Words from the Pastor
El Credo del Inmigrante/The Immigrant Creed
- by Jose Luis Casal, General Missioner, Tres Rios Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church USA
"I believe in Almighty God, who guided the people in exile and in exodus, the God of Joseph in Egypt and Daniel in Babylon, the god of foreigners and immigrants.
I believe in Jesus Christ, a displaced Galilean, who was born away from his people and his home, who fled his country with his parents when his life was in danger, and returning to his own country suffered the oppression of the tyrant Pontius Pilate, the servant of a foreign power, who then was persecuted, beaten, and finally tortured, accused and condemned to death unjustly.
But on the third day, this scorned Jesus rose from the dead, not as a foreigner but to offer us citizenship in heaven.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the eternal immigrant from God's kingdom among us, who speaks all languages, lives in all countries, and reunites all races.
I believe that the church is the secure home for the foreigner and for all believers who constitute it, who speak the same language and have the same purpose.
I believe that the Communion of the Saints begins when we accept the diversity of the saints.
I believe in the forgiveness, which makes us all equal, and in the reconciliation, which identifies us more than does race, language or nationality.
I believe that in the Resurrection God will unite us as one people in which all are distinct and all are alike at the same time.
Beyond this world, I believe in Life Eternal in which no one will be an immigrant but all will be citizens of God's kingdom, which will never end. Amen."
In recent weeks we have heard much about the place of immigrants in our nation--DACA, the decision to send back to El Salvador 200,000 refugees who have called the United States home since the year 2001, changes in immigration policy that would allow for more immigrants who are like us than has been true in the past, and of course, the alleged statements of President Trump regarding the nation of Haiti and the continent of Africa. What are we to make of this in the light of our faith? The "Immigrant Creed" reminds us that our faith is grounded in a theology in which immigrant issues and concerns are central. I invite you to say this creed to yourself each day during this uncertain time for so many immigrants who would like to call our country home, if only we would let them. If our primary allegiance is to the God who left home to come to this world in order to show us a better way, what does that mean for us as we grapple with these issues that involve so many human lives who, like us, are God's beloved children? May our faith guide us as we seek to find a way forward that is compassionate and just.
Worship Ahead in January
1/28 The fourth Sunday after the Epiphany
Scripture: Jonah 3:1-5, 10; Mark 1:14-20
Theme: Called to Do Big Things
Sometimes we are called to do things that seem beyond either our physical, spiritual, or moral capacities. We are not alone as the prophet Jonah could attest. How do we respond to God in these instances?Announcements Calendar for the Week of January 21
Staff Transition to Begin February 1st
After serving as our organist for nearly ten years, John Pagett will begin transitioning to retirement. The Staff Parish Relations Committee is pleased to announce that Emily Adams, who has been playing piano at the 8:15am worship service and serving as our primary substitute organist for the last couple of years, will transition into the position of our permanent organist effective July 1st. Starting February 1st, John and Emily will play alternate Sundays, with John playing the first and third Sundays, and Emily playing the second, fourth, and fifth Sundays when applicable.
John Pagett began serving as our organist nearly ten years ago, after retiring as the Director of Music Ministry at the First Church, Congregational here in Nashua, and we are grateful for his years of service to the Main Street UMC.
Emily has both bachelor and master's degrees from the Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. She has served as an organist at a United Methodist Church in New Jersey and, for the last couple of years, at the Nashua Church of Christ, Scientist. We look forward to enjoying her musical talents at Main Street for many years to come. Here is what Emily would like us to know about herself.
When I moved to Nashua two years ago, I had every intention of going "church shopping"—spending a Sunday at each local church and then figuring out where I best fit. It seems that God had other plans for me, however, since my very first Sunday was spent at Main Street United Methodist Church, and my search stopped there. The joy, love, and genuine passion for Jesus Christ immediately captured my attention, and after that first service I knew I had found my new church home.
I have also felt the call to minister as a church musician for over a decade, and began my first organist position at a United Methodist church in Allentown, NJ in 2010, shortly after finishing a Master's degree in music from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. More recently, I have been serving as the organist at the Nashua Christian Science church as well as providing music for the 8:15 service as MSUMC.
In addition to my work as an organist, I also work as a ballet accompanist at the Boston Ballet School and a voice teacher at the Nashua Community School. When I'm not making music, I enjoy cooking and sewing and knitting my own clothes. I am thrilled to begin this new journey with you all as a worship leader at the 10:30 service.
"Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation."
Please extend your words of gratitude to John and welcome to Emily during this time of transition.
Food Pantry: The first Sunday Food Pantry of the new year for Main St. at the Nashua Soup Kitchen was held January 21. We will be serving again on February 18. Remember to sign up to help. We will train!! There are jobs for computer people, jobs for lifters, jobs for those helping to distribute food to boxes or from the meat or dairy coolers, and jobs for those who want to stand by the desserts, hand out numbers, collect carts, or smash cardboard!! And remember to let those who use the Nashua Soup Kitchen know that we are there from 2 to 4 on the third Sunday of each month. Canned tuna, chicken, and beans are almost completely missing from Soup Kitchen shelves at this time.
Kits heads up: We will be filling health kits for UMCOR this year. So if you see sales on hand towels, washcloths, combs, metal nail files or clippers, soap, toothbrushes, band aids on sale, start picking them up. http://www.umcor.org/UMCOR/Relief-Supplies/Relief-Supply-Kits/hygiene will give you the exact list.
Souper Bowl: Grab that cotton ball—Souper Bowl of Caring is coming up on February 4. Be prepared to contribute to the soup pots that will be circulated by our youth, (and probably banged).
-submitted by Phyllis Appler
Invitation to Helen Louderback's 70th Birthday Celebration
On Sunday, January 28th, you are invited to join us in celebrating Helen Louderback's 70th birthday both in worship and afterwards in a special reception in the vestry. There will be an "act of thanksgiving" during the worship service in which you are invited to make a contribution in Helen's honor, which will be presented to the church. The reception will feature Filipino food prepared by Celebration Catering. If you plan to attend please let Helen know no later than Sunday, January 21st by calling her at 603-554-1141 or via e-mail atHelen.M.Louderback@faa.gov
Your presence would make this day a special one for Helen.
Leaders of the Church
It is time to submit your annual report for 2017 to the church office. You may email them as attachments (.doc) firstname.lastname@example.org or place it in the church office mailbox near the coatroom. In cases where leaders are new to their positions the predecessor should assist with the report. I will collect them and create the 2017 Annual Report Booklet.
Thank you, Pam
2018 Offering Envelopes Available
The following people have 2018 offering envelopes available for pickup in the church office Sunday mornings and normal office hours during the week:
Questions may be addressed to Bill Francis,BillFrancis50@gmail.com