3rd Sunday after Pentecost
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that I was thrilled with our participation this past Sunday. Even as Summer bears down on us, the people of God called Matthews United Methodist were ready to worship and sing, this past Sunday, in the Sanctuary and Gym (Family Worship pictured below). I began our new series, High Maintenance Relationships. If you missed sermon #1, The Challenge of Impossible People, you can worship here.
This is Annual Conference week at lovely Lake Junaluska (25 miles west of Asheville, near Waynesville – link to website from the pictures below). As of this writing, Karen and I are already in the mountains with a couple of early meetings and reconnecting with long-time friends. Each year in the week prior to Father’s Day, the Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church gathers to do worshipful work representing nearly 800 United Methodist churches. We’ll spend much of our time in the historic Stuart Auditorium. I had the incredible privilege of preaching Easter Sunday in that incredible 2,000 seat auditorium from 2009 through 2016. The church I was serving, located at the East Gate of Lake Junaluska would conduct our Easter Sunday services in this holy and historic auditorium.
We have several persons from Matthews United Methodist (MUMC) attending as delegates. Our church lay delegates: Lee Goldstein, Nancy Harris, Amy DeVore, Becky Yates, and Susan Chambers. Our church clergy delegates: Paul Craig, Corey Milliet, Roldan Flores Jenny Savage and Chuck Wilson. Our district/conference lay delegates: Rick/Kathleen Benjamin, Trish Clark, Janeann Goldstein, Carol/Fred Goolsby, Sam/Carol Hatcher, Laurie Little, Don/Deborah Morrison, Whitney Poplin, James Ross, Cam/Allie Watterson, Dale/Mary Webster, Eric White, Karen Wilson, Alejandra Ramirez and Ramon Vivero Zamudio . Please pray for all of us.
Just a thought: When I was growing up, a bunch of young people I was around got a hold of a book called The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey. It was about an apocalypse Christians would live through, after which Jesus would return. It was not a helpful book and instilled a lot of fear. Today, however, it seems that the world is spinning into apocalyptic experiences. Ours is the first generation living into environmental devastation as a current reality. While we have always had poverty, the extremity of wealth in the face of that poverty is unprecedented in history. What does the gospel good news of Jesus bring to a world in apocalyptic times?
The primary quality followers of Jesus offer a world in apocalypse is the discipline of hope. Hope is not the sense that everything will be fine or turn out well, but rather that we are living into whatever comes with resistance and belief in the capacity for the redemption of anyone and anything. We cannot live human, loving lives if we do not kindle the fire of hope for one another. It is a sacred task.
“We celebrate in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also celebrate in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. “
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional for the week titled, The Kindness Revolution – Part 2.
An Unforgettable Summer of Fun
Adults who serve our summer camps are provided with the unique experience of getting to directly impact our outreach right here at home. Positive memories are created for all who attend, not just the kids participating.
In order to meet our Safe Sanctuary requirements to have the camps, we are seeking 10 Adults for Music & Arts Camp (June 26-30, from 9 am – 2 pm/Performance ) and 11 Adults for Vacation Bible School (July 24-28, from 8:30 am-12:30 pm). If you can only serve certain days or part of the week, we will make the opportunity work! Please click above to the camp volunteer registration or call the Church Office at (704) 847-6261 if you have questions.
Please consider stepping out of your comfort zone to be a part of these outreach efforts for kids and families, many who are from the greater community. This serving opportunity will provide you with new lasting relationships, self-fulfillment and a behind-the-scenes appreciation for what our Church can accomplish when we come together.
Juneteenth Matthews Community Celebration (June 19)
Juneteenth, our nation’s newest national holiday, honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest running African American holiday. The Town of Matthews will be hosting a celebration on June 19 beginning at 4:30 pm at Stumptown Park (on-stage program at 5:30 pm, see details & kids activities). Our Micah Connection Ministry invites you to bring a lawn chair to join with other community groups in celebrating this important day of remembrance, recognition, and restoration. The Church will be closed to observe the holiday on Monday, June 19.
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).
In our Spanish-speaking community, Pastor Roldan continues his series, Practical Apologetics. His sermon is from Genesis 46:1-6 and is titled: No One Can Be Left Behind.
I have a special treat for you this Sunday, Father’s Day. With all your MUMC pastors at Lake Junaluska for Annual Conference, I’ve asked my dear friend and fellow community pastor, Rev. Luke Maybry, to be your preacher for the morning. Luke has been the pastor of Matthews Presbyterian Church since 2017. Prior to that, he served as the pastor of Central Steele Creek Presbyterian, the Associate Pastor of Matthews Presbyterian, and the Student Pastor of Mooreville United Methodist Church in Mooreville, Texas. He is a graduate of Wofford College, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Luke is married to Leah, who is a CPA in Charlotte, and they have three children: Julia (16), Caroline (14), and Jack (13). In his spare time, Luke likes to run, play music, and get outside as much as possible. AND, by the way, did I tell you he is one of my favorite pastors on the planet?
Rev. Maybry will be preaching from 1 Kings 10:1-15 with the title of his sermon Get Up and Eat. In preparation for Sunday, Luke says, “In all of our anxiety/pain/questions, God is present in ways big and small, calling to us to get up, step out in faith, and live confidently as we respond to God’s promises in Jesus Christ.” MUMC, I know you will be a source of hope and encouragement come Sunday for Rev. Luke Maybry.
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 our 8th & 9th Graders are serving on a Mission Trip this week in Lumberton, NC? Please continue prayers for this team of youth and leaders as they work on flood damaged homes.
Did you know hurricane season began June 1st? We will be assembling hygiene kits in the Courtyard BETWEEN worship services on our Community Serve Sunday, June 25. Be sure to come and help us put kits together for UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) for those impacted by disasters in the US.
Did you know Scott and Susan Putnam celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with an all-family cruise? Congratulations Scott and Susan.
Did you know that your Global Impact giving supports our new missionaries in Bogotá, Colombia? On Sunday, June 25, Rev. Brad Hopper from South America Mission will be at all worship services to introduce Jake & Lauren Jones with the Wájaro Foundation. Learn about their work with indigenous people at the display in the Sanctuary Reception Area between services.
Did you know that our Zoe Empowers Star Group of orphaned young people in Kenya graduated in December after 3 years of our support? Read this note of appreciation from their group secretary. The Global Impact Committee voted to support a NEW group through 2025. The Grace Group, which is composed of 27 households and a total of 102 children is pictured below. Thank you for your generous giving to Global Impact which makes it possible for these young people to “achieve their dreams.” Please contact Amy DeVore to be part of next year’s mission team traveling to Kenya February 20-29, 2024.