May 29, 220
A Word from the Pastor
we will not
gather in one place this Pentecost
wearing red, standing close together,
crowded in sanctuaries adorned with symbols.
We will gather
in separate rooms
amidst a pandemic,
literally, people from every nation
speaking in countless languages.
As we stand in this unusual place
amidst uncertainty and fear
we pray that we will re-member
the first Pentecost, our Story,
that we will hear afresh the witness of Peter
proclaiming Joel's prophesy of God —
people of all ages and stations,
seeing visions, dreaming dreams,
witnessing signs and wonders —
even in days clouded by sickness and worry.
Like the early apostles
fill us with courage,
to be your beloved global community,
to read and proclaim the signs of the times,
to demonstrate your Good News with our lives.
Make us the Church of the Pentecost
embracing people of every hue, accent, and theology,
hearing about your deeds of power
spoken by many witnesses in many languages —
and our joy shall be full
and our hope be proclaimed.
Consume us with refining fire.
Redeem us with your unending love.
Propel by your holy wind.
We pray in the name of Jesus the Christ, who lives and reigns with You, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
By Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar
Scripture Reading: Acts 2:1-21
As I usually find to be the case, Bishop Devadhar has once again captured in a powerful way what our experience of Pentecost is likely to be this year. As we, along with thousands of other United Methodists in New England, gather in our separate places to worship we will nonetheless experience the power and presence of the Holy Spirit and be united as one body in Christ. We will be many voices, many colors, many cultures, many beliefs and perspectives, but united by the one Spirit in one body. What a truly joyous occasion this will be!
I look forward to connecting afterwards with many of you in our virtual coffee hour. It is always good to see each other's faces and to speak a word of joy and love. While I always start in the "vestry" I always make it a point to visit the "kitchen" and "lobby" as well so if you join it I won't miss you.
PENTECOST SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE
Recently our Bishop and District Superintendents made the decision to pre-record a worship for use on Pentecost Sunday, May 31st and to make it available for all of the church's in our Conference to use. This decision was made, at least in part, with the recognition that pastors, local church musicians, and other worship leaders have been working overtime trying to adjust to new technologies and the challenges that these technologies have placed before us.
I have decided, in the light of the challenging and time consuming work that our church musicians, IT members, and myself have committed to providing meaningful worship each Sunday, to utilize this prerecorded service this coming Sunday. We will still live stream it on facebook at 10:30am on Sunday morning and it will come to you in the usual way that you are used to. Afterwards we will once again offer the "virtual" coffee hour that we have been offering for the last few weeks.
If you are missing the music of our wonderful musicians please know that they have now recorded over 80 pieces of worship that are available on You Tube. All you need to do is go to You Tube and search for the Lyrical Levites. If you then click on "videos" you will have your choice all the videos to enjoy.
If you would prefer to view the prerecorded Pentecost Service at a different time please use the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XMO5vUVO8k&feature=youtu.be
Celebrating our Graduates!
Do you have a child graduating from high school or college this year?
If so we would love to honor them at our June 7 worship service. Please
send their names and schools (and for colleges their majors, if desired)
and a picture if you are willing, to Pastor Rich ( Rich Cullen
<Rich.Cullen@mainstreet-umc.org>) or to Jerry Harrow (Jerry & Karen
Harrow <email@example.com>) and they will make sure they are
acknowledged. Thank you for your patience in this time of pandemic and
all the changes that have resulted because of it.
A WORD ABOUT THE TUESDAY BLAST AND MID-WEEK REFLECTIONS: When it first became clear back in mid-March that we would not be able to gather for worship and other church activities I decided to add a second "Tuesday" e-mail blast and to do a mid-week live streamed reflection with the hope that this would provide an opportunity to stay better connected during this time apart. As we begin to move into a new phase of this pandemic and with the nicer weather that is allowing all of us to get outdoors more, and with my time with you drawing to a close on June 14th, I've made the decision to cease these two activities as of the end of this week. So, last Tuesday was the final Tuesday e-mail blast and Wednesday's reflection was the final mid-week reflection. I hope that each of these efforts have been helpful to each of you during this time apart.
SO, WHEN WILL WE BE ABLE TO RESUME IN PERSON WORSHIP?
This is the question that is on all our minds as we continue to live with this pandemic. Unfortunately, there are no clear answers. By the time you read this our Church Council will have settled on a process to both determine when and how in person worship will resume. We will have to abide by the guidelines provided by the state of NH as well as those provided by Bishop Devadhar. In all likelihood the movement towards in person worship will happen incrementally over a few months time. As decisions are made you will be informed using all of the communication tools that are available to us. In the meantime, and afterwards as well, we will continue to live stream our worship service on Sunday morning. We hope that you are able to access the worship service either live via facebook or after the fact through our web site.
Over the course of the "stay at home" time that we find ourselves in, volunteers from the congregation have been reaching out by phone to our entire membership. One of things we have found though is that so many of you have given up your land lines or otherwise changed your phone number and we no longer have the correct number for you. We would love to up-date our data base with this correct information so please either e-mail the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 603-882-3361. We have begun round 2 of our calling and hope to connect with you!
Although we are no longer able to do the live streaming of our worship service from the sanctuary, Pastor Rich is live streaming a service from home which is available on-demand on Facebook shortly after the service. You can use the Facebook app on a smartphone, or a web browser on a computer. "Like" our page and you will be notified when we go live each Sunday.
If you choose to not use a Facebook login, you can still access the live stream during the service time from our web site home page by going to the box to the right (you may need to refresh the page if you arrive early). Previous worship services are available by scrolling down through the postings.
Giving During This Uncertain Time
Although we are scaling back most of our church activities which will reduce our expenses during this time, we still have staff who will be working- cleaning the church thoroughly; providing office assistance from home; providing pastoral care remotely, etc.- so we will still be incurring expenses that will need to be covered as best we can. To the extent that you are able please maintain your financial pledge or give regularly. Contributions can either be mailed in to the church or you can utilize our on-line giving options by going to the following web address:
Thank you for your on-going support, for your prayers, and for your faithfulness to God and one another.
VIRTUAL COFFEE HOUR
The latest option to help us all stay connected in this time of physical distancing is our "Virtual Coffee Hour" starting right after Sunday Worship (approximately 11:30am). We have three "rooms" available each week. Stop by the Vestry and catch up with your friends (bring your own coffee and snacks). If it seems too crowded in the Vestry, and you can't get in a word in edgewise, move over to the Lobby or the Kitchen where it is usually quieter. If you are a Facebook user, you can coordinate where to meet-up with others via the chat before/after Worship, or by indicating that you are "Going" to one of the three Facebook events each week. The actual rooms are via Google Meet and don't require Facebook at all, and may be attended by phone, by app on iPhone/iPad/Android/or by Computer. Access information is below. If you need some hints at using Google Meet there are some instructions and screen shots at https://www.mainstreet-umc.org/activities/coffee-hour that might help you get acclimated.
Vestry: https://meet.google.com/qmq-zxbb-sye or by phone: +1 617-675-4444 PIN: ?415 456 786 8524#
Lobby: https://meet.google.com/cen-uofo-ovh or by phone: +1 617-675-4444 PIN: ?566 126 046 3024#
Kitchen: https://meet.google.com/mfq-vdkf-ofj or by phone: +1 617-675-4444 PIN: ?666 362 297 7893#
ARE YOU IN NEED OF A FACE MASK?
As we increasingly look forward to the day when we can begin to get out more and hopefully even gather for worship in our sanctuary we are faced with a new reality- that of wearing face masks anytime we are in public places. In order to do this we will all need to have more than one cloth face mask available to us and we have a group of church folks who are gearing up to make some to have available both at church and to give out. If you would like to have a couple of the masks please call the church office at 882-3361 or e-mail the church office at email@example.com and your name will be added to the list. Once they are available we will be in touch with you and arrange to get the masks to you.
CHANGE OF CHURCH MAILING ADDRESS
On Tuesday, May 12th we discovered that our mail box at church had been broken into and the mail removed. Thankfully the person left behind the envelopes so that we could notify people that their checks written to the church had been stolen. If you happened to put anything in the mail to the church sometime around May 8th and haven't heard from us, please be attentive to whether your check gets cashed or not and notify us. We are certain that it was only one day's worth of mail that was vandalized.
Given this situation we have also begun to rent a Post Office Box at the Post Office. Therefore the church's new mailing address is:
PO Box 1517, Nashua, NH 03061. From now on please use this mailing address for all church mail.
Thank you for your understanding and assistance in this matter.