4th Sunday in Lent
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say thank you for all our worship leaders from Sunday: Kathy White, Craig Estep, DeAnna Clink, Dimitriy Soloshenko, Tim Martin, John Woodall, Joel Mullis, Tom Amann, Carl Roberts, The Melody Makers, Children’s Chime Choir (led by Karen Price & Tina Fincher) and Children’s Choir (led by Abigail Okland) and, of course, Pastor Paul and his wonderful message. That totaled nearly 75 people just in worship leadership for MUMC. Amazing! Thank you for allowing the gift of God to rise up within you.
This past Sunday, I also introduced our Key Leaders to the congregation. This amazing group of women and men are hard at work guiding our congregation to make the love of God real to our community … to the world. We are so fortunate to have this resourceful and deeply devoted group of outstanding lay leaders. Please pray for: Carol Hatcher – Servant Lay Leader, Lee Goldstein – Vice Servant Lay Leader, Jon Pollack – Servant Leader of our Administrative Council, Suzanne Pugh – Vice Servant Leader for the Administrative Council, Greg Klein – Servant Leader of the Finance Committee, John Millen – Servant Leader of the Board of Trustees, John McClendon – Servant Leader of the Global Impact Committee, Dale Webster – Servant Leader for Staff Parish Relations Committee.
In case you didn’t know, so much of what happens in and through Matthews United Methodist (MUMC) is because of you, deeply devoted followers of Jesus Christ, like those above who answer the calling to Reach, Teach, Praise & Serve. The Apostle Paul expresses how I feel in his first letter to the Church at Thessalonica, v. 9, “How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in presence of God because of you?” Another translation says it like this: “How we thank God for you! Because of you we have great joy as we enter God’s presence.”
You have no idea how God uses you through one prayer, one word of encouragement, one gift of generosity, one act of kindness, one invitation. Today, I want you to know that because of you, a lot of lives are touched and impacted.
Perhaps you ask, “So what? Now what?” God has brought us to this time and place in the history of MUMC, so now what are we going to do? I believe that ten years from now, God wants us to be able to look back on a “because of you” list that is exponentially larger and more expansive than we’ve ever imagined. And do you know where that starts? I believe that it all starts with one. Maybe we can’t do all the things, but we can do the one thing. One prayer. One word of encouragement. One gift of generosity. One act of kindness. One invitation.
So, as we move forward with the days ahead, ask yourself these questions: When am I praying? Who am I encouraging? How am I giving? When and who am I serving? Who am I inviting?
Coming Together, Following Jesus, Changing Lives
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional for the week, titled The Subversive Practice of Giving Thanks.
Our Path Forward: Update on Plans for the Future of The United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church is in an extended season of waiting, a season brought about by a global pandemic that we did not anticipate and extended by variant after variant. The delay is wearing upon us and our Resident Bishop, Ken Carter, offers an important message that speaks into the present moment. Please take the time to watch & listen here. This is the model of grace and reconciliation Matthews United Methodist will be following to navigate this season of waiting.
I hope you can join us for a restart to our Healthy Conversations from a couple years ago under the new title of Our Path Forward. Hence, we will gather on Monday, April 4 at 7 pm in the Sanctuary. For those unable to attend in person, join live online with this Vimeo link to the event. Join us for information concerning the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace, postponement of the 2022 UMC General Conference, and what this means for The UMC & MUMC. Should you have questions in advance of the session, please contact Beth Lynn in the Church Office via phone call or email.
On another note, you are invited to join the Inclusive Grace community in our church courtyard on Sunday, April 3, at 10:30 am for a congregational rainbow photo to show our love for all. Wear your favorite color!
Please reach out to me if you desire pastoral support, clarification, or a word of hopeful encouragement. God is good, you are loved, and we are in this together.
Charlie’s Carnival – April 2
After a two-year wait, Charlie’s Carnival is back in Stumptown Park on Saturday, April 2, 11 am to 3 pm. (The rain location is MUMC.) Enjoy bounce houses, games, face painting, food trucks and more. This free community carnival is open to all, and pre-registration is encouraged. All proceeds will support Charlie’s Heart Foundation, founded by Matthews United Methodist members Michael and Rebecca Holt to remember their vibrant, adventurous little 5-year-old son, Charlie, who died tragically on April 14, 2017. To learn more about the work of Charlie’s Heart Foundation, please click here. I hope you’ll join me, Karen, and two of our grandchildren for a splendid day of fun and remembrance.
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 continue his Lenten sermon series, The Story We All Must Tell. This Sunday he is preaching from Psalm 32:1-7 and his sermon title, Share Your Testimony.
In our morning services, we continue with our Lenten series on the parables of Jesus. We’ve titled the series, Jesus, I Wish You Hadn’t Said That. This week, the part I wish Jesus hadn’t said is the part about a guest who got thrown out because he wore the wrong outfit to the Royal Wedding. My sermon is titled Dress Code for a Wedding from Matthew 22:1-14.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday. Remember to invite someone to church or reach out to someone you haven’t seen in a while. There is power in an invitation, and you never know who might want to take a walk with Jesus. It will be good to be together.
And now, as always, during these strange, uncertain, and hopeful days, remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know that Skye Cooley & Jeremy Humphries were married on Saturday, March 19 in a beautiful outdoor ceremony in Lancaster, SC? Pastor Corey officiated the ceremony. Congratulations, Skye & Jeremy!
Did you know that Servants Heart Circle made Easter door hangers for those home bound at Windsor Run? They also collected baked goods for residents at Turning Point in Monroe. If you would like to serve with this group of ladies, please contact Karen Kraynock.
Did you know that Kim Holt was the Executive Producer of the WSOC-TV special, Talking About Race: A Conversation With 5 Black Women? The segment is a powerful story about what it’s like to be a black woman in America. Click here to watch. You may remember that WSOC-TV aired Talking About Race: A Conversation With 5 Black Men in February, 2021, also produced by Kim.
Did you know that $10,000 was sent to UMCOR for the people of Ukraine? Your generous giving through Global Impact will bring food and supplies to Ukraine. Learn more about how your contributions are used here. You can give through Global Impact/Disaster Recovery-Ukraine.
Did you know that many of our Sunday School Classes this Sunday discussed supporting our Ukrainian brothers and sisters through UMCOR? They were also asked to consider other ways that they would like to be involved in support.
Did you know Jeannette & Earl Coggins, Jonnie Hildreth and Amy DeVore went on a Civil Rights Pilgrimage to Selma & Montgomery, AL March 16-20? They will present info about this trip at Bridge Builders Fellowship on Tuesday, April 12 at 7 pm in Room 97/99. Come join us and learn about their trip!