A Winter Prayer
Taken from 50 New Prayers from the Iona Community
Selected by Neil Paynter
Copyright 2012 Wild Goose Publications
Lord of the lights that fire the winter sky,
Creator of the ice that bridges rivers;
who brings spring when birds return to nest;
Spirit of summer torrents, lover of mountain corries,
let us lay our nests by your altars.
God of the long rest of winter,
of the green suddenness of summer,
God of those who live with extremity and create equality.
May we learn to value each person as your own;
and in our little windows to the dark
open our eyes to a blade of grass and a star.
('A blade of grass and a star' is a quote from the Icelandic writer Halldor Laxness)
Although last weekend's storm did not live up to its advanced billing the snow, sleet, and bitter cold nonetheless reminded us that we are living in the midst of winter. In this season we find ourselves all the more needing to depend on each other just in order to survive. What would we do without the plow drivers, side walk clearers, and snow blower operators who clear the way so that we can go about our lives? It is a time to admit that we need the gifts that others bring without which life would be an even greater challenge than we sometimes experience it to be.
Winter is also a time when we need to let our imaginations go wild as we dare to envision a spring that is just around the corner and a summer that will offer us warmth and respite. Our imagination also needs to bring us in touch with the hope and expectation of the movement of God's Spirit to bring about a new age of equality for all God's children recognizing "those who live with extremity". May we, as the prayer above notes, "learn to value each person as your own". Martin Luther King Jr., whose 90th birthday we have just celebrated, challenged our nation to see beyond the obvious to the "content of one's character. In doing so, may we see in each person the presence of the living Christ and may we respond accordingly.
A NOTE REGARDING THE WEEKLY "MAINSTREETER E-MAIL BLAST"
While editor of the Mainstreeter, Mary Marchese also took on the task of sending out a weekly e-mail blast which you received every Sunday afternoon. We are grateful to Mary for her leadership in making this happen. Since Mary's move we have been working to reinstate the weekly blast and are grateful that our Administrative Assistant, Pam Axtell, will now be charged with this responsibility. The weekly blast will now be received on Friday rather than on Sunday. Submissions for the weekly blasts as well as the monthly Mainstreeter should still be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for the weekly blasts is Wednesday at noon and the deadline for the monthly print Mainstreeter is the 15th of the month. Thank you for your patience as we have worked to restore this mode of communication. We hope that you enjoy it.
1/27 The third Sunday after the Epiphany
Scripture: First Corinthians 12:1-11; John 2:1-11
Theme: Spirit Enough to Go Around- Just as there is no shortage of wine when Jesus' changes the water into the really good stuff so too there is never a shortage of the Holy Spirit's presence and power to enable all of God's children to both have and use spiritual gifts for the common good.
CONFIRMATION PLANS ANNOUNCED
Confirmation classes for youth in grades 7 – 12 will be held during the months of February, March and April. A planning meeting for parents and youth will take place on Sunday, January 27th at 11:45am in the chapel. We will do our best to find agreeable dates for the six confirmation classes. Confirmation itself will take place on Sunday, April 22nd. Classes will be led by Pastor Rich along with assistance from various members of the congregation.
INTRODUCING KARRIE LAM
Recently the Staff Parish Relations Committee, after a year-long period of discernment, decided to create two new positions that would replace the former Director of Christian Education position. The first of these positions to be filled is that of the Coordinator of Youth Ministries (the second position, that of Coordinator of Intergenerational Ministries remains open). As of January 1st Karrie Lam will be serving in this twelve hour per week position. Originally from Hong Kong, Karrie and her husband Ken have been in the United States since the 1980's. They have one son, Tinson, who is in college at Asbury College in Kentucky. Karrie is a music teacher in the Lowell school system and has previously served as a music director at United Methodist Churches in Lowell and Westford, MA. Karrie first learned about this position when she and Ken visited the church back in September. Having met with the Staff Parish Relations Committee and the Church Council we can say with confidence that Karrie is bursting with enthusiasm and ideas. She will be working closely with the members of the recently formed Youth Advisory Council. If you missed the organizational meeting but are interested in being a part of this council please speak to Pastor Rich. In the meantime, please give Karrie a warm welcome.
Leaders of the Church
It is time to submit your annual report for 2018 to the church office. You may email them as attachments (.doc) to email@example.com or place it in the church office mailbox. In cases where leaders are new to their positions the predecessor should assist with the report. I will collect them and create the 2018 Annual Report Booklet.
Thank you, Pam
The 2019 Flower calendar is available for sign ups. It is located on the bulletin board in the hall across from the church office. Forms for the office are located next to the poster; take one with you when you sign up. Please include your name, phone number, and the message you want printed in the bulletin. The cost for the church to order is $22.50. Please turn in completed forms and money (checks should be made out to Fortin-Gage) at least two weeks prior to the Sunday you sign up.
IMPORTANT Ham and Bean Supper Meeting
Sunday, January 27 - 11:45 a.m.
Meeting Room off the vestry
This is a very important meeting to discuss the future of the ham and bean suppers. As you know, I am getting ready to list my house for sale in the spring, and who knows what will happen, and how quickly it might sell.
Mark and Cindy, Morrissey, thank you for being willing to cook the beans, which is a big job for sure, but fun at the same time. There are other areas that require leaders in order for the suppers to progress smoothly. I am willing to continue for as long as I am able, but it would be nice to know that others will assume various roles in the future, and we could work together.
Please reserve this date and time, and I promise that the meeting will not last forever. Thank you for your wonderful support during these years, and know that we have provided a valuable service and ministry to many folks in the greater Nashua community.
FUNDRAISER AT TEXAS ROADHOUSE IN MANCHESTER
Monday, January 28, 2019
Enjoy a night out and help a great cause!
Please come to Texas Roadhouse for dinner between 4:00 and 9:00 p.m. on Monday January 28, 2019. Bring a copy the flyer and Texas Roadhouse will donate 10% of your bill to Circles Greater Nashua.
Pick up a flyer in the Lobby or Vestry on the bulletin board under the clock. You must bring the flyer for Circles to get credit - it won't be available at the door.
Texas Roadhouse is directly across South Willow St. from the Mall of New Hampshire, at
1525 South Willow Street
We hope to see you there.
The Sunday School children are hosting a Diaper Drive. The last day for collections is January 27. There are three donation bins to collect the diapers: the Sunday School classroom, the lobby, and the vestry. The diapers will be donated to The Pass Along Project in Nashua, which is an organization that distributes gently used clothing bundles to foster children. Diaper sizes of 4, 5, and 6 are the greatest need. Thank you for your help with this mission project!