11th Sunday after Pentecost/Ordinary Time/August 12, 2020
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that in the past few days two families have joined our Church: Joe and Christie Thomas (Sienna,10) and Mike and Alix Arndt (Andrew, 18, Daniel,16, Caroline, 13, and Abigail, 10). By the way, Alix is a part of our staff community here at Matthews United Methodist (MUMC). She serves in our United Kids as Director of Deep Worship & Facilitator of Deep Kids. We are more than delighted to welcome our news members of MUMC!
By the time you read this note, Karen and I will have begun to make our way back from Shawnee, KS to Matthews. We’ve been a thousand plus miles to the west relocating Karen’s mother to full nursing care and packing up her apartment. Karen’s mother is 91 and you can imagine how this move is filled with so much trauma for her.
I hope you’ve had a chance to hear Pastor Paul’s message, the prayers of Pastor Brad and the beautiful music of our musicians from this past Sunday (August 9). If you missed it, please take the time to watch here.
Wow! What a summer!
What a world we find ourselves in! I pray that each of you is finding a way to stay connected with others, stay healthy, and at the same time serve and love others that God places in your path. If you’re anything like me, the stretching out of this pandemic, the continued labor and seeming unsuccessful birthing of racial justice, and the catastrophes around the world create a deep sense of impatience. How long, Oh Lord?!? I found this poem by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin to be a good word–a good reminder and a source of encouragement. Hopefully it can be so for you as well.
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability –
and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you.
Your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.
Only God can say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.
– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ, excerpted from Hearts on Fire
A Few Things
- Matthews@Work – Matthews@Work is a new ministry intended to support and help those who may have recently become unemployed. Volunteers will assist those seeking employment by: listening, critiquing and editing resumes, developing networking strategies, assistance with interview preparation, recording mock interview sessions, advising persons on marketing themselves, and examining career change decisions. Resources and tools are available, along with confidential and prayerful conversations with a Matthews@Work Volunteer. Click here for more information.
- Global Impact – Take a look at some of the things that have been happening since the beginning of the pandemic by reading through our quarterly GlobaI Impact newsletter. You can do so by clicking here.
- Bridge Building Conversations – I hope you’ll join me and my wonderful daughter, MacKenzie, on Wednesday evening, August 26, 7 pm on Zoom, for a discussion of Ken Wytsma’s book, The Myth of Equality. For more information, please click here.
This Week (August 16) in Worship
I do hope you’ll be with us for online worship this Sunday at 9:30 am (contemporary), 11:00 am (traditional) or 12:30 (Spanish-speaking). Most of our United Kids and United Youth will head back to school come Monday, August 17. We are planning a special blessing of backpacks in our services. Families, have those backpacks handy come Sunday morning.
This week in our CCH community Pastor Roldan will be preaching from Acts 11:22-24, and his message is “Let God Do His Work.”
In our morning services, Pastor Paul’s sermon is titled, “Surviving Life’s Ups & Downs.” You can prepare for Sunday by reading Genesis 37:1-4, 28 (NIV).
And, as always, during these strange, uncertain and very challenging days remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know that our Church is moving to a new APP and online tool called Realm®? These must-have connection tools will offer some exciting opportunities to support the way you are involved with Matthews UMC, especially with how you connect to Zoom gatherings, learn about events, register for studies and creatively share your skills and interests as you serve. Realm will make it easier for our Church family to connect with each other, keep up with what’s going on, and grow as a connected community of believers. Look for your “Join our online community” email invitation the week of August 17!
Realm: Connecting a Church FOR the Community and FOR the World
Did you know that Bob & Brenda Hudson celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary this Friday, August 14? Congratulations, Bob & Brenda!
Did you know that Lena Hicks, daughter of Suzanne Hicks, married Ryan Critz on Saturday, August 8 in the Blue Ridge mountains near Asheville? Lena grew up at Matthews UMC and is the daughter of Suzanne Hicks. Congratulations, Lena & Ryan!
Did you know that Logan Hall, son of Andre and Maureen Hall, married Sarah Dobbs on Sunday, August 9 at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens? Pastor Corey officiated the wedding. Congrats, Logan & Sarah!
Did you know that Tom Williamson has refurbished & donated 22 bikes thus far to area ministries, including 8 bikes to Hoskins Park Ministries? The men of Hoskins Park are really enjoying this new way of getting around and staying healthy at the same time! Thank you, Tom, for your generosity of time and talents to this ministry!
Did you know that United Youth completed over 30 projects serving organizations & neighbors in our community through the Love In Action days in June & July? Here is a list of those who were blessed by the serving hearts of our wonderful youth:
- Promising Pages – 100 decorated bookmarks and over 150 book buddies (little caterpillars)
- Virtual Book Drive – several pounds of books donated to Promising Pages
- Foster Village – 58 Notes of Encouragement to Caregivers with a gift card to buy pizza for the family, and 22 dozen cookies that are frozen and distributed to families as needed
- Bright Blessings – 150 snack packs were assembled
- Hoskins Park – virtual videos of encouragement and thanks
- The Relatives – made 18 fleece blankets for residents
- Matthews Help Center – 300 envelopes decorated for donor thank you notes
- Purple Heart Homes for Veterans – 60 notes of encouragement and hope for veterans
- CareRing – 150 appreciation bags for frontline workers (doctors and nurses)
- Royal Park Nursing Home – 75 notes of encouragement in partnership with Global Impact initiative
- Carrington Place Nursing Home – 75 notes of encouragement in partnership with Global Impact initiative
- Charlotte Rescue Mission – 190 notes of encouragement to residents at Doves Nest & Rebound Men’s Shelter
- Roof Above – 700 sandwiches for their Operation Sandwich ministry
- MUMC Homebound Ministry – 17 painted terracotta pots with a potted plant, plus a note of encouragement
- MUMC Homebound Ministry – 17 picture frames made and painted
- Matthews Free Health Clinic – 50 appreciation bags for frontline workers (doctors and nurses)
- Salvation Army – toiletry collection
- Hope Haven – 50 notes of encouragement for residents
- Matthews Fire & Police – 150 appreciation bags
- Lakewood Preschool Cooperative – 100 art/craft bags
- Good Soles – notes of encouragement
- Foundation for Girls – 100 snack bags
- Turning Point – 15 fleece blankets
- Neighborhood & Community Prayer Walks
- Charlotte Rescue Mission – cases of water collected
- Meals on Wheels – made placemats (Friendship Trays)
- Kindness Rocks – painted and delivered throughout the community
- Local neighbors close to their homes (mowed yards, baked treats, home clean-ups)
- Sidewalk Chalk Outreach – using chalk, youth wrote notes of hope in their neighborhood, parks, etc.