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,
Worship Ahead in February
3/4 The Third Sunday in Lent
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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