December 18, 2017
Words from the Pastor
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,
Worship Ahead in December
12/24 Fourth Sunday of Advent
Lighting the Fourth Advent Candle
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! Announcements Calendar for the Week of December 17
December Mission News
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 Heifer.org 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
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