Sunday, March 18, 2018

March 19 Mainstreeter Online


March 19, 2018

Words from the Pastor

"The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also.

Whoever serves me, the Father will honor." John 12:23-26


      If there is one theme that is found in most world religions it is the theme of death and new life. In other words, apart from death there can be no new life. Jesus expresses this belief when he reflects on his own impending death with these words, "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain, but if it dies, it bears much fruit." Jesus understood that out of his own unjust and cruel death new life would spring.  This is not to say that Jesus' death was in any way necessary. I do not believe that it was in any way required by God for the salvation of humanity. That said, out of Jesus' death sprang new life for Jesus' followers and in many ways, for all of humanity.

      This past week thousands of students from all over the United States participated in an act of remembrance and protest in order to bring attention to the need for change that would, hopefully, result in the safety of students in the future. Out of the senseless and violent death of seventeen individuals in Parkland, Florida there is hope of new life for our nation's schools. These students deserve our applause for refusing to back down from anyone who is more fearful for their own rights than they may be for the safekeeping of our children.

      As Jesus goes on to note, "Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life." We too are called to act in ways that, although they may not be in our own self-interest, nonetheless insure that life is extended to all. What selfless acts is God calling us to make in order to extend the gift of life to our neighbors?  What do we need to die to in order that we too might bear much fruit for the kingdom of God? Are we ready to follow Jesus through death to new life?

Worship Ahead

3/18   Palm Sunday

Scripture: Psalm 118:1, 2, 19-29; Mark 11:1-11

Theme: Choosing the Way of Humility and Peace: When Jesus chose to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey surrounded by peasants he did so in contrast to the arrival of Pilate riding on a stallion and surrounded by Roman soldiers. Jesus' way was not to be construed as a way of violence and intimidation, but as a way of humility and peace. There is more than one way to rule a kingdom and Jesus modeled a better way.



Calendar  for the Week of March 18


Taize Worship Service Planned for Palm Sunday

      A Lenten Taizé Worship experience will be offered on Sunday, March 25th at 5:00pm. Taizé worship is modeled on that experienced at the Taizé Ecumenical Community in France. We will sing some of the music of Taizé and there will be opportunities for quiet reflection as well.  The service will be held in the chapel on the first floor. All are welcome!

Maundy Thursday/Tenebrae Service Planned

      You are invited to join us for worship on Thursday, March 29th at 7:00pm in our sanctuary for a service of Holy Communion and Tenebrae. We will be joined by our sisters and brothers from the Arlington Street United Methodist Church. The United Methodist Book of Worship describes the service of Tenebrae in this way. A Service of Tenebrae, or "Darkness," is based on a twelfth–century late night/early morning service and is an extended meditation on the passion of Christ. The service includes the alternating of readings of the passion of Christ taken from the gospels with the extinguishing of candles until even the Christ candle is removed briefly. This is a very meaningful and powerful way to remember the death of Christ in preparation for the celebration of Easter joy.

Ecumenical Good Friday Service

      The annual Ecumenical Good Friday Service will take place at noon on March 30th at the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church here on Main Street. The service will begin at noon and last for about one hour. Rev. Andy Armstrong, pastor of the First Church, United Church of Christ will be the preacher and Pastor Rich will participate in the service along with other area clergy.


Welcome to the Finance Column

        Last month I wrote about setting aside some funding to help grow the church even in these very tight budget-conscious times. I would like to describe two of these items. One is a capital investment, and the other is a continuing expense.

      The first item is approving a special nursery toilet as part of our HON funded construction project. This is basically a one-time investment that upgrades our nursery to a more recent code. It allows toddlers to do their necessary matters without splitting our adult supervision. It gives the toddler privacy and provides appropriately proportioned fixtures. A young family "church shopping" and visiting us on a Sunday morning would peruse our facilities and check that off their list.

    I give such construction changes very serious consideration before voting. In the end we need your full support for such growth items (about $6000 for the nursery toilet change, which could increase our long term debt.

The second item is in discussion with Mike Brown, Chair of SPRC. He requested extended nursery hours for Rachel. I approve this item, remembering in my reading of church finance books (there are quite a few!) that recommended having nursery care during all church events. A young parent wanting to participate in our events, committees, or outreach would require such care. In an almost chicken-and-egg situation, I expect many events with empty nursery care until our growth takes hold.

      These items only enable growth, they do not guarantee growth. Professor Noriaki Kano would describe these as "must have" items. That if we have them, customers remain neutral. However, if we don't have them, "customers" (in our case young families) would be very dissatisfied and turn away. As a church we need to think very hard about our worship, missions, programs, and hospitality to provide those other attractive qualities for young families. With our complete package, they will continue to choose our church instead of another church or any number of alternative weekend activities.

      If we are serious about attracting young families (let's have a show of hands on this one) then we need to make these investments. It's a finance committee call to help shepherd these items and use stewardship moments to get overall support from you, our congregation.

      As always, I am open to your questions, comments, and prayers.

Thank you.

Joe Dechene

Vacation Bible School Update

      Come experience the ride of a lifetime with God at Rolling River Rampage Vacation Bible School here at Main Street UMC. This white water rafting adventure includes exciting music, amazing science, creative crafts, fun recreation and memorable Bible stories that will help children know that God is always with them as they ride the rapids of life.

Monday August 6 through August 10 2018

9:00 Am till 12:00 PM

Main Street UMC, 154 Main Street Nashua, NH

      Watch your Mainstreeter blasts and Sunday announcements for more details and get ready for the ride of a lifetime!

MSUMC Android App Launches!

      There's an app for that! There has long been lots of Main Street UMC on-line resources including the weekly announcements, order of worship, church calendar, and electronic giving options. Now there is an easy way to have all of them literally in the palm of your hand via the Main Street United Methodist Church Android app. The free app is now available on Google Play store. Search the play store, or go to

      For the Mainstreeter, the direct link to the Google Play Store page is

Some Reminders

Health/Hygiene Kits are available in the vestry after church with instructions and a gallon bag. If you cannot shop, you can donate the value of the kit, $12, and we will shop for you. We have Sunday School classes who would be happy to assemble the kits!

      Heifer animals are available in the vestry as well. Purchase your gift in honor, in memory, or in celebration of someone and hang a representative of that animal or well or tree or seeds on our Easter Tree of Life.

      Easter flowers can be ordered on forms inserted in your bulletins or available from Pam in the church office.


Sunday, March 11, 2018

March 12 Mainstreeter Online


March 12, 2018

Words from the Pastor

"He drew a circle that shut me out--

Heretic, a rebel, a thing to flout.

But Love and I had the wit to win:

We drew a circle that took him in!"

From the Poem, Outwitted, by Edwin Markham


These words were shared by the preacher at my ordination service many years ago and have stuck with me ever since. Sometimes our tendency as human beings is to create small, comfortable circles where only those who are like us are included. But LOVE can never be limited to a select few. Indeed, as our gospel reading for the fourth Sunday in Lent reminds us "God so loved the world"- indeed God's circle is as large as a circle can be. Interestingly, those who tend to claim John 3:16 as their favorite verse in the bible often tend to understand God's love in very exclusive terms. God loves Christians but not people of other faiths. God loves Christians like me, but not those whose beliefs and practices may be different than mine. This verse cannot be clearer though--God loves the whole of God's creation, the world and all that is in it--the natural world, the animal world, human beings of all kinds.

How large is your circle? Does it include only people who are like you? Is it limited to those whose religious and political beliefs mirror your own? Is there room in your circle for people who make you uncomfortable perhaps people who even want to exclude you from their circle? We are called to be a people of ever-widening circles whose love for God and our neighbor requires that we enlarge our circles in ways that are more inclusive than exclusive. In doing so, we bear witness to the God who loved the world in Jesus Christ and offers to everyone eternal life.

Worship Ahead in March

3/18 The Fifth Sunday in Lent

Scripture: Jeremiah 31:31-34; John 12:20-33

Theme: Choosing the Way of New Life:  The prophet Jeremiah speaks of a new covenant in which the law is written on the heart rather than on stones. Jesus speaks of new life growing out of the "death" of a seed planted in the earth. New life is waiting to break forth, not only as we welcome spring, but also as we complete our Lenten journey.


Calendar  for the Week of March 11

Easter Plant Order Form

The Main Street United Methodist Church is offering white lilies and tulip plants for the Easter Services. Perhaps you would like to provide a plant in honor of someone or in memory of a loved one. Please fill out the form below and enclose a check, payable to the Main Street United Methodist Church. Lilies are $13.00  and Tulips are $10.00 per plant. Place the order form and money in the offering plate or mail to the Church office. You may also call in your order to Terri at (603)-891-2526

Plants will be available at both the 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services. Each plant will have a label with your name on it.

The deadline for ordering is March 25th.

Thank you and enjoy the Easter Celebration ~ Worship Committee.


Telephone Number: __________________

Number of White Lilies: @$13.00_________

Number of Tulips: @$10.00___________

Total Enclosed: $__________________

In Memory of: ________________________________________________________________

In Honor of:  _________________________________________________________________

_____ Leave for a shut-in

Shop Amazon Smile and Donate to MSUMC

      Starting March 12 and continuing until the end of the month, Amazon Smile will triple donations to charities. That means if you sign up and make a purchase during this time period, 1.5% of the cost of your first eligible purchase will go to a charity.

      Main Street United Methodist Church is listed as one of the charities and so far, has received $97.95 from Amazon Smile.


To sign up for Amazon Smile:

1.   Go to

2.   It will guide you to select a charity. If you want to donate to MSUMC, type in Nashua United Methodist Church and follow the directions.





Sunday, March 4, 2018

March 5 Mainstreeter Online


March 5, 2018

Words from the Pastor

"Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact,

will do greater works than these, because I am going to the father."

John 14:12


Next Sunday we will observe "UMCOR" Sunday, what used to be called "One Great Hour of Sharing". Our special offering on this occasion will support the work of the United Methodist Committee on Relief which is the relief arm of the United Methodist Church. Together with thousands of other United Methodist Churches across the country we will raise the funds that will, together with our General Church Mission Shares, provide the overhead for this important program. What this means is that whenever there is a natural disaster, refugee crisis, or any number of other tragedies, we as United Methodists are able to respond immediately. We are on the spot sometimes within hours.  Likewise, when you give to a particular crisis you can give with the assurance that what you give will go entirely to that cause. Quite an assurance don't you think!

I have always been a strong supporter of this offering (although, truth be told, I prefer the old name). If there is only one special offering that you choose to give to during the course of the year I would encourage you to make this the one. Your dollars will do a lot of good.  When my donation is added to that of others in the congregation and these in turn are added to others in our denomination, then we can do far more than any one of us could ever hope to do alone. This, at least in part, is what Jesus meant when he said that those who believe in him will do greater things than he himself had done.

I invite you then to come prepared to participate wholeheartedly in the UMCOR Sunday special offering knowing that whatever you give will be multiplied many times over and will have the opportunity to bring healing and hope to those who are in dire need. Imagine yourself in their shoes and give thanks for the generosity of United Methodists across the country and for the work of the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Thanks be to God!

Worship Ahead in March

3/11 The Fourth Sunday in Lent

Daylight Saving Time Begins (Spring ahead!)

UMCOR Sunday/Title Sunday

Scripture: Numbers 21:4-9; John 3:14-21

Theme: Choosing the Way of Eternal Life:  Most often when we think about eternal life our focus is on what is going to happen to us after we die. Is this what Jesus meant by this term though or is there more to it? We will explore these questions and more next Sunday in worship.



Calendar  for the Week of March 4

Building Update

Sunday, February 25, 2018 we resumed Sunday Worship services in the Sanctuary after the sprinkler system was installed, painted and cleaned. And how wonderful it looked!

So just where are we with the building project? Well, the elevator will be adjusted, the finished millwork and sprinkler work in the Wesley Building and the elevator pit will be completed over the next couple of weeks. From the middle of the month to the end of the month the remaining items like light fixtures, network wiring, touch up painting, installation of door lock sets, Sanctuary A/C ductwork and sound system will be completed. While all this is going on, landscaping is underway. In the rear of the building the ramp will be installed as well as loam will be put down. In the front of the building final landscaping is taking place.

We did run into one significant issue. When the old walkway was removed the front stairs began collapsing. As it turned out, there is no solid material or foundation under these stairs. So, if you walk by the front you'll see these stairs have been removed and a solid foundation is being created to insure these stairs and the foundation under the front doors is solid. This work is estimated to impact our opening of the new entrance by two to three weeks. If nothing else pops up, we are expecting to open the connector by week three of April.

-submitted by Ted Luszey

So What Do We Do at the Nashua Soup Kitchen?

Volunteering at the Nashua Soup Kitchen takes stamina, resolve, and a sense of humor. But the seven regular blue-aproned Methodists have all that--and more.

Compared to the relative calm of our food pantry when we ran it in the vestry at MSUMC, volunteering at the Nashua Soup Kitchen can feel like a three-ring circus. As many as 150 clients pass through each weekday between 11:00am and 2:45pm.

Around 9:00am, before the pantry opens, volunteers sort food that came in earlier on the refrigerated truck that made its rounds to Walmart, Costco, Wholefoods, and Trader Joe's. There are banana boxes full of mixed produce—oranges, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, pears, etc. These need to be sorted with rotten stuff removed for the pig farmer, and the rest separated into its own banana box. Other incoming boxes contain premade salads, cheeses, yogurt, desserts, hummus, sandwiches—whatever is near the expiration date and has to be moved out of the grocery store. All this is in addition to boxes of meat, bread, muffins, desserts, and even large frozen bags we call UFOs (unidentified frozen objects) from Olive Garden.

Usually there is someone in the "diaper room" making bags of toiletries that contain toilet paper, shampoo, a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, and sometimes razors. And as the room's name implies, there are shelves and shelves of diapers organized into six-packs of all sizes. Clients are allowed to pick up diapers every other day.

By 10:30 most of the food has been sorted and placed on racks or in refrigerated units, and the rest stored in the walk-in freezer and refrigerator. Other volunteers and people doing community service show up and are assigned a station. Meanwhile clients who have signed up for a shower or to use the laundry room are escorted to the appropriate room. Others come through looking for help finding a job or asking to sign up for a birthday party for their child.

At 10:50, a volunteer goes to the dining room where the clients wait for a number that determines the order in which they come through the food pantry. Numbers on small squares of laminated plastic are given out.

It's 11:00 and the person at the computer takes the first client who gives a registration number, previously assigned and stored in the computer. If the person has not received a box for the month, he/she can get a color-coded card that indicates the size of the family—1-4 or 5 and more. Larger families get more items. The monthly box allows a person to take more than the fresh produce, one meat, and miscellaneous refrigerated items allowed twice a week. A box includes non-perishable items, such as rice, cereal, pasta, tuna, peanut butter, canned vegetables, fruit, and soup, plus more meat.

After a couple hours of checking in clients and having them pass by the stations in an orderly fashion filling up boxes and bags with food, someone will shout "Truck's here!" The second truck of the day has arrived and about half the volunteers exit to unload and begin the process of food sorting and distribution all over again to refill shelves that often are nearly empty.

Volunteering at the Nashua Soup Kitchen is very different and on a larger scale than volunteering for the food pantry we ran. But we serve the same clients and many others, and the scope is broader and more far-reaching. The best part is that we still receive smiles of recognition from our former clients, the ones we came to know when they visited us in the vestry.

-submitted by Mary Marchese

Some Reminders

Health/Hygiene Kits are available in the vestry after church with instructions and a gallon bag. If you cannot shop, you can donate the value of the kit, $12, and we will shop for you. We have Sunday School classes who would be happy to assemble the kits!

Heifer animals are available in the vestry as well. Purchase your gift in honor, in memory, or in celebration of someone and hang a representative of that animal or well or tree or seeds on our Easter Tree of Life.

UMCOR Sunday is next Sunday, March 11.

March Mainstreeter Available

Don't forget to pick up your printed version of the Mainstreeter at either entrance to the church!




Sunday, February 25, 2018

Feb. 26 Mainstreeter Online


February 26, 2018

Words from the Pastor

When you are through changing, you are through. ~Bruce Barton

I am not sure who Bruce Barton is but I can say that I agree fully with this quote from him.  Both as human beings and as the institution of the church, when we are through changing, we are through! Needless to say, change is something that we are experiencing a lot of these days here at 154 Main Street. For the last seven weeks we have been worshiping in the vestry rather than in the sanctuary since the sanctuary was off limits while the fire suppression system was installed and the sanctuary was restored and painted (no more cracks and no more stains).  During this time we experienced worship using powerpoint slides rather than hymnals, had an opportunity to experience a greater sense of community, and were able to welcome many of our neighbors who came in for a cup of coffee and stayed to worship God.

By the time you read this we will be back in the sanctuary although not everything that is going to happen in the sanctuary space will be completed as yet. Still to come is a new sound system; a video projection system; and of course, air conditioning! The work for each of these things has already started but won't be completed until late in March.


If you happen to drive by the church, you will note that the landscaping out front has begun with the removal of all the shrubbery (including the cross). The two stained glass windows on the first floor in the front are now exposed for the first time in many, many years and they look wonderful. There is much more to come and, when all is said and done, the front of the church is going to be stunning.


Our hope is still to receive our "occupancy" permit by Easter and although it is possible that this will be the case, as they say, "there are no guarantees". While we wait with eager expectation for the building related changes that we hope and expect will enhance our mission and ministry for years to come, there are a few things to look forward to that I hope you will get onto your calendars now.


First, on Sunday, May 20th beginning in the 10:30am worship service and continuing afterwards, we will have a dedication of our new "complex" including the sound system, video system, and the elevator, all of which are being dedicated in memory of individuals whose families have given generously to make them happen. I hope that you will be able to join us on this day of celebration and thanksgiving.


Second, given that this is our 150th anniversary year we are planning many ways to celebrate this milestone. As you will note elsewhere, our big celebration will take place on the weekend of September 29th and 30th when we will have a banquet and special worship service in which our bishop will be our guest preacher. We are expecting that most of our former pastors will be with us for this occasion along with other former staff and many former members who have moved away.


Needless to say, change is in the wind here at the Main Street United Methodist Church. That said, I think that you will like what you see, not just in the new facilities and landscaping but also in the new ways that we are able to do what we have always done and the new opportunities that are being afforded us. We may be 150 years old but we are not ready to be through!


Changing with the Times,

Pastor Rich

Worship Ahead in February

3/4   The Third Sunday in Lent

Holy Communion

Scripture: First Corinthians 1:18-25

Theme: Choosing the Way of Foolishness:  In the mind of the apostle Paul the centrality of Jesus' death on a cross will always appear to be foolishness to others who do not embrace the Christian faith.  Why is this? What does the cross mean to Christians in the 21st century? We will explore these and other paradox's of the Christian faith as we continue our journey through Lent.


Calendar  for the Week of February 25

UMM Breakfast

Calling All United Methodist Men and Brothers and Sisters in Christ

The March United Methodist Men (UMM) Meeting and Breakfast will take place on Saturday, 3 March 2018 in the vestry at 8:30am. The Program for our meeting will be conducted by the Greater Nashua Continuum of Care, an organization consisting of more than 30 community agencies who work together to solve the problem of homelessness in the Greater Nashua Area. This organization supports the planning, coordination and implementation of strategies to reduce homelessness throughout our area. The Continuum of Care is responsible for sponsoring the Homeless Connect and Employment Connect Events here in Nashua for our citizens who are looking for homes and for jobs, oversees the federal HUD grant funding for many agencies to include Harbor Homes, runs the "coordinated entry" hotline to assist the homeless and annually conducts the point-in-time homeless count. Come and learn about the cooperation Continuum of Care champions throughout our area and how they work with so many agencies to accomplish their mission of 0 homeless persons in Nashua.


Come share a great hot breakfast prepared by our UMM Chef Jerry Harrow and enjoy the fellowship UMM provides to all.


Please RSVP to to let us know you are coming so we can prepare a seat for you at the table. If you don't have a computer, please call my telephone, 603-880-6289 or Cell, 508-414-7116 to reserve your place. All brothers and sisters in Christ are welcome to attend and share our fellowship. See you all on Saturday, 3 March 2018 at 8:30am.


We will also be setting up tables for the first 2018 Ham and Bean Support after our meeting.  We appreciate any of you who can stay a few minutes after our meeting to help us setup the tables and chairs.

-submitted by Kent Swanson

March Mission News

Food Assistance Ministry:  Thank you for your help with the Third Sunday Food Pantries in January and February. January's pantry helped 54 individuals or families and we had a smaller number for the February 18 pantry. The Soup Kitchen's monthly newsletter mentioned Main Street's partnership with the Nashua Soup Kitchen, particularly the third Sunday pantry.


Thanks again!  We had 321 rolls of toilet paper and 143 cans of tuna you rolled out, and it will be greatly appreciated at the Nashua Soup Kitchen.


And again!  Youth collected $478 (quietly) banging pots for our Souper Bowl of Caring. That money will be used for food pantry purchases for food used at the Nashua Soup Kitchen, especially Food Bank purchases.


Were you thinking of "giving up something" for Lent?  Maybe we should just give!! Here are three special Lenten opportunities:


1. UMCOR Sunday:  On March 11, we will celebrate UMCOR Sunday. UMCOR is the United Methodist Committee on Relief. This is a crucial Sunday for United Methodist Churches because it is the day we come together to empower our disaster relief arm of Global Ministries, UMCOR, for an entire year. If you remember:

When hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma slammed Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and Puerto Rico in 2017—UMCOR was there.

When wildfires ravaged thousands of homes in the West and Southeast—UMCOR was there.

When refugees and migrants around the world needed help—UMCOR was there.

When a mudslide in Sierra Leone killed more than 500 people and destroyed 2,000 homes—UMCOR was there.

They were there because of UMCOR Sunday, formerly One Great Hour of Sharing. This Special Sunday covers the operating costs of UMCOR, which allows the relief agency to be where it needs to be, when it needs to be there, for as long as it needs to be there. It allows UMCOR to funnel earmarked donations directly to the designated project.

2. Heifer Project Easter Tree of Life:  Heifer International's mission is to end hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth using gifts of livestock, seeds, trees and training in sustainable agriculture community development projects to help millions of people become self-reliant. Since 1944, Heifer has helped transform the lives of more than 30 million families by giving them gifts of cows, goats and other livestock. Look for our Easter Tree of Life, and honor someone with the gift of an animal. Fill up our tree! We offer vegetarian options.


3. Health Kits for UMCOR:  Gallon Plastic Bags will be available with instructions in the vestry. We will collect the kits on Palm Sunday, March 25.

-submitted by Phyllis Appler