Ordinary Time/Trinity Sunday/Father’s Day/June 12, 2019
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say what a day of Pentecost celebration we shared. The Sanctuary was awash in a sea of red. Thank you for catching the vision of our day of red. Moreover, “thank you” Chamber Choir for inspiring music, Chalanda Frazier — our guest worship leader at the 9:30 worship hour — and CCH for the offerings to help migrants coming to Charlotte via the Greyhound Bus Station. You can watch our 11 am Sanctuary service here.
This coming Sunday, June 16, according to the ancient liturgical calendar is Trinity Sunday. I’ve been thinking about the Trinity all week.
Ice, water, and vapor. The three leaves of a shamrock. Shell, yolk, and egg white. Father, husband and pastor. All of these analogies attempt to make sense of the mystery of the Trinity. While they all give us an excellent start into the mystery, none come close to describing God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The basic idea that God is a Three in One God is given a modest explanation by any of the above ideas. Just as the egg is the shell, yolk, and egg white — and all three are needed to be a complete egg — we can say that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are God, and all three are needed to be our complete God. However, that only covers the basic idea. Again, it leaves out the mystery of the divine dance between the Three Persons of the Trinity — our One God — who work together in community and harmony. Robert Farrar Capon says that “when human beings try to describe God we are like a bunch of oysters trying to describe a ballerina. We simply do not have the equipment to understand something so utterly beyond us, but that has never stopped us from trying.”
If you’d like to delve into this unknowable mystery, Psalm 8 and John 16:12-15 will give you a glimpse into the Holy Trinity. As I’ve been pouring over these verses all week, I’ve been pondering the Dance of Trinity and how we might join that dance of grace.
Father’s Day 2019
This Sunday, we celebrate fathers and recognize the significant influence and effort they invest in the lives of families. Society desperately needs good fathers — fathers who accept the responsibility and fulfill the commitment of love and leadership. Psalm 127:3 tells us, “Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.”
Fathers, let us always respect and embrace this heritage God provides, this opportunity to guide with love, to provide with grace, and to always exemplify wisdom while doing so. God’s Word is full of profound insight on how to accomplish the often very challenging responsibility of fatherhood with integrity and success.
As we recognize the dedication of fathers, let us recommit our efforts to consistently achieve the worthy goal of being a godly father. Imagine the importance and influence we can have as we pursue our mission to reach, teach, praise and serve. Let’s do our part to strengthen relationships and families with hope and joy.
Security at Matthews United Methodist
The tragic events at UNCC and Virginia Beach have weighed heavily on my heart the last few weeks. On Sunday, after the shootings on Tuesday here in Charlotte, I went out to the campus and prayerfully walked those sidewalks. My heartbreak, though, points me/us to preparation. Because of you, the faithful of Matthews United Methodist (MUMC), we are continually looking for to ways we can strengthen our safety and security:
- On Sunday mornings we have a police presence on our site.
- We have radios that allow our ministries and on-campus police to listen to a common channel.
- We are continuing to update our Usher training to cover radio use, panic system, assembly areas for fire evacuation, etc.
- Our Preschool has conducted fire, tornado and lockdown exercises.
- We have established relationships with first responders and other key people in our community.
- We’re installing equipment to upgrade our existing camera system to provide better coverage of the campus.
- Our facilities staff community has completed an exterior lighting survey, and repairs are underway to ensure lighting is adequate for evening activities.
- We are always working on emergency operations planning for each day of the week, with particular focus on Sunday mornings.
Safety information will be periodically included on first and second floor monitors across campus, as well as the pre-service slides in the Sanctuary and 801South to inform our church on matters such as fire safety and security.
Perhaps you’ve already seen the article in last Wednesday’s Charlotte Observer (click here) on Hope’s Wish — the movie based on our beloved Hope Stout who entered life eternal in 2004. Click here to watch the Stouts’ powerful GodStory we filmed in the summer of 2017.
The Observer article outlined the heartbreaking struggles the Stout family has endured while trying to fulfill one of Hope’s childhood dreams. Stuart and Shelby Stout have shared with me that they are grateful for the ongoing love and support from their church, and for all the prayers. After being at the highest of highs two years ago when the family received permission to announce the movie to the church and subsequently learning of the big-named actors who would play certain roles, pre-production was abruptly shut down and the family experienced one major disappointment after another. Stuart and Shelby said, “We immediately began asking what happened, and after a year of obfuscation, lies, misdirection and everyone blaming the other parties, we have no real answers … Most importantly, we have had to deal with the heartache of losing Hope again.”
In addition to all the disappointment about the film, they have felt “out of touch” with us at MUMC but want us to know that “…it’s not that we tried to keep it quiet, we just had no answers as to what happened.”
Matthews United Methodist, let’s surround this beautiful family with our love and support. They need us now more than ever.
Other Upcoming Dates
Please put the “X” on the calendar for these upcoming events:
- Summertime Date Night Photo Contest – Our Couples in Christ Marriage Ministry is sponsoring our 2019 Couples & Family Date Night Photo Challenge. We are encouraging families and couples to spend intentional time together this summer! All you have to do is plan a date night and capture a picture while having fun together. Pick up a Date Night card to include in your photo at the Welcome Center. Upload your photo to social media with hashtag #WeAreMatthews in the post description and tag @MatthewsUMC, then email the photo with a short description to our Communications Team. Check out the prizes and official rules by clicking here.
- Modern Family: June 30 through July 28 – Our leadership community for Sanctuary worship has put together a terrific worship series that will surely catch your interest. What does a modern family look like? How can the relationships in which we live become the tangible expression of the love of God being made real in our world through us? The story of the first family teaches us about our own families. The story paints the living portrait of God’s dream for all of our human relationships. The story reminds us that none of our families are perfect. Come join us and hear what the Bible has to say about our families.
- Dr. David Wilkinson on July 14-15 – This is the smartest man on the planet … but he is able to take enormously complex issues and bring them right down to earth to us. He is an astrophysicist and theologian from the University of Durham in Durham, England. We are so excited to have him preach on Sunday morning, July 14, and then lead a series of presentations on Sunday evening and Monday, July 15. You will not want to miss a single moment of sharing time with this marvelously inspirational man. Click here for event details.
- Answering the Call with Rev. Nicole de Castrique Jones on August 11 – This series has highlighted many of the persons who have answered God’s call to vocational service in and through the ministry of Matthews UMC. Rev. Jones is the latest to come our way in that long line of outstanding persons. This is a real treat for us to have Nicole and her family to come our way. Read Rev. Nicole’s bio here!
- End of Summer/Back-to-School Bash on August 18 – Our morning worship services will feature Summer Brooke and the Mountain Faith Band with a full concert that evening at 5:30 pm followed by an Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social for everyone.
This Sunday (June 16) in Worship
It’s Father’s Day at Matthews UMC. Pastor Roldan and CCH will conclude their worship series, Power Delegated from Ephesians 4:17-25. The theme will be Protect Your Territory. In 801South, Pastor Corey will continue the message series Altar Ego. We will explore our inner control freak and what it would be like to relinquish control before God. And in our morning Sanctuary services, Pastor Paul will be preaching. Pastor Paul says, “In my experience, moms are often celebrated on Mother’s Day, while dads are often criticized on their day.” This Sunday, let’s learn from Paul’s conversation with Timothy — his son in the faith – on how to arrange our priorities to have a positive impact on the children in our lives.
I’m praying for all of us this week to have opportunities to make God’s love real to the people we come in contact with.
Reclaim Some Hope this Week,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know that on May 4, the Matthews Athletic & Recreation Association (MARA) dedicated one of its main fields as Moser Field, in honor of former employee Scott Moser, for his work & dedication toward the organization from 2006 to 2018. Thank you, Scott, for your contributions to young people in our community!
Did you know that Karen Schultz was awarded the Golden Thumb for her nearly 20 years of service and employment at Matthews United Methodist? Congratulations to Karen on her retirement (June 13)! We wish Karen and David all the best!
Did you know that Wendy Jones was awarded Teacher of the Year at Union Academy? Congratulations and thanks for pouring into the lives of young people in our community, Wendy!
Did you know that Pastor Brad officiated at the wedding of Paige Hatcher & Kent Goodall on Saturday, June 8. Paige is the daughter of Carol and Sam Hatcher.
Did you know that Pastor Paul Craig led Communion in Deep Worship with families on June 9? We celebrated Pentecost and provided offerings for Migrant Assistance Project. See you on Sunday, July 14, at 9:30 am in the Gym for the next Deep Worship!