How Noisy is Your Life

How Noisy is Your Life

Published June 18, 2024

5th Sunday after Pentecost
Just these lines, my friends …

… to say I hope that I’ve told you lately how much I love being one of your pastors.

Sunday was a wonderful Father’s Day for us at Matthews United Methodist (MUMC). Our music was beautiful at every turn, but especially with the Father/Daughter duo of Don and Shannon Remley accompanied by Kathy White on the piano and Leigh Marsh on the violin. It was gorgeous. If you missed being with us, please click here for moving worship and my Father’s Day sermon. Read below my prayer that concluded the sermon:

Gracious God, it is tough being a dad in today’s world. We would ask though for you to strengthen our resolve, shape our character, and break open our hearts, so we can be for our families what they need us to be. Most of all, O God, may our families experience your great love through us. Amen.


Annual Conference

By the time you read today’s Just These Lines, I will be at Lake Junaluska, NC for the yearly gathering of the Western North Carolina Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, made up of clergy and lay delegates from every United Methodist congregation from Greensboro to Murphy, Mt. Airy to Charlotte. All five of our clergy team will be there, along with lay representatives from our church (5 clergy and 5 laity). In addition, there will be another 33 people from MUMC who will be serving as district and conference delegates.

I appreciate your prayers for our work, as we organize, vision, and plan the work of the Western North Carolina Conference over the upcoming year. Pray for our bishop, Ken Carter, who presides over the proceedings. Most of all, pray that these next several days be times of joy, connection, and hope for the future.

On March 3, 1785, John Wesley wrote a brief essay titled Thoughts Upon Some Late Occurrences, which included reflections on the first time he gathered clergy together for what would become an annual time of conferencing: “In June 1744, I desired my brother and a few other clergymen to meet me in London, to consider how we should proceed to save our own souls and those who heard us. After some time, I invited the lay preachers that were in the house to meet with us. We conferred together for several days and were much comforted and strengthened thereby.”

Over time, Wesley realized that the long-term viability of the Methodist movement depended on all the preachers coming together for a time of holy conferencing, to conduct the important work of maintaining “doctrine, experience, right conduct, and discipline as essential to the permanency of Methodism.”

280 years later, United Methodist clergy and lay delegates still gather every year for those same purposes, along with celebrating ministries, worshipping together, establishing leadership teams, approving budgets, and deciding missional and strategic goals for the work of the church. The core purpose of the annual conference gathering, however, is still the same as it was for John Wesley and the first delegates: to be “much comforted and strengthened thereby.”

Thank you for the prayers!


2024 Capital Campaign Announcement & Questions We Hear You Asking

In case you missed last week’s announcement regarding the feasibility study survey results and background that led to the unanimous Charge Conference vote to move forward with a 2024 Capital Campaign, please click to read the complete details.

We appreciate all the feedback, questions and ideas received during the feasibility study process. That information has been synthesized into two lists of questions to which we will respond. The first contains inquiries that surfaced multiple times regarding campaign specifics and proposed projects. The second is a list of more detailed questions about the actual design, construction and scope of the project, along with additional updates for potential consideration. Tune in over the coming weeks as we share answers to your questions.

Questions We Hear You Asking:

Q. How will the Sanctuary improvements benefit the 8:15 and 9:30 services?

During the 8:15 service, Music Ensembles will have more space, and all will have access to the Chancel handrails when going up and down stairs to read scripture or participate in segments of worship. In addition, one of our regular 8:15 lay readers utilizes a wheelchair and would be better accommodated as part of the service. Many of our older members who attend this service will definitely benefit from the improved sound system and brilliant colored LED screens. A specific hearing aid system to enhance sound for people with auditory devices will also be installed. The newest hearing aids are usually equipped with this technology.

During the 9:30 service, Instrumentalists will finally have space to be together — drum kit positioned toward front, synthesizer close to the piano player, and base/acoustic guitarists closer to the other instruments. Removing dividing walls between musicians and instruments will enhance sound. Praise Team singers move forward, closer to the congregation for more engaging worship. Lyrics will be more legible on new LED screens, which is imperative because the Hymnal is not an option during this hour. All technology and sound systems/microphone and monitor cables will be hidden, creating fewer tripping hazards. And there will be plenty of floor jacks for all connections. The improved sound system will greatly enhance the contemporary instruments and vocals. With new lighting, we will also have the ability to set different moods for the contemporary service, i.e. color and directional focus. With all these upgrades, live stream will be much more modern looking and updated.

Q. Where will worship take place during construction and for how long?

The timeline is still in flux based on the scope of the work, but our goal is to only be displaced from the Sanctuary with worship held in the Gym & Commons space for a few Sundays. We will have a better idea in the next phase, when a construction schedule is projected, and will share those details once they are available.


Wednesday Devotional

In life we hear the constant drone of deadlines, pressures, and to-do lists, along with the heavy pulsing of anxieties, sadness, and fear. Over and against this backdrop of noise, the Bible calls us to observe a command rooted in the earliest days of creation.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional for the week titled How Noisy is Your Life.


Pastor Jenny’s Departure

Pastor Jenny Savage officially leaves our staff community on June 30. We are so thankful for her three years with us as one of our clergy. She has touched us so deeply with her wisdom, humor, and passion for hospitality and welcome. She will be preaching for us this Sunday in all three of our morning Sanctuary services. Then on June 30, she will assist in worship, and following the 11 am service, we will celebrate her time with us at a reception in The Commons. You can write a note of gratitude to Jenny and/or contribute to a love gift for her. If you’d like to contribute to a love gift, you can do so with a gift to her directly (non-taxable for Jenny) or you can mail a check (taxable for Pastor Jenny) to MUMC or click here to make your gift online. Be sure to include in the memo line: “Love Gift – Pastor Jenny.”


Summer Worship Series to Begin on June 30

Par-a-dox – noun. 1. A statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality, expresses a possible truth.

What could be more paradoxical than Jesus’ description of the “blessed” life in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5). What’s so “blessed” about being poor, meek, hungry or persecuted? The Beatitudes describe a way of life that contradicts some of the most commonly-held assumptions of the world around us. But in reality, they describe just how The Good Life … The God Life is to be lived. Instead of turning our lives upside down, they turn lives right side up.

Join us in worship beginning June 30 and continuing through Labor Day weekend for our summer series: The Good Life … The God Life. For a full guide, please click here.


Upcoming Events

  • Morning of Wellness – Saturday, June 22, 9 am-12 pm, The Commons. Release Stress, Deepen Your Spirituality, Discover Inner Wisdom & Practice Holistic Health through the principles of Yoga, Spiritual Direction & SoulCollage. Register
  • Sermon on the Mount – Starting July 9. Foundational evening study on the Beatitudes. Register
  • Beatitudes Women’s Small Group – Starting July 11. Delve deeper into our summer series with a Thursday morning small group! Register
  • Serve at VBS – July 22-26. YOU make sharing God’s love possible: 80% of campers who attend VBS do not attend church or have a church home. All adults & youth are invited to sign up to volunteer and share a few hours at any point during the week.


This Sunday in Worship

We invite you to join us this Sunday at 8:15 am (traditional; in person only), 9:30 am (contemporary; in person or online here), 11:00 am (traditional; in person or online here) or 12:30 (Spanish; in person or on demand here).

Our Spanish-speaking community (CCH) will continue the series, Intentional Evangelism. Pastor Roldan will be preaching from Acts 10: 19-28, and his sermon is titled Let’s Do Our Part.

In all our morning sanctuary services, Pastor Jenny will preach her final sermon with us titled Grace and Peace. God’s grace permeates our lives when we create space for His peace to bloom. Learn how to prevent yourself from blocking the flow of the Holy Spirit with a few simple steps. Enjoy God’s magnificent grace and peace as a result! You can prepare by reading 1 Peter 1:2b, Romans 8:5-6.

I hope you’ll invite someone to church with you. There is a lot of movement in our Matthews community this time of year with jobs and families looking to get settled. These newcomers are looking for connection. They are looking for a vital community of faith. Keep an eye out for someone and invite them to experience God’s love in and through MUMC.

And now, as always, during these strange, uncertain, but hopeful days, remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.

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


Did you know that the South Charlotte Middle School 8th Grade Moving Up Ceremony was held in our Sanctuary on June 6? We welcomed 299 students and their families to our campus. MUMC swag and invite cards were provided as an invitation to worship and events.

Did you know that United Kids summer programs kicked off on Sunday as kids sculpted modeling clay creations to represent our Virtue of Joy and our story about the celebrations we have in the church to help us remember all the amazing gifts God gives to us every day?

Did you know Mike Smith, a resident of Matthews Glen and neighbor of Tom & Sue Roth, captured this beautiful photo of the moon over our steeple one clear night a few weeks ago? We appreciate Mike capturing and sharing this inspirational picture!