June 10, 2018
Words from the Pastor
Later this week Lisa Svenson and I will be attending the Annual Conference of the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church. This year's conference will once again be held in Manchester which is wonderful for both of us. Lisa will go as the Lay Member to Annual Conference elected by you and representing the Main Street UMC. As pastor I am a member of the Annual Conference (rather than any individual local church) but nonetheless go representing you as well. The idea of an "annual" conference goes back to the earliest days of Methodism when John Wesley called together the leaders of the Methodist movement (all lay members in those days) for a time of "holy conferencing". It provided a time for leaders to gather for worship, to do the business of the church, and to hold each other accountable in the living out of their faith and ministry.
Today's annual conferences would probably seem very strange to Wesley and the early Methodists but in most respects the focus is still the same. We will gather for moving and inspiring worship experiences with powerful preaching. We will do the business of the annual conference. We will reunite with other clergy and lay members who we may not have seen since last year's conference and hold each other accountable to the work that God has called us to. We will witness the ordination of new elders in the church and the consecration of deacons. We will eat together, laugh together, cry together, and at times complain together about the state of the church. While it is an exhausting few days it is also exhilarating to be together, nearly 1000 strong clergy and laity together.
Since our annual conference is held in close proximity to Nashua, I hope that you might consider attending some of the sessions--they are open to everyone. If you can attend one of the worship experiences that would be even better--imagine nearly 1000 voices singing the great hymns of our faith--it would be well worth your while. For the annual conference schedule and information as to how you can "live stream" some of the events please visit the conference website at www.neumc.org and look for the annual conference section of the website. Personally, I'd love to see you there!
6/17 Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Scripture: Second Corinthians 5:6-17; Mark 4:26-34
Theme: "New Creations from Small Seeds"
The apostle Paul speaks of there being a "new creation" in Christ Jesus and Jesus likens the kingdom of God to the smallest of seeds. We are reminded that God doesn't need much to work with in bringing about the new world that we all long for.
Calendar for the Week of June 10
Summer Worship Schedule
Beginning on Sunday, June 17th we will move to having only one Sunday morning worship service and it will be held at 9:30am. We will resume our usual schedule on Sunday, September 9th with Rally Day and our annual picnic!
Summer Sunday School Schedule
The last Sunday for both children's and adult classes will be Sunday, June 10th. Classes for both will resume on Rally Day, Sunday, September 9th at the usual 9:00am time.
Staff Summer Vacation Plans
Pastor Rich will be on vacation from Wednesday, June 20th through Friday, June 29th. Our lay leaders, Mark Morrissey, Susan McDonald, and Sharon Schmidt will lead the service and preach on Sunday, June 24th.
Annual Conference Schedule
Our lay member to the Annual Conference of the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church, Lisa Svenson, and Pastor Rich will be attendance at the conference beginning Wednesday, June13th and concluding on Saturday, June 16th. Once again this year's annual conference will be held at the Radisson Hotel Manchester Downtown, 700 Elm St., Manchester, NH. All sessions are open to visitors. The conference can be followed daily by going to the New England Conference web site: www.neumc.org
Heart of Nashua: Growing in Faith Campaign Update
As we near the halfway point in this three year capital campaign there is reason to pause and celebrate the incredible generosity of the Main Street United Methodist Church members and friends. As you may recall this campaign, which began in December of 2016, had 73 pledges for approximately $797,000. Since that time approximately $650,000 has been received in pledged money leaving an outstanding balance of about $150,000. On top of the funds received from pledges we have also received approximately $150,000 in gifts to the campaign for a total of $800,000 received to date. This is amazing and as our capital campaign consultant, Tom Melzoni, pointed out when he was here for the dedication- a true miracle!
This week we will pay the final invoices to Northpoint Construction and when all is said and done the construction project will have cost just over 2 million dollars (including the demolition and other work done in 2015). The difference between the cost and the money raised has been provided through a loan from the United Methodist Foundation of New England. Since the loan amount exceeds the outstanding balance of money expected from the outstanding pledges we still have some work to do in paying off our debt and putting ourselves into a positive financial situation moving forward.
So, thank you once again for your generosity and faithfulness in funding this project that has already begun to bear fruit. If you have not as yet contributed to it please accept this as an invitation to join in along with the many others who have done so.
In closing I want to share a story with you. On Sunday, June 3rd a couple returned to church whom we had not seen in nearly two years. Because one of these two individuals uses a motorized wheelchair to get around she had not been able to come to church because even our chair lift was inadequate to her needs. She expressed such great relief and gratitude that with the elevator she would now be able to come to church again. Her words made my day! Indeed, this, among many other reasons, is what the Heart of Nashua program is all about.
Today as proud parents' and grandparents' phones flashed capturing the Children's Sunday highlights, the rest of the congregation was reminded once again about what a valuable commodity our young people are. Children participated in regular worship as well as in special activities, such as a beautifully performed liturgical dance that was a choreographed version of the Lord's Prayer, a skit that analyzed the Lord's Prayer phrase by phrase entitled The Lord's Prayer Dilemma, and a recitation of the books of the Bible.
Mavis Pyle recounted highlights of the year and noted that many of the children started coming to church as babies to learn about God's love and service. This past year Sunday School participants served as acolytes, ushers, liturgists, and performed in the bell and chancel choirs, as well as helped to package health kits for UMCOR and assemble toiletry kits for the food pantry.
As Sharon Schmidt said in a prayer, "our children love to learn and learn to love" here at the Main Street UMC. May we keep in mind that "it is to such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs."
-submitted by Mary Marchese
With the upcoming 150th Anniversary celebration in September, the Anniversary Committee has gathered historic quotes to share, taken from Methodism in Nashua, 1831-1982, by J. Lawrence Hall. We will include with each Mainstreeter Online.
"In the late 1750's and early 1760's Methodist Societies sprang up in New York, Philadelphia and Virginia. Early religious inspiration was nurtured by individuals called 'itinerants' who travelled from place to place on horseback, visiting several settlements or communities which were Identified as 'circuits'. Thus becoming known as 'circuit riders'."
"Records show that the First Eastern Conference of the Methodist Churches. One of sufficient interest that became of historical importance was that of the welfare of the 'itinerant' or 'circuit rider'." Those who were served were responsible for providing a horse, "six pounds and a quarter, besides his travelling expenses." Further that at each Easter the circuit's collection should be made to relieve the Chapel debt and the itinerants' wants (the Pennsylvania pound was equivalent to $2.60)."