6th Sunday of Easter | Mother’s Day
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that this past Sunday was Mental Health Sunday. Dr. Daniel Hale, the father of Graham Pierce, a church member, was our speaker for the morning. We are so grateful for Dr. Hale’s message and the beautiful connection with music and the arts given to us by our magnificent musicians. You can watch our worship here. You can also watch Peter Wright’s powerful GodStory here. Please make sure you take the time to watch his deeply moving story.
Following worship, 78 people from 8 different area churches enjoyed a delicious lunch and a presentation by Dr. Hale. This Lunch & Learn was a collaboration with Weddington Church in the development of our respective mental health ministries. Lots of folks shared that Dr. Hale’s personal story, and the overall program and service really resonated with them and were glad to see this difficult topic being discussed openly in the church. You may purchase Dr. Hale’s book here. Thank you, Monica Aguilera, Becky Yates, Julie Jones, Janet Dagenhart and so many others who are guiding us with our mental health ministry, Hope for Minds and Hearts.
This past weekend we also had our 7th graders at work throughout the weekend with their annual ROCKS Mission Weekend. I know it was a life-defining weekend of service for our young people and their leaders.
Yesterday, we were blessed to have the Melody Makers present their spring concert: Songs We Love to Sing. You can be blessed as well by watching here.
This Sunday is Mother’s Day: I hope you’ll take the time to be with your family and enjoy one another’s company. Life gets so busy that we move right along and don’t take moments to enjoy the sacrament of presence. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could appreciate the moment as a gift given to us by God? Not having to worry about the never-ending task list and all the demands that are being placed upon us and just enjoy the people, the place, the air we breathe in that moment. Perhaps this day can be that day.
Mother’s Day may be a hard day for some, especially for those of us who have lost our mom. It may also be hard for those who have a strained relationship with their family. For some, it may be a painful day for those with strained relationships with their children or those who desire to be a mother but have struggled with conception. God is in all these places and working in their lives.
Whatever the day might hold for you, I hope that you will thank those women in your life who are important to you. It could be your daughter, wife, mother-in-law, aunt, grandmother, sister, friend, or mom. Whoever it is, let the women in your life know they are loved and special. And if you are going to be with them, consider your time together as a sacrament, something set apart by God to enjoy and call holy.
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional for the week titled, A Mother’s Day Prayer.
192 Churches Disaffiliate from The United Methodist Church
On Saturday, May 6, your pastors and a number of our laity participated in a special called Annual Conference presided over by our Bishop, Ken Carter, for Western North Carolina. The action of the Conference was a vote to disaffiliate numerous clergy and churches from their connection with The United Methodist Church. It was a very sad day. These are women, men and churches that I have known, loved and respected for nearly 40 years. You can read the bishop’s letter here, an FAQ here, and listen to Bishop Carter’s devotional here as well as the Lay Leader of the Western North Carolina Conference, John Crane here.
As for Matthews United Methodist, we continue to make disciples for Jesus Christ by how we Reach, Teach, Praise & Serve. We continue to be a church that is longing to be known more for what we are for than what we are against. We are FOR people, FOR the community, and FOR the world. And we continue to be deeply devoted to God’s work in and through The United Methodist Church.
Another Prayer for a Heartbreaking Mass Murder
God of Plowshares, we confess our need to face the misery, brutality, and evil of gun violence in our country. Family, friends, and neighbors — children and adults — are being cut down by those with powerful weapons and powerful interests to ignore the suffering. We have failed you. We have failed them. God have mercy on us.
We grieve with the scores of thousands whose loved ones have been murdered in mass shootings, and in too many other shootings across this nation. We ask you to heal the injured, those whose bodies will be wounded forever, and those whose hearts are broken. We pray for all those living with the shock, trauma, and fear of these horrors.
Deliver us from anxiety and anger. Strengthen the resolve of voters, activists, policy makers, judges, and political leaders. Fill us with courage to change the laws that govern our communities so we may dwell in safety. Free us all from the idolatry of guns. May we lay down every weapon and wield compassion and love.
Send your Spirit of unity among us. May we stand as peacemakers in this time of anguish and sorrow. Amen.
A Note from Pastor Roldan
Pastor Roldan’s 8-year-old foster-to-adopt son, Mason, lost his biological mother on Friday, April 21. Roldan writes:
“Good morning, Matthews Family, I want to thank you for all your expressions of support and love for my family. Every word, every hug, every gift from you has been a blessing to our lives. For our entire family, Lisbey, Mason and myself, we are most grateful for your expressions of appreciation and love. Thank you.”
This Sunday in Worship
I hope you’ll consider inviting someone to our gathering of family, surrounded by hope and the love of God. This Sunday, you will have 5 different worship services to invite folks to:
- 8:15 am (traditional; in person only)
- 9:30 am (contemporary; in person or online here)
- 9:30 am Family Worship in the Gym (2nd Sunday of each month)
- 11:00 am (traditional; in person or online here)
- 12:30 (Spanish; in person or on demand here)
Our Spanish-speaking community will be celebrating Mother’s Day. The men will be cooking for the women in the Eagle’s Nest. Then on Sunday, the CCH young people will be celebrating mothers. Pastor Roldan will continue the worship series, Facing the Inevitable. His sermon title: Praying with Good Determination from Mark 7:24-30.
Family Worship (9:30 in the Gym) promises to be an action-packed service for the whole family focused on this month’s virtue of Confidence. Music, Games, skits and activities will help remind us that we can be confident that God is always with us, based on the scripture from Hebrews 13:6a, “So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.” Following the service, families will have an opportunity to take part in a mission project for our local Global Impact partner, Dove’s Nest and also make a gift for the special Mother figure in their life.
In all our morning sanctuary services, Pastor Jenny will be preaching on the preciousness of God’s family. Her sermon title is Be Radiant, and the scripture lesson is Psalm 34:4-5. Pastor Jenny says, “Jesus taught the disciples a different way to engage as a family. Jesus’ radical strategy enables all family members to shine!”
And now, as always, during these strange, uncertain, but hopeful days, remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.
Jesus is on the loose!
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know that there is a food shortage at Common Heart, one of our newest Global Impact partners? Common Heart provides food for over 13,000 people in Union County, and federal COVID funding supporting food stamps has ended. Families receiving this benefit have lost over $100 from their monthly food budget. To help our neighbors, we are hosting a food drive for basic food needs. Please bring these items to the Church May 14-June 5 & place them in the shopping carts at the Sanctuary or Chapel entrances or in The Commons. All donations are appreciated!
Did you know the United Women in Faith (UWF) held their annual bake sale in conjunction with the United Methodist Men’s Pancake Breakfast on Saturday? The UWF want to thank everyone who baked, bought and told friends about the Bake Sale on Saturday. Your support has allowed them to add $681 to their college Scholarship Fund for women. If you would like more information on the UWF, contact Kim Layton.
Did you know Stephen DeVore, the son of Fred DeVore and step-son of Amy DeVore, married Sydney Burmester on Saturday, April 29 at Catawba Falls Events in Lancaster, SC. Congratulations to all!
Did you know Pastor Chuck preached at the Annual Prayer Breakfast for Aldersgate, a United Methodist Retirement Community located in Charlotte on Tuesday, May 2? The Servant Leader for our Administrative Council, Suzanne Pugh, is the President/CEO of Aldersgate.
Did you know several of our church members, 7th grade ROCKS participants, and Faith Sunday School Class members joined the families of Rainbow Express Ministries (REM) and participated this past Saturday in a “work day” at the REM house? The work included planting trees, pressure washing, and lots of cleaning. Rainbow Express expresses their gratitude for all of the help!