Page 1

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” —Hebrews 13:8 (NRSV)

June/July 2013 OUR VISION: To become a disciple making church

OUR MISSION: To make disciples by Loving God, Growing in Christ, and Reaching Out to Others


University City United Methodist Church 3835 W WT Harris Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28269 phone: 704-369-8000 fax: 704-369-0481 twitter: @UC_UMC Worship Times: 9:45am - Traditional 11:00am - Contemporary Quarterly Celebration Sunday: one service at 10am June 30th, Sept. 8th, & Nov. 24th Office Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm

A message from Pastor Ron... I recently preached a sermon entitled “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow” drawing from the scripture in Hebrews that says that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Several years ago Philip Zimbardo gave a TED Talk called “It’s About Time” (The Psychology of Time) as well as a talk on The Psychology of Evil. Both talks are outstanding and are easily accessible on the internet. I thought it might be helpful to share with you some of Zimbardo’s thoughts from his talk entitled The Psychology of Time. His talk refers to Time Perspectives which we call Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. There are 6 TP’s or “Time Perspectives” that human beings have used for all of time. They are: Past TP – with a focus on positives in our past; Past TP – with a focus on negatives in our past. Present TP – Current Reality: joys of life obsessed with pleasures and experiences; Present TP – Fatalism: nothing matters, life is controlled and out of our control. Future TP – life is goal-oriented; Future TP – Transcendent: life after death of the mortal body. Each of us draws from these six TP’s to make decisions. But each of us utilizes the past and present and future in different proportions. We become biased by learned over-use of some frames and under-use of others. Zimbardo asks us to look at what determines any decision we make. 1. For some, it’s the immediate situation i.e., present oriented – What is now 2. For others, the present is irrelevant. Their decision is based on what I have done in the past – what was. Memories and history are VIP here 3. For others it’s all about the future – consequences – cost benefit analysis Zimbardo argues that we should seek to develop the mental flexibility to shift time perspectives fluidly – depending on the demands of the situation, allowing one time perspective to take precedence while others recede temporarily. He proposes an “OPTIMAL PROFILE” and it would look like this: Past Positive High Future Moderately High Present Experience Moderate Present Fatalism Always Low Past Negative Always Low

(continued next page)

(continued from previous page) Past Positives gives us roots – this perspective allows us to connect to our identity and family, to be grounded, and should always have a HIGH influence in our lives. Future – gives us wings to soar to new destinations and challenges and should always be MODERATELY HIGH. Present Experience gives us energy to explore people, places, self, and sensuality in light of our past and our future and should have only a MODERATE influence in our lives. Present Fatalism will drain our lives now and in the future and therefore should always have a LOW influence on us. Past Negatives can give us some identity and grounding but they must never dominate or they will beat us up and beat us down. Past negatives should always have LOW influence in our lives.

I felt that his talk was very applicable to UCUMC and our congregation and staff. We have a long history here, with a “past” that should be honored. We now live in a generation that is very “present” oriented. Yet we also have a “future (vision)” we are building toward and continue to plan for so that our Vision will become a full realization at some point in the future. Zimbardo’s OPTIMAL PROFILE ratio’s noted in the above list seems to be good counsel as we move forward to fulfill our vision to become a Disciple-making Church. Learning how to balance the influence of yesterday, today, and tomorrow takes time. And there is no time like the present time to begin. Want to listen to Zimbardo’s two talks on the Psychology of Time and the Psychology of Evil? Find them here: • The Psychology of Time • They Psychology of Evil • Visit and search for Phillip Zimbardo

Ron Smith, Senior Pastor, 704-369-8005

Table of Contents

Unlimited Hospitality

Weekday School

Committed to Growing in Christ


Uplifting Passionate Worship

Missions Focused

Called to Serve To explore the Monthly Newsletter, click on any of the icons above to go to that Core Value’s page. On each page of the newsletter there is a link on the bottom left corner that says “Back to top”; click that link to return to this page.

Unlimited Hospitality No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a clay pot. A lamp is put on a lampstand, so that everyone who comes into the house can see the light.” —Luke 11:33, CEV While you are out and about this summer – at the pool, travelling, sharing a meal with family or friends, etc., extend the love of Christ to all you can. Pray for an opportunity to bless others with your light of Christ! Be sure to have some UCUMC invite cards handy to share too (don’t forget your Servers in restaurants).

Praise The Lord: During the 2nd quarter, we had 47 Confirmands and Adults join UCUMC by Professions & Reaffirmations of Faith!

We welcomed and cared for over 22 first time guests in May & June! We have trained over 40 people during our Matthew training classes! We’ve begun a NEW partnership with Addison Park Apartments & participated in 2 Outreach events there so far. We look forward to building more relationships with this community and doing all we can to impact the residents in a positive way.

New Believers! Is this YOU or someone YOU KNOW at UCUMC? Please let us know so we can partner with those who are on this new & exciting spiritual journey. We want to celebrate and rejoice as well as provide some special materials we’ve put together just for a new believer (all ages). Contact Kristen Hickling – khickling@ucumc. org or 704-369-8029. My Hope America continues….We continue to learn ways to reach out to our surrounding community to share the Hope and Love of Christ. Take a look at these upcoming opportunities to be a part of what we’re doing: • Did you miss the Matthew trainings we’ve had thus far? Look for another training to be held in August; come learn what a “Matthew” is and how to be one. There is also a DVD to check out from the church at any time. Contact Kristen Hickling to reserve the DVD — or 704-369-8029. • LIFE Groups! Praying Big, Telling Stories — 4 weeks starting Tuesday, July 9th at 6:30pm or Wednesday, July 10th at 10am. Just Walk Across the Room — 4 weeks starting Thursday, August 1st at 6:30pm. Click Here to sign up for either class! • Find some up to date info and encouragement by visiting our NEW My Hope Blog HERE! Also, Click Here to visit us on UCUMC’s Facebook page for regular updates!

Upcoming Events: Celebration Sunday – New Members! During our 2nd Quarter, twelve people chose to take the next step in their spiritual journey with us here at UCUMC by committing to membership! These people have completed the Beginnings class and plan to join the church on June 30th: Joy & Andy Dillon; Wendy Bowers; Ashley Jones; Amber Wirth; Patrice, Sharon, Noelle, & Julius Williams; Stephen, Amy, Savannah, & Gage Barnett; Pastor Chad Cozad; and Garrett Woodford.

Back to top

Mark your calendars: •

July 9 & 10 – Praying Big/Telling Stories LIFE Groups begins.

August 1 – Just Walk Across the Room LIFE Group begins.

Celebration Sunday - June 30th Come one, come all to our one-service on Sunday, June 30th at 10:00am and fellowship after worship with a cookout! We will provide the hamburgers and hot dogs, you bring the sides: last names A-H - condiments; I-Q desserts; and R-Z - sides.

Tammy Cline, Director of Evangelism, 704-369-8018

Committed to Growing in Christ Hey! As you read this I am preparing to leave for a month long mission trip to Mazatlan, Mexico with Back2Back Ministries (B2B). Back2Back is the mission agency that our church has been partnering with for the past six years. We have sent seven teams to Monterrey, Mexico to serve orphan children through hands-on work projects, sharing Bible stories/scripture, relating personal testimonies of what Jesus has done in our lives, financial support for a girl named Gloria Gonzalez, serving food in a squatter’s village, playing soccer with kids on a dirt field and many other opportunities. This summer our youth ministry will send a team of ten people to Mazatlan where B2B has opened up another site…they are currently partnering with three homes (one of them has only special needs – physical or mental disabilities – children and another one serves teenage girls who have been rescued out of the sex trafficking industry) and also serving a poor squatter’s village with hundreds of people. I share this with you because back in February we encouraged people to have a “Tech-Free” Tuesday, where for one hour on a Tuesday we put aside all of our technology and used that time to focus on our relationship with God by reading/meditating on scripture, spending time in guided prayer, doing something to serve others, etc. I also had the opportunity to speak at our worship services and one of the things I talked about was how we all need a “balance check” in our lives. We can all get so busy and have so many responsibilities, deadlines, etc. that we allow the “urgent” to push out the IMPORTANT - spending time with the Lord and allowing Him to renew/refresh us! For me, going to spend this time in Mexico on this mission trip is a “balance check” for me…it allows me to put all the distractions of the world aside and focus solely on serving God by serving others and it opens me up to hear His direction without all of the “noise” that usually surrounds me. I know that most people can’t take an entire month out of their life to go and do something like this (and I’m very thankful for a church that allows me to do this – THANK YOU!!) but maybe for the month of July you can commit to an hour or two a week – just like with Tech-Free Tuesday – where you will give God your undivided attention, where you will put aside all of the technology and turn off all the “noise” in your life and just spend time with Him by reading His word or talking with Him or journaling or finding a way to serve others in a way you wouldn’t normally do…and He’ll renew your spirit as you do these things. Maybe during that time each week you’d even take a few minutes and pray for me while I’m in Mexico…that would be AWESOME!! I hope your summer is awesome…there are some great things going on at UCUMC even though we slow down a little…check them out in the next few pages and when I get back in August you can tell me all about them or maybe you’ll tell me about how you spent your Tech-Free Time and how God spoke to you during that time. I’d love to hear about it!!

Bert Giles, Director of Discipleship Ministries

Back to top

Bert Giles, Director of Discipleship, 704-369-8020

adult ministries Praise The Lord:

Men’s Huddle Up - Our Mission: For several years the Huddle Up Group that meets at the University Place Chick-fil-A at 6:30am on Tuesday mornings. For many years we have passed an envelope each month and have given it to Rob Rogers, Operator, to help some of his workers that were having some tough times. Last May, Rob suggested that if we would consider using this method to provide Winshape Camp Scholarships for some children in need. We took the challenge and using the following excerpt from the book our group studied as our guide, we have collected $2000 dollars for this year. Below is from One Month to Live by Kerry & Chris Shook, pages 169-170; based on 2 Kings 4:3-4 (AMP). “…This is just the opposite of my natural reaction to need. When I have a problem, my attitude becomes ‘I can’t focus on anyone else’s needs right now; I have needs of my own. I don’t have time for anyone else; I’m overwhelmed and need to take care of myself first.’ My first inclination is to hoard the little bit of time, resources, and energy that I have. We are usually unaware of the empty vessels that surround us every day, because we’re blinded by our own problems and worries. If you choose to look, empty vessels turn up everywhere: at work, in your family, in your neighborhood, in your church. Children are naturally empty vessels waiting to be filled with our time, energy, love, and attention. God asks us to give what we have, no matter how small it may be. He asks us to consider others before ourselves and to trust Him to take care of our needs and to be used by Him to meet the needs of others.”

David Cox Backpack Ministry - May 31, 2013 was the end of the 3rd school year UCUMC has supported the backpack ministry. Each week 12 women in the His Helpers small group have packed about 14 backpacks with food to send home with children identified as homeless at David Cox Elementary School. Hearing the testimony of one 4th grader who received a backpack “it gave me hope!” was sweet music to our ears. We thank you for your support and generous donations of food, money, and time. We also encourage you to continue to bring “hope” to the children this fall. If you are interested in becoming a part of this ministry, please join us the 4th Wednesday of the month at 10:00 am in Room 120.

Upcoming Events: Women’s book club: Both MTO Summer Book Club and Heavenly Readers welcome anyone else wishing to discuss The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, come to the Guest Café on Wednesday July 10 at 7PM. Child care provided with advance reservation. For more information or to make child care reservations please contact Ceil McGee,

The UCUMC Prayer Shawl Ministry continues to bless people through their talent for knitting or crocheting! Recently we mailed 6 prayer shawls to West, TX, the site of the fertilizer plant explosion. We sent them to a Christian Camp that had housed the Billy Graham chaplains with a note to distribute to those needing a tangible sign of love and care, and to say that they were not forgotten with all the most recent disasters.

Family Movie Nite: The Perfect Game Join us on Friday July 26, 2013 from 6:30pm to 9:00pm in the Fellowship Hall. Bring the family, your lounge chair and enjoy popcorn! The movie, The Perfect Game, based on the true story of a group of ragtag boys from a povertystricken area of Mexico that rely on their faith to win the Little League World Series in 1957. This inspiring story will warm your heart! No cost or reservation needed! Questions, contact Ceil McGee or 704-369-8006

Want to learn more about My Hope America and being confident in your faith? Join us for a special 4 week group at 9:45AM beginning Sunday, July 28 in room 107 led by Dan Brock and hosted by the Discovery Sunday School Class! Contagious Christian - Helping Christians Communicate Their Faith in a Style that Fits Them; talking about Jesus in a style that’s personal and natural. If you have always wanted to have the words to share what your faith means, what being a Christian means to you, come join us for the DVD and discussion group!

Back to top

Ceil McGee, Adult Ministry Director, 704-369-8006

youth ministries Praise The Lord:

On May 12th, 35 students were confirmed– each making the decision to join the church and to support it through their prayers, presence, gifts, services and witness! Altogether, the class completed over 400 hours of community service throughout the year. We are proud of the time and dedication they invested into the confirmation process.

We wrapped up the school year with a FUSION family cook-out on June 2nd! We had a great time of fellowship and looking back on the school year!

Upcoming Events:

No Sunday School in July and August; starts back August 25th.

Dinner & Devo @ Chick-Fil-A Davis Lake - 6:30-7:45pm July 10th, 17th, 24th, and 31st. Join us for dinner (on your own), BINGO, and a devotion! Bring your Bible and money for dinner. Dinner - 6:30pm, BINGO - 7pm, Devo - 7:25pm. Questions? Contact Megan Leap, or 704-369-8014. Whitewater Center - July 23rd Meet at the church at 12:30pm; will return by 6:30pm. Cost is $45 per person and includes mega zip, mega jump, rock climbing, ridge course, adventure ropes, climb 2 zip, canyon crossing, mountain biking, eco trekking, flatwater kayaking, war canoes, and stand-up paddleboarding. Click Here to sign up; deadline to sign up is July 1st! Questions? Contact Megan Leap, or 704-369-8014. *Note we need adult chaperons/drivers.*

Estoy Loco - Middle School Mission Trip; Aug 2nd - 4th Estoy Loco (I am crazy!) is the perfect name of a middle school youth event - it simply comes down to being crazy about serving God! Coordinated by Tsunami Ministries (www. Takes place at Weddington UMC in Weddington, NC. Type of work: light construction/repair, painting, landscaping, Operation Christmas Child processing center, and more! Space is limited; deadline to sign up is July 1st. Click Here to find and print the registration form. Questions? Contact Megan Leap, or 704-369-8014. *Note: we need adults chaperones.*

Messy Games - August 7th, 5:30-8:30pm Back by popular demand! Games and dinner in the Fellowship Hall, followed by CRUD WARS in the yard of the lower level of the worship center. Look for sign-ups in the UCUMC News closer to the event. Questions? Contact Megan Leap, or 704-369-8014.

Back to top

Megan Leap, Youth Ministry Director, 704-369-8014

children’s ministries Praise The Lord:

What an AWESOME week God had planned for our WinShape Camp last week! To many of our children and adult volunteers, it really was the Best Week Ever! This was the 5th year we’ve hosted WinShape Camp and we had our largest camp to date! We had 242 campers! We also had 21 WinShape Team Counselors and over 70 others who volunteered to help in some way to make last week a true blessing to so many people!

A heart of sincere gratitude goes out to all of you who: provided food, laundry, and encouragement to the WinShape Team; those who helped out in all the many areas of camp: Check-In Desk, the 19 skill sets, the 16 small groups; those who guided, played with, loved on and prayed for the children; those who set the tone for worship and music; and everyone who were the wonderful, positive example to so many young minds and hearts! A special note of appreciation, (and high five’s), to all those from FUSION who made such a huge difference and were such blessings to all who set foot on our campus! You Rock! Dear thanks to a dear lady, Donna Benson who’s foresight and passion brought this wonderful evangelism tool to UCUMC! You were instrumental in lives being challenged and changed! Due to God’s heart and your hands, we know that at least 5 children asked Jesus into their hearts last week! Praise the Lord!!! To catch a glimpse of what took place, check out pictures from UCUMC’s Facebook HERE! Please continue to pray for all the seeds that were carefully planted, that they’ll grow and bear much fruit in the hearts, minds and lives of all the children who were here, and that the fruit would nourish the child, as well as their families, their schools, their neighborhoods and communities. And just so you know, it’s not too early to volunteer to sign up for next year’s WinShape Camp, June 16 - 20, 2014! Thanks again for all those who helped in any way and to God be the glory; Great things He has done!

Upcoming Events: Vacation Bible School (July 15-19) Registration Closed – registration has been closed for VBS at this point. We need more teachers in order to register more children. This is not our preference but we feel in order to maintain class size, safety and the quality of VBS we cannot continue to register children unless we have more teachers. We have a great VBS program planned and just need some loving adults who will help us invest in the children who will attend. As a teacher you will coteach with another adult so you won’t be on your own. If you would like to help as a teacher in VBS this year please contact Kristen Hickling, If we have enough teachers respond we will re-open registration. Again, we are sorry for any inconvenience and are hopeful that we will be able to register more children soon. Mark your calendars for these upcoming events: •

Family Movie Nite - July 26th: Free Admission! The Perfect Game will start at 6:30pm in the Fellowship Hall. Bring the family, your lounge chair and enjoy popcorn!

Promotion Sunday - August 25th: This is the day set aside for all the students to move to their new age level class and for teachers to get to know their students. More details to come.

Back to top

Tim Patrick, Children’s Ministry Director,704-369-8023

UCUMC Weekday School It is with mixed emotions we announce Debbie Swartzel has resigned her position as University City UMC Weekday School Director. Debbie has accepted a similar position at her home church, Williamson-Chapel UMC, in Mooresville, NC. Please join us in thanking Debbie for her 14 years of dedicated service to UCUMC and wishing her well in her new role. Dear UCUMC Family, It is with a heavy heart that I....I have begun many letters to parents this way over the years. It has always signified unexpected change and today is no different as I have accepted the position of Preschool Director at Williamson’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Mooresville beginning July 1. While I am confident that God is leading my decision and excited about this new opportunity, I am heartbroken at the thought of leaving University City UMC, especially the Weekday School. For over twenty years this place has been an integral part of my life. Not just that I came to work here, but that for many years my family worshiped here-our son was baptized and our daughter was confirmed here. This is sacred ground to my family. For the last fourteen years I have been honored to serve countless families as Director of UCUMC Weekday School. We have laughed together, cried together, grieved together and celebrated together. In short, we have shared our lives with each other. I count many of you among my friends, and all of you have made my life richer by paying me the compliment of trusting me to lead, placing your children in my care, and serving with me in ministry. From the moment I was approached about this position, I prayed for discernment and wisdom-not just for myself but for everyone who was involved in the decision making process. Today I ask you to join me in the same prayer for those who will be searching for my replacement and for the person God is calling to serve here next. Over the last couple of weeks I have had the opportunity to reflect on my time here. God has blessed me personally, and the Weekday School as a ministry. I am confident that he will reward my obedience with the same blessings at Williamson’s Chapel UMC. Even more, I rest a little easier knowing that God would not send me somewhere else if he did not have wonderful things in store for UCUMC Weekday School. Please join with me in celebrating another wonderful year of serving the children and families of this church and the community. What an honor it has been to plant the seeds of faith in for the next generation. I consider myself to be truly blessed to have been a part of a place, a ministry and people that are so hard to say goodbye to.

In Christ’s Service,

Debbie Swartzel

Back to top

Debbie Swartzel, former UCUMC Weekday School Director

Uplifting Passionate Worship traditional worship

Praise The Lord:

May and June were great months in Worship and the Arts at UCUMC!

In May we were blessed by many special worship celebrations, including Confirmation Sunday on Mother’s Day, when 35 confirmands professed their faith in Jesus Christ and joined UCUMC as full members. On May 19 we celebrated Holy Communion and commissioned four summer mission teams for their trips. During the month of May our preachers brought messages about the Core Value of Called to Serve. In June, Ron and Chad began a new sermon series on the Gospel as presented in the book of Galatians. This series is designed to help prepare us to share our faith during the My Hope America campaign. On June 2 we recognized Ben and Fran Harton and Blair Luther with special Laity Awards for their service to God and people in their ministry at UCUMC. On June 9 we celebrated the Graduation of 2013 High School Graduates, Cap & Gown Sunday - June 9th 18 High School Students and 5 College Students on Cap and Gown Sunday. On June 16 we celebrated Father’s Day, and encouraged all of our dads to keep serving God. On June 23 Tammy Cline shared a message about shining our light for Jesus so that others may come to Him.

Upcoming Events: On July 21st we will have a combined VBS Sunday Worship Service at 10:00am where the VBS children and their leaders will allow everyone a chance to experience a taste of Vacation Bible School. You will want to be sure and attend this special worship service, to encourage our children, and to be blessed by the messages, scriptures, drama, and music of VBS 2013!

Celebration Sunday - June 30: On this day we will have a special combined Celebration Sunday Worship service at 10:00 that will highlight our first 25 years as UCUMC, and the many blessings of God on our church and country. This is a time to pause, reflect, and celebrate all that God has done and continues to do at and through UCUMC. It will look a little different than other worship experiences that we have on Sunday mornings; we will: • Worship together through music • Celebrate new members and baptisms • Have no preaching • Hear stories about all that has happened recently at UCUMC • Hear testimonies from people who have benefited from UCUMC • Have fellowship time with a cookout after worship! We will provide the hamburgers and hot dogs, you bring the sides: last names A-H - condiments; I-Q - desserts; and R-Z - sides.

We pray that God will bless you and your family in many special ways during this month. We look forward to worshipping with you this Summer, and look forward to serving God alongside you through the Worship and the Arts Ministry.

Back to top

Matt Guild, Director of Traditional Worship, 9:45am, 704-369-8011

Uplifting Passionate Worship contemporary worship

Praise The Lord: Renovation Youth Choir: The Renovation Youth Choir departed on their yearly mission trip on Wednesday, June 26. The choir has been preparing all year for this ministry opportunity and will present the hope and encouragement of Christ at churches, detention centers, and assisted living homes. Please lift this group up in prayer as they minister in Midlothian, VA and Rochester, NY areas. The choir will return to UCUMC on Wednesday, July 3. Guest Youth Choir Concert - On Sunday, June 23rd, the Youth Choir of First UMC McKinney Texas presented !Hero, The Rock Opera, a Dove Award winning musical. Our church, especially the Renovation Youth Choir, once again showed their Unlimited Hospitality by providing meals and overnight accommodations. Thanks to all who helped host the guest youth choir, attended the concert, or volunteered their time for the concert. It was a great show!

Upcoming Events: The 11:00 Worship Leadership Team is auditioning prospective team members over the summer. If you have been blessed with a musical talent on an instrument or with your voice and would like to be a part of the 11:00am Worship Leadership Team, or you have 11:00am Worship Team members interest in being a part of the tech performing at the 2013 Easter Musical team (sound board, computer/ projection, lights), please contact Lee Zeigler for more information at 704-369-8017 or (Left) 11:00am Worship Leadership Team members performing with the Celebration Choir on Celebration Sunday, April 7th, 2013

Back to top

Lee Zeigler, Director of Contemporary Worship, 11:00am, 704-369-8017

Missions Focused Praise The Lord: HWY 55 Spirit Night There was such a great turn-out Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at HWY 55 at Davis Lake! The Adult Mexico Missions team will receive a portion of the total sales from the night! This team—as well as three others—will participate in a missions experience this Summer/Fall. A huge thanks to each person who had a great burger, hotdog or custard! The food was yummy and the cause is “yummy”, as well! Thank you!

Upcoming Events: American Red Cross Blood Drive: Thursday, July 11th This is the annual Give a Pint, Get a Pint event; give a pint of blood and get a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream! The blood drive will be Thursday, July 11th from 3-7pm in the Hospitality Suite. Click Here to find online sign ups. Questions? Contact Kristin Gable,

UCUMC Community Meal: To encourage some mid-summer fellowship, UCUMC will host a community meal (summer picnic style lunch) on Sunday, July 21, 2013 from 11:00AM to 1:00PM. There is no cost for the meal but sign up to partake in the meal is required. Volunteers are needed to support meal preparation, serving and cleanup. Click Here to find links to registration for both volunteering and attending. Questions? Contact Steve Maynard,

WV Mission Trip - From July 6-13, a team of 15 folks from UCUMC will be heading to Oceana, WV to minister to children through VBS day camp. The team will also work on projects to help those in the community and spruce up the church where they will serve. Lift this team in prayer as they minister through acts of service and hospitality. If you would like to donate to the church we are assisting, they need the following canned food items for their food pantry: Pinto beans, canned meats, tomatoes, potatoes, milk, fruit, vegetables. Please contact Lee Zeigler for more information or to discuss other donations you wish to contribute: 704-369-8017 or Back to top

Pastor Ray McKinnon, Director of Christian Service, 704-369-8031

Called to Serve Praise The Lord: Members are serving: Yay God! Since the past Celebration Newsletter was published we had our Called 2 Serve (C2S) Commitment Sunday! 72 percent of members who have joined since January of this year are serving within the body of UCUMC. That is an incredible “Yay God!”. Overall, we have 63 percent of our church family who serve. UCUMC is committed to being a disciple-making church. To that end, we encourage every person who considers UCUMC home to serve in one capacity or another. Remember, you may always find open serving opportunities by logging into myUCUMC; Click on “Available Serving Opportunities” under “I Want to View...” on your myUCUMC home page. If you have questions or need more information please contact Pastor Ray McKinnon, or 704-369-8031.

On June 2 we recognized Ben and Fran Harton and Blair Luther with special Laity Awards for their service to God and people in their ministry at UCUMC. Please thank Ben and his wife Fran Harton (right) and Blair Luther (far left) for all the hard work they do at UCUMC! They are just examples of the great servants at this church. Kudos and thanks to each of you!

Upcoming Events: Christian Service Department Team The Christian Service Department (CSD)—which encompasses the Missions Focused and Called to Serve core values—is growing! Currently, the folks on the CSD Team are helping to practically execute the process that Pastor Ray is hoping to put into place—in cooperation with the existing committees. If you are a person who has the capacity to take an idea and “flesh it out”, we would love for you to join us on this team! Our goal, ultimately, is to help each member work through the process from guest to committed servant. Folks with the spiritual gifts of helps, administration, leadership or hospitality will be most fulfilled on this team. If you are interested in joining the team, please contact Danielle Phillips at: Are you still scratching your head wondering, “Where will I fit here at UCUMC; what are my spiritual gifts?” If so, take a few minutes to take an online “Spiritual Gifts Assessment”. Go to (all caps necessary) to take your Spiritual Gifts Assessment. You can also visit to find the link. Back to top

Pastor Ray McKinnon, Director of Christian Service, 704-369-8031

Administration Praise The Lord:

Congratulations to Kelly Beasley, recipient of the Kevin M. Mihalovich Scholarship. This fund has been established to provide financial aid to an active UCUMC Youth entering college. We wish Kelly the best as she starts at Appalachian State University in the fall.

Always working to keep our campus BEAUTIFUL! On Saturday My 18th Brian Baylor, Blair Luther and Neal Brown volunteered their time and talents to replace the mulch in the picnic area. The mulch was delivered in the lower level parking area where Neal took charge of keeping it all together, Brian, operating the CAT dumped it in the picnic area and Blair wielding the rake spread the mulch. Be sure to thank them for their hard work! We are always in need of Volunteers to help with projects in and on Campus. Please contact Phil 704-369-8022 to learn more about our summer projects! Troop 13’s Court of Honor - UCUMC Member and BSA Troop 13 Chartered Organization Representative, Lisa Tugman was awarded the prestigious Cross and Flame Award at Troop 13’s most recent Court of Honor on Tuesday, May 28th. The Cross and Flame Award is sponsored by the United Methodist Men and is presented to adult leaders who have given exceptional service in the use and promotion of programs for young people. As a member of UCUMC for 21 years, Lisa has long served both UCUMC and its ministries. She has volunteered in the pre-school, nursery, and Christmas Store, served as a Sunday School Teacher and Youth Group leader, and more. As her sons moved through the ranks of scouting, Lisa was also an outstanding volunteer with Pack 13 (1996-2005) and Troop 13 (leader, 2005). In 2009 Lisa became the Chartered Organization Representative. In this position Lisa works with UCUMC leadership, BSA representatives, Pack 13 and Troop 13. Lisa is also involved with advancement, boards of review, Eagle projects, fundraising, summer camp preparation, service projects with the church and countless other activities/details. Although Lisa’s 3 sons (Jonathan, Andrew and Matthew) have earned their Eagle ranks and moved on, she continues to serve Lisa Tugman with son Matthew Troop 13, and is vital to the success of today’s program. and her parents.

All things perfect come from God and that is how we felt when we had our second son, Eli Erdle on 1/11/11. There was a huge snowstorm the night before and we were not sure we would even make it to the hospital. But we did, and he arrived on a snowflake at 1:18pm. Eli was immediately admitted into the NICU for fluid aspiration. As the days passed, Eli continued to struggle, primarily with feeding issues. When he was 2 weeks old he was diagnosed with a rare, but not terminal chromosomal disorder. We were sent to Levine where he underwent surgery for a feeding tube. He was discharged to go home. We did not know that he would be soon called Home to his Father in heaven. On the way home from the hospital Eli unexpectedly stopped breathing. Jeff and I did CPR on our kitchen table while my Mom dialed 911 but they were not able to regain his pulse until he reached the ER at NorthEast hospital. The next day, 2/25 at 2:25pm the neurologist pronounced Eli brain dead. Our baby. That moment will forever be with us. It is the moment when all time stopped and true helplessness swallowed us into despair. But with great compassion and kindness the folks at LifeShare approached us about organ donation. They explained that infant orders are rare and needed but they were uncertain as to how Eli’s chromosomal disorder would impact his ability to be a match. As if God were laying the ground work all along, during Eli’s hospitalizations he had two echocardiograms showing a beautiful healthy heart. They found a perfect match for his heart for a little girl named Georgia who was just 5 days younger than Eli. She was born with a heart abnormality and her parents were told to prepare for the worst. Miraculously, Lifeshare found a second match for Eli’s liver, pancreas and intestines for a very sick 6 month old in Nebraska. We said goodbye to our baby and prayed that his purpose on this earth would be to bless these children. And it was. (continued on next page)

Back to top

(continued from previous page) We received a beautiful letter from Georgia’s family sharing the success of the transplant surgery and their gratitude for Eli’s lifesaving gift. We cannot begin to describe the healing power this letter had on our family. It was a glimpse of hope that enabled us to begin to heal from our loss. To know that this little girl will grow up and live because of our son, Eli is a celebration of both of their lives. He saved two children and few can live 100 years and claim the same accolade. He is our hero, he is our hope and while we still ache over losing him we know that God had great purpose for his life. On Saturday, June 22, 2013 LifeShare of the Carolinas dedicated a garden in his honor at the “Our Children’s Memorial Walkway. 15 families of children who passed away and were organ donors were able to design a brick for their child to be placed in the walk way. Rev. Gail Werstein gave a poignant benediction, we shared our story and all of the families released butterflies in honor of their children. It is a beautiful and serene setting and our prayer is that the garden is a place of hope and peace for all who visit. It is a place to remember our children and be reminded of the lives that continue because of them. Click Here for more information about “Our Children’s Memorial Walkway”. Click Here to learn more about Eli.

Rev. Gail Werstein and Eli’s parents at the Memorial Walkway dedication.

Upcoming Events: Celebration Garden - God is working through us to do many good and exciting things at UCUMC. Many members of our church family have a lot to celebrate and remember. Underway are plans for a celebration garden on the ground between the sanctuary and the fellowship hall. We are planning a garden that can be enjoyed for small receptions, group meetings, photos, and mediation. We want to beautify this very visible area and make it attractive for members and visitors to enjoy. On June 30th, an information tent will be set up between the two buildings. Visit the tent to learn more about the garden and how you can contribute. Consider buying an engraved paver for the garden to commemorate a graduation, wedding, confirmation, baptism, etc. An engraved paver is a good way to honor someone or remember a loved one. Also come to participate in our silent auction that day. We want all to join in on the excitement this garden plan is creating!

The Church Office will be closed on Thursday, July 4th in observance of Independence Day. The next publication of the UCUMC Celebration Newsletter will be August 7th.

Back to top

Ria Holtzhausen, Administrative Director, 704-369-8015

June/July Celebration Newsletter  

Check out the awesome things God has done at UCUMC in the past month. Also look to see what we have coming next!

June/July Celebration Newsletter  

Check out the awesome things God has done at UCUMC in the past month. Also look to see what we have coming next!