Thursday, August 15, 2019

August 15 Online Mainstreeter

  August 15, 2019

 

 

 A Word from the Pastor

 

A Future Not Our Own (also known as 'The Long View')

Bishop Ken Untener, who included it in a reflection titled "The Mystery of the Romero Prayer."

It helps, now and then, to step back
and take the long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of
the magnificent enterprise that is God's work.
Nothing we do is complete,
which is another way of saying
that the kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No programme accomplishes the church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about:
We plant seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything
and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for God's grace to enter and do the rest. 

We may never see the end results,
but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders,
ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own."

    I shared this prayer as a litany following my sermon this past Sunday.  Since it was only on the screen and not included in the hard copy of the order of worship I thought that I would include it here so that you might see it again and perhaps even save it for future use.  I first used this prayer in September of 2013 at the first Leadership Summit when we kicked off the Heart of Nashua capital campaign.  In many ways it served as a reminder to us that the process of becoming the church that we believe God is calling us to be is a long, sometimes slow, process that requires faith, determination, and perseverance.  Interestingly, when a small group of us participated in the Growing with Hope program in 2014 this same prayer was presented to us (framed) and it was requested that we hang it somewhere in the church.  Our framed copy hangs in the hallway outside the office (between the bulletin boards) on the far wall so please take a look the next time you are here.

                                                                                                                                Prophets of a Future Not Our Own,

                                                                                                                                Pastor Rich

 

 

WORSHIP AHEAD

8/18       The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

                Special Music: Kelly Brown, Dan McDonald, and Andrea Weir

Organist: John Pagett

Scripture: Hebrews 11:29-12:2; Luke 12:49-56

Theme:  Running with Perseverance- Having listed numerous Old Testament saints as part of the "cloud of witnesses" who cheer us on, the author of the Letter to the Hebrews encourages us to "run the race with perseverance" with Jesus as our model and guide.  What might this race look like for each one of us?

 

 

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.

 

You are invited to help serve at the food pantry (Nashua Soup Kitchen) this coming Sunday from 1:30pm-4:00pm.  This is our once a month commitment to providing food on a weekend so that people who work during the week (but still need food) have the opportunity to get some.

 

 

OPERA COMES TO MSUMC

During the months of July and August the Main Street UMC will be co-hosting two operatic concerts.  The first was held on Saturday, July 27th and the second concert will be held on Saturday, August 24th also at 7:00pm.  It is titled, "La Traviata in Concert" and features selections from La Traviata.  The cost for each concert is $12.00 for adults and $10.00 for children or seniors.  Our portion of the proceeds will go towards the church's organ fund.  Come enjoy an evening of beautiful music in air conditioned comfort.

 

 

CAFÉ AGAPE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

Café Agape, our outreach to our neighbors both homeless and those in vulnerable situations, has once again closed for the month of August but will re-open on Tuesday, September 3rd.  Café Agape is open Monday-Friday from 8:00am-10:00am and provides a safe place for our neighbors to gather for coffee, food, and conversation.  We are in need of some more volunteers.  You can volunteer one day a month; one day a week; or however often you would like.  If interested please be in touch with either Pat Kerrigan or Shirley Michael .  Their e-mail addresses respectively are: pkerrigan27@comcast.net or smichael-1@comcast.net Thank you for your consideration!

 

 

Trolling for Tuna Searching for Soup

Let's do this on August 18. That way we can take the soup and tuna with us on the third Sunday when we have our own food pantry! Leave your cans in the Food Pantry Bin in the lobby or vestry.

 

Thank you!   Missions Work Area

 

 

UMW Workshop Postponed

Due to vacation travels, the UMW Workshop scheduled for August 21 has been postponed to the following week, August 28.  It will be in the Vestry from 7-9pm.

 

 

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Thursday, August 8, 2019

August 8 Online Mainstreeter

 

 August 8, 2019

  

 

 A Word from the Pastor

 

"Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."

Luke 12:32

 

    Every time we pray the Lord's Prayer we repeat the words, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."  These words express a sentiment that people of faith have expressed since Jesus taught this prayer to his disciples nearly 2,000 years ago.  It reflects Jesus' own passion which was that the earth that we know and experience would come to reflect the will of God as evidenced in heaven.  Jesus longed for the day when the values of heaven would become the values of earth.  Jesus worked throughout his short life for the transformation of his society from one that valued money over people and power over peace.  To this end Jesus died at the hands of the powers that felt threatened by his efforts.

    The fact that we have been praying these words for nearly 2,000 years might lead us to believe that the triumph of the kingdom of God over the kingdoms of this world is never going to happen.  Yet, Jesus assures his followers that "it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom".  If this is the case, what is the hold up? Why are we still waiting?  Well, the answer lies in the way in which God has always chosen to bring about transformation in our world.  Rather than swooping in and setting things straight once and for all, God has always preferred to work through human beings like you and me.  We are partners in God's work of kingdom building.  We have to do our part!

    God is faithful and indeed has time and again worked through willing servants (Moses, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, etc.) to deliver the oppressed and to bring about a new world of peace and justice for many.  It is indeed God's good pleasure to establish a kingdom in which all human life is valued, in which the marginalized find their way to the center, and in which people see their connectedness to all people and to the creation itself.  It is up to each one of us to likewise be faithful in doing our part however small and seemingly irrelevant it may be so that the kingdom of God might become a reality now and for all time. 

                                                                                                                                                Partners with God

                                                                                                                                                Pastor Rich

 

 

WORSHIP AHEAD

8/11     The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

             Vacation Bible School Celebration

             Special Music: Rose/Sommer families

Organist: John Pagett

Scripture: Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16; Luke 12:32-40

Theme:  Kingdom Faith- What is the relationship between faith and the kingdom (kindom) of God? What does faith look like? How does it get manifested in the lives of saints who are working for the sake of the kingdom of God? 

 

 

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.

 

After the busy-ness of Vacation Bible School week we have a much needed lull in our church activities- enjoy it while you can! These weeks don't come often in the life of a busy church.

 

 

URGENT - VESTRY MONITORS NEEDED

The safety committee needs two volunteers to act as vestry monitors during Sunday church services for the month of Aug. If you can do a Sunday, please email Paul Pederzani at pped@comcast.net with your availability.

 

 

Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter's Backpack Drive

A bin is available in the lobby for donations to the Soup Kitchen's Backpack Drive. Fill it with backpacks, notebooks, pencils, and the other things needed for back to school! Sales are on right now! Donations will be welcome Sunday, August 11. We appreciate ALL new donations!

 

 

Trolling for Tuna Searching for Soup

Let's do this on the Second and Third Sundays in August, August 11 and 18. That way we can take the soup and tuna with us on the third Sunday when we have our own food pantry! Leave your cans in the Food Pantry Bin in the lobby or vestry.

 

 

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Thursday, August 1, 2019

August 1 Online Mainstreeter

 

 August 1, 2019

 

 

 

 A Word from the Pastor

 

"Come and find the quiet center in the crowded life we lead, find the room for hope to enter,

find the frame where we are freed: Clear the chaos and the clutter,

clear our eyes that we can see all the things that really matter, be at peace, and simply be."

Verse one of "Come and Find the Quiet Center, TFWS, #2128

 

    Earlier this year I received the invitation to become a member of the Executive Board of the Rolling Ridge Retreat Center (see the Rolling Ridge article later in this issue of the Mainstreeter).  Rolling Ridge has been a part of the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church for over 70 years now and I have had the opportunity to experience its many retreat offerings for nearly 35 years.  Given that the "Ridge" is less than an hour away in North Andover, MA I jumped at the opportunity to be more intimately involved in its mission as a retreat center. 

    That said, I would also like for you to experience Rolling Ridge and its many programs because I believe that the retreat experience, whether it be a day-long, weekend-long, or week-long retreat can have a significant impact on one's spiritual journey.  From time to time in the Mainstreeter I will highlight an up-coming program with the hope that you will get excited enough to sign up for it.  There is usually something for everyone and it is my expectation that one of the programs will prove to be just what you need in your life.

    Should you want to know more about Rolling Ridge I would love to speak with you about it.  In recent years the Ridge has seen many improvements and now is able to bill itself (honestly) as "New England's Premiere Christian Retreat Center".  The retreat house itself is 100 years old this year and was built as the home of Ethan Allen.  The grounds are beautiful and it sits on the shore of beautiful Lake Cochichewick which allows for canoeing and kayaking experiences.

    I hope that I am successful in whetting your appetite for some of the many opportunities that Rolling Ridge has to offer.  Be sure to check it out on-line for more information or check out the Summer/Fall Program booklet that can be found both in the lobby and in the vestry at church.

If you are feeling the need to "find the quiet center in the crowded life we lead" I can think of no better place to do so than at the Rolling Ridge Retreat Center.

                                                                                                                Blessings on the remainder of your summer,

Pastor Rich

 

 

WORSHIP AHEAD

8/4         The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

                Guest Preacher: Rev. David Svenson

                Special Music: Lisa Svenson and Susan Joy

Organist: John Pagett

 

 

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 week's opportunity is to volunteer to assist with our Vacation Bible School program which will take place from Monday, August 5th through Friday, August 9th.  Please speak to either Susan Pederzani or Andrea Weir should you want to get involved.

 

 

URGENT - VESTRY MONITORS NEEDED

The safety committee needs two volunteers to act as vestry monitors during Sunday church services for the month of Aug. If you can do a Sunday, please email Paul Pederzani at pped@comcast.net with your availability.

 

 

PASTOR'S VACATION PLANS

Pastor Rich will be on vacation beginning Tuesday, July 30th through Friday, August 9th.  Our guest preacher next Sunday will be Rev. Dave Svenson.  Pastor Dave was pastor of the Main Street UMC from 1992-2000.  We are pleased that in retirement Pastor Dave and his wife, Linda, claim Nashua and the Main Street UMC as home.

 

 

ROLLING RIDGE: OUR NEIGHBORHOOD RETREAT CENTER!

Did you know that our Annual Conference owns and runs a retreat center for adults that is less than an hour away from Nashua? That's right, the Rolling Ridge Retreat Center, located in North Andover, MA is our neighborhood retreat center and a place with which you will want to be acquainted if you are not already!  Here is how Rolling Ridge is described on its web site:

 

Rolling Ridge Retreat and Conference Center is a peaceful, beautiful and historic place offering hospitality and programs for the renewal of spirit and transformation of the world.  Nestled on a peninsula surrounded by Lake Cochichewick in North Andover, Massachusetts, the 40 room Georgian estate on 38 acres of woods, rolling hills and lakefront is the perfect setting for retreats and conferences, day meetings, or personal retreats. Twenty two bedrooms accommodate 40 adults and special youth accommodations sleep 75. Chef prepared delicious meals in the lakeview dining room are sure to please groups and individuals. Two labyrinths, nature trails, a summer pool and the Ridge Wellness Center provide opportunity for relaxation, recreation and refreshment. Why not check out some of the week day and weekend programs that are available at Rolling Ridge by visiting their web site www.rollingridge.org  Or check out the flyer found on the bulletin board under the clock in the vestry and on the table in the lobby.  There is something for everyone at Rolling Ridge!

 

 

THIS MONTH'S ROLLING RIDGE OFFERING

I am aware that many MSUMC members received the daily e-mail from Richard Rohr and that these e-mails are a part of your regular spiritual discipline.  Well, I have good news for you!  Rolling Ridge has become home to a Richard Rohr community which meets on the second Sunday of every month and offers book studies and other programs from the Center for Action and Contemplation.  Here's what the Rolling Ridge web site has to say about this program:

 

Join the Rohr Action and Contemplation Small Group. Rolling Ridge Executive Director Lawrence Jay describes it as a drop-in group for anyone interested in Richard Rohr or in finding a community in this spiritual-but-not-religious context in which we live.

 

The group meets at 3 p.m. on the second Sunday of each month; sessions are about 90 minutes.

 

Do you receive the Daily Meditations sent by Richard Rohr and the Center for Action and Contemplation?

Have you read a book by Richard Rohr?

Have you participated in the CONSPIRE conference hosted by CAC?

Are you a graduate of the CAC Living School?

Do you wonder where you fit into today's spiritual landscape?

Are you looking for community with others who have a unitive, non-dualistic, mystical heart?

 

If you answered "yes" to any of the questions above, we invite you to join us at our Richard Rohr Action and Contemplation small group.  We meet on the second Sundays of the month from 3:00-4:30 pm at the Rolling Ridge Center for Spirituality and Leadership (CSL).  Each month we begin with a contemplative practice and then engage in conversation that deepens our understanding and inspires our heart as we seek to integrate a Richard Rohr writing into our daily lives.  No registration is required to attend.  You are welcome to join us when you are able.  For more information on this monthly event or to be added to the distribution list regarding other upcoming Richard Rohr/Center for Action and Contemplation events, contact Rolling Ridge Executive Director, Lawrence Jay at lawrence.jay@rollingridge.org.

 

If you would be interested in attending the session on August 11th please speak to Pastor Rich and we can arrange to go.  If not in August, let's plan to go on September 8th.

 

 

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Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter's Backpack Drive

A bin is available in the lobby for donations to the Soup Kitchen's Backpack Drive. Fill it with backpacks, notebooks, pencils, and the other things needed for back to school! Sales are on right now! Donations will be welcome through the first two Sundays in August. We appreciate ALL new donations!

 

                 List of Supplies

 

Backpacks for Boys & Girls Grades Kindergarten – 12th

2" Three Ring Binders -- required in High School

Loose leaf filler paper

Tabbed Dividers

Spiral notebooks

#2 Pencils

Handheld Pencil Sharpener

Separate erasers

Pens

12" Rulers

Protractor or multi-piece Drafting package

Bottled glue

Glue sticks

Scotch tape

Staplers (mini or desk size)

Student Scissors (Safety scissors for younger students)

Dry-Erase Markers for all grades (when called up to the board)

Crayons (Boxes of 24)

Colored pencils (Bright or Bold)

Washable colored markers

Pencil boxes or Pouches for elementary school children

Lunch Boxes/Snack Bags for elementary school children

Calculators for High School students

Dictionary (one per family)

Index Cards

8GB (or larger) flash drive for High School students

 

Thursday, July 25, 2019

July 25 Online Mainstreeter

  July 25, 2019

 

 

 A Word from the Pastor

A Christian prayer in union with creation

Father, we praise you with all your creatures.
They came forth from your all-powerful hand;
they are yours, filled with your presence and your tender love.
Praise be to you!

Son of God, Jesus,
through you all things were made.
You were formed in the womb of Mary our Mother,
you became part of this earth,
and you gazed upon this world with human eyes.
Today you are alive in every creature
in your risen glory.
Praise be to you!

Holy Spirit, by your light
you guide this world towards the Father's love
and accompany creation as it groans in travail.
You also dwell in our hearts
and you inspire us to do what is good.
Praise be to you!

Triune Lord, wondrous community of infinite love,
teach us to contemplate you
in the beauty of the universe,
for all things speak of you.
Awaken our praise and thankfulness
for every being that you have made.
Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined
to everything that is.

God of love, show us our place in this world
as channels of your love
for all the creatures of this earth,
for not one of them is forgotten in your sight.
Enlighten those who possess power and money
that they may avoid the sin of indifference,
that they may love the common good, advance the weak,
and care for this world in which we live.
The poor and the earth are crying out.
O Lord, seize us with your power and light,
help us to protect all life,
to prepare for a better future,
for the coming of your Kingdom
of justice, peace, love and beauty.
Praise be to you!
Amen.

Given in Rome at Saint Peter's on 24 May, the Solemnity of Pentecost, in the year 2015, the third of my Pontificate (Pope Francis).

 

    This prayer of Pope Francis captures well the biblical and theological foundation of the Christian charge to care for the earth and its most vulnerable of inhabitants.  For too long Christians have thought of salvation as being something that is limited to we human beings.  The scriptures of the Old and New Testaments though bear witness to the reality that God's love extends to the entirety of the creation and that the earth and all its creatures, human and otherwise, are the objects of Christ's reconciling and redemptive work.  We are called to be partners with God in this on-going work of salvation as we take seriously the charge to protect and care for the creation.  May we commit ourselves to faithful stewardship and wise care of the planet. 

 

 

WORSHIP AHEAD

7/28       The Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

                Special Music:

Organist: John Pagett

                Readings:  Isaiah 65:17-25; Colossians 1:15-20

Theme: Stewards of the Earth- How Can We Do Better? Last Sunday we noted that while there have been some significant successes in our care for the planet (the Clean Water Act of 1972 for instance) our overall tendency has been to abuse and exploit the earth and its resources due to greed, shortsightedness, and ignorance.  How can we do better? We will explore various practical things that each one of us can do while acknowledging that the task is both big and complex.

 

 

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 week's opportunity is to volunteer to assist with our Vacation Bible School program which will take place from Monday, August 5th through Friday, August 9th.  Please speak to either Susan Pederzani or Andrea Weir should you want to get involved.

 

 

OPERA COMES TO MSUMC

During the months of July and August the Main Street UMC will be co-hosting two operatic concerts.  The first will be held on Saturday, July 27th at 7:00pm in the sanctuary.  It is titled, "The Beauty of Art Song".  The second concert will be held on Saturday, August 24th also at 7:00pm.  It is titled, "La Traviata in Concert" and features selections from La Traviata.  The cost for each concert is $12.00 for adults and $10.00 for children or seniors.  Our portion of the proceeds will go towards the church's organ fund.  Come enjoy an evening of beautiful music in air conditioned comfort.

 

 

PASTOR'S VACATION PLANS

Pastor Rich will be on vacation beginning Tuesday, July 30th through Friday, August 9th.  Our guest preacher next Sunday will be Rev. Dave Svenson.  Pastor Dave was pastor of the Main Street UMC from 1992-2000.  We are pleased that in retirement Pastor Dave and his wife, Linda, claim Nashua and the Main Street UMC as home.

 

 

TOOLS OF HOPE FOR FATHER'S DAY

Thank you for your Father's Day gifts of $ 781 to Tools of Hope from Church World Service. They will be on their way to make a difference in the ability of families to be self-sufficient.

 

 

CELEBRATING SOME RECENT GIFTS TO THE CHURCH

DCU DONATION: We are blessed from time to time to be the recipients of generosity undeserved and unexpected.  Such has been the case again this summer!  For the fifth time in the last four years our food assistance ministry has been the recipient of a $2,500 donation from the Digital Credit Union (DCU).  We do not know why they have chosen to make us the recipient of these gifts but are grateful for them.  If you are a member of the DCU please say "thank you" the next time you are visit your local branch.

 

 

AUGUST – OUR CURRENT STATE OF FINANCES

Hi, Joe from Finance and Stewardship. Our mid-year update is that we are running a bit behind in our general fund obligations for this year. As a result, we are short for our missional shares for 2019, including ministerial support. This is a similar situation as last year, where your generous contributions helped us catch up and meet our missional and ministerial obligations.

Please be generous in your giving so we can meet our missions and ministries for this year.

It's your giving that keeps our doors open and active in our community. Maintenance and upkeep are higher this year than last year. We've recognized the increases from our increased accessibility and security here at Main Street. However this entails additional upkeep for elevator inspections and operation, additional cleaning, and utilities. In return we've enabled additional programs such as Circles Greater Nashua where families can lead their way out of poverty. We've noticed the gains from Circles and other programs where we've seen people accept Jesus as a result.

Some of our maintenance has been covered by generous donations. Other key items, such as urgent replacement of defective electrical panels, have been possible because of your special gifts addressing such needs.

We also have increased payroll by adding our Youth Coordinator. We've seen benefits of such hiring: Participation in building our new shed platform (where our youth got proficient with power tools, as needed for their mission trip), increased youth involvement including fundraisers, and the youth mission trip in July. You know how strongly I feel about our youth – it's as close to investing in our future as we can get. It is your openhandedness that is addressing these needs and enabling growth of our youth in Christian discipleship.

As always, Finance and Stewardship will keep open dialog and communication about where we stand. I am blessed with talented and dedicated volunteers on this committee who are on top of the numbers. Bill Francis is our very capable Finance Secretary who keeps each of us informed of our own giving as the year progresses. Phyllis Bowden our Treasurer stays on top of our financial situation and publishes a monthly snapshot for our bulletin. Her snapshot is an excellent and up to date summary for the year in progress. She also highlights our special finance needs with your continuing support required. Please pay careful attention to these updates and continue with your generous support.

Thank you, Joe Dechene

 

 

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