"Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve God in sincerity and in faithfulness;…Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve…but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:14,15
By the time you read this "word from the pastor" the weekend celebration of our 150th anniversary will be over. While I am writing this before the events even begin, I have no doubt that we will have experienced a joyous and praise-filled weekend of remembrance and celebration. One of the things that we see so often in the Hebrew Bible is that whenever the Israelite people experienced significant events or transitions in their covenant life, they would pause to remember where they had come from and recommit themselves to God for the future. The scripture reference above is taken from the last chapter of the Book of Joshua and reflects Joshua's invitation to the Hebrew people, who now were living in the promised land, to renew their covenant relationship to God by choosing anew whom they would serve. Joshua made it clear that he and his household would continue to "serve the Lord".
As our year of celebration begins to draw to a close, it is fitting that we too, individually and collectively, recommit ourselves to serving God in this particular time and place. Having remembered God's faithfulness to the Main Street United Methodist Church in the past and having celebrated the lives of many of the faithful servants of God who have gone before us, let us determine that we will continue to live faithfully in the future. Even as we have built on the foundation of those who have gone before us, so may we provide the spiritual and physical foundation for those who will come after us to build upon as well. May we "serve God in sincerity and faithfulness" so that those who celebrate the church's 175th or 200th anniversary may have something to give thanks to God for.
10/7 The 20th Sunday after Pentecost World Communion Sunday Scripture: James 5:13-20 Theme: Prayer, Accountability, and Healing The letter writer, James, makes some bold statements about the connection between prayer, confession, and healing. What are we to make of these claims? We will take a close look next Sunday as we celebrate the diversity of the church in the world.
Annual Blessing of the Creatures
Sunday, October 7, at 3pm, rain or shine!
Typically this event is held in the Autumn around the birthdate of St. Francis of Assisi which is in October. There will be a Creature Reiki Practitioner who is delighted to share Reiki love with your creature family members. If your creature companion cannot attend in "person" then you could bring a photo or their ashes, or something that was special to them: a toy, blanket, pillow... Posthumous blessings grace your creature and all of the Divine Realm. If your creature is wild, consider bringing a feather, or a piece of fur, a leaf from a tree under which they pass, a stone from one of their favorite resting places, a flower which has shared its nectar.
The Blessing of the Creatures can feature music, festivities, and the Procession of the Blessing, with Pastor Rich offering a blessing prayer with each creature. The event will be held on the plaza in front of the church, Sunday October 7, 3pm. For the safety and comfort of all, please note that living creatures must be on a leash or in a carrier.
Please join in the joy of encouraging and supporting ALL God's creatures!
UMM Breakfast and Program, Saturday, October 6
The United Methodist Men (UMM) will hold its first breakfast and program of the new season on Saturday, October 6, beginning at 8:30am for breakfast followed by our special program at 9:00am. Our guest speaker will be Father Kyrillos Gobran, Senior Priest of the St Mary's and Archangel Michael's Egyptian Coptic Christian Church here in Nashua. Father Gobran is leading the effort to renovate the Catholic Cathedral on French Hill which was previously owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese located in Manchester. The project he is leading is a $3M project to renovate the old Rectory Building to create a new Sunday School and Office Building, and to repair some of the damage in the main church caused by five years of neglect when the buildings were empty. Father Gobran heard of our major renovation project here at Main Street and would like to seek our insight in how they too can go about raising the funds to complete their own major renovation project. It is an honor to have him join us for this meeting to enlighten us on their vision and goals.
All in our church, men and women, are welcome to this breakfast and program starting at 8:30am on Saturday, 6 October. We hope you will take time to attend. Please notify UMM if you can attend by calling 603-880-6289 (Kent Swanson) or 603-320-4531 (Jerry Harrow) so we can save you a seat at the table.
Cafe Agape Reopens
After taking the month of August off because of the heat and a need for a break, the volunteers are back in force ministering to whoever walks in the door of the vestry between 8 and 10am Monday through Friday. In addition to the sandwiches, hard boiled eggs, and snacks we offer with coffee and tea, we have expanded to include a bookcase of hardcopy books available for loan. This was initiated by Joe Valentino who put up a sign offering the books but wanting them returned for someone else.
Tuesdays and Thursdays Nonny Egbuonu opens the Pastoral Care area in the vestry meeting room where she is available to talk to anyone or play a DVD for them. Elsewhere in the room people are deep in a game of chess, reading the Nashua Telegraph, playing the guitar, asking for yet another pot of coffee or a new pair of socks. We are told over and over again how much they appreciate being greeted by name with a smile and how they come to Cafe Agape because it is a safe haven.
We welcome church member to join us and see what happens at Cafe Agape each weekday morning. If you can't come in person, you can help by donating coffee, tea, sugar, crackers, and snacks. Monetary donations are also welcome. It costs $5.00 per day for sandwich materials.
We'd love for you to meet our friends Craig, Corey, Mike, Katie, Frank, Steve and the others you have read about in the Mainstreeter.
-submitted by Mary Marchese
TED Talk This Week Tuesday, 10:30am in the Vestry Meeting Room
This coming Tuesday, the TED Talks group will meet in a different room and will view a talk about how to achieve happiness by Brother David Stendl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar. Happiness, he suggests, is born from gratitude. Come see an inspiring lesson in slowing down, looking where you're going, and above all, being grateful.
What do you know?
How good are you with important facts? For example, when was the handicap accessibility lift installed?
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 one with each MainstreeterOnline.
"Victor McIntosh became the new President of the Trustees in early 1946. With Janitor disinterest in shoveling coal and ashes both at the church and at 22 Manchester Street, it was decided to install an oil burner in both the church and the parsonage. [J. Lawrence Hall went on board of trustees in 1948.] The discussion centered around the parsonage at 22 Manchester Street and all its 'ills', and the advisability of purchasing a different parsonage. The home of James W. Logan located at 39 Wellington Street was available for the sum of $15,500.00. Operating on a very small church budget and indoctrinated with 'Yankee thrift', it was voted to exchange the new oil burner and the new sink recently installed at the 22 Manchester Street parsonage with those at 39 Wellington Street of lesser value."