Thursday, November 19, 2020

Mainstreeter Blast November 19, 2020



Message from the Pastor


Please take a moment to watch this special stewardship message from this week's Meditative Moment with Pastor Kelly.


Out of an abundance of caution for the rising infection rate, the weekly trail adventure and fellowship opportunity have been suspended until it is safer to gather. 



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).    Stop by the Vestry and catch up with your friends (bring your own coffee and snacks).   

The virtual 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 that might help you get acclimated.

or by phone: +1 617-675-4444 PIN: ?415 456 786 8524#



Pastor's Sabbath Days:
Pastor Kelly: Tuesday
Pastor Kristy: Friday

Days to Reach Pastor's
Pastor Kelly: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Pastor Kristy: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday



2021 MSUMC Envelopes  The 2021 contribution envelopes have arrived.  Since not everyone uses the envelopes, you're welcome to let us know you don't need them. IF you are expecting them, they will be available for pick up at the church connector lobby on the following Monday's from 10am - 1pm:  November , 23, and 30.  They will also be available for pick up on Thursday, November 19 when you drop off your pledge card between 1- 5.  And on Sunday from 8:30-9:30 a.m  You may also pick up a fridge magnet and MSUMC Shirts if you ordered one

If you can stop by and get the envelopes that would be a great help for the church and would ensure you get them in time for next year.  Understandably, if you cannot make it to the church during these times, I will mail out any remaining envelopes in early December.  Thanks.  Paul Curtis, MSUMC Financial Secretary.  



Missions Thanksgiving information:

This year, the Missions Work Area will provide gift certificates to our New American Families instead of assembling boxes.  We encourage those families, as well as anyone in the Nashua area who needs food, to go to the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter during the hours listed below to get Thanksgiving boxes, which will include a turkey and all of the "fixings." 

Thanksgiving Boxes
11/19, Thursday – 11am-3pm
11/20, Friday – 11am-3pm
11/23, Monday – 11am-3pm
11/24, Tuesday – 11am-3pm
11/25, Wednesday – 11am-3pm
If you wish to help provide the gift certificates for Thanksgiving support for our New American families, you can add a check to the church into your envelope with "Thanksgiving gift cards" in the notes line.  This will allow them to have traditional foods or some of the basics that an ordinary food basket will not provide.  Thank you for your assistance.  



Christmas Poinsettias

The Worship Committee will be offering Christmas poinsettias for purchase this year.  Although we are unable to gather in the Sanctuary this Advent and Christmas season, we would still like to offer something festive for the season.  Poinsettias will be offered in red or white and cost $11.00 each
 To Order: Please contact Terri Kenny at:  603-891-2526 (home)

                                                          603-689-8233 (cell:  voice or text)
All payment should be sent to: Attn:  Finance (please write Poinsettia in memo line)
Main Street United Methodist Church
   Nashua, NH  03060
The deadline for ordering poinsettias will be Sunday, December 13th.  Poinsettias will be available for pickup after December 24th.  Thank you and God Bless.


Joyful Shepherds Christmas Gifts 2020

  The Nurture Committee will be handling the purchase of gifts this year.  We will not be asking for congregation gifts unless you have already purchased them.  If you have gifts to give, please deliver them to Lynn Moseley at 278 Depot Road, Hollis, NH 03049 by November 20.  Should you need someone to pick them up from your home, please call Nancy Long or Lynn Moseley. 
   Joyful Shepherds will be meeting at Lynn's home on Saturday, December 5 from 11:00AM to 3:00PM. We'll be organizing and designating gifts on that day.  Christmas gifts and cards will be going out to those we visit.  Nursing homes will allow drop-offs though we may not be able to have personal visits.
   Many thanks for your past donations. We look forward to the Christmas season though it will be different this year. If you have questions, please contact Nancy or Lynn.


The ShopWithScrip program is a gift card fundraiser that Main Street has participated in mostly at the holidays and mostly through paper order forms in the Vestry at Coffee Hour for the past few years!  This program earns money for the church with the purchase of Gift Cards at no extra cost and there have been some recent changes to the program that everyone should know about!

There is a new mobile app (called RaiseRight - available in the App Store or on Google Play) that can be used to purchase gift cards.  You can purchase electronic gift cards OR you can have physical gift cards shipped to any address you choose!  The code needed to sign up for Main Street's program in the app is:

If you have any questions about Main Street's ShopWithScrip program, please reach out to Laura Graudons at or 595-2412




Luminaries and Lanterns 


Let's have fun making creative lighting to place outside the church on Christmas Eve.  As long as they are not on the city sidewalk and don't have real candles we are within city guidelines.  Also please use only non-breakable containers, no glass or pottery. We will provide the battery tea lights.

Here are some ideas for you to try at home.  These are for most ages, but some adult supervision or help may be required.  

The easiest luminary is made using an empty clear plastic milk, water or juice gallon or half gallon jug.  Remove all labels.  You can cut the jug all the way around just below the handle to remove the top.  Any strong scissors will work.  If you want to leave the jug primarily intact, you still need to cut an opening in the back just a little ways up from the bottom where we can add a rock or some kind of weight and a battery tea light.   The examples in the picture are half gallon containers.


Star designs would be great since our theme for Advent is all about lighting up the night.   Use a permanent (waterproof) black marker to draw designs on your luminary.  If you want you could tape a picture or template in or outside the container to use as a guide for drawing or filling in a design.  Remove it when you are done.  The examples below are just a freehand dot starburst, and two designs using templates.  I happen to have a star punch so that made things easier, but you might find a picture of stars to trace or just draw freehand.  You can see one looks like a silhouette of stars and the other looks more like star light shining out.  You have at least 3 sides so you can make them each different.


If you want a challenge, try making a punched tin lantern.  My example below has discolored with  time.  It was made back in the day when shortening came in smooth tin cans, which were great for making lanterns.  Find the biggest empty tin can you can:  soup, fruit, vege, whatever.  Remove and save the label if possible.  Make sure can is rinsed out well and there are no sharp edges on top.  You can pinch down any burs with pliers.  The can will probably have ridges and that is OK. 

If you still have the label, use it to measure the size of paper you will need to draw your design. Remember it will need to overlap probably ½ inch when you put it around the can and tape it together later for punching.  You can measure the distance around the can if you do not have the label, then add the extra ½ inch.   If you have freezer paper or something similar that is kind of waterproof that is helpful.  If not, you might want to use cardstock or something a little heavier than notebook paper.  It will get wet eventually.  Do not tape it to the can yet.

Next, fill the can with water.  If you have a plastic lid that fits on the can you are lucky, other wise you might want to tape some aluminum foil or plastic film over the top.  Leave the can of water in the freezer overnight to be sure it has frozen nice and solid.  

Now you can draw a design on the paper you measured for the can.  (Hint: don't draw on both ends of the paper as one will overlap the other.) Make dots for where you will punch nail holes.  Make slot lines if you want to use a slot style screwdriver.  You will be hammering on the end of either the nail or the screwdriver handle.

Gather everything you need before removing the can from the freezer.  You will want to protect any surface you are working on from water or scratches.  Put down some plastic if you have it, then a towel folded a few times for padding and stability.  Remove the can from the freezer.  Wrap your paper design around it and tape the paper together. You will place the can on its side on the towel.  Then start pounding the nail or screwdriver to make your design.   You need to work fast as it gets harder to punch the tin when the ice melts.  The ice helps the can keep its shape while you are punching, but it shrinks as it melts.  You may want to check under the paper to see how far you are punching into the can.  You want large enough holes so the light shines out through them.  If the can is only dented, you won't see the light when it is lit.



Overall 2020 Financial Health
As shown by our finance snapshot below through October, we are meeting our current bills except for World and NE Missions where we need generous fourth quarter giving by our congregants.   Our $368,308 received to date includes our CARES Act loan, HON Continuing Fund, and some up-front annual pledge fulfillments. Our revised COVID budget plan has about $439,000 in general fund expenses for 2020.   Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who have been affected by COVID-19.
October 2020 Finance Snapshot:
General Fund (GF)
Total GF Income Received as of 10/31/2020:           $368,308.90*
Total GF Income Budgeted through 10/31/2020:   $369,553.50 (revised budget) ($369,551 orig. bud.)
Total GF Expenses Paid through 10/31/2020:          $328,820.70
Total GF Expenses Budgeted through 10/31/2020:  $359,238.11 (revised budget) ($369,503.13 orig.)
* Includes $39,270.09 designated for Heart of Nashua Continued ($30,358.30 spent—$20,000 YTD
    budgeted) and CARES Act PPP $37,385 received and used for GF expenses .
Notes on General Fund
- Current on payments due to providers other than Conference mission payments.
   We have paid a little over six months of each New England and World Missions.  We are behind
   on Ministerial Support due to a mix up with other missions but will catch up in November.  To pay
   our mission shares in full for 2020 we need to pay $16,986.56 ($6,233.69 for Ministerial Support and
   $10,752.87 on World and NE Missions combined). 
Heart of Nashua 1 & 2 (GiF) & HON Cont. (Capital Campaign/Elevator, Connector, Renovations)
- Balance Due on HON Loan as of 10/31/2020:  $152,326.13 (Loan was $358,343.45)
- In October the $1,769.53 monthly payment was paid plus $500 on the principal.  HON Cont. funds
  on hand ($8911.79) will pay the remaining 2020 payments and payments for the first three months in
  2021 and additional principal.
- Total Paid Using HON 1, 2 & Continued as of 10/31/2020:  $1,848,782.64
Funding for the Future, 100 for $150 (Endowment) – Received Jan.-Oct. 31, 2020:  $2415.00
   Our goal is to have 100 people or families give $150 each year to this fund to grow our endowment for future generations of the church.  Of course, other amounts are gratefully accepted.
Thank You
- Many thanks to the Worship Committee for creating "Piecing Together a Life of Faith" (our
  stewardship campaign) and to all who shared their quilts and their quilt stories with the church. 
- Thank you for your prayers, your presence at our virtual services, your service and your gifts.  Gifts
   whether pledged or unpledged are gratefully received and help provide for the many ways this
   congregation serves.
How to Help
- If you are currently giving to the Heart of Nashua Continued (HON Cont.)  please consider donating to
   the General Fund instead for the rest of this year.  This is a difficult year for MSUMC financially and
   the general fund is where funds are most needed.  All funds received for HON Cont. are used to pay
   the loan and additional principal. Your donations are used as directed by you.
- Please continue to support us financially if you can.   Checks may be mailed to Main St. UMC,
   PO Box 1517, Nashua, NH 03061, Attn.:  Financial Secretary.  Donations may also be made via
   PayPal, Vanco or by direct deposit to our bank account.
If possible, please send in your 2020 donations so we receive them by December 23.  This will give
  us time to process them for 2020.  PayPal donations take time to transfer to the church and typically
  have a mid-month cutoff date for payout to the church later in the month.  That means any remaining
  2020 PayPal contributions made after the December cutoff date and report will not be received by
  MSUMC and posted to your envelope number until after the January report is received and PayPal
  has transferred the money to the MSUMC bank account.  Vanco donations should be okay since they
  are directly deposited in the bank.  If you have questions, please contact Paul Curtis.  If you will be
  transferring stock to the church's brokerage account, please do so early in December and notify
  Phyllis Bowden.
-The Finance Committee continues to carefully track income and expenses for 2020.  With your
  continuing help we aim to pay all mission shares and expenses. October General Fund income was
  low—about half of what we spent.  Let's catch up in November and December.
- The 2021 budget has been approved.   Expenses are expected to be similar to 2020.  Because of
   COVID 19, etc., some income sources will continue to be impacted so we will need increased giving
   to offset them.
- Although the church is not open, we have expenses.  Insurance, heat, electricity, and payroll must be
   paid.  Recent expenses include:  boiler inspection certificate, furnace maintenance, routine elevator
   maintenance, pest control, cleaning supplies, postage, copier lease




Update on Cafe Agape

When Main Street UMC closed the building due to pandemic concerns in the spring, Debora and Vince, two of the Cafe Agape workers, decided to continue to operate the ministry out of a truck, independent of the church.  They now have plans to plant the ministry in space donated by another church.

As a way of closing this chapter of ministry at Main Street UMC, the remaining volunteers who worked in Cafe Agape were invited to celebrate a Litany of Thanksgiving for the Cafe Agape ministry. Some were unable to attend due to health concerns, but three women from the ministry attended.

As a part of that litany, we prayed: 
We thank you for the Cafe Agape ministry and for the love shared with our neighbors in community. You led your servants by the Holy Spirit to serve your people in Cafe Agape, to show love to those who are more familiar with the world's contempt.  With thanksgiving, we praise you for raising up these faithful servants who have loved our neighbors well.   And we pray that, as the Spirit of God continues to lead us forward, that we may continue to exemplify, in word and deed, the Gospel of Jesus  Christ.  Grant that we may continue to serve you as the Church on earth, while we anticipate the Kingdom of God to come, which is kind, just, merciful, and loving.  We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our neighbor, guide and friend. Amen

After our time of worship, the volunteers sorted the remaining clothing donations and shared good memories, pictures, and stories from their time in this ministry.. 

So that the items will be accessible to the largest number of people as quickly as possible, the sorted clothing was divided and sent to the clothing closet at the Southern NH Rescue Mission and to Stepping Stones, a new program for homeless youth, ages 14-24. Both the Rescue Mission and the new director of Stepping Stones expressed their thanks for the items.

To all who supported Cafe Agape through your prayers, presence, gifts, and service, we offer our thanks.  At this time, we would ask that you no longer send financial contributions to the church for Cafe Agape, as it is no longer under the church's care..  We pray continued blessings to Deborah and Vince and the patrons of the ministry as they continue elsewhere.



Cabinet Bible Study for Advent Continues:

The New England Conference Cabinet invites you to participate in online Bible study during Advent. With shared reflection led by Many Waters District Superintendent Karen Munson and some of our district lay leaders, in these four sessions we will encounter scriptural insights about human relationships that help identify and unpack our current experiences of corporate bias and individual prejudgement.

The resource for this study is "It is Enough: A Racism Bible Study" written by Rev. Michael C. Johnson from the Eastern PA Conference. 

Bible Study will be four 1-hour sessions. The meeting link will be the same for each:
        7-8 p.m. Sunday, Nov 22
        7-8 p.m. Sunday, Dec 6
        7-8 p.m. Sunday, Dec 13

Get the Zoom link


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