We Belong To Jesus Christ

We Belong To Jesus Christ

Published February 21, 2024

2nd Sunday in Lent

Just these lines, my friends …

… to say that we launched our 2024 Lenten series, Embracing Disabilities: Creating an EVERYBODY Mentality. I do hope you are participating at every level: Wednesday Dinners and/or Study (launching tonight), making Music Together special event (last day to register), daily devotionals (printed copy or PDF), Sunday Morning Groups (curriculum written by our planning team), guest speakers in Worship, reading the study book (My Body is Not a Prayer Request) and so much more. We are off to a wonderful start. If you missed worshipping with us, you can do so by clicking here. You can also watch this powerful witness from one in our disability community, Will Thames, by clicking here. And … if you’d like more information about where you can plug in, please click here.

One of the highlights of Sunday was the host of new members joining at the 9:30 am and 11:00 am hours. I invite you to give thanks for each of these new households as you read them over: Francis Fugate, Katie/Matt Hardy (Ben and Michael), Jen Marsh (Nick, Ella, Jude and Julian), Steve Kruse, Alex/Laura Waits (Adam, Aaron and Cumi Joy), Courtney/Chris Duncan (Knox and Lively), Beth/Floyd Baker, Betty Cross, Bonnie Harrell, Julie Harris, Sally Hofstetter, Shannon Hurleigh, Susan Hurleigh, Megan/Dustin Long (Henry), Kim/Mark Nicholas, Erica/Lee Rouse (Emma and Olivia), Mary Sayers, Steve/Joy Stewart, James Thurman, Carla Wright and Greg/Jennifer Faucette.

I have a good friend who frequently reminds me to take time to celebrate the wins. So often, we (oh, most definitely me) move on to the next thing without missing a beat. Instead of taking a moment, a day even, to relish the wins. So today, I want to take a moment to celebrate the wins.

Today is a wonderful win for Matthews United Methodist Church. First, I want to celebrate the people who call our church home. People who are in the community living and loving like Jesus. Those who are in our schools, town government, and those who volunteer tirelessly in the community and in our church. YOU are amazing, and I am privileged to be your pastor.

If you were in the church last Sunday and made your way to The Commons, then you saw our United Kids and United Youth guiding us through an amazing Sunday morning interactive walk-through Lenten Fair experience called Journey to the Cross. Everyone had the opportunity to build their own Lenten study kit with a Holy Week sensory box for use during the week leading up to Easter. Let’s celebrate the ways our church is impacting all age-levels for Jesus!

Thank you to EVERYONE who donated supplies, volunteered, and ate pancakes! The Annual United Youth Pancake Supper was a huge success because of you! We could not do this event without your support. Between the Supper and pancake lunch at Seasoned to Perfection (STP), 465 people enjoyed delicious pancakes, fruit, bacon/sausage, and toppings – That’s at least 1,000 pancakes made and eaten! We appreciate each and every one of you!

And then there is the Global Impact efforts of MUMC. Thank you to dozens of households for making life & faith commitments to tangibly express our devotion to making the love of God known to ALL. AND … this past Sunday, commissioning eight who are traveling to Kenya (February 20 – 29) to work with one of our deep level partners, Zoe Empowers. Hold these persons close in your heart: Helen Dickerson, Beth Merchant, Carol Hoffman, Lynn Robison, Dawn Salley, Marilyn Sczech, Kelly Smith and Amy DeVore.

This is all in a week! All of this is worth celebrating!

Finally, I want to celebrate our amazing staff community. The church has been busy, busy, busy, and they have not batted an eye, not one complaint (at least I have not heard one), and they have extended hospitality to so many that have come our way. Thank you for celebrating the staff!

I have used a lot of exclamation points, but there is no other way to show my excitement and gratitude. What a week! As I write this, I am relishing these wins. If you wonder about your church, just know we are a healthy, vibrant, and thriving church, thanks to YOU!



As we continue our Embracing Disabilities Lenten emphasis, I’ve invited some of my friends to help with our weekly devotional. Please click the video below to watch “We Belong to Jesus Christ” with Ibbie Schmidt. 40-Day Devotional: Complete PDF or Week 2.

Lent: Day 7 Reflection by Ibbie on Vimeo

Upcoming Events

  • Wednesday Dinners at 5:30 pm & Optional Study at 6:30 pm – Wednesdays, February 21 – March 20. Join the church community, including those with disabilities, for a meal (with special kid’s option) and fellowship. Book study on My Body is not a Prayer Request: Disability Justice in the Church by Amy Kenny. Childcare available for children 3 & under. Reserve your spot each week (by Monday prior) OR all in advance.
  • Music Together Celebration – Tomorrow, Thursday, February 22, 6:30-7:30 pm. Come make music, meet new friends and have fun together. Piedmont Music Therapy will lead participants in a musical experience for all ability, all ages and all experience levels. Instruments (drums, shakers, tambourines, etc) will be provided for a time of singing, chants, and making music in a way that is accessible to everyone. Create and celebrate together! Register by midnight tonight!
  • Parent’s Night Out – Friday, March 1, 6-8 pm Parents/Guardians enjoy a night out while kiddos (Infant – 6th Grade) enjoy treats, dinner, games, crafts & spring-time fun! Register by Feb. 28
  • Easter Sunday, March 31See Details & Order Easter Lillies in Honor/Memory of a loved one by March 4.
  • General Conference 2024 in Charlotte – The General Conference of The United Methodist Church is coming to Charlotte April 23 to May 3. I hope you take the time to read through this beginner’s guide to General Conference. You can do so by clicking here.


This Sunday in Worship

We invite you to join in worship 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’s sermon title will be Let’s Move Toward Maturity from I Corinthians 1:10-17.

This Sunday morning in our Sanctuary services, our very own Hunter Ross has a holy word for us in the next sermon from our Lenten Series, Embracing Disabilities: Creating an EVERYBODY Mentality. Hunter is our Point Person for our Lenten series and has assembled over 50 people to carry out this important congregational study.

Hunter and his wife, Paige, are great gifts to our community. They both grew up in the church, were baptized here and were very active in our United Youth. Hunter earned a Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School in 2018. While at Duke, he lived in Friendship House, an inclusive community for students living with young adults with disabilities. After that, he went to get a Master of Social Work from UNC Charlotte. He now works with NC START, managing a team of mental health providers seeking to prevent crisis and address the mental health needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across Western North Carolina.

This week Hunter shared with me, “… I hope to lead us in continuing to re-think what it means when Jesus heals people with disabilities. In Mark 2 we will come to see that healing is more about the community working together to include everyone than about changing bodies. If this is a new idea you haven’t considered before, consider how a change in this way of thinking may help you or your loved ones whose bodies and minds are changing over time.” Hunter’s sermon title for Sunday: Faith is a Group Activity from Mark 2:1-12.

In addition, each week in preparation for each Sunday, I’m hopeful of your reading a Top 10 list from our study book, My Body is Not a Prayer Request by Dr. Amy Kenny. This is the book many of us are using to guide our learnings during this season. In describing this week’s Top 10 listing, Dr. Kenny writes, “Prayerful perpetrators cite these reasons for my disability unsolicited.” Please click here and read through the Top 10 listing “Reasons I’m Disabled” in preparation for Sunday.

I hope you’ll consider inviting someone to church this Sunday who would love being around people that care and support and serve. People who see beyond the end of their own nose. That would be the people of MUMC. That kind of spirit is so infectious.

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

Creating an EVERYBODY Mentality,

Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II


Did you know that Feast with Friends Café served 124 people on Thursday, February 8? This is the largest crowd since Covid! Please come to The Commons for lunch on Thursdays and enjoy fellowship with the most postive atmosphere you’ve ever expereinced. Young adults with disabilities do a phenomenal job of preparing/serving delicious meals while making everyone feel welcome!

Did you know that Sam Hatcher, Howard Nussman and Jeannette Coggins (along with Nate Clements, Herb Smith and Ron Headen from Mount Moriah) were all a part of leading our latest Community Forum on Racial Bridge Building hosted by our friends at Morningstar Lutheran Church on Tuesday, February 20? These persons and many more make our Bridge Builders Fellowship (BBF) an important community initiative that lights the way for others to experience unity and racial bridge building. If you’d like to know more about how you can be a part of BBF, please click here.

Did you know that MUMC has a Pastor’s Benevolence Fund to help those in our church community as needs arise? It may be food, medicine or assistance with bills. You can contribute to this fund here by choosing “Other” and typing “Pastor’s Benevolence Fund” in the memo box.

Did you know 75 persons from our CCH (Centro Cristiana Hosanna) Spanish-speaking community gathered for a family conference on Saturday, February 17? They were led by a special speaker, Dr. Serafin Contreras, a Venezuelan pastor, with the subject being, Changing our Family Culture.