On Being a Dad

On Being a Dad

Published June 12, 2024

4th Sunday after Pentecost
Just these lines, my friends …

… to say that I do hope you were able to worship with us this past Sunday. If you missed, you can worship & hear Pastor Paul’s message, God’s Mission Statement, by clicking here.

Let’s talk about how The United Methodist Church is organized. A Charge Conference (CC) is the basic unit of the connectional system of The United Methodist Church. The CC of Matthews United Methodist Church (MUMC) is made up of the members of the Administrative Council (Ad Council). Most times when this group gathers, they are meeting as the Ad Council, but there are times when a higher level of meeting needs to occur (pastoral salaries, election of church leaders, etc.) and that meeting is called a Charge Conference. To have a CC, written permission must be received from the District Superintendent who then appoints an Elder in The United Methodist Church to lead and guide the CC. At MUMC, most times that would be one of your two Elders in our staff community: Paul or Chuck. Many important decisions are made when the Ad Council (roughly 35 people) of MUMC meets as a CC.

On Monday, June 10, I conducted a CC for the purpose of our church leaders determining whether to continue the study and development of plans for refurbishing our sanctuary and the initiation of a capital campaign to fund the project. Continue reading below about how our Ad Council (meeting as a CC) got to this important vote, and the results of that vote.

2024 Capital Campaign Announcement

In October of 2022 the Administrative Council (Ad Council) of Matthews United Methodist Church (MUMC) created a Building Committee to investigate and prioritize capital improvements that had been discussed by the Ad Council and our Board of Trustees.

Once recommendations were presented to the church leadership, a feasibility study was conducted to determine if we, as a congregation, would be willing to support a possible capital campaign to fund these much-needed upgrades to our sanctuary. The key projects were identified as follows:

  • Refurbishment to exceed ADA standards
  • Replacement of failing heating and air system installed in 1993
  • Upgraded sound/lighting systems, including LED screens
  • Increased access to language caption & translation
  • Modifications to the Chancel space

We presented the proposed projects, totaling roughly two million dollars, to 23 separate focus groups and surveyed the congregation for their feedback. Over 450 people attended the presentations and 263 responses to the survey were returned.

The results from these surveys are as follows:

  • 86% of respondents were “positive” or “very positive” about the plan
  • 77.5% were “confident” or “very confident” that MUMC could raise the $2.0 million over a three-year giving period
  • 87% were “willing” or “very willing” to financially support the plan, in addition to their current annual giving
  • 178 respondents indicated their potential gift would fall within a specified dollar range

Generosity Development (Sean Mitchell and Jim Holladay), our stewardship consultants whom we engaged for this project tallied up those potential gifts, using a conservative estimate for each giving range, projected that we might receive almost $1.0 million, or half of our overall goal. Based on all the information they have received and their expertise, the consultants conveyed a high confidence level in MUMC’s ability to raise funds to meet or possibly exceed the goal and recommended that we proceed confidently with the capital campaign.

Representatives of the Feasibility Study Committee presented their findings at the Administrative Council meeting on May 28th and recommended that we proceed with a capital campaign this fall, in conjunction with the church’s annual giving campaign. After discussion, the Administrative Council called for an official Charge Conference on June 10th, where the motion to move forward with the campaign was unanimously approved.

We appreciate all the feedback, questions and ideas received from the focus groups and confidential surveys. We have synthesized that information and created two lists of questions to which we will respond. The first contains inquiries that surfaced multiple times regarding campaign specifics and proposed projects. The second is a list of more detailed questions about the actual design, construction and scope of the project, along with additional updates for potential consideration. We have heard your concerns, are compiling the answers to all of these now, and plan to share them with the congregation over the next six weeks in my Just These Lines where the complete FAQs will also be available.

Thank you so much for participating in this important feasibility exercise. Now let’s faithfully move forward together living fully into our vision to “become an all-inclusive Christian community which lifts high the cross and shares the love of Jesus.”

Wednesday Devotional

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional for the week titled On Being a Dad. I want to share with you the story of perhaps the best example of fatherhood I’ve ever seen. It occurred in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain.

Pastor Jenny’s Departure

Pastor Jenny Savage officially leaves our staff community on June 30. She will be preaching on June 23 in all three of our morning Sanctuary services. Then on June 30, she will assist in worship, and following the 11 am service, we will celebrate her time with us at a reception in The Commons. You can write a note of gratitude to Jenny and/or contribute to a love gift for her. If you’d like to contribute to a love gift, you can do so with a gift to her directly (non-taxable for Jenny) or you can mail a check (taxable for Pastor Jenny) to MUMC or click here to make your gift online. Be sure to include in the memo line: “Love Gift – Pastor Jenny.”

A Note from Pastor Paul: New Faces & Places

Over the next days and weeks, you may encounter some new faces around campus, and I’d like to introduce them. When you see them, I know you will make them feel welcome and please introduce yourself.

Connor Johnson, our current United College-Age & Young Adult Associate is moving back to the Matthews area later this month and will be with us on campus full time moving forward. As we have in the past, we have two summer interns working with our youth and young adults. They are familiar faces around MUMC having grown up in church and participated in children and youth activities.

Sarah Biggers will be joining our staff as an Age-Level Ministry Associate on July 1. She will be full-time and responsible for grades 4-9. Sarah will be replacing Skye Humphries, who has decided not to return following the birth of her son, James, on May 28. Sarah is full of energy, excitement and is a child of Matthews UMC. She was an active participant in kids and youth ministry during her time and never stopped being connected even as a young adult.

Bob Higginbotham will be joining us for the months of June, July and August as our part-time Kitchen Coordinator. Bob and his wife, Julie (CJ and Will) are long-time members at MUMC and have been active in children’s music, camps, etc., for many years. Most recently, Bob has been leading music at Wesley UMC.

As previously shared, Rev. Bill Roth will be coming our way to be our part-time Associate Pastor replacing Pastor Jenny Savage. Bill will begin his 15-hour-a-week position with us in mid-July. He and his wife, Linda, have lived in Matthews for nearly 25 years during which time he served as the much beloved Pastor of Congregational Care of the Myers Park United Methodist Church (MPUMC). He is retiring from MPUMC on June 30.

We are grateful to have all of these individuals joining our staff team!

Upcoming Events

  • Coffee & Mingle – Tuesdays, June 18 & August 20 at 10 am in The Commons. Enjoy coffee & breakfast treats provided by Will Beans while mingling with friends and making new acquaintances.
  • Morning of Wellness – Saturday, June 22, 9 am-12 pm, The Commons. Release Stress, Deepen Your Spirituality, Discover Inner Wisdom & Practice Holistic Health through the principles of Yoga, Spiritual Direction & SoulCollage. Register
  • Summer Worship Series begins on June 30: The Good Life … The God Life: Exploring the Subtle, Subversive and Sublime Way of Jesus. Details
  • Summer Serve – VBS is just around the corner! 80% of campers do not attend church or have a church home. YOU make sharing God’s love possible at summer camps. We invite all adults and youth who have an opening the week of July 22 to sign up to volunteer.

This Sunday in Worship

We invite you to join us this Sunday at 8:15 am (traditional; in person only), 9:30 am (contemporary; in person or online here), 11:00 am (traditional; in person or online here) or 12:30 (Spanish; in person or on demand here).

Our Spanish-speaking community (CCH) will continue their series, Intentional Evangelism. Pastor Roldan will be preaching from Luke 15:18-26, and his sermon is titled Be Careful with Appearances.

In all our morning sanctuary services, I will be preaching a sermon for the whole family, but especially for men. I like to do so by looking at a dad in the opening book of the Bible, Genesis, who faced lot of life pressures. His name is Jacob. I think the story of Jacob challenges much of the contemporary talk of male power in which swagger, aggression, tough talk, and the swallowing of tears is regularly extolled. Men, I think if we can locate ourselves in Jacob’s flawed humanity, his thirst for power, and his eventual woundedness, we have a chance of experiencing God with the depth that Jacob did. On Sunday, let’s learn from Jacob. My sermon is titled Pressure Points for Dads, and our scripture lesson is Genesis 48:1-11.

Look around this week and see if there is anyone in your world you might want to invite to MUMC who just might be looking for some Father’s Day inspiration and fresh insight to life and living.

And now, as always, during these strange, uncertain, but hopeful days, remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.

We are better … together,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II


Did you know that Craig Estep, along with Sanctuary Choir members Don & Deborah Morrison, Frank & Terry Brown and Steven Beaver, participated in a conference/concert in Greenville, SC of a new work by Dan Forrest? Saturday, June 8th was the Southeastern premier of his newest work Creation. Dan Forrest is a prolific composer who has written a lot of choral literature and many are favorite titles that have been sung by our Sanctuary Choir. Click here for a short video clip of the rehearsal.

Did you know that Family Worship families had the opportunity to decorate a Flat Pastor Corey or Flat Connor to take with them on all their summer adventures? Take a look at the map outside Pastor Corey’s office to see where they’ve been on their adventures. If you’d like to join the fun, pick up your Flat Pastor Corey or Connor at the United Kids check-in desk!

Did you know that United Kids and Youth volunteers were celebrated at a luncheon on Sunday in the Commons? Thank you for serving with us. We couldn’t do it without you and your love for the kids and the Lord!

Did you know that Global Impact sponsored a work day at Blessed Assurance Adult Daycare on Saturday? It was a glorious day for our team to plant tomatoes, peppers & other vegetables, put out bird feeders and spread pine straw. Nate Huggins, founder of Blessed Assurance, helped and supervised and remarked: “my special population adults will again experience many of the simple yet profound joys in life because of you.” Thank you for your gifts of time and funding to Global Impact.