24th Sunday after Pentecost | Joash Chest Commitment Sunday
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that Sunday was one of my favorite days of the year – All Saints Sunday 2023. The morning was filled with meaningful prayers, uplifting All Saints liturgy, amazing music, and the names/pictures with the Roll Call of the Saints. It was a soul-stirring time as we remembered those who persevered in the faith and embodied love for us. If you missed being with us, click to online worship here.
This past Saturday we also celebrated the remarkable life of Bruce Davis. He was taken from us far too soon. On Sunday, I got a note from Rev. Meghan Clayton, a relative in the family who happens to be a United Methodist pastor serving in Williamsburg, VA. She wrote, “Pastor Chuck, as a United Methodist pastor, it’s not often I get to worship in the pews and for such a tender occasion. I felt moved by the music and worship, the focus on praise of God through Bruce’s life and example, and the testimonies. The sermon was especially thoughtful and did not ignore the reality of the family’s pain. I know well it takes many, many people in worship leadership and behind-the-scenes to make a service possible. I’m grateful for MUMC’s hospitality and great care! Thank you. MUMC is clearly a blessing to the Matthews community.” Thank you, Pastor Meghan, for your kind words. It is such an honor and privilege to walk the journey of grief with our families.
A highlight Sunday of the year is coming up this Sunday, November 12. It is Commitment Sunday, and we will gather for one special worship service at 10:30 am in the Sanctuary. Our worship will continue our celebration of The Pathway of Discipleship and this Sunday we will examine The Pathway of Commitment, as we commit to the future of our church’s ministries and mission. It will be an exciting morning together with all invited to a complimentary luncheon of BBQ and Bluegrass following in The Commons and Gym.
Over the next few days, we hope you take time to pray as you prepare to make your financial commitment for 2024. Please consider what it would mean to take the faithful “next step” in your giving. The extent of our ministry and witness in the name of Christ depends on the willingness of each of us to do our part.
As you prepare for Commitment Sunday, November 12, 10:30 am below are a few reminders. Please make sure you are in your seat by 10:30 am so you don’t miss our Veterans Salute. Stick around after worship for some great BBQ & music with Remnants of Bluegrass, a Charlotte-based band that will leave you smiling and happy. Kids, look for the activity table in the Gym!
- Hopefully you received your Commitment Card in the mail this past week. Extra cards are available at the Church Office or Welcome Center, or you may print a card or complete your commitment online. We will have a time of dedication for these financial commitments at the end of the service.
- We will record your pledge in our records, and then they will remain (sealed in an envelope) in the Joash Chest until we mail them back to you later next year as a reminder of your pledge.
- Nursery (up to age 3) available 10am -12pm. NO Services at 8:15, 9:30, 11:00 or 12:30. NO kids or youth morning small groups.
Also, Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes are due back this Sunday, November 12! You can build a shoebox online, too! Help us reach our 500-box goal!
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional for the week titled, Money is Like Water.
Matthews Community Thanksgiving Service
I hope you’ll make every effort to join us on November 19, 6 pm in our MUMC Sanctuary for our Community Thanksgiving Service. It will be a beautiful evening of Thanksgiving worship as we join our friends from Mt. Moriah, Matthews Presbyterian and Morning Star Lutheran. Let’s make sure we fill our Sanctuary with a bunch of United Methodists to welcome our friends from other churches.
Advent/Christmas Worship Series Begins on December 3
During the weeks of Advent, we are called to prepare our hearts, our lives, our relationships, and our world to receive the mysterious, amazing, life-transforming gift of God’s love made flesh among us in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. When we receive the gift from God, we are called to be the gift to others. Therefore, on December 3, we will be called to Be the Gift of Love; on December 10 to Be the Gift of Hope; on December 17 to Be the Gift of Joy; on December 24 (in our morning service) to Be the Gift of Peace; and then finally on Christmas Eve to Experience the Gift. I hope you are already planning not to miss a single Sunday.
Check out our plethora of opportunities for connection during Advent & Christmas here!
The Final Round of Disaffiliation
On Saturday, November 4, United Methodists from Western North Carolina participated in a special called session of the Western North Carolina Conference on the requests of 113 of 758 churches in our Conference to disaffiliate under protocols established by Paragraph 2553 of the 2016 United Methodist Book of Discipline. I continue to be deeply saddened by the churches and pastors that have chosen to disaffiliate. I’ve been in a number of these churches and some of these pastors have been my colleagues for many years. BUT I am filled with awe and wonder at the spirit that remains among those who continue as United Methodists. The United Methodist Church, and especially MUMC, will be a United Methodist Church that will always be known more for what we are FOR than what we are against. We continue to live into that statement carved in granite in the Gathering Space of our church: Matthews United Methodist Church seeks to become an all-inclusive Christian community which lifts high the Cross and shares the love of Jesus.
You will find several items below that will be helpful in your understanding. Please take the time to review:
- A letter from Bishop Carter.
- A video clip from the Lay Leader of the Western North Carolina Conference, John Crane.
- Bishop Carter’s Clergy Session meditation.
- Bishop Carter’s Annual Conference meditation.
This Sunday in Worship
Invite someone to worship with you on Sunday. They will experience a beautiful worship service and a great meal of BBQ. What a fabulous Sunday to invite someone along with you. They will experience the people of God called Matthews United Methodist making powerful commitments.
And now, as always, during these strange, uncertain, and yet, hopeful days, remember…God does God’s best work in moments like this.
We are the church, together,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know that seven MUMC members are traveling to Kenya with Zoe Empowers? We will meet the 96 youth that we support and hear their stories. The trip is Feb 20-29, 2024. Interested in joining us? Contact Amy DeVore at 704-815-1985. Registration ends 11/30.
Did you know that there are over 300 angels from six different Global Impact partners on our Angel Tree this year? Please sign out an angel tag beginning THIS SUNDAY and return the gifts by December 3. We are a light for the children and adults on the Angel Tree! (Photo below is from our Angel Tree last year…let’s make it another successful giving year!)