"Although God gives us 'all things richly to enjoy,' nothing is ours. Nothing really belongs to us. God owns everything; we're responsible for how we treat it and what we do with it. While we complain about our rights here on earth, the Bible constantly asks, What about your responsibilities? Owners have rights; stewards have responsibilities." Taken from Four Principles of Biblical Stewardship by Hugh Whelchel
One of the things that I did while on "release" time this summer was to read the entirety of the Torah--the first five books of the bible. It is safe to say that one of the foremost themes of the Torah is that of stewardship, that is, the notion that all things belong to God and that God has entrusted the entirety of God's creation to human beings to use wisely and responsibly. In Genesis chapter two we read that God places Adam in the garden in order to tend and keep the garden. The garden belongs to God but Adam is given the freedom to enjoy the garden while caring for it. In the Book of Deuteronomy Moses reminds the Hebrew people many times that once they have taken up residence in the promised land they should not presume to think that all that they now have is "theirs" and the result of their strength but rather remember that it belongs to God and is a gift over which they have responsibility.
Every fall we take time to remind ourselves that we are stewards and that all that we are and all that we have is a gift from God. We focus on our finances because, quite frankly, if we can get our minds and hearts around the notion that our money too is not "ours" but God's, then it will be much easier to approach all of God's other gifts from the perspective of stewardship. Stewardship is not about raising money to meet the church's budget although we are often guilty of giving this impression. Rather stewardship is a way of life that recognizes our indebtedness to God and our responsibility in using God's gifts wisely and faithfully. As you listen to this year's stewardship messages, think about your own attitude towards the resources that you have at your disposal. Do you think of them as belonging to you or do you understand that they are God's gift to you and that you need to use them well for the sake of the kingdom of God?
9/23The 18th Sunday after Pentecost Kick off of annual Stewardship Campaign Choir anthem Scripture: James 3:13-4:3; Mark 9:30-37 Theme: Humility, Service, and Peace Jesus challenges the disciples to consider another way to greatness--through humility and service. James likewise speaks of humility and service as the way to peace. This is contrary to our normal way of thinking yet has been proven to be true time and time again.
Cleaning Kits for Hurricane Victims
Below is a link to a website that describes assembling a kit that can help people clean up after Hurricane Florence.
These will be in great demand after the hurricane and all its rain passes by. You can bring the kits directly to St. James United Methodist Church in Merrimack or bring them here to MSUMC and someone will take them. They are expensive to make, costing about $75, so you may want to team up with a class, group from work, or organizations to which you belong to build these kits.
Thank you for your help.
-submitted by Phyllis Appler
During the month of September the Davis Funeral Home collects sweaters to "recycle" them to those in need in the Nashua area. All sweaters collected are delivered to area agencies to help those who might not have enough warm clothing for the winter.
Would you like to help?
New or CLEAN used sweaters in good condition for men, women and children are all needed and may be dropped off at the Davis Funeral Home. Collection boxes are placed in both foyers of the funeral home Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. during the month of September. You may also call 603-883-3401. Sweaters are also accepted at other times of the year and held for fall collections. Those in need during the winter months will be grateful to you for your concern and thoughtfulness! Thank you for helping Davis Funeral Home make a difference for those in need within our community!
-submitted by Phyllis Appler
The Spirituality Group meeting (SGM), has come to stay. It is one of the outcomes of our active participation, as church, in addressing the issues that continue to impact the total well-being of our present-day community; the Cafe Agape being one of such avenues for daily interaction.
The starting date for the SGM held at our church was Thursday, June 28, 2018. It began then and is continuing each Thursday at 10:30. Another venue where it's currently held is at the Revive Recovery on Main Street.
"The goal of the Spirituality Group within a health-care treatment facility (not the hospital in our case), is to provide the clients/patients a safe place in which they can explore their understanding of spirituality and ways it enhances a sense of self and provides meaning for them; it is also important to explore ways that spiritual practices or beliefs have not been helpful or have been detrimental to their recovery".
This church venue (2nd Floor Lobby (Main Street United Methodist Church), has Pastor (Dr.) David Sundell as the facilitator, assisted by Nonny Egbuonu. It also now has 7 registered members. Hopefully looking forward to welcoming new members, in order to meet the membership strength of at least 6 and at most 12, for this unit. The group is a discussion group, and 45 minutes to an hour is the suggested time for the group meeting. Presently, starting time is 10:30 am until the group deliberates further on its suitability.
The Spirituality Group Meeting (SGM) may be that melting pot, that everyone seems to be searching for. Attention is being focused on the uncommon practice of using such an opportunity to spend time with people, who may look different from us, but who desire and deserve some others to share their stories with. 🌷
Blessings! 🙏💒🙏 Nonny Egbuonu
A Conversation with Frank
"Most people who have their basic needs met--they're loved, have good guidance and family structure,and don't have a drug or alcohol problem--turn out okay," said Frank.
A regular at Café Agapé, Frank's Jewish parents had great expectations for him. He was supposed to be the brightest and go the farthest so they sent him to private school at Phillips Academy. But when he graduated and started Trinity College, Frank had a breakdown. The previous pressure at Phillips Academy and new pressure at Trinity pushed him over the edge. He was the second member of the family to have problems. His older brother developed schizophrenia and refused to take medication. Only his sister seemed to do okay and she moved away from the family as soon as she could.
"If we had just been able to talk more. My parents treated me with benign neglect."
Frank's parents married late in life. His father, from Russia, grew up during the Depression and fought in WW II. He wouldn't talk about it. He was a self-made business man. Frank's mother grew up in Rumania and lived through what the Germans did to Jews there. She saw her brother taken away never to return and mourned the anniversary of his disappearance every year. After Frank's grandmother died in 1969, his mother fell apart. She had a driver's license but was afraid to drive. She was afraid of her own shadow, but was fiercely loyal to her husband who developed Alzheimer's. She cared for him at home long after it was practical to do so.
"I spent numerous years trying to get the tradition mental health treatment for depression, but they primarily rely on trying to 'cure' with medications. I eventually realized that I wasn't going to find the answer in any pill. There's a whole emotional and spiritual component that gets totally missed by conventional medicine."
Frank and his brother lived at home because they both had trouble with adversity. But then Frank became loud and argumentative and his mother and brother called the police on him for being abusive. He was arrested. He moved out, tried going back to college, and worked a couple years at Wang.
He moved to Lowell, stayed in a shelter for a while, but now has an apartment and a car in Nashua. He has never had a drug or alcohol problem. Sometimes he still has anger on the inside about past things, but has learned with age and time that general kindness and respect, the Golden Rule, is what's important.
"Maybe I shouldn't be a taker all the time. I learned from watching people help me and others that it's good for everyone to help, give back, and be of service"
Frank has frequently donated blood, but recently he learned about donating platelets. Apparently he is a triple donor in that his blood has three times the platelets of an average donor. Platelets help blood to clot and wounds to heal. Cancer patients often lose platelets due to chemo and need to have them replaced.
We at Café Agape have noticed Frank's helpfulness and engaging smile and are happy to have him help us out as a volunteer.
-submitted by Mary Marchese
Thank you, Trustees!
One of the responsibilities of your Board of Trustees is to maintain not only the church buildings, but the parsonage as well. Over time, there are projects that must be taken care of and recently several were crossed off of the "to do" list for the parsonage.
Many thanks to Ted and Deborah Luszey for the pressure washing and to Jim Pyle for repainting the trim on the parsonage. It looks great!!!
Donna Swanson Chair, MSUMC Board of Trustees
What do you know?
How good are you with important facts? For example, how big was the oil tank that was buried in the front yard of the church in 1956 and removed in 2015 when the storefronts were torn down?
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 committees assigned to transfer the Chestnut Street property consisted of Joseph Flather, Tyler M. Shattuck and Jack Pierce duly elected to represent the Chestnut Street Society, and Brother Eaton and Brother Guilman representing the Main Street Church as Grantees did meet of record March 2, 1881 and legal documents were prepared and executed in consideration of $4,900.00." [The property was sold about six years later.]
"Shortly after this sale of the Chestnut Street Property, we learn that the home of Frank D. Cook, owner of the F.D. Cook Lumber Company, and situated at the corner of Elm and Mulberry Street, was purchased by the Main Street Episcopal Church in consideration of $5,000.00. This new property became the parsonage of the unified Church."