7th Sunday after Pentecost/July 15, 2020
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that we are right in the middle of one of our great summertime rituals, Rainbow Express Camp. This year it looks different (virtual), but nonetheless is filled with beaming campers and energy-filled volunteers. What a week! You’ll get to hear from a few of them this Sunday in worship.
By the way, this past Sunday (July 12) was bursting with beautiful music, meaningful worship and so much more. If you missed it, you can watch it here.
John Wesley and The Washington Post
Did you see the recent essay in The Washington Post where columnist Michael J. Gerson pointed to John Wesley, the founder of our Methodist movement, as someone who could shed light into our darkness and offer guidance on the path toward justice during these days of racial turmoil? Gerson used Wesley’s Thoughts on Slavery as applicable in our time.
By writing on the subject of slavery, and further championing its ending by supporting abolitionists like William Wilberforce, John Wesley bore witness to the Christian conviction that conscience takes precedence over government. Wesley was a Tory, and held a high view of the monarchy—but not one of absolute allegiance. In taking this position, Wesley stood against the notion of the divine right of kings as an absolute value, and he opposed those who had fashioned monarchs as little messiahs. Wesley was roundly rebuked for his anti-slavery stance, and Methodists were labeled as subverters of society. If you’ve seen the PBS Masterpiece series Poldark, then you know how Methodists in 18th century England were caricatured as enthusiasts and threats to the status quo. But Wesley stayed the course and sought to walk in the Way of Jesus.
Wesley bore witness to the conviction that slavery was the vilest expression of injustice in his day. The laws which legalized it had to be overturned, and the practices of the slave trade had to be overthrown. Just as Jesus overturned the tables of those who had made the Temple a den of thieves, Wesley called on fellow Methodists, other Christians, and all people of good will to overturn the tables of those who made England (and elsewhere) a harbinger of the evil of racism.
Galatians 5:1 says, “Christ has set us free for freedom” (Galatians 5:1). This sentiment is found in a number of abolitionist movements that have been marching in the streets the last few weeks. Michael Gerson is right to bring John Wesley into the picture, for if he were alive, I think he would be marching too.
Race Matters: An Invitation to Understanding
Listen to what some of our people are saying about the series, Race Matters: An Invitation to Understanding – featuring Leaton Harris.
- “I enjoyed your interview with Mr. Leaton Harris. What a special man. I am sure he opened so many people’s eyes on the subject of racism. I know it did mine.”
- “… thank you for hosting ‘A Journey to Understanding’. We found it to be well presented, informative, and enlightening. What a good learning opportunity for us.”
- “… I appreciate you guys for putting yourselves out there with your frank discussions about our misperceptions around race. I grew up in a small southern town with a physician father and nurse mother in a relatively privileged environment, who taught me that every person deserves respect regardless of their race and economic status, and have tried to live my life according to those early lessons. But I have learned so much more about my own implicit biases and the inherent inequalities in our society from listening to the two of you clearly address the realities of living as a minority in America today …”
If you missed Part 2 of the series featuring Mr. Leaton Harris, you can view it by clicking here. Through the years as I’ve gotten to know Leaton, I’ve always known in my heart that he was going to play in an important role in our Church life at some point. Well, friends, now is the time. You can click here to view additional resources on United Methodists Against Racism.
This Week (July 19) in Worship
This week in our CCH community, Pastor Roldan will conclude the worship series, Living Under the Shadow of the Highest. The scripture lesson will be Psalm 91:15-16 and the title of his message, “Relief is On the Way.”
In our morning services, we’ll be continuing our studies from the Old Testament Book of Nehemiah. We’re calling our worship series, A Church FOR the Community. My sermon is titled “Is it Time to Quit?” You can prepare by reading Nehemiah, Chapters 2-5.
And, as always, during these tough times remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.
Grace. Peace. Gratitude.
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know that two of our Global Impact ministry partners, Urban Ministries and Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, have merged? Roof Above has taken on the task of safer shelter and housing options for men in Charlotte. Global Impact has supported them through the crisis as they support over 100 individuals living in tents near the facility. They plan to open a 130-bed shelter inside a motel for any guest with a COVID-related risk condition.
Did you know that while you’ve been away from the Church building during the last nearly 20 weeks, the facility has undergone some wonderful cleaning and upgrades? All these matters have been conducted with careful attention to employee and contractor safety.
- Some administrative offices updated with new carpet & paint
- Narthex refreshed with new paint & chandeliers
- New pillows & lamps placed in Sanctuary Reception Area
- All interior doors re-keyed
- Walls and trim painted to refresh as needed
- Carpets steam cleaned, tile floors polished, and interior doors polished to refresh finish.
Thank you Del Funderburk and our Facility Team!
Did you know the Worship & Music Arts Ministry began some creative upgrades and renovations way back in March, and they continue today?
- Thanks to some members of the Handyman Ministry (Joe Culpepper, Sam Hatcher & Chuck DeLong) a new office was created in the Children’s Choir Room.
- The Adult Choir Room has had beautiful new cabinetry crafted by the hands of Clayton Jones and Scott Willis. The cabinets hold choir robes, storage for music and other accessories.
- The Production Booth in the balcony of the Sanctuary is being upgraded and expanded with new butcher block counters and additional work space. Joel Mullis, Scott Willis, Craig Estep and John Woodall are making the changes that will help make space for the additional folks in the booth who are facilitating Sunday morning Live Stream.