5th Sunday of Easter/Mother’s Day/May 6, 2020
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that it was so special celebrating Holy Communion with you this past Sunday. Although we were not together in person, this mysterious sacrament joined us in spirit with our Lord and with each other. If you missed the worship service, you can watch here: 9:30 contemporary service and 11:00 traditional service.
In the past days we’ve welcomed a number of wonderful persons to Matthews United Methodist (MUMC): Morganna Ciffarelli & Ben Leboutillian, Andy and Pam Cochran (Cole and Rowan), Jeanne Musto, Kayla Pierce(Brayden), Marc and CK Rizzo, Steve and Liane Stewart (Natalie and Jenny), John and Sharon Strickland, Chuck and Ally Traetto (Anna, Charlie, and Owen). These are our newest members. Join me in welcoming them into the life of our Church. We will make sure to introduce them to you in Sunday worship once we are able to gather together.
Mother’s Day 2020
There is a greeting card that says, “Well, I guess this Mother’s Day card is late. Looks like someone wasn’t raised properly.” That’s funny, but you shouldn’t buy that for your mom. We live in an age when people are reluctant to be accountable for their actions. Instead, we shift the blame to others. Dallas Willard once said, “Our leaders often talk about standing up for our rights. I would rather follow a leader who stands up for our responsibilities.”
In general, mothers are the ones who have stood proud and tall with the responsibility for raising the next generation. Often this happens with little fanfare, recognition, or even encouragement. The work of a loving mother is seemingly endless. Now that I’ve had the privilege of watching Karen serve our family as a mom, I reflect on the gift of my own childhood with renewed gratitude.
I took for granted all those drives to baseball games in strange towns in East Tennessee before the invention of GPS. I didn’t fully appreciate the curious desire to hear about my day in the car when I was picked up from school. I never gave a second thought to a hot dinner on the table each night (particularly the fried chicken). I can’t even count the number of times Kathryn Holley Wilson (my mother) taught me the right thing to do (even if it was hard) or helped me with a homework assignment, and I’m sure she prayed for me without my knowledge.
Not everyone is raised properly. Not every mom is a superhero, but judging by the mothers I have known, the vast majority of them are. If there was a movie about moms versus the Avengers, I’d bet my life’s savings on the moms.
An Update about Re-Opening
While I’m thankful for the blessing and safety of my home, my heart is beginning to long for the everyday community of this Church. Preaching in an empty sanctuary certainly feels odd. Still, I am thankful that God has been at work taking our homes and turning them into sanctuaries, even as our hearts yearn for togetherness.
The safety of our staff community and congregation continues to be the priority when considering how to move forward here at MUMC. All on‑site activities and programs will continue to meet virtually. While our site continues to be closed, we will broadcast worship live each Sunday at 9:30 am and 11:00 am. We continue to move forward by following the social distancing guidelines and directives from local, state, and federal agencies, and healthcare professionals, as we determine how to begin re-opening our MUMC site safely. I’m sure we will be receiving new guidance from our government and denominational officials in the days ahead.
Unfortunately, the re-opening of our site may affect some of our most beloved MUMC summer traditions. These cherished trips and summer camp traditions will have to adjust to ensure the safety of our students, counselors, and Church staff.
While this is not the spring or summer any of us had planned, we celebrate in the knowledge that the Kingdom is being built locally and globally despite Church doors being closed. In the coming days, you will hear details from ministry leaders about their plans to move forward and how your family can stay involved and active in the life of MUMC.
A Few Updates
- Just a reminder to send us your selfie to fill our Sanctuary! We have over 350 pictures of people/households taped on the pews and chairs of the Church, and we would love to have many more. We are adding your pictures week after week during these days of “Shelter in Place.” Contact Beth at 704-815-1989.
- I hope you saw our Passing of the Peace in our livestream worship this past Sunday (watch it here). We’d love to add more of you! Do you mind sending a short video of you and/or your family saying the words, “The peace of Christ be with you”? Contact Joel at 704-815-1981.
- You should have received an email this past Thursday containing a congregational survey from our Faithful Next Steps Vision Team. This team has been hard at work meeting with small groups, and requests that each member of the family – Youth, Young Adult and Adults – take this very important survey to help determine our faithful next steps at Matthews UMC. Click here to complete the survey by May 22.
- Click here to watch our Town Hall Gathering (held on April 29) for inspiration and valuable information:
Next Sunday (May 10) in Worship
Our CCH community is now streaming their worship service on their Facebook page, Centro Cristiano Hosanna. Watch each Sunday at 12:30 pm.
I’m going to preach a Mother’s Day sermon from the most famous verse in all the Bible, John 3:16. I hope you’ll join us at 9:30 am or 11:00 am. Click here for either service: YouTube.com/MatthewsUMC.
These days, my hope for MUMC is that we continue to be a vibrant source of encouragement to one another, to our community, to the world. God meets us where we are in the joy and in the sorrow. May we all continue taking that next step to navigate this transition together with grace and understanding.
Remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.
Keeping hope alive,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know that Nicole Savage was married to Randall Schneider on Saturday, April 25 at the groom’s family farm in Raleigh? Nicole is a child of Matthews UMC and is the daughter of Rex & Jenny Savage. Congratulations, Nicole & Randall!
Did you know that Rev. Susan Suarez Webster was named Community Leader of the Year by MeckMIN, Mecklenburg’s Metropolitan Interfaith Network? Susan currently serves at Central United Methodist Church, and is the daughter of Judy Suarez.