2nd Sunday after the Epiphany | January 13, 2021
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that Pastor Paul had a meaningful message for us this past Sunday. If you were unable to watch, be sure to view the service and sermon here.
A Pastoral Word: What Must We Do?
It has been one week since violence erupted in the United States Capitol Building. It was deeply disturbing to our ideals as Americans. It was a reminder of how far we have descended as a society down a death spiral of incivility. It was a demonstration of how broken we are as a people, and our inability to agree on common truth and see past our differences. Let us continue to be in prayer, that we may have finally reached the bottom of our depravity and our racial divide, so that we can begin the work of restoring a peace with justice, and a love for all people.
What must we do?
When we lose, and when it calls for sacrifice, we must commit firmly to the truth — even and especially when it hurts our pride.
We must orient ourselves toward peace and bearing with one another, being ready to forgive, as we have been forgiven. Indeed, our commitment to the truth is never at odds with loving our neighbor. Peace is unimaginable apart from the truth of Christ.
We must stand up for the downtrodden, marginalized, and afflicted — speaking and acting on their behalf, for their good, for their healing, and for their inclusion in flourishing.
We must never compromise or distort our faith in service to the idol of political power.
We must restore confidence in our democracy and trust in each other. Suspicion and conspiracy theories have distorted and disconnected us from reality.
We must live constantly from the deep truth that our worth doesn’t come from victory, triumph, or any other kind of power or influence. Our worth is secured by the love of God for us.
May we all become instruments of peace in this time of conflict.
My Wednesday Devotional
Today’s devotional is titled “The Perilous Pandemic.” I hope you’ll watch by clicking here.
Lay Leadership for 2021
One of the long-standing legacies of Matthews United Methodist has been our incredibly dedicated and effective Lay Leadership. We have been blessed with faithful leaders who have helped us live out our mission to Reach, Teach, Praise and Serve. Thank you to those who served in 2020! What a year for you to offer your love and hard work to our church family. You helped us lean into loving one another while keeping our physical distance during this global pandemic. It wasn’t easy for sure, but you made it easier by bearing the burden of leadership for our church!
I also want to say thank you to our lay leadership for 2021. These persons were selected by our Leadership Development Team and approved during our annual Charge Conference in November. As a body they have agreed to the next year of service (February 1 – January 31, 2022) and the charge of each team’s responsibilities. These individuals lead by example with love to all of us and our community. I am grateful to not have to do this job alone and I know you will join me in thanking them for their service. Please click here to see the listing of our 2021 Lay Leadership.
Please join me in praying for these leaders and our church as we move faithfully into 2021. We certainly need each other’s support!
In the spring and early summer we are going to embark on a worship series titled Easter Earthquake. In this series we hope to address the difference the resurrection makes in the way we face the critical issues and concerns of our time. So if you will, please help me by answering the following question: “What are the biggest concerns you have in your life?” I’m so excited to hear about the things you are facing. I think I have a few pretty good ideas, but I’d like it confirmed with your feedback. Please send me a note, text, email or phone call with your biggest concerns.
Dates to Remember
- Announcement of Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Recipient – On Sunday, January 17, you will meet our 5th scholarship recipient from the Mt. Moriah/Crestdale community.
- Leadership Connection 2021 – All are invited to be with us on Saturday, January 30, 10 am to Noon. Click here for more info.
- Global Impact Celebration 2021 – Our annual Global Impact Celebration will begin on Sunday, January 31 in all our worship services. Click here for more info.
- Who Lynched Willie Earl? – The February 1947 lynching of Willie Earle in Pickens, SC, and the subsequent trial in Greenville, SC, attracted international attention. When an all-white jury exonerated Earle’s confessed killers, it was a national scandal that led to the formation of the nation’s first Civil Rights Commission. On Tuesday, February 16, in a live broadcast, Bishop Will Willimon from Duke University will be with us for our 11th Community Forum on Racial Bridge Building. The topic for the evening: The Carolinas’ Last Lynching. Click here for more info.
- Ash Wednesday – Wednesday, February 17 is the first day of the holy season of Lent.
This Sunday in Worship
Will you join us for online worship this Sunday at 9:30 am (contemporary), 11:00 am (traditional) or 12:30 (Spanish-speaking).
This week our CCH community will gather for worship at 12:30 pm and begin a new worship series, Unquestionable Authority. Pastor Roldan will be preaching from Matthew 9:9-13 with his message, “He Came to His Own.”
In our morning services at 9:30 am and 11:00 am, I hope you will gather with your family, light a candle and prepare for worship. This is the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. My sermon is titled “Othering” from James 2:1 and Romans 2:11.
And, as always, during these strange, uncertain, tumultuous and perilous days remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.
Love Loud in the New Year,
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know that, thanks to your financial giving Global Impact distributed $67,125 over and above our 2020 budgeted commitments, to 18 ministry partners? These distributions were made in November and December, responding to specific requests from our partners. The Global Impact team is deeply humbled by the generosity of our MUMC family.
Did you know that Hands and Hearts Ministries and others from our church pooled their time and skills to create 200 handmade wooden stables and 1,800 wooden nativity figures to give to families on our Drive-Thru Bethlehem in December? Thanks to all!