading our Endowment efforts. Sam is joined by a talented group of MUMCers who have enormous vision for the Endowment. I hope you’ll take the time to read our 2023 Endowment Report by clicking here.

General Conference 2024 in Charlotte

Details are beginning to emerge for the General Conference of The United Methodist Church coming to Charlotte in April. Volunteer opportunities are available to provide hospitality at local hotels as delegates check in from around the world. Visit WelcometoGC.org to register as a volunteer. I look forward to seeing many of you there!

Upcoming Events

  • Wednesday Dinners at 5:30 pm & Optional Study at 6:30 pm through March 20. Join the church community, including those with disabilities, for a meal (kid’s option available) and fellowship. Menu for 3/13: Tacos. Book Study: My Body is not a Prayer Request: Disability Justice in the Church by Amy Kenny. Childcare available for children 3 & under. Reserve your spot each week (by Monday prior) OR all in advance.
  • Jerusalem Marketplace – Palm Sunday, March 24, 9:00-12:00 in the Gym. Details.
  • Easter Sunday, March 31 Worship Details – Did you miss ordering Caterpillars for our Butterfly Release? Contact Pastor Corey to be added to the list.
  • A Christian Guide to the Enneagram – Sundays at 6 pm starting April 7. The Enneagram is like a mirror for the soul, reflecting dimensions of ourselves that are sometimes hard to see. This group will help us understand each number of the Enneagram and take us deeper into the spiritual journey, Led by Carolyn Perlman, Register Here.

This Sunday in Worship

We invite you to join in worship this Sunday at 8:15 am (Traditional; in person only), 9:30 am (Contemporary; in person or online here), 9:30 Family Worship in the Gym, 11:00 am (Traditional; in person or online here) or 12:30 (Spanish; in person or on demand here). Remember that Daylight Savings Time begins this Sunday, so spring your clocks forward this Saturday evening so you’re not late for church!

In our Spanish-speaking CCH community, Pastor Roldan continues with the worship series, Learning from the Teacher. He will teach from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:21-25). His sermon is titled: The Teacher’s Expectations.

In Family Worship at 9:30 in the Gym, families will make their way to “Family Worship Academy” where we will focus on learning more about PEACE: Proving you care more about each other than your differences. It is going to be a jam-packed morning of worship, fun, discovery, and transformation. Following the service, there will be treats, coffee, and all kind of fun activities in partnership with the Butterfly Bonanza event happening from 9:00 – 12:15 in The Commons.

In our morning sanctuary services, we welcome Dr. Jeff McSwain to be with us for our Lenten series, Embracing Disabilities: Creating an EVERYBODY Mentality. Jeff graduated from Davidson College and has earned two degrees from St. Andrews University in Scotland: an MLitt and a PhD. Along with various articles, his books include Movements of Grace: The Dynamic Christo-Realism of Barth, Bohoeffer and the Torrances, Hidden in Contradiction: Humanity in Christ Before, During, and After the Fall (2023) and The Goodness of Judgement: The Ministry of Christ’s Cross for a Hurting World (upcoming in 2024).

​In 2007, Jeff and his wife Susan founded Reality Ministries, Inc., in Durham, NC. The non-profit’s mission is “creating opportunities for teens and adults with and without developmental disabilities to experience belonging, kinship and the life-changing Reality of Christ’s love.” Keen to stay at the interface between theology and practical ministry, in the last fifteen years Jeff and his wife Susan have helped to launch the North Street Neighborhood, an intentional community (17 houses) near downtown Durham where people of various abilities share life together. We have many connections between Matthews United Methodist and persons who have lived or worked in the North Street Neighborhood: Greg & Janiece Little and their family, Ryan & Gina Wilson, Hunter & Paige Ross, Quinn Holmquist, Stephen Fitch and Allie Watterson.

Dr. McSwain’s sermon for Sunday is from Luke 19:1-10 and is titled: Discovering the Reality of Community in Christ. In addition, each week in preparation for Sunday, I trust you’ve been reading through the Top 10 list from our study book, My Body is Not a Prayer Request by Dr. Amy Kenny. This is the book many of us are using to guide our learnings during this season. In describing this week’s Top 10 listing, Dr. Kenny writes, “Folks respond with these after I call out disability mosquitos.” Please click here and read through the Top 10 listing “Mosquito Swatters” in preparation for Sunday.

Be sure to invite someone to come to church this Sunday that may be looking for a community that is seeking to do as Amy Julia Becker challenged us this past Sunday: to go where Jesus goes, to see what Jesus sees, and to tell the stories that Jesus tells.

And now, as always, during these strange, uncertain, and yet hope-filled days. Remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.

Creating an EVERYBODY Mentality,

Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II


Did you know that Dr. Luke Maybry, Senior Pastor of Matthews Presbyterian Church and great friend to all of us at MUMC, lost his father on February 20? You may recall Pastor Maybry shared a Father’s Day worship message here at MUMC last year. We are so grateful for our partnership with Matthews area churches. If you would like to show support and condolences, his address is: Dr. Luke Maybry, Matthews Presbyterian Church, PO Box 97, Matthews, NC 28106.

Did you know that culminating on Souper Bowl Sunday, our youth & confirmands contributed & collected $2,200 cash and 391 lbs. of non-perishable foods to be shared with our local non-profit partners. These donations will be shared with Common Heart, COSKids, Matthews HELP Center, Turning Point Domestic Violence Center, and our very own Feed the People Ministry. United Kids & Youth thank all members for their support!



Did you know that Common Heart, one of our Global Impact partners, held their Hunger Walk on Sunday, March 3? Some of our MUMC participants are pictured below.