Sunday, December 9, 2018

December 9, 2018 Mainstreeter Online

December 9, 2018
A Word from the Pastor
 
Last Sunday marked the beginning of the new Christian year and the beginning of Advent. The first Sunday of Advent focuses our attention on God's continuing work in the world as God brings to completion God's desire for the world that God has made. Bishop Devadhar's Advent Prayer reminds us that we each have a part to play in this work. May your Advent be filled with contributions made to bringing our world to the place where there is peace and justice for all God's children.
 
Advent Prayer--Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar
 
Gracious God,
We are ready —
to receive you;
when you come,
in whatever way you come. 
We are ready —
to be your angels, your messengers, your bearers of glad tidings.
We are ready, God, to be —
your light, where there is darkness,
your way, where there is no clear path,
your hope, where the future is uncertain, 
your peace, where there is conflict,
your truth, where there is injustice.
Come, Lord Jesus, come — 
be among us
as God,
made flesh,
in the power
of the Holy Spirit, AMEN.
Announcements
Calendar
Worship Ahead

12/16     Third Sunday of Advent
               Lighting the Third Advent Candle
               Bell Choir playing (10:30am service only)
Scripture: Zephaniah 3:14-20; Luke 3:7-18
Theme: The Lord is in Your Midst--The prophet Zephaniah offers comfort and hope to the Hebrew people following their exile in Babylon. He reminds them that "the Lord is in your midst" and therefore will "deliver the lame" and "gather the outcast." God will also "create calm with his love and will rejoice over them with singing." What a wonderful message to hear and proclaim during this Advent season.
Christmas Season Schedule
 
12/24     Christmas Eve Candlelight Services
               (There will be two services, at 7:00pm and at 10:00pm.
               The 10:00pm service will include Holy Communion.)
               Lighting the Christ Candle
               Scripture: Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm 96; Luke 2:1-20
Theme:   Non-Sentimental Christmas Themes for Non-Sentimental Times
 
12/30     First Sunday after Christmas (10:30am only)
               A Service of Lessons and Carols
 
Please note that there will only be one service on December 30th at 10:30am. The 8:15am worship service will resume on Sunday, Jan. 6th.
Vestry Adult Sunday School Class to Address the Topic of Homosexuality and the United Methodist Church
 
During the months of January and February the Adult Sunday School class that meets in the vestry will be exploring the topic of homosexuality and the United Methodist Church. We will look at homosexuality using the quadrilateral--scripture, tradition, reason, and experience. We will also look at the United Methodist position on homosexuality from the Book of Resolutions and the Book of Discipline. Finally, we will look at the proposals that will come before the special session of General Conference in February of 2019. All are invited to be part of this class which will be led by Pastor Rich with assistance from Paul Pederzani and other class members. Please direct any questions to Pastor Rich.
Staff Changes Announced
 
On Sunday, December 2nd Mike Brown, chairperson of the Staff-Parish Relations Committee, introduced two new staff persons. Chuck Colianno has joined us as a part-time custodian. Chuck recently retired as head custodian at Alvirne High School in Hudson and brings over 40 years of experience as a custodian to his work here at the church. Chuck works 10 hours per week. Meanwhile our regular custodian, Joe Valentino, has had an increase in hours to 35 hours per week. These changes reflect the addition of new space and the increased use of already existing spaces.
 
Also announced was the hiring of Karrie Lam as our new Coordinator of Youth Ministries. Karrie will officially begin on January 1st and will be working 12 hours per week focusing on the establishing of a vibrant youth ministry here at the Main Street UMC. Karrie is a music teacher in the Lowell Public School system and has previously served on the music staff of two United Methodist Churches in Massachusetts. Karrie and her husband Ken were introduced to the congregation and have already been making the acquaintance of many of our members since first coming to the church back in September. 
 
Please join in extending a warm welcome to both Chuck and Karrie along with their families. 
December Finance - HON and Debt

As we approach December, I have to think about our personal Heart of Nashua capital campaign gift among our other expenses wuch as Christmas gifts, taxes, and a large purchase I need to pay off. Even though our personal expenses are high, we will meet our pledge payment, which we make twice a year. Next year 2019 will result in two more payments for our original HON2 pledge amount.

However we plan to continue to give additionally beyond 2019, and beyond our pledged amount, to help pay off our church construction loan. This is because yours and our combined pledges will get us to perhaps another $100,000--well short of paying off our construction loan.

Our loan amount is illustrated by a paper chain graciously made by the youth of our church. Our youth labelled each loop with its debt figure. Each paper loop represents $5000 in HON debt. We started at considerable length, 67 loops, or almost $335,000 in debt. At the time of this writing we are at loop 64 or $320,000. Our December pledge amount plus your pledge giving will help reduce our debt and representative number of links.

The paper chain is ideal in giving a visual for our debt. In the beginning the length can be daunting, but as the chain gets smaller, I expect to show real progress in eliminating our construction debt. A smaller debt also means less of our money going to pay interest. At the beginning our interest payments were over $1200/month. As we pay down our debt, more of our payment goes toward principal. Your home mortgage or credit card debt (assuming no new monthly purchases) works in the same way.

Your continued giving to HON beyond your pledge amount and schedule will help remove additional construction mortgage strain from our general fund in 2020 and beyond. If we stopped our campaign after 2019, such increase would add a considerable amount to our general fund for years to come, through good times and bad times, and put us at risk. It makes sense to pay off our construction loan as soon as possible and leave a legacy of accessibility and outreach rather than debt.

What are ways for you to give to HON?  First is to continue to honor or increase your existing HON pledge. If you haven't pledged yet, please use a time and talent card to write down a pledge amount, and give at least to that figure. Second is to give additional HON beyond 2019 in a manner to pay down our debt. Third is to give as you can to the HON via our two gift boxes. One gift box with a cross-shaped slot is on the narrow stand that we keep in our new space. The second is our scale model of the church building with the slot. These specifically go to our HON capital fund, which is our "second mile" giving over our general fund (which pays for our annual church operating expenses.)

I want to thank you for your generosity, which has allowed our construction and our foundation to loan us the money in good faith that we will pay them back.

Thank you, 
Joe Dechene
What Do You Know?

How good are you with important facts? For example, after the first time in 1975, when did the church again decide to remain as a downtown church?
  •  1999
  •  2002
  •  2008
  •  2013
Click below for the answer. 
Outline History of MSUMC
Historic Tidbit

With this year being our 150th Anniversary, the Anniversary Committee has gathered historic quotes to share, taken from Methodism in Nashua, 1831-1982, by J. Lawrence Hall. We will include one with each Mainstreeter Online.
      
Twenty-six:
 
"In February 1975, the church made its decision to stay downtown and to renovate, and not to move and build. Thus began major renovations on the church and Wesley Building, and later the parsonage at 39 Wellington Street. Church renovations included painting the entire exterior and interior, full insulation, heating modifications, pointing brick and a complete new roof."
 
"The Wesley Building has been renovated, papered, painted, and some remodeling done.  Presently the basement rest rooms and hall are being remodeled. All buildings have had major overhaul of plumbing, heating and electrical work."
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Sunday, November 25, 2018

November 25 and December 2 Mainstreeter Online

November 25, 2018  / December 2, 2018
 

A Word from the Pastor

 
    "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ." Titus 2:11-13
 
   As I write this Advent message, there are political races in Florida, Georgia, Arizona, and Maine that are still too close to call leaving candidates and voters waiting in suspense for the final tally to be announced. We expect that, depending on the outcome and one's perspective, these candidates will either bring about changes for the better or changes for the worse or perhaps, no change at all. The waiting is hard and sometimes brings out the best in people but more often brings out the worst.
    Advent is a reminder to us as Christians that we are all in a season of waiting. As the Letter to Titus in the New Testament reflects, we believe that in the birth of Jesus Christ, God has begun something that is going to be good for the entirety of God's creation. The reality though is that this work that God has begun is not yet complete and so we too "wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ." The world is not yet as God longs for it to be. We do not yet live in a world where there is peace and justice. And so we wait with expectation and hope.
    There are some who expect that it is God alone who can and will bring the world to its completion. I am not among them. I believe that God has always chosen to work in and through human partners to bring about the changes that are needed in order for the creation to experience salvation. We have a part to play and it is an important part indeed. The Letter to Titus reminds us then that we need "to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly". This seems to be a good starting place but it needs also to include more active participation in God's work as we challenge injustice and work for peace.
    What will you do during this Advent season to further God's work of salvation in our world? What will you do to help bring the world a little closer to its completion? How will you live your life in such a way that peace and justice will have a chance to take hold just a little bit more?  May your celebration of Christmas be more than just a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, but include actions that will further that for which Jesus was born--a world in which there would be "peace on earth and goodwill to all".
Announcements
Calendar
Worship Ahead

12/2       The First Sunday of Advent
              Gifts for the King
              Lighting the first Advent candle
              Scripture: Luke 21:25-36
Theme: Attentiveness and Prayer in Anxious Times--The first Sunday in Advent invites us to reflect on the attitudes that are required if we are to remain faithful in trying and challenging times. Attentiveness and prayer are high on the list of Jesus' priorities for such times.
 
12/9       Second Sunday of Advent
              Tithe Sunday
              Lighting the Second Advent Candle
Christmas Cantata (10:30am service only)
Scripture: Malachi 3:1-4; Luke 3:1-6
Theme: Preparing God's Way (8:15am service only)
Advent Taizé Service
 
Are you looking for a bit of peace and quiet in the midst of the hectic Christmas season?  If so, we have just what you need! On Sunday, December 2nd at 5:00pm we will hold an Advent Taizé Service featuring calming music, time for quiet reflection, meaningful prayers and readings, and all in a candle lit setting. Come find your quiet center in the midst of this Christmas Season. This service will be held in the second floor lobby.
Christmas Cheer for our Neighbors at Café Agape
 
This year we'd like to give a small bag of goodies to the folks who come to Café Agape. You can help by donating small toiletries, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, lotion,  etc.  We'll make up a bag for each person and include some sweets that we already have.
 
If you'd like to contribute, please put donations in a Café Agape bin. There's one in the vestry and another in the lobby.
 
Thanks for helping bring holiday cheer to those who have so little!
Mission News

Gifts for the King Next Sunday, December 2 
Instructions: 

(we know that this is early!)
1.Take a tag from the tree in the vestry. There are four tags on the tree for each child from refugee families newly arrived in Nashua.  Sign the sheet so that we have a record of who took what tag.
2. Attach your tag to your wrapped or bagged gift.
3. Bring your Gift for the King to Main St. United Methodist Church next Sunday, December 2. As we call the months of the year, please bring your gifts to the Chrismon Tree in the front of the Sanctuary.
4. If no tags are available, please feel free to purchase gift cards, games, hats, scarves, and gloves, bowling passes, medium gym bags, or other items that you think teens at the Nashua Children's Home would enjoy. 

Thanksgiving Thanks!!  
Many thanks for your help in filling Thanksgiving baskets for twenty-five of our refugee neighbors. Between Soup Kitchen items and those that you purchased, we were able to provide food that will be used on Thanksgiving and for quite a while after that! 
And thank you for donating to the Scouting for Food Drive. Main Street UMC received 100 boxes of food.
 
CROP Hunger Walk 
The CROP Hunger Walk October 28 resulted in gifts from Main Street walkers and supporters of $2285. Thanks to our nine brave walkers who didn't let the wet weather slow them down, and to everyone who sponsored our team.

UMCOR
Donations of $800 have been sent to the United Methodist Committee on Relief for domestic disaster response. These funds were directed to hurricane relief and to helping those impacted by the Lawrence gas explosions. Those displaced by the fires in California will also benefit from UMCOR domestic disaster response donations, so other gifts to UMCOR are welcome.
 
Christmas In-gathering of Food 
On December 9, we will have an in-gathering of food for the Christmas boxes distributed by the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter, where our Main St. Food Pantry is now located. Turkeys will be supplied by the NH Food Bank, but you should be able to choose an item from the bulletin board—cans of cranberry sauce, yams, canned pie filling, canned vegetables, and other items to make a Christmas dinner special. Cash donations are also welcome. Our refugee families will receive a grocery gift card this year, so donations for those will be appreciated. 

-submitted by Phyllis Appler

Don't Forget!
The United Methodist Men's Breakfast is Saturday, Dec. 1


Breakfast begins at 8:30am and the program starts at 9:00am. The speaker is Tom Lopez, Director of the Maple Street Shelter and Ward 4 Alderman for the City of Nashua.

Click on the Announcements button to learn more.
Pearls of Wisdom
 
My beloved grows right out of my own heart; how much more love can there be? (Rumi)
 
Let's look into each other's eyes
and see the real treasure—
The joy of love.
Poodle Puppy Pearls – The Unique Gift
There is no one else like you in all the world – Fred Rogers
 
This is my first Christmas and I am learning what that seems to be about. So far, it is learning how to navigate amid fast moving feet punctuated by anxious voices. Words like "I have to find the right color, size, shape for ………  I've been to 10 stores so far and found zero."

Is zero like nothing? 

My person, Lady Carolyn, explains it to me, but I wonder, "Why all the anxiety about a nothing?" The goal seems to be to create something or find some object for someone that can represent how much the person is cared about and loved as well as be something that they can appreciate.

My heart cries out "But don't you realize that you are that unique, one of a kind gift in someone's life?" It is your warmth, your smile, your touch, your very presence which is the one ultimate gift you can give. 

You are God's hands, feet, heart, eyes, lips, ears in human form; just as I am God's paws, heart, eyes, lips, ears in creature form. Together with all aspects and forms of Creation, we are God's unique gifts to and in the Universe. 
You are your most unique gift to give this season….And you are already wrapped!

-submitted by Cherie Ekle
What Do You Know?

How good are you with important facts? For example, how long did we have the old gas boiler that was just replaced this month?
  • Since 1981 - 37 years
  • Since 1983 - 35 years
  • Since 1986 - 32 years
  • Since 1989 - 29 years
Click below for the answer. 
Outline History of MSUMC
Historic Tidbit

With this year being our 150th Anniversary, the Anniversary Committee has gathered historic quotes to share, taken from Methodism in Nashua, 1831-1982, by J. Lawrence Hall. We will include one with each Mainstreeter Online.
      
Twenty-five:
 
[In the early 1970s] "Attention and interest was directed to establishing a new church at another location assuming the same would be an economic advantage. A local land developer, a contractor, and several interested parties became involved in the project – none of which seemed to favor the church or church needs."
 
"The trustees were always selected upon their interest and skills. The very limited church investments gave little or no substantial financial support to the needs of the church, and we find that the replacement of the Sanctuary carpeting, the entrance floor covering, the changing of a new heating system, paint, and other needs came from none other than the trustees themselves." 
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