The Pivot

The Pivot

Published November 17, 2021

Christ the King Sunday
Just these lines, my friends …

… to say what a marvelous Joash Chest Sunday. Just being connected in one worship service meant so much. Leslee Mabee sent me a note with the following:

I was so very moved by all that occurred during Sunday’s service and the feeling of awe and inspiration that
continues to accompany me
through the beginning of this week. It has not lessened since Sunday morning.

It was thrilling to see the sanctuary filled with people and the church filled with sound and music! From the gorgeous brass prelude,
singing the Salute to the Armed Forces honoring our veterans, the bi-lingual praise music, prayers, & message, the children’s pure voices
sending such a sweet and powerful message of welcome, the anthem placing an emphatic exclamation point on Chuck’s message,
the moving participation of the congregation placing their commitments in the Joash chest as the Praise team sang, to the
final beautiful prelude – I couldn’t help but marvel at the tangible presence of God surrounding our every action, utterance, and prayer.

All worked together bringing a message of unity, – of who we are as a church family – 
and it all was just so overwhelming it brought tears to my eyes and warmth to my heart.

Thank you, Leslee. If you were unable to be with us, please click here to watch the entirety of the worship service. You’ll be glad you did! Sunday gave us the gift of knowing and feeling we are connected.

I’m grateful to have spent all this fall in worship turning our attention towards what brings us abundant life, eternal life, zoe life. Despite what we see on the news and what we have been experiencing in the midst of this global pandemic, we are still gifted with an abundance of gifts each day. We have much to be thankful for individually and collectively. We also have much to share when we give back together. This is what your gifts to Matthews United Methodist (MUMC) help us do each year. Thank you!

So far 270 pledges have been made for a total of $1,178,001 to the General Fund for 2022. We still have more commitments to be collected for our 2022 budget, but this is a significant place for us to be at this point. We know it is intimidating to make a pledge, but we want to remind you it is only through our collective pledges that we are able to budget for the coming year’s ministry. You gift truly matters at MUMC. If after making your commitment, you find that you need to adjust the amount due to a change in circumstance, we are glad to help. So, if you have not yet completed your 2022 commitment card, you may pledge online or print a card & place it in the Joash Chest or send to the Church Office.

We deeply appreciate your generosity and commitment to our calling of making God’s love real for ALL. Offering the gift of belonging to one another as we are uniquely created is of abundant value in our world that pushes conformity and sameness far too often. I am deeply grateful for you. I pray you see our world with the deep insight that it is a good gift and that we find joy when we respond with gratitude and reciprocity. Thank you for helping make certain MUMC will continue to flourish and offer live-giving ministry within and outside our walls in the coming year. With so much struggle in our world it is a gift to be excited about the future of MUMC ministries.

Wednesday Devotional

I also hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional for today titled “The Pivot.” Please click here to watch.

A Special Announcement about Rev. Dr. Brad Hopper

It is with a heavy heart that I announce a transition in the life and ministry of our church and our very own Brad Hopper. Pastor Brad writes, “After nearly 16 ½ years at MUMC serving as one of your pastors, I am sensing God’s call to faithfully step into a new adventure.” In mid-January, Brad will become the Director of Development for South America Mission (SAM). This includes joining their leadership team and guiding their development and support raising efforts. Brad writes, “I am humbled to be invited to join this 107-year-old mission society. My first ever cross-cultural mission experience, at age 20, was with SAM. So, in many ways this is a return to my missional roots.”

Kirk Ogden is Executive Director for SAM. He writes, “SAM has been sharing the love of God with the people of Latin American since 1914. Brad first participated in our community as a college student in the 1990s, birthing his journey on mission with the Lord. We are in awe at the providence of God in bringing Brad and Jennie back into our community. His wide and deep experience in global outreach will help equip our team for the good works the Lord has prepared for us. His pastor’s heart and gifts will help lead SAM missionaries in love and obedience to Jesus.”

Pastor Brad will preach his final sermon for us on January 9, 2022. We’ll be sure to keep you well informed of ways we will be celebrating Brad, Jennie, Aidan and Grace.

From the Council of Bishops

Over these last years, we’ve worked hard to keep you well informed about our denominational (The United Methodist Church) developments. Our United Methodist bishops recently met and put into place a narrative for the continuing United Methodist Church. Please click on the links below to a couple of important documents:

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

This Sunday in Worship

We invite you to join us this Sunday in person or online at 8:15 am (traditional – in person only), 9:30 am (contemporary), 11:00 am (traditional) or 12:30 (Spanish – in person only).

In our Spanish-speaking CCH community, Pastor Roldan will conclude the series, An Effective Stewardship. He will be preaching from Ecclesiastes 3:9-14.

This week in our morning worship services, we will be celebrating those among us who have done so much on the front lines of medical care during the last 20 months. We will be expressing our deepest gratitude for each of them. My sermon is the final message in our fall series, Engage. I’ve titled it Engage in Celebration from III John.

And now, as always, during these strange, uncertain, and yes, hopeful days of pandemic remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.

We are in this … together,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II

Did you know that Ted Kiker was awarded the 2021 Mayor’s Medal for Matthews Veteran of the Year? He was presented the medal at the Veteran’s Day Service at Stumptown Park last week. Congratulations, Ted, on this well-deserved honor. We thank all veterans for their service to our community and our country.

Did you know a lovely garden was created at the Matthews Help Center by Griffin Kolb of Boy Scout Troop 39 as his Eagle Scout project? The garden remembers and celebrate the life of Iris DeVore, a co- founder of the Matthews HELP Center. It is a reminder of her compassion, strength and fierce determination to serve others with love, kindness and always with a smile.

Did you know that Elizabeth Carpenton and Steven Pappas, the amazing musicians at our Family Worship Service on November 7, were accompanied by more than 20 kids who made their own musical instruments from recyclables? What a joyous sound! We learned about Contentment and being happy with what we already have.  Join us for our next Family Worship on Sunday, December 12 at 9:30 in the Gym!

Did you know that Seasoned to Perfection met on Tuesday?  They enjoyed seeing friends, making new friends, and had a fabulous turkey lunch. They will resume meeting weekly on Tuesdays starting January 11 though May 17. If you would like to volunteer helping with STP, they need people to give devotions, emcee, plan entertainment and help out in various ways, please contact Kim Layton at 704-815-1913.

Read below some of the amazing, thoughtful, inspiring reasons why our families support the life and ministry of Matthews United Methodist: 

  • “Our generosity basically comes from the fact that we have more than we need. We have been lucky during the pandemic and haven’t experienced financial problems like some people. We just wanted to support MUMC and the missions that our church supports.  We tried to step up our giving to the food banks and other missions that need it. We just thank God for our health and blessings.” – Skip & Jan Hull
  • “I engage in generosity in and through Matthews United Methodist because it is my church home! The monies contributed are used wisely to enable the operation of the church and to bless many people locally, nationally, and internationally. I think we, as Christians, are called upon to give generously.”  – Nancy Harris
  • “We engage in generosity in and through Matthews United Methodist because God has blessed us with many gifts and we feel it is our calling to share our blessings with MUMC and with other outreach programs to support God’s children.  – Ron & Jean Clair
  • “We engage in generosity in and through Matthews United Methodist because we consider it to be our church home and are proud of its many ministries which further God’s kingdom both here in our local area as well as in other countries.  We always feel that our donations are being used in ways that maximize their impact.” – Jesse & Elaine Barbour