April 30, 2018
Words from the Pastor
Welcome to the third 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. On Saturday we defined ourselves as a people of hope as we came together to celebrate the life of Roger Hall. Roger died back in January but for various reasons it was decided to wait until now to remember him and all of his accomplishments. The sanctuary was nearly full with around 225 people in attendance--quite a remarkable thing given that Roger was about as humble and quiet as they come. We heard about Roger's many commitments to church, Habitat for Humanity, family, and friends. We laughed a lot--especially at all the stories of Roger's frugality. It will come as no surprise that Roger's generosity will extend beyond his life as his estate continues to support all of the causes that were so special to him.
Sunday was another day of celebration as we welcomed four youth as confirmands who made their baptismal vows and entered into church membership. These youth are unique individual who have committed themselves to being faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. They were all baptized as infants in the Main Street UMC and have been nurtured in our Sunday School program. Each has served the church in a variety of ways already--as liturgists, acolytes, assisting with bean suppers, and serving at the Nashua Soup Kitchen's Food Pantry. I am confident that the future of the church is in good hands with these and other youth and young adults who are actively serving God in and through the church. I am also grateful for each of their parents who have taken seriously the vows that they made at their baptisms and have faithfully raised these children to become followers of Jesus themselves.
As noted below we fully expect to receive our occupancy permit this coming week which will allow us to begin to use the connector and elevator next Sunday. It is expected that the painting of the new nursery (on the second floor of the Wesley Building) will be completed this week as well allowing our families with young children to begin using it next Sunday as well. I am grateful for all of those who are helping with the final push to get our new spaces ready for use--Ted and Deb Luszey; Donna Swanson; Pam Breniser; Mark Morrissey; and others who I may be unaware of. Of course, there is more painting to be done in the Wesley Building, so if you are able to help out please let Ted know or speak to me soon.
These are exciting times in which new life is breaking forth all around us--in new spaces, in transformed lives, and in the arrival of spring (finally!) Let us give thanks to God and continue to celebrate as we continue our journey through these "great fifty days".
5/6 - The Sixth Sunday of Easter
Scripture: John 15:9-17
Theme: No Longer Servants, but Friends. As disciples of Jesus Christ what is our primary relationship to Jesus, that of a servant or that of a friend? What does this mean for us in terms of discipleship?
Calendar for the Week of April 29
Connector and Elevator Use Pushed Back Again
We have learned that the City Planning Board will not give the final approval for our project until the landscaping is completed and the final paving of the parking lot is done. As of today the plan is for the landscaping to be completed on Wednesday, May 2nd and the parking lot on Thursday, May 3rd. We would not be able to use the parking lot until the following Monday though, which would put us into the connector the week of May 7th. We hope that you will be with us for the inauguration of this new era in the history of the Main Street UMC!
Welcome to the Finance Column for May. I want to describe "in-reach" and outreach activities.
In-reach activities strengthen the church or its members and guests. They may include our Sunday school, music, and ham and bean dinners. These can be geared toward fundraising, fellowship, or training/teaching to help us be better disciples of Christ.
Outreach activities reach out to the community in service. They can be hosted events or other church activities that expressly reach out to non-church goers, such as Café Agape. Our hosted groups include our anonymous groups and Circles Greater Nashua. We have our food pantry, park cleanups, and other activities outside our church walls.
Outreach can include visitations of shut-ins, community, and coordinated events with various community outreach organizations. They exemplify the message of Christ through our actions. Evangelism is targeted toward giving the message of Christ through our words.
I'm sure many of us have been to churches that were strong on in-reach or outreach. After some time you get a feel for the differences.
How does this affect finances? In-reach and outreach require longer hours, more traffic, more wear and tear on the facilities, and more utilities as the church is used more often for hosted activities or as a starting point for many of our community activities. The following are often under consideration:
Full time minister to handle the myriad of missions and ministries
Longer hours, more work for our administrator
More days by our custodian to keep up with the traffic
More education materials, books, field guides
Higher utility bills as the building is in use for most of the week
Repair and replacement of key infrastructure items under constant use
Funds directly geared toward in-reach and outreach activities.
There are other costs related with our outreach that could come to light. In these tight financial times, the short-term answer would be to concentrate on less expensive in-reach and cut back on our outreach. Given the effect on our community and the difficulty of growing outreach programs in the first place, I look for ways to fund our outreach in the most fiscally responsible methods available. It's part of who we are as a church.
I hope you agree with my assessment, and continue to support our missions and ministries through your time, your talents, and your tithes. As always, I am open to your comments, questions, and prayers leading to successful growth in our missions and ministries.
We Are Looking for Historical Church Photos
If you have a photo of a Wedding, Baptism, or other church event, share it for use in our 150th anniversary celebration. If you have a digital version, upload it to the shared folder below. Fill in the photo description and give the year. If you only have a hard copy, we can scan it quickly in the church office during coffee hour. Contact Jerry Harrow (Jerry.Harrow@mainstreet-umc.org) 673-6024 for more information.
Album for contributing Historical Church Photos https://photos.app.goo.gl/QFEILDOIllOtnfrY2
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