Juneteenth and Father’s Day

Juneteenth and Father’s Day

Published June 17, 2020

3rd Sunday after Pentecost/Father’s Day/June 17, 2020

Just these lines, my friends …

to say that I hope you were able to be with us this past Sunday, June 14. My sermon was on being patient with God. You can listen to the powerful prayers, wonderful music and watch the sermon here. If you missed last night’s conversation with pastors from five area churches in Matthews, please click here to watch our Covid Conversations.


To the best of our historical knowledge, in August 1619 a ship named White Lion landed at a coastal port near Port Comfort, VA, carrying 20-30 captive Africans to be sold into slavery. This landing symbolizes the construction of race as a defining and indelible feature of America’s core identity. It stamped black bodies with the ineradicable identity of subhuman property.

Today, it is my humble belief that the legacy of the White Lion landing prevails in almost every sector of American life. Black people continue to suffer 21st century versions of slavery, such as poverty, mass incarceration, and substandard schools.

This Friday, June 19 is the oldest nationally-celebrated commemoration of the ending of what the White Lion brought to the United States, slavery. It is known as Juneteenth. You can read about it here.

In my own listening and learning during the last few weeks of racial unrest, I have been led back to Psalm 139:23-24, where David says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” I have been personally asking God to search my heart and expose the sin within me that has grieved God and hurt others. Through this, I’m recognizing my own places of passivity, ignorance, words and inaction that too many times have hurt rather than helped bring healing and restoration. That breaks God’s heart and mine. I am committed to repentance and change.

All your pastors here at Matthews United Methodist are committed to repentance and change. I hope you saw Pastor Brad’s remarkable statement posted last week on Facebook.  Thank you Pastor Brad for your confessional and prophetic truth-telling. You call us to be accountable to the past in the very present.  Friends, I hope you’ll take the time to read his poignant statement here.

I’m also including an interview I did just this past week with one of our Church members, Leaton Harris. Leaton and his family have been a vital part of our Church for several years now. I have come to know him as a loving husband to Raila, caring father to Miia and Maison, wonderful business leader with Tek Systems, and a real difference-maker in our world. Click here to view Part 1 of our series titled Race Matters: A Journey to Understanding, Part 1.

Refer to our website for additional resources and actions you can take to help end racism.

By the way, here’s a question to be asking ourselves during these days: What can I do to answer God’s call to love and racial justice that I could not do before George Floyd’s death?

Hall of Fame Dad

Robert Lewis, in his book Real Family Values, tells about an interesting discovery workers made at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, Ohio, in the winter of 1993. While renovating a section of the museum they found a photo hidden in a crevice underneath a display case. The man in the picture had a bat resting on his shoulder. He was wearing a uniform with the words “Sinclair Oil” printed across the chest. His demeanor was gentle and friendly.

Stapled to the picture was this handwritten note: “You were never too tired to play ball. On your days off, you helped build the Little League field. You always came to watch me play. You were a Hall of Fame dad. I wish I could share this moment with you. Your son, Pete.”

We don’t know who the man in the picture was nor his son, Pete. We can assume it was someone who visited the museum and found a creative way to put his dad in the Hall of Fame.

As a dad, you would hope your kids would one day consider you a hall of famer. What makes for that, however, probably won’t be the things that are put in the display case. It is the hall of fame worthy. It is the love that translated into simple actions like showing up.

For you dads reading this, if you are like me, I can think of numerous reasons not to be deserving of the hall of fame, but thank goodness my career isn’t over!

“And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers.” Malachi 4:6

Would You Write a Note?

Do you have a few minutes to write a note? Last week Global Impact organized a project that sent over 500 handwritten notes of encouragement to a hospital in New York City.

Now we want to share the same love and encouragement with the staff and residents at Royal Park and Carrington Place right here in Matthews!  A simple note can offer so much love to an exhausted caregiver or a lonely resident during these times of COVID-19.  Click here for more information.

This Week (June 21) in Worship

We hope you’ll be with us online on Sunday at 9:30 am (contemporary) or 11:00 am (traditional).  Pastor Paul’s message is titled “I Love to Tell THIS Story!” from Luke 15:11-13, 18-20. He has some lessons for today’s dads from the worried father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son.

This week in our CCH community at 12:30 (click here), Pastor Roldan will continue his series, Living Under the Shadow of the Most High. His sermon title for this week is “­­Real Options in a World of Insecurities” from Psalm 91:5-7.

And as always, 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 Allie Little and Cam Watterson were married in a small family-only ceremony on Sunday, June 14, at Seabrook Island, SC?  The ceremony was conducted by Rev. Greg Little. Allie is the daughter of Tommy and Laurie Little.  Congratulations, Allie and Cam!

Did you know that Jonathan Nussman and Megan Murphy were married in San Diego on Wednesday, June 10?  Jonathan’s parents are Howard and Phyllis Nussman. Congratulations Jonathan & Megan!

Did you know that five Matthews-area pastors held an online community conversation about the pandemic last night? Click here to view last night’s Covid Conversation.

Did you know that 8 ladies from the Delia Lemmond Circle are writing 300 hand-written notes to nursing home residents in NC for Joni & Friends?  Since the residents can’t have visitors right now because of the virus, Joni & Friends thought this was a way to bring the Light of Jesus to them in their situation.

Did you know that Linda Reynolds will retire in August from Children’s Theatre of Charlotte after 17 years?  She was featured in an article in the Charlotte Observer.  “Her legacy will be the stewardship and dedication to the stability, vision and mission of the Theatre, and her focus on people and especially children,” said theater board chair Tim Rogers.

Did you know that your Global Impact dollars provided funds from the Disaster and Crisis Relief/Recovery Fund to Charlotte Rescue Mission for Friday night meals?  Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, no volunteers are allowed to offer food and fellowship. MUMC volunteers are sending a video devotion, along with food, to help lift spirits for those in the Rebound program.

Did you know that your Global Impact dollars donated funds from the Disaster and Crisis Relief/Recovery Fund to Zoe Empowers? COVID-19 has impacted the children in their first-year Kenya group, and our funding will help them with food, re-starting businesses, and providing for their siblings.

Did you know that your Global Impact dollars donated funds from the Disaster and Crisis Relief/Recovery Fund to COSKids for a canopy in their outdoor learning space for summer camp? COVID-19 has created new requirements for summer camps and this covered space will enable more kids to participate in outdoor learning.