Sunday, April 15, 2018

April 16, 2018 Mainstreeter Online


April 16, 2018

Words from the Pastor

Welcome to the second week of the Great Fifty Days of Easter. Easter is not a one day event but a season that in many ways defines who we are as followers of the Risen Christ. The following prayer for Easter and the month of April speaks to us of this season of new beginnings and new life.

God of openness and new life,
in this Easter season,
remove me from the tombs
of doubt and despair,
turn me from dead ends and shattered dreams,
and lead me to new hope and
a bright tomorrow.
Walk with me down unchartered
roads and ordinary paths,
always leading me to a deeper trust
and more faithful service.
I open my heart to your Easter joy. Amen.

Taken from Openings: A Daybook of Saints, Sages, Psalms and Prayer Practices by Rev. Larry J. Peacock.

Worship Ahead

4/22 The Fourth Sunday of Easter

Confirmation Sunday
Scripture: First John 3:11
-18; John 10:10-18|
Theme: Love Defined and Modeled. Both the Gospel and first epistle attributed to the apostle John (although likely written by a later disciple) speak of Jesus as the "good shepherd" who lays down his life for his sheep. God's love is reflected in Jesus' self
-sacrifice and we are encouraged to love one another in much the same way.


Calendar for the Week of April 15

Use of Connector and Elevator Pushed Back One Week

Due to some unexpected delays (mostly attributed to the weather) we are now expecting the connector and elevator to be available for its first use on Sunday, April 29th. We hope that you will be with us for the inauguration of this new era in the history of the Main Street UMC!

Memorial Service for Roger Hall

The memorial service for Roger Hall who died back in January is scheduled to be held of Saturday, April 21st at 11:00am in our sanctuary with a reception to follow in the vestry. All are invited to attend this celebration of Roger's life. Pastor Rich will be leading the service with musical contributions from the choir, Sharon Rose, and others.

TED Talks This Week

This week on Tuesday at 10:30am we will watch two TED Talks—one serious and the other humorous. The serious one is about the injustice of the bail system. Bail creates a two tier system of justice—one for those who can afford to pay it and the other for those who can't. Robin Steinberg, the CEO of The Bail Project talks about her role as a public defender who has vowed to fight for her clients' rights, dignity, and humanity in a system that seemed intent on crushing them. The Bail Fund advances bail to people who can't pay it so they can get back to their families and their communities.

The humorous TED Talk is about improv. Charlie Todd causes bizarre, hilarious, and unexpected public scenes: Seventy synchronized dancers in storefront windows, "ghostbusters" running through the New York Public Library, and the annual no-pants subway ride. His group, Improv Everywhere, uses these scenes to bring people together.

You won't want to miss these! Everyone is welcome, and we now offer childcare.


A Conversation with Paul

One recent Friday, Paul, a Café Agape regular who had been absent for two months, told me he had been to Florida visiting his mother and sister. We joked about his timing--leaving Florida to return to Nashua in the grip of Nor'easter blizzards.

We continued to talk mainly about Paul's life and he said, "I wouldn't wish what I've gone through on my worst enemy." He went on to explain that when he was quite young, his brother died, his parents divorced, and he was without much parental guidance. As a result, he committed some crimes and became a convicted felon. That was twenty years ago.

For most of those twenty years, he has been unable to keep a job because as soon as the employer did a background check, his felony would come up and he would be fired. So now he doesn't even try to find work.

"If I could go back and do it over again, I wouldn't make the same mistakes. I was young and stupid. And now I'm screwed."

Paul added that in God's eye we are all equal. "God has forgiven me, but society never forgives."

In high school Paul had some teachers whom he still remembers. "Mr. Schott, the math teacher was the only one who didn't put me in detention." His French teacher worked with him and told him he was special. He has never forgotten their kindness.

If he could get a job, Paul said he likes doing outdoor things like construction, roofing, landscaping, and keeping a vegetable garden. He's also good at electronics and fixing things like TVs and stereos. When I suggested he open a fix-it shop, he said that getting a loan to open a business requires a background check. And he can't even get a driver's license.

As a result, Paul has become bitter about society.

It seems that there is no solution to this vicious cycle of unforgiving justice. Paul suggested that there be a council of homeless people who make their needs known so laws can change and all society can benefit.

-submitted by Mary Marchese


Nashua Park Cleanup
Saturday, April 21, 10:00am-2:00pm

Represent your Church.
Join in before and/or after Roger Hall's Memorial Service and remember to wear your Heart of Nashua T
See Jerry Harrow for more info.





Sunday, April 8, 2018

April 9, 2018 Mainstreeter Online


April 9, 2018

Words from the Pastor

Welcome to the Great Fifty Days of Easter. Easter is not a one day event but a season that, in many ways, defines who we are as followers of the Risen Christ. The following Easter prayer, shared in a letter from our Bishop, Sudarshana Devadhar following his experiences in a recent trip to the holy land, captures this reality. It is a powerful reminder regarding the meaning of Easter.


Oh Risen Christ,

who is looking for us

before we are looking for you:

Was that you —

  in the wide-eyed wonder of the child,

  in the face behind the soldier's uniform?


Was that you —

  in the birds' music and the worshippers' songs,

  in the stranger on the other side of the river,

          we were forbidden to cross?

Oh Risen Christ,

who sees us

before we see you:

Was that you who came to us —

  at the unexpected time,

  in the unsuspecting person?

Was that your —

  graffiti written on the city walls

  calling us

               as you first called the twelve?

Was that you who met us —

in bread and wine,




                 poured out,

                 and shared?

Oh Risen Christ, help us —

  to love what we see;

      to become what we receive,

     and to know you,

as the One who lives among us!

Inspire, stir, encourage, challenge us —

  to blossom in God's glory,

  to love with your compassion,

               to move as the free blowing wind of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Worship Ahead

4/15 - The Third Sunday of Easter

Guest Preacher: In Pastor Rich's absence, while he is on vacation (April 11-19,) our guest preacher will be Rev. Dave Svenson (otherwise known to us as "Pastor Dave.") Pastor Dave was pastor of the Main Street UMC from 1991-2000 and, in retirement, worships at the Main Street UMC along with his wife Linda.


Calendar  for the Week of April 8

Use of Connector and Elevator Expected Soon

We are continuing to expect to have occupancy for the connector sometime during week of April 15th with use of the connector and elevator beginning the weekend of April 21st and 22nd. We hope that you will be with us for the inauguration of this new era in the history of the Main Street UMC!

Memorial Service for Roger Hall

The memorial service for Roger Hall who died back in January is scheduled to be held of Saturday, April 21st at 11:00am in our sanctuary with a reception to follow in the vestry. All are invited to attend this celebration of Roger's life. Pastor Rich will be leading the service with musical contributions from the choir, Sharon Rose, and others.

TED Talks Starting Tuesday, April 10 at 10:30

It's time for TED Talks to begin again in the chapel. The group has been meeting for almost three years whenever there is no Advent or Lenten study. The original purpose was to watch a TED Talk and then discuss it. What actually happens is much more. It's a time of bonding and sharing and exploring ideas we might not normally be exposed to.

This coming Tuesday, April 10, we'll be watching Matt Goldman, co-founder of the Blue Man Group, talk about the Blue School, which balances academic mastery, creative thinking, and self and social intelligence. He believes by reshaping our environments, we can change the world.

We now offer childcare. Everyone is welcome!

Online Giving Options

We have three methods of online giving, easily accessible on our church website or by going directly to

1. If you prefer making a new donation by credit card each week or month, or if you want to give a one-time donation, then choose PayPal Giving Fund. PayPal covers all fees.

2.  If you want to set up automatic periodic payments (such as weekly or monthly) from a credit card or checking account, then choose Vanco. There is a small fee for this option, and we ask that you consider adding the fee to your periodic donation.

3.  We also have the GIVE+ Mobile App, powered by Vanco, allowing you to make a donation anytime you feel like giving a little something extra.

Last Minute Reminders

Printed Mainstreeter is available at both entrances to the church

Spring Fling is Sunday, April 15 at noon in the vestry.

VBS planning meeting is Monday, April 16 at 11:00am in the vestry.





Sunday, April 1, 2018

April 2, 2018 Mainstreeter Online


April 2, 2018

Words from the Pastor

But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you." Mark 16:6-7

      Jesus' disciples had followed him from Galilee to Jerusalem all the while expecting that at any time he would take his rightful place as messiah and king. They were sure of it and they wanted in on the action. It was not meant to be though, as they so rudely found out when Jesus was put to death on a cross. The weight of disappointment must have been very heavy. The third day after his death some of Jesus' women followers went to the tomb desiring to do the least they could for him--anoint his body with ointment in preparation for its final burial. To their surprise Jesus' body was not there and an angelic figure declares that "he has been raised; he is not here". They are also reminded that Jesus has gone ahead of them, back to Galilee, and they are to meet him there, just as he had once told them.

      Back to Galilee. Back to where it had all begun a few years before when Jesus appeared preaching the good news of the kingdom of God. They had misunderstood this gospel then thinking that Jesus would be just another ruler like Caesar or Pilate or Herod, but on their side rather than on the side of the Roman oppressors. This was not the kind of messiah that Jesus came to be though. Rather, as the events of the past week had shown, his was to be a different kind of kingdom, requiring a different kind of ruler. Rather that ruling through power, violence, and intimidation, Jesus was destined to rule through humility, peace, and justice. The disciples had a lot to learn about this Risen Christ. We still do!

      As we enter the Great Fifty Days of Easter that started on Easter Sunday and will continue through Pentecost on May 20th we will have many opportunities to learn what it means to be the followers of the Risen Christ. May we be open to learning and perhaps, re-learning, what it means to be disciples in the 21st century. May we seek to be the presence of the Risen Christ, not just in the confines of our church building, but in whatever Galilee that we go back to. Remember, the Risen Christ has gone before us and is already waiting there for us to bear witness to him.

Celebrating Resurrection,

Pastor Rich

Worship Ahead

4/8   The Second Sunday of Easter

Tithe Sunday

Scripture: Acts 4:32-35; John 20:19-31

Theme: The Community of the Risen Christ


Calendar  for the Week of April 1

Construction Update

      The construction project continues to progress nicely and mostly smoothly. The connector is, for all intents and purposes, completed with just a number of smaller things needing to be done. The landscaping has begun and is expected to be completed during the month of April. At this time the expectation is that we will have our occupancy permit for the weekend of April 21st and 22nd! We hope you will all come out on the 22nd to see this new space and maybe even ride the elevator!


New Members Received on Palm Sunday

      It is our pleasure to welcome the following individuals as new members of the Main Street UMC. Gerry Michael comes to us on profession of faith. He is married to Shirley who became a member a few years ago. Gerry and Shirley reside here in Nashua. Bonnie Bergeron also comes to us on profession of faith. Bonnie is married to Bruno and they reside here in Nashua. Pat Kerrigan also comes to us on profession of faith. Pat is married to Pam Gordon and they reside in Merrimack. Let us extend a warm welcome to each of these individuals.

April Mission News

Heifer Project: Duck, Duck, Goose! Thank you for your gifts to Heifer Project's Easter Tree of Life. We raised about $3290 for trees, cows, sheep, fish, water pumps, geese, donkeys, goats, pigs, bees, and llamas!  Each animal makes an incredible difference in the lives of the families that it reaches. These gifts are above and beyond your regular pledges and Heart of Nashua offerings, so are especially appreciated. When we know how many of each we purchased in all, we will let you know. We did purchase SIX water pumps!!! That means six villages will have fresh, clean water.

Food Pantry Needs: The Main St. UMC Food Pantry at the Nashua Soup Kitchen is currently low on the following items: Beans (canned kidney, black or baked beans, or dried beans,) fruit, and canned chicken. You can leave the donations for the Food Pantry in the blue bin. That bin is currently near the ramp into the vestry, but who knows where it will be after we open the connector! We need to have you get the word out about Main Street's Third Sunday Food Pantry at the Nashua Soup Kitchen. This month, that will be on April 15th from 2 to 4. Workers should be ready to start at about 1:30 at the Nashua Soup Kitchen.

UMCOR/One Great Hour of Sharing Offering: The overhead costs of running the United Methodist Committee on Relief come from our offerings on UMCOR/ One Great Hour of Sharing Sunday. Your gifts have totaled $1442 so far. Thank you!

Health Kits: Our special Lenten project, health kits for the United Methodist Committee on Relief, concluded on Palm Sunday with their dedication. We will take the kits to the Kit Depot at St. James UMC in Merrimack early in May. Please let Phyllis Appler know if you want to deliver them! Some people, who were unable to shop, have given money for kit materials that will allow our Sunday School students to pack kits the Sunday after Easter. If you want to help with this, or if you have kit parts to donate to the effort, please let any Missions Committee member know. We could also use some paper boxes with lids for packing and shipping kits. If you did not get the kits turned in on Palm Sunday, just make sure that they are in the office or handed to a missions work area member by the end of April. Palm Sunday did come quickly this year!

-submitted by Phyllis Appler

A Conversation with Ryan

      "One of the best periods of my life was between six and eight years old when I was taking dance classes at the Concord Dance Academy," Ryan said as we sat at one of the long tables at Café Agape. At the academy he studied all kinds of dance including tap and jazz, and even took gymnastics and karate. His most memorable performance was at the Capital Center of the Arts where his class did a tap routine to the song, "Hit the Road, Jack" and he was the only guy.

      Things changed at age nine when he and his mom moved to Epsom, NH. Then his mom had a brain injury and lost her job as a nurse. He moved back to Concord, was adopted by his grandmother, and his life changed even more drastically.

      Ryan has undergone several operations to repair a cleft palate. Some of them were done when he was very young, but his final operation required that he be fully grown. That one involved breaking his jaw and implanting titanium in his cheeks and chin.

      In spite of it all, he completed high school.

      Besides experiencing medical trauma, Ryan is a domestic abuse survivor. He said, "I've slept under bridges, in parking garages, cars, tents, and McDonalds' bathrooms," but recently through Harbor Homes, he acquired an apartment.

      Ryan said that his successes are less a result of his self-perseverance and more due to the compassionate people that he has come to see as family.

      Some days he feels optimistic and other days he feels that the system is against poor people. He would like to give back, however, and possibly volunteer at Boston Children's Hospital where he had his surgeries. He'd like to speak to children with cleft palates and tell them, "Don't worry about what people think. You are brave!"

      Judy Sullivan, Ryan's mom, passed away almost a year and a half ago, two weeks before Christmas, when Ryan was 27 years old. He said his goal is to be the man that his mother raised—a man who respects the elderly and people with disabilities.

      When I asked what other goals he had, he said he'd like to go to marine mechanic school to learn how to work on boats. There's a school in Laconia, NH and he thinks he could get a grant, but would need money for a place to stay. He likes being near the water, preferably someplace warm.

      And he'd like to dance again.

-submitted by Mary Marchese

Café Agape Needs

We have been getting record numbers of neighbors who come daily to Café Agape for coffee, snacks, and conversation. We average about 30 people a morning between 8:00 and 10:00am. If you would like to contribute, we can use the following:


Hot chocolate (in packets)





Toilet paper


Travel-size toiletries


Please put the items in the blue bin in the vestry. Thank you!

Reminders (read more in the Announcements)

Printed Mainstreeter available at both entrances to the church

UMM Breakfast this Saturday morning, April 6, at 8:30

Ham 'n Bean Supper this Saturday, April 6, at 4:30 - 6:00

TED Talks resume on Tuesday, April 11 at 10:30am in the chapel





Sunday, March 25, 2018

March 26, 2018 Mainstreeter Online


March 26, 2018

Words from the Pastor

"Thus we have the twofold theme that leads to Palm Sunday. Genuine discipleship, following Jesus, means following him to Jerusalem, the place of (1) confrontation with the domination system and (2) death and resurrection. These are the two themes of the week that follows, Holy Week. Indeed, these are the two themes of Lent and of the Christian life."

Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan, page 30 of "The Last Week"


      Today, Palm Sunday, marks the beginning of that roller coaster of a week known as holy week. The excitement and hopefulness of this day will gradually give way as we enter with Jesus into the humiliation and shame of his arrest, trial, and death on a cross. Yet, we know that death does not have the final word but that through death comes new life and new hope for a better day. May this week prove to be for each of you, a week in which you stand in opposition to the evil powers of this world while experiencing death and ultimately the new life of Easter. I wish you a "roller coaster" week of emotions that will bring you to a new place--one of joy, peace, and hope.













Worship Ahead

4/1   Easter Sunday

Scripture: Mark 16:1-8

Theme: The Joke's on Whom? The juxtaposition of Easter Sunday and April Fool's Day is such that one cannot help but think of the Easter as God's joke, but on whom does this joke fall? Think about it!


Calendar  for the Week of March 25

Maundy Thursday/Tenebrae Service Planned

      You are invited to join us for worship on Thursday, March 29th at 7:00pm in our sanctuary for a service of Holy Communion and Tenebrae. We will be joined by our sisters and brothers from the Arlington Street United Methodist Church. The United Methodist Book of Worship describes the service of Tenebrae in this way. A Service of Tenebrae, or "Darkness," is based on a twelfth–century late night/early morning service and is an extended meditation on the passion of Christ. The service includes the alternating of readings of the passion of Christ taken from the gospels with the extinguishing of candles until even the Christ candle is removed briefly. This is a very meaningful and powerful way to remember the death of Christ in preparation for the celebration of Easter joy.

Ecumenical Good Friday Service

      The annual Ecumenical Good Friday Service will take place at noon on March 30th at the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church here on Main Street. The service will begin at noon and last for about one hour. Rev. Andy Armstrong, pastor of the First Church, United Church of Christ will be the preacher and Pastor Rich will participate in the service along with other area clergy.

Bills Never Stop Coming. . .

           Bills keep coming in be it home or the church. At home, I generally know what to expect in the way of income and expenses.  At church income is unpredictable and there are more surprises with bills. Despite your wonderful financial support, during the winter months, we need even more income because of higher heat and electric bills, snow plowing and other expenses.  Because of these higher expenses, we have delayed paying some bills including some of our church conference apportionments and bills due for services received (furnace repairs, snowplowing) and supplies purchased (trash bags, paper towels, floor wax, curriculum, bulletins, offering envelopes). Payroll, our largest single item is my highest payment priority. Utility bills have to be paid on time or the utilities will be cut off.  Other priorities include copier contract, phones, and parsonage mortgage.

      Next month, our books will be audited and that will be an expense of about $1100. We owe a $1400 balance on our snow plowing contract. We will be purchasing chemicals for the furnace (about $500).

      How can you help? If you can donate to the general fund, please do so (your Easter offering goes to the general fund).   If you are behind on your pledge, catch up if you can. Pray for us, help us to keep expenses down, use Amazon Smile, use the TD Bank Affinity Program, eat at the ham and bean suppers, donate to change for church.

      Thank you to all who are current on your pledge, to those of you who donate on tithe Sunday and at other times. The General Fund is the fund that pays the bills and which we ask you to support.


-submitted by Phyllis Bowden

A Conversation with Mary

My name is Craig Coulombe, a regular at Café Agape, and I had the pleasure of reading Mary Marchese's book, What Really Happened to Steve Nathan. It was a good read and very well put together. Concisely written with interesting characters, setting, and facts. It deals with the Vietnam War, coffee, food, socio-economic issues, and political implications of the era, among other things.

Craig:  What would you say the inspiration was for the topic of your book?

Mary:  The topic is completely fictional and the main characters are not based on anybody I know. I'm not sure what triggered the idea, but one day I started wondering what would happen if two half-siblings with the same father, who was a Vietnam War vet, met by chance in Vietnam. It was important that one of them be half Vietnamese. Having grown up in Vietnam and been very aware of the problems that Amerasian children faced after the war, I became intrigued with the idea. One of my goals in life is to try to help people be more accepting of others who are different from them. So I decided to base a book on this scenario, which would require a great deal of uncomfortable acceptance by both siblings after the initial jolt of realizing that they were family.

Craig:  You obviously put a lot of thought into the plot. How long did it take to conceive of the idea?

Mary:  After the initial idea, which actually started with two half-sisters, I toyed with it for about a month, changed it to a brother and sister and then began writing. The characters practically wrote their own stories and sometimes I had no idea what they were going to do next. From start to finish, it took about a year.

Craig:  There are two passages at the start of the book, one is obviously a quote from your book. The other is anonymous.  Did you come up with it also?

Mary:  Yes. I looked up life quotes on several sites on the Internet and couldn't find exactly what I wanted to say, so I wrote one myself. It's not perfect or profound, but it more accurately portrays the message I'd like people to take away from the book.

Craig:  The orchestra pieces you referenced--Smetana's Moldau and Dvorak's 6th Symphony--are the main character's favorite. Do they happen to be yours as well?

Mary:  I picked those pieces because the French horn, which the main character plays, is featured in them. I know nothing about playing the French horn, but I had recently been to a concert where those musical pieces were performed, and I liked them very much.


-submitted by Craig Coulombe


Note from Mary:  I debated about putting this in the Mainstreeter Online because it might be misconstrued as self-promoting my book. But if you could have seen the small square of scrap paper on which Craig wrote his questions, and the painstaking way he edited them with cross-outs so he would get the wording just right, you would understand how important it was for him to be featured.