1st Sunday of Advent
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that I hope you’ll take the time to watch our final worship service in the Engage worship series of the fall season. You don’t want to miss the short music video I shared at the end of my sermon titled, The Thanksgiving Song and my annual listing titled I’m Thankful. You can watch it all right here.
Matthews United Methodist, we’ve been disconnected for a long time. Some of us are still a little tentative about large crowds. But at Matthews, we are learning to connect and create community not just on Sunday mornings. There are many ways we are joined online through social media, online streaming of worship, online Bible studies, and even some of our recent gatherings. We need our community of faith now more than ever. I hope you will plan to be with us throughout the Advent and Christmas seasons – whether in person or virtually. We love you and are praying that God is bringing hope and healing in all aspects of your life.
Celebrating Pastor Brad
Pastor Brad and his family are a beloved part of our community. We announced last week in my Just These Lines that he is transitioning to be a part of the leadership team with the South America Mission (headquartered in Fort Mill, SC) in mid-January. His last Sunday with us is January 8.
May I encourage all of us to celebrate Pastor Brad’s ministry. You can do so by writing a “Note of Gratitude” which you can drop off or mail to the Church Office: Matthews UMC, c/o Pastor Brad Hopper, 801 South Trade St., Matthews, NC 28105. In addition, I hope you will also contribute to a love gift for Pastor Brad and his family by sharing a gift directly with him (non-taxable for Brad) or mail a check with a “Love Gift – Pastor Brad” marked in the memo line or click here to make your gift online (taxable for Brad). Let’s honor this deeply devoted pastor and family for their service among us with gratitude from the deepest places of our heart.
l hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my Thanksgiving devotional, titled “I Hope Tomorrow.” Please click here to watch.
Estimates of Giving for 2022
Thank you to the many, many of you who have enabled us to get off to a strong start in receiving our estimates of giving for 2022. If you have not yet done so, please complete your estimate by clicking here. Your estimates of giving are the primary way our Finance Committee has to accurately plan for all the ministries and programs God is calling us to do next year. Thank you!
Let’s Finish 2021 Strong
I’ve been amazed at how we have financially navigated the troubled waters of pandemic. You are an amazing community of faith. The final days of the calendar and fiscal year provide the opportunity for us to finish strong. I’ve told you before that my dad always told me, “Son, finish on your toes, not on your heels.” Church, let’s make our 2021 financial finish on our toes with a generous, sacrificial December. If you are able to give a special gift, please do so. Every gift counts.
This Sunday in Worship
We invite you to join us this Sunday in person or online at 8:15 am (traditional – in person only), 9:30 am (contemporary), 11:00 am (traditional) or 12:30 (Spanish – in person only).
In our Spanish-speaking CCH community, Pastor Roldan begins the Advent series, Something Good is Yet to Come. His sermon title is Align Your Heart With God, with scripture from Psalm 25:4-10.
This Sunday, we begin the holy season of Advent by immersing ourselves in music and singing. Each Sunday morning during the season, we’re going to take a different carol, look at its history, and consider its meaning in the light of scripture. And of course, we’ll sing the carol … along with a number of other carols as well. We hope this will deepen your understanding of these Songs of the Season, and maybe encourage you to memorize the words.
Pastor Paul will get us started with the beautiful early Advent hymn, Lo How A Rose E’re Blooming. In preparation for worship Pastor Paul says, “Advent is a wonderful season of the church year filled with anticipation and anxiety, darkness and light, story and song. Come with me on November 28th and let’s explore an Advent hymn that is familiar to many but whose backstory may be completely new us. Perhaps this is the year to add the story of The Christmas Rose to your traditions!” In addition, one of our families will light the Advent candle of peace and we will share in the sacrament of Holy Communion.
Finally, if you find yourself disillusioned by the craziness of the last nearly 20 months, then you will find in our transforming community of faith the steady reliability of the one thing that is ultimately always true: the faithful love and grace of God, given to us in Jesus Christ. At the end of the day, and now more than ever, it is still good to be the church … it is good to be Matthews United Methodist Church.
On behalf of the clergy, staff, and lay leadership of Matthews United Methodist, I wish you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving Day, with many glimpses of gratitude over the days and months ahead.
And now, as always, during these strange, uncertain, tumultuous, perilous, and hopeful days of pandemic 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 our 2021 Laity Service Award recipients (David Bigham, Joe Culpepper, Fred & Amy DeVore and Richard & Erma Martin) were honored at the Metro District Laity Service Award Ceremony on Sunday? You can watch it here. Congrats again!
Read below some of the amazing, thoughtful, inspiring reasons why our families support the life and ministry of Matthews United Methodist:
- “I engage in generosity in and through Matthews United Methodist because I feel called to share a portion of the gifts God has given me to support the ministries and programs we offer to further the teachings of Jesus.” – Karin Dunham
- “We engage in generosity in and through Matthews United Methodist because of Matthew 25:14-30 Parable of the Three Servants. We are instructed to invest our gifts from God and make them grow. With the grown assets, we try to give back a portion.” – Sean & Sylvia Burns
- “We engage in generosity in and through Matthews United Methodist because God has blessed us beyond what we deserve with family, good health and friends. It is a privilege to give back to God through Matthews UMC.” – Grant & Lisa Overbey
- “We engage in generosity in and through Matthews United Methodist because we have made a commitment to be faithful in our tithing because He is faithful to us. I really don’t think it’s a question of generosity, but more of a question of faithfulness. Synonyms for faithful as an adjective are loyal, constant, true, devoted, true hearted and unswerving. Synonyms for faithful as a noun are believers and followers. I would like to claim the noun faithful for us, and know that we are always striving to become the adjective faithful. – Roy & Pam Harrington