2nd Sunday in Lent
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that last few days have marked the beginning of the season of Lent in the Christian faith. As many of us celebrate special dates on calendars, so does the church. In Christianity, we observe particular dates that cause us to reflect on Jesus’ life and ministry and thus deepen our faith. Last Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, marked the beginning of Lent, or the 40 days leading up to Easter. During Lent, Christians all over the world prepare their hearts for the joy of remembering Jesus’ resurrection and the new life it brings. The crux of the Lenten season is remembering just how much we need the resurrection power of Jesus.
In worship this past Sunday, we began our Lenten study of several of the parables of Jesus. In our first one, Matthew 13:24-30, we dug deep into the meaning of the Parable of the Wheat and Weeds. You can watch the service here.
We continue to join our hearts and spirits in prayer for the devastation occurring in the country of Ukraine and the trauma experienced by its people around the world. We pray for an end to violence, comfort for the mourning and frightened, and an emergence of strong leadership to rise against tyranny and injustice.
We have two in our midst that hail from Ukraine: Masha Guffey and Dimitriy Soloshenko. Both of their hearts are deeply burdened for family and friends back home. Hold them close in your prayers.
May we be guided by the words of this spiritual anthem of the people of Ukraine. It is called “Prayer for Ukraine,” written by Oleksander Konysky, and is often sung at the conclusion of worship services in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
PRAYER FOR UKRAINE
Lord, oh the Great and Almighty,
Protect our beloved Ukraine,
Bless her with freedom and the light
Of your holy rays.
With learning and knowledge enlighten
Us, your children small,
In love pure and everlasting
Let us, oh Lord, grow.
We pray, oh Lord Almighty,
Protect our beloved Ukraine,
Grant our people and country
All your kindness and grace.
Bless us with freedom, bless us with wisdom,
Guide us into a kind world,
Bless us, oh Lord, with good fortune
Forever and evermore.
If you’d like to contribute to Ukrainian Relief, you can do so through the MUMC Global Impact Disaster Relief Fund by clicking here, choose “Other” under Fund, and write “Ukraine” in the memo line. We can assist the people of the Ukraine via UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief), the humanitarian relief arm of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church. This fund provides direct assistance to those in Ukraine as well as assistance to Ukrainians fleeing to neighboring countries. The United Methodist community in Ukraine is actively engaged in assisting neighbors in need. Global Ministries is in touch with the church’s leadership as well as with church leaders in countries welcoming those who are fleeing from violence in Ukraine.
Coming Together, Following Jesus, Changing Lives
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional for the week. The devotional is titled “National Napping Day and Lent.”
Matthews United Methodist Endowment
Four short years ago we began our Matthews United Methodist Endowment Fund. For the third consecutive year our Endowment will distribute earnings to church operations. For 2022, $8900 will be distributed to the Board of Trustees and Finance Committee. We are grateful for every gift made to the Endowment in 2021. We are grateful for outstanding leadership of the Endowment by Terry Efird. We are grateful for persons who have left the Endowment in their end-of-life planning. We are grateful that the faithful of MUMC recognize the work of an Endowment is a marathon and not a sprint. You can read the Report to the Congregation for 2021 activity and 2022 plans here.
Update on Plans for General Conference of The United Methodist Church
This week brought a lot of news related to The United Methodist Church. The Commission on the General Conference announced on March 3 the further postponement of General Conference until 2024 due to the pandemic and government related obstacles.
There are several items you can read for more info:
- The full announcement from the Commission on the General Conference
- A pastoral response from our Western North Carolina Conference Resident Bishop Ken Carter
- A statement from Council of Bishops President Cynthia Fierro Harvey
- A vision of the future for United Methodists in Western North Carolina from our General and Jurisdictional conference delegates. I’m particularly drawn to this statement as a vision for what will unite United Methodist churches of Western North Carolina. Our very own, Amy DeVore, is one of these delegates.
What does all this mean for Matthews United Methodist? Well, it means we will continue, but strengthen our efforts to Reach, Teach, Praise and Serve. It means we will continue and strengthen our efforts to make the love of God real in tangible ways to our community … to the world. It means we will continue and strengthen our efforts to be a church not just in the community, but for the community. It means we will continue and strengthen our efforts to be a church that is Christ-centered, biblically-rooted, warm-hearted, open-minded, mission-directed and connectionally committed. It means we will continue and strengthen our efforts to be a church known more for what we are for than what we are against. It means we will continue and strengthen our efforts to be a church that is regathering, connecting, building community, and fostering unity through programs, ministries, relationships, and small groups. It means we will continue and strengthen our efforts to be a church that learns about Jesus and learns from Jesus, but more importantly a church that imitates and lives like Jesus. And it means we will continue and strengthen our efforts to be a church with an emphasis on grace, a passionate faith in Jesus Christ, and a heart for serving the world around us whatever the need may be.
We’ve been doing these things for nearly 150 years. There is no reason to think we will not be doing so for another 150 years.
Thank you for sharing the Adventure with us.
“For as the earth bursts with spring wildflowers, and as a garden cascades with blossoms,
So the Master, God, brings righteousness into full bloom and puts praise on display before the nations.”
Isaiah 61:11 The Message
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). Please note this Sunday we “spring forward” by moving our clocks ahead one hour before we go to sleep on Saturday night.
In our Spanish-speaking CCH community, Pastor Roldan is guiding the community through Lent. His Lenten sermon series is titled, The Story We All Must Tell. This Sunday he is preaching from Philippians 3:17-4:1 and his sermon title: There is No Way Back.
In our morning Sanctuary services, we continue with our Lenten series on the parables of Jesus. We’ve titled the series, Jesus, I Wish You Hadn’t Said That. My sermon is titled, Forgive As You Are Forgiven from Matthew 18:21-35.
At 9:30 and 11:00 am, we will have the opportunity to hear from our two Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship recipients from the Crestdale/Mt. Moriah Community: Indya Rose Burns and Timothy Little. I’m so excited to introduce them to you.
By the way, it is also a United Kids Family Worship Sunday (the second Sunday of the month) at 9:30 am in the Gym. This is where kids bring their family to worship! You will enjoy dancing, singing, skits, games, reflect on a Bible lesson and learn to apply it to your lives.
I hope to see you on Sunday. Remember to invite someone to church or reach out to someone you haven’t seen in a while. There is power in an invitation, and you never know who might want to take a walk with Jesus this Lent. It will be good to be together.
And now, as always, during these strange, uncertain, and hopeful days, remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know that newly retired church member Chris Davis recently repaired walls and painted several staff offices? Thank you, Chris, for your hard work!
Did you know that over 20 of our sisters and brothers in the CCH community are gathering for prayer at 6 am via Zoom during Lent?
Did you know that Jessie Lindberg received the ATHENA Leadership Award for Service? Jessie serves as the Executive Director for Turning Point, and this award recognizes outstanding & emerging leaders who serve as mentors & role models in our community. Congratulations, Jessie!
Did you know that COSKids is offering childcare for the Rasoul family? After evacuating Afghanistan, the mother, Nabila, died in a tragic accident last month. The father and 3 children are in our prayers as they begin a new journey without Nabila. Thank you to the staff of COSKids who are making room in their facility and in their hearts for these precious children. COSKids is one of our Global Impact ministry partners serving families in our community. Your contributions to Global Impact help support COSKids.