December 20, 2019
Prayer for Christmas Eve
Rev. Wes Jamison
after the carols have been sung,
the presents opened,
and the feasts shared,
let us not lose the truth of this holy night:
that you become vulnerable to heal this world
and you invite us to discover in that vulnerability
the true strength of the ages.
Transform us, O God,
until we are one with you,
one with each other,
and one with all the world,
through Jesus Christ,
who unites heaven and earth,
through the power of your Holy Spirit.
On Christmas Day (and Eve) we celebrate the birth of the most vulnerable of God's children- a baby born into this world, not in the safety of a hospital or of his mother's home, but in a manger surrounded by unsanitary animals and parents who were wearied from their long journey. The Gospel of John dares to declare that this One was the very Word of God and that "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth." This very vulnerability speaks of the nature of God's care for the world and reminds us that it is in our own human vulnerability that we are able to join with God in this healing act.
May our celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ be to us a reminder of just what this birth meant and continues to mean for all of God's creation. May we experience in our own vulnerability the opportunity to partner with God in transforming ourselves and the world in which we live.
Wishing you a blessed Christmas,
12/22 The fourth Sunday of Advent
Lighting the fourth Advent candle (Sue and Paul Curtis at 8:15 and Eli, Verabelle, Andrea and Mark Weir at 10:30am)
Cantata- The Voices of Christmas
Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25 (8:15am service only)
Theme: God with Us- The Gospel of Matthew tells the story of the birth of Jesus from the perspective of Joseph and in the telling two names are given for Jesus each of which holds great meaning for his future.
CHRISTMAS SERVICE SCHEDULE
You are invited to experience the joy of the Christmas Season at each of the following services:
Tuesday, December 24th
7:00pm Family Service with candle lighting
10:00pm Communion Service with candle lighting
Sunday, December 29th – The First Sunday after Christmas
No 8:15am Service and no Sunday School classes
10:30am Service of Lessons and Carols
Sunday, January 5th – The Epiphany of our Lord
8:15am Service of Holy Communion
10:30am Worship with communion
Collection of Nativity Sets
Please stop by the Ladies' Parlor on the first floor of the Wesley Building and see the collection of nativity sets in the display cabinet that Roger Hall made. They will be there through Epiphany in January.
Also the nativity on the altar was made by Paul Curtis while stationed in Greenland. He poured and hand painted each piece.
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.
On Christmas Eve we are need of numerous individuals to serve as greeters. We have more first time visitors on Christmas Eve than at any other time and we want to welcome them in a way that will make them want to come back. If you are able to be a greeter for either the 7:00pm service or the 10:00pm service please speak to Pastor Rich.
HEART OF NASHUA: GROWING IN FAITH CAPITAL CAMPAIGN:
Received as of 12/15/19 towards the Heart of Nashua II Campaign: $900,223
HEART OF NASHUA I CAMPAIGN:
Received as of 12/1/19 towards the Heart of Nashua Campaign I: $945,784
HEART OF NASHUA CAPITAL CAMPAIGN REFLECTIONS
After six years our "official" capital campaigns have now come to an end effective November 30th of 2019. To say that these two campaigns were successful would be a severe understatement. To date we have raised approximately $1,850,000 towards the $2,000,000 cost of our Heart of Nashua Construction and Renovation project. We express gratitude to God and to you for the incredible generosity that we have witnessed through pledges and general giving along with memorial gifts. As you may be aware, since we still owe over $150,000 towards our construction loan, we have invited those who are able to continue to give in the year 2020 in order to pay down our loan and the interest that goes with it. To date 23 individuals or couples have committed to continue their pledge for a total of $27,560. Whether you pledge or not, please continue to give towards the Heart of Nashua project so that we can be debt free in the near future. Thank you again for your generosity in the past as well as in the future.
VESTRY ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS
TO ADDRESS THE TOPIC OF YOUNG ADULTS, SOCIAL JUSTICE AND THE CHURCH
During the months of January and February the Adult Sunday School class that meets in the vestry will be exploring the topic of "Young Adults, Social Justice, and the Church" using the Vital Conversations Series provided by the General Commission on Religion and Race of the United Methodist Church. In this series "millennial" pastors and lay members share what is important to them as they seek to be the church of Jesus Christ in the 21st century. They will touch on issues pertaining to racism, welcoming refugees, ethnic identity and diversity, welcoming differently abled persons, and other social justices concerns. As we seek to be a church that welcomes everyone we need to hear what our millennial members have to say about the importance of these and other social justice issues. Pastor Rich will lead this class with hopefully the assistance of some of our church millennials.
INTO THE NEW YEAR
Just a reminder that we will enter into the new year with a bang as we resume our usual first weekend of the month activities.
Men's Breakfast- Saturday, January 4th at 8:30am
Ham and Bean Supper- Saturday, January 4th at 4:30pm with preparations taking place on Friday and set up on Saturday morning.
CALLING ALL UNITED METHODIST MEN AND BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST
Our January 4, 2020 meeting will be held at 8:30 a.m. in the vestry. We will have our breakfast at 8:30 a.m. followed by a 2020 Planning Session at 9:00 a.m. It is important to move forward for a new year with clear guidelines on how we want to use our resources and what type of programs you would like to have in 2020. We have a strong financial balance in our account with the hope to add to that in the summer with our 2020 Golf Tournament. I ask that you put on your thinking caps and be prepared to let us know what you believe our priorities should be, when they should be implemented, and how we, as an organization, can best help our church achieve its goals for 2020.
I would greatly appreciate a couple of members coming early around 8:00 a.m. to help setup the tables and would also appreciate as many as are able to remain after the end of our meeting around 9:45 a.m. to assist setting up tables for the first Ham and Bean Supper of the New Year!
Thank you all for your strong support in and your attendance at our meetings. Your dedication to United Methodist Men and the Main Street United Methodist Church ministries are critical to our success and to all those in our church and community who have benefited by your efforts. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Looking forward to seeing you over the holidays and at our first meeting of the New Year on 4 January.
In Christ, Kent
First Ham and Bean Supper of the New Year!
Christmas leftovers getting a little bit tired? Start your New Year right with our first Ham and Bean Supper of 2020 on Saturday, January 5 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The meal is served family style and features ham, two kinds of beans, coleslaw, potato salad, beverage, bread, and pie. We need you and your friends, neighbors, and family to attend the Ham and Bean and make this supper a success! It is a fundraiser for our church that also welcomes the community to a great meal and opportunity for fellowship.
Children 6 to 12: $4
Children 5 and under: Free!
If you would like to help with the Ham and Bean, contact David Appler at email@example.com
See you at the Ham and Bean Supper Saturday!
Volunteer for Hospice
The Nashua community and surrounding towns has an immediate need for hospice volunteers. Amedisys Hospice is seeking volunteers to visit patients in the Nashua, New Hampshire area and to help provide support in variety of administrative ways.
Hospice Volunteers help people nearing the end of their lives. They share an hour of their time per week, visiting patients either at their home or at a local facility. A volunteer does not physically move a patient, administer medications, feed, bathe or dress a patient, at any time. Visits are purely for companionship.
Please consider sharing a small amount of your time by visiting a hospice patient. Contact Patty Cooper at Amedisys Hospice at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 603-421-0414.
Mainstreeter Mission News
Gifts for the King: Thank you for all of your generous gifts to the children at Nashua Children's Home and to the newest African families who have recently arrived in Nashua. Each child received a full bag of clothing, bedding, games, books, and art supplies. We used the $806 in gift cards and cash for both the Nashua Children's Home and for the refugee families. We had been unaware of the imminent arrival of a new baby to one of the recently settled families, due around the end of December. That baby will have a new car seat for Christmas, as well as other items. Please check with Phyllis Appler or Beatrice Bahati to see what other baby items are needed.
Merry Christmas from the Missions Committee!
January 2020 Count Your Blessings - A
My uncle had his own sense of humor and perspective. He once asked "who is happier, the person with 10 million dollars or the person with 11 million dollars?" Even as a kid my answer was "well, it depends on a lot of things . . . " to which my uncle responded "then it goes to show you a million dollars is not that important, is it?" I want to explore money and happiness in a series of finance columns in our newsletter.
For January let's start with having not enough money. People who grew up during the Great Depression (the 1930s) had their thoughts about money forever changed. You hear stories of people who since that experience, lived very austere lives while accumulating their money in a seemingly impossible goal of financial security. Likewise (and much later) when my mom got divorced she made minimum wage to support five kids. Somehow we made too much for supplemental support. Let's say money was very tight and so-called necessities were scarce. As a country we've had both good and bad times.
In the mid-20 th century one parent could work at a factory while the other stayed home to raise the family. Such a family could afford a basic house, schooling, and retire on a company pension. It seemed easier to meet our needs back then. Mind you, living was more basic at that time. Plainer houses, less possessions, but more relationships as families and friends generally stayed in one place for a long time.
However today there are a lot more families than available homes, driving up rents and mortgages. In very high-cost places like California, rows of tents along the streets are becoming more common as the jobs available don't come close to pay for housing expenses. Schooling has risen in cost to the point where today's graduates often carry a hundred thousand dollars in student loans. Pensions have virtually disappeared in the private sector, and are more difficult to fund in the public sector.
To the many families affected by these circumstances, the lack of financial security affects their basic Maslow's levels of physiological and safety needs, jeopardizing their overall happiness. Today as a church and community we recognize this and serve many in our area in key programs such as Food Pantry, Support Groups, Café Agape, GSOP, and Circles Greater Nashua. Our Pastor's discretionary fund also supports these needs.
Even in these circumstances, some individuals and families find ways to be happy, appreciative of the other aspects of their lives and relationships. Our support programs also help with this, given my experience in being an ally in Circles.
Please let me know your thoughts. I will continue this series and to explore the effect of money vs. happiness in upcoming columns.
Thank you, Joe Dechene
TWO JOB OPENINGS
The receptionist at the Main Street United Methodist Church will greet people as they arrive for various activities; direct people to where they need to go; answer the phone; attend to various office related tasks, and perform other tasks that may be identified on an occasional basis. The ideal person will be pleasant, accepting of all people, willing to address needs as they arise and work independently. The position is part-time for approximately 20 hours per week and includes vacation time but no other benefits. The hours are expected to be 9am – 1pm, Monday-Friday, but some flexibility can be provided. The starting date for the position is expected to be March 1, 2020. This position is available for both church members and non-church members.
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT POSITION
The Administrative Assistant for the Main Street United Methodist Church will assist the pastor with all office-related responsibilities including preparation of weekly bulletin, weekly e-mail blast, monthly paper newsletter; occasional bulk mailings; and other tasks that may be identified on an occasional basis. The position will be responsible for seeing that all office equipment is maintained as required. The ideal person must be able to work with the Microsoft Office Suite and be comfortable learning new programs that the church depends upon, such as Power Church Plus. The position is part-time for approximately 20 hours per week and includes vacation time but no other benefits. Hours are flexible based on the needs of the church and the availability of the person who fills the position. The starting date for the position is expected to be February 1, 2020. This position is available for non-church members only.
Leaders of the Church
Happy New Year!!!
With the new year comes the time to submit your annual report for 2019 to the church office. You may email them as attachments (.doc) to email@example.com or place it in the church office mailbox. In cases where leaders are new to their positions the predecessor should assist with the report. I will collect them and create the 2019 Annual Report Booklet. Due date for your contribution is 2/14/2020.
Thank you, Pam
PLEASE NOTE: The next Online Blast will be January 10, 2020.
Have a Very Merry Christmas!!
and Blessed Yew Year