"Holy or Christian conferencing is a practice John Wesley included, along with prayer, Scripture reading, fasting and the Lord's Supper, as a way of experiencing God's grace. The roots are biblical. Leaders assert that every Christian should practice it, within and beyond the walls of the church."
Taken from the Web Site "United Methodist Insight"
On Sunday we will come together as members of the Main Street United Methodist Church to engage in the act of "holy" conferencing. Holy Conferencing has had a long history in the Methodist Tradition dating back to John Wesley. It is "a way of experiencing God's grace" as noted above and an opportunity for the people of God to discern together God's will for the church. To the extent that we open ourselves up to the leading of the Holy Spirit we can truly be open to the surprises that God might bring in this experience. While Sunday's gathering will likely lead to a vote that vote might not be what any of us expect given that holy conferencing, when done well, can transform situations from the expected to the unexpected. What we will do Sunday has little to do with voting and everything to do with listening for God's voice as we seek to discern our future together.
The following are some principles that are helpful to keep in mind as we participate in holy conferencing on Sunday and at other times in our life together as a church.
- Every person is a child of God. Always speak respectfully. One can disagree without being disagreeable.
- As you patiently listen and observe the behavior of others, be open to the possibility that God can change the views of any or all parties in the discussion.
- Listen patiently before formulating responses.
- Strive to understand the experience out of which others have arrived at their views.
- Be careful in how you express personal offense at differing opinions. Otherwise dialogue may be inhibited.
- Accurately reflect the views of others when speaking. This is especially important when you disagree with a position.
- Avoid using inflammatory words, derogatory names, or an excited and angry voice.
- Avoid making generalizations about individuals and groups. Make your point with specific evidence and examples.
- Remember that people are defined, ultimately, by their relationship with God -- not by the flaws we discover, or think we discover, in their views and actions.
May our experience of holy conferencing prove to promote God's kingdom values and enable us to bear witness to the love God within and outside the walls of this place we call home.
11/17 The Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost
Bell Choir playing
Scripture: Isaiah 65:17-25; Revelation 21:1-7
Theme: Visions of a New Reality- Both the Post-Exilic prophet known to us only as "Third" Isaiah and John of Patmos in the Book of Revelation share their vision of the new reality (new heavens and new earth) that God is desiring to create. It is a reality is which God will dwell with us and transform all of our relationships with each other and with the whole of creation.
SPECIAL SESSION OF CHURCH CONFERENCE CALLED
On Sunday, November 17th our District Superintendent, Rev. Taesung Kang, will preside over a specially called session of "holy conferencing" in which we will consider the proposal put forward by the Reconciling Congregations Committee which states,
"That the Main Street United Methodist Church become a Reconciling Congregation by:
- embracing and enacting our Welcoming Statement
- joining the Reconciling Ministries Network
- becoming visibly welcoming to the LGBTQ+ community
- being intentional, discerning and passionate in our welcoming of all people."
All people are welcome to attend with voice but only church members are able to vote according to the Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church. A person must be present to vote (no absentee ballots) and must be present at the actual time of the vote as well. Please be in prayer that we will be open to the leading of Gods' Spirit as we engage in this experience of "holy" conferencing.
CONSECRATION SUNDAY REMINDER
Sunday, October 20, we celebrated Consecration Sunday and presented our pledges of support to God for the year 2020. As of November 11th 70 pledges had been received in support of the General Fund in the amount of $217,213 and another 22 pledges were received towards the Heart of Nashua Campaign to pay down our debt in the amount of $25,820. If you have not as yet submitted your pledge card please do so as soon as possible by mailing it to the church office to the attention of Bill Francis, our Financial Secretary or by including it in the offering plate any Sunday. Your commitment and support are greatly appreciated.
INTERFAITH THANKSGIVING SERVICE FIRST CHURCH, CONGREGATIONAL
The annual community Thanksgiving worship service, offered by the Nashua Area Interfaith Council, will be held on Tuesday, November 26th at 7:00pm. The service will be held at the First Church at the top of Library Hill. The Interfaith Choir, led by Julie Oliver, will be participating in the service. Refreshments will be served afterwards.
HOLIDAY STROLL NEEDS
We will once again be a host site for various Holiday Stroll performances which will take place in our sanctuary. The date of this year's stroll is Saturday, Nov. 30th. With our expanded space we will need more volunteers than usual. We usually try to have people serve for two hour stints: from 4-6pm; and 6-8pm. We are also in need of folks to help with the clean up after 8pm.
If you are willing to help out please speak to Deb Luszey or Pastor Rich. A sign up sheet can be found in the vestry to indicate your time preferences. Thanks in advance for your support!
What Reconciling Is and Isn't
By now you've probably heard that MSUMC is looking at becoming a Reconciling congregation, but you may not be familiar with the term and unsure of what becoming Reconciling actually means. Here's a brief overview of what it would entail, courtesy of the Reconciling Congregation committee:
- Intentionally, publicly, and visibly welcoming the LGBTQ community inside and outside our doors
- Living out our statement that "we welcome all who seek to love God and neighbor"
- Supporting LGBTQ individuals in our congregation and community
Reconciling is not:
- Excluding straight individuals and those in opposite-sex marriages or relationships
- Excluding those who believe marriage should be between a man and a woman
- Performing same-sex weddings at the church
- Putting our standing in the New England Conference at risk
- Adding a new financial burden
We hope to see you at noon today for the vote!
November UMW Meeting
Wednesday, November 20 at 7:00 pm
We will review Yuletide Fair results. We will discuss the December Ham and Bean Mini Fair and presentation of Christmas ornaments to children. Since we don't meet in December this is our opportunity to have preliminary discussion of future events. Nancy Long will facilitate this meeting and Carol Riley will do devotions.
Advent Study: All is One
Wed. Dec. 4, 11, 18
10:30-Noon, Church Vestry
Come join us for a day time Advent Study exploring how mindful awareness of nature can stimulate mindful awareness of God's presence in all. God reveals God's self in nature then through nature appears as Jesus Christ. Now we know God as Emmanuel with and within us. Rather than a class book we will use music and readings from the Bible and multicultural sacred texts. Your creative juices will flow as we create nature collage mandalas over the course of the 3 classes.
Please bring a small nature item or photo to the first class and plan to share its significance to you. A signup sheet will be in the vestry during coffee hour to help us with space and class material planning as well as child care needs. Class facilitator is Pam Breniser.