"Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith." Hebrews 13:7
Back in 2003 the district in which I was then serving as pastor, the Southern Maine District, was eliminated and I found myself and the church that I was serving now in the Mid Maine District. I also found myself with a new, and unknown to me, District Superintendent--a man by the name of Dave Svenson (yes, the same Dave Svenson you know here at MSUMC). Because I had been the chairperson of the district Superintendency Committee (the equivalent of the Staff Parish Relations Committee) it was decided that I would continue in that position in my new district. Within a short time I met Rev. Svenson who I immediately liked and as they say, "the rest is history". I found Dave to be a person who took ministry seriously but did not take himself too seriously. He was not afraid to utilize the gifts of the many pastors on our district including my own. He remained my District Superintendent for five years before he retired in 2008 and moved back to Nashua where he and Linda settled back in as active participants in the Main Street UMC.
In 2012 when our bishop decided to appoint me as pastor of the Main Street UMC, I was delighted to hear that Pastor Dave was serving the church in an interim capacity following Pastor Gwen Purushotham's move to Nashville where she served the General Church. It fell to Pastor Dave to share with me whatever he thought would enable me to best serve you as pastor. I'd like to say that he did a good job and I felt better prepared than ever to begin a new pastorate.
It is with pleasure then that I take my temporary leave of you knowing that you are once again in the good hands of Pastor Dave. As a former pastor of the Main Street UMC (1991-2000) and as a former District Superintendent, Pastor Dave brings a wealth of knowledge about you and a wealth of experience in many places to this new endeavor as preacher and pastor while I am away for the next six weeks. I go with the confidence that you will be well served and that Pastor Dave will provide both continuity and innovation in his worship leading and in his pastoral care. I commit him to you even as you have been committed to him. May the next six weeks be a time of blessing as you once again experience Pastor Dave's ministry.
I will likely listen to a few of the live-streamed worship services just to hear what Pastor Dave has to say and to have the affirmation that you are indeed thriving in my absence as I trust you will do. Please extend your welcome to Pastor Dave and support him with your presence and the use of your gifts as well.
7/29 Tenth Sunday after Pentecost Scriptures: 2 Samuel 11:6-15; Ephesians 3:14-21 Theme: "How Did It Happen?" The 2 Samuel passage tells of how King David piles sin upon sin as he deals with Uriah the Hittite. The questions arise as we look at the greatly gifted David who has done wonderful things and see how badly he stumbles. There are lessons for us in this passage and in the Ephesians passage about how easy it is to end up in the wrong place.
Pastor Rich's "Release" Time to Begin on July 23
As noted previously Pastor Rich will be away from the Main Street UMC from Monday, July 23 through Monday, September 3 as he takes advantage of "release" time. Pastor Dave Svenson, retired pastor and former pastor of the Main Street UMC will be filling in during this time. Please welcome Pastor Dave with open arms and a willingness to help in any way that is needed.
150th Anniversary Plans Continue to Unfold Please save the date of Saturday and Sunday, September 28 and 29 for the major celebration of our 150th anniversary. Saturday will begin with a special concert in our sanctuary featuring Emily Adams. We will continue with an evening banquet that will be held at the Nashua Senior Center. It will be catered by Celebrations Catering and will provide an opportunity for many former pastors, staff, and members to return to join us in looking back to the past while preparing for a bright future. Finally, our Bishop, Sudarshana Devadhar will be our guest preacher on Sunday at the 10:30am worship service. You won't want to miss this spectacular weekend!
P.S. Pastor Sue Job (pastor from 2000-2008) has confirmed that she and her husband, Don, are planning to be with us for the anniversary weekend in September!
A Conversation with Mike
About a year ago on a rainy day, Mike, recently homeless, arrived in Nashua by bus looking to find shelter. He was cold, in severe pain, and didn't know his way around town. He managed to get to the CVS on Main Street where a kind woman called an ambulance for him. The ambulance arrived and drove him through the parking lot and across the street to Southern NH Hospital. "I could have walked there," he said, laughing, "but I didn't know my way around."
A few years before that, Mike was a master mechanic earning $70,000 a year. He had worked for Caterpillar and was a journeyman under the union for twenty years. Life was good in his $250,000 home with his wife and children. But that all changed. While working in a gravel pit with a two-ton winch, he ruptured a disc in his back. The union gave him an honorable withdrawal and Mike began regular visits to chiropractors and physical therapists for his pain.
Then his wife divorced him. They sold the house, split the proceeds, and he took his portion of goods to an apartment. She wouldn't allow the children to stay with him, however. Eventually his money ran out and he fell behind on his rent. His landlord worked with city welfare to evict him and wouldn't let Mike take his things. He lost everything, including his car.
Mike does not drink alcohol or do drugs. During the summer months, he sleeps wherever the cops let him and he recently acquired a tent. He has no income, was denied disability, and has not contacted his children because he doesn't want them to see him homeless.
Recently Mike started working with the Department of Education to get a total physical and psychological evaluation in hopes of getting a job. With his Associates degree in Applied Science and competent computer skills, he'd like to get a desk job; or because he has his license, he could do something that involves driving.
What he misses most are showers and a place to wash clothing. He sometimes rinses his shirts in a stream. In the meantime, he's grateful for Café Agapé where he can hang out, and he appreciates the warm jackets and socks we gave him over the winter.
-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 one with each MainstreeterOnline.
The First Methodist Episcopal Society of Nashua, established in 1844, declined after a period of time but was reorganized by the Lowell Street pastor, with a new charter in 1850 as the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Nashua at the Chestnut Street location. It diminished again around 1860. In 1864 "the nucleus at Lowell Street again inspired renewed religious interest." The two inactive churches united and formed the Chestnut Street Methodist Episcopal Church.
"At the New Hampshire Conference held at Keene on April 11, 1866, members of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Nashua located at Orange and Lowell Street requested permission to raise money to build a church. This was granted and said "Trustees: of Lowell Street purchased from the heirs of Ira Gay, land and building at the corner of what is now Temple Street and Main. Witnessed and sealed the 21st day of March 1866. Price $10,000.00." The Main Street Methodist Episcopal Church of Nashua was built at what is now 154 Main Street. Several years later, the Chestnut Street Church joined with Main Street and their "property was then transferred to the Main Street Church for the sum of one dollar. "