Graduation Sunday – Passing the Baton

Graduation Sunday – Passing the Baton

Published July 29, 2020

9th Sunday after Pentecost/Graduation Sunday
July 29, 2020

… to say that we’ve been at this virtual thing for 20 Sundays now. Who could have imagined? I am wildly grateful for all who are creatively putting together connections for us: Zoom book studies, Zoom Sunday School classes, online Town Halls (Watch July 27 Event!), drive-in movie nights, Sunday worship and so much more. We are a wildly creative church.

Uncertain School Days

Frankly, life is overwhelming for most all of us right now. Things are not as they should be, whether we are living alone or with others. Whether we are working or not. Whether we are fulfilled by all things virtual or not. We are all struggling in some way as we muddle through this season together.

Please do join me in prayer for a particular segment of our population that is struggling with immense pressure and uncertainty as August arrives – those involved in our educational system. Families are in the heat of making decisions regarding the future of their children returning to in-person school, virtual school, homeschool, or no school. Children are in fear of not seeing their friends, not having opportunities to learn, and not being able to enjoy extracurricular activities. Educators are consumed with thoughts of what is healthiest for all involved and how to teach with new protocols, while implementing multiple scenarios and putting Plan B’s in place. Some are even considering whether or not this career is worth pursuing at all during this season. None of this is easy.

Friends, when things are this hard for this long, when things feel monumental, we often become harsh towards ourselves and others as we strive to make the ‘right’ decision. Let us acknowledge that we all want to be good parents. We all want to be good students. We all want to be good educators. We all crave certainty and security…yet, at least through these days, those just seem to be moving targets. Perhaps we can see that this holy moment is stretching us to let go of being ‘right’ and instead to lean into being ‘kind’ – kind to ourselves and kind to others regardless of the decisions we have made. It isn’t what we hoped for but it is where we are.

Regardless of whether you choose public school or private school, home school or virtual school, in-person school or no school. Regardless of whether you go back to your classroom or don’t, are energized by new strategies and technology, or hate teaching or learning with masks and Zoom. Regardless of whether you are missing school or wish it was canceled, long to see old friends or are anxious to make new ones, you are doing the best you can to weigh the varied and important pieces of each decision you must make. You are not alone. We are in this with you, praying for you and supporting you. We love you.

Let this be our prayer for these days:

Teacher in the Wilderness,
Give wisdom to parents who are trying to make decisions regarding their children’s futures.
Give creative genius to administrators and educators on how to enliven young minds.
Give endurance to students who have been and may continue to be isolated from peers.
Give health and wellness to all in our world.

Shepherd of the Vulnerable,
Give patience to those struggling with managing childcare and work from home.
Give compassion to employers who struggle to accommodate personal and business demands.
Give a kind spirit to us all so that we might not become rigid in our way of doing things.
Give health and wellness to all in our world.

Healer of the Multitudes,
Give stamina to those on the front lines serving the sick.
Give strength to those enduring illness and isolation.
Give hope to those experiencing unspeakable loss and grief.
Give health and wellness to all in our world.

Balm to the Weary,
Give generously so that we might share with one another.
Give love that we might endure the long nights apart.
Give insight that we might find healing ways to move forward.
Give peace to know you are in this with us.
Give hope that this is not all that will ever be.
Give health and wellness to all in our world so that we might once again gather together and praise your name.

This Sunday in Worship is Graduation Sunday

One of the hallmarks of our Matthews United Methodist (MUMC) legacy of ministry has been the students raised and sent out into the world. The high school graduating class of 2020 is being launched under extraordinary circumstances. These students are preparing for an uncertain future … but with a faithful Lord and Savior.

The primary Hebrew word in the Old Testament for love refers to “steadfast love” or “unfailing love.” Jesus offers not a life of predictability with earthly guarantees, but something even greater — an eternal calling in renewing and restoring all of creation in partnership with Jesus.

I am so proud of this year’s high school, college and grad school graduates. They join hundreds of amazing young people who have been a part of the transformative work of our Church.

This Sunday in worship, you will hear their names called, watch videos of them in service, hear them read scripture and so much more. You will also be inspired by Pastor Corey with a powerful sermon titled Passing the Baton from 2 Timothy 2:1-7.

In addition, could you join us for a “drive through” here at the Church on Sunday from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm honoring all of these graduates? I think it will also give you some time to say a special “thank you” to all of the leaders, parents, and volunteers who have made heavenly investments in their minds and souls over the many years of their involvement at MUMC. Please join me this week in celebrating these young disciples.

Finally, I love being one of the pastors of this vibrant, joyful, playful, artful, generous, Jesus-loving Church … and as always, remember, God does God’s best work in moments, days and seasons just like this.

Grace. Peace. Gratitude.
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II

Did you know that the Global Impact card project delivered 250 notes of encouragement to Royal Park residents and staff? Thank you for contributing to this project. Cards will continue to be collected for Carrington Place staff and residents.

We made a donation from the Disaster and Crisis Relief/Recovery Fund to Compassion International, one of our international ministry partners. Compassion International helps children living in impoverished areas.

  • Did you know that, because of this pandemic, the world is losing ground in the war against poverty?
  • Did you know that the United Nations predicts that this crisis will set the developing world back 10 years?
  • Did you know that people are going hungry; they cannot leave their homes to receive medical care?
  • Did you know that one and one-half billion children are out of school?
  • Did you know that domestic violence is on the increase?

The children served by Compassion International are connected by personal sponsorship and get funding for food, medical care, education and more. Your generosity to the Global Impact Disaster and Crisis fund is helping children in poverty.