Saturday, September 8, 2018

Mainstreeter Online July 1, 2018

July 1, 2018 
 Word from the Pastor
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
In just a few days, we as a nation, will pause to celebrate the 242nd anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and thus the 242nd birthday as a nation. This declaration set forth a vision for this new nation that, it is safe to say, our forefathers were not quite ready to live into. Given that many of them were slave holders they were not quite ready to accept that the "all men" of the Declaration of Independence included their black slaves. It took nearly another century and a civil war to bring us to the point where we were willing to declare slavery illegal and another century before we were willing to allow blacks to vote, go to unsegregated schools and otherwise experience the realities of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." 

Needless to say, we are still trying to live up to the vision of this declaration but are still falling short. As we prepare to celebrate our nation's birthday this week, let us renew our commitment to insure that the ideals of the Declaration of Independence are extended to all people--people of color, asylum seekers, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, and anyone else who we are struggling to accept as full citizens of this great nation because they are somehow different than ourselves. May we not rest on the laurels of the past but instead press forward in making our nation one in which the inalienable rights endowed by God are extended to one and all. Happy fourth of July! 
Worship Ahead
7/8 Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
: Second Corinthians 12:2-10; Mark 6:1-13
Theme: "Grace Happens"
Grace, by its very definition, is not something we can earn or manufacture. It is a pure gift from God. It happens both when we least expect it and we when most expect it. Without grace we could not survive. The apostle Paul helps to explore this gift as he reflects on his own predicament struggling with a "thorn in the flesh".
Throwback Worship Service

It was on Wednesday, July 22nd in the year 1868 that the newly built "Main Street Methodist Episcopal Church" was dedicated to the glory of God and the service of humankind. Given that July 22nd of this year is on a Sunday we will go back in time in our worship service and worship as though we were in the year 1868 (don't worry, we will still use the AC if it is too warm!). You can expect a visit from the Rev. George Bowler, who as pastor in that year presided over the dedication on that day. Stay tuned for more details as our worship design team comes up with some interesting and time tested ideas.
July/August Debt Thermometer  

Welcome to our finance column. Today I want to give an update on our renovation project financials. This has been one of the larger capital projects in our church's 150 year history.

To date we've raised about $1.74 million through your generous HON (Heart of Nashua capital campaign) donations, but the project cost considerably more, a bit over $2 million. We borrowed from the United Methodist Foundation of New England to pay for the construction and other fees. We are using your continued HON pledges and donations to pay off this debt. One simple way to communicate our status is by a thermometer graph, such as the one shown here.  
The thermometer graph has three components:
  • Current debt is the top area of the thermometer graph (no mercury)
  • Mercury (shaded) portion is the HON funds raised to date
  • Optional Bulb graphic (below zero point) – only for illustration purpose
Notice that the total (HON + Debt) is NOT a fixed number, as interest keeps accruing until we pay of the debt completely.  

We will periodically update the HON and debt numbers, ideally after our treasurer makes each payment to the Foundation to give the most accurate representation. I would like to add a line to the bulletin that lists our remaining debt in addition to the generous HON monies raised.  

Why is it important to pay off this debt? Just like owing on your credit cards or loan balance, debt requires monthly interest payments. Naturally we would like to have the debt behind us so we can concentrate on our ministries and missions. I have to add that we still have existing parsonage mortgage balance. We did have a steeple loan, but through your generosity, we were able to pay this off.

As always I am open to your questions, comments, and prayers leading to improved ministries and missions for the next 150 years.   

Thank you,  Joe Dechene
Historic Tidbit

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.
"Early commerce and industry grew where transportation supported the need.  The Merrimack Valley, favored by rails and water, soon became an industrial center for cotton and woolen mills.  With the industrial complex came the influx of workers to satisfy a need.  With this influx of people to the early township called Dunstable were found numerous persons who were of the Methodist belief."
"The founding date of Methodism in Nashua is generally accepted as the fall of 1831 when the Reverend Samuel Norris came to Dunstable and preached two sermons in the "schoolhouse" on the Indian Head Mills property."
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