May 19, 2020
A Word from the Pastor
"I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you…" Ephesians 1:15-18
There are in the Letter to the Ephesians two beautiful and powerful prayers, each of which is worth memorizing (in my younger years I actually memorized the entire letter!). In this first prayer we have reference to the trinity of faith, hope, and love. Having heard of the faith and love of the readers of this letter the author gives thanks for them and prays that they will come to "know what is the hope to which he has called you." This hope is one that would ground them in this life and offer the assurance of God's glorious inheritance among the saints .
We have now been apart as a congregation for ten weeks. This has been an excruciating time for me and for you as well. We have not had the opportunity to see each other, to shake hands or give hugs, to greet one another with the words of peace, or to share in laughter or tears. It is unthinkable that this has happened and disheartening to think that it may go on for some time to come. And yet, in spite of all this, we remember the faith that we have witnessed in each other and the love that has bound us together and we too do not cease to give thanks as we remember each other in our prayers. Such remembrances leave us with hope rather than despair and enable us to look forward with expectation to that day when we shall gather again as a congregation in person.
While we have been apart we have nonetheless been able to keep each other in our prayers and connect in other ways that have proved to be more meaningful than we might have imagined previously. I hope that you have felt connected and that you continue to feel connected while waiting for that glorious day when we shall see each other face to face. In the meantime, I continue to hold you in prayer and ask that you hold me in prayer as well. May we know without a doubt that God is present with us in this and every trying time in our lives.
With thanks and prayer,
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 email@example.com 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.
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; 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 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.
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.