Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that Karen and I will make our way home to NC on Friday, February 9. We are so excited about being back with you after our special time with family in Southern California. We gathered to remember and celebrate Karen’s father, Bill Payne, who entered life eternal near the end of October 2023.
We are off to a great start with Global Impact 2024! Did you know that we made 1000 sandwiches in 25 minutes on Saturday morning? These sandwiches mean homeless neighbors (through Roof Above) will have lunches this week! Thanks to your gifts to Global Impact, we are bringing HOPE to our community. A special thank you to all our many local, regional and international ministries we support that shared about their ministry’s work in The Commons this past Sunday. In addition, we loved hearing from so many of them during worship and in Adult & Youth Sunday School Classes. If you missed being with us, please click here to listen and worship.
THIS SUNDAY is Commitment Sunday for Global Impact! Our mission efforts are supported separately so that 100% of every dollar given to Global Impact goes beyond the walls of the church. I hope you’ll come prepared to make your annual Faith (financial) and Life (service) Commitments this Sunday in worship. You may have received the commitment cards in the mail, or you can pick one up from the Welcome Center or from an usher during worship. If you are unable to be with us on Sunday, you can make your commitment online by clicking here.
Please pray and reflect on how you and your family can GIVE and SERVE in 2024. We want to be the hands and feet of Jesus as we partner with 30 amazing ministries. Your gifts make these partnerships happen!
Each year around this time I like to give you a quick look at some of MUMC financial numbers. Here are a few:
- Regarding the General Budget 2023, we received $66,000 more than we spent. Thanks be to God! We finished to the good.
- We sent our Western North Carolina Conference and Metro District of The United Methodist Church $216,059 as our fair-share connectional support. This is our first benevolent response to God’s work in and through The United Methodist Church around the world.
- In addition, we partnered with 30 local, regional, and global organizations, distributing $191,719 to our partner ministries through Global Impact.
- We received $105,243 for ReFresh and ReNew.
- We received $161,000 for the MUMC Endowment.
- Total contributions to all funds were $3,114,146.
We launch into our Lenten Focus, Embracing Disabilities: Creating an Everybody Mentality next week! Be sure to pick up a 40-Day Devotional booklet created by young adults with Rainbow Express Ministries. This special keepsake (also in PDF format) will guide your Lenten journey. See event details, guest speakers and more at MatthewsUMC.org/Embracing-Disabilities, including registrations for Wednesday Night Dinners (with optional study) and a Music Together event.
As part of the emphasis, Amy Julia Becker will be with us on Sunday, March 3, in our morning worship services and that evening at 6:30 pm. You’re going to love her.
Amy Julia reminded me of something I’ve known for a long time about why the decision to participate in church life is not made on Sunday morning at 8 am. It is made right now in the hearts and lives of women, men, young people, all of us. We choose now to participate. We choose now to build community … to serve, to learn, to grow, to show up. And we do so when we’re tired, when we’ve got a million things to do, when we’d love to just lounge on the couch. Becker says, “I understand why people walk away from the abuse and hypocrisy within the church, the discomfort with narrow political agendas. I understand why people wonder if there is a place for their doubts and disbelief. Our kids have birthday parties and soccer games on Sunday, and I would love to get some sleep or drink a cup of tea without any rush. But even so, I will still go to church next Sunday.” Ours is the community of faith and we gather, on purpose, each Sunday.
I hope you can take a few minutes to watch my devotional for the week titled, Have You Ever Heard of Euodia and Syntyche?
- Global Impact Celebration Commitment Sunday – This Sunday, Feb 11. Bring your Faith & Life Commitments to worship or pledge here.
- Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper – February 13, 5:00-7:30. Details
- Ash Wednesday Worship Service – February 14, 7:00 pm. Details
- Embracing Disabilities Lenten Emphasis: February 18 – March 17. Join our Wednesday Night Community Dinner with Optional Book Study. Details
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 am Family Worship in the Gym, 11:00 am (Traditional; in person or online here) or 12:30 (Spanish; in person or on demand here).
In our Spanish-speaking CCH community, Pastor Roldan continues his series, Compassion Without Compromise. His sermon title this Sunday is Protect Your Gospel from Galatians 1:8-15.
Join us for Family Worship at 9:30 in the Gym for an action-packed service for the whole family focused on our monthly virtue of Kindness. Music, games, skits and activities will help remind us that we should “Show others they are valuable by how we treat them,” based on the scripture from Colossians 3:12. As a part of the morning, everyone will also meet some more local Global Impact partners & bring their commitments forward for Global Impact Commitment Sunday; families will bring their non-perishable and monetary donations for the Souper Bowl of Caring and work together to make 600 sandwiches for Roof Above. It’s going to be a jam-packed morning!
In all three of our morning services in the Sanctuary, I have the rich privilege of sharing the message with Liz Clasen-Kelly. Liz is a delightful woman of faith and in my humble opinion one of the most important voices in our entire region. She is the Executive Director of Roof Above, a nonprofit organization working to eradicate homelessness in our community. The agency was established in May 2019 through the merger of Urban Ministry Center and Men’s Shelter of Charlotte. With a full and part-time staff of 170 and an annual budget of more than $14 million, Roof Above provides street outreach, shelter and other services to more than 1,200 people daily. Liz has spent nearly two decades with the organization and its predecessors. She began her journey serving homeless people as an intern the summer after her freshman year at Davidson College.
I hope you’ll invite someone to church because you never know who might like to hear a fresh new voice for the homeless.
And now, as always, during these strange, uncertain, and yet hope-filled days. Remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.
Better … together,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know the folks at Seasoned to Perfection (STP) made blankets for a homeless shelter during their last Tuesday gathering? They had fun and enjoyed a delicious meal afterwards. Enjoy a FREE Pancake Lunch at STP on Tuesday, February 13 at 11:00 am in The Commons. Make reservations by Sunday, February 11 at 704-815-1982. Info HERE.
Did you know that last Wednesday the Hope for Minds & Hearts Mental Health team partnered with our United Youth team to show a screening of the documentary Anxious Nation. This was followed by a panel discussion with Megan Yaho, M.ED, LCMHC & Ian Murray, M.ED, LCMHC, from Southeast Psych. View a recording of the discussion here which was very helpful for parents & grandparents of children & youth in helping to understand the anxiety that many are struggling with. Thanks to both teams for making this resource possible for our families. Another resource on anxiety is The Anxiety Opportunity study beginning March 18 for teens and adults (click here to find out more).