Shepherding Care

Shepherding Care

Published March 20, 2024

Palm Sunday Just these lines, my friends …

… to say how grateful I am for Tommy and Laurie Little and their entire family. They have meant so much to our church family for decades now. This past Sunday, Laurie gave a stunning message of hope and direction for us as a church as we concluded our worship series, Embracing Disability: Creating An Everybody Mentality. If you missed our amazing worship gathering this past Sunday, you can worship with us by clicking here. You will want to be sure to watch in order to see how Laurie includes her son, Will, in her message.

Here are a few nuggets from Laurie’s message:

  • “We are our favorite topic … if we are honest.”
  • “Why is it that we able-bodied people have such a difficult time with admitting our weaknesses?”
  • “90% of people with disabilities do not attend church.”
  • “Persons with disabilities are the largest unchurched population in the world.”
  • “Accessibility is our first thought, not an afterthought.”
  • Laurie quoted Dr. Amy Kenny (the author of My Body is Not a Prayer Request) – “Jesus slows down to meet us where we are. Jesus’ patient pace invites people to journey alongside him at the speed of love.”

What is the speed of love for each of us? Laurie challenged us at the end of her message to look at a flyer that was received when we entered worship. It gives us a listing of places where we might be involved. Click here to print a copy to return this Sunday, March 24. We’ll also have copies available at church. You’ll have an opportunity to place it in a basket in the Sanctuary.

Palm Sunday 2024 is coming this Sunday and rumor has it that a donkey will be with us.

As I recall, the events leading up to last year’s Palm Sunday were marked by three powerful and timely prayers, which speak to the needs of our world and our hope in God. I invite you to consider them prayerfully.

PRAYER 1: “LORD, DELIVER US” – The first is by Rear Admiral Barry C. Black, the Chaplain of the United States Senate, in the wake of the horrific shooting at the Covenant Presbyterian School in Nashville, Tennessee. He offered this prayer at the start of the Senate’s session on Tuesday, March 28, 2023:

Eternal God, we stand in awe of you. Lord, when babies die at a church school, it is time for us to move beyond thoughts and prayers. Remind our lawmakers of the words of the British statesman Edmund Burke: “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.” Lord, deliver our senators from the paralysis of analysis that waits for the miraculous. Use them to battle the demonic forces that seek to engulf us. We pray, in your powerful name, Amen.

PRAYER 2: “JESUS, HELP THEM” – The second prayer is by a meteorologist named Matt Laubhan, broadcasting live on March 31, 2023, as a line of terrible tornadoes tore through Mississippi, including a small town called Amory. As he watched the ominous tornadoes pop up on his radar, he spoke directly to the residents of that town: “Amory, we need to be in our tornado safe space.” And then, looking distraught, he paused for a moment before simply saying: “Dear Jesus, please help them. Amen.”

PRAYER 3: “HOSANNA!” – The final prayer was first uttered 2,000 years ago but is as timely now as ever. On the very first Palm Sunday, whose triumphal entry by Jesus we will celebrate this Sunday, people lined the streets with palm fronds and threw their cloaks on the ground. Channeling their fears, anxieties, and frustrations, they shouted a prayer as Jesus rode by. It begins with the word “Hosanna,” an ancient Hebrew term which means, “We pray: Save us!” It is given to us in John 12:13: “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord – the King of Israel!”

These three prayers, offered in dramatically different contexts and even separated by millennia, are all rooted in the same theological premise: We need the grace of God to confront the horrors and tragedies of our time, and we need the strength of God to respond with justice and mercy. AND, as always, may our thoughts and prayers result in courageous and compassionate action.

If you will permit me, I’d love to tell you about someone in our church and then share a Palm Sunday gift from her. Leslee Mabee is a writer, poet, choir member and humble servant in our church. She has written the following Palm Sunday poem:

The First Palm Sunday

The antithesis to royalty.

No trumpets blasting blare.

No thrum, thrum, thrum of marching boots

or rattling sabers there.


No parade of force or might

or weapons one by one.

No military dominance,

nor blasts from fired guns.


Just waving palms and grasping hands.

Crowds strain to see the One

who rides atop a dusty colt.

Hail God’s anointed Son!


The clamoring of crowds so loud –

Their cheering filled the air.

Instead of flags and banners, though,

Just praises for the Heir.



As we continue our Embracing Disabilities Lenten emphasis, I invited another one of my friends to help with our weekly devotional. Please click the video below to watch Shepherding Care with Tristan Kallander. 40-Day Devotional: Complete PDF or Week 5.

Shepherding Care Video with Tristan Kallander

Upcoming Events

  • Community Flashlight Easter Egg Hunt – Saturday, March 23, 6:00-8:00 pm. Egg hunts for ALL ages with food trucks, inflatables, games, prizes & more! No registration required. Details
  • Jerusalem Marketplace – Palm Sunday, March 24, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm in the Gym. Everyone is welcome to travel back in time for a special Palm Sunday Experience! Experience the city with all your senses as you visit herb, spice and food markets, ancient crafters, and a school.
  • Easter Sunday, March 31 – Join one of our eight worship services including the Butterfly Release in the Courtyard at 10:30 am! Details
  • A Christian Guide to the Enneagram – Sundays at 6 pm starting April 7. The Enneagram is like a mirror for the soul, reflecting dimensions of ourselves that are sometimes hard to see. This group will help us understand each number of the Enneagram and take us deeper into the spiritual journey, Led by Carolyn Perlman. Register here.
  • General Conference 2024 in Charlotte – The General Conference of The United Methodist Church is coming to Charlotte April 23 to May 3. Click below for resources related to General Conference:

– Beginner’s Guide

– to register as a volunteer

– What to Know About General Conference Proposals


This Sunday in Worship

In our Spanish-speaking CCH community, Pastor Roldan mentioned to me that three men in their community professed their faith to follow Jesus. A holy, holy moment! Palm Sunday continues with the worship series, Learning from the Teacher. His sermon is from Matthew 21:12-17 and is titled: The Ingredients of a Good Worship Service.

This week, March 24 is Palm Sunday. My sermon is titled The Cross-Shaped Life and is from Mark 8:27-38. We will begin our annual journey towards the Cross of Jesus that culminates on Good Friday. On Sunday, we will explore how the Cross doesn’t just define how we are forgiven and saved from our sin. It defines how we live our lives. Let’s talk about it on Palm Sunday.

Be sure to invite someone to come to church this Sunday. Who knows, you might have a neighbor or a friend who has been a part of a church or at least a church that seeks to rip the roof off our place so that ALL can get to Jesus.

And now, as always, during these strange, uncertain, and yet hope-filled days. Remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.

Creating an Everybody Mentality,

Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II


Did you know that 6 campers from Music & Arts Camp (as well as another student from MUMC) were part of the Crestdale Middle School Production of Goldilocks on Trial on March 15? Six out of the 7 students are currently completing Confirmation here at MUMC. Congratulations to these talented young ladies: Caroline Anderson, Abbey Bowmen, Lilly Crowgey, Finley Draper, Isabeall Matthews, Bennett McGrath, and Madelyn Moss! Spots are still available for Music & Arts Camp 2024 – click here to register!

Did you know that members of MUMC & the Bridge Builders Fellowship have used their ‘voices’ to speak up for nearly 40 million Americans who live at or below the poverty level and depend on SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits for their daily bread? Last week, approximately 300 letters to lawmakers in Washington were written in support of the Farm Bill. The Farm Bill, which includes funding for SNAP, was set to be re-authorized for a five year period in 2023. Sadly, it was only extended for 12 months and, without intervention by our Senators and Representatives in Congress, the Farm Bill will expire on September 30, 2024. If you haven’t had the opportunity to engage in this Easter “Offering of Letters,” you can use this link to send electronic letters to your two Senators and Representative in Washington.

Did you know that Zoe Empowers has helped 193,000 orphans in their empowerment program? Learn more about the group’s recent trip to Kenya on Sunday, May 5 in the Commons. There will be sessions from 9:30-10:30 and again from 11am-noon, with an opportunity to purchase goods from Kenya in our Kenya Marketplace.

Did you know that Will Thames, a talented musician who has been sight-impaired since birth, talked with our Kindergarten through 5th Grade Kids on Sunday morning? Following some songs around the piano, kids made their own instruments and then played along with Will in a percussion orchestra. What an amazing experience!

Did you know that Libby Preble was commissioned to be our newest Stephen Minister this past Sunday? Stephen Ministers work alongside our pastors to care, encourage, and provide one-on-one emotional & spiritual support to people who are going through a difficult time. For more information, you can call the Church Office at 704-847-6261 or visit our website.


Did you know that there is a giant butterfly outside Pastor Corey’s office? The wings were made using kids’ artwork from our Butterfly Bonanza! Stand in the middle of the wings for a picture of your own personal butterfly!