3rd Sunday of Easter/April 22, 2020
Just these lines, my friends
… to make sure you know we want your picture! We have 300 plus pictures of people/households taped on the pews and chairs of the church and we would love to have many more. We are adding your pictures week after week of during these days of “Shelter in Place.” We want to fill the room, so please take a selfie photo of you and yours, email it to Beth Lynn, and enjoy making our Sanctuary space look full and vibrant!
A Text for Our Times
One of the great gifts of our tradition as Christians is that when we find ourselves in these unmapped spaces, we turn to Holy Scripture. We seek the Spirit’s wisdom in texts that speak into our situation that opens us up to the possibilities of the Spirit at work in these disorienting times. Pastor Corey gave us one such text this past Sunday — Luke 24:13-35. If you missed her message, please watch it here.
I believe this Easter text from Luke 24 is being given to our Church in this moment of upheaval and unraveling. I invite you to join me in dwelling around this scripture lesson seeking to hear and discern the ways the Spirit is calling us to be God’s people during this time.
For the last few days, the Emmaus story has been infusing new life in me. I love this story because it reminds me that Jesus doesn’t give up on me … even when I’m confused or doubting or discouraged, or even when I feel like quitting. The Emmaus story paints a picture of a risen Jesus who walks alongside of us in this painful, uncertain, perilous, disorienting, broken time.
Maybe what I’m loving best about the Emmaus story is the way it reminds me how Jesus always makes the first move. Jesus always comes to find us. Because you see, it’s not our inimitable character or unshakeable faith or our deep spirituality or even our selfless obedience that connects us with the risen Jesus. It’s the fact that he comes to us and walks with us … sometimes long before we even know who he is. Whatever road we happen to be on … no matter how dark or distant … Jesus finds us.
A Few Reminders
- Wellness Ministry – Our Wellness Ministry is designed to help navigate our members through any health or wellness issues that arise in our community, and help educate our members to enhance well-being. The Ministry has a team of health professionals who have volunteered to assist any members who may have questions or a need during this current health crisis. They have created a second FAQ that you can find on the COVID-19 response page of our website, which includes names of those on the team who are available to assist any of us who may need it. To learn more about our Wellness Ministry, please click here.
- Pray for your church, community and world during these uncertain days. We call it Fixed Hour Prayer. Every day take the time to pray for our church, community and world between Noon and 12:15 pm. In addition, we offer this Fixed Action Prayer to use each time you wash your hands. Hopefully, we are all doing a lot of that, so I invite you to pray the following: “Help me, and my Church, O God, to be a source of hope and encouragement to all.”
- All of you are invited to a virtual Matthews United Methodist Town Hall Gathering on Wednesday, April 29, from 7 pm to 8:30 pm atYouTube.com/MatthewsUMC. This is an opportunity for our leaders and congregation to connect as a faith community and answer some of your questions about our Church. If you have a specific question, contact Beth at 704-815-1989 no later than 4:00 pm on April 29.
This Sunday (April 26) in Worship
Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.
– John Wesley
Living as Easter people, we are reaching, teaching praising and serving in the world. I am proud of how our Church and staff communities continue to share the good news of resurrection, of love’s victory, in ways that are by necessity innovative and new.
When I look at our opportunities for ministry, I see us making real Wesley’s admonition quoted above. Thanks be to God through whose grace, all ministry is possible.
I hope you can join us online at YouTube.com/MatthewsUMC Sunday at 9:30 am or 11:00 am as we continue our journey as an Easter people.
Remember … Jesus is on the loose,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know that now is a great time to invite others to your virtual small groups and Weekend Adult Classes? Some folks are feeling isolated and disconnected right now, and being able to join a group through Zoom is a great way for them to not only find connection but to get to see the love of Christ in action. Take a moment today to invite friends, acquaintances and family into a Zoom class or study…you will be glad you did and they will be blessed by the connection! Kathy Zimmer is currently leading an online study “Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus,” and for the first time her sister in Tennessee has been able to join her. Join a small group by emailing Kim Layton or visit the website site to see studies.
Did you know that all three of our scouting groups have successfully transitioned to meeting online? The biggest challenge was Troop 39, due to its size, so they will be meeting in smaller units. The kids seem to enjoy seeing and hearing from one another.
Did you know Janet Colyer has been making face masks for many persons in her Mint Hill neighborhood?
Did You Know that Emma Rose Hayslett colored a beautiful picture to share about New Life?
Did you know that our children are sharing the Good News with their neighbors through sidewalk chalk, and door paintings — and even baking goodies to share?