Our Story is Grace

Our Story is Grace

Published January 31, 2024

5th Sunday after the Epiphany
Just these lines, my friends …

… to say that Karen and I are away for twelve days with our family in Southern California. Our family is gathering for several days to remember and celebrate Karen’s father, Bill Payne, who entered life eternal near the end of October 2023. Karen and her sister have been working on our trip for weeks. So, we gather to honor him in La Quinta, CA, perhaps his favorite place on the earth.

I know you enjoyed hearing Rev. Dawn Hand’s outstanding message, With Hope from Jeremiah 29:11, on Sunday. If you missed worshipping with us, you can do so here.

Our 2024 Leadership Connection was held Saturday, January 27. We use this time each year to say thank you to amazing lay leaders who have served so faithfully … and preparing new lay leadership for the days ahead. Thank you, Christa Tyson and Rev. Dawn Hand, for your outstanding and challenging presentations for the morning. Our theme for this year was Leadership in Turbulent Times, and you can watch our morning here.

We concluded the morning with a brief gathering of our Administrative Council meeting as a Charge Conference. A Charge Conference was necessary due to action on our pastoral salaries. We also voted to approve our Finance Committee’s unanimous recommendation for a 2024 budget. You can click here for a high-level look at our spending plan for the year ahead. As always, if you’d like to dive deep into the budget, please reach out to Debbie Fitts, our Director of Finance and Operations, at 704-841-7672 or debbie@matthewsumc.org.

February 1 brings our annual transition in elected leaders. Suzanne Pugh will continue as our Servant Leader for the Administrative Council and Lee Goldstein will continue as our Lay Leader. You can click here to review our entire slate of servant leaders for 2024. I’ll be introducing a number of them in worship on February 25.

This remains a challenging time in the life of our church and our nation, and I am grateful for leaders whose focus is on our future and our mutual desire to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. I am grateful for the resilient leadership these persons bring to MUMC.

Wednesday Devotional

I hope you can take a few minutes to watch my devotional for the week titled, Our Story is Grace.

Upcoming Events

  • Anxious Nation – Tonight, Wednesday, January 31, 6 pm in The Commons. Details
  • Global Impact Celebration is here! – February 3-11 Schedule & Saturday Serve Registration. Join us in The Commons on Saturday, February 3 at 10 am to make 1000 sandwiches for our friends at Roof Above! On Sunday, February 4, hear from Global Impact Partners with Pastor Paul in Worship and visit the Missions Fair between services. Find ways to SERVE and reasons to GIVE. Hear stories of HOPE as we DO MORE IN 2024!
  • Jemar Tisby (author of The Color of Compromise) presents Race and Religion: Challenges and Opportunities for Churches – Saturday, February 10, 9-11 am, at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. Register here.
  • Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper – February 13, 5:00-7:30. Details
  • Ash Wednesday Worship Service – February 14, 7:00 pm. Details
  • Embracing Disabilities Lenten Emphasis: February 18 – March 17. Join our Wednesday Night Community Dinner with Optional Book Study. Details 

This Sunday in Worship

We invite you to join in worship 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).

In our Spanish-speaking CCH community, Pastor Roldan begins a new sermon series titled, Compassion Without Compromise. His message this Sunday is from Galations 1:1-7 and is titled, What is Biblically Correct?

This Sunday, we begin our annual Global Impact Celebration. The Commons area will be filled with displays and information on some of the 30 local, regional and international ministries we support through Global Impact. In addition, Pastor Paul will be interviewing 9 of our mission partners (3 in each worship service). I’m sure you will enjoy hearing about the great work they are doing.

Be sure to invite someone to church with you on Sunday. I know they will love hearing about the HOPE you make possible through our Mission Partners. Who knows … they may even be inspired to participate.

And now, as always, during these strange, uncertain, and yet hope-filled 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 Pastor Judi Hunt, who previously served as a pastor at MUMC, retired from Wesley UMC on January 1, 2024? Pastor Judi joined MUMC in 1988, went on staff in 1997, and was appointed as clergy in 2006. She was appointed half-time each at Wesley and MUMC in 2013, went half-time at Wesley in 2018. Judi says, “I am deeply grateful for my long-standing relationships with the people of MUMC, and for all the love and encouragement that allowed me to answer God’s call on my life.”

Did you know that United Methodists from all over the world are traveling to attend General Conference in Charlotte, NC from April 23-May 3, 2024? The General Conference is the top policy-making body of The United Methodist Church. The gathering is expected to attract 5500-7500 people. VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED to welcome, greet and offer radical hospitality. For more info and to apply as a volunteer, go to welcometogc.org. Contact Amy DeVore (704-815-1985) with questions.

Did you know that our Hearts & Hands group is not only busy making hats for schoolchildren, blankets for baptisms, shawls for the hospitalized, but have also started making “taggies” for babies in church? Taggies are sweet little blankets with lots of little ribbon tags sewn all around them to entertain little ones during the church service. If you have a baby coming to church with you, be sure to stop at the Welcome Center and pick up one of these cute little gifts for them to play with in church & then take home to enjoy.