Lessons from the Shepherd

Lessons from the Shepherd

Published June 2, 2021

2nd Sunday after Pentecost | June 2, 2021
Just these lines, my friends …

to say that on Monday I had the privilege of participating in our Town of Matthews Memorial Day Ceremony as well as the dedication of the new Matthews Veterans Memorial Park, sponsored by the Hooks-Orr American Legion Post of Matthews. It was a magnificent morning, and I’m so grateful to be a part of the Matthews community. If you’d like to read my prayers, you can do so here.

Speaking of an incredible morning, Pastor Paul’s message this past Sunday on greed and envy was extraordinary. You can watch it here.

Sunday was also the first time for many to be in our sanctuary at Matthews United Methodist (MUMC) in more than a year. We’ve missed the beauty of our sanctuary, but what we have missed most in church life is the actual life of the church.

We have watched worship online and taken communion at our kitchen table, but we’ve missed small talk and smiling at folks we only see on Sundays. I give thanks for the technology that has helped us get through the pandemic and for the new ministries which have grown out of it, but now we long for the human interactions and the little conversations in the hallways. To borrow the title of an old Broadway musical, we’ve missed the “roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd.” Because that’s what it means to be the church gathered.

Wednesday Devotional

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my “Lessons from the Shepherd” devotional for today. Please click here to watch.

Re-gathering Update

We have strived to move through this pandemic seeking to follow the best guidance of our public health officials and stay in love with God and one another (one of John Wesley’s Three Simple Rules). I have been amazed by the unity, kindness, and support within our transforming community for our very careful approach. As the CDC released new guidelines stating, “COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Based on what we know about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic,” many of us are feeling a sense of freedom and liberation.

Across four chapters of I Corinthians, the Apostle Paul talks about a radical freedom in Christ, “I have the freedom to do anything, but not everything is helpful … be careful that your liberty does not cause someone to stumble.” (I Corinthians 6:8) We Americans love to claim our rights, but Christian communities always ask what is my responsibility to others.

Please note the continued updates shared last week, including important details added for United Kids Ministry:

  • The in-person worship reservation system has been removed and all are welcome to attend on Sundays, including for the 11:00 Graduation service this Sunday.
  • Masks are not necessary for those who are fully vaccinated on campus (indoors or outdoors). We prefer that masks be worn by anyone who is unvaccinated but leave that decision up to the individual. We encourage anyone who would like to wear a mask to feel welcome to do so as they participate in ministry and worship.
  • Distancing markers have been removed and the process for entering, seating, and exiting has been lifted. Pew cushions are in place, and there are some sections where social distancing may be easier to maintain.
  • Beginning June 13, worship times will adjust to 9:30 am, 11:00 am & 12:30 pm (Spanish).
  • Age-level ministries and Adult Sunday School classes are scheduled to return on June 13.  Please check the websites for room, time and other details for ChildrenYouth Adults.
  • Deep Kids will return on June 13 at 9:30 & 11:00 am in The Commons with a special time of worship just for children. (Register for Deep Kids — Nursery (Infant – 3 Years of Age) through 6th Grade — at Kids.Matthewsumc.org.) Deep Worship & Deep Kids On Demand will continue to be offered online for kids worshiping from home. United Kids Ministry relies on volunteers for full programming and will only be able to return to regular age-level options when positions are filled. Please complete the Kids Interest Form to serve and make ministry possible while feeling the joy that comes from blessing the youngest of our church family with the love and joy of Christ.
  • Church opens through-the-week for ministry on June 28.
  • We will continue deep cleaning between services and on campus. To allow every effort for cleaning between worship services, please exit the Sanctuary in a timely manner.
  • Coffee House will be on hold until a later date. As we rapidly mobilize volunteers to make full and complete ministry possible, we request that anyone with an interest in serving please complete an online interest form: Coffee HouseGreetersKids Ministry & Youth Ministry.

Staff Transitions

We have all been deeply moved by the news of Madeline Kamp’s imminent retirement. We are excited for her.

We are going to be in the best of hands with Alix Arndt assuming leadership of our United Kids on an interim basis. Alix has been on our United Kids staff community for the past year or so. She is from England and moved to the United States 25 years ago with her job as a Research Scientist. She met her husband Mike, moved four times and six children later (ages 10-22), they have settled in North Carolina. We are most grateful for her passion to make the love of God real to our children. Alix says, “I’m honored and excited to be a part of United Kids and to be serving the amazing families of MUMC.” I know many of you will want to reach out to Alix and welcome her to this new role. I know many of you will want to reach out to Alix and welcome her to this new role. You can reach her by calling 704-815-1919.

Patty Rudisill has been serving in and through MUMC for nearly 25 years, almost all of them at our Preschool program and most recently as our Accounts Payable Administrator. She concludes her time with us on June 4 to begin a new position with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. We are so grateful for the years of extraordinary service she gave to MUMC. Rona Swakopf will begin right away in Accounts Payable. Please be sure to say “thank you” to Patty and “hello” to Rona (704-815-1980).

This Sunday in Worship

We invite you to join us for online worship this Sunday at 9:15 am (contemporary), 11:00 am (traditional) or 12:45 (Spanish).

In our Spanish-speaking CCH community, Pastor Roldan will begin a new worship series, The Clock is Ticking. He will be preaching from Matthew 25:1-9 with his message titled, The Treasure We Must Not Neglect.

At 9:15 am and 11:00 am, we will honor our graduates (high school, college, and graduate school). You’ll hear from several of these graduates as well as Rev. Corey Milliet.

And now, as always, during these strange, uncertain, tumultuous, perilous, and hopeful days of pandemic 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 we collected 20 pints of blood, which will help up to 60 local hospital patients during the Community Blood Drive held on Saturday, May 22? Thank you to those who served and donated during this event!

Did you know that Greg Coppage married Brittany Graham on Friday, May 21?  Congratulations to Greg & his new bride!

Did you know that Larry Curtis has been involved in Disciple Bible Study since 2003?  Not only has he taken all four courses but has led them for 13 years.  Last Wednesday evening he led his last one as he is retiring from being a Disciple leader.  What a wonderful blessing he has been to many folks wanting to enhance their faith journey.  Thank you Larry for your faithful service. If you would like to learn how to -be a part of this wonderful ministry please contact Kim Layton at 704-815-1913.