A Future Not Our Own (also known as 'The Long View')
Bishop Ken Untener, who included it in a reflection titled "The Mystery of the Romero Prayer."
It helps, now and then, to step back
and take the long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of
the magnificent enterprise that is God's work.
Nothing we do is complete,
which is another way of saying
that the kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No programme accomplishes the church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.
This is what we are about:
We plant seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything
and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for God's grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results,
but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders,
ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own."
I shared this prayer as a litany following my sermon this past Sunday. Since it was only on the screen and not included in the hard copy of the order of worship I thought that I would include it here so that you might see it again and perhaps even save it for future use. I first used this prayer in September of 2013 at the first Leadership Summit when we kicked off the Heart of Nashua capital campaign. In many ways it served as a reminder to us that the process of becoming the church that we believe God is calling us to be is a long, sometimes slow, process that requires faith, determination, and perseverance. Interestingly, when a small group of us participated in the Growing with Hope program in 2014 this same prayer was presented to us (framed) and it was requested that we hang it somewhere in the church. Our framed copy hangs in the hallway outside the office (between the bulletin boards) on the far wall so please take a look the next time you are here.
Prophets of a Future Not Our Own,
8/18 The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
Special Music: Kelly Brown, Dan McDonald, and Andrea Weir
Organist: John Pagett
Scripture: Hebrews 11:29-12:2; Luke 12:49-56
Theme: Running with Perseverance- Having listed numerous Old Testament saints as part of the "cloud of witnesses" who cheer us on, the author of the Letter to the Hebrews encourages us to "run the race with perseverance" with Jesus as our model and guide. What might this race look like for each one of us?
OPPORTUNITY OF THE WEEK
Each week we will try to highlight a particular opportunity for you to serve in and through the Main Street UMC.
You are invited to help serve at the food pantry (Nashua Soup Kitchen) this coming Sunday from 1:30pm-4:00pm. This is our once a month commitment to providing food on a weekend so that people who work during the week (but still need food) have the opportunity to get some.
OPERA COMES TO MSUMC
During the months of July and August the Main Street UMC will be co-hosting two operatic concerts. The first was held on Saturday, July 27th and the second concert will be held on Saturday, August 24th also at 7:00pm. It is titled, "La Traviata in Concert" and features selections from La Traviata. The cost for each concert is $12.00 for adults and $10.00 for children or seniors. Our portion of the proceeds will go towards the church's organ fund. Come enjoy an evening of beautiful music in air conditioned comfort.
CAFÉ AGAPE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
Café Agape, our outreach to our neighbors both homeless and those in vulnerable situations, has once again closed for the month of August but will re-open on Tuesday, September 3rd. Café Agape is open Monday-Friday from 8:00am-10:00am and provides a safe place for our neighbors to gather for coffee, food, and conversation. We are in need of some more volunteers. You can volunteer one day a month; one day a week; or however often you would like. If interested please be in touch with either Pat Kerrigan or Shirley Michael . Their e-mail addresses respectively are: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Thank you for your consideration!
Trolling for Tuna Searching for Soup
Let's do this on August 18. That way we can take the soup and tuna with us on the third Sunday when we have our own food pantry! Leave your cans in the Food Pantry Bin in the lobby or vestry.
Thank you! Missions Work Area
UMW Workshop Postponed
Due to vacation travels, the UMW Workshop scheduled for August 21 has been postponed to the following week, August 28. It will be in the Vestry from 7-9pm.