6th Sunday of Easter | Mother’s Day | May 5, 2021
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that I’m so excited to see you on Sunday! (Please make reservations here.) This will be our first Sunday to re-gather with a maximum of 175 in each Sanctuary service. It is crazy the emotions I’ve been feeling upon seeing so many of you in our trial run Sundays. It has been so great to see your faces back in the Sanctuary. If you missed this past Sunday, you could watch by clicking here.
I’m praying you are well these days. It is so exciting to see the numbers of reported COVID cases in the US continue to drop and the numbers of vaccinations rise. Can you feel it? We are getting through this together, and I anticipate that life will be normal again soon.
The great spiritual writer, Henri Nouwen, once said, “There is a great difference between successfulness and fruitfulness. Success comes from strength, control, and respectability. A successful person has the energy to create something, to keep control over its development, and to make it available in large quantities. Success brings many rewards and often fame. Fruits, however, come from weakness and vulnerability. And fruits are unique. A child is the fruit conceived in vulnerability, community is the fruit born through shared brokenness, and intimacy is the fruit that grows through touching one another’s wounds. Let’s remind one another that what brings us true joy is not successfulness but fruitfulness.”
And when I think of people who have born this kind of fruitfulness out of their obedience to Jesus, I think of Meg Moore. Meg has been the heart and soul of our welcome, hospitality and invitation ministry for several years. It seems to me that she has been at the heart of MUMC since time began, but now she is looking for a different turn in her ministry heart. By the time you read this note, she will have completed her time with us on staff. When you see her, be sure to say a very special “thank you” to Meg for her many gifts, graceful ways, and fruitful investment in all of us.
On another note, I want to celebrate our fruitful pastors. I received a note this past week from our United Methodist District Superintendent, Rev. David Hockett, in which he says, “The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church requires that every pastor be appointed for one year at a time. On behalf of the Western North Carolina Cabinet, I am pleased to inform you that you (Pastors Paul – 16th year, Brad – 17th year, Roldan – 11th year, Corey – 8th year and Chuck – 6th year) will again be appointed to Matthews in the Metro District, effective July 1, 2021. We believe this will continue to be a good appointment for both you and your church.”
Curt Walton, who leads our Staff Parish Relations Committee says, “We are delighted to have our Pastors reappointed to Matthews United Methodist for at least another year. We are blessed to have five outstanding individuals serving our congregation, and together they make an amazing team. We appreciate the consideration of the District Superintendent, and especially appreciate the willingness and commitment of our Pastors to continue serving our congregation.”
On behalf of all your pastors, thank you for your continued confidence in our leadership for this amazing transforming community.
As branches connected to the vine, let us choose each day to bear fruit, extending the hospitality of God to others, not for the measures of worldly success, but for the purpose of glorifying God.
Mother’s Day 2021
Susanna Wesley had nineteen children. That’s right, nineteen! Sadly, nine of them died as infants. Her husband was highly unreliable, jailed frequently, and terrible with money. At one point, he left her for over a year due to a minor squabble. Susanna’s home burned down twice. The housekeeper accidentally smothered one of her children. Susanna endured more than her share of trials, and yet she was so faithful.
As the primary provider of education for her children, she raised them to think and live well. Two of her children, John and Charles, became two of the most important Christian leaders of the 18th Century. John was the preacher who founded the renewal movement that became known as Methodism, and Charles was the incredible songwriter who composed numerous hymns that we still sing in praise today. One of my favorites is “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.”
I hope you’ll consider today how much of our faith was inspired by the steadfast love of our mothers. Make this hymn below a prayer of praise in tribute of mothers everywhere bearing witness to our souls and lives in Jesus Christ. Pray the words of the hymn as a prayer in gratitude for our moms. Please click here to watch & listen.
Opportunities to Serve through Global Impact Events
Disciple Bible Outreach Ministry Collection Bin will be in the Breezeway through Monday, May 10th. This ministry partners with Mecklenburg’s Sheriff Office to provide basic necessities to incarcerated individuals in need upon their release. Collecting: White Towels/Washcloths; Travel-Size Toothpaste, Hairbrush, Bottled Water, & Backpacks. Details at GlobalImpactMUMC.org.
Global Impact is hosting a Community Blood Drive in our Large Parking Lot Saturday, May 22, 9am-3pm in partnership with OneBlood. Donors receive a wellness check that includes COVID antibody testing. Schedule your appointment at GlobalImpactMUMC.org.
This Sunday in Worship
This week, in our CCH community, Pastor Roldan will continue with the worship series, A Church, Well Built. He will be preaching from II Timothy 1:4-7 with his message titled, Generational Blessings. Pastor Roldan says, “We will be looking at how the testimonies of Timothy’s grandmother and mother influenced his spiritual life and how we can apply those lessons today.”
At 9:15 am and 11:00 am we will be in week six of our worship series titled Easter Earthquake! How the Resurrection Rocks the World. We are spending these weeks wrestling with the following question: What difference does the resurrection make in the way we face the crucial issues/crisis/concerns of our time? This week we will be examining Families in Crisis from Deuteronomy 6:1-9. I hope you join us in-person or online for a hopeful word for the family.
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
Did you know that while ministry looked different over these past months, many changes have taken place on campus? Your generous giving has allowed for these upgrades! Our teams have:
- Purchased and now use The Clorox® Total 360® System — an Electrostatic Disinfecting Machine — to kill e coli, MRSA, cold and flu germs on campus. (This equipment is CDC approved for disinfecting for COVID and is the same system that Atrium & Novant use!)
- Painted and installed new carpet in Admin Offices.
- Installed new Narthex lighting.
- Added new accents in the Sanctuary Reception.
- Replaced lighting with more energy efficient LED lighting in the Sanctuary Reception & Choir Room.
- Steam cleaned all upholstered furniture, including choir chairs and pew cushions.
- Replaced storm-damaged automation controls for the HVAC system.
- Painted the Narthex & Welcome Center Areas.
- Painted The Commons, Gym Reception & Hallways.
- Painted and touched up areas in Sanctuary.
- Painted doors & handrails around the Sanctuary.
- Restored Sanctuary Parking Lot gate.
- Repaired, Sealed and Striped all parking lots.
- Added speed bumps near the Children’s Portico Entrance.
- Pressure washed exterior concrete surfaces.
- Reconfigured the stairs behind the Reredos.
- Added hand sanitizing stations throughout the campus.
- Stripped and polished tile floor throughout campus.
- Steamed cleaned carpets throughout campus.
- Relocated Facility Office to the Gym Reception Area.
- Re-keyed all interior door locks.
- Refinished the Altar Table and installed a beautiful new wood inlay.
- Polished all interior wooden doors.
- Added new deposit receptacle just outside the entrance to the Front Office.
- Installed new security camera system.
- Begun the construction on the new Playground installation.
- Removed two storm damaged trees at Eagles Nest.
- Ground stumps around campus.
- Repaired the stormwater retention pond.
- Installed new canvas art around campus.
- Reimagined the Portrait Gallery with new canvas art.
- Started preparations for the TELRA Charter School, including cleaning Classrooms and Offices.
- Installed new floor in Staff Kitchen.
- Resealed the Upper Chancel floor area.
- Removed the modesty rail in front of the Sanctuary Organ.
- Removed and cleaned HVAC vent covers as needed.
- Purchased new cleaning and disinfecting equipment and products.
- Incorporated new disinfecting and cleaning procedures on campus.
- Begun the process of replacing weatherstripping on exterior doors.
- Replaced landscape lighting at the Narthex Entrance.
- Replaced the Traffic Lane Dividers at the Chapel Entrance.
- Broke ground on the Memorial Garden & Columbarium…which are underway and taking shape