ADVENT PRAYER by Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar
Loving God made flesh —
as we rush through the days of Advent
busy about many things –
our minds full,
our hearts racing,
our bodies weary,
from the mad pursuit to prepare for Christmas,
slow us down
wake us up
open our eyes
to see you right here, right now
in front of us
in the lines of traffic
we want to rush past
in the preparations
we want to finish
in the people we want
to move out of our way
in order to meet you —
who has already come
to this place,
to this moment
right now –
Love made flesh, dwelling among us.
We pray through Christ
who lives and reigns
and the Holy Spirit.
The Advent Season is now upon us and we face the annual challenge that comes with balancing the desire for the slower pace that Advent requires with the faster pace that our society says we should embrace. Do we set aside time for more consistent worship experiences, participation in study groups, and increased daily prayer time, or do we speed up our days with more shopping, frantic rushing to get everything done and increased preparations for the celebration of Christmas? Such is the challenge that we face every year. My hope and prayer for all of us is that the observance of Advent will provide an opportunity to balance both the needs of the soul with the demands of our culture. May you find a way to do all that you need to do but in a way that allows you to experience the joy, peace, and hope that this season offers.
12/8 The Second Sunday of Advent
Lighting the second Advent candle (Lynn and Bill Moseley at 8:15 and the Pyle/Brown families at 10:30am)
Bell Choir playing
Special music by Rev. Dr. Kwan Lee and his daughter, Susanne Laurence
Scripture: Isaiah 11:1-10; Matthew 3:1-12
Theme: The fruit of the Jesse Tree- Just what or who is the "root of Jesse" that the prophet Isaiah speaks of and what do the fruit of this tree look like? The prophet makes clear that this "root" is none other than the coming Messianic king and that the fruit that will identify this king are the fruits of wisdom and understanding, counsel and might, knowledge and the fear of the Lord, and righteousness and justice.
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.
Our next Bean Supper will be on Saturday, December 7th at 4:30pm. We need help with the preparations on Friday morning and help with set up on Saturday morning and of course, lots of help during the supper and afterwards for clean up. If interested either just show up or be in touch with David Appler at 603-883-6440.
VESTRY ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS
LIGHT OF THE WORLD- Join Amy-Jill Levine as she traces the Christmas narrative through the stories of Zechariah and Elizabeth, Mary, the journey to Bethlehem, and the visit of the Magi. This DVD based class will be led Paul Pederzani with assistance from Pastor Rich on December 8th. Amy-Jill Levine has the distinction of being one of the few New Testament scholars who are Jewish. She is a New Testament professor at Vanderbilt University. The class begins on Sunday, December 1st and concludes on Sunday, December 22nd. There is no vestry class on December 29th.
ADVENT TAIZE SERVICE PLANNED
Are you looking for a bit of peace and quiet in the midst of the hectic Christmas season? If so, we have just what you need! On Sunday, December 15th at 5:00pm we will hold an Advent Taizé Service featuring calming music, time for quiet reflection, meaningful prayers and readings, and all in a candle lit setting. Come find your quiet center in the midst of this Christmas Season. This service will be held in the second floor lobby. This year we will have live music led by Irene Harris and other church musicians.
THANKS AND APPRECIATIONS
The end of November was a busy time for many people in our congregation and thanks are due- to Trustees Donna Swanson and Ted Luszey for their effort in removing our old chair lift; to all of those, including our youth, who helped with the Hanging of the Greens and to the members of F Troop who fed us; to the Trustees who put up the Christmas trees in various places in the church; and to everyone who assisted with the Holiday Stroll especially Jerry Harrow and Deb Luszey who coordinated our effort. Thanks, thanks, thanks, to everyone!
Joyful Shepherd's Christmas Party
Sunday, December 8 at 12:30pm
Come celebrate the good news! We will serve a delicious lunch in the vestry. Pam Gordon will lead us in fun word search or similar activities. There will be drawings for prizes and lots of gifts! Carol Sing of course. And you never know what else....
All are welcome, especially those we visit or who help us in any way. Bring a guest or two. See Nancy Long or Lynn Moseley for details.
Looking for Nativity Sets
Again this year we would like to fill the cabinet in the ladies' parlor with nativity sets, probably through Epiphany in January. If you have a small set that you would be willing to share for a few weeks, please bring it to the church office marked for Pam Breniser. If you can include a note about their origin or special significance to your family that would be helpful. Please be sure your name is on/with it. We are hoping to get some from other countries or made from unusual materials. Bring them in any time now. However, they won't be put in the cabinet until after the Christmas Stroll.
UMW December Activities
The Yuletide Fair was a great success, and we have many people to thank, whether they are members of the United Methodist Women or not! We had a wonderful turnout, and many of you donated craft items, kitchen needs, and baked goods, or time helping set up or break down the fair, and many of you shopped and had lunch on the day of the Fair. Our Youth were a big help, both in doing our decorations and working on the day of the Fair. If you missed our Fair in November, you will have another chance at the Ham and Bean Supper on December 7, and before and after the 10:30 service on December 8. The United Methodist Women will also be providing Coffee Hour during the month of December, so we will just keep baking! The Mini Fair will serve as our December meeting, so we will not have an evening meeting during December.
Thanksgiving and Christmas Basket Information: Thank you for your donations of food for Thanksgiving boxes for our refugee families. We were able to help provide appropriate foods that can be used by these families rather than the traditional stuffing and cranberry sauce. At Christmas, each family will receive a gift card so that they can purchase needed food for Christmas, and will also be able to receive a box from the Nashua Soup Kitchen December 19, 20, 23 & 24. Donations that would help purchase the $50 gift cards can be made to the Heart of Nashua Food Assistance Ministry—or just write Food Pantry on the envelope!
CROP Hunger Walk: Many thanks to Nonny Egbuonu, our CROP Hunger recruiter, and Erica Borroto, who organized money on the day of the walk. Thanks especially to all of our soggy walkers, who raised $2030 with the help of the rest of Main Street UMC!!
Gifts for the King will be celebrated December 15. The tree with the needs or wishes of children from recent refugee families should go up on November 24.
Café Agape has had some changes in leadership. We thank Shirley Michael for all of her dedicated service as she steps back from her leadership role with Pat Kerrigan. We welcome Deb Andrews as our new co-coordinator. If you would like to donate a small gift item, such as a local fast food gift card, to our Café Agape patrons for Christmas, please see Pat Kerrigan.
Scouting for Food: Thank you for remembering to put out your bag for Scouting for Food. If you forgot, you can always bring in a bag for us to take along to the food pantry!
Ho, Ho Ham and Bean!
You might think that by our third Ham and Bean Supper of the new season, things might be Ho, Hum, but instead, our December 7th Ham and Bean will be Ho! Ho! The United Methodist Women will have their Yuletide mini fair set up in the parlor, and we have heard rumors of Christmas Carolers. This Ham and Bean Supper will take place Saturday, December 7 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. We had some new ham and bean folks from Main Street last month, and they were amazed at the wonderful food and the whole operation! (And they will be back!)
Children 6 to 12: $4
Children 5 and under: Free!
If you would like to help with the Ham and Bean, put your name on the sign-up sheet in the vestry or contact David Appler at firstname.lastname@example.org
See you at the Ham and Bean Supper Saturday, December 7!
CALLING ALL UNITED METHODIST MEN AND BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST
Our December United Methodist Men Breakfast and Program will be conducted on 7 December in the vestry of Main Street United Methodist Church with breakfast at 8:30 a.m. followed by our program at 9:00 a.m. December's Program will be led by Jason Wells, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Council of Churches, which is located in Concord, NH. Jason will discuss the ministry of the NH Council of Churches and its mission of joining together multiple congregations of faith in mutual respect and understanding to unite for prayer, Learning, Justice, Peace, and Stewardship of God's creation. The Council has 399 churches from New Hampshire and Vermont who represent nine different denominations to include 56 United Methodist Churches. Jason's primary presentation will involve his experience in working with the New Hampshire Department of Homeland Security to develop plans and procedures for the security of churches to protect them from natural disasters, damage, unlawful break-ins and dangerous scenarios involving church personnel and property. Please come join us that morning for learning and fellowship.
If there are some who could come in early around 8:00 a.m. to help setup it would be helpful. After the Program I also invite anyone who is able to remain to help set up tables and chairs for our third Ham and Bean Supper of the year which will take place later in the afternoon.
I look forward to seeing everyone at this meeting. Enjoy your Thanksgiving with your families and know that our thoughts and prayers are with you as you enter the Holiday Season. Please let us know by responding to this e-mail if you will be able to attend by replaying to this e-mail at REPLY ALL above or by calling Kent Swanson at 603-880-6289 to notify me or leave me a voicemail.
The Light of Advent - Peace
Chaos in the world or in your life is a sign of endings and beginnings. When everything, including yourself, seems to fall apart, space is created for the seed of peace to sprout.
Affirmation to think and repeat until you feel peace flowing in your heart:
Peace sprouts within me and all around me. I AM the light of Peace!