The Catholic Spirit

The Catholic Spirit

Published September 25, 2019

16th Sunday after Pentecost in Ordinary Time/September 25, 2019

Just these lines, my friends …

… to say that what a beautiful weekend … and over the weekend …

Some of you were able to participate in the Leukemia/Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Walk for the Cure celebrating my dear friend, Rev. Larry Whitley of the Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church. Rev. Whitley is a survivor of this terrible disease. Your gifts went to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Some of you participated in our community consignment sale. I came by a couple of times. It was wonderful seeing so many from our community participating. By the way, money raised will be used to make a difference in so many ways.

And some of you participated in worship in our transforming community. All of our worshipping communities are continuing the study called The Spirited Life. We are digging deep into the “Fruit of the Holy Spirit.” This past Sunday (September 22) was on the character trait patience. Here is a quote from my sermon: “Patient people do get annoyed and irritated just like anyone else. They know there is a time to speak out and deal with an issue directly. But they know the time is not right until they are right. In other words, patient people have found a place for their annoyances without an explosion occurring.”

Here’s another quote from Sunday: “We keep our eyes fixed on Jesus … and do you know what I see? I see a Savior on a Cross, absorbing not just a few minor irritations, but absorbing the sins of the world … the accumulated darkness of the planet. He absorbs it and takes it unto himself without passing it on. And with that single act … Jesus breaks the cycle of revenge and retribution in which this angry world is trapped.”

You can watch the service here.

Love Our Differences

John Wesley was the founder of our Methodist movement. One of his very good friends was George Whitfield. Whitfield was a Calvinist who believed in predestination: everything is already determined, pre-determined. John Wesley, of course, believed in free will. These were pretty huge differences in theology, and yet these two men remained friends and regularly wrote letters to one another, defending their position. Each of them was convicted and adamant in their own beliefs, and yet they continued to love each other.

When Whitfield died, he requested that John Wesley do his funeral service. Wesley never once talked about Calvinist theology or took a pot shot at Whitfield, but instead talked about what an amazing man of faith he was and how much God had used him to bless this world.

I can’t help but wonder if their relationship inspired Wesley to come up with an important Methodist concept: the catholic spirit. The word catholic means universal, and in the Methodist tradition John Wesley spoke to the idea that nobody has all the truth. We can be friends, even though we may disagree.

What an important reminder for all of us!

“In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ. Also, since you are Christ’s family, then you are Abraham’s famous “descendant,” heirs according to the covenant promises.” Galatians 3:28-29

801South Update

I hope you were able to read my update this past Monday about 801South. If not, please read here. Also, you can watch here as Pastor Corey shares with our 801South community. The last 801South worship gathering will be held on September 29. All are invited to re-envision what is next for this community through future small group and dinner church opportunities. Thank you to Pastor Corey for her continued leadership around this season of what God is calling us to do next.

Upcoming Dates

If you will, please consider putting an “X” on the calendar for these upcoming dates:

  • Pilgrimage to PeaceWhat a remarkable evening we shared with Dr. Elise Mae Cannon,  Rabbi Dr. Daniel Roth from Israel and Palestinian-American Aziz Abu Sarah. It was a beautiful multi-faith dialogue and engagement in constructive conflict, peace, and reality of life in Israel and Palestine. They modeled for us healthy dialogue, peacemaking and reconciliation even in the midst of conflict and deep disagreements. You can watch their opening statements here.
  • Inclusive Grace on September 25, 7 pm in Room 97/99: Inclusive Grace is a new ministry of our church. Its mission is to support LGBTQIA+ persons, their families, and friends, both within and beyond the church community. If you’d like to learn more about Inclusive Grace’s mission, activities, community, and serving opportunities … please come, or visit Adult Ministries on our website to learn more.
  • Youth Sunday on October 6: Anything involving our young people gets me excited. They will be leading all our morning Sanctuary services on that day, and helping us to deepen our understanding of a particular fruit of the Holy Spirit: Kindness.
  • 30 Days of Gratitude beginning October 30: I’m so in hopes you’ll participate in our “Gratitude Challenge.” You’ll hear more about it in the days to come.
  • Joash Chest Sunday, November 17: This is our annual Sunday when our families make their financial commitments for 2020. These are some of the holiest moments we share each year. I love watching you stream forward to make your commitments.

This Sunday (September 29) in Worship

I hope you’ll be present on Sunday in one of our worship services. We’ll continue our series, The Spirited Life. This is the 5th Fruit of the Spirit, gentleness … it is a part of a natural flow from patience … and we’ll be looking at it in all our worshipping communities: Sanctuary, CCH and 801South. I don’t want you to miss one single moment of our inspiring worship together.

I know it’s not just MUMC people wrestling with these ideas of love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, etc.! If you know anyone who might find our Spirited Life series helpful, invite them to join you!

I’m Choosing Patience,

Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II

Did you know that John/Martha Drum celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this past week?

Did you know that one of our awesome Youth Praise Band teams led our 4th-6th graders in worship during the Deep Kids opening on Sunday morning? What a great way to start our day!

Did you know that Alison Parkhurst shared a monologue of Sarah with our 4th-6th graders during the “Dig Into the Bible” portion of our Sunday morning opening?

Did you know that Kathryn Snearly and Amy DeVore served at the border of Mexico in McAllen, Texas, with mission teams from Myers Park UMC, Dilworth UMC and The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City, MO?