Help! Thanks! Wow!

Help! Thanks! Wow!

Published August 4, 2021

11th Sunday after Pentecost
Just these lines, my friends …

… to say it was another beautiful Sunday at Matthews United Methodist! As always, the day included inspiring music, moving prayers and the captivating reading of Holy Scripture. I continued our worship series, “Why I am Enthusiastically a United Methodist Christian.” You can watch my sermon Because Practice Makes Perfect here.

This week was also our annual Music and Arts Camp. Our smaller, scaled back version of camp (due to Covid) was titled Jonah’s Druthers. Click here to watch the entirety of the Friday morning production.

THANK YOU to Jill Willis, Ashley Broome, Alix Arndt and all the servant leaders who made this week-long camp possible.

Wednesday Devotional

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional for today (click here). It is about some things I learned about prayer from a book I read recently. My devotional is titled, Help! Thanks! Wow! 

Staff Community Transitions

We are amazed at God’s provision for our staff community needs. Many times, God seems to call people right out of the congregation. Below you’ll read about the outstanding persons who are assuming new roles of service within our church.

  • Jenny Savage – Pastor Savage (I love the sound of those words) will begin her ministry as one of our pastors on August 8. Jenny and her family have been a part of our church for many years. You may be aware she recently completed her licensing as a Local Pastor in The United Methodist Church and will be assigned as a quarter-time pastor to MUMC. She will be leading our welcome/hospitality/connecting events ministries as well as our Disciple’s Path (exploring membership) classes. Pastor Jenny steps in to serve in many of the areas formerly led by Meg Moore.
  • Jill Willis – Jill is stepping down from the outstanding Contemporary Worship leadership she has given us the last couple of years. She will reduce her hours of work as the Director of Children and Youth Music Ministries, so as to accomplish her dream of deepening her education with a music degree.
  • John Woodall – Jill has done remarkable work in guiding John in his position as our contemporary worship band leader. We are thrilled John is now ready to assume the reins from Jill as our Contemporary Worship Leader.
  • Amy DeVore – As you may remember, Amy led our Global Impact ministry for a number of years. She is now coming on board our staff community (10 hours a week supported by a grant) to coordinate a new ministry called The Micah Connection. Her responsibilities will focus on educating, equipping and connecting our church in matters of inclusion, fairness, justice and peace. “Do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:9) will be the scriptural basis of this work.
  • Marianne Bowman – Marianne and her family have been part of our Matthews UMC for many years. She assumes the role of part-time Communications Assistant and is no stranger to our staff team having assisted in various marketing, electronic media, and facility projects in the past. Marianne has been part of the Vision Team to help our listening efforts as we move forward. She is an excellent addition to the team!

We are delighted to have all these people on board. If you see them out and about, please tell them “thank you” for serving and giving. Each of them, in their own way, will be about the great privilege that is ours to make the love of God real to our community and world in tangible, concrete ways.

Covid-19 Update

I honestly had tears streaming down my face late last week when I read the announcements from the CDC, our bishop and governor about Covid. This post-vaccine second Covid wave feels like a disheartening, yet very preventable setback. I know many are feeling that strange mix of grief and anger that Jesus must have felt in Mark 3. You may feel like Moses who, in Numbers 11, grew tired of the constant struggle and the “riff-raff.” In this wearisome journey, let us practice our faith more than ever. Facing the cross, Jesus shared a sacred meal, sang the benediction, and retreated into the garden to pray with exhausted friends.

An honest spiritual life does not turn away from life’s problems but lifts good and bad to God. Jesus woos us, “Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying loads, and I will give you rest. Put on my yoke and learn from me. I’m gentle and humble. And you will find rest for yourselves. My yoke is easy to bear, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11) As a weaver passes the shuttle through the loom, spiritual practices consciously move our lives through a loom of prayer, knotting our stray thoughts or frayed edges to the gentle redemptive ways of Jesus.

Dr. Sonja O’Leary is the Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on School Health. She writes, “The pandemic has taken a heartbreaking toll on children, and it’s not just their education that has suffered but their mental, emotional, and physical health. Combining layers of protection that include vaccinations, masking, and clean hands hygiene will make in-person learning safe and possible for everyone.”

Dr. O’Leary’s advice resonates for our church. We celebrate our online tools, but souls long for physical presence. And so let us press on together in this long wilderness struggle, wearing our masks once again. We all need our spiritual community. Click here to see Pastor Paul’s update to staff and the protocols we will be following.

Like you, I’m tired of this. It is wearisome and feels like a step backward. Yet, God is faithful in both the joys and the sorrows of life. Let’s move forward together as a reaching, teaching, praising and serving community of God’s grace.

Important Dates for Your Calendar

  • August 17Community Forum at Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, 7 pm.
  • August 21 – Our 6th Annual Hug-A-Cop Event at Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church. Drop in 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm for wonderful food and around the table conversations with friends from Mt. Moriah, First Baptist Matthews, Cross and Crown Lutheran and Matthews Presbyterian. All of this to say thank you to law enforcement in our community.
  • August 22 – Back to School/Church celebration.
  • August 29 – 5th Sunday Fellowship with our friends from Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist.
  • September 12 – Our 8:15 am worship service will return.

This Sunday (August 8) in Worship

We invite you to join us in person or online this Sunday at 9:30 am (contemporary), 11:00 am (traditional) or 12:30 (Spanish – in person only).

In our Spanish-speaking CCH community, Pastor Roldan’s sermon is titled Your Worship Must Overcome Your Situation from Job 1:20-22.

At 9:30 am and 11:00 am, we will conclude our worship series on Why I am Enthusiastically a United Methodist Christian.  Pastor Brad will be preaching and his sermon is titled, Because I Want to Make a Difference from Matthew 5:13-16. In addition, this Sunday I’m so excited for all of you to hear a unique collaboration from drummer, Tim Martin (Contemporary Praise Team) and organist, Kathy White (Traditional Worship Service) will be partnering (jammin’) on a song by Twila Paris. Arrive early for it will be offered as the prelude for both our 9:30 and 11:00 services.

You are the most loving, wise, and compassionate congregation I know. This is a church that chooses to do things that are inconvenient and difficult for the wellbeing of others. I am so grateful to be one of your pastors even in these continuously challenging times. By the way, may we never forget to remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.

We are in this … together,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II

Did you know that Allison Dundorf married Zach Frye this past Saturday? Allison is the daughter of Tom & Nancy Dundorf. Congratulations, Allison & Zach!

Did you know that Quinn Holmquist married Annie Janick this past Saturday in Durham, NC? Quinn is the son of Mike & Beth Holmquist. Congratulations, Quinn & Annie!

Did you know that MUMC will host a Covid-19 Vaccination Clinic in partnership with Vax Van on Sunday, August 22, 8:30-12:30? Please follow the signs on campus for the location to receive the Pfizer vaccine. Anyone 12 years and older is eligible. Reserve your spot here for the first vaccination on August 22 and the second vaccination on September 12.