Jesus is Coming

Jesus is Coming

Published September 13, 2023

16th Sunday after Pentecost
Just these lines, my friends …

… to say that our Sunday (9/10) was a special one: Family Worship in the Gym (I heard there was quite a kazoo band on hand), the balcony presence of Stumptown Brass, the powerful music of our Praise Team, Kathy White on the organ after a time of vacation, the always inspiring music of our Sanctuary Choir, a moving Pastoral Prayer from Paul Craig, and so much more. Indeed, we missed our Director of Worship and the Arts, Craig Estep, as he was leading the music at lovely Lake Junaluska for The United Methodist Women’s Conference of Western North Carolina. Thank you, Julie Harris, for stepping in and leading our congregational singing and Sanctuary Choir on Craig’s behalf.

If you missed the kick-off for our new fall worship series, Pathways to Discipleship, you can worship with us by clicking here to share in mile-marker #1 along our pathway, The Pathway of Prayer. In addition, if you’d like to explore a new form of prayer, please click here, for an introduction to a form of prayer I practice all the time: Breath Prayer. The two books I mentioned in my sermon on prayer, Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essentials of Prayer by Anne Lamott and The Meaning of Prayer by Harry Emerson Fosdick.

The past week has been full and rich in so many ways: a beautiful Memorial Service for Angela Margaret Smith; a groundbreaking for our newest Habitat for Humanity project with two new families in a duplex;); beginnings for our latest Disciple’s Path New Member Class; new Disciple Bible Study groups getting kicked off; and Teen-A-Poolooza and the kick-off of our United Youth fall ministries.

Speaking of Habitat for Humanity, groundbreaking was Saturday morning (9/9) on a site directly across the street from our friends at the Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church. This will provide the space for at least two duplexes. I loved meeting our latest homeowners; a single mother with three children, and a single dad with two children.

On Sunday, I mentioned October 8 as a special day of homecoming for Rob and Susan Fuquay. Rob is a former pastor of Matthews United Methodist back in the early to mid-1990s. Today Rob is the Senior Pastor of the St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. I think Rob just may be the finest preacher in United Methodism. Susan, his wife, is the daughter of the late Bishop Richard Wilke, the founder of Disciple Bible Study. Susan, herself, put together the fast-track efforts for Disciple Bible Study. Rob will be preaching in all three of our morning worship services, and then on Sunday evening, 6:30 pm in the Sanctuary, they will be sharing with us about The Future of The United Methodist Church. I hope you will make every effort to be with us morning and evening.

I’m also so pleased to share with you that Pastor Paul will be taking some time of rest and renewal over the next number of weeks. Every United Methodist pastor is given this possibility after several years of continuous service. This is his 31st year of service in The UMC and this will be a first for him. With encouragement from me and the Staff Parish Committee these weeks will strengthen him for continued faithful service. He has nothing planned, but rest, reading a few good books, working in the yard, and staying close to his dear wife, Laura. He’ll return to us renewed for pastoral leadership in our beloved church and community. We are so very fortunate to have him in our midst. These weeks will be a gift to him as he is a gift to us.

Wednesday Devotional

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional about a billboard I saw this summer. My title for the devotional is, “Jesus is Coming.”

MUMC Becomes a Lighthouse Church

On Monday, August 28, the Administrative Council of the Matthews United Methodist Church voted unanimously to be a Lighthouse Church in the Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church. A Lighthouse Church is a church that will provide a welcoming place for any of our United Methodist sisters and brothers whose home churches have disaffiliated from our denomination. Many are feeling left behind by their churches and are seeking a new church home that welcomes all people without exception. At MUMC, we will seek to provide a welcoming place, offering ministry opportunities, helping organize groups in our community, and assisting individuals and groups in discerning their next steps as they find a new home.

MUMC has a long history of reflecting the larger community which we serve and worship. As recently as 1993 our church took the bold step of carving the dream into granite. That vision statement resides on the wall just outside our worship space: to become an all-inclusive Christian community which lifts high the Cross and shares the love of Jesus.

Since that time, we have continued expressing that vision in a host of ways as we strive to live out the spirit of those words. They guided our merger with Centro Cristiano Hosanna (CCH) in 2010. They are being lived out through our deep level partnership with Rainbow Express Ministries, Inclusive Grace, and The Micah Connection, among the many great ministries and programs happening in and through MUMC.

Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. -Matthew 5:16

Campus Upgrades

As you make your way to church the next few weeks, you’ll notice some work being done on the Welcome Center near the Sanctuary. We’ve wanted to refurbish that space for a long while. In addition, on Christmas Day of last year, you’ll remember we had a frozen pipes episode that left us with six inches of water in the Sanctuary and throughout our hallways. We have finally settled the details with insurance and are preparing for new carpet and flooring for our main hallways. It will be a fresh new look. The majority of that work will occur from October 9 – October 20. That means Sunday, October 15, ALL of our regular worship services will be in the Gym. In the meantime, we apologize for the inconvenience.

Upcoming Opportunities

MUMC Golf Outing: Thursday, September 21. Info & Registration
Parents Night Out: Friday, September 22, 6-8 pm in The Commons with games, dinners, crafts & more for kids 4 yrs-6th grade. Nursery also available. Register
Endowment Celebration Dinner: Thursday, September 28. Purchase tickets here.
New Studies: Faithful & Inclusive, Singles in Scripture, The Anxiety Opportunity & The Lectio Course. View All

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).

In our Spanish-speaking CCH community, Pastor Roldan will continue the worship series, Maintaining Family Unity and Sanity. He will be preaching from John 2:1-10 with his sermon titled, Let Us Not Question the Lord’s Instruction.

This Sunday we continue our fall worship series, Pathways to Discipleship. These pathways bring intentionality and purpose to every day. They are the way of creating tangible habits that support our heart’s intentions. John Wesley, the founder of our Methodist movement calls these purposeful actions, the means of grace.

This week brings us to The Pathway of the Bible. In preparation for Sunday, you’ll want to read II Kings 22:1-13, 23:1-3. We’re going to be wrestling with the question of how do we read the Bible so that it becomes a life-giving, life-transforming word to and in us? And be sure to invite someone to church. You never know. Someone you know might be struggling with things concerning the Bible and need some help at finding their way through this book of all books.

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

We are better … together,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II

Did you know that we tied over 2,400 bags between services Sunday as we prepped for the Potato Drop? Thanks to all that helped us reach our goal! Global Impact is sponsoring a Potato Drop to bag 40,000 lbs of potatoes on Saturday, October 21. See details & register to volunteer.

Did you know that money distributed from the Matthews United Methodist Endowment Fund contributed to sound system upgrades in The Commons and the purchase of new hymnals? Reserve your spot for the Endowment Celebration Dinner to be held Sept. 28 at 6:30 pm to learn more!