8th Sunday after the Epiphany
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say I know we all so enjoyed Rev. Tony Marciano from the Charlotte Rescue Mission this past Sunday. One takeaway quote for me was as follows: “Everything we do is to make the love of God real to the Agnes’ of this world.” Now if that line doesn’t mean anything to you, then be sure to click here and learn about throwing parties for prostitutes at 3:30 in the morning.
Sixteen persons joined the ranks of our transforming community this past Sunday. Thanks be to God for those who have committed to sharing the Adventure with us: Stokes/Kendra Laird (Charlie), Almaz Asresahin (Amanuel and Aliana), Gary Werner, Judy Lickert, Debbie Connors, Carl/Becky Smallridge, Brad/Amanda Brogdon (Miller), Dale/Jackie Elam.
I recently participated in a Zoom national meeting about the future of our United Methodist Church. I was filled with a great sense of hope about the days to come. People talked about how we are a denomination that has always had a heart and passion for disciple-making. We are committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. We are committed to making disciples who are grounded in the teachings and example of Jesus, disciples who are anchored by scripture and formed by tradition, experience, and reason. We have a deep desire to make disciples who live a life of personal and social holiness.
People shared how we don’t all agree on all things, but we long to be part of a church with different opinions and different gifts. We want to affirm the sacred worth of every child of God and make sure that all God’s children know they are welcome in this place. We want to be a church that has unity in the midst of our diversity … not a church where everyone is required to think the same way on things.
People highlighted how impactful our United Methodist denomination is with more than 12 million members across the globe. We are a powerful connection! We are living and sharing the grace of Jesus Christ with all. We have a passion for global health, education, care for God’s creation, children across the world, disaster recovery, and so many other important missional causes. The United Methodist Church has been a church that matters.
Matthews United Methodist (MUMC) has been a church that matters. We are a church that helps shape the world around us by caring for our neighbors. People look to our church for inspiration and wisdom. When you ask people in our community, “What churches are moving the needle in our neighborhoods, schools and community?” I know you/we hear Matthews United Methodist. I love that we are a church and a denomination that does so much good work together to transform the world. Even in our shortcomings, we recognize we are not perfect, but we walk humbly with God in repairing a broken world.
We are a church and a denomination that embraces the fundamentals of our Wesleyan tradition of making disciples. We embrace a church anchored in scripture and theology of grace. We embrace a church that aspires to be a more just force in the world. We want to be connected to all Methodists working toward good in the world.
Well, the virtual conference was a very encouraging time for me. Be in prayer for MUMC and for The United Methodist Church as we continue to be the hands and feet of Jesus for our families, our community, and our world.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday, whether in-person, livestream or through the week on demand. Be sure and invite someone to church. You never know who might want or need a church whose future is filled with hope.
Coming Together, Following Jesus, Changing Lives
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional for the week, titled, “Living on Purpose.”
Lent begins on Wednesday, March 2
The holy season of Lent is quickly approaching. Lent is the forty-day season of reflection and preparation for the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is a time of repentance, of considering the sufferings of Jesus and rethinking how we are called to take up our own crosses. Some of us give up things like chocolate or television during this season as a sort of fasting, and others try to integrate something new into their lives, like visiting folks in prison, sewing clothes, exercising, or praying. It is a good season to rethink how we live and to let some things go, or maybe even to develop some new holy habits.
Ash Wednesday (March 2) marks the beginning of Lent. Traditionally, the palm branches of Palm Sunday of the previous year are burned and the ashes are placed on the foreheads of Christians as a sign of repentance. I hope to see you in our Sanctuary on Ash Wednesday, 7 pm, to mark the beginning of this important holy season.
I hope you’ll participate in some of our Lenten connectional opportunities: Lent in a Bag, the Intergenerational Wednesday Night Lenten Ministry, and the MUMC Butterfly Project sponsored by the United Kids Ministry.
Hope for Minds and Hearts
Our Mental Health Ministry has new support groups starting on Monday February 28, Room 158, 7 pm. These groups provide a safe and supportive community for people living with mental health disorders and their families. There will be ministry representatives in the Welcome Center on February 27 to answer any questions you might have about the ministry. You can learn more about this ministry by clicking here.
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 II Samuel 6:10-11 and his sermon title: Strategic Adjustments.
In our morning services, we move into the final Sunday (Commitment Sunday) of our annual Global Impact emphasis where our theme has been Incarnational Faith. Over the past few weeks, we have heard stories of transformation and how Matthews UMC is making an impact through our International and Local Mission Partners. Thanks to your generous giving, Global Impact supports our mission partners with 100% of your donation going directly to these ministries Beyond the Walls of the church. During worship on Sunday, there will be an opportunity for you to bring your completed Faith Commitment card (green) and your Life Commitment Card (white) to the altar. Extra cards are available at the Welcome Center and can be printed on our website. You can also make your faith commitment online here. Thank you for your generosity and for your servant hearts.
The title of my sermon for Sunday is Are You Jesus from Isaiah 58:1-11. This scripture lesson offers us some great insights at how we might be mistaken for Jesus. Let’s take a few minutes on Sunday and talk about it.
And now, as always, during these strange, uncertain, and hopeful days of pandemic remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know that the High Point University Chambers Singers kicked off their Spring Concert Tour with an hour-long concert in our Sanctuary on Sunday evening, February 20? The Chambers Singers is the premier vocal ensemble of the university, and includes students from many academic disciples across campus and who hail from all over the country. Each person was chosen through a competitive audition and receives a scholarship for his or her participation. The choir rehearses five days per week and performs over 40 concerts annually.
Did you know that Pastor Chuck and his wife, Karen, attended a 70th birthday party celebration on Saturday, February 19, for Rev. Larry Whitley of the Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church. This is a big year for the Pastor Whitley and his family. In addition to his 70th birthday (Wednesday, March 2), he and his wife, Kris, will celebrate 50 years of marriage on March 25. Then on June 26, he will celebrate years 25 years of serving as the pastor of the Mt. Moriah Church. 70 years old. 50 years of marriage. 25 years at the Mt. Moriah Church. Congratulations! Well done, good and faithful servant.
Did you know that 69 people participated in the Poverty Simulation on February 20? Our friends at Rainbow Express Ministries provided lunch, and Common Heart led us as we walked through 4 weeks as a family living at or below the poverty line in the US.
Did you know that we had 23 ministry partners join us for our Global Impact Ministry Fair on Sunday, February 20? 100% of your donations to Global Impact go to mission efforts?
Did you know that Home2Home Ministries, led by Earl Coggins, provided 52 pieces of furniture to a pastor in Elkin, NC. This minister worked for Samaritan’s Purse at various disaster locations, living in a travel trailer. Now he and his wife have been called back to live in Elkin, NC where he will pastor a church there. If you are downsizing or moving and have furniture to donate, please contact Earl Coggins.