Sunday, April 15, 2018

April 16, 2018 Mainstreeter Online

 

April 16, 2018

Words from the Pastor

Welcome to the second week of the Great Fifty Days of Easter. Easter is not a one day event but a season that in many ways defines who we are as followers of the Risen Christ. The following prayer for Easter and the month of April speaks to us of this season of new beginnings and new life.

God of openness and new life,
in this Easter season,
remove me from the tombs
of doubt and despair,
turn me from dead ends and shattered dreams,
and lead me to new hope and
a bright tomorrow.
Walk with me down unchartered
roads and ordinary paths,
always leading me to a deeper trust
and more faithful service.
I open my heart to your Easter joy. Amen.

Taken from Openings: A Daybook of Saints, Sages, Psalms and Prayer Practices by Rev. Larry J. Peacock.

Worship Ahead

4/22 The Fourth Sunday of Easter

Confirmation Sunday
Scripture: First John 3:11
-18; John 10:10-18|
Theme: Love Defined and Modeled. Both the Gospel and first epistle attributed to the apostle John (although likely written by a later disciple) speak of Jesus as the "good shepherd" who lays down his life for his sheep. God's love is reflected in Jesus' self
-sacrifice and we are encouraged to love one another in much the same way.

Announcements

Calendar for the Week of April 15

Use of Connector and Elevator Pushed Back One Week

Due to some unexpected delays (mostly attributed to the weather) we are now expecting the connector and elevator to be available for its first use on Sunday, April 29th. We hope that you will be with us for the inauguration of this new era in the history of the Main Street UMC!

Memorial Service for Roger Hall

The memorial service for Roger Hall who died back in January is scheduled to be held of Saturday, April 21st at 11:00am in our sanctuary with a reception to follow in the vestry. All are invited to attend this celebration of Roger's life. Pastor Rich will be leading the service with musical contributions from the choir, Sharon Rose, and others.

TED Talks This Week

This week on Tuesday at 10:30am we will watch two TED Talks—one serious and the other humorous. The serious one is about the injustice of the bail system. Bail creates a two tier system of justice—one for those who can afford to pay it and the other for those who can't. Robin Steinberg, the CEO of The Bail Project talks about her role as a public defender who has vowed to fight for her clients' rights, dignity, and humanity in a system that seemed intent on crushing them. The Bail Fund advances bail to people who can't pay it so they can get back to their families and their communities.

The humorous TED Talk is about improv. Charlie Todd causes bizarre, hilarious, and unexpected public scenes: Seventy synchronized dancers in storefront windows, "ghostbusters" running through the New York Public Library, and the annual no-pants subway ride. His group, Improv Everywhere, uses these scenes to bring people together.

You won't want to miss these! Everyone is welcome, and we now offer childcare.

 

A Conversation with Paul

One recent Friday, Paul, a Café Agape regular who had been absent for two months, told me he had been to Florida visiting his mother and sister. We joked about his timing--leaving Florida to return to Nashua in the grip of Nor'easter blizzards.

We continued to talk mainly about Paul's life and he said, "I wouldn't wish what I've gone through on my worst enemy." He went on to explain that when he was quite young, his brother died, his parents divorced, and he was without much parental guidance. As a result, he committed some crimes and became a convicted felon. That was twenty years ago.

For most of those twenty years, he has been unable to keep a job because as soon as the employer did a background check, his felony would come up and he would be fired. So now he doesn't even try to find work.

"If I could go back and do it over again, I wouldn't make the same mistakes. I was young and stupid. And now I'm screwed."

Paul added that in God's eye we are all equal. "God has forgiven me, but society never forgives."

In high school Paul had some teachers whom he still remembers. "Mr. Schott, the math teacher was the only one who didn't put me in detention." His French teacher worked with him and told him he was special. He has never forgotten their kindness.

If he could get a job, Paul said he likes doing outdoor things like construction, roofing, landscaping, and keeping a vegetable garden. He's also good at electronics and fixing things like TVs and stereos. When I suggested he open a fix-it shop, he said that getting a loan to open a business requires a background check. And he can't even get a driver's license.

As a result, Paul has become bitter about society.

It seems that there is no solution to this vicious cycle of unforgiving justice. Paul suggested that there be a council of homeless people who make their needs known so laws can change and all society can benefit.

-submitted by Mary Marchese

 

Nashua Park Cleanup
Saturday, April 21, 10:00am-2:00pm

Represent your Church.
Join in before and/or after Roger Hall's Memorial Service and remember to wear your Heart of Nashua T
-Shirt.
See Jerry Harrow for more info.