February 14, 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?
2/16 The Sixth Sunday after Epiphany
Bell Choir anthem
Anthem- by the choir
Scripture: Deuteronomy 30:15-20; First Corinthians 3:1-9
Theme: Planting, Watering, and Reaping in God's Garden- Our tendency is to think that our leaders need to do it all and depending on our perspective we clearly prefer one leader over another. The apostle Paul sees things differently and points out that in God's garden one person plants while another waters and God does the reaping. Adopting Paul's understanding is essential especially in times of change and transition with the leadership of the church.
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 16th will be led by Pastor Rich and we will be viewing the video titled, "Building a Just, 'Green' Faith Community".
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.
United Methodist Women
Wednesday February 19, 7:00 PM, church Vestry
All women of the church are invited to attend UMW meetings. Come join a great bunch of women this month as we gather items and assemble layettes.
Each kit includes:
- Six cloth diapers
- Two T-shirts or undershirts or onesies
- Two washcloths
- Two gowns or sleepers
- Two diaper pins
- One sweater or sweatshirt (Can be hand knitted or crocheted)
- Two receiving blankets (one can be a hand-knitted or crocheted baby blanket)
Items must be new and under 12 months in size. Wrap items inside one of the receiving blankets and secure with both diaper pins.
The Sunday School children are hosting a Sock Drive from Sunday, January 26 – Sunday, February 16.
Looking for new packages of adult and children socks.
Any adult socks will be donated to the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter. Any children socks will be donated to the Pass Along Project of Nashua, which is an organization that distributes clothing bundles to foster children.
There are donation bins in the Sunday School classroom, the lobby and the vestry.
Thank you for your help and support with this mission project.
The Third Sunday of the month is February 16, so that is Nashua's Sunday to hold a food pantry at the Nashua Soup Kitchen. If you would like to join us in working, please meet us at the Soup Kitchen, 2 Quincy Street, at 1:30. If you or someone you know could use food, then please come by between 2 and 4 for either a monthly box or fruit and veggies. If you would like to support us in other ways, you may place items in the Food Pantry vin in the lobby. At the moment, the Soup Kitchen needs Soup! We could also use Ramen noodles. Volunteers are also needed at the soup kitchen food pantry on weekdays from 11 to 2:45. We will give you an apron!
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.
One is All - Wednesday Morning Lenten Class
March 4, 11, 18, 25, April 1, 10:30 AM – Noon, Vestry
Come join us on a Lenten Journey using the spirituality of nature as we broaden our perspective and move from All is One to One is All. There will not be a class book, but rather we will use sacred texts and poetry from a variety of faiths. We will spend class time in small group conversation, sing hymns and have creative experiences. Child care will be provided. We left February 26, Ash Wednesday, free so you could use your time to attend a service. A sign-up sheet and pre-class assignment will be available during coffee hour
or email Pam Breniser (class facilitator) at email@example.com.
U.M.ARMY Mission Trip, July 12-18, 2020
The United Methodist Action Reach-out Mission by Youth (U.M. ARMY) has been providing mission opportunities for youth and adults for 40 years. During the week of July 12-18, the participants will stay at St. John's UMC, Dover, NH and will be partnering with several other UM churches to work in the Dover community doing projects, such as handicap access ramps, step and stair repair, handrail installation, painting, yard work and a variety of other projects. The cost per person for this trip is $300. Due to various fundraising efforts by the participants to help defray the individual cost for the trip, each participant will only pay the $50 non-refundable registration fee. Participants must have completed 6th grade or older.
Simply use this registration link and register by April 26 to guarantee a space: https://www.umarmy.net/Registration/Indv/3433/. If you are under 18, you will need to have a parent complete the registration for you. At the end of the registration, you must download the Medical and Press Release Form, print and sign it. Once you have completed the registration, give your Medical and Press Release Form and a check of $50 non-refundable registration fee to Karrie Lam, Coordinator of Youth Ministry or place them in the Youth Ministry mailbox outside the church office. Checks should be made out to Main Street UMC with the words, "Youth Mission Trip 2020" on the memo line.