February 8, 2019
"He drew a circle that shut me out—
Heretic, a rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had a wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!
Poem by Edwin Markham
This poem by Edwin Markham was included in the sermon preached at my ordination as an Elder in the United Methodist Church. It may not have been the first time I had heard it but it is in this context that I most often think of it. As an Elder in the United Methodist Church I have always felt called to a ministry of inclusion rather than a ministry of exclusion. I have always chosen to draw a large circle rather than a small one. It is both part of who I am as a person and what I feel called to as a pastor. This isn't to say that I am not challenged from time to time but when push comes to shove I choose inclusion even if it means living with a certain amount of discomfort.
It is my hope that we likewise will always choose to draw our circle large enough to take in those who are so often excluded by their families and by the church- the homeless; the mentally ill; those who suffer from Substance Use Disorder; members of the LGBTQ community; and those who have been ostracized because they are Sexual Offenders (even if we have to limit their involvement for the safety of all). Love calls us to take in those who are often left out of the circles of others. Love forces us to draw bigger and bigger circles. Let us pray for the grace to be the fully inclusive church that Christ's call us to be.
2/10 The fifth Sunday after the Epiphany
Scripture: Isaiah 6:1-8; Luke 5:1-11
Theme: Feeling Unworthy? No Problem!- One of the recurring themes that are seen in the various "call" stories found in the bible is that those who are called never feel worthy of God's calling. The good news is that past mistakes (or worse) do not mean that one has no future usefulness to God. God doesn't call the worthy but does call the willing.
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. Besides our third Sunday of the month commitment we also have a number of our members who volunteer on week days. The food pantry at the Soup Kitchen is open from 11am – 2pm each day, Monday-Friday and there is always need for more volunteers. If interested please speak to Phyllis Appler and she can direct you as to how to get involved. Thank you in advance for your interest and support.
Will you be our Valentine?
Shop at smile.amazon.com/ch/02-0263867 and AmazonSmile donates to Main Street United Methodist Church.
Leaders of the Church
It is time to submit your annual report for 2018 to the church office. Deadline is February 14.
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.
The annual service in celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 13th at 7pm. It will be held in the chapel at Riviera University. All are welcome to attend.
Because of This I Rejoice
Daytime Lenten Study
Tuesdays, March 5-April 9, 10:30-12:00
I have found a study I think will be great for this spring: Because of This I Rejoice, Reading Philippians During Lent. The book is by Max. O. Vincent and published by Upper Room Books. There is a short chapter to read each week, with daily scripture readings and reflection questions that we will use for small and large group discussions. Vincent gives us a more joyful way of looking at spiritual disciplines for the season of Lent. I will have the book out for review with a sign-up sheet during coffee hour on Sunday.
Submitted by Pam Breniser