"Prayer that comes from faith will heal the sick, for the Lord will restore them to health. And if they have sinned, they will be forgiven. For this reason, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed." James 5:15, 16 (Common English Bible)
Prayer, confession and healing, what's wrong with this picture? Well, most of us have no problem seeing the connection between prayer and healing, in fact, we pray for healing for ourselves and others all the time. What about confession though? What's that doing in this picture? It could be that James is reflecting the common biblical idea (refuted by Jesus though it was) that sickness is rooted in our particular sins and is God's punishment for them. In this understanding of things if one wants to get well, all you have to do is acknowledge your sins and they will magically go away. I suspect though that James has more in mind than some theological hocus pocus when he connects prayer and confession to healing. Just what might he have in mind though?
In this passage, confession is not directed towards God, but rather towards our sisters and brothers who might share our pew or be a part of our study group. Another way of looking at this form of confession is as accountability. In this sense then, what James is saying is that we need to hold each other accountable even as we pray for each other for healing. We are all aware that "life-style" choices have a lot to do with a person's health and well-being. This is not to say that all sickness is due to the choices we make each day but it is to recognize that these life-style choices do impact our health. Do we exercise adequately? What is our diet like? Do we make sure we have some downtime in our schedules? Do we care for our souls? Are we doing our part to insure that we can live our lives with health and vitality?
To hold another accountable is to love that person enough to have the difficult but honest conversations that can make a difference in a person's health and well-being. I am not talking about shaming people for their less-than-healthy choices but rather encouraging them to make choices that are going to insure the optimal health and well-being that they can experience. While prayer for healing may be helpful I also need others to hold me accountable for those choices that I regularly make that impede my ability to live a healthy life. So, next time you see me going for a second piece of pie at a Bean Supper, please, please, please, remind me of this article and hold me accountable as well!
10/14 The 21st Sunday after Pentecost Tithe Sunday Guest preachers: Pastor Dave Svenson will preach and serve communion at the 8:15am service and Kristy Besada will preach at the 10:30am service.
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 will take place on Sunday, October 14th and in order to accommodate my participation I will be taking vacation time from Thursday, October 11th through Friday, October 19th. I am grateful that Pastor Dave will preach and serve Holy Communion at the 8:15am service on October 14th and Kristy Besada will preach 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. The church office number is 882-3361.
Diabetes Self-Management Program October 14 at 12:15pm in the Ladies Parlor
Are you at risk for diabetes? Or do you have diabetes? Are you caring for a family member or friend with diabetes? Are you overwhelmed or just curious about how to proceed? Rachel Eichenbaum, RN, MSN, has the solution for you!
Rachel works under contract with Medicare to train leaders to lead diabetes workshops. Thus, she has access to lots of materials and information. She also represents New England Quality Innovation Network.
This workshop includes information and practice on making healthy choices, starting to exercise, and setting weekly goals. This mini-workshop gives you a taste of the larger program that is available to our church free of charge. Did I mention FREE!
The full program runs once a week for six weeks- 2.5 hrs per workshop.There is lots of group interaction. You will receive two resource books when you enroll and complete the program. The program and materials are free. Lynn Moseley took the workshops and will be available to help facilitate the full workshops.
This is an unusual opportunity offered to us as a church for quality speaker and materials. Members of the community are welcome. Please invite friends who would be interested to attend. Light lunch will be available in the vestry for those attending.
-submitted by Nancy Long
A Conversation with Arthur
About three years ago, one of the regulars at our food pantry was a dignified man who came dressed like a Mandarin in a meticulous black, high-collared jacket with intricate cloth fasteners. We learned his name was Arthur. As we transitioned to Café Agapé, Arthur continued to show up and was responsible for giving me a refresher course in chess. His role was teacher and he always won.
Then he disappeared for a year and nobody knew where Arthur was. A few weeks ago he came back and consented to tell me his story.
Arthur, one of nine children, was born and raised in Boston. He speaks fondly of his childhood going to school in the public school system with access to sports, especially soccer, and concerts in Franklin Park. Life was good until he was 14-15 years old and became involved in drugs. To support his drug habit, he began gambling and stealing cars and he ran with a group who owned a sawed-off shot gun.
It didn't last. He was caught by the law and put into a drug rehab program. "It was a good program," Arthur said. "We were there for a year and everyday people checked on me and asked how I was doing."
Soon afterwards, because Arthur was tired of seeing his mother cry, he got a job as a short order cook at Boston College and stayed there for ten years.
Arthur's grandparents lived in Nashua and he came here often, sometimes to escape bad influences in Boston. Although Arthur could pass for an African American, he comes from an extremely interesting ethnic mix. His paternal grandfather was a Chinese/Japanese Okinawan Te mix. As a result his father was a Karate master and Arthur goes to the gym all the time to practice martial arts. On his mother's side he can claim a Jewish grandmother, the child of an Arabian Jewish father and Jerusalem Jewish mother. His grandparents started a Pentecostal church on Toll Street and Arthur is the head healer there.
I asked Arthur where he learned to play chess and he told me that when he was about 25 years old, a friend of his from Jamaica Plains offered to teach him. His friend, who went to a chess club and was an excellent player, told him to come to his house every day after work to play. He said when Arthur beat him, he'd be a good player. It took six months for Arthur to finally beat his friend. And I can vouch that Arthur is not only a good player, but he's an excellent teacher!
We're happy that Arthur is back in Nashua after a year-long battle with cancer. And if anyone wants to learn to play chess, we have a very qualified teacher at Café Agapé.
-submitted by Mary Marchese
What do you know?
How good are you with important facts? For example, when was the new Casavant organ dedicated?
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.
Eighteen: "With the new parsonage and a new organ about to be installed [much has been written elsewhere about the history of the organ donated by the Barker family], enthusiasm was directed to improving the vestry and kitchen of our church. The stage at that time was where the kitchen is now located, and on November 21, 1949 the Trustees voted to erect a new stage on the north wall and enlarge the kitchen. This work had to be accomplished before the following Sunday as services were to be conducted in the vestry during the alterations required for the installation of the new organ."