Life, Love & Baseball

Life, Love & Baseball

Published July 24, 2019

7th Sunday after Pentecost in Ordinary Time/July 24, 2019

Just these lines, my friends

to say what a great day of worship this past Sunday (July 21) at Matthews United Methodist: Matthews Brass at 8:15 and 11:00 (Wonderful!); baptisms at 9:30 and 11:00; new members joining at 11:00; and celebrating the 100th birthday of Mary Healy. You can watch it all here.

Thanks be to God for the following persons who, this Sunday, committed to sharing the Adventure with us: Craig/Ruth Andrews, Rick Calvert (Andi), Lisa Dalia (Preston Flock), Fred E. Hill and Rose Jullian.  Please join me in welcoming these our newest members.

Welcome New Members!                                              Happy 100th Birthday Mary!              

Zanzibar, Nurse Midwives and Helping Babies Breathe
As I write, Karen and I are just a few hours away from our departure to Africa. I mentioned on Sunday that Karen and I will be headed to Zanzibar, Tanzania, Africa on Wednesday of this week. Zanzibar is an island (population of nearly 1 million people) off the eastern coast of Africa, some 50 miles from Tanzania. We will be away for 17 days. We are joining our son Ryan, his wife Gina, and our granddaughter Rosa on this African adventure. Karen and I are going there to observe their work on the island with training the nurse midwives of Zanzibar in healthy birthing practices. Gina and Ryan have been making many trips for nearly 10 years to Zanzibar. We will also be there to take care of our granddaughter while Gina and Ryan do their thing. Please hold us close in your prayers.

The internet is a bit sketchy, but I hope to keep you posted on our adventures.

Prayer for Baseball

I had the opportunity the other day to pray the opening Invocation for the Southeast Regionals Cal Ripken 11 and Under Baseball Championship at Arthur Goodman Park here in Matthews. I love doing anything that has to do with baseball. Here is the prayer I prayed:

For life and love and baseball, O God we give you thanks for health and teammates and coaches for hot dogs and seeds and swinging hard for running out every ground ball, for always hustling, for a positive attitude, for keeping our eyes on the ball we give you thanks.

For home runs, and double plays, and a good bunt for Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays and Mike Trout for umpires that care, for extra innings, for line drives, for game-winning hits, for a diving catch and stained baseball pants but please, O God, no bad hops.

For every player and parent in this tournament we pray this day, O God, for them to always express humility and compassion for them to be honest and kind and selfless for them to be grateful and caring and encouraging. May each person that comes to the ballpark during these days be the best person they can be.

O God, there is no doubt, that this week will present us the occasion to observe the greatest little baseball players we will ever know our children. So be with them, O God, encourage them, help them to be as good as they can be, but most of all at the end of the day, whether they win or lose, please, O God, help them to know how much you and we love them.

For all of this and so much more, we give you thanks. Amen.

Dr. Kate Bowler, the Surgeon General, Addiction and the Emerald School of Excellence
I’m a huge fan of a professor at Duke Divinity School, Dr. Kate Bowler. Dr. Bowler is a remarkable teacher and cultural observer. She has such theological insight to life. This past week on her podcast, she interviewed our U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams. I hope you’ll take the time to listen to that podcast here.

After listening to the podcast, take time to check out North Carolina’s first recovery high school, the Emerald School of Excellence located at Memorial United Methodist Church on Central Avenue in Charlotte. We have several families from MUMC deeply involved: Jim/Trish Tanger; Craig/Nancy Niehous; Glenn/Gayle Harrison; and Tom/Nancy Dundorf.

Other Upcoming Dates
I hope you’ll put the “X” on the calendar for these upcoming events:

  • Lunch and Learn on July 28:The Endowment Committee invites you to a Lunch and Learn on Sunday, July 28, at 12:30 in Room 158. Tom Dundorf, President and Managing Director for Family Wealth Partners will be reviewing the impacts of recent tax law changes and how those changes are impacting your charitable and other deductions in 2019. Please RSVP by July 25 to Beth Lynn if you would like to attend. Learn more about the Matthews United Methodist Endowment here.
  • Answering the Call with Rev. Nicole de Castrique Jones on August 11 – Our “Answering the Call” series has highlighted many of the persons who have answered God’s call to vocational service in and through the ministry of Matthews UMC. Rev. Jones is the latest to come our way in that long line of outstanding persons. This is a real treat for us to have Nicole and her family to come our way.
  • A Church-Wide Worship Series beginning August 25 801South, CCH and our morning Sanctuary worship communities will all be learning this fall from Galatians 5. We are calling our series The Spirited Life, and the good news is that we have been given a guide for The Spirited Life. In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Church at Galatia, he gives us a list of qualities called “the fruit of the Holy Spirit.” This list forms the best description anywhere of the character that God wants to produce in you and me. Why? Because with these things at work in our lives they will produce nothing less than a transformed follower of Jesus.

Summer Brooke and The Mountain Faith Band
On Sunday, August 18, Summer Brooke and the Mountain Faith Band — a wonderful Americana, Roots, Mountain Traditional, Bluegrass band — will be with us for a few songs in all our morning Sanctuary services. My sermon that morning is titled, Hope in a House of Blues. Seems appropriate for a Sunday with a little bluegrass. Then that evening, 5:30 pm, Summer and the Band will do a full concert. We’ll close the evening out with an Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social in The Commons and the Gym.  I hope you’ll join us for this special community-building day. You can watch the band in action here.

This Sunday (July 28) in Worship
Sunday will be another day of beautiful worship for the people called Matthews. At 801South Pastor Corey will conclude the message series titled War: Winning the Battle Within Yourself. We will be looking at how do we actually fight the battle. CCH continues the series Overcoming an Enemy Called Average. Pastor Roldan will be teaching from Numbers 14:5-9. And in our morning Sanctuary services, Pastor Paul will conclude our Modern Family worship series.

Thank you for being so deeply involved in our transforming community where everyone is welcome, nobody is perfect, and you just never know what might happen.


Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II

Did you know Anthony Andujar is the current President of the Board of the Matthews Athletic and Recreational Association (MARA) at Arthur Goodman Park? Thank you for serving in our community, Anthony!

Did you know that Mary Anne Allen married Ethan Smith on July 13 at Myers Park Presbyterian Church? Mary Anne is the daughter of Alison Allen. The couple has served as small group counselors in our Youth Ministry for several years!

Did you know Mike Bare has been volunteering at Arthur Goodman Park for over 25 years? Moreover, he has redesigned several of the ballparks at the complex. Many thanks to Mike for serving in our community!

Did you know that your gifts to Global Impact helped a young unwed teen have the necessities she needs for her new baby? She and her family are living at the Turning Point shelter and now have a crib, bedding, car seat and a stroller, thanks to your generosity.

Did you know that the kids, teens, and young adult campers and volunteers at Rainbow Express Camp collected an offering throughout the week of camp for our friends at Wings of Hope in Jacamel, Haiti? The offering totaled $4,209.73!