Friday, March 22, 2019

March 22 Mainstreeter Online

 

March 22, 2019

 

  

A Word from the Pastor

A PRAYER FOR LENT BY JOYCE RUPP

Taken from Fresh Bread and Other Gifts of Spiritual Nourishment, page 16

 

Can it be?

Have I for so long

forgotten to feed myself?

 

Yes.

For nigh a year now

I was slowly starving.

Getting lost in busy days,

tossing aside the hunger

that chewed away inside.

 

Yet, I did not die.

By some quiet miracle

I made it to this moment

of truth:

 

I nearly starved to death.

 

It was not my body

that I failed to feed.

It was my spirit,

left alone for days

without nourishment or care.

 

And then one day

I paused to look within,

shocked at what I found:

So thin of faith,

so weak of understanding,

so needy of encouragement.

 

My starving spirit cried the truth:

 

I can!

I will!

I must!

Be fed!

 

Unlike some of you I never forget a meal and am never too busy to stop to eat whether I am hungry or not. I am clearly one of those people who "lives to eat" rather than "eats to live". Food, more often than not, means too much to me rather than not enough. Food can be an idol that I look to in order to satisfy my deepest longings and needs. Of course, it doesn't deliver on its hoped for promises and rather than finding food to satisfy my inner needs it usually leaves me feeling empty even when I am full.

 

Now while this is true regarding the physical food that I eat it is not always true when it comes to the spiritual food that we also need in order to be spiritually full. I can more easily forget to pray, to read the scriptures, to be silent, to slow down. I appreciate this Lenten Prayer offered by Joyce Rupp because it reminds me that as a human being I too must be fed, not just with the physical food that sustains my body but with the spiritual food that feeds my soul.

 

As we continue our journey through this Lenten season it is my hope and prayer that you will confront your idols, whether they revolve around food or something else altogether, and instead feed your soul as you embrace spiritual practices that will sustain you. May you know that you are not alone on this journey and that your fellow travelers are there to support you. Let us journey together towards physical and spiritual health and well-being.

 

 

 

WORSHIP AHEAD

3/24 The Third Sunday in Lent

Scripture: Isaiah 55:1-9; First Corinthians 10:1-13

Theme: Food that Satisfies- An unknown prophet speaking towards the end of the exile asks the question, "Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?" What makes the food that we eat satisfying and can food in and of itself satisfy our deepest human longings and needs? We will consider that answers to these questions this coming Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

At a recent Church Council meeting we talked about how we might better highlight some of the opportunities for service that are available through the church. A suggestion was made that maybe we could have an "opportunity of the week". This will now be a new feature in the weekly e-mail blast so look for these wonderful opportunities and see if there is something that sounds inviting to you.

 

This week's opportunity involves volunteering to be a greeter coordinator or a greeter on Sunday morning. With our new entrances and different Sunday morning flow it is essential that we have more greeters than we have had in the past. It would help especially to have a volunteer to coordinate all of the volunteers. If you are interested in either- being a coordinator or a greeter please speak to Pastor Rich.

 

 

 

Announcements

Calendar

 

 

Are you interested in becoming a member of the Main Street United Methodist Church? Would you like to know more about the United Methodist Church and the Main Street UMC? If so, please join Pastor Rich and others for two classes to be held at 9:00am on April 7th and 14th. The classes will meet in Pastor Rich's office. Please sign up on the sheet located under the clock in the vestry to indicate your interest. New members will be received into membership on Palm Sunday, April 14th during the 10:30am worship service.

 

 

 

RECONCILING CONGREGATION CONVERSATION

 

Following the Adult Sunday School class sessions on "Homosexuality and the United Methodist Church" and the outcome of the most recent special session of General Conference that not only reiterated our 47 year history of discrimination towards members of the LGBTQI community, interest was expressed in the possibility of the Main Street United Methodist Church becoming a Reconciling Congregation. A preliminary meeting was held on Tuesday, March 19 th with nearly 40 individuals in attendance and the unanimous decision was to move forward in exploring this option. A proposal will be presented at the March 25th Church Council meeting which hopefully will give its approval for this on-going conversation.

 

Just what is a Reconciling Congregation? Simply put, "A Reconciling Congregation is a United Methodist local church that makes a public statement welcoming all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, to participate fully in their congregational life." At a time when the UMC has received extensive press for its discriminatory practices towards members of the LGBTQI community it seems more than ever to be necessary for United Methodist Churches to affirm themselves as safe and welcoming places for all God's children and especially for those who are actively discriminated against in the wider church.

 

For more information about the Reconciling Congregation movement please check out the website, rmnetwork.org and look for written resources that will be made available as well. Please pray for our congregation as we go through this process, but most of all please pray for our LGBTQI sisters and brothers in our church and community who need to know that church is a safe place for them.

 

 

 

Tomorrow, March 23, 2019, the Youth Advisory Council will be hosting a Youth & Family Event for the youth in 7th to 12th grade and their families. The event will be held at the church's vestry from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm. This is an opportunity for the youth and their families to connect with each other. The event will include a potluck, youth-led games, contemporary hymn sings, and much more. Please reserve the date and spread the word. If your last name begins with A-K, bring a dessert or appetizer; or L-Z, bring a main dish. Please contact Karrie Lam, Coordinator of Youth Ministry, at youth@mainstreet-umc.org by March 16 and let her know how many in your family will be attending the event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Presented for baptism on Sunday, March 24 will be Jewelle Adom and Janelle Nhyire Aikins.  Jewelle and Janelle are the twin daughters of Juliette Andoh and Jeffrey Aikins.  The proud grandparents are Hannah and Joseph Andoh and Jerry and Sabina Aikins.  Let us welcome Jewelle and Janelle into God's family and our church family as well.

 

 

 

United Methodist Men's

18th Annual Golf Scramble and Fund Raiser

Green Meadow Golf Club

June 22, 2019

 

Golfers Wanted

$67.00 per golfer

Team and Individual Sign-up Sheets on UMM Bulletin Board in the Hallway

 

We can use additional support in the following ways:

Personal Hole Sponsors @ $50.00 / sign

Corporate Hole Sponsor @ $75.00 / sign

Each sign is 8-1/2 x 11 laminated and attached to a sign board

 

For more info, call or email

Mark Morrissey   244-0738

markm196114@msn.com

 

 

 

FDA Guidelines for Food Expiration and local composting

 

While listening to Pastor Rich's sermon on gluttony, he mentioned how wasteful we are in throwing out food after the expiration. I am guilty of doing that when I buy a certain ingredient for a dish that I never end up making. However, I want to provide you with information from the FDA on their recommended expiration dates. I needed to learn this while working at SHARE Outreach in Milford for their food pantry.

 

Any items made of dairy products such as dips, smoothie drinks, or yogurt should be discarded on their expiration date (although I will eat yogurts up to a week after, more good bacteria, right?). Canned or jarred tomato products like diced tomatoes or pasta sauce are good for up to a year after their date. Any other canned, jarred or sealed packaged foods are safe to eat up to 18 months after their expiration date. Are they as fresh tasting? Maybe not but they are safe. Of course, if the can is dented or the jar is not sealed, throw it away. For more information see the link https://www.fda.gov/downloads/food/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm529509.pdf.

 

I also wanted to inform you about a new service happening in Nashua that will compost your waste for you. We discovered it at the Farmer's Market outside the church's front door last summer. The link for this service is https://www.grownashua.org/composting if you are interested in learning more.

 

Blessings,

Maggie Dechene

 

Friday, March 15, 2019

March 15 Online Mainstreeter

 March 15, 2019

 

 A Word from the Pastor

 

A LENTEN PRAYER BY BISHOP SUDARSHANA DEVEDHAR

God,
remind me again today that
you are Love;
that Loving is always expressed in action
not beliefs.

Remind me again today 
that your love was made visible 
in creation,
in Jesus,
in the Church, the body of Christ.

Remind me again today 
that it is through love, not 
right vs wrong,
good vs evil, that 
we are saved.

Remind me again today that you
gather us all,
love us all,
sanctify us all,
call us all, 
to be one —
in Christ, 
with each other, 
in ministry to 
all the world.

    The prayer shared above was presented to the members of the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church at the start of the Lenten Season.  I assume that it was written sometime between the end of the recent special session of General Conference and the beginning of Lent.  Bishop Devedhar's prayer reflects his strong belief that God is love and that God's love has been made visible in God's acts of goodness towards all of God's creation.  It is an all-inclusive love that binds us together as the human family and excludes no one.  Jesus expressed this love throughout his life especially as he embraced those who so often failed to be accepted and loved by the more rigid and legalistic religious leaders of first century Palestine.  Unfortunately, legalism is not dead but very alive in our denomination.  It is most evident in the recent harsh, discriminatory, and unjust decisions that were passed by the delegates of General Conference.  These decisions continue our discriminatory practices towards lgbtq clergy members and those aspiring to ordination and towards the lgbtq members of the United Methodist Church who desire to have their love for one another blessed by God and the church.  Likewise, there are added punitive measures that have been agreed upon to punish Bishops, Boards of Ordained Ministry, and clergy who choose the loving action of advocating for and supporting the lgbtq community of United Methodists.

    As a congregation we have already begun to have conversations as to how we will respond in love to these General Conference decisions and with love to our lgbtq sisters and brothers.  Included below are two opportunities for us to have a voice and respond in love and with action.  I hope that you will take advantage of these opportunities and make it a part of your Lenten journey.

 

 

WORSHIP AHEAD

3/17       The Second Sunday in Lent

                Scripture: Psalm 27; Philippians 3:17-4:1

Theme:  Challenging the "god" of Gluttony- The apostle Paul warns the beloved saints in the city of Philippi about those who are the "enemies of the cross".  He identifies them, among other things, as those "whose god is their stomach".  How does gluttony make one an "enemy of the cross" and in what ways are we all guilty of gluttony in our eating practices?

 

 

 

OPPORTUNITY OF THE WEEK

At our most recent Church Council meeting we talked about how we might better highlight some of the opportunities for service that are available through the church.  A suggestion was made that maybe we could have an "opportunity of the week".  This will now be a new feature in the weekly e-mail blast so look for these wonderful opportunities and see if there is something that sounds inviting to you.

 

This week's opportunity involves volunteering at the Nashua Soup Kitchen for the food pantry ministry.  On the third Sunday of each month our Hunger Ministry volunteers open the food pantry at the Nashua Soup Kitchen in order to provide opportunities for those who are unable to go to the food pantry during the week.  Our volunteers will be there from 1:30-4:00pm on Sunday.  Please speak to Phyllis Appler if you would like more information or just show up!

 

 

 

Announcements

Calendar

 

 

 

 

 

 

COURAGEOUS CONVERSATIONS

Following the Special Session of General Conference that was held February 23-26 there are lots of questions as to what the implications of the decisions made will be for our annual conference and for the churches that make up the United Methodist Church.  In order to provide opportunity for members of our district churches to have "courageous" conversations our District Superintendent, Jim McPhee, will lead us in discussion on Monday, March 18th at 7:00pm.  We will be hosting this session here at MSUMC and will need volunteers to help with refreshments, sound, projection, and greeting.  If you are willing to assist please let Pastor Rich know asap.  A second session will be held on Tuesday, March 19th at 7:00pm at in South Portland, Maine.

 

 

 

RECONCILING CONGREGATION CONVERSATION

A number of people from the congregation have expressed interest in our exploring whether it might make sense for us to become a "reconciling" congregation (to learn more check out the Reconciling Ministry Network website www.rmnetwork.org).  A preliminary meeting to discuss this possibility will take place on Tuesday, March 19th at 6:30pm on the second floor of the lobby.  All are invited to attend.

 

 

 

College Box Collection – March 17

It's that time of the year to remind our students away at college how much their Main Street family loves them by sending them a box filled with goodies! The education committee will be packing boxes on Sunday. Some ideas are small candies, power/energy bars, gum, etc. This year we are asking again that the congregation refrain from donating chips or other items packaged in similar bags, or liquid items that may leak. Thank you for helping us with this annual way to keep in touch!

 

Thanks, Mark Morrissey markm196114@msn.com

 

 

Global Missions Display

During March, a display of the different global missions we participate in throughout the year will be out on the table and bulletin board in the lower lobby. Two of them are opportunities for giving during the season of Lent: the Heifer Project Easter Tree of Life and School Kits. Look for awards we have received for completing an "ark" for the Heifer Project.

 

 

 

Rada Knives Fund Raiser

Did you know that Main St United Methodist Women have been selling Rada Knives and other products as a Fund Raiser?

 

We have an inventory on hand for immediate purchase, with a catalog for special orders. We are currently taking orders until April 15.  These will be available for pick up by early May. Stop by our display during Coffee Hour to see our current stock, or pick up a catalog to choose books, soup and

dip mixes, gift ideas, and many other items.

 

Friday, March 8, 2019

March 8 Mainstreeter Online

 March 8, 2019

 

 A Word from the Pastor

 

"Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread." Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'One does not live by bread alone.'"

    It is no surprise that the first temptation that Jesus experienced while in the wilderness had to do with food.  So much of our experience with food as human beings comes with both challenges and temptations.  For the ancient Hebrew people, their own wilderness experience involved learning to live with a shortage of food and the temptation to take matters into their own hands rather that to trust that God would provide "manna from heaven".  Jesus, having fasted for many days is confronted by the temptation to "command this stone to become a loaf of bread"- or to find another way to find nourishment other than through the usual channels.  Jesus responds to the temptation by quoting from the book of Deuteronomy where the Hebrew people are reminded that "One does not live by bread alone."  Jesus, in turn, taught his disciples not to make an idol out of food when he taught them to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread". 

    This past Wednesday we began our annual Lenten journey as we observed Ash Wednesday.  Like Jesus we have begun a forty day period of wilderness wanderings leading up to our celebration of Easter.  It seems to me that this is a good time for us to evaluate our relationship with food in a way that is healthy both physically and spiritually.  Since I am one who "lives to eat" rather than "eating to live" the challenge may be different for me than for you.  I am hoping to be more thoughtful about the food that I eat while hopefully eating less as well.  I want to think broadly about where the food I eat has come from; has it been produced in a way that is good for the earth and for those who eat it; has it been packaged in a way that does not result in a lot of waste and am I eating it in a way that does not result in food that is going to waste rather than sustaining myself and others.  For others of you the questions you ask about the food you eat may need to be different but they are important nonetheless.

    A good place to start of course is with prayer- both before meals and at other times- acknowledging that the food we eat ultimately is a gift from God to be enjoyed and shared.  I also hope to do some reading around the relationship between food, spirituality, and our global relationships (thanks to a gift from one of my sons!).  I imagine that you will be hearing something about what I read and the thoughts that I have as a result of reading and reflection.

    I may not choose to fast but recognize in fasting an ancient biblical tradition whereby the saints of old have come to experience the truth that "One does not live by bread alone".  I invite you to join me in this Lenten journey as you reflect spiritually on the food that you eat as well.

 

 

 

WORSHIP AHEAD

3/10       The First Sunday in Lent

                Scripture: Deuteronomy 26:1-11; Luke 4:1-13

Theme:  Eating Reflectively in the land of "milk and honey"- Eating is necessary to life both physically and spiritually.  Yet, for most of us the food that we eat is fraught with temptation on many different levels.  During this season of Lent we will contemplate what it means to enjoy food as a gift from God and eat it reflectively.  This will hold true whether the food is of the physical type or the spiritual.

 

 

 

OPPORTUNITY OF THE WEEK

At our most recent Church Council meeting we talked about how we might better highlight some of the opportunities for service that are available through the church.  A suggestion was made that maybe we could have an "opportunity of the week".  This will now be a new feature in the weekly e-mail blast so look for these wonderful opportunities and see if there is something that sounds inviting to you.

 

This week's opportunity involves volunteering to assist with the Book Sale that will take place on Saturday, March 16th from 9am-2pm.  I am sure that there will be need for help the day before as well.  To inquire or offer your assistance please speak to Mavis Pyle or give her a call at 860-9792 or e-mail her at pylefamily@comcast.net  Thank you in advance for your consideration.

 

 

 

Announcements

Calendar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 COURAGEOUS CONVERSATIONS

Following the Special Session of General Conference that was held February 23-26 there are lots of questions as to what the implications of the decisions made will be for our annual conference and for the churches that make up the United Methodist Church.  In order to provide opportunity for members of our district churches to have "courageous" conversations our District Superintendent, Jim McPhee, will lead us in discussion on Monday, March 18th at 7:00pm.  We will be hosting this session here at MSUMC and will need volunteers to help with refreshments, sound, projection, and greeting.  If you are willing to assist please let Pastor Rich know asap.  A second session will be held on Tuesday, March 19th at 7:00pm at in South Portland, Maine.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All youth and adults are invited to participate in an exciting mission opportunity this summer. Our mission work will be hosted by the United Methodist Action Reach-out Mission by Youth (U.M. ARMY). This organization has been providing mission opportunities for youth and adults for 40 years. During the week of July 14-20, we will be partnering with several other UM churches to work in the Dover community doing projects, such as handicap access ramps, step and stair repair, handrail installation, painting, yard work and a variety of other projects. We will sleep, eat, worship and share fellowship at a local church that will host us for the week. Our goal in Dover will be to build relationships with those we are serving and to grow in faith by becoming God's hands and feet in the world.  U.M. ARMY will be offering New Adult Training for those, 18 and over, who are new in attending or want a refresher course on the ministry.  We will send out dates and times for the online training as we get closer to the mission week.Students who are currently enrolled in seventh grade through high school, as well as college-age young adults, are welcome to participate. Adults over 21 are needed as U.M. ARMY requires that we bring 2 adults (over 21) with vehicles for every 5 youth. Adults should agree to have a criminal background check and that all adults will be approved by the senior pastor of our church. The cost per person for this trip is $300. We will be doing a variety of fundraising events to help defray the individual cost for the mission trip. But we require each participant to pay for the $50 non-refundable registration fee. If you have a financial hardship to pay for the registration fee, please speak to Pastor Rich. Registration for this mission trip will be done online and your registration is due on March 31, 2019. Please contact Karrie Lam, Coordinator of Youth Ministry at youth@mainstreet-umc.org to reserve a space on the trip. She will provide you with a link to complete the registration.