From the Pastor The holiday season is supposed to be festive and fun--with its twinkling lights and songs of goodwill & peace, but for many, holiday expectations, family trauma and less daylight can be nerve-racking. And that's on a normal year. This year brings its own set of challenges and is especially anxiety-producing.
In the "Happiness Course" I took earlier this fall, one of the amazing pieces of research is that those pursuing happiness itself often don't find it. Instead, we experience happiness when we are helping others. It's a by-product of caring for others.
That's especially hard to do when you're feeling blue. When what you need is for others to take care of you. But the research says you'll feel better if you reach out. According to a NPR story from last week about the importance of making connections in this winter pandemic time, the hardest part is picking up the phone. The hardest thing is to start. We feel awkward. We don't know what to say or what others need.
So let me suggest these words: "I've been thinking about you."... followed by silence. Or a card with those words. Often we hear from those who are only marginally connected to the church, that it meant so much to them when the person they "barely knew" reached out to them.
Lisa Svenson is also offering a special service of hope and healing, comfort and calm for those struggling with grief and pain in the midst of the pandemic and other challenges. This Blue Christmas service premieres December 18 at noon. Find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37Kky-7JusE&feature=youtu.be
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.
Blue Christmas Friday December 18th Premieres at 12 Noon Click Here
This is a service of music, prayer, and reflection for Christmas in this challenging year. Participants include Irene Harris, Emily Adams, Lynne Moseley, Dan McDonald, Jerry Harrow, Carolyn Ekle, Nancy Long, Pam Breniser, and Lisa Svenson. The service will offer comfort and hope to those who are struggling with grief and pain in the midst of the pandemic and other challenges that have faced us and continue to face us.
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.
Week Four: Sweet Honey In The Rock: Raise Your Voice
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 Mission Team continues our work of serving those in need. Currently the Nashua Soup Kitchen is in need of tuna and rice (regular one or two pounds bags.) Drop them by the Soup Kitchen at 2 Quincy Street. And if you can help them sort supplies, please let Phyllis Appler know. There are safe ways to help sort and fill Christmas boxes when few people are in the building.
We've also met this week with the organizers behind Family Promise who will open their housing for 29 families at the end of the month and Stepping Stones, the new youth shelter in town.
Both have a variety of needs and we at MSUMC hope to partner with these critical ministries in providing meals, babysitting and supplies.
Thanks to those who offered a microwave when one of our Main Street families needed one. We had three microwaves available in ten minutes!! And one of them was delivered and is now in use.
It's not too late to make a Christmas gift through Heifer.org or to buy a gift for a child at Nashua Children's Home through their wish list on Amazon. If you buy something for the Children's Home, remember to buy it through Amazon Smile and use Main Street as your chosen beneficiary and you will give twice! And you can always give a gift toward our Missions outreach beyond the church by extra giving to our Mission Share in honor or in memory of someone special.
Happy Christmas Time, Missions Work Area
Overall 2020 Financial Health
As shown by our finance snapshot below through November, we are meeting our current bills except for World and NE Missions where we need generous December giving by our congregants. Our $401,458 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.
November 2020 Finance Snapshot:
General Fund (GF) Total GF Income Received as of 11/30/2020: $401,458.97* Total GF Income Budgeted through 11/30/2020: $399,117.50 (revised budget) ($407,205 orig. bud.) Total GF Expenses Paid through 11/30/2020: $367,313.71 Total GF Expenses Budgeted through 11/30/2020: $397,285.89 (revised budget) ($408,203.51 orig.) * Includes $40,771.73 designated for Heart of Nashua Continued ($33,227.83 spent—$22,000 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 nine months each of New England and World Missions and are current on Ministerial Support. To pay our mission shares in full for 2020 we need to pay $8534.19 ($2745 for Ministerial Support and $5789.19 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 11/30/2020: approx. $150,500 (Loan was $358,343.45) - In November the $1,769.53 monthly payment was paid plus $1100 on the principal. HON Cont. funds on hand ($7543.90) will pay the remaining 2020 payment and the first three months in 2021. - Total Paid (including interest) Using HON 1, 2 & Continued as of 11/30/2020: $1,882,010.47
Funding for the Future, 100 for $150 (Endowment) – Received Jan.-Nov. 30, 2020: $2580 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 - We received a donation to pay snow plowing for the church for the winter. Thank you. - Thank you, Laura Graudons, for coordinating the Scrip gift card fundraiser and to those who ordered gift cards. - Thank you to those who made pledges to support the church in 2021. This helps with planning and shows your support.
How to Help - 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.
Mainstreet United Methodist Church · PO Box 1517 · Nashua, NH 03061-1517 · USA