May 15, 2020
A Word from the Pastor
We stand in the midst of
sickness, death, and grief;
we see people
without jobs, standing in mile-long food lines;
we witness the unjust distribution
of resources and racial discrimination,
we watch health care providers
exhausted and overwhelmed
farmers with no market for their crops
we wonder ...
have they, have we, been abandoned?
Jesus promised ...
that we would not be orphaned
that you would send your Spirit
that, because he lives, we shall live
that you are not gone from us
that we have not been deserted
that you abide with us,
and in us.
O God our Help, hear our prayer —
to love you
to keep your great commandment to love others
to know you revealed through our loving acts
to see you —
here and now
with us and in us,
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar
The fear that we have been forgotten or worse, forsaken, is a common fear expressed time and time again in the bible. Jesus did not want his disciples to think that once he departed from them that they would be alone, forgotten, or orphaned. In the 14th chapter of the Gospel of John Jesus speaks words of comfort, hope, and assurance to his disciples reminding them that although he would not be physically present with them they would not be alone. Rather, the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, would not only be with them but would also be in them. Likewise, she assures them that he would "make my home" in everyone who loves him and keeps his commandments.
In the midst of these trying times when it is so easy to feel as though we are alone, forgotten and forsaken even by God, these words find new relevance. May we know in the depths of our being that God is present both in our world and in each one of us. May we likewise make our homes in God even as God has made God's home in us. May we know that we are never alone.
As we journey together through this pandemic may we recognize that we can still be present to each other even while apart. Reach out today to someone who you think may be feeling lonely, forgotten, and forsaken. You will be glad you did.
5/17 The Sixth Sunday of Easter/ The Ninth Sunday in Exile
Special Music: Levitical Levites
Scripture: Acts 17:22-31; John 14:15-24
Theme: Sharing the Good News in Foreign Contexts. Like the apostle Paul in today's Acts reading we find ourselves in a strange and foreign context- that of a pandemic. What does it mean to share the good news in this strange time? And what about afterwards, what will it mean to share good news then?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
Please note that Pastor Rich is also live steaming a Wednesday morning devotional reflection each week as well. Just follow the directions above to watch it live or any time afterwards.
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; offering music for our "virtual" worship services; 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.
AN INVITATION TO MEET VIRTUALLY
As many of you are aware we have the ability to meet virtually using "Google Meets" which is similar to ZOOM. We have met in this way for Church Council meetings, Finance meetings, and other meetings as well. Any group can have a meeting scheduled through Google Meets- UMW, UMM, choirs, church committees, or just social groups of any make up.
This coming Sunday we will be providing the links during the Facebook Live worship service that will allow us to have a virtual fellowship time right after the service. So, please plan to join in by clicking on one of the links (vestry, kitchen or lobby) once the service is over (you may want to get a cup of coffee first though).
Virtual Coffee Hour Links
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 event 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#
If you would like to set up another meeting just be in touch with Jerry Harrow or Pastor Rich with the day, time, and names of those who you would like to meet with. An invitation with the details will be sent out and your meeting can commence at the appointed time.
In this unusual time of "sheltering in place" let us take advantage of the opportunities provided to us to stay connected as a congregation.
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.
UNITED METHODIST MEN'S NEWS: It is with sincere regret that the annual United Methodist Men's Golf Tournament held in June each year will have to be postponed. It is hoped that it can be rescheduled for September so please stay tuned for more information.
HARD COPIES OF THE UPPER ROOM NOW AVAILABLE: Would you like to receive a hard copy of the June/July issue of the Upper Room? Then you are in luck since they have finally arrived. To arrange pick up or have one mailed to you please be in touch with the church office at email@example.com or 882-3361. Please leave a voice mail message.
UPPER ROOM AVAILABLE AS A FREE DOWNLOAD: NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Since churches are unable to meet and gather safely in their buildings during the coronavirus pandemic, The Upper Room is offering the May/June 2020 issue, both in English and Spanish, as a free, downloadable PDF. The Upper Room also has created a web page featuring resources to help create and maintain spiritual wellness during anxious times.
Please note that if you have any trouble downloading a copy of the May-June Issue of the Upper Room please e-mail the church office or Pastor Rich and we can send it to you electronically in pdf form.
VIRTUAL COOKING MATTERS CLASSES OFFERED
I don't know about you, but I've been preparing so many additional meals for our children now that they are home! See below for details Cooking Matters put together for online learning!
We understand that now more than ever cooking at home can be stressful and feeding a family on a limited budget can seem daunting. We will continue to offer nutrition, cooking and food shopping education online to help our partners and their clients make the most during this unprecedented time.
We are opening up the following sessions to our existing partners. Feel free to invite and share with your clients that might be interested (a participant does not need to attend all sessions)! All classes will be held on Zoom which can be accessed on any device that can connect to the internet.
We are also excited to continue to offer incentives for attendees. All attendees will receive a $10 Hannaford Gift Card (in the mail)! If they attend all four sessions they will also receive a special kitchen gadget and be entered to win a $100 grocery gift card!
Thursdays from 3:00 - 4:00 pm
June 11th - Money Saver Alert!:Let's Tac(o) about Food Waste
Please share and use the links provided to sign up someone that would like to attend!
FAMILY PROMISE/ANN MARIE HOUSE ANNOUNCEMENT
Just a few short weeks ago I wrote the original version of this letter, happily announcing that Family Promise had found a new home for Southern New Hampshire families experiencing homelessness. That letter thanked you, our community of faith supporters, for your prayers and guidance during the months since we had learned that we would have to leave Anne Marie House. We felt our prayers were answered and that this new home would begin a new chapter for Family Promise. But now, the world has changed.
While we are in the early days of understanding the impacts that this pandemic will wreck upon families, what is very clear is that those with the least ability to withstand this emergency, will be those who are most devastated. We have long talked about the inability of most families to withstand a crisis, let alone more than one. We have talked about how job loss, housing crisis, health issues, or marital failure can leave families homeless. This pandemic is creating a perfect storm of these impacts for local families. It is for that very reason that our new home will be needed more than ever before.
We have entered a partnership with St. John XIII parish to convert the former Infant Jesus School into a new facility for Family Promise of Southern New Hampshire. This new building will allow us to double the number of families that we serve. Under the current construction schedule, we will be ready to house families in the fall, just as emergency orders that are keeping families in their homes for now are lifted.
While this is a tremendous opportunity, it does not come without cost. We are now embarking upon the largest fundraising effort in our history, as we must complete numerous renovations to transform the building from a school into a family residence. This capital campaign, Building Home Building Hope, starts now…..with you, our faith community. Enclosed you will find more information about this campaign, as well as, ways that your community can make a significant contribution, including naming rights, to this new home for families.
Our faith communities have always been our strongest supporters. We call on you now as together, we face something beyond any of our experience. You know that Family Promise has been serving local families for 17 years, that this program works to end family homelessness permanently, and that the need for our program will be greater than ever before. With your help, we will be ready to weather the storm.
Pamela T. Wellman Executive Director