21st Sunday after Pentecost
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that I mentioned it at the beginning of my sermon on Sunday that Karen has Covid. This is our first experience with the virus. With Karen’s nearly 95-year-old father living with us, please hold us close in your prayers. A special thank you for all who helped to film me on Saturday in preparation for Sunday. If you missed being with us, click to online worship here.
It has been a full week of reach, teach, praise and serve for MUMC.
- We had parents learning about parenting in today’s world with Pastor Corey;
- We had people learning about The Good and Beautiful God.
- We had learning opportunities in small groups.
- We have a dozen or so on a mission trip in Lumberton (Beth Dasher, Carol Goolsby, Don Morrison, Fred Goolsby, Ivan Johnson, Joe Culpepper, Joe Robinson, John Klotz, Lynne Cheplen, Mike Butts, Sid Riddick, and Vince Rieck).
- We had a number of people gathering to watch an extraordinary film titled The Sentence capturing the aftermath of one woman’s 15-year sentence for conspiracy charges related to crimes committed by her deceased ex-boyfriend. It was brought to MUMC from the extraordinary people at Changed Choices. You can watch the documentary on Prime Video or HBO.
- We had about 70 attend our All-Church Gathering on Monday night. You can watch the recording here.
My heart is full to be serving in such a powerful transforming community.
This past Sunday, October 23 we also kicked off this year’s generosity emphasis. Our heart of thanksgiving provides “enough” to enable all of us to be generous in many ways.
Click here for a resource I’ve written to help you to reflect on your decision regarding your financial resources. This year we will be asking each person to consider making an estimate of their financial gifts to the ministry of God’s church. What is amazing is the way God uses every gift, no matter how simple, to do things we might never imagine.
We pray that you will join us in worship either in person or online as we continue the spiritual journey of becoming generous people who trust in the power of God to fill our hearts and lives with thanks.
Key Dates in our Series, A Life Worth Living:
- Sunday, October 23 – Generosity focus began. Be sure to read the weekday devotionals sent via email from October 24 – November 11.
- Sunday, October 30 – Life in the Circle of Gratitude
- November 6 – All Saints Sunday
- November 13: we will have ONE COMBINED BILINGUAL SERVICE at 10:30 am. There will be NO services at 8:15 am, 9:30, 11:00 am and 12:30 pm. Celebrate Commitment Sunday by bringing your 2023 Estimate of Giving Pledges (in mailboxes soon) to place in the Joash Chest. Then, we will all share a hot meal following worship in The Commons/Gym. Adult classes will meet at 9:15 am, Nursery will be available for Kids 3 and under from 10:00 am-12:00 pm, and there will be NO Kids or Youth small groups. November Family Worship will move to Nov 6 at 9:30 am in the Gym.
Jon Pollack, the Servant Leader for our Administrative Council has been writing a number of letters to our congregation. Below you can read his latest on our Music & Worship Arts Ministry led by Craig Estep.
Dear Matthews UMC,
We learned a lot from “Our Faithful Next Steps” efforts. One of the major findings was to increase connections both within the church and with our community at large. As Covid hit, church leadership discussed how we could continue to work towards that goal despite the challenges the pandemic threw at us. We decided to double down on the things that we do really well at MUMC…and use our strengths to move forward.
One of those areas was our wonderful Music & Worship Arts Ministry under the direction of Craig Estep. Craig was challenged to think about how our Music Ministry could continue to bring our congregation together and create more connection opportunities that would reach out to the greater community we serve. What Craig presented was an amazing calendar of events. These community concerts started last year and will continue through this holiday season and beyond. Here are some highlights:
- Dawn Anthony performed a jazz and spiritual concert last January for over 200 people in the Sanctuary, which was so successful that we brought her back October 16 in our morning services and for an evening concert in the Sanctuary. Watch a clip here!
- The High Point University Choir joined us for a great evening of choral music. This drew a large audience of folks who are not currently members of MUMC.
- Melody Makers presented a Spring Concert with approximately 300 retirement facility residents in attendance. It was so popular that we will have a Melody Makers Christmas concert this year and we will repeat the spring event in 2023!
- The Good Friday Service in April featured the Sanctuary Choir supported by a hired orchestra to perform Dubois’ The Seven Last Words of Christ.
- The Queen City Ringers gave a concert in May that brought many people from the community into our church.
- In July, we shared a Broadway Showcase and Ice Cream Social in our gymnasium. Over 300 people were in attendance, and the money raised will pay for the instrumentalists that will be a part of our Christmas worship.
- Our Contemporary Praise Team recorded a song to be a gift to the Matthews community as a reminder that we are a church of action and people with a fire in our souls for God. You can use the song and video as a time of meditation and connectivity to God. Watch & listen here! This video is also uploaded along with our Welcome Video and a featured GodStory to the Matthews UMC flash drives that are handed out at community events.
We have a phenomenal music ministry and are so lucky to have Craig and his team leading the way. Their ability to overcome all the challenges that Covid has posed and take our worship experience to another level — both in person and online — has been inspiring. Their amazing efforts to create opportunities to reach out to our community has been very exciting to see. Let’s look forward to more of their great work to come.
It’s through your gifts and generosity that our Music Ministry can continue to thrive. Thank you all for your support now and into the future.
Administrative Council Servant Leader
My Wednesday Devotional
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my devotional for the week titled, What Would You Say to Your Young Adult Children?
Day Care on Campus:
We are delighted to have a faith-based day care leasing our education space for an initial six-month period. Golden Lily, LLC provides childcare for Ukrainian immigrants with a hope to grow & open enrollment to all of the Matthews community.
Interested in Serving in Elected Leadership at MUMC?
Our Leadership Development Team is continuing their work of identifying church members to serve on our elected leadership teams beginning in February 2023 and beyond. These teams include Administrative Council, Finance, Trustees, Staff-Parish Relations, Endowment, Global Impact and Leadership Development Teams. If you are interested & would like to learn more information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Sunday in Worship
We invite you this Sunday to join us in person at 8:15 am, 9:30 am and 11:00 am, or online at 9:30 am (contemporary), 11:00 am (traditional) or 12:30 (Spanish – in person or here on demand).
In our Spanish-speaking CCH community, Pastor Roldan is preaching from Habakkuk 2:1-4 and his sermon title is, Take Care of Your Position.
This coming Sunday, we continue in our Fall Worship Series on living beyond yourself (A Life Worth Living) with a sermon that focuses on a heart of gratitude and thanksgiving. God calls us to live a life of gratitude, which shapes our emotions and prompts us toward action, both as individuals and as a community. Living with gratitude moves us toward generosity and commitment to God and others. There will be some autumn leaves in the narthex and reception area as you winter worship this Sunday. Please take the time to write a one-word or short phrase about what you love about our church and pin it to the trees that are provided. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday as we explore II Corinthians 9:6-15 with my sermon title, Life in the Circle of Gratitude.
As we spoke of on Sunday, at MUMC we invite people to “come and see” the love of God made real in Jesus Christ… So, be sure to invite someone to church who might be looking to see what gratitude looks like.
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 that financial statements were emailed last week, along with a Third Quarter Update Letter from Carol Hatcher (Lay Leader) and Jon Pollack (Administrative Council Servant Leader)?
Did you know for nearly a decade that Mary Hite has been creating stuffed stockings for the children of the Black Mountain Orphanage? She prepares 59 stockings each year.
Did you know that 30 people attended the documentary showing of The Sentence in The Commons on Thursday evening? Changed Choices, a Global Impact partner, sponsored this opportunity to learn about mandatory minimum sentencing laws in the United States.
Did you know that kids attending Wild Wednesdays explored Oobleck and made mug cakes as they learned all about solids and having a firm faith foundation? Parents enjoyed wonderful conversation at the Parenting seminar, “The Growing Years” led by Pastor Corey.
Did you know Frank & Matilda Hinson, Norma Muñoz and Margie Vanasek were all honored at the Laity Celebration: Recognition of Laity Service Award Recipients of The Metro District of the Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church? The recognition event was held at the University City United Methodist Church on Sunday, October 16. We thank God for these outstanding lay servants!