"Great Spirit, who dwells in every object, every person and every place: we summon You from the far places into our present awareness. God of the North, Who gives wings to the waters of the air and rolls out the snowstorm covering the earth with silver carpet: temper us with toughness to withstand the biting blizzard. God of the East and of the red sun's rising, brace us that we neither neglect our gifts nor lose in laziness the hopes each day affords. God of the South Whose warm breath of compassion dissolves our fears and meets our hatreds: teach us that they who are truly strong are also kind. God of the West and of the sunset, bless us with knowledge of the freedom which follows the well-disciplined life. God of the earth beneath our feet, storer of unreckoned resources: we would give thanks unceasingly for Your great bounty. Great God within, may we be aware of the goodness of the gift of life and be worthy of its priceless privilege."
Plains Indian Prayer
Native American spirituality makes explicit what is too often only recognized implicitly in Christian theology and spirituality--that God is not just the creator of all that is but is also found in all that is, including within each one of us. When we acknowledge this truth more fully it cannot help but change the way that we relate both to the natural world and to each other. When we "see" God in "every object; every person and every place" we will treat each with respect and care. We will not be as prone to exploit or abuse that in which we believe God to be present.
As we continue to think about stewardship in the weeks ahead, may we do so from the perspective that not only does all that is belong to God but that God is in all that is as well. As the prayer from the Plains Indians reminds us, "may we be aware of the goodness of the gift of life and be worthy of its priceless privilege"--now that sounds like a good starting place for Christian stewardship doesn't it!
Worship Ahead 10/21 The 22nd Sunday after Pentecost Consecration Sunday Scripture: Deuteronomy 8:1-11; Philippians 4:10-20 Theme: "Do Not Forget"--The author of the Book of Deuteronomy recalls the events of the past when the Israelites took possession of the land that they believed had been promised to them by God. In this passage, Moses points out that having accomplished this feat they should not "forget the Lord your God" or think that it was through their own strength that they had reached this place in their collective life as a budding nation. We too need to always remember where we have come from, how we have gotten to this new place, and give thanks to the God who has guided us.
Pastor's Vacation Plans
Twenty-five years ago while serving as pastor of the Faith United Methodist Church in Chicopee, MA I had the privilege of leading the congregation during its 100th anniversary year. Well, twenty-five years later they are celebrating their 125th anniversary and I and other former pastors have been invited to participate in this celebration. It took place on Sunday, October 14th and in order to accommodate my participation I am on vacation time from Thursday, October 11th through Friday, October 19th. Many thanks to Pastor Dave who preached and served Holy Communion at the 8:15am service on October 14th and to Kristy Besada who preached at the 10:30am service.
Consecration Sunday Reminder
By now you should have received an invitation from Elizabeth Wilds, our Stewardship chairperson, inviting you to fill out your pledge of support for the mission and ministry of the Main Street United Methodist Church for the year 2019. Please plan to be with us, pledge card in hand, on Sunday, October 21st. On this day we will consecrate all pledges of support to God. All pledges, no matter their size, are significant. We thank you in advance for your commitment to God and to the Main Street UMC. If you are unable to be present in worship on October 21st please be sure to mail in your pledge card in advance. If you, for some reason, did not receive Elizabeth's letter and the pledge card please call the church office and one will be mailed to you. Extra pledge cards can also be found at the back of the sanctuary. The church office number is 882-3361.
The Story of the Ham and Bean Suppers at Main Street UMC
The once a month ham and bean suppers at Main Street are considered a staple event, and many folks have attended them as long as they have been in existence for over forty years.
Phil and Betty Stultz were the first couple in charge of the suppers as far as anyone can recollect. According to their daughter, Sally Groves and her husband, Michael, the suppers were in existence before they were dating in 1976. In the beginning the suppers were not held very regularly, but then took on the format of once a month.
The Stultzes prepared the kidney and navy beans , potato salad, and cole slaw from scratch, which is the method yet today, and pie was the dessert then as well. Frank and Nancy Phillips worked with Phil and Betty for many years, and volunteers were present to help with the tasks the day before the supper, and several people were servers for the family style meal that we serve today.
With the death of Phil Stultz in 1994, Frank and Nancy became the general chairpersons, food preparers, bean cookers, etc. They introduced a new recipe for the potato salad and cole slaw, which became very popular.
The suppers were held once a month, mostly October through May, and a few were tried in June, with hot dogs as a substtuite for the ham.This was not popular, and June proved to be a very busy month so the suppers ended in May.
The UMW fair was a two day event in the 1970's and perhaps into the 1980's, with the ham and bean supper served on Saturday evening.You can imagine how quickly everyone had to move in order to prepare the vestry for the supper that began at 5 pm.
In 2007 Nancy Phillips became very ill and Frank needed to care for her, and he was unable to cook the beans. Mavis Pyle was able to secure the recipes and the important information for the suppers to continue. Joyce Tagliaferro agreed to cook the beans, which was a new challenge for her. Frank was able to assist and advise part of the time, after Nancy's death in December of 2007.
Mavis became the general chairperson of the suppers after Frank's untimely death in December, 2008. Joyce assumed the responsibilities in 2010 until the present time, but this will be her last year.
The number of patrons who attend the suppers has diminished since the senior citizens who usually support them have had changes in their lives. Approximately $8000.00 is realized in the eight months that the suppers are held.
It takes nearly forty willing volunteers in order for the suppers to be successful. The tasks include shopping in mid week, potato cooking, chopping of vegetables, and bean sorting on Friday morning. The UMM set up the tables and others help to set them on Saturday morning while the forty plus pounds of beans are cooking. In the afternoon, more preparations take place, and the servers, dish washers in the kitchen, wait persons, ticket taker, pie cutters, etc. arrive to begin the festivities at 4:30 p.m.
Our church has always viewed these suppers as a ministry to the community by providing a complete and hearty meal at a fair price. It is a time for our patrons to be served by friendly people including our Pastor Rich, in a Christian atmosphere.
-submitted by Joyce Tagliaferro
Blessing of the Creatures
On October 7 at 3pm in the Garden at the Wesley Building, our first Blessing of the Animals was celebrated! Creatures and their human companions gathered in heart-felt love to share a blessing offered by Pastor Rich. Each animal was blessed and prayed for in quiet repose. Caregivers shared significant stories of their precious creatures and how their spiritual lives intertwined. Photos, ashes, and drawings of beloved creatures seemed to come alive through the warm-hearted sharings.
Thanks to the generosity of Davis Funeral Home who donated Francis of Assisi prayer cards as a loving memorial to the occasion. If you or your pet were unable to attend, please be sure to pick up a prayer card and know that the prayers and blessings are also yours.
-submitted by Caroline Ekle
What do you know?
How good are you with important facts? For example, what major church event happened in 1957?
Purchase of the Wesley Building?
Renovation of the Wesley Building?
Replacement of the steeple?
Excavation of the basement to form Fellowship Hall?
With this year being our 150th Anniversary, 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.
Nineteen: "Shortly after the sanctuary and organ renovations were completed, a beautiful carpet was given to our church by an unannounced donor. I [J. Lawrence Hall] take the privilege and opportunity, trusting not to encroach too far from personal wishes, but feel that such gifts and devotion are certainly worthy of our history. The Atkinson family has been most generous in supporting our church and Wesley Building requirements as well as many other interests. Mr. Atkinson having served on the Board of Trustees and Finance committee for many years."