Published May 3, 2023

5th Sunday of Easter
Just these lines, my friends …

… to say that it was a retreat weekend for Matthews United Methodist (MUMC). I was in lovely Hendersonville, NC with a number of men for our annual Men’s Retreat, our first one in four years (Covid really did a number on us). It was powerfully led by Earl Coggins, Howard Nussman and a host of other men. I loved it all, especially the fact that none wanted to come down off that mountain without being better men.

Also, our High School Seniors were away on retreat with Pastor Corey and team. It is hard to imagine that only a few weeks remain of the high school years. I know it was a special time.

If you missed worshipping with MUMC on Sunday, or would like to participate again, you can do so by clicking here. Pastor Paul has a wonderful message.

“When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” (John 11: 43-44)

This is a familiar story, but the instruction from Jesus stands out. He tells those who are standing around the tomb of Lazarus to take off his grave clothes so he can be free. I wonder if Jesus is telling us that we can be agents of freedom for others in our lives. We can speak truth to the lies that hold another captive. When guilt or shame try to destroy our sisters and brothers, keeping them bound, Jesus can use us to speak words of forgiveness and freedom over them. Stay alert. God wants to use you.

Wednesday Devotional

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional for the week titled It is titled, Humility.

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).

Pastor Roldan and his family are grieving this week. Roldan and Lisbey have a beautiful little 8-year-old boy, Mason, they are fostering-to-adopt. Mason’s biological mother died on April 28. Roldan writes: “Mason is an amazing little boy. His family thanked us for taking care of him. To God be the glory. Mason has been a blessing in our lives and we thank God that these difficult times have brought us closer together as a family.” We are so fortunate to have this special family in our midst. This Sunday, Pastor Roldan begins a new sermon series this week titled: Facing the Inevitable. His sermon title this Sunday is Learning from the Teacher from John 3:16-21.

Our morning worship services will be focused around Mental Health Awareness. We live in an anxious age. By some estimates, a third of all Americans will struggle with anxiety and depression in their lives, and nearly 20% currently suffer from an anxiety disorder. For those suffering the mental distortions of anxiety, life can be difficult, and hope elusive. And for many Christians who have tried and failed to stop their slide into fear and worry by simply “laying down their burdens,” they may feel an added sense of spiritual failure as well.

I’m so pleased to welcome Dr. Daniel Hale to all three of our morning worship services. Dr. Hale is a Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD. Dr. Hales’ daughter, Graham Pierce, and three grandsons (Ashton, Canon and Weston) are a part of MUMC. His sermon is titled Out of the Darkness and Into the Light from Psalm 31:9-10 and Isaiah 9:2, during which he will share share personal and professional insights on the intersection of the faith community and mental health. Note: Elements of this Sunday’s worship services, including the sermon and a GodStory video, will spotlight suicide and depression. This material may trigger strong emotions. In addition, we will have powerful special music and the introduction of the amazing people that are giving leadership to our MUMC mental health ministry, Hope for Minds & Hearts.

Don’t miss the podcast that Dr. Hale participated in (with our own Becky Yates & Rev. Paul Craig) hosted by Rev. Dr. Stephanie Hand. They shared how Hope for Minds & Hearts Mental Health Ministry is equipping the community through education, resources and developing mental health toolboxes in the local church context.

And now, as always, during these challenging, uncertain, and yet, exciting, promising and hopeful days, remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.

Jesus is on the loose!
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II

Did you know that Jeannette Coggins retired from CPCC (Levine Campus) on Thursday, April 27 after 23 years of service, first with NC Employment Security and then for CPCC. Congratulations, Jeannette! Enjoy your retirement!

Did you know that Chuck & Ryan DeLong participated in the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Xtreme Hike fundraiser on April 22? They were among 67 hikers who braved terrible weather & hiked 30.1 miles on the Appalachian Trail. They reached their goal & raised $310,000!

Did you know that a group from MUMC served dinner at the Dove’s Nest? Dove’s Nest provides Christian residential drug and alcohol recovery services at no cost for women and their children. Thank you, Carol & Sam Hatcher, Howard & Phyllis Nussman, Ron Headen, Marilyn & Joe George and Rich & Beth Buchanan for your servant’s heart! To serve at Dove’s Nest & other similar opportunities, contact Amy DeVore at the Church Office.

Did you know that your generosity during Holy Week allowed us to send $3,137 to Hearts with Haiti for the work at Wings of Hope? Thanks to you, 36 children & young adults with physical and mental challenges can receive housing, food, medical care and education at Wings of Hope (one of our Global Impact Ministries). THANK YOU!

Did you know that we had a blast at the Multigenerational Scavenger Hunt? As teams made their way around the Matthews area they completed hilarious challenges, visited local businesses and restaurants and sang and danced their way through over 50 creative clues. Congratulations to our winning teams:
Tie for First Place: Team Parkhurst (Allison, Patrick, & Madison Parkhust) & Team Nugs (Pastor Corey, Will & Avery Cecil)
Second Place: Team Beauts (Beau Snider, Aidan Hopper, Zach Dieffenbach, & Jack Jack)
Third Place: Team Merchant (Beth Merchant, Morgan, Kennedy, Camryn Williams & Avery Reynolds)