19th Sunday after Pentecost
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that this Sunday, October 3 is our annual United Youth Sunday. If you will, please make every effort you can to be present in our Sanctuary to support these wonderful young people. They need us now more than ever!
It’s been a full week around Matthews United Methodist (MUMC):
- I had the wonderful privilege of attending a presentation of an original poem by Darlene Prestbo. It was performed by Darlene and Angela Smith.
- I had the amazing experience of being a part of celebrating the life of Laurie Haslam in the Events Center at Johnson and Wales University. Laurie was the Registrar for the University and, for many years, a part of MUMC.
- I participated in the inspiring groundbreaking of our next Matthews Habitat for Humanity home for Natalie Smith and her five children. I’m so excited for you to get to know this wonderful single mother. Natisha Rivera-Patrick, the Executive Director for Great Matthews Habitat offered the following important words:
Since our beginning in 1976, Habitat has been built on a foundation of faith.
Our mission is to build safe, affordable housing with people …
and that comes from a desire to put God’s love into action.
We are God’s hands and feet, here to serve others and show them His love.
The tangible experiences that Habitat provides allow you to engage
those around you, live your faith and offers a unique opportunity to love
your neighbor. You’ll also have the opportunity to work alongside
future Habitat homeowners.
The concept of home is becoming a fleeting reality for many in our town and
across the nation. At Habitat, we feel that everyone deserves a decent place
to live. We know that homeownership is transformational. Housing is
the key to reducing intergenerational poverty and
increasing economic mobility.
- On Saturday, I attended the 100th birthday party for Melba Westphal at Matthews Glen. She is a gift to us.
- Then, on Sunday, what a day of beautiful worship as we were all learning that the point of all our walking (a metaphor used by the Apostle John to describe spiritual growth) is not to get us out of the darkness, but to get the light into us (I John 1:5-10). As always, thank you to our ushers, nursery workers, Sunday School teachers, greeters, musicians and so many more for making our Sundays of worship so special.
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my “The Twisties” devotional for today. Please click here to watch.
World Communion Sunday
Sunday morning, the sun will rise somewhere over the Pacific Ocean and worshipers will gather to greet the day. As the sun makes its unerring journey, folks will gather in Japan, Australia and China, then pass the new day on to brothers and sisters in Russia, Europe and Africa. Crossing the broad Atlantic, eventually the day will dawn for us in North and South America and end in the Pacific where it began. On the way, Christians will break the bread and share the cup, then pass it along until all have been served.
On the first Sunday of October, World Communion Sunday brings together a host of Christian denominations to celebrate what it means to be a truly global church, “…one great fellowship of love throughout the whole wide earth”. When we break the bread and lift the cup, the table extends beyond our own sanctuaries to reach around the globe in the name of Christ.
But I love this day for personal reasons, as well. Karen and I have friends across the planet as well that we will remember on this day as we all gather at the same table, breaking the same bread, sharing the same cup.
This will be our second World Communion in a global pandemic. Though many of us will be worshiping virtually, spiritually I believe the table extends far beyond the sanctuary to reach into our homes, where we will break the bread and share the cup knowing that we are one in the Body of Christ.
On this day, one of my favorite hymns always brings tears to my eyes and a “warmed heart” (in good Wesleyan terms) when we sing. Listen here.
Important Dates to Remember
- October 3 – Transforming Minds: The Church’s Role in Mental Illness, 7 pm in the Sanctuary.
- October 10 – Westward Road in Concert in our Sanctuary at 6 pm. Click here to view one of their videos.
- October 15 – Encourage Frontline Workers: 30-Day Gratitude Campaign. Write notes of gratitude & drop them off in the baskets located in the Narthex & by the Front Office by October 15. Address your card & envelope to “Dear Frontline Worker.” We will deliver to area doctors, hospitals, & first responders!
- November 3 – Our Annual Matthews United Methodist Endowment Celebration – 6:00 pm in The Commons. Our featured speaker for the evening is our very own, Dr. Ken Lyon, the pastor of MUMC from 1995 to 2016. The entertainment for the evening will be Anne Lough. She will bring the finest of dulcimer music, song, and story. You will love hearing her mastery of the hammered and mountain dulcimer. Seats are limited and reservations are required. You may purchase tickets here or at the Welcome Center on October 17 & 24..
- November 14 – All-Church Celebration of Engage. We will combine all our morning and early afternoon (CCH/Spanish) worship services into one 10:30 am gathering in the Sanctuary. It will be so powerful! On this Sunday we will make our annual financial commitments to the coming year for the work of God’s ministry in and through MUMC.
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 be preaching from Hebrews 12:1-3. His sermon is titled, Running Diligently.
This Sunday, in all our morning worship services, we will be celebrating our United Youth. It is one of my favorite days of the year. It is the day we “older” adults can express some generational hospitality. It may not be your music or your language (style) of worship. You may see a skirt too short for your tastes, hair too long, a ball cap or even hear something that causes your head to twist, but these wonderful young people are ours and they need us to continue to invest deeply in their lives.
Please join me in saying thank you to our incredible United Youth Ministry Staff community: Rev. Corey Millet, Rob Hunter, Elizabeth Carpenton, Cassidy Hronowski, Amy Benjamin, Jamie Conder and a whole host of adult volunteers who lead the way. We have a remarkable cadre of women and men hanging out with our kids on a regular basis. They are outstanding people of faith and commitment!
Read these words from my dear friend, Mark DeVries, “We are to catalyze a constellation of relationships around every young person in the church, a web of intergenerational, vertical connections that keeps them anchored in the faith.” Friends, we are that “Cloud of Witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1) for the next generation. Let’s not miss a moment of influence. Sunday is one of our most important days to “show up” in their lives and you can do so by tuning in on our broadcast. I know you’ll be glad you did.
Oh, and when Youth Sunday 2021 is concluded be sure to say “thank you” to all the young people that give witness to their faith. You never know the impact you might have on them.
And now, as always, during these strange, uncertain, tumultuous, perilous, and 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 a Service of Celebration and Resurrection was held for Laurie Haslam (July 1, 1960 – July 15, 2021) in the Events Center at Johnson and Wales University on Friday, September 24? Laurie Haslam has been the Registrar for JWU since they opened in Charlotte 18 years ago. Laurie has been a part of MUMC during that same time, volunteering in our United Kids. She was a remarkable woman. Pastor Chuck was a part of the celebration.
Did you know Cecilia Zoutewelle became our first Eagle Scout in Troop 139? It is noteworthy to know she earned 9 Eagle Palms. Each Palm requires earning 5 additional merit badges after earning the required 21 merit badges for the Eagle Scout rank. Way to go Cecilia!