8th Sunday after Pentecost
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that if you missed Pastor Paul’s sermon, The Competitor, from our High Maintenance Relationship summer series, you may click here to worship. You’ll also get to hear our guest pianist, Will Thames, who shared his musical talents in all morning services, including his own arrangement of Softly & Tenderly at the 11:00 service. Also, we thank our Lay Readers, Kimberly Jones and Hunter Adcock, for their beautiful readings of scripture.
Rainbow Express Camp Week last week was just the best! Karen and I tried our best to participate in the morning gatherings with the children and then the evening closings with the young adults. The joy of the Lord was evident everywhere. Thank you to dozens and dozens of church staff members, volunteers and the Rainbow Express staff community who make this camp possible. It is a gift to Matthews United Methodist Church and our community.
Our final camp of the summer, Vacation Bible School (VBS), begins this coming Monday, July 24th. Children, youth and adult volunteers will come together to hear Bible stories, grow closer to Jesus, spend time with each other, and make special memories.
I was with a group last week and asked them to share five of their favorite memories from childhood. I personally have some wonderful memories from VBS. I can vividly picture the church Fellowship Hall, decked out with a full stage depicting a jungle, or a mountain top, or a blazing campfire. I remember the adults who got up on stage and were silly and goofy and having the time of their lives. I remember youth helpers, who we thought were so cool, who were so glad to be there to dance and sing and play games with us. I remember one year being a volunteer myself, being excited to be able to lead a group, and trying to make their experience as fun as mine had been. Most of all, I remember feeling loved, and included, and at home.
That is what I think of as we approach this week. For some of our kids, this is home. This is where they come each Sunday, and they know the adults and youth who are leading their groups. For some, VBS will be their first time visiting us and meeting our staff community, volunteers and new friends. For some of our adults, this is their first time seeing the kind of activities and Bible stories we share with our children.
For all of us, it’s a chance to grow closer in community with one another and surround our kids with a community of people who want to help them build a solid faith foundation. We dance and sing at the top of our lungs during worship, we get messy, we run around, and we wear silly outfits. Sometimes it looks a little chaotic because it is! But along the way, our kids are seeing that we love them, Jesus loves them, and that church is a place where they are always welcome, a place of love, and kindness, and fun.
Recently I read a quote that’s stuck with me that said, “Church isn’t just an individual experience; it’s a group project.” We are so grateful for all the people who are in this group project with us, and we wouldn’t be able to welcome nearly 250 kids for a week of fun and faith-building without each person who’s helped plan, prepare, test, decorate, and so much more.
I got the following note from a fairly new church family: “We look forward each week to worship, attending adult Sunday School class and the many opportunities to serve. We are especially anticipating with JOY the chance to serve at VBS, sharing faith and fellowship with the youth of the church.”
I hope you hear the joy!
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional for the week titled, Singed by the Heat.
I hope you’ll add the following events to your calendars & register for a growth opportunity:
- 5th Sunday Fellowship – Sunday, July 30, 12:15 pm in The Commons, with Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist & Matthews Presbyterian. Register here for lunch & fellowship by midnight on July 27.
- Community Forum – Tuesday, August 15, 7 pm at Mt. Moriah. More info here.
- Back to School Carnival – Saturday, August 26, 5:30 – 7 pm. More info here.
- New Studies: Disciple, Beatitudes, The Good and Beautiful Life (In Person & Intergenerational Online Study), Luke: Gut-Level Compassion, The Anxiety Opportunity and Are Miracles A Step Away? View all opportunities.
This Sunday in Worship
We invite you to join us this Sunday at 8:15 am (Traditional; in person only), 9:30 am (Contemporary; in person or online here), 11:00 am (Traditional; in person or online here) or 12:30 (Spanish; in person or on demand here).
Our Spanish-speaking community will be completing the series on Practical Apologetics. Pastor Roldan’s sermon is from 2 Timothy 2:14-21 and is titled: Let’s Work on the Details.
In our morning services, we will continue our summer worship series on High Maintenance Relationships. Pastor Corey will be helping us to focus on a unique personality trait called The Martyr. As soon as you hear the words martyr you most likely immediately picture someone in your mind… a coworker, a friend, a sibling, a spouse, or possibly even yourself. They are the ones who appear to suffer more than anyone else, who complain about their burdens but refuse to accept the help that would lessen them. They make sure you know they are sacrificing – for you, and for the good of everyone but themselves. Those with martyr syndrome suffer out loud, in full display. Join Pastor Corey as we explore some Biblical examples of this personality trait through various leaders in Scripture and how we can use their example to work towards build lasting and healthy relationships in our own lives.
Please invite someone to church along with you. I know they will love hearing Pastor Corey putting the Word into words.
By the way, have I told you lately how much I love being one of your pastors?
And now, as always, during these strange, uncertain, but hopeful days, remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.
We are better … together.
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know that Chris Beeman appeared on WBTV News 3 at Noon last week talking about golf in Charlotte? You can watch the segment here. Be sure to check out Chris’ website featuring golf course reviews: golf.bman.com.
Did you know that Mike & Jan Horai and Patti Jones sang in the Washington National Cathedral this past weekend? They joined with Church of the Holy Comforter Episcopal and sang for 11:15 Eucharist and 4:00 Evensong. They had an amazing and incredible adventure. See if you can find our “Waldos” in the photo below.
Did you know that our Youth welcomed rising 7th Graders to Summer Youth Group this past Sunday? Lots of fun events are planned for youth each week during the summer. Please reach out to Pastor Corey if you have any questions and be sure to invite friends and neighbors!
Did you know that our United Youth & Kids celebrated Briana McClendon in their worship experiences? Briana grew up in our Youth Group, served as one of our Youth Interns and later joined our Age-Level staff team. We share our love and wish her all the best as she continues her graduate studies journey in Tennessee.
Did you know that this was Will Little’s 28th year at Rainbow Express Camp? We share our gratitude and photo credit to Will for capturing all these photos with special moments from our Rainbow Express Day Camp!