The Third Sunday of Advent/December 11, 2019
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that I hope you had the opportunity to hear the deeply moving music of our Sanctuary Choir on Sunday (December 8). You can click here to listen to their special music and watch my sermon.
Connections & Sacred Experiences
I love being the pastor of Matthews United Methodist, especially in a month like this one. The Advent and Christmas seasons are filled with so many sacred moments. Margaret Wheatly once said, “Sacred experiences give us what we need to live in this strange yet wondrous time. We need as many sacred moments as we can find. We invite these moments when we open to life and to each other. In those grace-filled moments of greeting, we know we’re part of all this, and that it’s all right.”
Maybe she’s pointing to the real crisis. We are all stressed, but we are also lonely. Perhaps we need to be reminded that God made us for each other. We are fully human and healthy only when we are in community with others. Life is about relationships, and the quality of our lives depends upon the quality of our relationships.
Today, I hope you seek out connections with friends, family and colleagues, and celebrate those as God’s gift. We are all in this together.
Read below a note from Ben Freeman about the connections and sacred experiences his family is making as a part of MUMC. The Freemans are one of the many fine young families in our church: “I wanted to let you know how much Kristen and I value the welcoming environment … that the MUMC leadership team has created for our family. We often talk about the pride we share when we see Katie and Will walking through the hallways of the church with confidence and comfort. Growing up at Matthews, I have always considered it my ‘home away from home’. I can’t tell you how special it feels that as a husband and father I get to see my family sharing that same experience and connectivity just as I did as a youth. At work I serve in a leadership capacity and I am fully cognizant of the fact that leaders often only get notified when things go wrong. I want you to know that, for the Freeman’s, so much has gone and is going right for us at Matthews United Methodist. We are continually grateful for this … The Freemans are excited about the Advent season and all of the blessings it brings. Thank you so much for everything.”
Watch below a video message from me. I’ll read to you a couple of other notes I’ve received in the last few days. You can click here or on the video below.
Finishing 2019 with Love & Gratitude
The ministry of worshipful giving is not the burden of a few, but rather the privilege of every single person in our transforming community of hope and grace called Matthews United Methodist. As we’re approaching the last days of 2019, my prayer is that all of the community called Matthews United Methodist will help the church have a strong financial finish.
Remember that there are several ways you can give:
- Give directly on the next three Sundays (December 15, 22, 29).
- On Christmas Eve, our offering is designated for several special mission project, but if you would like to give to the general budget, please make sure you write “budget” in the memo line of your check.
- Direct giving (through your bank).
- Online giving available via our website.
- Text your gift to 704-885-5982.
- Mail directly to the Church Office.
- You can come by the Church Office and leave your check. The office will be closed December 25-27, but will be open from 9 am to 5 pm on December 30-31. After regular hours, contributions can be placed in the drop box in the door across from the Welcome Center. To be counted toward your 2019 giving, please leave your contribution by 5:00 pm on Tuesday, December 31.
- If you are traveling during the holidays, you can opt to send your giving directly to the Church Office. As long as your giving is postmarked by December 31, it will count toward your 2019 giving.
If you have any questions about your year-end giving, you can contact Leigh Ann Fesmire at 704-847-6261, ext. 102 or Lynn Robertson at 704-847-6261, ext. 106. Remember, all donations are tax-deductible.
If you will, please consider putting an “X” on the calendar for these upcoming dates:
- Advent Worship: Many of you have read John Kralik’s book, A Simple Act of Gratitude, in preparation for these days. I’ll be referring to the book on most Sundays between now and the end of the year. If you’d like to pick up a copy you can do so by clicking here. You might even consider it as a Christmas gift for a loved one.
- Children’s Nativity in all our morning worship services on Sunday, December 22: One of the highest moments of worship every year for us at Matthews United Methodist is watching our children act out the Christmas story. Bring your family and friends. There is holy magic in these moments.
- Christmas Eve at Matthews: At Matthews, we believe that the Church should be FOR the community, FOR the world…and just like every Christmas we’ll be giving 100% of our Christmas Eve offering to help local and global organizations. Join us this Christmas Eve for one of seven services filled with familiar Christmas songs, luminaries leading us to the nativity scene, and a powerful reminder that God is FOR us. Click here for service times and more information.
This Sunday (December 15) in Worship
On Sunday, we’ll step further into our Advent worship series, Count Your Blessings. The scripture lesson for the sermon is Matthew 1:18-25, and the title is A Baby Born in MY Heart.
I’m Counting my Blessings,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know that Jordan Todd married Carter Hoots on Saturday, December 7, at Sardis Presbyterian Church? Jordan is the daughter of Steve & Kathi Todd.
Did you know that our three United Methodist Women’s (UMW) circles at MUMC came together to supply 100 filled gift bags for the ladies at Dove’s Nest and Changed Choices? These gifts will be distributed to the Dove’s Nest Christmas party to ladies who are currently in recovery and Changed Choices serves women who have been incarcerated.
Did you know that you can take your picture with the Nativity in the Courtyard from now through the end of the year? The scene makes a beautiful backdrop for a Christmas Card or special keepsake print!