2nd Sunday of Advent
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that it was the first time in the nearly 40 years of marriage that we didn’t have one of our kids home with us for Thanksgiving. So, we invited Margie Vanasek and our Habitat family Marie, Celestin, John and Prince and had a splendid day of thanksgiving! Do you remember this beautiful family? We featured them in worship back in August. They spent 17 years in a refugee camp in Rwanda before coming to the United States. You can watch Celestin, the oldest son, telling the story of his mother, Marie, and her four boys here.
Pastor Paul and our other worship leaders guided us into the first day of the new year in the Christian calendar (the season of Advent) this past Sunday. You can watch here.
In Advent we prepare our hearts and homes for the coming of Christ. How so? Well, Advent encourages us to dream. Advent surrounds us with dreamers. Elizabeth, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds & the Magi – they were all dreamers. This season is for the dreamer in us.
It is for those who dream of a deeper connection with God and those who dream of a better world. It is for those who dream of healing and wholeness. It is for those who dream of freedom and new possibilities. It’s even for those who feel like their dreams have slipped away.
Advent is for anyone who yearns to travel into a realm of mystery and awe.
Is that you? I bet it is!
Join us every Sunday throughout Advent, online or in-person. Invite a friend to visit our festive sanctuary or to watch online with you. Together we are going to stand alongside prophets and angels. It is Advent!
Below is a summary of the activities, events, and worship services of the Advent season.
Celebrating Pastor Brad
It was with heavy heart, I announced a couple weeks ago about Pastor Brad transitioning to be a part of the leadership team with the South America Mission (headquartered in Fort Mill, SC) in mid-January. His last Sunday with us is January 8.
May I encourage all of us to celebrate Pastor Brad’s ministry. You can do so by writing a “Note of Gratitude” which you can drop off or mail to the Church Office: Matthews UMC, c/o Pastor Brad Hopper, 801 South Trade St., Matthews, NC 28105. In addition, I hope you will also contribute to a love gift for Pastor Brad and his family by sharing a gift directly with him (non-taxable for Brad) or mail a check with a “Love Gift – Pastor Brad” marked in the memo line or click here to make your gift online (taxable for Brad).
Pastor Brad and his family are a beloved part of our community. Let’s honor this deeply devoted pastor and family for their service among us with gratitude from the deepest places of our heart.
I also hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional for the first week of Advent titled “Moved by the Music.” Please click here to watch.
Estimates of Giving for 2022
Thank you to the many, many of you who have enabled us to get off to a strong start in receiving our estimates of giving for 2022. If you have not yet done so, please complete your estimate by clicking here. Your estimates of giving are the primary way our Finance Committee has to accurately plan for all the ministries and programs God is calling us to do next year. Thank you!
Let’s Finish 2021 Strong
I’ve been amazed at how we have financially navigated the troubled waters of pandemic. You are an amazing community of faith. The final days of the calendar and fiscal year provide the opportunity for us to finish strong. As my dad always told me, “Son, finish on your toes, not on your heels.” Church let’s make our 2021 financial finish on our toes with a generous, sacrificial December. If you are able to give a special gift, please do so. Every gift counts.
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 continues in the Advent series, Something Good is Yet to Come. This Sunday he will be preaching from I Thessalonians 3:7-13. His sermon title is Let’s Not Neglect Our Quality.
In our morning services, we arrive at the beginning of the 2nd week of the holy season of Advent. We are seeking to deepen our understanding to several of the sacred Songs of the Season. This week, we’ll look at the beautiful, haunting, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. Let’s look at its history and consider its meaning in the light of Scripture.
As always, I look forward to seeing you on Sunday. If you have gotten out of the habit of worship, why not make Advent the time to get back in the habit? Be sure to invite someone to church, or back to church; you never know who might want to enjoy some intentional connection as we seek and sow sacred dreams for our lives and our world.
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 the Parousia Class packed 60 food boxes and took them, along with 60 turkeys, to Greenway Park Elementary for a Thanksgiving food distribution? The event was funded by Feed the People Ministry.