March 20, 2020
By now you should have received the word that the CDC is recommending that there be no gatherings of ten or more people for the foreseeable future. With that guidance and the recommendation of our Safety Committee we have decided to close the church to all public gatherings effective March 18, 2020 and until further notice. Thankfully, since we have already been live streaming our worship services for some time now, we will be able to continue to bring worship to you wherever you are. Please see elsewhere in this "blast" just what you need to do in order to access the live stream or to listen to it at a later time.
Pandemic by Lynn Ungar
What if you thought of it
As the Jews consider the Sabbath-
The most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
On trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing, Pray, Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
In ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another's hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out with your hands.
Reach out your hearts.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love-
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
This wonderful poem by Lynn Unger was a real gift to me when I received it in an e-mail earlier this week. It helps to put in perspective what is being asked of us as we experience "social distancing" during this epidemic. In spite of the fact that we do not like being told that we cannot do so many things, the reality is that this demand is also a gift. It is an opportunity to practice Sabbath, to let go of our need to be in control, and to reach out in new and different ways to one another. My hope and prayer for each of us is that we will truly accept this experience as the gift it can be and be aware of the God who is present to us in so many ways during this time.
3/22 The Fourth Sunday in Lent
Special Music: The Lyrical Levites (Emily Adams, Kelly Brown, Dan McDonald and Irene Harris)
Scripture: First Samuel 16:1-13; John 9:1-42
Theme: Seeing with the Eyes of the Heart- There are many different ways to "see" and if we limit ourselves to using our eyes will miss much of what is real. The prophet Samuel needed to learn this lesson as he attempted to anoint a new king of Israel and a "man born blind" served to challenge the seeing of the religious leaders. What does it mean to see with the eyes of the heart?
Our love, prayers, and sympathy are Linda Noftle and family following the death of her mother, Dorothy (Dolly) Noftle on March 16th. Dorothy had been a member of our congregation for many years and in recent years had lived at the Hunt Community. A memorial service will be held sometime this summer.
MEETING OUR NEW PASTOR: As of this writing, Pastor Kelly Turney and her husband, Steve Hilbun, are still planning to be in Nashua this weekend. At this time it is planned that Pastor Kelly will be introduced to us via our live streamed worship service on Sunday morning at 10:30am. We look forward to extending a warm welcome to Pastor Kelly and Steve even if it is happening in a way that we couldn't have conceived of even a couple of weeks ago.
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: March 28. Presenting the Coffee and Peasant Cantatas by Bach. 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.
With the retirement of Pam Axtell, our Administrative Assistant for the last 12 years, the Staff-Parish Relations Committee proposed the creation of two new positions, that of an Administrative Assistant and that of a Receptionist. We are pleased to say that after receiving hundreds of inquiries regarding these two positions and doing numerous interviews we were able to hire two extremely capable individuals to fill the positions.
Debra Zagaeski began as Administrative Assistant on Wednesday, February 19th and as of March 2nd she has been on her own in the office. Debra has worked in various capacities in numerous churches over the years and brings a wealth of experience to the job. Debra's hours are 10am-3pm, Monday-Friday.
Tina Preston began as our receptionist on Monday, March 2nd. Tina also brings a lot of church experience with her although hers has been mostly as a volunteer. Tina will be in the 1st floor lobby from 9:00am-noon, Monday-Friday and will also answer the phone during these hours.
Please be sure to extend a warm welcome to each of these individuals as they settle in as staff members. We are thrilled to have them on board.
We are blessed here at MSUMC with members and guests from a wonderful variety of backgrounds and cultures. .With the goal of truly being a loving and welcoming community of faith in mind and heart, we'd like to create a database of members that have a fluency in other languages. If you would be willing to share your gift with us please email Paul Pederzani at: firstname.lastname@example.org and type MSUMC in the subject line. Thank you for your continued support of our church and church family.
Heifer International's mission is to end hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth using gifts of livestock, seeds, trees and training in sustainable agriculture community development projects to help millions of people become self-reliant. Since 1944, Heifer has helped transform the lives of more than 30 million families by giving them gifts of cows, goats and other livestock. Look for our Easter Tree of Life, and honor someone with the gift of an animal. Fill up our tree! We offer vegetarian options.
Our display of various crosses and other Easter symbols is now set up in the cabinet that Roger Hall made in the Ladies Parlor. Take the short ramp from the first floor lobby. Come and enjoy! The display will be up through Easter. Thanks to everyone who donated items
For Sale: Retired Church tables 30" wide X 8 foot long. $50 each or buy 2 get one free.
Contact Donna Swanson (603) 759-5088