First Sunday after the Epiphany | Baptism of the Lord | January 6, 2021
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that I hope you had the opportunity to worship on the first Sunday of the year (January 3) and listen to Pastor Corey’s fine New Year message. If you missed it, you can watch here.
In the past few days, I spent a wonderful 30 hours with my daughter, MacKenzie (Mac) … just the two of us. We rented a truck and drove it to Nashville, Tennessee to gather all her household items and move them to Matthews where she will work remotely. Karen and I are beyond delighted she is coming to be closer to family.
Let me give you a little background on Mac. In 2012 Mac went to Nashville to study songwriting at Belmont University. During her sophomore year in college, she started a campus Bible study that became a unique college women’s ministry called Delight. (Click here for more info on Delight.) Mac has devoted so much of her life since that sophomore year to creating a space for college women to encounter Jesus. Currently, Delight has nearly 200 chapters on college campuses and over 10,000 women in community. Mac is also a retired country singer (her term for it). She has written dozens and dozens of songs. Check her music out on Spotify or Apple Music at MacKenzie Leigh Wilson. You’ll be glad you did.
Our trip was just the best. We laughed, cried, and told stories. We talked about the Bible, ministry, the local church, non-profits, women/men, theology, lessons learned along the Way and so much more. We drove by our former church at Lake Junaluska (Long’s Chapel) that had recently completed a building program that got under way before I was appointed to Matthews United Methodist. We also took turns playing favorite songs from the 1960s to 2021. The artists included Dan Fogelberg, Stephen Bishop, Christopher Cross, Gene Cotton, Tower of Power, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Ben Rector, Emily Weisband, Morgan Wallen and so many more. I came away from my time with Mac filled with hope.
What about you? How are you thinking about 2021?
The bishops of The United Methodist Church have written a letter for us. The letter reads in part, “We bask in the hope that something new is coming and in the promise that we can face the future unafraid. As people of faith, we stand in the confidence that God, who began a good thing in us, will see it to fruition.” The bishops identify our reality by adding, “We recognize that uncertainty will accompany us into 2021 … we must remain on our knees in prayer, asking to open our minds, thoughts, and hearts to discern what God would want us to do and who God would want us to be as we lead this global denomination.” What a good word from our bishops.
I like the way the Apostle Paul puts it in his letter to the church at Rome, “The Night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing.” (Romans 13:12 from The Message).
My Wednesday Devotional
Today’s devotional is titled “Just Showing Up.” I hope you’ll watch by clicking here.
Dates to Remember
- Announcement of Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Recipient – On Sunday, January 17, you will meet our 5th scholarship recipient from the Mt. Moriah/Crestdale community.
- Leadership Connection 2021 – All are invited to be with us on Saturday, January 30, 10 am to Noon. Click here for more info.
- Global Impact Celebration 2021 – Our annual Global Impact Celebration will begin on Sunday, January 31 in all our worship services. Click here for more info.
- Who Lynched Willie Earl? – The February 1947 lynching of Willie Earle in Pickens, SC and the subsequent trial in Greenville, SC attracted international attention. When an all-white jury exonerated Earle’s confessed killers, it was a national scandal that led to the formation of the nation’s first Civil Rights Commission. On Tuesday, February 16, in a live broadcast, Bishop Will Willimon from Duke University will be with us for our 11th Community Forum on Racial Bridge Building. The topic for the evening: The Carolinas’ Last Lynching. Click here for more info.
- Ash Wednesday – Wednesday, February 17 is the first day of the holy season of Lent.
This Sunday in Worship
This week our CCH community will gather for worship at 12:30 pm and begin a new worship series, Unquestionable Authority. Pastor Roldan will be preaching from John 2:1-5 with his message, “Neither Forgiveness nor Permission.”
In our morning services at 9:30 am and 11:00 am, please gather with your family, light a candle, and prepare for a wonderful message from Pastor Paul as he puts the Word into words for us on the First Sunday after the Epiphany. His sermon is from Mark 1:4-11 and is titled “The Baptism of Jesus.” In the ancient Christian Church, the Christmas season wasn’t officially over until after this Sunday, because everything in Jesus’ life as a baby, a child, and a young adult lead up to this point. Jesus’ baptism marks the beginning of his earthly ministry. Not His Life, but His Ministry.
And, as always, during these strange, uncertain, tumultuous and perilous days remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.
Love Loud in the New Year,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know that Matt Dundorf & Annie Nedrow were engaged this past weekend? Matt grew up at Matthews UMC and is the son of Tom & Nancy Dundorf. Congratulations, Matt & Annie!
Did you know that we have received almost 300 financial commitments for 2021 that are remaining sealed in the Joash Chest until they are mailed back to you later this year? If you’d still like to return your commitment, click here for info on how to do that.