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 https://www.mainstreet-umc.org/activities/coffee-hour that might help you get acclimated.
We need your help with the candlelight challenge for our online Christmas Eve service. And all you need is a candle, a match, a dark room and your camera. Turn your camera phone sideways, and set it up to watch yourself a couple of feet in front of you. Your eyes will be along the top third of the frame. And then take your lit candle and pass from right out of frame to left out of frame and then bring the lit candle back to in front of your face. And that's it! Upload your 6 second video to our church share drive https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1h0sLdIzCkX8FqtXdqxO-Pc0LFhryClAV?usp=sharing We want as many people involved as possible, not just MSUMC members, imagine who you would like sitting beside you if it weren't a pandemic and invite them to join the candlelight challenge.
If you need technical assistance, please contact Jerry Harrow.
Light up the Night with Music and Light Advent Worship Visuals
Notice our starry night sky behind the altar. The low horizon is purple and lavender like a fading sunset. Below that, if you scrunch your eyes and use your imagination, you might see what looks like the little town of Bethlehem. The truth is these are recycled jars, bottles and vases all upside down. See if you recognize canning jars, olive jars, juice bottles, ivy vases. I like to think that we are recycling, think sharing, that very special light that came to us over 2000 years ago, that light and hope that we need so desperately this year. Everything on the altar might remind you of the question "Are you the light, the container holding the light, or the mirror that reflects the light?" How are you sharing light and hope this Advent season? -- Pam Breniser
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) firstname.lastname@example.org All payment should be sent to: Attn: Finance (please write Poinsettia in memo line) Main Street United Methodist Church P.O.Box 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.
Luminaries and Lanterns
We're inviting each family to make a luminary that can be placed outside on the sidewalk on Christmas Eve where we'll have a "lighting" ceremony for those who can join us in the front garden, physically distant, wearing masks, and hats and gloves, etc. We'll enjoy a brief liturgy of scripture, prayer and lighting before humming silent night and returning to our cars. All safety precautions will be taken but if you're not able to join us, no worries, just drop off a luminary and we'll light it for you. Or send us a picture of the luminary doing its work to fill the night with light wherever you are!
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.
Hope on Main Street When the Holiday Stroll had to be cancelled the folks at the Great American Downtown created a festive light show and contest for Main Street and beyond. MSUMC wanted to be a part of the fun but we didn't have the budget for an impressive light show. But what we do have is hope. We stand in a long line of the faithful who know what it means to practice hope in the most discouraging of times. So this season, we're offering the opportunity to name their hopes (on festive holiday tags) and add them to our hope trees. And our hope for peace in the new year, for the healing of our country, and the wide welcome we want for all will be displayed in our windows. So make a plan to stroll down Main Street this December to enjoy a night filled with light.
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: 7EF7366757686
If you have any questions about Main Street's ShopWithScrip program, please reach out to Laura Graudons at LauraG1973@comcast.net or 595-2412
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.
Other -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