Just these lines, my friends…
…to say I got this note from an online worshipper this week: “O, Lord, what a morning! …the gorgeous Palms Prelude and The Holy City Postlude…the unique Processional with floral bedecked donkey…the delightful Childrens Choir…the stirring Offertory anthem with flutes and drums* and heartwarming Choral Benediction…the inspirational words from Pastor Chuck… How magnificent it all was, even though I experienced it all remotely. I cannot imagine the thrill it had to have been to be there, in person. Either way, the message of God’s Kingdom, His eternal love and His forever Power came through loud and clear.
Thank God for our church and our church leaders and the community of Matthews UMC! Thank God for all of you! Peace to you as you walk through this busy Holy Week.” If you missed Palm Sunday worship, you can watch it here.
And what an amazing Palm Sunday week: Feast with Friends, Jerusalem Marketplace, Methodist Men gathering to learn of the work of the Micah Connection, nine men from our Spanish-speaking community along with nine from our Faith Sunday School Class working in Lumberton on Saturday, people serving on Thursday for Room in the Inn (including 30 from our Spanish-speaking community).
Thank you, MUMC. You are amazing and I love being your pastor.
On another note, I’m not going to rehash the dump-truck load of grim news that has taken my breath away during the last days. I know you have been paying attention. My heart breaks alongside yours.
Instead, I propose that we wrestle with a question that is echoing throughout our society: “What explains humanity’s mean-spirited behavior and the never-ending drumbeat of unspeakable violence that haunts our time? Is there anything—anything at all—that might help us escape this spiral of death?”
This week someone asked me about where I would point someone who was struggling with these questions. I said, “The Cross.”
Oh, dear friends, I invite you to worship with us on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter (see schedule below). I invite you not because you need to do your time to be counted on God’s “nice” list. I invite you because this week is God’s answer to the most difficult questions that faithful people (and really, all people) have about the hardest aspects of life.
Come. Come for honesty. Come for change. And, yes, come for hope.
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional for the week titled: It’s Holy Week.
This Week in Worship
We invite you to join in special Holy Week & Easter services:
- Maundy Thursday Worship April 6 at 7 pm (Sanctuary & Livestreamed)
- Good Friday Tenebrae Service of Shadows with Special Music Presentation April 7 at 7 pm (Sanctuary & Livestreamed)
- Celebrate Easter:
6:45 am Easter Sunrise Service in the Sanctuary Parking Lot – bring your own lawn chairs (rain location in Sanctuary)
8:15 & 11:00 am Traditional Worship in the Sanctuary (Sanctuary & Livestream)
9:30 am Contemporary Worship (Sanctuary & Livestream)
9:30 am United Kids Ministry presents an Acoustic Easter Jam Service in The Gym
10:30 am Butterfly Release in the Courtyard (weather permitting)
Centro Cristiano Hosanna Spanish Servicios en Espanol: 6:45 am outside the Eagle’s Nest (rain location inside Eagle’s Nest) & 12:30 pm in the Sanctuary.
Nursery (3 & under) provided for all worship hours. There will be NO United Kids or Youth Sunday Morning Small Groups.
Bring flowers from your backyard to adorn the cross Easter morning. This tradition signifies the celebration and provides a beautiful photo backdrop to mark this sacred day.
In our Spanish-speaking CCH community, Pastor Roldan will be leading our Spanish-speaking friends in two meaningful Easter Sunday worship services: 6:45 sunrise service just outside the Eagle’s Nest and then 12:30 in the Sanctuary. He will be preaching from Mark 16:1-7, and his sermon title: We Have a Glorious Hope.
In all our morning Sanctuary services, we will be assembling the finest of musicians and working so very hard to make sure good news is spoken. My Easter sermon is titled What Do We Have to Offer? from I Corinthians 15:1-8.
You are considering inviting someone to worship with you on Easter Sunday, right? Did you know that recent research says that 8 out of 10 people would go to church with a friend if they were asked? I do hope you’ll find someone in your world to invite to come our way.
And now, during this disconcerting, uncertain, confusing and yet, hopeful week, remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.
A blessed Easter to you and yours,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know that Abigail Adcock, daughter of Kim & Toni Adcock, sister of Hunter Adcock and granddaughter of Larry & Melinda Jones, was married to Landon Kyle Williams on March 25? Congratulations to all!
Did you know that Joe Culpepper & Chuck DeLong of the MUMC Handyman Ministry replaced Kathryn Jackson’s mailbox last week? Kathryn was very grateful & sent along these photos. The Handyman Ministry helps our more seasoned adults and others in our area by completing minor home repairs.
Did you know that members of the Faith Sunday School Class and members of CCH repaired homes in Lumberton on Saturday? The next day trip is May 20, sign up here and join the team! These regional trips are sponsored by Global Impact, your gifts support these efforts.
Did you know that CCH served our guests at Room in the Inn for our final night this season? Everyone enjoyed the cuisine and the fellowship! THANK YOU to ALL the Room in the Inn volunteers and to Mike Mattes for leading this tremendous effort. This Global Impact Ministry served 250 guests total from December through March. Hot meals, hot showers, warm beds and fellowship show God’s love to our community. Compassion, kindness and mercy was present every Thursday night at Room in the Inn.