We have so much to give thanks for, both as a church and as individuals. Looking back over this past year I stand amazed at all of the wonderful things that have taken place--the completion of new spaces for us to utilize in doing the work of the church; growing outreach programs such as Café Agape; new members whose ages have managed to bring down the average age of the congregation; and a growing sense that God is doing a good thing here that we need to pay attention to.
While many of you have also experienced hardships, losses, and challenges, I hope that you are able to nonetheless take note of the daily blessings that life offers to us. The Thanksgiving Prayer that follows reminds us of some of the small and sometimes overlooked blessings that come our way every day. I hope that it stirs up for you reminders of those obvious and less-obvious blessings in your life. May you experience much for which to give thanks in the days ahead.
A Thanksgiving Prayer
(by Rev. Linda McDermott, First United Methodist Church, Fort Worth, Texas)
God who loves us, who deserves our gratitude for so much that is good, we offer our prayers of thanksgiving to you:
For the beauty of the earth — bright orange leaves mixed with green, a gentle rain, a spider's delicate web.
For friends, for family, even acquaintances who offer us kindness, who bring us laughter, who hold us to a higher standard.
Lord of all that is good and nourishing to our well-being, we give you thanks. How we must try your patience with our pettiness!
All of life is a wonder.
The very breath we take, the ability to rouse ourselves each new day, a single blade of grass that holds such miracles of symmetry, a tiny distant star whose real size boggles our minds.
We take our lives for granted — as if it were our right, and not our gift.
We take our days and our loves and our passions for granted — as if tomorrow will verify their importance and our present moments have other things to occupy us.
Gracious God, who lavishes goodness upon us even in some of our darkest moments, help us to see your goodness, remind us to have grateful hearts, give us receptive minds, and grant us ever-gracious ways of living in harmony with each other.
And in our gratitude, make us to be instruments of your peace. Amen.
11/25 Christ the King Sunday Scripture: Revelation 1:4b-8; John 18:33-37 Theme: A Different Kind of King for a Different Kind of Kingdom--What does Jesus mean when he tells Pilate that his kingdom "is not of this world"? Does that mean that it is merely a spiritual kingdom? Perhaps the answer is both "yes" and "no"!
Quilts of Valor Presentation Yesterday
The Quilts of Valor Foundation is a grass-roots organization that began with a dream. The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing "Quilts of Valor." The first Quilt of Valor was awarded at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in November, 2003. Since then, over 200,000 quilts have been awarded.
Yesterday we recognized three of our Main Street UMC veterans, who had been nominated to receive a Quilt of Valor. The quilts were presented by Donna Swanson, chair of the NH Chapter of the Quilts of Valor Foundation to James A. Hinkle, Stephen W. Rogers, and Redding Thompson. We give thanks for these three well deserving veterans along with all of the other veterans in our congregation.
Interfaith Thanksgiving Service here on Tuesday
We have the privilege of hosting this year's Interfaith Thanksgiving Service. It will be held on Tuesday, November 20th at 7:00pm in our sanctuary. Please plan to join us for this wonderful occasion as the community has opportunity to gather in thanksgiving for all that we have shared together in the past year. You will hear from many of the spiritual leaders in our community representing a variety of traditions. The Interfaith Choir, led by Julie Oliver, will sing and refreshments will be served after the service in the vestry.
Up-coming Dates for the St. Joe's Mobile Clinic
The Mobile Health Van from St. Joe's Hospital will be set up behind the church on the following dates in November--the 19th and the 28th. They are open from 8:30am-12:30pm. Screenings including blood pressure; diabetes; cholesterol and Body Mass Index and are done for free. You do not need to provide identification and no insurance is required. Pass the word that this service is now available at the church.
Gifts for the King Next Sunday, December 2 Instructions: (we know that this is early!) 1.Take a tag from the tree in the vestry. There are four tags on the tree for each child from refugee families newly arrived in Nashua. Sign the sheet so that we have a record of who took what tag. 2. Attach your tag to your wrapped or bagged gift. 3. Bring your Gift for the King to Main St. United Methodist Church next Sunday, December 2. As we call the months of the year, please bring your gifts to the Chrismon Tree in the front of the Sanctuary. 4. If no tags are available, please feel free to purchase gift cards, games, hats, scarves, and gloves, bowling passes, medium gym bags, or other items that you think teens at the Nashua Children's Home would enjoy.
-submitted by Phyllis Appler
Volunteers Needed for Up-coming Events
We are still in need of volunteers to assist with the Interfaith Thanksgiving Service on Tuesday, November 20th and with the Holiday Stroll on Saturday, November 24th. We need folks to primarily be greeters and for the Thanksgiving Service also need volunteers to bring refreshments and/or help to service the refreshments. The Thanksgiving Service is at 7:00pm and the Holiday Stroll goes from 4-8pm with clean up afterwards. There are sign up sheets located on the table in the lobby. Thank you in advance for your assistance.
Advent Study "Mary Had a Baby"
Tuesdays (Nov. 27, Dec. 4, 11 and 18) 10 AM - Noon in the Church Vestry
Our study, "Mary Had a Baby," is based on African American Christmas Hymns. Here is the description from the Cokesbury website:
"If the rousing lyrics and rhythm of 'Go Tell it on the Mountain' are what stirs your soul, this is the Advent study that will speak to you. Each of the four sessions of Mary Had a Baby corresponds with the four weeks of Advent and features a Christmas Spiritual. You'll listen to the music, examine related Scripture, and discuss biblical, historical, and contextual themes in a fun and interactive setting—a perfect seasonal study for small groups, choir workshops, or any gathering of those who'd enjoy a little toe tapping while strengthening their faith. The four spirituals featured are 'Mary Had a Baby,' 'Rise Up Shepherd and Follow,' 'Children, Go Where I Send Thee,' and 'Go, Tell It on the Mountain'. " Class facilitator is Pam Breniser. Note: This will replace the Tuesday morning TED Talks just during the season of Advent.
Starting in November, a sign-up sheet and sample book will available during Sunday morning coffee hour. We hope you can join us.
-submitted by Pam Breniser
What Do You Know?
How good are you with important facts? For example, how long have we had the chairlift?
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.
"Leases were issued to the five Main Street stores, including heat, water and tax inclusion. Several occupying space in the main building were left as 'tenants at will'. It soon became the wish of the church membership that the entire building should become available for church needs. Tenants were asked to vacate. This did, however, reduce needed income."
"At this time [around 1966] there was an interest to establish a 'Child Care Center', and with encouragement from church officials, the Spalding house was selected under the auspices of the Main Street Church. Although the 'Center' was directed by assumed professional skills, from without, the results may have been disappointing and discouraging to some. Disappointing because of their inability to assume their normal obligations, and discouraging to others who were left with the responsibility of repairing and cleaning after only 1 ½ years of occupation…The 'Child Care Center' was then put on notice that their unpaid responsibilities exceeded some $1,400.00 and remuneration was expected."