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.

Announcements

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 Laurie@circlesgn.org. We also encourage you to visit www.circlesusa.org and www.circlesgn.org 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

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