March 26, 2018
Words from the Pastor
"Thus we have the twofold theme that leads to Palm Sunday. Genuine discipleship, following Jesus, means following him to Jerusalem, the place of (1) confrontation with the domination system and (2) death and resurrection. These are the two themes of the week that follows, Holy Week. Indeed, these are the two themes of Lent and of the Christian life."
Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan, page 30 of "The Last Week"
Today, Palm Sunday, marks the beginning of that roller coaster of a week known as holy week. The excitement and hopefulness of this day will gradually give way as we enter with Jesus into the humiliation and shame of his arrest, trial, and death on a cross. Yet, we know that death does not have the final word but that through death comes new life and new hope for a better day. May this week prove to be for each of you, a week in which you stand in opposition to the evil powers of this world while experiencing death and ultimately the new life of Easter. I wish you a "roller coaster" week of emotions that will bring you to a new place--one of joy, peace, and hope.
HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE
8:15AM COMMUNION SERVICE
10:30AM TRADITIONAL WORSHIP
5:00PM PALM SUNDAY TAIZE SERVICE
7:00PM SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION AND TENEBRAE HERE. A CHOIR CONSISTING OF MEMBERS FROM BOTH THE ARLINGTON STREET AND MAIN STREET UMC'S WILL SING.
NOON ECUMENICAL WORSHIP SERVICE AT THE CHURCH OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD ON MAIN STREET
8:30AM TRADITIONAL SERVICE WITH HOLY COMMUNION AND CHOIR
10:03AM TRADITIONAL SERVICE WITH HOLY COMMUNION AND CHOIR
4/1 Easter Sunday
Scripture: Mark 16:1-8
Theme: The Joke's on Whom? The juxtaposition of Easter Sunday and April Fool's Day is such that one cannot help but think of the Easter as God's joke, but on whom does this joke fall? Think about it!
Calendar for the Week of March 25
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.
Bills Never Stop Coming. . .
Bills keep coming in be it home or the church. At home, I generally know what to expect in the way of income and expenses. At church income is unpredictable and there are more surprises with bills. Despite your wonderful financial support, during the winter months, we need even more income because of higher heat and electric bills, snow plowing and other expenses. Because of these higher expenses, we have delayed paying some bills including some of our church conference apportionments and bills due for services received (furnace repairs, snowplowing) and supplies purchased (trash bags, paper towels, floor wax, curriculum, bulletins, offering envelopes). Payroll, our largest single item is my highest payment priority. Utility bills have to be paid on time or the utilities will be cut off. Other priorities include copier contract, phones, and parsonage mortgage.
Next month, our books will be audited and that will be an expense of about $1100. We owe a $1400 balance on our snow plowing contract. We will be purchasing chemicals for the furnace (about $500).
How can you help? If you can donate to the general fund, please do so (your Easter offering goes to the general fund). If you are behind on your pledge, catch up if you can. Pray for us, help us to keep expenses down, use Amazon Smile, use the TD Bank Affinity Program, eat at the ham and bean suppers, donate to change for church.
Thank you to all who are current on your pledge, to those of you who donate on tithe Sunday and at other times. The General Fund is the fund that pays the bills and which we ask you to support.
-submitted by Phyllis Bowden
A Conversation with Mary
My name is Craig Coulombe, a regular at Café Agape, and I had the pleasure of reading Mary Marchese's book, What Really Happened to Steve Nathan. It was a good read and very well put together. Concisely written with interesting characters, setting, and facts. It deals with the Vietnam War, coffee, food, socio-economic issues, and political implications of the era, among other things.
Craig: What would you say the inspiration was for the topic of your book?
Mary: The topic is completely fictional and the main characters are not based on anybody I know. I'm not sure what triggered the idea, but one day I started wondering what would happen if two half-siblings with the same father, who was a Vietnam War vet, met by chance in Vietnam. It was important that one of them be half Vietnamese. Having grown up in Vietnam and been very aware of the problems that Amerasian children faced after the war, I became intrigued with the idea. One of my goals in life is to try to help people be more accepting of others who are different from them. So I decided to base a book on this scenario, which would require a great deal of uncomfortable acceptance by both siblings after the initial jolt of realizing that they were family.
Craig: You obviously put a lot of thought into the plot. How long did it take to conceive of the idea?
Mary: After the initial idea, which actually started with two half-sisters, I toyed with it for about a month, changed it to a brother and sister and then began writing. The characters practically wrote their own stories and sometimes I had no idea what they were going to do next. From start to finish, it took about a year.
Craig: There are two passages at the start of the book, one is obviously a quote from your book. The other is anonymous. Did you come up with it also?
Mary: Yes. I looked up life quotes on several sites on the Internet and couldn't find exactly what I wanted to say, so I wrote one myself. It's not perfect or profound, but it more accurately portrays the message I'd like people to take away from the book.
Craig: The orchestra pieces you referenced--Smetana's Moldau and Dvorak's 6th Symphony--are the main character's favorite. Do they happen to be yours as well?
Mary: I picked those pieces because the French horn, which the main character plays, is featured in them. I know nothing about playing the French horn, but I had recently been to a concert where those musical pieces were performed, and I liked them very much.
-submitted by Craig Coulombe
Note from Mary: I debated about putting this in the Mainstreeter Online because it might be misconstrued as self-promoting my book. But if you could have seen the small square of scrap paper on which Craig wrote his questions, and the painstaking way he edited them with cross-outs so he would get the wording just right, you would understand how important it was for him to be featured.