"Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can."
Rule of Life attributed to John Wesley
Although there is no evidence that John Wesley actually wrote the "rule of life" that is attributed to him it nonetheless captures well the meaning of Wesley's Three General Rules that are included in the United Methodist Book of Discipline.These rules can be summed up in the following- Do no harm; do good; and attend to the ordinances of God.Sometimes even well intentioned people can fail at these three rules without realizing it.This is especially true when we inflict harm on others without realizing that what we are doing is in fact harmful.
Recently I had opportunity to talk with a gay clergy colleague who shared with me how he had only recently come to realize how much harm had been inflicted on him by the United Methodist stance regarding homosexuality.He talked about how over many years (he is a life-long Methodist) he had heard time and time again the official position of the church- that homosexuality is not compatible with Christian teaching- and without realizing it had internalized this as something harmful, something that told him that he was not a person of value.This was its effect in spite of the fact that the Book of Discipline also states that homosexual persons are people of sacred worth.We could say that it was never the intention of our denomination's official position to inflict harm on our LGBTQ sisters and brothers but that is, in fact, just what it has done and in doing so, has been in violation of one of the foremost "rules" of the Methodist tradition.
I have learned that if we really are sincere about learning how our beliefs, positions, and practices effect other people we need to speak to those who are most effected by them.In this case, if we really want to know whether our official church position concerning homosexuality does harm to individuals who are gay then we need to ask them.We need to listen to the stories of harm, pain, and emotional and spiritual violence that have been the experience of members of the LGBTQ community who call the United Methodist Church home.
As our Reconciling Congregation Committee provides opportunities for us to engage with members of the LGBTQ community I hope that you will take advantage of these opportunities to truly listen to the pain that is shared, as well as to hear the stories of resilience and strength that have enabled individuals who feel de-valued to nonetheless continue to offer their gifts to the United Methodist Church both as clergy and lay members.We need to stop inflicting harm on these beloved children of God and a good place to start is by listening to the stories of LGBTQ people, their families, and all who experience their pain along with them.
5/5The Third Sunday of Easter
Choral Choir (10:30am service only)
Scripture: John 21:1-19
Theme:A Breakfast Invitation: The final post-resurrection story in the Gospel of John focuses on fishing, a breakfast invitation, and the restoration of a relationship.It doesn't get any better than that!
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 our final Ham and Bean supper before we break for the summer.It will also be Joyce Tagliaferro's final supper at the helm before she moves to Ohio in June.Please join us as we honor Joyce with our service following her own example.There are opportunities to serve as a waiter, work in the kitchen, and help with clean up.Please let Joyce know if you are able to assist by calling her at 889-5707.
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.
UP-COMING RETIREMENT CELEBRATION
District Superintendent Rev. James McPhee is Retiring.The Tri-State District Committee on Superintendency invites everyone to a Dinner Church Worship Service celebrating his ministry.
Date:Sunday, June 9, 2019Time:5:00-7:00 pm Place:
First United Methodist Church of Portsmouth, NH, 129 Miller Ave., Portsmouth, NH 03801. RSVP by May 30 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In honor of Jim's deep love and commitment to the Justice For Our Neighbors Ministry, there will be a collection for JFON in honor of Jim.Make checks payable to Milford UMC and send to Callie McMahon, 6 Johnson St., Milford, NH 03055.Please indicate on the memo line if any of your donation should be set aside for the personal gift.
CALLING ALL UNITED METHODIST MEN AND BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST
Everyone is invited to attend our May United Methodist Men (UMM) breakfast and meeting at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow morning, May 4, in the vestry. Our last program until September features our own church member Laurie Fernald, Program Manager for the Water Project, a major fundraiser whose goal is to provide water stations to villages in Nigeria that live far off the beaten path. Many villagers, especially women, spend a large part of their day hunting for water (much of it unsanitary and unsafe for drinking even when found) which lowers the productivity of families and villages throughout many African and Asian countries. Laurie will discuss the history of the Water Project, show us the details of the structures and wells that they are providing, and the efforts of the Water Project Team to raise funds for the completion of their current project. Come here Laurie explain the history of her efforts and how we can help poor and underserved villages achieve water sufficiency.
Our meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. with a hot breakfast with the program beginning at 9:00 a.m. I invite those who are able to come early at 7:45 a.m. to help set up and set the tables prior to our members arrival. Mark and I will not be present for this meeting so Pastor Rich has graciously agreed to host Laurie as our speaker. At the end of the program, Joyce, as the leader of her last Ham and Bean Supper would appreciate many of you staying to help set up the vestry for the Ham and Bean Supper which will take place later on Saturday afternoon.
Thank you for your continued support of our UMM monthly meetings. Have a great summer until we gather again in September to kick off our new year.
CONCERT SUNDAY, MAY 5!
The Granite State Ringers will be performing their Lights! Camera! Bells! concert series at 3:00 pm Sunday, May 5. 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 $12 at the door.
Sunday, 5 May
Campers interested in attending Wanakee (Beautiful Spiritual Place in the Hills) this year can learn more about the variety of camp activities by visiting the Wanakee information table in the vestry after services on 5 May.
There will be registration forms & brochures available for campers and information on Camperships. And of course, we will have Ice Cream. Early registration is encouraged since some of the Summer Camp offerings are limited and are very popular. Visit the Wanakee Website at https://www.wanakee.org/ for additional information on Summer Camps, dates and rates.
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 dedication and participation in this ministry and fundraiser for our church budget.
To help families around the world build new, sustainable lives, you gave $3,148.60 in gifts in celebration or in memory of someone special this Easter. Gifts included Heifer shares, goat and water buffalo shares, Rabbit trios and trees, lots of honeybees, flocks and flocks of chicks, ducks, and geese, seeds, donkeys, a whole llama, and an amazing seven water pumps!! Thank you very much. Go to https://www.heifer.org/ending-hunger/our-work/index.htmlto read about Heifer's work around the world.
School kits for UMCOR were brought forward to the altar and celebrated on Palm Sunday.The Missions Committee has packed 37 school kits so far. In addition, United Methodist Women have been busy sewing gowns and shirts, knitting baby sweaters and blankets, and buying diapers and washcloths, so twenty layette kits will be joining our health kits at the UMCOR Depot in Merrimack.If you haven't brought your kit yet, bring it in and we will start a new box!
Gifts to UMCOR totaled $1510. This keeps the United Methodist Committee on Relief ready to respond to emergencies, both domestic and international. We know that our kits and UMCOR donations will be put to good use.If you want to respond to a particular emergency, you may write a check to Main St. with UMCOR in the subject line. Cyclone Ida in Zimbabwe and neighboring countries is an UMCOR focus right now.