5th Sunday in Lent | March 17, 2021
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that it is hard to imagine we just passed the 12-month mark of this pandemic. It is hard to believe, but somehow we have made it through a year in this difficult season. As we are beginning to see the light at the end of this tunnel and considering how to move forward as a congregation with the experiences we have now garnered, let me share where I see us headed.
While the virtual world of small groups and worship has not worked for all of us, it has worked for many. Sunday School classes and small groups have grown during the last 12 months, as has worship. Because of the online audience we have built, and the future of our society being so well embedded with technology and virtual options, we will maintain our virtual presence with a slight change to our schedule beginning on April 11 at 9:15 am, 11:00 am and 12:45 am. Note the time changes. These changes in our worship times were made to allow us more time to prepare the Sanctuary between services for in-person worship.
The exciting news … we are going to return to in-person worship on Mother’s Day, May 9. You will need to make a reservation due to our maximum seating count of 175 persons for each service. (Set up an OnRealm.org account so you can make a reservation when they open May 3!) We will then be incrementally increasing our worship count as the governor and our bishop give guidance. Click here for the latest updates on returning to in-person worship … and learn how to make a reservation for Easter Sunrise Service in the Large Parking Lot. We will continue to observe CDC-recommended health protocols to ensure that together we make our building a safe space for all of us.
We are moving forward friends! Please keep praying for our church, our community, and our world. We are excited to take this important step forward on May 9, as we move into the bright future God has for us!
As we begin to close the distance between us, I’m reminded of the beloved children’s song:
“Here is the church
Here is her steeple
Open her doors
And see all the people.”
How good it will be for those lyrics to ring true again. I hope you will keep wearing your masks, get vaccinated as soon as you are able and continue to check in on one another regularly, and I really hope to get to see you soon!
By the way, did you know that God is much bigger, wilder, more generous, and more wonderful than you ever imagined?
I hope you’ll take the time to watch my devotional for today titled, “I Hope You …” It won’t take but a few minutes of your time. Please click here to watch.
This Sunday in Worship
This week our CCH community will gather for worship at 12:30 pm to continue in the worship series, Priorities That Do Not Change. Pastor Roldan will be preaching from Psalm 119:9-16, with his message titled, A Guide, So As Not to Get Lost.
At 9:30 am and 11:00 am we continue the journey along The Jesus Way, our Lenten worship series. This past Sunday we participated in a service that was a bit different, titled The Way of Worship. If you missed it, please watch here. This Sunday will be The Way of Holiness from Isaiah 6:1-8. Click here for a snapshot view of the remaining sermons between now and Easter.
We will begin a new worship series on Easter Sunday, April 5, titled Easter Earthquake! How the Resurrection Rocks the World. We hope to do our best to answer the question: What difference does the resurrection make in the way we face the critical issues/crises/concerns of our time as defined by the people of Matthews United Methodist? Come and see how a new world is offered to us through the resurrection.
And, as always, during these strange, uncertain, tumultuous, perilous and hopeful days 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 Communications Ministry received three awards from the United Methodist Association of Communicators? Members of our staff and Silent Images were recognized for their work. Thank you to our amazing Staff, Pastors and Leaders who provided thoughtful devotions each day, and to all the individuals who shared their stories! We received:
- First place in the category of videos costing over $2,000 video category for our Grateful Hearts: Creating Lasting Legacy through Matthews United Methodist Endowment
- Second place in the category of videos costing under $2,000 for A Community of Hope – Matthews UMC is a Church FOR the Community & FOR the World
- Third place for the category of social media/online content for our Daily Devotions Campaign: Providing Hope and Staying Connected during COVID