2nd Sunday of Easter
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say what a Holy Week 2022: crowds of people gathering for worship for the first time in three years (since 2019); people (Home2Home) helping families with no furniture; a beautiful butterfly release featuring the beautiful banner made by Wendy Barall (photos below); one of the best Maundy Thursday sermons (Pastor Corey) I’ve ever heard; Craig Estep and Pastor Jenny stepping in for an ailing Pastor Paul on Easter Sunday morning; dozens of new faces to our church; and nearly 100 different people offering music through the week that in my humble opinion was simply incomparable. My heart is doing backflips as I consider how you Reach, Teach, Praise and Serve. If you missed our Easter Sunday worship, you can find it by clicking here.
In Colossians 3:1-4, the Apostle Paul writes, “So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”
As we have experienced the highest and holiest day of the Christian year, I was reminded of the power of resurrection. We attempt to solve so many of our problems in life with money, power, and technology. They can buy us time, but they don’t align our lives with Jesus. They don’t give life meaning and purpose. Or as my new friend Steve Hall told me the other day, “If we figure it all out, there is no room for the miracles.”
Again, Paul says in v. 1, “… you have been raised with Christ.” This is past tense! We share life with the Risen Christ! We are no longer subject to the powers of this world! We are to seek the things above and beyond the realm of things that perish. If we only look at the world through death and limitation, we will always feel a sense of loss and desperation. The message of Easter is that we are ALL raised to new life in Christ. Praise be to God!
Coming Together, Following Jesus, Changing Lives
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional for the week, titled We Are For.
The Future of The United Methodist Church and MUMC
We continue to envision and dream of a new United Methodist Church in the years ahead. I hope you’ll take the time to watch the Tom Berlin video here. This video gives an excellent presentation on what the issues are for us in The United Methodist Church. In addition, I’ve included a couple of articles by Adam Hamilton that will be helpful in envisioning what The United Methodist Church and Matthews United Methodist will look like.
Also, please click on the Adam Hamilton articles below:
After watching the video and reading these two articles, you’ll see why I love being a United Methodist Christian.
Gatherings for You to Know About
We have a couple of opportunities for you to know about in the days ahead:
- All-Church Gathering on Monday, April 25, 7 pm in The Commons – We will gather in person to catch up on the events and happenings of church life from the last few months. Click here for the details.
- Leadership Information Session on Tuesday, April 26, 7 pm via Zoom – If you have any interest whatsoever in exploring what elected leadership looks like at MUMC, please make plans to attend. You’ll hear important information on how our church leadership works. Click here for more information on the evening.
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).
Our Spanish-speaking CCH community will gather for Easter worship (remember Easter is a season) with Pastor Roldan’s leadership. His sermon for Sunday is titled, Let’s Learn to Use Our Anchor Effectively from Hebrews 6:17-19.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday as we continue our Easter worship in our morning sanctuary services. Near the end of John’s Gospel, we find the early followers of Jesus struggling with doubt about the resurrection of Jesus. Perhaps, you too, find yourself groping through the seemingly endless maze of uncertainty about faith. Let’s talk about it on Sunday. My sermon is titled When It is Hard to Believe from John 20:24-29.
The 50 days of Easter are the most glorious days of the year, days filled with abundant joy and eternal hope. Don’t forget to invite someone to church. You never know who might be longing to hear the words, “He is Risen!”
And now, as always, during these strange, uncertain, and hopeful days, remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.
A blessed Easter to you and yours,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know that women attending the recent Women’s Retreat donated purses with snacks and toiletries? Some purses were given to residents of the Dove’s Nest, a part of Charlotte Rescue Mission, one of our Global Impact Ministry Partners. Dove’s Nest helps women deal with core issues of alcohol and/or drug addiction. Lakisha Lee, the gift in kind coordinator for Dove’s Nest, will distribute the purses to residents of Dove’s Nest.
Did you know that Global Impact purchased 250 lbs of beef to distribute to ministry partners? Terre Lucas, Case Manager at Changed Choices, picked up beef for the women they mentor at their transition house. The Changed Choices mission statement is “Helping women build new lives beyond prison walls.” Thank you for supporting Global impact!
Did you know that our Facility Staff was able to get the stained glass windows on the right side of the Sanctuary re-lamped in time for Holy Week worship? Thank you to our staff for enhancing our worship experience and returning the stained glass to its original state.
Did you know that 16 hospitality volunteers toured the facility learning how to answer questions concerning children’s programs, music and worship arts opportunities, and enjoyed a behind-the-scenes training in hospitality and worship? Then they played a fun youth group game to finish their time together. Pastor Jenny prayed a blessing over them as they serve God another year here at MUMC.
Did you know that Community Prayer Vigil for Ukraine on April 6 included seven Faith Leaders from the Matthews area and musicians from Ukraine? We sang, we prayed, we paused in silence. Donations of over $1700 were collected and sent to those in Ukraine.
Did you know that the Courtyard was packed on Easter Sunday morning for our Butterfly Release Ceremony? Over 200 butterflies, cared for from the caterpillar stage by our families, were released following a short ceremony in the beautiful sunshine. Wendy Barall created a beautiful banner using artwork that the Children made during our Butterfly Bonanza. This amazing piece of art was dedicated at the ceremony and will hang in the Narthex for the next few weeks. We are certainly blessed by your creativity, Wendy – thank you! What an amazing reminder of God’s love and glory as we celebrate New Life through the resurrection.