February 7, 2020
"Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice,… to let the oppressed go free,…to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house;?... Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly."
Although we identify Jesus as the "light of the world" he, for his part, declared that his disciples are truly the "light of the world" and the "salt of the earth". As such Jesus warns about our losing our saltiness and failing to let our light shine. Instead we are to flavor the world with love and "let your light so shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven".
It is not so much our words that cause the light of Christ to shine through us but rather our deeds. When our actions reflect the love and compassion of God then light shines forth through us to those who otherwise experience darkness in their lives.
The prophet in Isaiah 58 notes that God is not so much interested in the kind of fasting that the Hebrew people were accustomed to- "a day to humble oneself and lie down in sackcloth and ashes", but rather God is interested in the fast that results in the deliverance and healing for others. When we "loose the bonds of injustice" or "let the oppressed go free" or "bring the homeless poor into your house" or cloth the naked or stop hiding from one's own kin, then the prophet says, "your light shall break forth like the dawn and your healing shall spring up quickly."
We are called to be a people who shine light in our world through our actions and deeds. It isn't always easy to do this given that it means having to confront our own prejudices and our own discomfort with people who are experiencing the severity of life's challenges. When we are able to do so though, both we and those who are the recipients of the light of Christ through us experience deliverance and healing. As the black spiritual challenges us, "This little light of mine, I'm goin'a let it shine" "everywhere I go and all around the world". How is your light shining?
2/9 The Fifth Sunday after Epiphany
Anthem- by the choir
Scripture: Isaiah 58:1-8a; Matthew 5:13-20
Theme: Salt and Light-Filled Actions- Jesus declares that disciples are both the salt of the earth and the light of the world and that as such we need to act in such a way that others will see our good deeds and glorify God.
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. The class on February 9th will be led by Pastor Rich and we will be viewing the video titled, "Understanding 'New' Expressions of Civil Rights Movements".
CONFIRMATION PLANS ANNOUNCED
Confirmation classes for youth in grades 7 – 12 will be held during the months of March and April. 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.
ASH WEDNESDAY SERVICE TO BE HELD AT THE ARLINGTON STREET UMC
This year the service will be held at the Arlington Street UMC. The service will be held on Wednesday, February 26th at 7:00pm and will include music by a joint choir and preaching by the Pastor Rich. The disposition of ashes will be available for all who would like to receive them.
Luncheon for February Birthdays
When: Sunday, 02/09/2020
Where: Uno Pizzaria & Grill on 593 Amherst St., Nashua, NH
Join us for this Birthday Luncheon; it does not have to be your birthday month; the more the merrier. Just a way of getting to know our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Please let one of the committee members below know if you're interested in attending by the Friday, before the event so that we can reserve a table, no gifts are needed, we "all" go dutch, this is a Luncheon ... to celebrate birthdays of the month and for fellowship.
It's best to email us if you plan to attend so we can email the group who the birthday attendees will be for the given month a couple of days prior and if you wish, . . . birthday cards are welcomed but not necessary, just bring yourself!
Also, this will be a "running" Fund Raiser of which MSUMC will receive 20% at end of the year, a contribution from all attendees to MSUMC while supporting our local community and being in fellowship with one another; when applicable we may also use 25% off coupon for entire table in addition to fundraiser!
Helen Louderback email@example.com
Nonny Egbuonu firstname.lastname@example.org
Mercedes Cernuda email@example.com
Campfire Connections with Wanakee
February 9th - 5:00 - 7:00 pm, St. John's UMC - 28 Cataract Ave., Dover, NH
Please join Wanakee leadership for an evening of camp-style fellowship and worship. The evening begins with pizza at 5 pm, followed by worship based in conversation. Sing your favorite fireside songs, discuss relevant topics of faith and spirituality, and share in communion. All are welcome!
Lenten Spirit of Sharing
Lent actually begins in February this year. Making kits is one way that your family can get into a Lenten spirit of sharing. This year, we will be making Health Kits for UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Plastic bags and information will be available by the name tag board, but this will give you a head start. Here is what goes into a kit:
• One hand towel measuring approximately 16? x 28? (no fingertip or bath towels)
• One washcloth
• One wide-tooth comb
• One nail clipper
• One bar of soap (bath size in wrapper)
• One toothbrush (in original packaging)
• Six standard size Band-Aids®
Place all items in a one-gallon plastic bag with a zipper closure. Please do not add toothpaste to the Hygiene Kit. Cartons of toothpaste that have an extended expiration date will be added to Hygiene Kit shipments just prior to shipment.
Looking for Crosses or Easter Items for Display
We are hoping to set up a display in the cabinet in the Ladies' Parlor for Lent, similar to
what we did with the Nativity Scenes during Advent. If you have a special cross or
religious Easter item you would like to share with us for the season of Lent, please leave it in the church office marked for Pam Breniser. Be sure your name is on it and any interesting information that could be put with it in the display. The display will go up for Ash Wednesday, February 26, which is the first day of Lent.
Thank you for ordering the subs and the cash donations towards the groceries of the subs. The youth made and delivered 74 delicious subs to the congregation on Superbowl Sunday and raised $513.76 to support their summer mission trip.
United Way "Changemakers United" Kickoff Party
Be part of the conversation about how people 40 and younger can take an active role in volunteering and advocating for the needs of our most vulnerable neighbors.
Join United Way of Greater Nashua on Wednesday, March 11th at MakeIt Labs in Nashua to talk about ways young people can make a difference. We'll hear from agencies who serve our most vulnerable neighbors, we'll talk about ways attendees would like to help, and we'll brainstorm some volunteer projects the group can do together.
Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: MakeIt Labs, 25 Crown Street, Nashua, NH
Warming Up Winter with Friendship and Tea
Join the folks at St. James United Methodist Church for Friendship and Tea
646 Daniel Webster Highway, Merrimack
February 15, 2:00 – 4:00pm
$8 per person, Reserve Tickets by calling 603-424-7459
or purchasing at the door