"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ." Titus 2:11-13
As I write this Advent message, there are political races in Florida, Georgia, Arizona, and Maine that are still too close to call leaving candidates and voters waiting in suspense for the final tally to be announced. We expect that, depending on the outcome and one's perspective, these candidates will either bring about changes for the better or changes for the worse or perhaps, no change at all. The waiting is hard and sometimes brings out the best in people but more often brings out the worst. Advent is a reminder to us as Christians that we are all in a season of waiting. As the Letter to Titus in the New Testament reflects, we believe that in the birth of Jesus Christ, God has begun something that is going to be good for the entirety of God's creation. The reality though is that this work that God has begun is not yet complete and so we too "wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ." The world is not yet as God longs for it to be. We do not yet live in a world where there is peace and justice. And so we wait with expectation and hope. There are some who expect that it is God alone who can and will bring the world to its completion. I am not among them. I believe that God has always chosen to work in and through human partners to bring about the changes that are needed in order for the creation to experience salvation. We have a part to play and it is an important part indeed. The Letter to Titus reminds us then that we need "to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly". This seems to be a good starting place but it needs also to include more active participation in God's work as we challenge injustice and work for peace. What will you do during this Advent season to further God's work of salvation in our world? What will you do to help bring the world a little closer to its completion? How will you live your life in such a way that peace and justice will have a chance to take hold just a little bit more? May your celebration of Christmas be more than just a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, but include actions that will further that for which Jesus was born--a world in which there would be "peace on earth and goodwill to all".
12/2 The First Sunday of Advent Gifts for the King Lighting the first Advent candle Scripture: Luke 21:25-36 Theme: Attentiveness and Prayer in Anxious Times--The first Sunday in Advent invites us to reflect on the attitudes that are required if we are to remain faithful in trying and challenging times. Attentiveness and prayer are high on the list of Jesus' priorities for such times.
12/9 Second Sunday of Advent Tithe Sunday Lighting the Second Advent Candle Christmas Cantata (10:30am service only) Scripture: Malachi 3:1-4; Luke 3:1-6 Theme: Preparing God's Way (8:15am service only)
Advent Taizé Service
Are you looking for a bit of peace and quiet in the midst of the hectic Christmas season? If so, we have just what you need! On Sunday, December 2nd at 5:00pm we will hold an Advent Taizé Service featuring calming music, time for quiet reflection, meaningful prayers and readings, and all in a candle lit setting. Come find your quiet center in the midst of this Christmas Season. This service will be held in the second floor lobby.
Christmas Cheer for our Neighbors at Café Agape
This year we'd like to give a small bag of goodies to the folks who come to Café Agape. You can help by donating small toiletries, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, lotion, etc. We'll make up a bag for each person and include some sweets that we already have.
If you'd like to contribute, please put donations in a Café Agape bin. There's one in the vestry and another in the lobby.
Thanks for helping bring holiday cheer to those who have so little!
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.
Thanksgiving Thanks!! Many thanks for your help in filling Thanksgiving baskets for twenty-five of our refugee neighbors. Between Soup Kitchen items and those that you purchased, we were able to provide food that will be used on Thanksgiving and for quite a while after that! And thank you for donating to the Scouting for Food Drive. Main Street UMC received 100 boxes of food.
CROP Hunger Walk The CROP Hunger Walk October 28 resulted in gifts from Main Street walkers and supporters of $2285. Thanks to our nine brave walkers who didn't let the wet weather slow them down, and to everyone who sponsored our team.
UMCOR Donations of $800 have been sent to the United Methodist Committee on Relief for domestic disaster response. These funds were directed to hurricane relief and to helping those impacted by the Lawrence gas explosions. Those displaced by the fires in California will also benefit from UMCOR domestic disaster response donations, so other gifts to UMCOR are welcome.
Christmas In-gathering of Food On December 9, we will have an in-gathering of food for the Christmas boxes distributed by the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter, where our Main St. Food Pantry is now located. Turkeys will be supplied by the NH Food Bank, but you should be able to choose an item from the bulletin board—cans of cranberry sauce, yams, canned pie filling, canned vegetables, and other items to make a Christmas dinner special. Cash donations are also welcome. Our refugee families will receive a grocery gift card this year, so donations for those will be appreciated.
-submitted by Phyllis Appler
Don't Forget! The United Methodist Men's Breakfast is Saturday, Dec. 1
Breakfast begins at 8:30am and the program starts at 9:00am. The speaker is Tom Lopez, Director of the Maple Street Shelter and Ward 4 Alderman for the City of Nashua.
Click on the Announcements button to learn more.
Pearls of Wisdom
My beloved grows right out of my own heart; how much more love can there be? (Rumi)
Let's look into each other's eyes and see the real treasure—
The joy of love.
Poodle Puppy Pearls – The Unique Gift There is no one else like you in all the world – Fred Rogers
This is my first Christmas and I am learning what that seems to be about. So far, it is learning how to navigate amid fast moving feet punctuated by anxious voices. Words like "I have to find the right color, size, shape for ……… I've been to 10 stores so far and found zero."
Is zero like nothing?
My person, Lady Carolyn, explains it to me, but I wonder, "Why all the anxiety about a nothing?" The goal seems to be to create something or find some object for someone that can represent how much the person is cared about and loved as well as be something that they can appreciate.
My heart cries out "But don't you realize that you are that unique, one of a kind gift in someone's life?" It is your warmth, your smile, your touch, your very presence which is the one ultimate gift you can give.
You are God's hands, feet, heart, eyes, lips, ears in human form; just as I am God's paws, heart, eyes, lips, ears in creature form. Together with all aspects and forms of Creation, we are God's unique gifts to and in the Universe. You are your most unique gift to give this season….And you are already wrapped!
-submitted by Cherie Ekle
What Do You Know?
How good are you with important facts? For example, how long did we have the old gas boiler that was just replaced this month?
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.
[In the early 1970s] "Attention and interest was directed to establishing a new church at another location assuming the same would be an economic advantage. A local land developer, a contractor, and several interested parties became involved in the project – none of which seemed to favor the church or church needs."
"The trustees were always selected upon their interest and skills. The very limited church investments gave little or no substantial financial support to the needs of the church, and we find that the replacement of the Sanctuary carpeting, the entrance floor covering, the changing of a new heating system, paint, and other needs came from none other than the trustees themselves."