4th Sunday after the Epiphany
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that for the last couple of weekends we’ve been affected by weather events. I get a little blue when I’m not able to gather with the people of God called Matthews.
This past Sunday, January 23, we livestreamed our 11 am service. If you missed Sunday worship, I hope you’ll watch our service filled with beautiful music from our Sanctuary Choir, robust congregational singing and a sermon inviting us to come home, no matter what kind of mess you might be. You can watch here.
This coming Saturday, January 29, is our annual Leadership Connection. We will be meeting in-person in the Sanctuary and via livestream here. All are invited. We’ll worship, gather in groups, and hear rich presentations from our very own Fred DeVore (Current Topics in The United Methodist Church) and our District Superintendent, Rev. Dan Pezet (Riding and Shifting with the Waves: The Resiliency of The United Methodist Church).
The NFL playoffs are making headlines this week, but an event outside of a game a week ago took on a meaning that transcended what happened in the stadium.
A Las Vegas Raiders fan named Ed Fernandes came to Cincinnati to watch his team play the hometown Bengals. Near the stadium gate, he stumbled and fell. Bengals fan Jerry Mills, an intensive care nurse, started CPR, keeping Fernandes alive until emergency personnel took over. Even though he and his patient were rooting for different teams, he said later, “It doesn’t matter who you are, you deserve to live. That’s what matters.”
Also in the football world, a high school coach in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, had to cancel workouts last Monday due to severe weather in the area. So, he told his team, “Find an elderly or disabled neighbor and shovel their driveway. Don’t accept any money – that’s our Monday workout.” An elderly resident said later, “They did a fine job, and I’ll never forget it. They were a bright spot on a stormy morning.”
Why was I drawn to these stories? For the same reason I assume you enjoyed reading them: we all need hope. In these days of pandemic headlines, winter storms and political animosity, we need to know that things are not as bad as they seem and that they can get better.
“I saw God before me for all time. Nothing can shake me; he’s right by my side.
I’m glad from the inside out, ecstatic; I’ve pitched my tent in the land of hope.”
Acts 2:27 (The Message)
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional for the week, titled “Thoughts and Prayers – Part 1.”
Scouting at Matthews UMC
Scout Sunday is this Sunday, January 30! During our 11:00 service, we will celebrate the hard work of our Scouts.
Scouting continues to be an exciting, active ministry of Matthews United Methodist Church. Last year, Boy Scout Troop 39 celebrated its eightieth year and Cub Scout Pack 214 celebrated its fiftieth year. Our all-girls BSA Scouting unit, Troop 139, awarded its first Eagle Scout. The girls in Girl Scout Troop 1644 earned their Silver Awards for a community service project centered around teen mental health and wellness. All four units collected food and donations for local food banks.
Additionally, seven Scouts completed P.R.A.Y. faith classes at the church, and one Scout earned his Four-Star Award for completing all four faith classes over his Scouting career.
On Scout Sunday, any Scouts or Scout leaders in the church are welcome to wear their uniforms and process with us at the beginning of the service. Come join us as we celebrate our Scouts as they thank the church for the strong support over the past year! In addition, you will have the opportunity to purchase Girl Scout Cookies from Troop 1644 at the Church in the breezeway on February 6 & 13, 9:00-12:30.
Racial Bridge-Building Forum on February 15
For six years now, we’ve been designing community forums on racial bridge-building. Matthews United Methodist will host our next one on Tuesday, February 15 at 7 pm in the Sanctuary, featuring Dr. Lucretia Carter Berry, President & Learning Community Director for Brownicity. Dr. Berry is an antiracism curriculum specialist, course designer and author of What LIES Between Us – Fostering First Steps Toward Racial Healing, a TEDx speaker, and a writer. She earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Iowa State University and her BA from South Carolina State University. Her subject for the forum: “If we don’t keep them in the dark, our kids will light up the world.” We are especially hoping this will be helpful for our community families with children. This event will be in-person in the MUMC Sanctuary and online by clicking here.
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 I Corinthians 10:1-10 and his sermon title: Quality Cannot be Compromised.
Our speaker/preacher/communicator for the morning will be my youngest daughter, MacKenzie Wilson. She is a podcaster, author, and founder of Delight Ministries, an organization that empowers, educates and provides a community for college women. Driven by the power of stories to move, inspire and change, Delight’s curriculum and semester-phased book series merge real accounts on relevant topics with scripture and thoughtful questions to inspire conversation and relationships. Delight Ministries has launched groups on 200+ college campuses nationwide, enriching the lives of thousands of members with deep friendships forged through open, honest, and vulnerable conversation. When MacKenzie is not writing or traveling for work, I love that she can be found right here in Matthews trying new recipes with her fiancé or spending time with her family. Coming from her dad (not prejudiced in the least), you will not want to miss MacKenzie putting the Word in words for us. The title of her sermon is At the Feet of Jesus, and scripture is John 12:1-3.
And now, as always, during these strange, uncertain, and hopeful days of pandemic remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.
It’s going to be a good year,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know that a new group of Preschool Moms is meeting at the church in the Nursery on Tuesday mornings for fellowship and playtime? Come join in the fun. Questions? Contact Kim at 704-815-1913.
Did you know that Wendy Barall quilted this beautiful banner for MUMC? What an amazing gift and act of love for her church! Thank you very much, Wendy!