A Word from the Pastor
My official start was July 1 but already I've been hard at work for MainStreet. While we've been setting up the parsonage and offices (one at the church and another at the parsonage), we've been cautiously, carefully exploring the area, asking folks about MainStreet UMC. I'm getting connected to colleagues and the important work done in this state with Moral Mondays and the Poor People's Campaign (first meeting is tonight) and I've participated in a nation-wide Anti-Racism workshop. I've also enjoyed meeting many of you on our Sunday fellowship ZOOMs.
I've also been exploring your trails and I invite you to join me. Bring your mask and let's walk!
First up: MineFalls Park (meet at the Lincoln Park parking lot at the end of Coliseum Drive pass the Hannafords) on Friday July 3 at 7:30 a.m.
On Monday, July 6 @ 4 p.m. we're headed downtown to the river meeting at the Le Parc De Notre Renaissance sculpture.
Information on our Trails Exploration can be found on the MSUMC facebook page. Let me know if there's another trail you want to explore together – we're on the road and outdoors.
We've also scheduled several "Meet and Greet"s on the parsonage lawn but in order to comply with CDC guidelines for small groups physically distant, we're limiting the gatherings to 10 and we're asking you to bring your own lawn chair & mask (and there won't be refreshments, bummer). So you must register for a time slot (I know it's weird and a nuisance to meet your pastor this way, but this is our new normal). You may call Debra on her cell or leave a message at the office (339-223-2523 cell or 603-882-3361 office). Debra will confirm your time slot.
Wed July 8 at 4-4:50 p.m.
Wed July 8 at 5:30-6:20 p.m.
Thur July 16 at 5:30 - 6:20 p.m.
Thur July 16 at 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
We've also scheduled a couple of morning prayer opportunities for those in more vulnerable populations for whom a group of 10 feels too risky. Join me on Monday July 6 at 9:00a.m. or Wednesday, July 8 at 9:00a.m. We're limiting these to 4 people and you may bring your own chair if you wish or use one of ours and I'll disinfect with a cleaning product Donna has labeled "Covid-killer." Do bring your own tea/coffee since I'm not allowed to provide refreshments. :( AGAIN, you must register for a time by calling Deborah so we can keep the numbers safe.
I look forward to the time when we can again meet INSIDE the church building but remember in the meantime, the church BUILDING is closed, not the church. The church is us and we're still in ministry so be a disciple, follow the gospel and our Methodist way to "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can." You don't need to be inside a church building for that, in fact, Wesley would say it's better that you're not.
Important Finance Committee Requests
We are leveraging our CARES Act loan to pay bills so far in 2020, as our giving has been reduced during these times. We will keep a very close eye on our financial situation as our CARES amount will exhaust very soon. Keeping an open church should involve a high number of new volunteers to wipe down surfaces in proper fashion as such work will be far beyond our paid help to accomplish.
We are temporarily asking for your second-mile giving to be directed to our general fund instead of HON for 2020 to help us survive these very difficult times. While our attention today is rightly directed toward managing during our church closure and isolation, we are also planning to reduce the number of general fund categories for 2021 and are open to your input.
SUMMER WORSHIP SCHEDULE CONTINUES
7/5 Rev. Kristy Besada will be our guest preacher and introduce the Rev. Kelly Turney as she commences her ministry at the Main Street UMC.
We will be sharing Holy Communion this Sunday, July 5th.in our streaming service so we invite you to prepare your own elements at home. So, grab a piece of bread or a cracker and some "fruit of the vine" for our virtual gathering at 9:30 a.m. You don't need a fancy plate or a chalice, maybe use something that has meaning for you, that plate handed down from a grandparent, or the cup that says "world's greatest dad". And if you have a candle -great!
Weekly Live-Streamed Worship
If you haven't joined us for our live streamed Sunday Worship recently, you are sure missing out! We still meet every Sunday Morning with inspiring music, a though-provoking sermon, and follow it up with a Virtual Coffee Hour so we can catch up with friends even from a distance. Catch us live on Facebook, or on our web site. For more information see https://www.mainstreet-umc.org/worship/video. Even if you sleep in, you can still replay it on-demand anytime.
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.
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 10:30am). 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#
WHEN WILL WE BE ABLE TO RESUME IN PERSON WORSHIP?
The committee focused on safely re-opening the church buildings for worship has been meeting regularly and is working hard to make sure that we do our job well and to the benefit of our church family. We are currently working on a churchwide survey about members' concerns and wishes. We are also working with a collection of guidelines from the New England Conference of the UMC, the CDC, and the State of NH. At this time, we are developing logistical plans that address adequate ventilation, social distancing, safe worship practices, masks, adequate supplies of disinfecting products, seating, safe entry and exit plans, and especially equitable access for all people who wish to attend. Many details are being decided. What is absolutely clear is that, while we will someday return to our sanctuary for worship, it will be significantly different from our old ways.
While we recognize that it is painful to be physically separated at this time, we would respectfully ask that you refrain from coming into the church buildings for anything but essential business during this time. This includes worship, for which only the technical team, pastoral staff, liturgist, and music staff should be present. We thank you for your patience as we do our best to work toward a safe re-opening of the buildings at the appropriate time. Please stay tuned for further communication. Questions may be directed to Kristy Besada, who is coordinating with this team.