Epiphany/January 15, 2020
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that I love to hear Pastor Corey preach. What a marvelous communicator! Thank you, Corey, for putting the Word in words for us on Sunday (January 12). If you missed her beautiful message, you can watch it here.
Some of you have asked how we closed out our financial year in 2019. Thank you for your patience with us. Our normal protocol involves closing out the first payroll of the year which has 2019 financial implications, working with all accruals (bills from 2019 that are paid in 2020). This will then be reviewed by our Finance Committee on the Tuesday after the MLKing holiday. Once we have completed these steps, we’ll be able to share with all of you. Good news though…we think our income was more than our expenses. Thanks be to God!
Martin Luther King Weekend
These are the days we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His influence over our nation, fully recognized after his assassination, was so significant that President Regan granted him the only national holiday designated for a non-elected citizen of the United States.
But we too often forget our history. Today we find ourselves celebrating his memory during a time that is marred by the very discrimination and dehumanization that MLK Jr. stood against. I have to claim some complicity in this reality. It’s easy to celebrate MLK Jr. Day because he is no longer a threat to my power and privilege. Culture has remade his memory into something more palatable to our tastes. When he was alive, most Americans disapproved of his leadership and his movement. He was monitored by the FBI and deemed a national security threat. His assassination gave our dominant culture permission to remake his contribution as one of unified progress rather than the genuine civil rights battle that it remains today.
Would you have supported Martin Luther King Jr. when he was living? If you want to know your most honest answer, you then have to ask: are you supporting the civil rights leaders of today?
It’s easy to appreciate the non-threatening memory of an assassinated civil rights leader. It’s entirely different to recognize that the fight is not over, and you/we have a role to play.
You do well when you complete the Royal Rule of the Scriptures: “Love others as you love yourself.” But if you play up to these so-called important people, you go against the Rule and stand convicted by it. You can’t pick and choose in these things, specializing in keeping one or two things in God’s law and ignoring others.
James 2:8-9 (The Message)
Greenway Park Elementary
Psychologists Emmy Werner and George Bonanno spent years researching thousands of children from birth through age 30. The purpose of the study was to discover why some people are resilient, and others are not. Two-thirds of the children in their study came from families that were stable, successful, and happy. One-third of the children came from “at-risk” backgrounds.
Two-thirds of the “at-risk” children by age 18 ended up with delinquency records, mental health problems, or teenage pregnancies. But one-third of these children beat the odds and attained academic, domestic, and social success. Somehow they managed to capitalize on the opportunities that came their way. As a result, they became competent, confident, and caring, young adults.
If you want to make a difference in 2020, why don’t you consider becoming a volunteer with our efforts through Greenway Park Elementary. You, too, can become a person who gives young students encouragement and support to nurture higher expectations. If you’d like to do so, please click here to explore volunteering.
Upcoming Dates & This Sunday (January 19) in Worship
We have some very important upcoming events that I’d like for you to consider attending. As in all of our church correspondence, you can click on the underlined text links to see schedules and event details: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, March & Worship (Jan. 19 & 20 at Mt. Moriah); Humanitarian Border Crisis Info Session with trip participants who traveled to the border (Jan. 22, 6:30 pm, The Commons); Leadership Connection (Jan. 25, 8:30 am, The Commons); One United Worship to Celebrate 10 Years of Centro Cristiano Hosanna; (Feb. 2, 11 am, Sanctuary), & Celebrating 10 Years of Global Impact (Events Feb. 9, 16, 23). You can also watch The United Methodist News Service livestreamed panel discussion from January 13 with the developers of the proposed Protocol Plan here.
I’m looking forward to seeing you on Sunday (January 19) for one of our morning worship services in the Sanctuary. I know you’ve enjoyed Pastors Paul and Corey the last couple of weeks, but I’ll be back on Sunday with a message titled, “Who Me?” from Esther 4:12-14. Pastor Roldan’s message at 12:30 pm in our Spanish-speaking service in the Sanctuary is titled “Working with God” from Acts 16: 6-10.
These are unprecedented days in The United Methodist Church and Matthews United Methodist, but the Holy Spirit is at work, and I love the privilege that is mine to be your pastor.
I’m Continuing to Count My Blessings, as your
Pastor and friend,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know that $37,560 was given for our Christmas Eve Offering to support Disaster Relief, Matthews HELP Center, and medicine in Uganda and Haiti? Thank you, thank you!
Did you know that Ms. Adriana, Preschool teacher and Nursery volunteer, received her American citizenship last week? Congrats, Ms. Adriana!
Did you know six people from our Centro Cristiano Hosanna (CCH) community served in Lumberton on January 11?