April 2, 2018
Words from the Pastor
But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you." Mark 16:6-7
Jesus' disciples had followed him from Galilee to Jerusalem all the while expecting that at any time he would take his rightful place as messiah and king. They were sure of it and they wanted in on the action. It was not meant to be though, as they so rudely found out when Jesus was put to death on a cross. The weight of disappointment must have been very heavy. The third day after his death some of Jesus' women followers went to the tomb desiring to do the least they could for him--anoint his body with ointment in preparation for its final burial. To their surprise Jesus' body was not there and an angelic figure declares that "he has been raised; he is not here". They are also reminded that Jesus has gone ahead of them, back to Galilee, and they are to meet him there, just as he had once told them.
Back to Galilee. Back to where it had all begun a few years before when Jesus appeared preaching the good news of the kingdom of God. They had misunderstood this gospel then thinking that Jesus would be just another ruler like Caesar or Pilate or Herod, but on their side rather than on the side of the Roman oppressors. This was not the kind of messiah that Jesus came to be though. Rather, as the events of the past week had shown, his was to be a different kind of kingdom, requiring a different kind of ruler. Rather that ruling through power, violence, and intimidation, Jesus was destined to rule through humility, peace, and justice. The disciples had a lot to learn about this Risen Christ. We still do!
As we enter the Great Fifty Days of Easter that started on Easter Sunday and will continue through Pentecost on May 20th we will have many opportunities to learn what it means to be the followers of the Risen Christ. May we be open to learning and perhaps, re-learning, what it means to be disciples in the 21st century. May we seek to be the presence of the Risen Christ, not just in the confines of our church building, but in whatever Galilee that we go back to. Remember, the Risen Christ has gone before us and is already waiting there for us to bear witness to him.
4/8 The Second Sunday of Easter
Scripture: Acts 4:32-35; John 20:19-31
Theme: The Community of the Risen Christ
Calendar for the Week of April 1
The construction project continues to progress nicely and mostly smoothly. The connector is, for all intents and purposes, completed with just a number of smaller things needing to be done. The landscaping has begun and is expected to be completed during the month of April. At this time the expectation is that we will have our occupancy permit for the weekend of April 21st and 22nd! We hope you will all come out on the 22nd to see this new space and maybe even ride the elevator!
New Members Received on Palm Sunday
It is our pleasure to welcome the following individuals as new members of the Main Street UMC. Gerry Michael comes to us on profession of faith. He is married to Shirley who became a member a few years ago. Gerry and Shirley reside here in Nashua. Bonnie Bergeron also comes to us on profession of faith. Bonnie is married to Bruno and they reside here in Nashua. Pat Kerrigan also comes to us on profession of faith. Pat is married to Pam Gordon and they reside in Merrimack. Let us extend a warm welcome to each of these individuals.
April Mission News
Heifer Project: Duck, Duck, Goose! Thank you for your gifts to Heifer Project's Easter Tree of Life. We raised about $3290 for trees, cows, sheep, fish, water pumps, geese, donkeys, goats, pigs, bees, and llamas! Each animal makes an incredible difference in the lives of the families that it reaches. These gifts are above and beyond your regular pledges and Heart of Nashua offerings, so are especially appreciated. When we know how many of each we purchased in all, we will let you know. We did purchase SIX water pumps!!! That means six villages will have fresh, clean water.
Food Pantry Needs: The Main St. UMC Food Pantry at the Nashua Soup Kitchen is currently low on the following items: Beans (canned kidney, black or baked beans, or dried beans,) fruit, and canned chicken. You can leave the donations for the Food Pantry in the blue bin. That bin is currently near the ramp into the vestry, but who knows where it will be after we open the connector! We need to have you get the word out about Main Street's Third Sunday Food Pantry at the Nashua Soup Kitchen. This month, that will be on April 15th from 2 to 4. Workers should be ready to start at about 1:30 at the Nashua Soup Kitchen.
UMCOR/One Great Hour of Sharing Offering: The overhead costs of running the United Methodist Committee on Relief come from our offerings on UMCOR/ One Great Hour of Sharing Sunday. Your gifts have totaled $1442 so far. Thank you!
Health Kits: Our special Lenten project, health kits for the United Methodist Committee on Relief, concluded on Palm Sunday with their dedication. We will take the kits to the Kit Depot at St. James UMC in Merrimack early in May. Please let Phyllis Appler know if you want to deliver them! Some people, who were unable to shop, have given money for kit materials that will allow our Sunday School students to pack kits the Sunday after Easter. If you want to help with this, or if you have kit parts to donate to the effort, please let any Missions Committee member know. We could also use some paper boxes with lids for packing and shipping kits. If you did not get the kits turned in on Palm Sunday, just make sure that they are in the office or handed to a missions work area member by the end of April. Palm Sunday did come quickly this year!
-submitted by Phyllis Appler
A Conversation with Ryan
"One of the best periods of my life was between six and eight years old when I was taking dance classes at the Concord Dance Academy," Ryan said as we sat at one of the long tables at Café Agape. At the academy he studied all kinds of dance including tap and jazz, and even took gymnastics and karate. His most memorable performance was at the Capital Center of the Arts where his class did a tap routine to the song, "Hit the Road, Jack" and he was the only guy.
Things changed at age nine when he and his mom moved to Epsom, NH. Then his mom had a brain injury and lost her job as a nurse. He moved back to Concord, was adopted by his grandmother, and his life changed even more drastically.
Ryan has undergone several operations to repair a cleft palate. Some of them were done when he was very young, but his final operation required that he be fully grown. That one involved breaking his jaw and implanting titanium in his cheeks and chin.
In spite of it all, he completed high school.
Besides experiencing medical trauma, Ryan is a domestic abuse survivor. He said, "I've slept under bridges, in parking garages, cars, tents, and McDonalds' bathrooms," but recently through Harbor Homes, he acquired an apartment.
Ryan said that his successes are less a result of his self-perseverance and more due to the compassionate people that he has come to see as family.
Some days he feels optimistic and other days he feels that the system is against poor people. He would like to give back, however, and possibly volunteer at Boston Children's Hospital where he had his surgeries. He'd like to speak to children with cleft palates and tell them, "Don't worry about what people think. You are brave!"
Judy Sullivan, Ryan's mom, passed away almost a year and a half ago, two weeks before Christmas, when Ryan was 27 years old. He said his goal is to be the man that his mother raised—a man who respects the elderly and people with disabilities.
When I asked what other goals he had, he said he'd like to go to marine mechanic school to learn how to work on boats. There's a school in Laconia, NH and he thinks he could get a grant, but would need money for a place to stay. He likes being near the water, preferably someplace warm.
And he'd like to dance again.
-submitted by Mary Marchese
Café Agape Needs
We have been getting record numbers of neighbors who come daily to Café Agape for coffee, snacks, and conversation. We average about 30 people a morning between 8:00 and 10:00am. If you would like to contribute, we can use the following:
Hot chocolate (in packets)
Please put the items in the blue bin in the vestry. Thank you!
Reminders (read more in the Announcements)
Printed Mainstreeter available at both entrances to the church
UMM Breakfast this Saturday morning, April 6, at 8:30
Ham 'n Bean Supper this Saturday, April 6, at 4:30 - 6:00
TED Talks resume on Tuesday, April 11 at 10:30am in the chapel