April 5, 2019
A Word from the Pastor
The Peace of Wild Things
By Wendell Berry
When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.
I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
I recently read an article by a Roman Catholic priest who has been involved in ministry to and with violent gangs in Los Angeles. In his many years of ministry over 4,000 gang members had made the decision to leave the gangs and seek to live more peaceful and fruitful lives. Reading this you might conclude that this priest's mission in life is to change the world, one gang member at a time. In this article though he makes it clear that this is not how he sees his place in life. Rather he argues that he, along with the rest of us, are not so much called to change the world as we are called to "savor" the world. He points out that when we set out to change the world we run the risk of burning out before our time since the needs of the world are so enormous. If we have as our goal though to "savor" the world we will find that the world has the ability to sustain us in whatever other work we may feel called to.
I thought of this article as I read once again the words seen above that are written by Wendell Berry. Berry would see himself primarily as a farmer who happens to write and through his work he has clearly learned to savor the world and in doing so has contributed much to saving the world as well. In the midst of the sometimes challenging work of ministry here at the Main Street UMC and in the community of Nashua I find Wendell Berry's words to be a reminder that I need to slow down, pay attention, and savor this wonderful world that God has given to us. For my wife and I, this is not so much the time to watch for the wood drakes as it is the time to listen for the sound of the loons who hopefully will return any day now to the pond nearby to where we live in Maine. The sound of the loons and our first sighting of them reminds us again that the world of which we are a part is a wonderful place to savor. In doing so, hopefully we can also make some contribution to saving this wonderful world as well- but in that order, savoring first and saving next.
I hope that you have your own springtime rituals that will allow you to savor the world and be renewed in mind, body, and spirit in order to do your part to save the world as well. As we enter this busy and sometimes stressful season of liturgical and missional life of the church may you take time to savor the world and its many gifts to us- be sure to stop and smell the roses (or daffodils and tulips, at least).
4/7 The Fifth Sunday in Lent
Scripture: John 12:1-8
Theme: An Anointing of Another Kind: Whereas Jesus' anointing at his baptism was an anointing that pertained to his life purpose, just prior to Jesus' last Passover he experienced another anointing, this one a foreshadowing of his death. Just as Jesus' life was meaningful so too was his death. We will explore what all of this means for us as we live out our baptismal anointings in the light of our own mortality.
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 is for new volunteers to assist in the shopping for food and transportation of food from the New Hampshire Food Bank. We purchase food both for use at the Nashua Soup Kitchen where our food pantry is housed and for Café Agape. If you are available during daytime hours and would like to assist please speak to Phyllis Appler by e-mailing her at Thank you in advance for your assistance.
ANNUAL DOWNTOWN CLEAN-UP
We are once again planning to participate in the annual downtown clean-up which will take place on Saturday, April 13th from 10am-2pm. We will meet at the church at 9:45am and go down to City Hall where the event will begin. If you come late you should find us working near the library or on the River Trail. Please to where your church t-shirt and bring a rake if you are able. All are welcome!
RECONCILING CONGREGATION COMMITTEE FORMED
Recently the Church Council gave its blessing on the formation of a Reconciling Congregations Committee to lead a congregational wide exploration of what it might mean for us to possibly become a Reconciling Congregation. The committee had its initial planning meeting on Sunday, March 31st and began to strategize as to what our goals would be and how we might accomplish them. Paul Pederzani was chosen to be the chairperson of the committee and the other members are as follows:
Pastor Rich Cullen
A Reconciling Congregation in the United Methodist context is a congregation that welcomes all people and specifically people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, or Intersex to be full participants in the life of the church. Typically a Reconciling Congregation would also commit to advocated on behalf of change in our denomination and in society to ensure the full rights of all people.
In the future this committee will be seeking input from all of the members and active constituents of the Main Street UMC in order to grow in our understanding of the issues that are faced by the LGBTQI community and to explore biblical, theological, and cultural reasons why becoming a Reconciling Congregation might make sense for us. Please keep this process in your prayers that we may faithfully discern God's will for us in this endeavor.
NEW MEMBER CLASSES OFFERED
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.
CALLING ALL UNITED METHODIST MEN AND BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST
Our April Meeting will be held on 6 April in our vestry at Main Street United Methodist Church. Come here about the "Meals Matter" Team at Nashua South High School who along with their sponsor and business teacher, Suzanne Winters, created an organization that raised funds to provide lunches to High School students who could not raise lunch money. This team of three seniors at Nashua South conducted fund raisers, visited city clubs and Non-Profit organizations to tell their story and took their experience with a sign in their cafeteria that read "NO MONEY NO FOOD" and turned it around to feed all the high school students without lunch money at Nashua South. They have been so successful that they will take the Meals Matter Program to Nashua North High School next year so that the students there without lunch money will also be fed at no cost to the students.
If you can come a little early at 8:00 a.m. to help set up for our breakfast it will be greatly appreciated.
I look forward to seeing you all Saturday morning, at 8:30 a.m. on 6 April. Come enjoy the fellowship and a hot breakfast prepared by our very own Chef, Jerry Harrow. See you there!
Please RSVP to this e-mail or call Kent Swanson at 603-880-6289 so we can be sure to save you a seat at the table.
Ham and Bean Supper, Saturday, April 6, 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
We served 149 folks at our March ham and bean supper, and we are hoping that more folks will welcome spring by attending the April dinner. Thank you to Diana Yount, who has sorted the many pounds of beans for three or more years.
Menu: Two kinds of beans, ham, potato salad, cole slaw, pie, bread, and beverage
Prices: Adults - $10; Seniors (60+) - $9; Children (6-12) - $4; 5 and under Free
Thank you for your support of this ministry and fundraising project to raise money for the budget.
The UMW will hold a Spring Mini-fair on Saturday from 4-7 p.m., and before and after the 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday.
Save the date for the Granite State Ringers concert!
The Granite State Ringers will be performing their Lights! Camera! Bells! concert series at the church on May 5, 2019 at 3:00 pm. This concert series features music from beloved classics, family favorites, and movies from all genres! Selections include Dancing Queen from musical comedy Mamma Mia!, the theme from the Western classic The Magnificent Seven, and the crowd favorite Les Miserables medley.
Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Tickets can be ordered online at