Our Need for Community

Our Need for Community

Published September 18, 2019

15th Sunday after Pentecost in Ordinary Time/September 18, 2019

Just these lines, my friends …

… to say that Sunday was a full day that included the following: Pastors Paul, Corey and Roldan speaking of the peace of God, the 3rd trait in the fruit of the Holy Spirit; beautiful music in all our hours, baptism, scripture reading, persons preparing for membership through A Disciple’s Path, goodbyes to the Leo family, prayers prayed, Sandra Bullock on film, and so much more. You can watch here.

This week I’m away from the office for some time of study and the spiritual life. Please pray that I will be attentive to the work of God in my life.

Our Need for Community

I heard of a man who made a disturbing comment recently. He said, “I treat church like I treat my girlfriends. I stick around for a while, and then I go on to the next one.”

Church isn’t a beauty contest. It’s about relationships. It’s about community. He could not be cavalier about his church if he had spiritual friends there.

In the past, when I was appointed to a new church, I’ve had to leave behind close friends—people who were like sisters and brothers. I had to separate, at least for a time, in order for the new pastor to form similar ties. Breaking these connections has always been the hardest part of my vocation.

In one of his letters, the Apostle Paul says, “Never let one member of the body of Christ say to another member, ‘I have no need of you.’”

Perhaps the greatest need of people today is community. We desperately need relationships with people who know us, accept us, affirm us, and care for us—people who are committed to doing life with us. We need “for better or for worse” folks who will show up at 2:00 am when something goes wrong. We need mutual relationships, not one-way bonds.

Church is not the only place to find deep, meaningful relationships like this, but it’s the best place to start looking.

A Note from Gina/Ryan/Rosa Wilson

Gina/Ryan/Rosa are a part of the Wilson tribe (Ryan is my son). You/Global Impact helped to support their efforts in a recent trip to Zanzibar, Tanzania, Africa. They write the following:

Dear Matthews UMC,

It’s difficult to find words that adequately express our thanks to you. Your generosity went to help many babies and mommas. Bag-mask resuscitators and suction devices were delivered to three facilities that deliver over 20,000 babies each year. You made this possible.

You also made it possible for us to trial a new adhesive (sticker) that is a thermometer to detect if a baby’s temperature is too high or too low. We think this device will help identify babies who have infection and need antibiotics.

Most of all, you made it possible for us to continue to go back and love as Christ calls us to do … with no strings attached. THANK YOU!!!

Without all of you, none of this would be possible. We and so many in Zanzibar are deeply touched by your generosity and partnership to love deep. We love Matthews!

With a thankful heart!

Gina, Ryan and Rosa

Karen and I were a part of that great trip to Zanzibar. It was so life-giving to watch Gina and Ryan serve so deeply. We join them in saying a very special word of thanks.

Upcoming Dates

If you will, please consider putting an “X” on the calendar for these upcoming dates:

  • Pilgrimage to Peace on Tuesday, September 24, 7 pm, in the Sanctuary:  This is a most unique night for us. We welcome Dr. Mae Elise Cannon and her friends from Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP). Dr. Cannon is the Executive Director of CMEP, a consortium of churches seeking to be a part of conversations for peace among our Middle Eastern friends. That night, Dr. Cannon will be hosting a conversation with Rabbi Dr. Daniel Roth from Israel and Palestinian-American Aziz Abu Sarah, about multi-faith dialogue and engagement in constructive conflict, peace, and reality of life in Israel and Palestine. They hope to discuss the role all of us can play in hosting dialogues about disagreements and becoming peacemakers and reconcilers in the midst of conflict. Dr. Cannon says, “We believe we can bring hope to broken communities through the world – even to Israel and Palestine.” Click to event details.
  • Inclusive Grace on Wednesday, September 25, 7 pm in Room 97/99: Inclusive Ministry is a new ministry of our church. Its mission is to support LGBTQIA+ persons, their families and friends, both within and beyond the church community. All who would like to learn about Inclusive Grace’s mission, activities, community, and serving opportunities are invited to come on Wednesday, September 25. For more information visit Adult Ministries under REACH on the church website.

This Sunday (September 22) in Worship

We have all kinds of things to talk about this Sunday — makrothumos, bigger crankcases, people powder kegs, Joe Erhmann, hanging in there, irritating people, spiritual muscle and so much more. We’ll be examining the 4th fruit of the Spirit, patience … and we’ll be doing it in all our worshipping communities — Sanctuary, CCH and 801South. I don’t want you to miss one single moment of our inspiring worship together.

I know it’s not just MUMC people wrestling with these ideas of love, joy, peace, patience, etc. If you know anyone who might find our Spirited Life series helpful, invite them to join you!

I’m Choosing Peace,

Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II

Did you know that Seasoned to Perfection donated $1,000 to repair the dishwasher and an additional $500 to replace some other kitchen items?

Did you know that Matthews UMC printed the bulletins for Matthews Presbyterian Church’s August 11 worship service? We were delighted to be able to help our neighbors with this last-minute need when their copier was broken.

Did you know that the 11:00 Youth Sunday School class (now known as a Sunday Morning small group) wrote cards of encouragement for Carlos Rodriguez, who’s currently in Army Basic Training at Ft. Benning, GA? Carlos’ family and Pastor Roldan will be visiting over the next few days and will deliver the cards to him!

Did you know that David Bigham created a model of the proposed Memorial Garden & Columbarium? This visual helps people imagine what the project might look like. Visit Memorial Garden under About MUMC on our site if you are interested in a niche or memorial plaque.

Did you know that Global Impact hosted a kick-off breakfast celebrating the teachers at Greenway Park Elementary? Pastor Brad was able to personally thank the teachers, and our team of volunteers provided breakfast while over $800 in donated prizes were given away! Greenway Park Elementary has been named a Transformation School through their partnership with Read Charlotte. Contact the office at 704-847-6261 for information about becoming a mentor/tutor for a student in Kindergarten.