January 17, 2021

It’s a new year with new opportunities. We believe that Hope is now. It is not something we just long for in the far-off distance, but through Jesus, God in flesh, we know that hope is now, in our midst, walking among us and living inside of us. Find out more below about small groups, weekly bible reflections with James Howell, a slow-read through Mark, and more to come!

Grieving and attentive to the rapid rise in community spread of COVID-19, in an abundance of caution, heeding the counsel of our Medical Advisory team, and in solidarity with frontline workers and those in our church family (of all ages!) impacted, we will suspend our already limited in-person activities for the rest of this month. Please know your pastors and staff are eager to stay connected with you via phone, email, text or Zoom -- and reach out to one another to overcome isolation during these challenging days. We love you. We will be together again before too long. God is with us!

The church offices will be closed on Monday, January 18 in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. To reach the pastor on call, dial (704) 376-8584 and follow the prompts.

Join us as we journey through the Gospel of Mark together. Throughout this season churchwide, we will study Mark to learn and slowly spend time journeying with Jesus through Mark’s account. For a weekly calendar of readings and to learn more, visit our website.

Offered by Rev. Bill Roth and Parish Nurse Lauren Smith. Learn to embody the present moment with compassionate awareness and discover the emotional, physical and spiritual benefits of meditative practices. Open to first-timers or those who wish to renew their mindful practice. Join by Zoom here.

Join us on Wednesday, January 20 at 11:00 a.m. or 8:00 p.m. as Dr. Howell leads us in a study on Jesus and Prayer with Walter Brueggemann. Watch live on Facebook or Livestream.

You are invited to this virtual retreat facilitated by Doug Warner and sponsored by the Labyrinth Ministry. We will explore how we can embrace the mysteries around us and in us, especially in these challenging and uncertain times, while building spiritual resilience as we continue to journey together. The cost of $40 benefits UMAR and the South Tryon Prayer Garden. Scholarship assistance is available; email Rev. Taylor Pryde Barefoot at tbarefoot@mpumc.org. Find details and register online or email Christine Mull at cmull@mpumc.org for registration assistance.

Join Rev. Bill Roth and Parish Nurse Lauren Smith for emotional support and care. We will share, connect, and explore how we can increase our well-being and resilience. Join by Zoom here.

We are collecting the following new items for Novant Health Presbyterian Hospital, specifically the patients of the Behavioral Health Unit, many of whom have nothing: men’s and women’s coats, men’s and women’s sneakers, cultural hair care products, composition books, fine point magic markers, and paperback books (we can also accept these in used condition). We are also collecting thank you notes for frontline workers. Please drop off items Monday-Thursday before noon under the portico

At its beginning Christianity was surprising, powerful, creative, world-shaking. Today in the West it is many times familiar, common, and expected, losing its power to surprise and transform. We need to recover the surprise of Christianity. Join us as we continue a study of Christianity’s Surprise by C. Kavin Rowe to remember and relearn the life-giving power and witness that went with being Christian at the beginning. Groups meet online at various times throughout the week now-February 1. No signup is necessary, and all details, including the Zoom links, are on our website.

Join this Zoom meeting with Rev. Uiyeon Kim to learn about our church and the beliefs and practices of our denomination. There is no obligation to join, but the opportunity will be available. Email Jeanne Poole at jpoole@mpumc.org for more details.

Offered by Rev. Bill Roth and Parish Nurse Lauren Smith, this is a safe place for people looking to share, learn, and connect with others who are coping with loss. Join by Zoom here.

The Women’s Retreat planning committee is excited to invite both men and women to this special event that will inspire us to reflect on how God is moving in our midst. This event will launch a season of small groups with a specially created curriculum open to the whole church. Registration opens January 17 here.

We will offer both women’s and co-ed small groups with a special curriculum designed to help us respond in faith to everything that is happening in us and around us right now. Featuring a guest speaker each week, this small group study is an opportunity to speak with our words, our bodies, and our actions to declare that our lives are God’s and God is leading us in hope. Groups will meet online at various times throughout the week. Depending on conditions at the start, some groups may meet in person, distanced and masked. Registration opens January 17 here.

If you want to learn the latest research on what makes marriage work or need to meet the premarital counseling requirements to get married at our church, this seminar is for you. Rev. Bill Roth will use Dr. John Gottman’s Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work and ideas from noted therapists Sue Johnson and Terry Real. Register in Realm or email Carmen Rivera at crivera@mpumc.org.

Join Director of Children's Ministries Amy Jo Alspaugh for the first in a three-part series on Parenting and the Enneagram. This first episode focuses on the Gut Triad (Enneagram numbers 8, 9, and 1) and features special guests Rev. Jessica Dayson and Rev. Tom Henderson Owens. Beyond Baptism: Wisdom, Encouragement and Hope for Parents, created by Children’s Ministries and Youth Ministries, is intended for parents and adults invested in the young people of our church. Access all episodes here. Subscribe, rate, and review today!

Make sure you get your free Missions t-shirt and wear it when you’re out in the community connecting with neighbors. Send us a photo or video of yourself, and you may be featured in an upcoming Mission Moment video! To get your t-shirt and to submit your photos and videos, email Missions at missions@mpumc.org.

As a church with an intentional and strong commitment to mission and outreach, some thought the name of our giving fund was a little unclear. So, the Jubilee Plus! fund is now the Mission & Outreach Fund. Everything else continues to be the same. Every dollar of your generous contributions goes directly into our city and into our world to close the gaps between what is and what can be. Thank you for your continued support of the Mission & Outreach Fund.

Youth Ministries Welcomes Mary Helen Higgs: We are excited to introduce Mary Helen Higgs, our new Assistant Director of Youth Ministries who will work alongside Sarah Simmons. She is from Milledgeville, Georgia and was the student pastor at Northridge Christian Church. We can’t wait for everyone to meet her. Send her a note of welcome at mhhiggs@mpumc.org.

Missions Welcomes Kathleen Neustaetter: Kathleen Neustaetter is joining the Missions team as the Marketing Coordinator. A Connecticut native and recent Wofford College graduate, Kathleen is bringing video editing skills, social media expertise, and general good cheer to our group, and we are lucky to have her! Please feel free to reach out and welcome her at kneustaetter@mpumc.org.

Yoga + Prayer on Zoom, Mondays and Thursdays, 12:00 p.m. and Thursdays, 8:00 p.m.: We may find ourselves more sedentary as a natural side effect of this season, but that should not be matched with guilt or fear of physical decline. One way you can join others in finding healthy movement opportunities is through Yoga + Prayer. Meredith Starling leads gentle yoga sessions on Mondays and Thursdays at 12:00 p.m. and a deep stretch yoga session on Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. Email Rev. Taylor Pryde Barefoot at tbarefoot@mpumc.org if you have any questions.

Please have a computer or your phone to play. The Zoom link is at www.mpumcyouth.org.

Thank you for your ongoing offerings to our church Operating Fund. Your generosity brings to life the many ministries of our church, including congregational care’s Mindful Mondays on Zoom, Pastor Bible Reflections, and clergy-led small groups. Make your offering today at www.myersparkumc.org/give or by mail to 1501 Queens Road, Charlotte, NC 28207.

Embracing Generosity 2021: There is still time to submit your pledge for 2021. We invite you to prayerfully consider your intentional commitment to our church Operating Fund and Mission & Outreach Fund for the upcoming year. Return your pledge cards via mail to 1501 Queens Road, Charlotte NC 28207 or online at www.myersparkumc.org/give.

Questions about giving opportunities? Contact Jamie Yearwood, Director of Development, at jyearwood@mpumc.org or 704-295-4808.

With care, we remember: Bonnie Gunter on the death of her sister, Gayle Donahue.

We are the body of Christ - growing and serving.