Three Tips for Thanksgiving

Three Tips for Thanksgiving

Published November 22, 2023

Christ the King Sunday
Just these lines, my friends …

… to say that we had a beautiful Community Thanksgiving Service in our Sanctuary on Sunday evening. It was splendid seeing so many guests from Mt. Moriah, Matthews Presbyterian and Morningstar Lutheran. I know they felt the love and welcome of our people. Click here and watch the Ben Rector video of The Thanksgiving Song I used in the service. You might want to share it with your family on Thanksgiving Day.

Sunday was a wonderful day in worship as we welcomed one of our former pastors, Rev. Linda Kelly (1999-2002), to put the Word into words for us. She left us thinking about love, God’s love. Oh my, a love that is so divine. Thank you, Linda, for coming our way. If you were unable to hear her moving message, please click here.

We have another one of our former pastors coming our way on January 28, Rev. Dawn Hand (2006-2011). I hope you’ll put an “X” on the calendar and plan to be present.

I’m hopeful you’ll read this note before Thanksgiving Day. If so, may I be the first to wish you a blessed Thanksgiving 2023.

Tomorrow morning, I will sit down at my desk for some quiet moments and picture all of you. I will pray for you and your health. I will give thanks to God for your steadfast hearts and the many ways you have sustained this congregation and its ministries over the past year.

Your support has been a straight-up blessing to scores of precious souls this church has welcomed and served in 2023. Thank you.

After some quiet time, I will join (and contribute to) the chaos in the kitchen–cooking, dancing to Ben Rector and Karla Bonoff. At some point, our family will read Eileen Spinelli’s Thanksgiving at the Tappletons’. This whimsical children’s book perfectly captures the spirit of Thanksgiving. You might want to get a copy for your Thanksgiving table as well.

A few thanksgivings:

  • I’m grateful for our choirs and music ministry and all the ways they reach young and old with good news.
  • I’m grateful for our United Youth and their deep faith amid life’s hardships.
  • I’m grateful for our missions’ teams who get on vans and planes and travel to destinations where they love people and love God.
  • I’m grateful for our United Kids for they ways they tirelessly care for our kids and provide a safe space for them to learn about the love of Jesus.
  • I’m grateful for our church leadership and how they lead and witness in our community and schools.
  • I’m grateful for the remarkable staff community of MUMC and their incredible commitment in make disciples and being a church of extravagant hospitality.
  • And I’m grateful for each of you and how you care about one another, this church, and our community. Let’s never take these things or one another for granted. Join me in being always grateful.

This Thanksgiving, I wish you a table filled with grace and hearts brimming with hope for what tomorrow holds.

End of Year Financial Update

Together, our giving makes the transforming work of the church possible. As we head towards the end of the fiscal year, it is important to share this update on General Giving and ask that you continue to prioritize ministry in all that you do. Matthews UMC makes God’s love real right here in our community in impactful ways. Please prayerfully consider helping to close the gap (amount needed is $536,397) between now and December 31 so that we can continue to fulfill our mission to Reach, Teach, Praise & Serve.

Wednesday Devotional

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional for the week titled, Three Tips for Thanksgiving.

Advent/Christmas Worship Series Begins on December 3

During the weeks of Advent, we are called to prepare our hearts, our lives, our relationships, and our world to receive that gift of the mysterious, amazing, life-transforming gift of God’s love made flesh among us in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. When we receive the gift from God, we are called to be the gift to others. Beginning on December 3, we will be called to Be the Gift of Love; on December 10 to Be the Gift of Hope; on December 17 to Be the Gift of Joy; on December 24 in the am to Be the Gift of Peace; and then finally on Christmas Eve to Experience the Gift.

This year, we are also planning a Blue Christmas Worship Service (also called Longest Night) on December 21. In the Christian tradition, this is the day in the Advent season marking the longest night of the year. On this day, many churches hold a church service that honors people that have lost loved ones and are experiencing grief.

Then on Christmas Eve, we will have a full complement of worship services for you and yours as well as a few surprises along the way. I hope you are already planning to be fully present this Advent season.

Click here to learn about all of our opportunities of connection this Christmas season!

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).

In our Spanish-speaking CCH community, Pastor Roldan is preaching from Deuteronomy 8:11-17 and his sermon is titled, Take Care of Your Connection, from the worship series, A Necessary Moment.

This Sunday is Christ the King Sunday, the final Sunday of the year in the Christian calendar. My sermon is titled, The Return of the King, from Revelation 1:4-7. As you’ve heard me say, I will be sharing with you, along with thousands of other preachers these days, when Jesus will return.

I’m really looking forward to seeing you on Sunday as we share in the Sacrament of Holy Communion. If you will, please consider inviting someone to come along with you. They may be looking for a crazy message on the end times.

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

We are the church, together,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II

Did you know our Hearts & Hands Ministry recently donated 104 hats to Greenway Park Elementary School?  The ladies have been busy knitting and crocheting to help the children keep warm this winter.  If you would like to join in the fun, they meet the last Thursday of the month in Room 97/99 at 10:00 am.  For more information contact Kim Layton at 704-815-1913.

Did you know the 19th Annual MUMC Arts & Crafts Extravaganza held on Saturday, November 18:

  • presented unique crafts from over 75 vendors
  • saw over 850 shoppers walk through our doors
  • sold out the Bake Sale items donated by women of our church
  • served Café lunches for 60 vendors, 50 deli sandwiches, 55 BBQ sandwiches and 90 bowls of soup
  • provided vendor assistance with eight Matthews Help Center Volunteers and 20 Providence High School Key Club members.

Thank you to members of the Matthews United Methodist Church ‘village’ who went above and beyond to ensure the success of the Extravaganza: Adult Ministries, Global Impact, Communications, Database Technician, Worship Production, Technology, Facilities, United Women in Faith, United Methodist Men, all women who cooked for the Cafe or baked for the Bake Sale, ladies in the office who passed on vendor inquiries. Most of all, we thank Nancy Ward, who coordinated the whole event! You are amazing, Nancy!  We are grateful for this opportunity to support global, local missions and our community.