6th Sunday after Pentecost
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that the Friday evening performance of A Kid’s Musical: O Chicken of Little Faith by our Music & Arts Camp was an amazing culmination of a week-long effort of rehearsals, practice, fun and so much more from our 100+ United Kids and nearly 50 adult leaders. It was an incredible night to watch our young people, ages 4-12, give witness to their faith. And what voices! The camp had 14 congregations represented, and almost half of the campers are from outside our MUMC congregation and some do not have a church home – what an amazing opportunity for outreach! You can watch the performance by clicking here. Big “thank yous” to Ashley Broome, Musical Director, Shannon Helms, Art Director, and Meredith Pittman, Drama Director. A special thank you to Abigail Okland for her two years of devotion and care to our children’s music program. We wish you the very best in your next adventure. One final thanks and welcome aboard to Shannon Remley for coming our way. I think we are in the best of hands with her leadership in so many places in our Music & Worship Arts Ministry.
On Sunday, in worship, you heard me referring to a letter I received from the mission agency in Chicago where our high schoolers served during the week of June 19. You can read the beautiful affirming letter of our United Youth by clicking here. It will make your heart burst with pride.
Also, on Sunday we continued our summer worship series, High Maintenance Relationships. You can participate in worship by clicking here and listening to sermon #3 in the series, The Cold Shoulder.
A Thought – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said, “Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We would like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. And yet, it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability – and that it may take a very long time. Above all, trust in the slow work of God, our loving vine-dresser.”
“Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel.”
– Ezekiel 37:11-12
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional for the week titled, The Offering Plate.
Exciting Preschool News for the Fall of 2023
I hope you’ve heard our wonderful news about early childhood education returning to the hallways of MUMC. Unfortunately, Covid placed us in a position where we were unable to continue for a season. But that season has come to an end. I’m delighted to announce to you our new partnership with the Alliance Center for Education (AC4Ed). AC4Ed is a faith-based organization partnering with MUMC to educate, transform, and inspire fulfilled lives by embodying the love of Jesus Christ. Originally founded by the United Methodist Women of Charlotte in 1940, the Bethlehem Center (now called AC4Ed) was started to address the needs of inner-city women and children whose income was at or below the poverty level. MUMC has been working through our Global Impact mission outreach for years with this amazing partner ministry. We began thinking, “Why not AC4Ed in Matthews?” Today, AC4Ed is a highly regarded 5-Star early childhood education program in multiple sites across the Charlotte landscape.
Starting this fall, the Matthews United Methodist location for AC4Ed will serve 3- to 5-year-olds with needs-based and private-pay spots. Three of our six classrooms (36 slots) will be universal Pre-K, which means any child who will be 4 by or before August 31, 2023, is eligible regardless of income. The Head Start classes are income based with lower-income families receiving priority placement. Parents who are interested can link to the application: Apply Online (childplus.net). Please select the “McAlpine” location until the website is updated to reflect Matthews UMC. To apply for a preschool teacher or teacher assistant opening, apply online: Preschool Teachers (paycomonline.net). AC4Ed headquarters is listed as the location, so please let the HR team know you are interested in working at the Matthews location if contacted for an interview.
The Legacy European Academy, who currently resides on our campus to provide educational resources to Ukrainian families, and AC4Ed will work side-by-side in our Education Wing.
My heart is bursting with joy and excitement as I consider the possibilities. This match with AC4Ed, born out of a decades-long relationship, is now coming to be right here at MUMC!
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 continuing their worship series, Practical Apologetics. Pastor Roldan will be preaching from I Peter 3:8-15. His sermon title is: Let’s Not Forget That Our Actions Speak Loudly.
It is Family Worship Sunday at 9:30 am in the Gym! Join us for an action-packed service with Pastor Corey, Alix Arndt and team for the whole family focused on this summer’s virtue of faith. Music, Games, skits and activities will help remind us that we can “Trust in what we can’t see because of what we can see”, based on the scripture from Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for. It is being sure of what we do not see.”
All this summer, in our morning sanctuary worship, we’re spotlighting some of the unusually challenging people who tend to populate our offices, our families, our neighborhoods, and our church groups. They are the high maintenance individuals whose voices can sometimes drown out God’s still small voice of spiritual assurance. On Sunday morning, in all three of our sanctuary services we will turn our attention to The Wet Blanket. The name says it all … those who are pervasively negative and have fallen in love with the word No. Our scripture lesson comes from John 20:24-29.
I know it is a holiday week but take the time to invite someone along with you. I know they will find worship at MUMC practical, rich and meaningful. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.
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 Lucile Winstead turned 103 on July 4? She is the oldest living member of our church! If you’d like to send her a note, you can do so to Sunrise Senior Living, 5114 Providence Road, Charlotte 28226.
Did you know that Tommy Little retired on June 30 after 48 years with two companies? Fourteen years with PCA International and 34 with Atlantic Packaging. Congratulations, Tommy!
Did you know that Bob & Ann Hesselbacher will travel to Nigeria to be a part of a celebration of a school building being named for their daughter, who died in 2017? Rebecca was a graduate of Davidson and was good friends with basketball players Steph Curry & Andrew Lovedale. The naming of the school was made possible by gifts from these players & others in Rebecca’s memory.
Did you know that our very own Rob Hunter is the recipient of the Nancy Glenn Award from the Matthews Human Services Council? The council is comprised of over 30 non-profits in the Matthews area and they select the recipient based on involvement in the Matthews community. Congratulations to Rob, he is most deserving of this recognition! Come to Town Hall at 7pm this Monday, July 10 to support Rob as the award is presented to him.
Did you know that Shannon Remley is our new Children’s Choir Coordinator and Music & Worship Arts Administrative Assistant? Shannon will be providing all Music & Worship Arts administrative duties and directing the Cherub Choir, and is full-time on staff. She has her Music Theater degree and performed in New York and on Disney Cruise Ships, performing the role of Mary Poppins. Shannon and her father, Don and brother, Michael have been faithful members in the Sanctuary Choir and she also sings in the 9:30 contemporary services. We welcome Shannon and her fiancé Andres to Matthews UMC!