March 1, 2019
"Then from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!"
When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone."
Having gone up into a mountain to pray, accompanied by the disciples Peter, James, and John, Jesus' appearance was transfigured and the disciples "saw his glory". They had a vision in which Moses and Elijah, representing the law and the prophets respectively, appeared together with Jesus. Although they desired to build tents that would allow them to remain in this state of ecstasy longer, the disciples' plans were interrupted by a cloud that covered the mountain and the voice of God that spoke the words, "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!" In the context, the thrust of this admonition is that the disciples needed to pay attention to Jesus' belief that when he arrived in Jerusalem he would suffer, be persecuted, and put to death and rise again to new life. Needless to say, this was not what they wanted to hear and needed to be reminded to "listen to him".
This past Tuesday, on the last day of the special session of General Conference that was called by the Council of Bishops to address issues of human sexuality and the unity of the denomination, a 21 year old woman from the Great Plains Conference stood and in anguish asked the question, "Church, are you listening?" Based on the vote to approve the "Traditional" Plan which both retains the harmful and discriminatory language in the UM Book of Discipline and inflicts more punitive consequences on those who, based on conscience, cannot abide by them, she wondered if the church had heard the pain of our lgbtqi sisters and brothers or were aware of what these decisions would mean for her generation of Methodists who are overwhelmingly affirmative towards them.
Just how do we "listen to Jesus"? We would all agree that we listen to Jesus through our attention to the sacred scriptures and especially the teaching of Jesus found in the gospels. Jesus himself though pointed out that we listen to him in an on-going way when we are attentive to the Holy Spirit and when we listen to the "least of these", those individuals who are most vulnerable and marginalized at any given time and in any given place. For the church to have so blatantly ignored the pain and suffering of our lgbtqi sisters and brothers tells me that the answer to Shayla Jordan's question is a clear "no"! We have not been listening and some refuse to listen to the voice of Jesus when heard in the cries of those who have repeatedly been marginalized in the United Methodist Church.
What does all of this mean for us as a local expression of the United Methodist Church? We will begin to discuss this question on Sunday in the last of the Adult Sunday School classes in which we have been addressing "Homosexuality and the United Methodist Church". Please plan to join us in the vestry to share your thoughts, feelings, and opinions. Likewise, we have been asked to host the district "courageous conversations" event on Monday, March 18th at 7:00pm. At this time our district superintendent, Jim McPhee, and some of the New England Conference delegates to General Conference will share with us what this means for us as a conference as well.
In the meantime, please keep in your prayers all of the lgbtqi United Methodists who have once again been relegated to second class citizen status in the United Methodist Church. Whatever frustration or anger we may have pales in comparison to the pain and anguish that these fellow saints experience. May God guide us all to find a better way to be church- a church that truly listens to Jesus!
3/3 The Transfiguration of Our Lord
Scripture: Luke 9:28-36
Theme: Prayer and the Glory of God- While praying on a mountain with three of his disciples Jesus' physical appearance is transformed revealing his glory. What are we to make of this vision? What does it tell us about Jesus?
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 Bean Supper that will take place on Saturday, March 2nd from 4:30-6:30pm. There are many ways to help- as a waiter, server, dishwasher, or clean up person. Help is always appreciated so why not give Joyce Tagliaferro a call and let her know that you don't want to miss out on this wonderful opportunity. Joyce can be reached at 889-5707.
WARNING for Pet Lovers
The FDA has become aware of reports of vitamin D toxicity in dogs that ate dry dog food made by common contract manufacturers and marketed under several different brand names.
The FDA is alerting pet owners and veterinary professionals about recalls of several dry dog foods after receiving complaints that dogs eating the food experienced vitamin D toxicity.
Testing found that samples of the dog food contained excessive toxic amounts of vitamin D. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for dogs, but high amounts can cause serious health problems like kidney failure or death.
Pet Food Recalls
Sunshine Mills, Inc. - Old Glory, Evolve, Sportsman's Pride, Triumph
Nature's Promise, Nature's Place
Abound Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe
ELM Pet Foods, ANF Products, Lidl Orlando Grain Free
Natural Life Pet Products, Nutrisca Products
Hills Prescription Diet, Science Diet
ASH WEDNESDAY OPPORTUNITIES
This coming Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. Ashes will be distributed in the chapel from 7:30am to 10:00am for any who would like to receive ashes early in the day. An Ash Wednesday worship service will take place at 7:00pm in the sanctuary together with our sisters and brothers from the Arlington Street UMC. Rev. Bruce Bradshaw will preach; a joint choir will sing; and the imposition of ashes will take place. Assistance is needed for greeters, ushers, sound technicians and video operators. If available please speak to Pastor Rich.
Adult Lenten Study Morning
Because of This I Rejoice
by Max O Vincent
Tuesdays, March 5 - April 9
From: 10:30am - 12:00pm
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. All are welcome.
Class facilitator is Pam Breniser
Adult Lenten Study Evening
Give Up Something Bad for Lent
by James W. Moore
Tuesday, March 5, Wednesdays, March 13 – April 17
From: 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Please join us for this 7-session evening Lenten Study, based on the book Give Up Something Bad for Lent by James W. Moore. Each session features a Scripture reference, a personal reading, questions for personal reflection or for group study, and a closing prayer.
Description of Study: "During Lent each year, Christians give up something as an act of sacrifice and spiritual discipline. James Moore challenges us to … give up something we are better off not doing. He invites us to seek God's help to focus on eliminating one habit or attitude that is destructive. Imagine giving up envy, jealousy, self-pity, apathy, procrastination, gossip, resentment, or negative thinking." He encourages us to replace it with a positive habit and to "embrace the good news of Easter."
Class facilitator is Mercedes Cernuda
I am happy to announce that Susan Mead will be coming to Main Street United Methodist Church. Susan is a community educator and outreach director for Greater Nashua Mental Health Center. We have asked for training in de-escalating situations that may arise in the Cafe. She has willingly agreed to come and talk to us.
Susan has spent many years in the mental health community and in Nashua. She knows many of those who frequent the Cafe. She knows their needs and the issues they deal with on a daily basis. She loves what she does and is looking forward to sharing some of that knowledge with us.
She will be providing training to Cafe Agape volunteers and any church members who might be interested. This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone in our congregation. Please join us.
Date: Wednesday March 6, 2019
Time: 10:30 AM
Please let me know if you are able to attend by Sunday March 3 so we have enough materials for everyone.
Thank You, Pat Kerrigan
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.
Some Recent Expenses This Year
You may be interested in knowing where your offering goes. Here is a listing of some of the church's expenses this year.
- Electricity for January & February for the church = $2644.54
- Gas for January & February for the church = $5410.67
- Plywood to go under the warranty replacement flooring in the kitchen = $910.00
- Plumbing Charges to repair leaks in the kitchen = $860.00
- Postal Permit for bulk mailing = $225.00
- Elevator Phone for one month = $45.62
- Dumpster Services for one month = $95.39
- Comcast Business phone and security service for one month for the church = $428.22
- Miscellaneous Hardware Items = $41.34
- Easter Palms = $56.75