"This year, this year, let the day arrive when Christmas comes for everyone, everyone alive."
The refrain from "Star-Child" TFWS, #2095
This past November 17th we as a congregation voted overwhelmingly in a special Church Conference to become a Reconciling Congregation. This included the decision to "embrace and enact our welcoming statement". This welcoming statement has been used on our web site and in the weekly announcements since May of last year after being approved by the Church Council. It reads,
Main Street United Methodist Church celebrates that all persons are created in God's image and are of sacred worth. We are a faith community that welcomes persons without regard to age, race, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, family configuration, religious background, economic status, or developmental and physical ability. We welcome all who seek to love God and neighbor.
Another aspect of our decision was to agree "to be intentional, discerning and passionate in our welcoming of all people." Although we are a diverse church that has had the opportunity to welcome many people who are different in some way from the majority- people of color, refugees, LGBTQ individuals, people from different socio-economic situations, we recognize that we still have a ways to go to truly assimilate people more fully into the life of the church. At the same time, we recognize that there are people who are not a part of our church community but who need a more intentional welcome from us. At our most recent Church Council meeting the decision was made to form a "welcoming" committee that would help us to be more intentional in identifying and extending a welcome to those who have not as yet found their way to our church.
In order to facilitate this aspect of our decision to be a Reconciling Congregation I will be leading a study called, "Young Adults, Justice, and the Church" which is part of the Vital Congregations series put out by the General Commission on Religion and Race of the United Methodist Church. (See below for the details) This series of videos will help us to think more clearly about what it means to truly welcome "all". I like that the videos are all led by Millennial pastors and lay people who recognize that the church in the 21st century will be different from the church of the 20th century- more diverse, more open, more of a reflection of the nation in which we live.
I invite you to join in this study as one way to start thinking about what it means for us to "be intentional, discerning, and passionate in our welcoming of all people." May we celebrate the diversity that is already reflected in our church and may we envision the church that we can become in the future.
Living into our Welcome,
1/12 The Baptism of Our Lord
Anthem- by the choir
Scripture: Isaiah 42:1-8; Matthew 3:13-17
Theme: Baptism and Justice- When baptized a candidate is asked two questions that pertain to issues of justice. This is in keeping with Jesus' own understanding of what he was doing when he allowed John to baptize him. We will explore this important connection between baptism and doing justice.
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.
STAFF THANK YOU
On behalf of the staff members of the Main Street UMC I would like to express gratitude for your very generous Christmas gift. We are pleased to be able to serve both God and you through our work. We appreciate your thoughtfulness both in the giving of this gift and in the many other ways that you have shown appreciation and support. We look forward to the year ahead and all of the blessings that can be expected as we work together. Thanks again, Pastor Rich
CONFIRMATION PLANS ANNOUNCED
Confirmation classes for youth in grades 7 – 12 will be held during the months of March and April. A planning meeting for parents and youth will take place on Sunday, January 26th at 11:45am in the chapel. It has already been decided that the classes will be offered during the regular Sunday School time at 9:00am each Sunday morning. Confirmation itself will take place on Sunday, April 19th. Classes will be led by Pastor Rich along with assistance from various members of the congregation.
ANNUAL MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. CELEBRATION PLANNED
The annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration will once again take place at the First Baptist Church located on Manchester Street here in Nashua. The service takes place on Saturday, January 18th at 6:00pm. There is plenty of great gospel music, including the Interfaith Choir which is led by our choir director, Julie Oliver and involves many of our choir members. A free dinner follows the service in the church's fellowship hall. All are welcome!
OPERA ON MAIN STREET RETURNS
Our collaboration with Jane Cormier and the offering of a "salon" series of operatic concerts will resume this month. Here is the schedule for the winter and spring:
Jan. 25. Opera Potpourri - selections from the world's opera favorites
Feb. 29. Sacred Music selections from Malotte, Gounod, Hadyn, Schubert, and Mozart.
March 28. Presenting the Coffee and Peasant Cantatas by Bach.
April 25. Music from your favorite musicals including Webber, Rodgers, Bernstein, and others.
May 30. Concert presentation of Orfeo e Euridice by Gluck
All concerts take place in our sanctuary at 7:00pm. There is a cost of $12.00 per person or $10.00 for senior citizens with children and youth free. A portion of each ticket supports the church's organ fund.
United Methodist Women
Pizza and Planning
Wednesday, January 15; 6:30 PM, Church Vestry
All women of the church are invited to our annual planning meeting where we review our budget for the new year, decide what mission areas we wish to support and plan our schedule of meetings and events for the year. We wish to have your input at this very important meeting. Our typical meetings are the 3rd Wed. of the month at 7 PM. Since this is a dinner meeting, we are gathering a half hour earlier. There will be a signup sheet on the UMW bulletin board in the hallway outside the church vestry. If you have never attended one of our meetings, this is a great opportunity to meet some wonderful ladies and learn what we are all about. Hope to see you then.
Sunday we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord and remember the significance of our own baptisms. On the altar you will see shells and a dove. A scallop shell has long been a symbol of baptism, most likely because early art depicts John baptizing Jesus by pouring water from a scallop shell, even though the books of Matthew and Mark indicate he was immersed. All four gospels, including John, mention the Holy Spirit descending in the form of a dove after Jesus was baptized. The dove is often used as a symbol of peace, but regarding baptism it has come to symbolize the Holy Spirit.
Want to reconnect with your Wanakee Friends, share a pizza, sing your favorite camp song, join in a campfire conversation and close with communion? Now is your chance. The Next Campfire Connection is at the Bow United Methodist Church January 12 from 5 – 7 PM.
Adult Study -Wednesday Evenings
It's Not Supposed To Be This Way
January 29 to April 8
From: 7:00pm – 8:30pm Room 201
Please join us for this 11-session evening Adult Study, based on the book "It's Not Supposed to be this Way" by Lysa Terkeurst; New York Times Best Seller. Class facilitator is Mercedes Cernuda
Each session features a Scripture reference, a personal reading, questions for personal reflection or for group study/discussion, and we will close with prayer after sharing prayer concerns / celebrations for each week.
Description of Study: Lysa Terkeurst discovered that life's disappointments can be the divine appointments our souls need to radically encounter God. In "It's Not Suppose To Be This Way", Lysa invites us into her own journey of faith and with grit, vulnerability, and honest humor, helps us to see our lives in the context of God's bigger story. Whether we're dealing with daily disappointments or life-altering loss, we can find unexpected strength as we learn what it means to wrestle well between our faith and our feelings.
Look for Sign Up Sheet in the Vestry and / or email if interested: firstname.lastname@example.org
And, if you're unable to attend but are interested in joining us for this study we may possibly be able to conference you in.
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
Dear MSUMC Church Membership,
It is with heartfelt congratulations and good size dose of sadness that I'm writing this to announce that Pastor Rich has decided to retire effective June 30 of this year.
Pastor Rich started his tenure at MSUMC on July 1st, 2012. Soon after that we learned of Pastor Rich's amazing ability to remember names and faces as well as their stories. At that time, we were a church with 2 buildings, 5 store fronts and no connector between the building. MSUMC was at a contentious time in our church history deciding whether to renovate or relocate.
The following is a list of Pastor Rich's accomplishments and milestones:
· Pastor Rich helped lead the church to come to a very concise vote (91%) to stay downtown and renovate the church along with a 97% backing to start the first capital campaign drive (Heart of Nashua)
· He was instrumental in the "Growing with Hope" campaign that lead to the "MSUMC becoming a real downtown presence" This prompted neighborhood walks, participation in neighborhood cleanups and our block parties.
· Led us thru 2 significant capital campaigns with donations of $1.8M to date that provided the funding for the connector and building renovations.
· Participated in countless meetings regarding the capital campaign and building construction.
· He guided the church thru a very challenging time during the 12-month construction project.
· Enabled smooth and comfortable transitions for a new Choir Director, Organist, Director of Youth Ministry, custodians and nursery attendants.
· Encouraged the growth of Cafe Agape and helped us welcome those the cafe serves into our worship services.
· Served on the District Board of Ordained Ministry, board of Rolling Ridge, and the Nashua Interfaith Council which he chaired at one point.
· Heavily involved in planning our 150th anniversary celebration.
· Fostered the creation of the Youth Ministry Position and Youth Council
· Started outdoor worship, most recently was last year's Easter Sunrise service. Conducted Five years of the Taizé style worship services during Lent and Advent.
· Served patrons from the community at countless Ham & Bean Suppers
· Helped guide the church to becoming a Reconciling Congregation with 90% vote in favor.
SPRC has been actively involved since October with the Rev. Taesung Kang, our District Superintendent, to insure a smooth transition. In November, SPRC updated the MSUMC church profile to more accurately reflect our current status, leadership desires, goals and strengths. This was forwarded to the DS to be used in cabinet meetings that commenced in early December. Our expectation is that a new Pastor will be appointed by the end of January or early February, although the new Pastor will not assume the full-time position at MSUMC until July, 1 2020.
Pastor Rich has fostered an environment where church leadership could move forward with their own ideas. We all appreciate his down to earth understandable preaching style and his ability to welcome a mid-sermon visitor. There will be plenty of opportunity in the next 6 months to recognize Pastor Rich's accomplishments and spiritual contributions.
To close I'd like to say Pastor Rich has become a close friend and spiritual leader to all of us and he'll be remembered fondly by the congregation at MSUMC.
Mike Brown; SPRC Committee Chair