21th Sunday after Pentecost
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say how grateful I was to see so many of you on Sunday. The day began with powerful worship services including Cherub and Children’s Choirs and the receiving of the following new members to Matthews United Methodist (MUMC): Gary/Gail Burris, Jim/Lee Cornell, Jody/Karla Jennings (Graham). How thrilling when new people join our transforming community.
The day continued with people joining us for our “Meet the Pastors” on Sunday afternoon and then some stayed around for our evening concert with Westward Road. What a splendid day!
In our morning worship services, I reminded all of us of our word focus for the fall: Engage. We’ve been learning that when we engage, we pledge, we commit, we bind ourselves by engaging in practices that, if exercised over time, will enable to grow into a life that is centered on loving God and loving others. You can watch my sermon here.
Around here, we try and remind you of these biblically-rooted, time-tested practices all the time. Every morning as I begin my day with quietness at my desk, I remind myself of these practices. The first of these core practices is prayer: I will practice a persistent pattern of prayer. My relationship with God in prayer is at the center of everything I say and do. Please click here for a listing of these seven core practices.
I recall hearing one of our United Methodist bishops say, “A pastor who doesn’t pray for his or her people should be sued for malpractice.” That phrase struck me then and stays with me even now to remind me that my primary responsibility is not organizational leadership or preaching excellence. The chief job of a pastor is to pray.
Because we believe in the “priesthood of all believers,” it is not a stretch to apply the work of prayer beyond the profession and position of pastor to all Christians. Sure, we want to have great programs and adult classes at the church, but all of what we do should drive us first to our knees in praise, confession, and thanksgiving to Almighty God. Our buildings could be busy and our services full, but they would be empty of the Spirit’s presence and power without prayer. According to Jesus in Matthew 21:13, His Father’s home is ultimately a “house of prayer.”
You can pray for anyone at any time and any place, but there is something beautiful and potent about praying together. As infection rates continue to go down, maybe it is time for you to come back to the sanctuary to pray together this Sunday.
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my “Life” devotional for today.
Laity Service Award
Each year our Metro District of The United Methodist Church invites us to determine several folks in Matthews United Methodist that exemplifies a “commitment to the Christian way of life … contribution to the life of the church and the community … a devotion of self to the service of others … and follows Jesus to make disciples for the transformation of the world.”
This year I’m so pleased to announce that David Bigham, Joe Culpepper, Fred & Amy Devore and Richard & Erma Martin are our MUMC recipients. These six persons bring remarkable devotion to walking in the will and way of Jesus. Click here for a broader description of how these persons are deploying their gifts in mission and ministry.
David, Joe, Fred, Amy, Richard and Erma are gifts to all of us in the way they Reach, Teach, Praise and Serve.
This Sunday in Worship
We invite you to join us this Sunday in person or online at 8:15 am (traditional – in person only), 9:30 am (contemporary), 11:00 am (traditional) or 12:30 (Spanish – in person only).
In our Spanish-speaking CCH community, Pastor Roldan will be preaching from Mark 10:35-45. His sermon is titled, Be Careful What You Ask For. Our CCH community also gathers for Friday evening Bible Study where they are learning Biblical insights in managing money.
This week, we continue to Engage in all our morning worship services with Pastor Paul preaching on Engaging in Invitation. Our core practice of Invitation says, “Because God loves people enough to give his Son for them, I love people enough to invite them to experience God’s love and become disciples of Jesus.” You can prepare by reading John 4.
Most days around our church, I have no idea what I’m doing, especially in a pandemic … BUT, thank you again (I can’t say it enough) for the privilege that is mine to be one of your pastors.
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
Read below some of the amazing, thoughtful, inspiring reasons why our families support the life and ministry of Matthews United Methodist:
- “We engage in generosity in and through Matthews United Methodist because we “Love One Another”. – John & Valarie Ross
- “We engage in generosity in and through Matthews United Methodist because it is an act of worship that demonstrates our love and commitment to Jesus.” – Robert & Marty Hinson
- “We engage in generosity in and through Matthews United Methodist because we love the Church and we love this Church. Our family has been so blessed by God through faithful followers of Jesus Christ. Generosity is faith in action. MUMC continues to give us opportunities to grow, learn, and serve. We enjoy giving back to MUMC so MUMC can do the same for others.” – Fred & Carol Goolsby
- “As the son/grandson of United Methodist ministers, I remember the famous words of John Wesley, which speak well to a mindset of generosity:
Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.
I engage in generosity in and through Matthews United Methodist because of this wonderful community of believers that is dedicated to reaching, teaching, praising and serving others.” – Philip (& Brenda) Tate