Friday, October 11, 2019

October 11 Mainstreeter Online

 

 October 11, 2019

  

 

 A Word from the Pastor

 

 

"You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God." Second Corinthians 9:11-13

    What is the relationship between stewardship and gratitude? For the apostle Paul the answer is clear.  Generosity in whatever form- generosity of spirit, generosity of resources, generosity with one's time and talents- produces expressions of gratitude to God on the part, not only of those who are the recipients of this generosity, but also of those who witness it.  I know that this is true because I am often led to give thanks to God when I witness the incredible generosity of the members and friends of the Main Street UMC.  There isn't a day that goes by that I don't witness first hand people being generous with their time, their skills, their resources, and their compassion and caring.  I am likewise, almost daily, moved to give thanks to God for this incredible generosity.

    I invite you to look around you, both while here at church and wherever else you may find yourself, and be alert to the many expressions of generosity that you see and likewise offer up prayers of thanksgiving to God.  May our gratitude bear witness to our own sense of the stewardship of life as we acknowledge the gifts of God that come to us in so many different ways and through so many different people.  Give thanks for all these gifts and for all these givers as well.

                                                                                                                                Gratefully,

Pastor Rich

 

 

 

WORSHIP AHEAD

10/13    The Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Fall Stewardship Campaign Continues: Stewardship speaker- Joe Dechene (both services)

Choir singing

Scripture: Second Timothy 2:8-15; Luke 17:11-18

Theme: Stewardship and Gratitude- When we recognize that all that we are and all that we have is a gift of God we cannot help but be thankful.  The Samaritan leper in Luke's story knew this all to well and had to return to give thanks to God for his healing.  Does our gratitude reflect our stewardship as well?

 

 

CONSECRATION SUNDAY REMINDER

By now you should have received an invitation from Elizabeth Wilds, our Stewardship chairperson, inviting you to fill out your pledge of support for the mission and ministry of the Main Street United Methodist Church for the year 2020.  Please plan to be with us, pledge card in hand, on Sunday, October 20th.  On this day we will consecrate all pledges of support to God.  All pledges, no matter their size, are significant.  We thank you in advance for your commitment to God and to the Main Street UMC.  If you are unable to be present in worship on October 20th   please be sure to mail in your pledge card in advance.  If you, for some reason, did not receive Elizabeth's letter and the pledge card please call the church office and one will be mailed to you. The church office number is 882-3361.

 

 

OPPORTUNITY OF THE WEEK

Each week we will try to highlight a particular opportunity for you to serve in and through the Main Street UMC.

 

At the most recent Church Council meeting the decision was made to begin to use our regular coffee cups during our fellowship time on Sunday morning instead of Styrofoam cups.  This will require that they be washed afterwards using our commercial dishwasher.  Needless to say, we are in need of a number of people who would be willing to learn to use the dishwasher.  If interested please speak to Pastor Rich or Jerry Harrow.  Thank you for your assistance in helping to remove hundreds or thousands of Styrofoam cups from our landfill during the years to come!

 

 

CRAFT WORKSHOP

Saturday, October 12, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

All are invited to join us for a workshop to make items for the Yuletide Fair which is coming up November 9 in the Vestry. Materials will be supplied but bring your favorite scissors, glue gun and sticks or thick tacky glue. There will be a variety of materials to work with to make fall or Christmas arrangements and wreaths. We may add the Santa's, elves and forest critters we made at other workshops to cute little scenes. Let your imagination run wild. If you have your own projects you are working on and would enjoy the company, bring them along. Plan to bring your lunch and stay all day or drop in as your schedule allows. Contact Pam Breniser with any questions.

 

 

ANNUAL BLESSING OF THE CREATURES

Sunday at 3pm, rain or shine!

Typically this event is held in the Autumn around the birthdate of St. Francis of Assisi which is in October. There will be a Creature Reiki Practitioner who is delighted to share reiki love with your creature family members. If your creature companion cannot attend in "person" then you could bring a photo or their ashes, or something that was special to them: a toy, blanket, pillow… Posthumous blessings grace your creature and all of the Divine Realm. If your creature is wild, consider bringing a feather, or a piece of fur, a leaf from a tree under which they pass, a stone from one of their favorite resting places, a flower which has shared its nectar.

 

The Blessing of the Creatures can feature music, festivities, and the Procession of the Blessing, with Pastor Rich offering a blessing prayer with each creature. The event will be held on the plaza in front of the church, Sunday October 13, 3pm. For the safety and comfort of all, please note that living creatures must be on a leash or in a carrier.

 

Please join in the joy of encouraging and supporting ALL God's creatures!

 

 

NEW MEMBER CLASSES TO BE OFFERED

Are you interested in becoming a member of the Main Street United Methodist Church? Interested in knowing more about the United Methodist Church itself? Interested in a refresher course on faith and church? If so, please plan to attend the series of two classes that will be offered on Sunday, October 13th and Sunday, October 20th.  The classes will take place from 9am – 10am in Pastor Rich's office and will be led by Pastor Rich with assistance from our lay leaders and other active church members. Those who choose to join the church will be received as new members on Sunday, October 20th during the 10:30am worship service.  Please sign up in advance using the sheet that is located on the bulletin board under the clock in the vestry.

 

 

UMC MEETING AND ORNAMENT-MAKING

Join the United Methodist Women on Wednesday, October 16, to help us make the Christmas Eve Service children's ornaments.  It is a delight to see the excitement on their faces of the children when they receive this special gift from our church!  The meeting and ornament-making will begin at 7:00 pm. We will also be finalizing Fair plans as we work, and putting finishing touches on crafts for the fair. If you haven't had an opportunity to join us previously, feel free to come to any of our events or workshops.  All women of the church are invited!

 

 

ANNUAL CHURCH CONFERENCE DATE SET

Our annual Church/Charge Conference date has been set for Sunday, October 20th following the 10:30am worship service. Our new District Superintendent, Rev. Taesung Kang will meet with the Staff Parish Relations Committee at 9:00am. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to come together as a church community to celebrate our ministries and prepare for the future.  All are encouraged to attend.

 

OPERA ON MAIN STREET RETURNS

The next operatic concert to be hosted by the church will take place on Saturday, October 26th at 7:00pm in the sanctuary.  "The Magic of Mozart" will consist of arias and duets from Mozart's most famous operas.  The cost is $12.00 per person and $10.00 for senior citizens and students.  Tickets are sold at the door only.

 

 

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Friday, October 4, 2019

October 4 Mainstreeter Online

 

 October 4, 2019

  

 

 A Word from the Pastor

  

"For, as I can testify, they voluntarily gave according to their means, and even beyond their means, begging us earnestly for the privilege of sharing in this ministry to the saints- and this, not merely as we expected; they gave themselves first to the Lord and, by the will of God, to us." Second Corinthians 8:3-5

    When it comes to Christian stewardship to whom or to what do you give? When you write out your check or give electronically or put your cash in the offering plate, to whom are you giving your contribution?  My hope is that each of us takes to heart the words of the apostle Paul which he spoke to the Christians in Corinth.  In this passage Paul is using the example of the Christians in Macedonia to inspire and motivate the Corinthians in their own giving.  The Macedonian Christians gave both according to their means and even above their means because they first gave themselves to God and with the understanding that they were giving to God first and foremost.

    Although the Main Street UMC has numerous financial obligations and therefore creates a budget to insure that these commitments are met, when it comes to our giving through the church we need to give ourselves first and then, our gifts to God rather than to the church budget.  We too need to follow the example of the Macedonian Christians.  When we are conscious of the decision to give first to God and only secondarily to the needs of the church our focus is in the right place- that of acknowledging that all that we have and all that we are is God's gift to us.

    As you prayerfully consider filling out a pledge card for the year 2020 I would invite you to spend some time reflecting on God's many blessings in your life and determine that you will give accordingly- both of yourself and your time and talents, and of your financial resources.  May your decision be grounded in prayer, motivated by faith, and an expression of love to God and to the world.  Please come prepared to make your commitment at our Consecration Sunday worship services on Sunday, October 20th.

                                                                                                                                                                Stewards Together,

                                                                                                                                                                Pastor Rich

 

 

WORSHIP AHEAD

10/6      The Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost

                World Communion Sunday

                Guest Preacher: Rev. Dave Svenson

Fall Stewardship Campaign Continues: Stewardship speakers- Bill Francis (8:15am) and The Swedish Chef (10:30am)

Choir singing

 

 

CONSECRATION SUNDAY REMINDER

By now you should have received an invitation from Elizabeth Wilds, our Stewardship chairperson, inviting you to fill out your pledge of support for the mission and ministry of the Main Street United Methodist Church for the year 2020.  Please plan to be with us, pledge card in hand, on Sunday, October 20th.  On this day we will consecrate all pledges of support to God.  All pledges, no matter their size, are significant.  We thank you in advance for your commitment to God and to the Main Street UMC.  If you are unable to be present in worship on October 20th   please be sure to mail in your pledge card in advance.  If you, for some reason, did not receive Elizabeth's letter and the pledge card please call the church office and one will be mailed to you.

The church office number is 882-3361.

 

 

OPPORTUNITY OF THE WEEK

Each week we will try to highlight a particular opportunity for you to serve in and through the Main Street UMC.

 

At the most recent Church Council meeting the decision was made to begin to use our regular coffee cups during our fellowship time on Sunday morning instead of Styrofoam cups.  This will require that they be washed afterwards using our commercial dishwasher.  Needless to say, we are in need of a number of people who would be willing to learn to use the dishwasher.  If interested please speak to Pastor Rich or Jerry Harrow.  Thank you for your assistance in helping to remove hundreds or thousands of Styrofoam cups from our landfill during the years to come!

 

 

PASTOR'S VACATION PLANS

Pastor Rich will be on vacation beginning Tuesday, October 1st through Friday, October 11th.  Rev. Dave Svenson will be our guest preacher for both the 8:15am and 10:30am services on Sunday, October 6th.

 

 

UP-COMING DISTRICT EVENTS

The next District Resource Day will be held on Saturday, October 5th from 9am-3pm at the Eliot, ME United Methodist Church.  The focus of this day will be on a "How to Reach New People" and will be led by nationally known church consultant, Rev. Paul Nickerson.

 

 

CALLING ALL UNITED METHODIST MEN AND BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST

We have begun our new program year at Main Street United Methodist and want to invite all to come and share our hot breakfast and program every month. Our events are held on the first Saturday of each month with the breakfast beginning at 8:30 a.m. and the program following at 9:00 a.m. Our goal is to arrange interesting programs with local community leaders who provide information to our attendees about those things going on in our community that we need to know about…political, economic, community non-profit, religious, and Nashua and the surrounding area activities that benefit our community. We also like to take recommendations for interesting topics to heart to ensure that your personal requests for special meetings get arranged.

 

The next Men's Breakfast will be on Saturday, October 5th at 8:30am. Mark your calendar and plan to attend! All men and friends are welcome!

 

 

HAM AND BEAN SUPPER!

We will hold our first Ham and Bean Supper of the fall on Saturday, October 5 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. As always, the meal features ham, two kinds of beans, coleslaw, potato salad, beverage, bread, and pie.

 

Adults: $10

Seniors: $9

Children 6 to 12: $4

Children 5 and under:  Free!

 

Bring your friends and neighbors to this outreach, fellowship, and traditional food event! 

 

Want to help a little bit more?  Watch for the sign-up sheet and help in one of the following ways:

    • Bake or buy a pie or two.
    • Work as a waiter or waitress at tables on the day of the supper.
    • Help with dishwashing or serving in the kitchen?
    • Help with setup before the meal begins on Saturday?

 

See David Appler or contact him at pappler@earthlink.net if you have questions about these opportunities.

 

 

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Join us for our 34th annual
Greater Nashua CROP Hunger Walk 

 

The event begins and ends at:

Temple Beth Abraham

4 Raymond Street, Nashua

 

Registration:       Noon to 1 p.m.

Opening Ceremony:              1 p.m.

Walk:                                   1:30 p.m.

followed by food, music, and celebration!

If you prefer to raise funds or donate online, go to

 https://www.crophungerwalk.org/nashuanh/Static/Team-List and sign up or donate!

 

 

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Friday, September 27, 2019

September 27 Online Mainstreeter

 

 September 27, 2019

  

 

 A Word from the Pastor

"Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard."

Isaiah 58:6-8

 

    This weekend many of the communities of faith in Nashua will have a common focus in their worship experiences- that of housing justice.  The choice of this particular focus came about as a group of Nashua area clergy gathered regularly to discuss the areas of concern that are prevalent in our community.  While hunger, poverty, and homelessness are so often thought of as the primary areas of need another concern rose to the surface- the lack of affordable housing in our city.  In his editorial in the Nashua Telegraph on September 22nd, Rabbi Jon Spira-Savett had this to say, "Housing doesn't have the same emotional pull on us as hunger and disease.  Housing is structural, literally and figuratively.

It is one of the foundations under everything else in our community."  As Rabbi Jon points out, housing is "foundational".  When a community has issues around housing everything else suffers as well.

 

    As we worship together on Sunday I would like to ask you to think about what having adequate housing as meant for you and your family throughout your life.  How would things be different if you had to spend so much money on housing that you needed to depend on food pantries for your food? What would your education have been like if your family needed to move every few months in search of a more affordable apartment? What are the effects of a lack of affordable housing on the stability of our community?  We will spend some time exploring these and other questions as we ponder the question of "housing" justice.

 

    In Isaiah 58 the prophet notes that the kind of fast that God desires is not one in which we skip a meal every once and a while, but rather it is the fast that acts of behalf of others in ways that help to insure that they have the basic necessities of life- food, shelter, clothing, community.  What can we do- individually, as a church, and as a community, to address the lack of affordable housing in Nashua and surrounding communities? Let us commit ourselves to being a part of the solution to this complicated and complex challenge.

 

                                                                                                                                In search of justice,

                                                                                                                                Pastor Rich

 

P.S. A follow up gathering to have further discussion about affordable housing will take place on Sunday, October 20th from 4-5:30pm at Temple Beth Abraham, 4 Raymond Street in Nashua.  All are invited to be a part of this conversation.

 

 

 

WORSHIP AHEAD

9/29      The Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Fall Stewardship Campaign Continues: Stewardship speakers- Dave Wilson (8:15am) and Laura Graudons (10:30am)

Choir singing

Scripture: Isaiah 58:6-12; Matthew 25:31-40

Theme:  Repairing Our Foundations- An Introduction to Housing Justice:  Congregations throughout the city of Nashua will be focusing on this theme in worship this coming weekend.  The prophet in Isaiah 58 reminds us that the fast that God desires is not an absence of food, but rather a renewed commitment to justice for everyone.  What might justice look like in the area of housing? We will explore this theme together in worship and preaching.

 

 

 

OPPORTUNITY OF THE WEEK

Each week we will try to highlight a particular opportunity for you to serve in and through the Main Street UMC.

 

Do you enjoy spending time with young children? Are you looking to feel younger? Then, we have just the opportunity for you! Every Sunday morning we need to have two nursery care people so that parents can attend Sunday School classes and worship.  We need two people from 9-10am during the Sunday School hour and another two people from 10am- 11:30am during the worship service.  There is a sign up sheet on the table under the clock in the vestry.  All nursery care workers do need to attend the Safe Sanctuary training and have a background check done (at no cost).  If interested and you have already done the training then just sign up for whatever Sunday(s) is good for you.  If interested, but have not had the training yet please speak to Mavis Pyle and/or Pastor Rich and it will be arranged.  Thank you for helping to make MSUMC a child friendly church.

 

 

 

PASTOR'S VACATION PLANS

Pastor Rich will be on vacation beginning Tuesday, October 1st through Friday, October 11th.  Rev. Dave Svenson will be our guest preacher for both the 8:15am and 10:30am services on Sunday, October 6th.

 

 

 

CAFÉ AGAPE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

Café Agape, our outreach to our neighbors both homeless and those in vulnerable situations, has once again closed for the month of August but will re-open on Tuesday, September 3rd.  Café Agape is open Monday-Friday from 8:00am-10:00am and provides a safe place for our neighbors to gather for coffee, food, and conversation.  We are in need of some more volunteers.  You can volunteer one day a month; one day a week; or however often you would like.  If interested please be in touch with either Pat Kerrigan or Shirley Michael .  Their e-mail addresses respectively are: pkerrigan27@comcast.net or smichael-1@comcast.net Thank you for your consideration!

 

 

 

POWER CHAIR AND SCOOTER AVAILABLE

Are you or someone you know in need of a battery powered wheel chair or scooter? Charles Kenney has both and is making them available for $2,500 for both or if you only want one you can make an offer.  They both include battery chargers.  The scooter was only used a few times and was purchased in 2018.  The chair was purchased in 2019.  Charles also has available a portable ramp that he would give free of charge.  There is a warranty on both the scooter and the chair.  If interested or would like more information please call Charles at 603-718-1015.

 

 

 

ANNUAL BLESSING OF THE CREATURES:  Sunday, October 13, 2019 at 3pm, rain or shine!

Typically this event is held in the Autumn around the birthdate of St. Francis of Assisi which is in October. There will be a Creature Reiki Practitioner who is delighted to share reiki love with your creature family members. If your creature companion cannot attend in "person" then you could bring a photo or their ashes, or something that was special to them: a toy, blanket, pillow… Posthumous blessings grace your creature and all of the Divine Realm. If your creature is wild, consider bringing a feather, or a piece of fur, a leaf from a tree under which they pass, a stone from one of their favorite resting places, a flower which has shared its nectar.

 

The Blessing of the Creatures can feature music, festivities, and the Procession of the Blessing, with Pastor Rich offering a blessing prayer with each creature. The event will be held on the plaza in front of the church, Sunday October 13, 3pm. For the safety and comfort of all, please note that living creatures must be on a leash or in a carrier.

 

Please join in the joy of encouraging and supporting ALL God's creatures!

 

 

 

NEW MEMBER CLASSES TO BE OFFERED

Are you interested in becoming a member of the Main Street United Methodist Church? Interested in knowing more about the United Methodist Church itself? Interested in a refresher course on faith and church? If so, please plan to attend the series of two classes that will be offered on Sunday, October 13th and Sunday, October 20th.  The classes will take place from 9am – 10am in Pastor Rich's office and will be led by Pastor Rich with assistance from our lay leaders and other active church members. Those who choose to join the church will be received as new members on Sunday, October 20th during the 10:30am worship service.  Please sign up in advance using the sheet that is located on the bulletin board under the clock in the vestry.

 

 

 

ANNUAL CHURCH CONFERENCE DATE SET

Our annual Church/Charge Conference date has been set for Sunday, October 20th following the 10:30am worship service. Our new District Superintendent, Rev. Taesung Kang will meet with the Staff Parish Relations Committee at 9:00am. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to come together as a church community to celebrate our ministries and prepare for the future.  All are encouraged to attend.

 

 

 

UP-COMING DISTRICT EVENTS

The next District Resource Day will be held on Saturday, October 5th from 9am-3pm at the Eliot, ME United Methodist Church.  The focus of this day will be on a "How to Reach New People" and will be led by nationally known church consultant, Rev. Paul Nickerson.

 

 

 

WATER WALK

Twenty-two Main Street UMC members walked on Saturday, September 14, to raise money to build wells for safe drinking water in Nigeria.   United Methodist Women also made donations of packaged snacks to the Water Walkers.

 

 

 

AFRICA UNIVERSITY

Thank you for your donations to Africa University Sunday and to the victims of Hurricane Dorian through UMCOR.  Totals available soon!

 

 

 

NASHUA CANCER PRAYER AND SUPPORT GROUP

The next meeting of this ministry will be held on Wednesday, October 2nd at 6:30pm in the chapel.  This group is facilitated by Michael Gallaher, Nancy Long and Nonny Egbuonu.

 

 

 

SEX AND MARRIAGE —a Conversation Just for Traditionalists

Have you been raised to believe that marriage is between one man and one woman?  Are you struggling to understand the diversity of beliefs about homosexual practice and identity that are suddenly at the forefront of church conversations?  Do you need a safe space to ask questions and seek a place of clarity as the congregation discerns about becoming a Reconciling Congregation?  Do you want to understand where the progressive point of view is coming from?

 

If these questions describe you, then this group is specially designed for you and others who share these questions.  This covenanted, four-week study and discussion group will use a variety of resources to examine attitudes toward LGBTQ inclusion/restriction in the church.  Information and tools will be shared so that each person can not only refine but also support her/his own beliefs.  All will be done in the spirit of prayer, love, and discernment.

 

Class members will utilize a variety of resources, including (and not limited to) the Bible, writings from evangelical ethicist David P. Gushee's books Kingdom Ethics and Changing Our Mind, an exploration of "the celibacy option," and of course, discussions about marriage.  Confidentiality within the group will be expected.  Completion of reading assignments will be manageable and necessary.  Participation will make the group fruitful! 

 

Rev. Kristy Besada will facilitate the group.  Wednesday nights, October 2nd – 23rd at 7:00 p.m. 

Please sign up in the vestry by Sept 22, so that an appropriate number of books and materials can be obtained.

 

An additional group may be added if interest necessitates it.  Limit: 10 people per session. 

 

 

 

FINANCIAL HEALTH

Hi, Joe from Finance and Stewardship.

It's pledge time again, and we have a vision for 2020 (we're calling it 2020 Vision.)  That includes continuing the wonderful ministries and missions we do in Nashua and working to add more emphasis to young families for 2020. 

In 2019 we had the vision of helping our youth to grow as disciples, and we hired a part-time staffer.  You've begun to see the fruits of our actions, with our Youth mission trip and other activities.

Previously we've had the vision of increased accessibility and use of our facilities made possible by our connector.   I am happy to report that programs like Circles Greater Nashua use these facilities to help families out of poverty.   Fulfilling these visions requires your continued and extended financial support

I could appeal to our congregants who already go beyond their tithes in cheerfully supporting our ministries and missions through their General Fund pledging, and then go even beyond that in helping us reduce our debt with our Heart of Nashua campaign and fund.   It's only logical that if I go to this group, our most ardent supporters are our best chance for success in growing our ministries and missions.   

Such generous givers come from all walks and economic levels and they understand the successes we've had in our community and service.   They are at a point in their faith journey and will often give more when they see and participate in the vision.

Instead, I want to appeal to those of us who are unsure where our hard-earned money (not to mention time) goes when it comes to church.     Perhaps some of us are not seeing the connection between the money we give from our scarce funds and the "feel-good" knowing that it's going towards someone helping themselves out of poverty, hosting folks actively and successfully dealing with their addiction, or serving in other ways that Jesus wants to. 

Perhaps some don't notice our new church attendees, some of whom are finding Christ for the first time.    A few of these attendees may become members, but more will attend and be part of the church without the formality of membership.

Our church changes many lives in the programs we do, support, or sponsor.   We support world programs such as UMCOR and Africa University.  Locally, the church is open and active seven days a week in these programs:

  • We do many activities ourselves such as Café Agape, Ministries, cancer support groups and a host of other programs.
  • We support through our work with Nashua Soup Kitchen our Sunday Food Pantry, greater downtown services and ministries, CROP Hunger Walk, Water Walk, and other items.
  • We host programs such as Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, and Circles GN.

We are active in our world and community and will strive to do so even better thanks to our 2020 Vision.   I hope you will see your part in this vision and support its success.

Please consider a well-rounded experience with God that includes prayer, church attendance, service, and your increased financial support.   You can commit today to a higher pledge on the orange pledge card, or decide to give more even if you are not in a place to commit to a pledge.   As always I am open to your thoughts, prayer, concerns, and questions.    Thank you, Joe Dechene

 

 

 

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