Sunday, January 14, 2018

January 15 Online Mainstreeter


January 15, 2018

Words from the Pastor

"Concerning the Silence of Moderates", Martin Luther King Jr.
Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

"I had also hoped that the white moderate would reject the myth of time…It is the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually time is neutral. It can either be used destructively or constructively. I am coming to feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of bad people, but for the appalling silence of good people. We must come to see that human progress… must come through the tireless efforts and persistent work of people willing to be co-workers with God…"

I have always considered myself to be a "moderate". I have tried to understand all sides of whatever the "issue of the day" might be. In doing so, I have often found that there really are two sides to every story. When it comes to racism though, and discrimination, and oppression based on racist beliefs and attitudes, I realize that I cannot be a moderate. I have to take a stand. I have to let my voice be heard. I have to be a co-worker with the God who calls us to stand up for the oppressed and those who are discriminated against because of the color of their skin, their language, or their country of origin. The events of this past week, in the White House no less, require me to take a stand even if by doing so some may choose to call me a "radical" or worse. As Martin Luther King Jr. pointed out in his letter to the clergy of Birmingham in 1963 who called for unity rather than resistance, the "appalling silence of good people" must stop. Will you join me in taking a stand against racism?

Pastor Rich

Worship Ahead in January

1/21 The third Sunday after the Epiphany
Scripture: First Samuel 3:1-10; John 1:43-51
Theme: Variety of Calls

In baptism we have all been called into the general ministry of the church. I believe that God calls each of us in more unique ways also and to ministries that are very different. Our scripture readings for this service reflect the variety of ways in which others have experienced God's call in their lives and the very different ways in which they have lived out that call.


Calendar for the Week of January 14

Annual Church Conference This Coming Thursday

Please plan to join us on Thursday, January 18th at 7:00pm here in the vestry for our annual Church Conference. Our District Superintendent, the Rev. Jim McPhee, will be presiding over the conference. It is an opportunity for us to celebrate all that God has been doing through the Main Street UMC in the past year while thinking together about the future. The Staff Parish Relations Committee members will be meeting with Rev. McPhee at 6pm in the nursery. (It is the only space available!). I look forward to seeing your then.

Invitation to Helen Louderback's 70th Birthday Celebration

On Sunday, January 28th, you are invited to join us in celebrating Helen Louderback's 70th birthday both in worship and afterwards in a special reception in the vestry. There will be an "act of thanksgiving" during the worship service in which you are invited to make a contribution in Helen's honor, which will be presented to the church. The reception will feature Filipino food prepared by Celebration Catering. If you plan to attend please let Helen know no later than Sunday, January 21st by calling her at 603-554-1141 or via e-mail at

Your presence would make this day a special one for Helen.

Confirmation Plans Announced

Confirmation classes for youth in grades 7 – 12 will be held during the months of February, March and April. A planning meeting for parents and youth will take place on Sunday, January 21st at 11:45am in the chapel. We will do our best to find agreeable dates for the six confirmation classes. Confirmation itself will take place on Sunday, April 22nd. Classes will be led by Pastor Rich along with assistance from various members of the congregation.





Monday, January 8, 2018

January 8, 2018 Mainstreeter Online

 January 8, 2018

Words from the Pastor

The story comes again
an Epiphany poem by Maren Tirabassi

It's the story about the pregnant woman
whose fiancé married her anyway
and how they traveled together
to the crowded city
where an innkeeper offered a stable,
and animals, legends say, their strawspitality.
(or maybe the pair sneaked in to sleep rough
like homeless people always do
in abandoned buildings)

And there's the sequel about shepherds
who were watching their flocks by night
all seated on the ground
when the angels came harmonizing
SATB in the sky
and sent them to Bethlehem
to see the child born for them
and then to share those good, good tidings.

And that's what they did –
they went back to the fields all christmasy,
greeting everybody
with good will, peace on earth …
though probably not chestnuts.

But now there is the other plot line
that often gets folded into the bathrobe pageant
though it happened weeks
or even years later –
about the travelers and their gifts
and the detour home
to avoid the homicidal Herod.

And that's what makes us part of the story –
not because we are wise and
certainly not royal,
but because we're always late or lost,
and, if we arrive at the holiness of it at all,
we come with road dust on our feet,
and star dust in our hair.

In the earliest years of the Church, and still today in the Orthodox Church, the Epiphany of Our Lord took priority over celebrations of Jesus' birth. The story of the Magi introduces us to some less sentimental aspects of Jesus' arrival in the world--the conflict between all that Jesus stood for vs. that which Rome stood for as witnessed in the conniving and actions of King Herod the Great. Because of this story we are alerted to the reality that the world cannot handle two lords and therefore we each must renew our commitment to Jesus Christ as lord of our lives and lord of the world. May the start of this new year prove to be a time for us to recommit ourselves to all that Jesus taught, lived out, and died for--compassion for the most vulnerable, service as the key to power, and sacrifice as the way to new life.

Celebrating the Epiphany,
Pastor Rich

Worship Ahead

January 14
The Baptism of Our Lord
Scripture: Genesis 1:1-5; Mark 1:4-11
Theme: New Beginnings

For Jesus, his baptism by John in the Jordan River proved to be life-changing. The vision that accompanied his baptism changed the trajectory of his life from that of a village carpenter to that of an itinerant preacher, teacher, healer, and visionary. It was, to say the least, a new beginning. On Sunday we will renew our baptismal vows and likewise commit ourselves to a new beginning. What will your new beginning look like?

Change of Worship Locations

Just a reminder that because of the work that is now taking place in the sanctuary we will be holding our worship services in alternate locations for the next six-eight weeks. The 8:15am service will be held in the chapel as will the 9:00am Swahili language worship service. The 10:30am worship service will be held in the vestry. Thank you for your patience as we eagerly await our return to the newly refurbished sanctuary sometime in February.


Calendar for the Week of January 7

Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Planned

The annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration will once again take place at the First Baptist Church located on Manchester Street here in Nashua. The service takes place on Saturday, January 13th at 6:00pm. The theme for this service is "Love shall Win" and the keynote speaker is the Rev. Dr. Neal Pearson, the pastor of the St. John's Baptist Church in Woburn, MA. There is also plenty of great gospel music, including the Interfaith Choir which is led by our choir director, Julie Oliver and involves many of our choir members. A free dinner follows the service in the church's fellowship hall. All are welcome!

What Time is it? Children's Time!

It all started when Kathy Whitman had an idea for a Halloween contest for the Sunday School children where they would dress as Christian historical characters--ones who have influenced our Christian beliefs today. That idea spilled over into having a character appear during Children's Time as part of the church service.

Kathy began by playing Anna Howard Shaw, the first woman to become an ordained Methodist minister. The next Sunday, Lisa Svenson was the Samaritan woman who met Jesus at the well. It was amazing how historical and Biblical characters were coming alive during our 10:30 worship service!

We met Martin Luther as played by Pastor Rich, who also portrayed a grateful leper--the only one of ten to return to thank Jesus for healing him. Zach Sommers was John Wesley, and Steve Rogers was a disciple of John Wesley.

Pastor Dave Svenson was Melchior, one of the three wisemen, whose camel waited for him outside. And who can forget King Herod as portrayed by Paul Pederzani.

In the future, more wisemen and other characters are coming to visit our congregation. Thanks to all of the actors and thanks to Lisa Svenson for her costume contributions. If you want to volunteer to be a historical figure, or if you have an idea for one, please contact Susan Pederzani or Mavis Pyle.

Meeting historical figures each Sunday helps to remind us that Christianity is not separate from everyday life and has been experienced by ordinary and extraordinary people for many centuries.

-submitted by Susan Pederzani and Mary Marchese

United Methodist Men's Breakfast

Due to the extreme cold last Saturday, the UMM's breakfast was postponed to this coming Saturday, January 13 at 8:30am. Dr. Ernie Marino will be speaking on the topic of Healthy Living for Seniors. All are welcome!

-submitted by Kent Swanson




Monday, January 1, 2018

1/2/2018 Mainstreeter Online


January 2, 2018

Words from the Pastor

"When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among people,
To make music in the heart."

Howard Thurman

For most people Christmas is just a day. For the church, though, Christmas is a season that lasts through the Epiphany of our Lord on January 6th. Christmas is not something that we celebrate on one day and then move on from but a beginning of a recommitment to the ministry to which Jesus is calling us. No one has captured this more poignantly than Howard Thurman in his poem shared above. May we at the Main Street UMC continue the work of Christmas as we recommit ourselves to the mission that we have sensed God calling us to--the ministry of finding the lost, healing the broken, feeding the hungry, releasing those who are imprisoned, and yes, rebuilding our nation and bringing peace among all God's children while making music in the heart.

Reclaiming the work of Christmas,

Pastor Rich

Worship Ahead in January

1/7 The Epiphany of Our Lord
Holy Communion
Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12
Theme: What Gift Will You Present to the Christ?

Most of us make some kind of resolutions each year on the first day of the year and in no time at all these resolutions are forgotten. What if we were to think of our resolutions as gifts that we are presenting to the Christ rather than as choices that are dependent on our will power? Could this change of perspective perhaps enable us to follow through on these resolutions in a way that we might not otherwise?

Change of Worship Locations: Just a reminder that because of the work that is now taking place in the sanctuary, we will be holding our worship services in alternate locations for the next six-eight weeks. The 8:15am service will be held in the chapel as will the 9:00am Swahili language worship service. The 10:30am worship service will be held in the vestry. Thank you for your patience as we eagerly await our return to the newly refurbished sanctuary sometime in February.


Calendar for the Week of January 1

Staff Thank You

On behalf of the staff members of the Main Street UMC, I would like to express gratitude for your very generous Christmas gift. We are pleased to be able to serve both God and you through our work. We appreciate your thoughtfulness both in the giving of this gift and in the many other ways that you have shown appreciation and support. We look forward to the year ahead and all of the blessings that can be expected as we work together.

Thanks again, Pastor Rich

Finance News

My Parents and Giving

I am in Florida visiting my brother and mom as I write this. My mom is doing pretty well considering her age.

A long time ago, my mom left an abusive marriage and raised her large family on her own. Without up-to-date skills, she worked for the local newspaper for minimum wage. I admire her courage to do such a thing--she did not face easy choices. Money was tight, which was a gross understatement. Food was scarce--let's just say I weigh a lot more now than I did in my senior year of high school.

Through thick and thin, my mom supported the church. She has been passionate about ministries outside the church walls and directed a large portion of her offering to that cause. My mom also furthered her career, moving up to work at an insurance company and bank. She studied to be a CLU or Chartered Life Underwriter and other certifications, gradually rising up in her ability to live and to give.

My dad, on the other hand, seemed to be awash with cash. He lived well. However, throughout my childhood it was very clear whose money it was. He would remind me if I ate any food at his house. Even in college, I could not get any money from him to pay for tuition or books, or a suit for an interview after I was through. I don't remember a commitment to church from my dad, or to any particular cause.

You would expect my dad to be rich and my mom to remain poor, given her commitment to ministries. But that's not the way it turned out.

My dad died this year, and as far as I can tell, without any significant money. On the other hand, my mom is doing just fine. Yesterday she told me "If you make room for the church (and for God), the other things will just come."

This is not an isolated story. I've heard many similar stories from people right here at MSUMC, and elsewhere. When you put God as a priority and not your money, changes indeed happen!

So where are your priorities? Do you have a cause for a mission or ministry like my mom? Have you taken a leap of faith as my mom has (in several dimensions?) If you haven't, I suggest that 2018 be a good year to do just that.

Thank you,

Joe Dechene

Ted Talks to Resume Tuesday, January 9, 10:30am

After taking a break for the Advent study, TED Talks will resume next Tuesday, January 9 at 10:30am in the chapel. Pat Kerrigan is taking Jane Lapointe's place as co-leader because Jane moved to Shrewsbury. Bring your ideas for talk suggestions and topics. Everyone is welcome!

Leaders of the Church

It is time to submit your annual report for 2017 to the church office. You may email them as attachments (.doc) to or place it in the church office mailbox near the coatroom. In cases where leaders are new to their positions the predecessor should assist with the report. I will collect them and create the 2017 Annual Report Booklet.

Thank you, Pam

Altar Flowers

The 2018 Flower Calendar is available for sign-ups. It is located on the bulletin board in the hall across from the church office. Forms for the office are located next to the poster; take one with you when you sign up. Please include your name, phone number, and the message you want printed in the bulletin. The cost for the church to order is $22.50. Please turn in completed forms and money (checks should be made out to Fortin-Gage) at least two weeks prior to the Sunday you sign up.




Saturday, December 23, 2017

Thank you and Merry Christmas

To Pastor Rich, the members of the SPRC committee, and my Main Street UMC family,

I wish to thank you for the recognition of my 10 years of service here at MSUMC. It has been an honor and a pleasure to have spent 10 years of my working life here in your church. Not many people can say they have a Bible on their desk and a portrait of Jesus in their office.

I have opportunities to witness and offer hope to many who come to the church during the business week. I have grown exponentially in my faith walk over these years. I have learned a lot about life outside of my friends and family circle and had my eyes opened to the emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical needs of the larger population.

Thank you for the flowers, cards, kind words of recognition, and the beautiful necklace. I have been a Methodist all of my adult life and I'm proud to wear the cross and flame.

Have a very Merry Christmas,

Pam Axtell

Sunday, December 17, 2017

12/18/2017 Mainstreeter Online


December 18, 2017

Words from the Pastor

O God,
As Mary and Joseph went from Nazareth to Bethlehem
and there found no room;
so Jesus went from Nazareth to Jerusalem
and was despised and rejected.

As in the poverty of a stable Jesus was born,
so by the richness of his life, death, and resurrection are we saved.

And, dear God, as we come this day to make room for love in our lives,
so may we also, with thankful hearts,
open ourselves to the New Beginning we are being offered now,
in Jesus' name. Amen.

Like Mary and Joseph of old, we too are slowly making our way to Bethlehem and to the celebration of a birth. We always need to remember that Jesus' birth was not the end of the story but just the beginning. We need to continue our journey with the holy family beyond Bethlehem to Egypt, where they lived as refugees seeking deliverance from the tyranny of King Herod and on to Nazareth, where Jesus learned the ways of his Jewish faith before heeding the call of John the Baptist to be baptized for the forgiveness of sins in the Jordan River. This journey will ultimately take us, like Jesus, to Jerusalem and the way of sacrifice and death. May our experience of Christmas prove to be a new beginning for us as we recommit ourselves to the One who lived his life fully in the awareness of the divine presence and followed where he was led. May we too follow where we are led in the new year ahead.

Blessings on this Christmas Journey,

Pastor Rich

Worship Ahead in December

12/24 Fourth Sunday of Advent
Lighting the Fourth Advent Candle
Children's Pageant
Scripture: Luke 1:26-38; 46b-55
Theme: All Things are Possible for God

12/24 Christmas Eve Candlelight Service (One service only at 7:00pm)
Lighting the Christ Candle
Scripture: Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm 96; Luke 2:1-20
Theme: The Light that Illumines the Darkness

12/31 First Sunday after Christmas (10:30am only)

A Service of Lessons and Carols

Please note that there will only be one service on December 31st at 10:30am. The 8:15am worship service will resume on Sunday, January 7th.

Enlisting Your Help!

Following the Lessons and Carols service on December 31st, we need to clear the sanctuary since work will be starting in the sanctuary on January 2nd. If you are able, please carry your hymnals, bibles, pew cards, and prayer cards downstairs where you will be instructed as to where to put them. Thank you in advance for your assistance!


Calendar for the Week of December 17

December Mission News

Food Pantry: Main St. volunteers worked at the Nashua Soup Kitchen Sunday afternoon from 2 to 4 to organize shelves and put away donations to help the Soup Kitchen prepare for distribution of Christmas boxes. Thanks to everyone who brought food for sharing in those boxes. Distribution of boxes will be December 19 to 22, Tuesday through Friday, of next week from 11am to 2:00pm. We will not be organizing boxes ourselves, but will help with distribution from the Soup Kitchen.

Anyone who has previously gotten a Christmas food box from Main St. UMC, or anyone who needs a box this Christmas, is welcome to go to the Soup Kitchen and get one. Please tell people you know who may need that food box. There are fairly long lines, but you will be able to choose the kinds of food that are most useful to you.

Thanks to all of those "blue apron" folks who help out at the Soup Kitchen during the week. Whether you are recycling boxes, moving produce, distributing food, handing out numbers, answering the phone, or checking folks in at the computer, you are doing a great job! If you happen to be a student home for Christmas break, you are welcome to help either Sunday afternoon January 21 or during the Tuesday to Friday distribution days.

Gifts for the King: Thank you for providing Gifts for the King on December 10. Gifts ranged from easels and tents to Legos, make-up, and warm winter clothing. We estimated that we had at least $1000 in toys and clothing to deliver to the Front Door Agency, as well as another $400 in cash plus more gifts for the Nashua Children's Home. And thanks to the children of the church for their assistance in blowing out the candles on our Gifts for the King Birthday cake for Jesus!

If you are looking for a special Christmas gift, you can always go to the website and buy someone a goat that will start a family on the road to self-sufficiency!

Merry Christmas from Missions.

-submitted by Phyllis Appler

Please note:

If there are other members of your household who use email and would like to receive the Mainstreeter Online, let Pam in the office know:

(603) 882-3361, or




Sunday, December 10, 2017

12/11/17 Mainstreeter Online


December 11, 2017

Words from the Pastor

In his daily e-mail reflection for November 30th, Father Richard Rohr speaks of the need to return to the essentials as the church. He concludes his reflection by quoting from a Quaker pastor who seeks to sum up what spirituality and church are all about in the 21st century. What do you think?

"Practical, practice-based Christianity has been avoided, denied, minimized, ignored, delayed, and sidelined for too many centuries, by too many Christians who were never told Christianity was anything more than a belonging or belief system. Now we know that there is no Methodist or Catholic way of loving. There is no Orthodox or Presbyterian way of living a simple and nonviolent life. There is no Lutheran or Evangelical way of showing mercy. There is no Baptist or Episcopalian way of visiting the imprisoned. If there is, we are invariably emphasizing the accidentals, which distract us from the very "marrow of the Gospel," as St. Francis called it. We have made this mistake for too long. We cannot keep avoiding what Jesus actually emphasized and mandated. In this most urgent time, 'it is the very love of Christ that now urges us' (2 Corinthians 5:14)."

"Quaker pastor Philip Gulley superbly summarizes how we must rebuild spirituality from the bottom up in his book, If the Church Were Christian.[2] Here I (Richard Rohr) take the liberty of using my own words to restate his message, which offers a rather excellent description of Emerging Christianity:"

1. Jesus is a model for living more than an object of worship.
2. Affirming people's potential is more important than reminding them of their brokenness.
3. The work of reconciliation should be valued over making judgments.
4. Gracious behavior is more important than right belief.
5. Inviting questions is more valuable than supplying answers.
6. Encouraging the personal search is more important than group uniformity.
7. Meeting actual needs is more important than maintaining institutions.
8. Peacemaking is more important than power.
9. We should care more about love and less about sex.
10. Life in this world is more important than the afterlife (eternity is God's work anyway).

Pastor Rich

Worship Next Sunday – December 17

Third Sunday of Advent
Christmas Cantata (10:30am service only)
Lighting the Third Advent Candle
Scripture: Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11; John 1:6-8, 19-28
Theme: Testifying to the Light (8:15am service only)

The gospel of John is clear, both that John the Baptist was sent by God to testify to the light and that John was not THE light. The prophet known as Second Isaiah speaks of God's anointing, an anointing that the earliest Christians came to associate with Jesus of Nazareth. What does it mean for us to "testify to the light"? Are we, like the prophet of old and Jesus, also anointed by God?

Christmas Day/Eve Schedule

There will be our usual two services on Christmas Eve morning at 8:15am and 10:30am with the Children's Christmas pageant taking place in the 10:30am service.

There will only be one Christmas Eve service and it will be at 7:00pm. The service will include the choir, other special music and candle-lighting.

Our annual Lessons and Carols Service will take place on Sunday, Dec. 31st at 10:30am. There is no 8:15am service on this day and no Sunday School classes.


Calendar for the Week of December 10

UMW Mini-Fair and Bake Sale, Sunday, Dec. 17
before and after the 10:30 service

Building Update

- Sprinkler system in new construction is complete.
- Sprinkler work in Wesley building begins this week.
- Stained glass window is installed on rear of new construction.
- Wiring and plumbing in new construction complete.
- Opening for door into Wesley building has been cut.
- Brick work will be taken down this week after front glass is installed.
- Sheet rock work will begin this week.

-submitted by Ted Luszey

Circles® Greater Nashua Perseveres!

After a few unfortunate setbacks, Circles Greater Nashua begins its first cohort of future Circle Leaders and volunteers on February 13, 2018! With the full support of Harbor Homes Inc., we are ready to launch the very exciting journey toward eliminating poverty in Greater Nashua!

Circle Leaders (low-income individuals or families) are those who commit to learning how to set achievable goals that will lead to a more stable, fulfilling life for themselves and their families. Every Tuesday evening from 6-8pm, Circle Leaders and their families share a meal with Circles Allies and other volunteers, and participate in meaningful dialogue and activities to support their journey from poverty to self-sufficiency.

The time has come for Circles Greater Nashua to ask for your commitment to work with us to make this long-worked-for program a reality. Circles is volunteer-based, and requires many people to make it successful. Our first and greatest need right now is for 30+volunteers to step forward to become Circle Allies (i.e., intentional friends to our Circle Leaders). We also need 6-8 volunteers to work with the children of our Circle Leaders on the same, age-appropriate skills their parents will be using to reach their goals.

On Tuesday, January 9, at 6pm we invite you to join us at the Main Street United Methodist Church, 154 Main Street (rear entrance), Nashua to learn about Circles Greater Nashua and the role of volunteers. This space has been graciously donated to house this initiative. Refreshments will be served.

Call Laurie Skibba, Chapter Coordinator at 603.820.5688 for information or to sign up for the January 9th introductory session, or send an email to We also encourage you to visit and for more detailed information.

Many of us are longing for a reason to contribute our time to something that will truly make a difference. In this era of division in multiple forms, Circles provides a way for all kinds of people to come together to show that we have much more in common than what divides us.

-submitted by Laurie Skibba

F Troop Christmas Brunch

Saturday December 16, 2017
11:00am, Church Vestry

Please join the F Troop (our over 40 Fellowship group) for our annual Christmas brunch. In addition to a delicious meal and fellowship, we will prepare the candles for the 7:00 pm Christmas Eve service, and then, weather permitting, we will go caroling on the front sidewalk of the church. Please sign up on the sheet on the bulletin board under the clock in the vestry if you plan to attend! Merry Christmas to all!

-submitted by Mavis Pyle

Blue Christmas Service

Londonderry United Methodist Church
258 Mammoth Road, Londonderry

For many, the approaching Christmas holiday does not bring with it the joy and happiness as shown on television or in Christmas cards. You, or someone you know, may have experienced a difficult year due to a death of a loved one, illness, a broken relationship, a move, or any number of situations that have caused stress and challenges.

On Wednesday, December 13, at 7:00 pm, the Londonderry United Methodist Church will hold their annual Blue Christmas service to provide a service for reflection, healing, and hope. The liturgy and music will focus on the comfort God offers to us during dark times, acknowledging and honoring the reality that not everyone is upbeat and cheery during the Christmas season. No matter what your situation may be, you are invited to come in the stillness of the night and worship God, who ultimately knows your need. Come yourself, or bring someone you know who is hurting. Stephen Ministers will be on hand afterwards. Light refreshments will be served.

-submitted by Pam Axtell

Fundraising Updates

Heart of Nashua: Growing in Faith:
72 pledges for: $779.285
Amount received:--$492,288

Heart of Nashua I:
Amount received: - $941,634

SCRIPS (as of 12/4):
285 card purchased
$4,397.00 total value
$275.35 church rebate

Please note:

If there are other members of your household who use email and would like to receive the Mainstreeter Online, let Pam in the office know:

(603) 882-3361, or




Sunday, December 3, 2017

12/4/2017 Mainstreeter Online


December 4, 2017

Words from the Pastor

A Prayer for December

Winter God,
in the darkest time of year
you brought in starlight,
angel song, and baby cries.
Stay with me as I journey to new birth
and celebrate this year of saints, psalms and prayer.
In the silence and stillness,
fashion my prayer into a carol of praise
and focus my life so that I may act as a herald of Christ,
the child of peace and the prophet of justice. Amen

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

It is fitting that the church chose to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the One who is the light of the world, in the midst of the darkest month of the year. Don't let the snow and cold of December keep you from experiencing the warmth and light of God's coming to us in the person of Jesus Christ. Come celebrate the Advent Season in worship, study, prayer, and service through the many opportunities that are afforded to us in and through the Main Street UMC. May you discover, as the author of the Gospel of John declares, that "the light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it."(John 1:5)

Pastor Rich

Worship Next Sunday – December 10

Second Sunday of Advent

Tithe Sunday
Lighting the Second Advent Candle
Gifts for the King
Christmas Ingathering
Scripture: Isaiah 40:1-11; Mark 1:1-8
Theme: Preparing God's Way

The prophet known as "second Isaiah" and John the Baptist both announce the coming of the Lord and the need to prepare God's way. How do we prepare ourselves to experience God's coming and presence in this season of Advent? How can we prepare the way for others to experience God's presence as well?


Calendar for the Week of December 3

Important Notice

Everyone who has responded to Nonny Egbuonu and is attending the wedding of her daughter Phyllis and Ejikeme next Saturday, December 9 at 2pm, please take note. The venue for the reception and time has changed. It will now be at:

White Birch Catering
222 Central Street
Hudson, NH

From 5 – 9pm

There will be light refreshment catered by San Francisco Kitchen immediately following the church ceremony in the vestry.

Anyone who wishes to give a wedding gift, please make a donation instead to Main Street United Methodist Church with a notation #Phyllis' Wedding Gift.

What's New for Christian Education?

According to the Discipline of the United Methodist Church, the purpose of Christian Education is to provide "essential support for the lifelong process of being transformed by God's grace into the likeness of God's Son, Jesus Christ. Ministries are to be planned to assist persons in developing their relationship with God and in living faithfully in the world. The ministries are to help children, youth and adults grow in knowledge of the Scripture and tradition; develop skills for practicing the means of grace; and gain the abilities to live as accountable disciples."

You may now be aware that our Director of Christian Education, Kathy Whitman, is no longer with us at Main Street. Our Christian Education committee will be responsible for the day to day running of our education programs, under the direction of co-chairs Susan Pederzani and Mavis Pyle, and with the guidance and supervision of Pastor Rich. We, as a committee, take our purpose, as stated above, very seriously, and will do our best to ensure our programs meet these goals.

Children's Time will continue to have special guests visiting during the season of Advent and there will be a world premiere of a new children's pageant on December 24th during the 10:30 service. You won't want to miss it!

Advent is a time of preparation for a blessed event, and is also the beginning a new church year. Make it a new beginning for church attendance if you haven't been here in a while, and see what's been going on. You won't be disappointed!

And remember, there is no Church school on December 31!

-submitted by Susan Pederzani and Mavis Pyle

Altar Flowers

The 2018 Flower Calendar is available for sign-ups. It is located on the bulletin board in the hall across from the church office. Forms for the office are located next to the poster; take one with you when you sign up. Please include your name, phone number, and the message you want printed in the bulletin. The cost for the church to order is $22.50. Please turn in completed forms and money (checks should be made out to Fortin-Gage) at least two weeks prior to the Sunday you sign up.


Next Sunday, December 10, is both Gifts for the King and an Ingathering of Food for the Christmas boxes at Nashua Soup Kitchen. To help you remember what items are needed, a bulletin board of baskets is posted by the vestry doors. The boxes given at Christmas include all of the regular food items distributed in a monthly box, plus those needed for Christmas. Everyone also receives milk, eggs, and a turkey or other meat. Gravy, stuffing, mashed or scalloped potatoes in a box, seem to be the items that ran low during distribution week in November. In the "regular" category, canned tuna supplies are very low. Cash will also be very helpful.

Folks who have in the past received Christmas baskets at Main St. are invited to go to the Soup Kitchen during the week before Christmas to receive a very generous box.

Bring your unwrapped gift for the Front Door Agency or Nashua Children's Home to the sanctuary on December 10. Be sure the tag with the number on it is attached to Front Door children's gifts! Gift wrap or gift bags will be appreciated. As your birthday month is called, bring your gift forward and put it under the Chrismon Tree. You can also donate toward a special gift for a child at either location.

Our Gifts for the King celebration has been helping others have a better Christmas for at least forty years, when we began taking gifts to residents of Laconia State School. Thank you for continuing this tradition.

-submitted by Phyllis Appler