"We have too many religions of gods in clouds. God does not enter the world from the stratosphere. God enters from within, in each of us..." --Steve Garnaas-Holmes, unfoldinglight.net
So how are you allowing God to enter into you in this trying time? How is Christ being born in you this Christmas? Each of us bear the light of Christ and when we are lit up with love inside, we are so much more, we fill the night with light.
We invite each family to creatively bring this truth alive by making a luminary. Drop it by the church any time before Christmas Eve or bring it with you to the Christmas Eve Luminary Lighting celebration on Dec 24 at 5:30p.m.
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.
Please join us for a film festival! Each week, participants will watch a documentary at their own convenience and then join an online discussion, led by Paul Pederzani. Discussions start this Thursday at 7:00 and continue on the subsequent Tuesdays through December 29th.
Instructions: Each week, participants are responsible for watching the films before the discussion begins. The video for Week Three is at no cost. All others can be rented for between $2 and $4, each at the links shown below. If participants do not have an Amazon Prime account to rent the videos, they can sign up for 30 days of Amazon Prime for free (also useful for shipping holiday gifts at lower cost); however, if participants do not wish to pay for the membership, they should be certain to cancel it within the 30 day free period to avoid charges.
Film trailers, rental locations, and discussion links:
Week Two: Girls on the Wall Note: This documentary is set in a prison and contains strong themes and language. Viewers are encouraged to understand the context and listen deeply for greater understanding.
Editing videos for worship and producing video content. We continue to receive feedback that people enjoy our high-quality videos in worship. We're thrilled. And it takes time and we need a few more people willing to learn video editing. We can train you but you need a laptop with good computer processing power or a gaming computer.
Some videos have the visual part produced elsewhere but we need to add our own audio, some are partially produced but need our specific content added (like the Advent trailer which created so much engagement online). Emily will continue to work on the music videos for the choir but there are lots of other videos that are needed in worship.
Let us know if you're willing to learn something new.
The Prodigals Men's Bible Study is generally held monthly on the 2nd Weds (12/9 @7pm).
All men of the church are invited to a small-group discussion and bible study held monthly on Google Meet (generally on the 2nd Weds). You may join by phone, computer, tablet or phone (see the Coffee Hour page for a Google Meet tutorial https://www.mainstreet-umc.org/activities/coffee-hour).
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.
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) email@example.com 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 worship service on December 20th. 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.
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