Sunday, November 26, 2017

11/27/2017 Mainstreeter Online


November 27, 2017

Words from the Pastor

An Advent Prayer

Help me be faithful, O God,
to receive what awaits me
at the holy manger
and to show others
the way.

Help me be faithful, O Christ,
to hold close the hopeless
and to linger with the lost.

Help me be faithful, O Spirit,
to give voice to the silenced
and manna to the starved.
With the poor,
O Spirit,
let me proclaim
the good news
with my life.

Help me be faithful, O God,
to Christ,
by your Spirit.
This is my Advent prayer. Amen

Taken from Prepare the Way: Cultivating a Heart for God in Advent, copyright 2016 by Pamela C. Hawkins, published by Upper Room Books

December 3rd marks the beginning of the season of Advent and the beginning of the Christian liturgical year. Advent is a season of watching, waiting, and anticipating God's presence and activity in our lives and in our world. It is, ironically, a season that invites us to think not so much about beginnings but about endings--in other words about God's bringing the world to its completion. Although Christians believe that God is at work in the world and is moving the world along towards a sense of completion we also recognize that God chooses to do this work in partnership with us. In Jesus, the celebration of whose birth culminates this season, we have one who shows us the way through his life, death, and resurrection. In Jesus we see love incarnated and experience the transforming power of love in people's lives and in the world. May God help us to be faithful to this task even as we follow Jesus' lead and live our lives with compassion, justice, and love.

With Advent Longing,
Pastor Rich

Worship Next Sunday – December 3

First Sunday of Advent
Holy Communion
Lighting the First Advent Candle
Scripture: Mark 13:24-37
Theme: Living Attentively in Challenging Times

As we work together with God to bring the world to God's desired completion, we need to be attentive, awake, and alert to God's presence and love in our midst. Advent serves as a liturgical "wake up" call for the church.


Calendar for the Week of November 26

Finance News

First I want to emphasize the generosity of the people of this church, who gave significantly to enable our accessibility and visibility. Recently we received gifts to pay off our steeple loan and replace an urgently-needed electrical panel. Our congregation feels strongly about the work we do here in Nashua and gives accordingly.

I see God working through us uplifting our community. Individuals are deeply touched by what we do here, and tell me their appreciation. Even our professional fundraising consultant was moved by the work we do here and made a substantial personal commitment to our capital campaign.

With all of our giving, how has 2017 been such a difficult year for our general fund? Last month I mentioned how we were tracking a shortfall of $50,000 for the year. Many of you have made additional donations above your pledge amount to help defray the shortfall. Maggie and I have been giving additionally over our tithe this quarter. At this time of writing, we received your extra funds, but not enough to pay our 2017 bills. You still have time to make an "over and above your pledge" substantial general fund gift for 2017. Please make your gift soon so we can count it for the 2017 audit year.

Although we've kept the budget flat for the upcoming year, please pledge and give the next higher amount in 2018. If you give $150 a week, please consider $175. If you give $50 a week, please consider $60. This will help us avoid the situation we faced this year.

I will be happy when this construction is finished and paid for. At that time we can focus on applying our new facilities and accessibility to grow our church and our ministries and missions.

If you have thoughts on how we can grow our ministries and missions, I am listening. You've read my columns about expanding our ministries to include more youth, young adults, and young families. I am looking to put my focus in that area especially when it's time for me to hand over the finance committee chair to my successor. At that time I am aiming to have a stable general fund, our debt addressed, and a congregation energized about our future.

-submitted by Joe Dechene

Invitation to All

Please join the family of Nonny Egbuonu as they celebrate the
wedding of

Phyllis Ijeoma Egbuonu
Ejikeme Fidelis Ukatu

The 9th of December 2017

Main Street United Methodist Church
154 Main St., Nashua, NH 03060

Refreshments at
San Francisco Kitchen
133 Main Street, Nashua, NH
(Right across the street)

Nonny Egbuonu
(617) 304-9078

Gifts for the King 2017 Instructions:

  1. Take a tag from the tree in the vestry. There are four tags on the tree for each child given to us by the Front Door Agency. Sign the sheet so that we have a record of who took what tag.
  2. Please leave the gift unwrapped, but supply wrapping paper or use a gift bag. Attach your tag to the gift.
  3. Bring your Gift for the King to Main St. United Methodist Church on Sunday, December 10. 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.

-submitted by Phyllis Appler

Fundraising Updates

Heart of Nashua: Growing in Faith:
72 pledges for: $779.285
Amount received:--$460,448

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

Ham 'n Bean Un-Supper Tallies:
5 Beverages
5 Bread
7 Cole Slaw
7 Ham
8 Kidney Beans
9 Pea Beans
7 Pie
14 Potato Salad

Change for Church
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Sunday, November 19, 2017

11/20/17 Mainstreeter Online


November 20, 2017

Words from the Pastor

A Prayer of Thanksgiving for the Seasons of Life

Dear Lord, thank you for your presence with us through all the seasons of life
through the times of milk and honey and through our wanderings in the wilderness.

Lord, we give thanks for children; for their boundless energy, their curiosity, their love, their openness, their joy of life.

Lord, we give thanks for young adults; for their growing search to build meaningful lives, for their new ideas and approaches to the problems of society, for their children and the loving families they seek to build.

Lord, we give thanks for those in the middle of life; for the families they have guided into adulthood, for the life work they have built and sustained, for the faith they have nurtured in others, for the presence they provide as they walk life's path with their parent's and older friends.

Lord, we give thanks for those grown-up and grown older; for the experiences they have survived, for the wisdom with which they have been blessed, for the spiritual richness of their lives, for their witness of faith.

Lord, we give thanks for the cloud of witnesses that has gone before us, leaving their imprint of life and faith upon each of us and upon the world.

Creator God, we are indeed thankful that in each stage of life you bless us with your presence. At every age, and especially in old age, you mold and shape us with your potter's hands into people with purpose and value who can reach out to others, touching humanity with the love that only you can give us.

Praise be to God. Amen.

*Taken from "Remembering Your Story: A Guide to Spiritual Autobiography" pages 37 and 38 by Richard L. Morgan: Upper Room Books, 1996, Nashville.

While we normally think of the Thanksgiving season as a time to give thanks for the fruits of the harvest and the richness of the earth, most of us, when asked for what we are most thankful, tend to focus on our relationships as family, friends, and church. We acknowledge the people in our lives who bring us great joy and are grateful for the presence of people, old and young, who enrich us and help us to be more fully human. On this Thanksgiving Day let us remember with fondness the loved ones who have joined the "cloud of saints" while cherishing the time we have left on this earth with those who love us and whom we love as well. Thanks be to God for the seasons of life and all those who fill each and every season.

With Gratitude,
Pastor Rich

Worship Next Sunday – November 26

Christ the King Sunday
Choir Anthem
Scripture: Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24; Matthew 25:31-46
Theme: For What Does God Hold Us Accountable?

On this final Sunday of the Christian year, this familiar gospel reading from Mathew 25 reminds us that we are accountable to God for how we treat our fellow human beings. When we feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, cloth the naked, visit the prisoner, welcome the stranger, etc. we do it as to Christ himself.


Calendar for the Week of November 19

Mission News

Gifts for the King: On December 10, we will celebrate Gifts for the King Sunday. Please take a tag from the tree that will appear in the vestry. Then you can bring your unwrapped gift up to the sanctuary on Gifts for the King Sunday and you may place these gifts under the Chrismon Tree when your birthday month is called. This year, our gifts will go to children from the Front Door Agency here in Nashua.

Holiday Baskets: Thank you for your gifts of food for our Thanksgiving Baskets. We were able to provide food for this special meal for many families from our own refugee community and through the Nashua Soup Kitchen. At Christmas, we will do it again!! Ingathering of food will be on December 10, the same day as Gifts for the King. We will need all of the extras that go with a good Christmas dinner. Yams, canned vegetables, celery, pie crusts, and brown sugar are sometimes overlooked, but we will appreciate whatever you bring! Without your help, these families would not have a happy Christmas meal to enjoy. Food such as rice, dried beans, and fresh greens might be more useful to some of our refugee families than the usual cranberry sauce! Thank you!

Food Pantry: Thank you to all who remembered to put out a bag for "Scouting for Food" this year. Main Street got its regular share of Scout food, and it was loaded onto the Nashua Soup Kitchen truck and has been much appreciated.

Refugee Help: Thanks to the United Methodist Women and others who have helped supply needs of two of our refugee families who have recently added a baby boy. You have provided clothing, booster seat, diapers, as well as taking people to appointments. This makes a tremendous difference for them! Be sure to support the Downtown Crossing Bake Sale during the Holiday Stroll!

CROP Hunger Walk: Thank you for walking, supporting, and singing! Will report on our total when CROP reports it to us! Remember that 25% of the money raised stays here in Nashua to fight hunger locally.

Alternative Christmas Gifts: Through the United Methodist Church's "gifts of hope" catalog,
you can purchase anything from a latrine in Guatemala to a bed net in Ghana. The Heifer Project also has lots of animal and plant gift ideas at

-submitted by Phyllis Appler

Greening of the Church and Souper Supper
Friday, November 24, 2017

All members and friends of the Main Street are invited to join the F Troop, our over 40 fellowship group, as we decorate the church for the Holiday Stroll and the Advent Season. After the greening, we will partake of a variety of delicious soups and enjoy the beauty we have created before the hectic holiday season begins. This event is open to all--the more the merrier!

-submitted by Mavis Pyle

Holiday Stroll

On Saturday, November 25th, we will once again be a host site for Nashua's Holiday Stroll. There will be a dance recital held at 5:45 followed by musical performances at 7:10 and 8:35pm. Our choir will not be performing this year. Downstairs in the vestry there will be a joint fundraiser by our own Downtown Crossing along with the non-profit "Chefs of NH" group. The Gate City Immigrant Initiative will also be passing out free food and providing a welcome for immigrants during this same time frame. We are still in need of volunteers to help. If you could give an hour or two, that would be great. Please speak to Jerry Harrow or Pastor Rich in order to sign up to volunteer. Thanks in advance for all your support.


Fundraising Updates

Yuletide Fair Earnings: $2,654.05

Heart of Nashua: Growing in Faith:
72 pledges for:
-     $779.285
Amount received:--$452,786

Heart of Nashua I:
Amount received:
- $941,434

Ham 'n Bean Un-Supper Tallies:

3 Beverages
3 Bread
5 Cole Slaw
4 Ham
4 Kidney Beans
5 Pea Beans
5 Pie
6 Potato Salad















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Monday, November 13, 2017

11/13/2017 Mainstreeter Online


November 13, 2017

Words from the Pastor

Veterans Day Prayer

by Susan Diamond

God of compassion,
God of dignity and strength,
watch over the veterans of the United States
in recognition of their loyal service to our nation.
Bless them with wholeness and love.
Shelter them.
Heal their wounds,
comfort their hearts.
grant them peace.

God of justice and truth,
rock of our lives,
bless our veterans,
these men and women of courage and valor,
with a deep and abiding understanding
of our profound gratitude.
Protect them and their families from loneliness and want.
Grant them lives of joy and bounty.
May their dedication and honor
be remembered as a blessing
from generation to generation.

Blessed are You,
Protector and Redeemer,
our Shield and our Stronghold.


One of the things that I have come to see since moving to Nashua and becoming the pastor of this congregation, is that there are a significant number of military veterans, who make up the citizenry of our city and the membership of this congregation. You do not have to look far to find a veteran involved in the community and in the church. When I think of all of the veterans, who make up this congregation, I can only be grateful for the faithful service that is offered to God and the church, even as it has been offered to our nation.

The other place in which I experience our military veterans' though is among the homeless population of our city. We have had more than our share of veterans come to Café Agape for the hospitality that we are able to offer to them and many who are the patrons of the food pantry through the Nashua Soup Kitchen. Some of these veterans suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) directly as a result of their service to our nation through their experience of combat in Afghanistan or Iraq. Others have struggled with addiction, whether to drugs or alcohol and still others suffer from mental illness.

As we take the time to honor our veterans for their service, let us also go the second mile and do our part to insure that they receive the needed services so that they may move from homelessness to housing and from illness to health. Thankfully Nashua has much to offer military veterans and organizations, such as Harbor Homes, have set a goal to reduce the number of homeless veterans to zero. Let us offer our support to this effort through the ministry of Café Agape, through the support of Veterans Count (a service of the March of Dimes), and though our own volunteering in programs for Veterans.

With gratitude and praise,

Pastor Rich

Worship Next Sunday – November 19

The 24th Sunday after Pentecost

Thanksgiving Sunday

Reception of New Members

Choir Anthem

Scripture: Deuteronomy 8:7-18; Luke 17:11-19

Theme: Forgetfulness and Ungratefulness

Our scriptures, especially the Deuteronomy reading, warn us not to be forgetful of all God's gracious and loving acts in our lives, our church, and our community because forgetfulness leads to ungratefulness. Let us not be like the "other nine" lepers, who having been healed by Jesus, went merrily on their way; but instead, let us be like the one, a Samaritan, who returned to give thanks to Jesus.

Announcements from Sunday, November 12

Calendar for the Week of November 12

Building Update for 10-November-2017

Since our last update:

  • The loan for the project has been signed and is now complete! Pastor Rich and Ted Luszey met with Dan Hussey from the Foundation to review the project, which included a tour of buildings. Dan was pleased with the progress and our vision for the future.
  • The framing of the new construction is 90% complete. The exterior and interior wall framing is complete. Completion of the exterior sheathing is expected by Thanksgiving.
  • Roofing work has begun and is expected to be complete by November 17th.
  • HVAC, electrical and plumping work has begun in the new construction, ductwork can be seen next to the elevator shaft.
  • Hallway from the new construction into the Wesley Building has been roughed in.
  • Work to prepare the removal of the stained glass window from the Sanctuary and to relocate the rear upper wall of the new construction is complete. The new location has been framed and can be seen on the upper rear wall.

-submitted by Ted Luszey

Holiday Stroll

On Saturday, November 25th, we will once again be a host site for Nashua's Holiday Stroll. There will be a dance recital held at 5:45 followed by musical performances at 7:10 and 8:35pm. Our choir will not be performing this year. Downstairs in the vestry there will be a joint fundraiser by our own Downtown Crossing along with the non-profit "Chefs of NH" group. The Gate City Immigrant Initiative will also be passing out free food and providing a welcome for immigrants during this same time frame. We are still in need of volunteers to help. If you could give an hour or two, that would be great. Please speak to Jerry Harrow or Pastor Rich in order to sign up to volunteer. Thanks in advance for all your support.

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Monday, November 6, 2017

11/06/2017 Mainstreeter Online

 November 6, 2017
Words from the Pastor
(Taken from "For All Seasons")

O God,
like a cloud of witnesses,
saints of every shape and hue
have warmed us
with your grace and all it means.

We can call many of them by name.
Miriam dances by,
spreading the joy of small victories;
Isaiah inspires our hope
for a new and different future;
Jeremiah revives our soul
by writing on our hearts once more;
Ruth and Naomi show us how to dig deeper
in our commitments to love;
Paul gently whispers again,
"We walk by faith and not by sight;"
there is Luther standing firm;
John Wesley warming our hearts;
Bonhoeffer reminding us of
the cost of discipleship.

They never leave us
and by your grace, O God,
you give us eyes of faith to see others
in that great cloud of witnesses.

There are some alive and among us, even now,
weaving themselves in and out of our lives
when grace needs replenishing
and love is the only way it can come.
Some of them even call us by name,
and whether deserved or not,
enable us to feel
that these bones can live again.
In the name of all the saints, Amen.

Between Sunday, October 29th and yesterday, we celebrated the lives of reformers and saints alike. This prayer notes some of the many who lived their lives in such a way that they changed the course of history, not just of the church, but of the world. We are grateful for those saints who have gone before us who have dedicated their lives to the creation of a "new and different world." For some it cost them their lives. For all it meant challenging the powers that be and facing threats and danger from within and without. Let us pray that God will raise up other reformers from among God's saints who will do for the world today what these beloved saints and reformers have done in the past.

                                                                             In Celebration of all God's Saints,

                                                                             Pastor Rich

Announcements  from Sunday, November 5
Calendar  for the Week of November 5

Next Sunday: 11/12
The Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost
Choir Anthem
Scripture: Joshua 24:1-3a; 14-25; Matthew 25:14-30
Theme: Membership in the Covenant Community


MSUMC Volunteers Honored by our Nashua Soup Kitchen Partner

Volunteers from the Main Street UMC were honored this past Saturday evening at the 17th Annual Dinner Auction Fundraiser for the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter. Pastor Rich, Phyllis Appler, Paul Curtis, and Mary Marchese were in attendance to receive the cutting board plaque engraved with a tribute to all volunteers from Main Street, who have been assisting since May at the food pantry located at 2 Quincy Street. Our opening a Sunday food pantry there on the third Sunday of the month was also commended.
The gala event at the Crown Plaza in Nashua had several auctions—a live auction that included two Boston Red Sox tickets, a six-day African safari, and tickets to the "Survivor" finale at Studio City, CA; two silent auctions offering everything from a wine basket to a fat tire mountain bike; and lively raffles and auction games with spontaneous contributions from the audience.
All in all it was a successful evening because of the money raised, and more importantly, for the recognition and support for an institution, of which we are a part, that does so much for the community.
-submitted by Mary Marchese

Granite State Organizing Project Annual Meeting 

The annual meeting of GSOP will take place on Sunday, November 12th from 2:00-4:30pm at the Unitarian-Universalist Church located on Lowell Street here in Nashua. This meeting provides a time for the members of GSOP (of which we are) to "reflect and evaluate, a time to plan, and a time to celebrate our many victories." All are welcome to attend.  Please see the poster on the bulletin board in the vestry for more details.

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