Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that this past Saturday (January 25) was quite a day for us: Leadership Connection with 125 of our church leaders gathering, a Charge Conference approving our spending plan for 2020, and a Service of Death and Resurrection celebrating the life of Daisy Trivette. Daisy was/is one of the great 90+ year old Saints who walk the hallways of this church every week making a difference everywhere they turn. Don’t you love being a part of such a multi-generational church?
Then on Sunday (January 26), our 9:30 am Praise Band and singers sounding so good, at 11:00 am celebrating Scouting and the nearly 80 years we’ve been extending their reach into our community, and celebrating our Key Leaders in all services! (Click here to view the full slate of elected leaders for 2020.) How about the 75 people singing in our Sanctuary Choir? What a sound! Oh my!
I hope you’ll plant these words from my Sunday sermon deep in your heart: “God loves us not because we are good, but because God is good. God loves us not because we are perfect, but because God is perfect. God loves us not because we are worthy, but because God is gracious! And God wants us to imitate his generous spirit in our dealings with other people. So, if you can’t love other people for their sake, then love them for God’s sake! Let the love of God flow into you and out to others …” You can watch the sermon here.
Super Bowl Sunday
The Super Bowl is more than just a game. It is a significant religious event. Fans gather together with liturgical clothing of sacred symbols, brandishing their faithfulness. (Keep an eye out for my wife who told me just last night she was going to wear her KC Chiefs shirt to church on Sunday.) Devoted followers share special feasts of favorite beverages and nachos. People raise their voices in choruses of cheers and praise. Others lower their heads to ask for divine intervention with prayers of petition. A select few will do a pilgrimage to the holy site of the stadium, offering sacrifices of hard-earned money to be there in person.
Last year, an estimated 100 million-plus people in the U.S. tuned in for the Super Bowl. Interestingly, the research shows that roughly 50 million people attend church on a typical Sunday morning in America. In most instances, this happens without fanfare every week with quiet devotion and humble hearts.
We all long to belong to something bigger than ourselves. In some ways, football attempts to fill the void left by our spiritual bankruptcy. Enjoy the game, but save your ultimate allegiance for a greater good and a loving God.
This Sunday after each service, I hope you will consider participating in our Youth hosted annual Souper Bowl of Caring offering to support local nonprofits that work to end hunger in our community.
Oh, by the way, my lovely wife Karen would cherish you forever if you’d pull for her beloved Kansas City Chiefs.
Over the last few days, your Church Staff Community has been knee-deep in end-of-year reports. This is our annual reporting time of our numbers to The United Methodist Church.
Here are some numbers that will help you get a small picture of our hope-filled community from this past year:
- We partnered with over 36 local and global organizations, contributing $234,866 (Global Impact regular giving) plus $37,560 (Christmas Eve offering for Global Impact), plus another $6,527 given to our Disaster Relief work for a total of $278,953. This is one of our strongest Global Impact years ever!
- We sent our Western North Carolina Annual Conference and Metro District of The United Methodist Church $257,584 as our fair-share mission support.
- We collected another $21,196 for special causes (Room-In-The-Inn, Food Pantry, Holiday Extravaganza, etc.).
- Nearly 500 bags of food (average cost of $28) were distributed to families in need across our area through our Feed the People ministry, with a team of 18 volunteers working 500 hours in 2019.
- Almost 12,000 meetings/events/activities were held on our site, averaging 992 per month!
- Facility staff and volunteers fulfilled 400 work orders.
- 183 children, students and adults went on mission trips during 2019.
- We received $4,889,461 for all the ministries of Matthews United Methodist.
- We received $2,890,035 in 2019 for the Operating Ministry Budget. Thanks to the excellent work by our staff community, we spent $2,808,111. That means we received $81,923.90 more than we spent in 2019. Thanks be to God!
- We received $116,707 for ReFresh & ReNew.
- We received $746,093 for the Matthews United Methodist Weekday Preschool and $144,012 for the Lighthouse at MUMC Afterschool.
- We entered the second full year of the operation of our Matthews United Methodist Endowment for total receipts of $212,116. We continue to receive confirmation from additional families of their desire to include Matthews United Methodist in their estate, representing approximately $149,109.
- We had 106 households give financially to the life and ministry of Matthews United Methodist for the very first time.
- Twenty-three funerals/memorial services, 6 weddings and a 50th wedding anniversary vow renewal were held at MUMC in 2019!
- We conducted 21 baptisms.
- We gained 90 new members.
- We experienced 103 people professing their faith to follow Jesus.
- We began 2020 with a church membership of 3,317.
Because of your support we can plan with great confidence for our mission and ministries to honor God in 2020. Matthews United Methodist, you just amaze me! You can read about more signs of hope here.
This Week (February 2) in Worship
This Sunday, February 2, will bring the celebration of 10 years of Centro Cristiano Hosanna (CCH) here within Matthews United Methodist. Pastor Roldan and I will be sharing together in each of our worship hours. At the 11 am hour, though, we will worship together with our wonderful community of friends from CCH. Certainly, a high moment will be receiving the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Finally, I do hope you’ll join us afterward for a big Latin-flavored spread in The Commons and Gym. We’ll be feeding the first 300 people who go through the line.
Let’s celebrate this remarkably diverse community that is Matthews United Methodist.
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know that our Intergenerational Small Group that meets at 11 am in the Gym packed 100 Hygiene kit for Bright Blessings to pass out to local schools this past Sunday?
Did you know that the New Directions Class purchased 7 new pieces of furniture for our Weekday Preschool Ministry? Several pounds of play sand was also donated by the group!
Did you know that the Scouts presented Pastor Chuck with The God and Service Award at Scout Sunday this past Sunday? The award recognizes outstanding service to youth in the name and to the glory of God.