"Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, 'Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.' And he replied, 'Who are my mother and my brothers?' And looking at those who sat around him, he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.'" Mark 3:31-35
If I were to ask you to tell me about Jesus' relationship to Mary, his mother, you would probably say that it was wonderful and perhaps even remind me of the touching scene at the cross when Jesus lovingly placed his mother into the care of one of his disciples who "from that hour took her into his own home" (John 19:26, 27). The truth though is that Jesus and his mother clearly had a complicated relationship. Elsewhere in the Gospel of John, when Jesus and his mother are both present at a wedding feast Jesus' mother implores him to do something when they have run out of wine. Jesus is said to have responded to her rather tersely, "Woman, what concern is that to you and to me" (John 2:4). Likewise, when Jesus' mother and brothers showed up unannounced at one his teaching gigs and he was told that they wanted to see him (clearly concerned for his mental state of mind) Jesus replied, "Who are my mother and brothers?", "Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother".
As we prepare to celebrate Mother's Day on Sunday, I need to remind myself that although I have had the benefit of a good relationship with my mother, that has not been the case for everyone. And while I am grateful for the unconditional love that I have experienced in my relationship with my mother, I recognize that this has not been true for everyone. For some people, men and women, the relationship with one's mother is complicated, as it was for Jesus and his mother. While we may genuinely give thanks for the mother who gave us birth we acknowledge that there is more to motherhood than that. We recognize that we may have experienced "mothering" relationships with others who have nurtured us and given us the unconditional love that we need as human beings.
So, on this Mother's Day, be grateful for the mother who brought you into the world because your presence is significant and without you the world would not be the same. At the same time though, if you experienced "mothering" from others in your life be sure to give thanks for them as well. If your relationship with your mother is a complicated one, at least know that you are in good company, for Jesus likewise experienced just such a relationship. Mother's Day (and Father's Day as well) can be days that cause us to relive either the very best of our relationships with our parents or the very worst. May we be sensitive to each other recognizing our sometimes complicated relationships with our parents and the pain that can be rekindled on Mother's Day as well. Please know too that our God is both a "mothering" God and a "fathering" God to each one of us.
5/12 The Fourth Sunday of Easter
Choral Choir (10:30am service only)
Scripture: Acts 9:36-43; John 10:22-30
Theme: A Resurrection Life: What does a life transformed by the Easter experience look like? Well, there are many examples provided in the Book of Acts and we will look at one such life- that of Dorcas (Tabitha) who exemplifies the resurrected life both in life and in death!
NEW TRI-STATE DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENTS ANNOUNCED!
A recent letter from Bishop Devadhar announced that the Tri-State District will not be receiving one new DS but three! Since the Conference is desiring to reduce the number of districts in the near future it was felt that rather than have a new DS potentially only serve for one year the three current DS's in Northern NH; Mid Maine; and the Boston area will cover all of the churches in the Tri-State District. Here is what the Bishop had to say,
"Rather than appoint a new district superintendent for what may very well be a temporary assignment, I am dividing the churches in the Tri-State district among three members of our current cabinet, Rev. Dr. Karen Munson, Rev. Taesung Kang, and Rev. We Chang, to share oversight of this district. Dr. Munson will be the lead district superintendent. This decision was made in consultation with the Cabinet and Tri-State District Committee on Superintendency as well as the Mid-Maine, New Hampshire and Metro Boston Hope Committees. They have all affirmed this decision."
We do not as yet know what this will mean for the Main Street UMC but trust that we will have access to a District Superintendent should the need arise during the next year. Let us keep the Bishop and these three DS's in our prayers during what will likely be a challenging year.
OPPORTUNITY OF THE WEEK
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 to volunteer to assist at the Book and Bake Sale that will be held on Saturday, May 18th from 9am-2pm. You can help out in a variety of ways: by providing baked goods or used books or by helping on the day of the sale. Please let Mavis Pyle know of your availability or be in touch with her if you have any questions. She can be reached at email@example.com
NEXT "HOUSE OF FAITH" TOUR
The next "House of Faith" tour sponsored by the Nashua Area Interfaith Council will be right here at the Main Street UMC on Sunday, May 19th at 4:00pm. We will welcome members of the community and other communities of faith to learn about Methodism and the history of the Main Street UMC while also providing opportunity for people to see our facilities up close. Volunteers are needed to be greeters, tour guides, make coffee, provide some light refreshments and serve refreshments. A sign up sheet is located on the table in the lobby to let us know of your willingness to assist. Let's do our best to extend a warm welcome to our community to experience some good Methodist hospitality. For more information please speak to Pastor Rich.
UMW Meeting, Wednesday, May 15 - 7 p.m.
The UMW will meet to focus on preparing the Christmas ornaments that will be given to the children in Sunday School, church, and on Christmas Eve. This is a tradition that began about forty-five years ago, and we are hoping to continue it for many more years. Please bring your scissors, glue gun or Tacky glue, if possible, and join in the Christian fellowship and fun. This will be the last meeting before September, but there will be fair workshops in July and August. Thank you to everyone who has supported all of our service projects and activities during this past year and always. We hope that you will be able to attend this meeting.
Heart of Nashua Food Assistance Ministry
May's Sunday Food Pantry at the Soup kitchen will be from 2 to 4 on May 19 at the Nashua Soup Kitchen, 2 Quincy Street. Come and help if you can, or come and get food if you need it! If you are working, come at 1:30. Help is also needed during the week, especially Thursdays and Fridays. Training is easy and available!
PROMOTE GLOBAL WARMING! BLANKET THE WORLD WITH LOVE
ADD YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY OF THAT PERSON TO OUR "QUILT SQUARE" ON MOTHER'S DAY. YOU WILL FIND A COLORED PAPER BLANKET SQUARE IN YOUR BULLETIN. PIN YOUR SQUARE TO CREATE A "BLANKET" ON THE BULLETIN BOARD. YOU MAY LEAVE YOUR BLANKET SUNDAY OFFERING ENVELOPE IN THE OFFERING PLATE BY THE BULLETIN BOARD DURING THE SINGING OF IN THE GARDEN AT THE 10:30 SERVICE. MOTHER'S DAY CARDS ARE AVAILABLE IN THE VESTRY. CHILDREN ARE WELCOME TO PARTICIPATE.