Friday, December 6, 2019

December 6 Mainstreeter Online

  December 5, 2019

  

 

 A Word from the Pastor

ADVENT PRAYER by Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar

Loving God made flesh —
as we rush through the days of Advent
busy about many things –
our minds full,
our hearts racing,
our bodies weary,
from the mad pursuit to prepare for Christmas,

slow us down
wake us up
open our eyes
to see you right here, right now
in front of us

in the lines of traffic
we want to rush past

in the preparations
we want to finish

in the people we want
to move out of our way

in order to meet you —
who has already come
to this place,
to this moment
right here
right now –
Love made flesh, dwelling among us.

We pray through Christ
who lives and reigns
with you
and the Holy Spirit.
Amen

 

    The Advent Season is now upon us and we face the annual challenge that comes with balancing the desire for the slower pace that Advent requires with the faster pace that our society says we should embrace.  Do we set aside time for more consistent worship experiences, participation in study groups, and increased daily prayer time, or do we speed up our days with more shopping, frantic rushing to get everything done and increased preparations for the celebration of Christmas?  Such is the challenge that we face every year.  My hope and prayer for all of us is that the observance of Advent will provide an opportunity to balance both the needs of the soul with the demands of our culture.  May you find a way to do all that you need to do but in a way that allows you to experience the joy, peace, and hope that this season offers.

 

                                                                                                                                                Challenged Together,

                                                                                                                                                Pastor Rich

 

 

WORSHIP AHEAD

12/8      The Second Sunday of Advent

Lighting the second Advent candle (Lynn and Bill Moseley at 8:15 and the Pyle/Brown families at 10:30am)

                Bell Choir playing

                Special music by Rev. Dr. Kwan Lee and his daughter, Susanne Laurence

                Choir singing

Scripture: Isaiah 11:1-10; Matthew 3:1-12

Theme:  The fruit of the Jesse Tree-  Just what or who is the "root of Jesse" that the prophet Isaiah speaks of and what do the fruit of this tree look like? The prophet makes clear that this "root" is none other than the coming Messianic king and that the fruit that will identify this king are the fruits of wisdom and understanding, counsel and might, knowledge and the fear of the Lord, and righteousness and justice.

 

 

OPPORTUNITY OF THE WEEK

Each week we will try to highlight a particular opportunity for you to serve in and through the Main Street UMC. 

 

Our next Bean Supper will be on Saturday, December 7th at 4:30pm.  We need help with the preparations on Friday morning and help with set up on Saturday morning and of course, lots of help during the supper and afterwards for clean up.  If interested either just show up or be in touch with David Appler at 603-883-6440.

 

 

VESTRY ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS

LIGHT OF THE WORLD- Join Amy-Jill Levine as she traces the Christmas narrative through the stories of Zechariah and Elizabeth, Mary, the journey to Bethlehem, and the visit of the Magi.  This DVD based class will be led Paul Pederzani with assistance from Pastor Rich on December 8th.   Amy-Jill Levine has the distinction of being one of the few New Testament scholars who are Jewish.  She is a New Testament professor at Vanderbilt University.  The class begins on Sunday, December 1st and concludes on Sunday, December 22nd.  There is no vestry class on December 29th.

 

 

ADVENT TAIZE SERVICE PLANNED

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 15th 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.  This year we will have live music led by Irene Harris and other church musicians.

 

 

THANKS AND APPRECIATIONS

The end of November was a busy time for many people in our congregation and thanks are due- to Trustees Donna Swanson and Ted Luszey for their effort in removing our old chair lift; to all of those, including our youth, who helped with the Hanging of the Greens and to the members of F Troop who fed us; to the Trustees who put up the Christmas trees in various places in the church; and to everyone who assisted with the Holiday Stroll especially Jerry Harrow and Deb Luszey who coordinated our effort.  Thanks, thanks, thanks, to everyone!

 

 

Joyful Shepherd's Christmas Party

Sunday, December 8 at 12:30pm

Come celebrate the good news!  We will serve a delicious lunch in the vestry. Pam Gordon will lead us in fun word search or similar activities.  There will be drawings for prizes and lots of gifts!  Carol Sing of course.  And you never know what else....

 

All are welcome, especially those we visit or who help us in any way. Bring a guest or two.  See Nancy Long or Lynn Moseley for details. 

 

 

Looking for Nativity Sets

Again this year we would like to fill the cabinet in the ladies' parlor with nativity sets, probably through Epiphany in January.  If you have a small set that you would be willing to share for a few weeks, please bring it to the church office marked for Pam Breniser.  If you can include a note about their origin or special significance to your family that would be helpful.  Please be sure your name is on/with it.  We are hoping to get some from other countries or made from unusual materials.  Bring them in any time now. However, they won't be put in the cabinet until after the Christmas Stroll.

 

 

UMW December Activities

The Yuletide Fair was a great success, and we have many people to thank, whether they are members of the United Methodist Women or not! We had a wonderful turnout, and many of you donated craft items, kitchen needs, and baked goods, or time helping set up or break down the fair, and many of you shopped and had lunch on the day of the Fair.  Our Youth were a big help, both in doing our decorations and working on the day of the Fair.  If you missed our Fair in November, you will have another chance at the Ham and Bean Supper on December 7, and before and after the 10:30 service on December 8.  The United Methodist Women will also be providing Coffee Hour during the month of December, so we will just keep baking! The Mini Fair will serve as our December meeting, so we will not have an evening meeting during December.

 

 

Missions Information

Thanksgiving and Christmas Basket Information:  Thank you for your donations of food for Thanksgiving boxes for our refugee families.  We were able to help provide appropriate foods that can be used by these families rather than the traditional stuffing and cranberry sauce.  At Christmas, each family will receive a gift card so that they can purchase needed food for Christmas, and will also be able to receive a box from the Nashua Soup Kitchen December 19, 20, 23 & 24.  Donations that would help purchase the $50 gift cards can be made to the Heart of Nashua Food Assistance Ministry—or just write Food Pantry on the envelope!

 

CROP Hunger Walk:  Many thanks to Nonny Egbuonu, our CROP Hunger recruiter, and Erica Borroto, who organized money on the day of the walk.  Thanks especially to all of our soggy walkers, who raised $2030 with the help of the rest of Main Street UMC!!

 

Gifts for the King will be celebrated December 15. The tree with the needs or wishes of children from recent refugee families should go up on November 24. 

 

Café Agape has had some changes in leadership.  We thank Shirley Michael for all of her dedicated service as she steps back from her leadership role with Pat Kerrigan.  We welcome Deb Andrews as our new co-coordinator.  If you would like to donate a small gift item, such as a local fast food gift card, to our Café Agape patrons for Christmas, please see Pat Kerrigan.

 

Scouting for Food:  Thank you for remembering to put out your bag for Scouting for Food.  If you forgot, you can always bring in a bag for us to take along to the food pantry!

 

 

Ho, Ho Ham and Bean!

You might think that by our third Ham and Bean Supper of the new season, things might be Ho, Hum, but instead, our December 7th Ham and Bean will be Ho! Ho!  The United Methodist Women will have their Yuletide mini fair set up in the parlor, and we have heard rumors of Christmas Carolers.   This Ham and Bean Supper will take place Saturday, December 7 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The meal is served family style and features ham, two kinds of beans, coleslaw, potato salad, beverage, bread, and pie.  We need you and your friends, neighbors, and family to attend the Ham and Bean and make this supper a success! It is a fundraiser for our church that also welcomes the community to a great meal and opportunity for fellowship.  We had some new ham and bean folks from Main Street last month, and they were amazed at the wonderful food and the whole operation! (And they will be back!)

 

Adults: $10

Seniors: $9

Children 6 to 12: $4

Children 5 and under:  Free!

 

If you would like to help with the Ham and Bean, put your name on the sign-up sheet in the vestry or contact David Appler at pappler@earthlink.net

See you at the Ham and Bean Supper Saturday, December 7!

 

 

CALLING ALL UNITED METHODIST MEN AND BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST

Our December United Methodist Men Breakfast and Program will be conducted on 7 December in the vestry of Main Street United Methodist Church with breakfast at 8:30 a.m. followed by our program at 9:00 a.m.  December's Program will be led by Jason Wells, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Council of Churches, which is located in Concord, NH.  Jason will discuss the ministry of the NH Council of Churches and its mission of joining together multiple congregations of faith in mutual respect and understanding to unite for prayer, Learning, Justice, Peace, and Stewardship of God's creation.  The Council has 399 churches from New Hampshire and Vermont  who represent nine different denominations to include 56 United Methodist Churches.  Jason's primary presentation will involve his experience in working with the New Hampshire Department of Homeland Security to develop plans and procedures for the security of churches to protect them from natural disasters, damage, unlawful break-ins and dangerous scenarios involving church personnel and property.  Please come join us that morning for learning and fellowship.

 

If there are some who could come in early around 8:00 a.m. to help setup it would be helpful.  After the Program I also invite anyone who is able to remain to help set up tables and chairs for our third Ham and Bean Supper of the year which will take place later in the afternoon.

 

I look forward to seeing everyone at this meeting.  Enjoy your Thanksgiving with your families and know that our thoughts and prayers are with you as you enter the Holiday Season.  Please let us know by responding to this e-mail if you will be able to attend by replaying to this e-mail at REPLY ALL above or by calling Kent Swanson at 603-880-6289 to notify me or leave me a voicemail.

 

 

The Light of Advent - Peace

Chaos in the world or in your life is a sign of endings and beginnings.  When everything, including yourself, seems to fall apart, space is created for the seed of peace to sprout.

Affirmation to think and repeat until you feel peace flowing in your heart:

Peace sprouts within me and all around me.  I AM the light of Peace!

 

 

Announcements

Calendar

 

 

Friday, November 22, 2019

November 29 Mainstreeter Online

 

 November 22, 2019

 

 

 

 A Word from the Pastor

 

"It is the heart that gives the fingers just let go."

Ibo proverb from Nigeria

 

    In his book, Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer, the monk and spiritual writer, Brother David Steindl-Rast shares the above proverb as he talks about giving whether this act of giving be the sharing of our words of thanksgiving, the sharing of our resources, or the sharing of our forgiveness.  He points out that "giving is something that only the heart can do".  So, how can we teach our hearts to give? First and foremost, we do so when we recognize that all of life is a gift and that this gift cannot be earned but comes to us as the gratuitousness of the universe.  Brother David goes on to say, "In gratefulness we open ourselves to this gratuitous universe and so we become fully graced with it.  And in doing so we learn to move gracefully with its flow, as in a universal dance."

 

    As we enter into this season of Thanksgiving may we truly learn to move gracefully through life with a heart filled with the desire to give- to given thanks to God and each other; to give of our resources to help our most vulnerable fellow human beings; and to offer forgiveness to those who have offended or hurt us.  May our hearts truly know the gift and the giver and may our mouths and our fingers freely let go. 

 

    May you and your loved ones experience fully the joy and peace of this time of thanksgiving.

 

                                                                                                                                                                Pastor Rich

 

 

WORSHIP AHEAD

11/24    Thanksgiving Sunday

                Choir singing

Scripture: Deuteronomy 26:1-11; Philippians 4:4-9

Theme:  Peace through Prayer and Gratitude- "Don't worry, be happy" was a big hit for the singer, Bobby McFerrin.  The apostle Paul has a similar twist on things when he says, "don't worry, pray with gratitude instead" and you will experience the "peace of God".  We will explore just what Paul means by all of this and discover a secret well worth knowing.

 

12/1      The First Sunday of Advent

                Lighting the First Advent Candle

                Holy Communion

                Choir singing

Scripture: Isaiah 2:1-5

Theme:  A Vision of Peace- The prophet Isaiah, writing in the midst of a time when Jerusalem and Judah were threatened by foreign powers who were much stronger than the army of Israel dares to envision a day when peace would reign, not through violence, but through learning God's ways and walking in God's paths thus leading to day when nations "shall learn war no more."

 

 

CONSECRATION SUNDAY REMINDER

On October 20th we celebrated Consecration Sunday and presented our pledges of support to God for the year 2020. As of November 18th 70 pledges had been received in support of the General Fund in the amount of $217,213 and another 22 pledges were received towards the Heart of Nashua Campaign to pay down our debt in the amount of $25,820.  If you have not as yet submitted your pledge card please do so as soon as possible by mailing it to the church office to the attention of Bill Francis, our Financial Secretary or by including it in the offering plate any Sunday.  Your commitment and support are greatly appreciated.

 

 

OPPORTUNITY OF THE WEEK

Each week we will try to highlight a particular opportunity for you to serve in and through the Main Street UMC. 

 

This coming Sunday we will be having our annual Souper lunch and Greening of the Church starting right at noon.  Our over 40's group, F Troop, will be providing the soup and bread but we are need of as many hands as possible to assist in preparing the church for the up-coming Advent and Christmas seasons.  Please plan to stay, whether for 20 minutes, an hour, or more.

 

The following Saturday (see below) is the annual Holiday Stroll when the church is one of the host sites for concerts, children's activities and fundraising activities.  We are in need of lots of help to welcome the hundreds of people who will come to the church that night.  Once again, you can plan to help for a short amount of time or all evening.  Please sign up now!

 

 

INTERFAITH THANKSGIVING SERVICE FIRST CHURCH, CONGREGATIONAL

The annual community Thanksgiving worship service, offered by the Nashua Area Interfaith Council, will be held on Tuesday, November 26th at 7:00pm.  The service will be held at the First Church at the top of Library Hill.  The Interfaith Choir, led by Julie Oliver, will be participating in the service.  Refreshments will be served afterwards.

 

 

HOLIDAY STROLL NEEDS

We will once again be a host site for various Holiday Stroll performances which will take place in our sanctuary.  The date of this year's stroll is Saturday, Nov. 30th.  With our expanded space we will need more volunteers than usual.  We usually try to have people serve for two hour stints: from 4-6pm; and 6-8pm.  We are also in need of folks to help with the clean up after 8pm.

 

If you are willing to help out please speak to Deb Luszey or Pastor Rich.  A sign up sheet can be found in the vestry to indicate your time preferences.  Thanks in advance for your support!

 

 

THANKSGIVING BASKETS

We will be filling Thanksgiving baskets for our newer refugee neighbors this year.  We will be getting turkeys and some vegetables from the NH Food Bank through the Soup Kitchen, but will need rice in 2 to 5 lb. bags, oil, juice, dried beans, coffee and tea, butter or margarine, cookies, sugar, salt, flour, and fresh fruit and vegetables such as onions, squash, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, oranges or other fruit. Encourage children to help choose items from the bulletin board in the vestry, then bring them in on ingathering Sunday.   We also are happy to receive cash donations to purchase milk, rolls, and eggs on the day of distribution and to fill in missing items.  Ingathering Sunday for Thanksgiving is this Sunday, November 24.  Baskets will be distributed to those families on the same day so that we can distribute the perishable vegetables.

 

 

Advent Study: All is One

Wednesdays, December 4, 11, 18

10:30-Noon, Church Vestry

Come join us for a day time Advent Study exploring how mindful awareness of nature can stimulate mindful awareness of God's presence in all.   God reveals God's self in nature then through nature appears as Jesus Christ.  Now we know God as Emmanuel with and within us. Rather than a class book we will use music and readings from the Bible and multicultural sacred texts. Your creative juices will flow as we create nature collage mandalas over the course of the 3 classes.

 

Please bring a small nature item or photo to the first class and plan to share its significance to you.  A signup sheet will be in the vestry during coffee hour to help us with space and class material planning as well as child care needs.  Class facilitator is Pam Breniser.

 

 

VESTRY ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS

LIGHT OF THE WORLD- Join Amy-Jill Levine as she traces the Christmas narrative through the stories of Zechariah and Elizabeth, Mary, the journey to Bethlehem, and the visit of the Magi.  This DVD based class will be led Paul Pederzani with assistance from Pastor Rich on December 8th.   Amy-Jill Levine has the distinction of being one of the few New Testament scholars who are Jewish.  She is a New Testament professor at Vanderbilt University.  The class begins on Sunday, December 1st and concludes on Sunday, December 22nd.  There is no vestry class on December 29th.

 

 

ADVENT TAIZE SERVICE PLANNED

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 15th 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.  This year we will have live music led by Irene Harris and other church musicians.

 

 

Looking for Nativity Sets

Again this year we would like to fill the cabinet in the ladies' parlor with nativity sets, probably through Epiphany in January.  If you have a small set that you would be willing to share for a few weeks, please bring it to the church office marked for Pam Breniser.  If you can include a note about their origin or special significance to your family that would be helpful.  Please be sure your name is on/with it.  We are hoping to get some from other countries or made from unusual materials.  Bring them in any time now. However, they won't be put in the cabinet until after the Christmas Stroll. 

 

 

An Open Letter from the MSUMC Reconciling Committee to the Entire,

Beloved Community at MSUMC:

As our congregation continues to walk through a challenging crossroads, the Reconciling Committee wants to thank everyone in our community for your role in our recent vote to become a Reconciling Congregation. No one was untouched by this process, and it was work to understand our community's many different perspectives respectfully in Christian love. Since the Early Church, communities of Christians have needed to work together in the context of strong differences of opinion.

 

We would like to offer special recognition and thanks to those in our traditionalist community. We are at this crossroads because we value diversity, and as part of that value we cherish those who uphold, live by, and give voice to our most orthodox, most ancient traditions. We have been personally touched by those who maintain orthodox beliefs and still make every effort to understand, care for, and be in community with those pushing at the edges of our faith. We want to use this letter to especially let our traditionalist members know that we think that your perspective, voice, tradition, and role in our community is a special and important part of our community. Working with multiple Christian ideas helps all of us to grow as Christians. Please accept this letter as an expression of profound love, respect, and recognition of your important role in the body of Christ. You are dear to all of us and always will be.

 

In Christ's Abundant Love,

The Reconciling Committee

 

 

If you

Baked for the Fair

Helped with Fair Setup or Cleanup

Made amazing crafts for our tables

Donated something wonderful to Grandma's Attic

Donated soup, eggs, dessert, tuna or time to Holly's Kitchen

Shared greenery from your garden

Came to the fair and shopped, ate, or brought a friend

 

   Thank you from the United Methodist Women

 

 

Acolytes Needed

Would your child like to be an acolyte for the church? Acolytes bring light into the sanctuary as a reminder that God is with us in worship, and carry the light out of the sanctuary at the end of the service as a reminder that God is with us in the world. Special training is required before a child can serve as an acolyte. Acolyte training is available to all children after they begin third grade. One parent or guardian must also attend the training session with the child

 

To schedule an acolyte training session on a date and time convenient for you and your child, please email Ann Rose at akrose4@gmail.com

 

 

CROP Hunger Walk

Many thanks to Nonny Egbuono, our CROP Hunger recruiter, and Erica Borroto, who organized money on the day of the walk.  Thanks especially to all of our soggy walkers, who raised $2030 with the help of the rest of Main Street UMC!!

 

 

Café Agape

Café Agape has had some changes in leadership.  We thank Shirley Michael for all of her dedicated service as she steps back from her leadership role with Pat Kerrigan.  We welcome Deb Andrews as our new co-coordinator.  If you would like to donate a small gift item, such as a local fast food gift card, to our Café Agape patrons for Christmas, please see Pat Kerrigan.

 

 

Scouting for Food

Thank you for remembering to put out your bag for Scouting for Food.  If you forgot, you can always bring in a bag for us to take along to the food pantry!

 

 

December 2019 Odd year out

Hi, Joe from Finance and Stewardship.  As we near the end of 2019 I've reflected on my columns this year, and also looked at what I wrote in previous years.    I've been writing these columns since 2016!    It's very interesting to gauge the progress we've made since then.

 

I've also reviewed my committee meeting notes and my overall memory of past years.    I've noticed a trend:  Our odd years have been more financially challenging than even years.   Our even years (2014, 2016, 2018) have been difficult enough, but our odd years (2015, 2017) have been very challenging indeed.

 

Let's say that again: our odd years have been more financially challenging.  I've gone back to 2014 and the pattern has been consistent.    2017 has been our most difficult year in this period, at one point we were $50,000 behind in our ministries and missions funding.

 

I can't pin why odd years have been more difficult.   Perhaps it's the cycle in our Heart of Nashua capital campaign that caused particular stress.   Maybe it's related to the income cycle of some very generous benefactors to the church.   It could be some other reason.   It is very interesting however.

 

As you know, 2019 is an odd year.   And sure enough, we are tracking behind in our ministries and missions funding (general fund on your envelope) as our other odd years.   Not as dire as 2017, but we are still behind at this point.   As in other years (odd or even), I plan to make a year-end appeal to our congregation for our end-of-year ministries and missions.

 

Please take heed in my upcoming year-end appeal.   In addition, Phyllis Bowden, our treasurer, updates a nice summary in the weekly bulletin.   Please read her summary, with an eye towards an area you feel committed towards.   In the past she's mentioned our overall ministries and missions (general fund), Heart of Nashua status (including loan balance), and items in particular that need your support.   Many generous givers have identified with key needs and supported accordingly.

 

It's because of your generosity that we've been able to meet our mission obligations year after year.    You know the good work our church does in our community and in the missions we support.  You've come through in the end every year.  I look forward to your generosity again this year.

 

Thank you,

Joe Dechene

 

 

Rada Knife Sale

United Methodist Women are running a Rada Knife and other kitchen supplies order sale.  This is the final 2 weeks, so please look over the catalog and place your order.  These items will be here in time for Christmas Gift Giving.  (There are boxed knife sets, wood blocks, baking pans, as well as individual items that make great gifts and stocking stuffers). Look for the catalogs and order forms on the piano in the Vestry following both services.   All orders must be turned in by December 1!

 

 

Gift Card Fundraiser

Beginning now and throughout the Holiday Season, MSUMC will be participating in a gift card fundraiser with a company called Scrip. Scrip is fundraising while you shop.

 

Here's how it works: Our members can buy gift cards, e-gift cards or mobile gift cards through the program. You'll pay the full face value, but earn an immediate rebate percentage amount for MSUMC that's typically between 2% and 16% depending on the retailer. Then, use that gift card on your normal purchases or give it as a gift. So, for instance, you could buy bagels and coffee from Panera Bread with Scrip and earn 8%. You're not spending any extra time or money— it's just earning for our church!

 

Sign-up by visiting https://shop.shopwithscrip.com/ and clicking on the REGISTER button. The MSUMC Enrollment Code needed to sign up is 7EF7366757686

 

There is also a mobile app called MyScripWallet that is available for both Apple and Android Devices that can be used to participate on a mobile device.

 

NEW THIS YEAR is also the ability to pay for online orders using a credit card so you do not have to be limited to writing a check or linking your checking account info to make a purchase!

 

During the month of November, a paper order form with a limited amount of gift card choices will also be available in the vestry for those who would rather participate that way.

 

Questions?  Contact our Scrips program coordinator (Laura Graudons) at LauraG1973@comcast.net or 595-2412.

 

 

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PLEASE NOTE: There will be no Mainstreeter Online Blast on November 29.

Happy Thanksgiving!