We Need Community

We Need Community

Published February 1, 2023

5th Sunday after the Epiphany | Global Impact 1
Just these lines, my friends …

… to say that I hope you had the opportunity to be with us in worship. What a splendid day: Handbells all morning, our Sanctuary Choir singing Ken Medema’s Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying, 11th grader Maggie Fraser singing at 9:30 and so much more. If you missed being with us, click here to listen for our beautiful music, poetic liturgy, inspiring prayers, and my sermon, How to Pray for Your Family. After worship, a good group from MUMC and Matthews Presbyterian gathered at Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist for our 5th Sunday Lunch. At the luncheon, we got to hear from our upcoming Matthews Community Racial Bridge-Building Forum speaker, Katherine B. Martin. Click here to learn more about Katherine and our 15th Forum on Tuesday, February 28, 7 pm, at Matthews Presbyterian Church.

This past Saturday, 1/28, was also our annual Leadership Connection. We use this time each year to say thank you to amazing lay leaders who have served so faithfully … and preparing new lay leadership for the days ahead. You can watch the recording and access all of the resources from the event here.

We concluded the morning with a brief gathering of our Administrative Council, led for the last time by Jon Pollack. Thank you, Jon, and Carol Hatcher (Lay Leader), for your faithful, caring, splendid, amazing (we could go on and on) service during these last years. We could never have imagined these days, but what you’ve done is nothing short of extraordinary. We would not have wanted to walk these years without you both. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

The primary goal for our Administrative Council this past Saturday was to put our 2023 budget into motion. The Council approved a spending plan as well as a one-time staff bonus, since the 2023 budget did not provide for raises in the year ahead. You can click here for a high-level look at our spending plan for the year ahead. As always, if you’d like to dive deep into the budget, please reach out to Debbie Fitts, our Director of Finance and Operations. She would be happy to walk through the details.

February 1 brings our annual transition in leaders. Suzanne Pugh will be our new Servant Leader for the Administrative Council and Lee Goldstein will be our Lay Leader. You can click here to review our entire slate of servant leaders for 2023. I’ll be introducing Suzanne and Lee and our other Key Leaders in worship on February 26.

This remains a turbulent time, and I am grateful for leaders whose focus is on our future and our mutual desire to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. I am grateful for the resilient leadership these persons bring to MUMC.

Update on Sanctuary Repairs: As many of you know, sometime on Christmas night, we had a couple of water pipes burst near our Sanctuary causing extensive damage. Debbie Fitts, our Director of Finance and Operations says, “We have received initial payment from our insurance carrier, Church Mutual, but not all expenses to reimburse have been submitted. We are working with a general contractor who has reviewed the initial estimation of repairs. Unfortunately, until we get clarification from our estimator on questions we’ve submitted, we are in a holding pattern. We are making progress, but it is slow. Thank you for your patience.”

Thank you, Debbie, for all your efforts on our behalf.

Wednesday Devotional

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional for the week titled, We Need Community

Global Impact is Here (February 5-19)

Our 13th Global Impact Celebration begins this weekend!  We will focus on the transformation that occurs every day in our partner ministries, as well as transformation we experience by serving.

  • This Saturday, February 4Rev. Gaston Warner, CEO of Zoe Empowers, will present at the UM Men’s breakfast at 7:30 am. Zoe Empowers is an international mission partner and MUMC has supported a group of 94 youth in Kenya over the past 3 years as they learned to run a small business and support their family.  Now they are 100% self-sufficient.
  • This Sunday, February 5Rev. Warner (see bio) leads worship at all three Worship Services. Come and hear stories of empowerment and showing God’s love around the world.
  • Saturday, February 11 – OPERATION: SATURDAY SERVE: We invite individuals & families to come to The Commons & serve from 9:00-12:00 noon. We’ll be making sandwiches for Roof Above, Blessing Bags for Blessed Assurance Adult Day Care and Valentines for other ministry partners. Register here!
  • Sunday, February 12 – Come and hear Local and International Ministry partners speak in worship & visit their exhibits in our hallways.
  • Sunday, February 19 – Commitment Sunday: Prayerfully consider the commitment you will make to support Global Impact Missions in 2023.

A Note about our 2022 Finances

Greg Klein is the Servant Leader for our Finance Committee. He has been a part of MUMC for decades and has served us so faithfully these last years. He writes: “I am pleased to report that 2022 was once again a very good year financially for our church.  Thanks to the generous support of our church family, we were able to exceed expectations in the general operations of the church, despite the challenges in the world around us.

Our Offerings and Other Revenue were $89,000 under budget.  However, our expenses were also under budget by $153,000, which left a positive Net income of $64,000.  These excess funds will go back into the General Fund for future projects within the church.  The Finance committee thanks the church leaders and staff for their excellent job in managing our expenses so well.   The overall cash position of the church improved and remains strong.

In addition, we saw strong support of Global Impact, ReFresh and ReNew and the Endowment.  Thank you all for your continued support of MUMC for all the work we do in God’s kingdom.”

Let me add a few things to Greg’s report:

  • We sent our Western North Carolina Conference and Metro District of The United Methodist Church $248,498 as our fair-share connectional support. This is our first benevolent response to God’s work in and through The United Methodist Church around the world.
  • In addition, we partnered with 31 local, regional, and global organizations, contributing $188,966 (regular Global Impact giving) plus another $42,057 (special offerings and disaster relief) totaling $231,023. Also, we received another $23,100 for other mission related projects.
  • We received $102,677 for ReFresh and ReNew.
  • We received $126,250 for the MUMC Endowment.
  • Total contributions to all funds were $3,323,066.

Thank you MUMC for another year of amazing faithfulness.

This Sunday in Worship

We invite you to join 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 will begin a new series, Careful Choices. He will be preaching from Ecclesiastes 4:7-12 and his sermon is titled: Two Are Better Than One.

In our morning Sanctuary services this week, we launch our annual Global Impact emphasis by welcoming our good friend, Rev. Gaston Warner. Rev. Warner is the Chief Executive Officer of Zoe Empowers. He will share with us the amazing mission of Zoe and how they equip vulnerable children and youth led families with solutions to overcome extreme poverty and achieve self-sufficiency.  You can read more about Rev. Warner and Zoe earlier in this Just These Lines under the Global Impact Celebration section. You will not want to miss Rev. Warner putting the Word into words for us in all three of our morning hours.

I hope you won’t forget to invite someone to church, Sunday school, or a church event. There is nothing more powerful than a personal invitation. See you Sunday!

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

Humbled to be in this Adventure with you,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II

Did you know that we have resources on our website here to help you celebrate and participate in Black History Month? Black History Month is February 1-March 1 with the theme “Black Resistance: Building Bridges and Navigating Barriers.” Choose from the resources how best you can participate, and we hope you will encourage others to check them out.

Did you know that the cold snap & loss of power over the 2022 Christmas weekend caused damage to our walk-in refrigerator!? Not anymore…..brrrr….it’s chilly in there! The walk-in has been fixed and chilling everything nicely!

Did you know Global Impact is mailing 2022 Highlights, Commitment Cards & Celebration details? Thank you to our Mailing Serve Team!! Our serve teams create camaraderie and community! Enter your Skills & Interests in Realm to show up in staff queries. You will be invited to serve based on matching gifts and talents.