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
Our scripture lesson for this week is Psalm 139: Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Emily Adams offered a beautiful chanted version of this Psalm which we posted our sites yesterday.
It takes courage to search our own thoughts, to root out the ways biases have seeped into our thinking. It takes the assurance that God is present with us in the work, calling us, in fact, to be known. That God "hems me in behind and before, and lays your hand upon me."
Like a thunder shirt for an frightened dog, or a weighted blanket for an anxious child, like compression garments for athletes, God's pressing in on us can provide the support we need to examine ourselves and our world.
Laura Everett of the Mass Council of Churches reminded us this week that the well-worn "Serenity Prayer" from 12-step recovery asks, "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can." But when the Rev. Reinhold Niebuhr first wrote the prayer in the early 1940s for churches in Massachusetts and then later for a book of devotions for those in the Armed Services, the lines were in reverse. "Give us courage to change what must be altered," was followed by the serenity to "accept what cannot be helped." In the midst of war and internal conflict in his day, Niebuhr prayed for the courage to do the right thing, and only after that, for serenity.
Your ministerial staff stands ready to listen and support you in these trying times when the threat of violence at the State Capitol and in our nation's Capitol remains. Reach out to myself or Kristy, Emily or Karrie. Karrie has been working with the youth to create prayer bowls to remind us of how God holds our lives and they are beautiful. Set aside a prayer bowl in your house and fill it with your concerns.
May the wisdom of Psalm 139, whether chanted or whispered, be our prayer this week for courage, assurance and change.
.The Vestry Class will resume on Zoom at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, January 24th, led by Pastor Kristy
In the series "Uppity Women of the Bible," self-described Bible Nerd, Pastor and Hebrew Bible professor, the Rev., Dr. Lisa Michele Wolf, shares her knowledge of Ruth, the beloved woman in Song of Songs, Esther and Judith. Several weeks will be devoted to each woman. Video segments will be followed by moderated discussion to accommodate the Zoom format. Please look for the event and Zoom link on the Main Street UMC Facebook page.
While no pre-work is required, beginning to read or listen to the book of Ruth is recommended so that you understand the video presentations. This class is appropriate for youth and adults. Bring your curiosity and enthusiasm! It will be good to be together again.
Worship Visuals: God is Holding Your Life
On our altar for this series is a globe in God's hand, cupped hands and praying hands. If you think about it, we are God's hands in the world and God uses us to do all kinds of things for each other including folding them in prayer. The handprint banners draped across the altar were made the weekend of our church's 150th celebration in 2018. Adults and children in attendance that Sunday had the opportunity to "paint" their hands and press them on the banners. In other years, children made the banner above the altar with handprints in the shape of a heart as well as the Helping Hands banner on the side wall by the piano.
Congratulations to the Brown Family!
Kelly and Matt welcomed baby Gavin Ian Brown Wednesday morning. Our love goes out to them, big brother Malcolm and grandparents Jim and Mavis Pyle.
At Home Prayer Bowls
Our Epiphany 7 week worship series is entitled "God is Holding Your Life - A Journey of Assurance for the New Year". If you don't have a regular at-home prayer practice, this is the perfect time to start. Designate a bowl or plate to use to collect prayers throughout the season. To quote Marcia McFee, Director of the Worship Design Studio, "When we 'hold one another in prayer,' or 'hold space' for loved ones who are experiencing difficult emotions and challenging experiences, we are co-creating a holy space with room for grace and acceptance of what is. An image of cupped hands placed at the bottom of the prayer bowl can serve as a reminder that God holds this space for us."
You may choose to print out the attached page with a line drawing of cupped hands. Color them if you want to, cut out and simply place in the bottom of the bowl. Easy Peasy! Or you can trace one of your hands on a piece of paper, cut out two and tape to the outside as if holding the bowl. For those of you who are Pinterest fans, you can find all sorts of suggestions for making plaster casts of a hand, marker hand tracings on plastic plates, the sky is the limit. John and Laura Graudons may want to reshare the photo of the plaster cast they made of their hands on their anniversary. Very Cool! We will be anxious to see all the creative ideas you have.
Mainstreet United Methodist Church · PO Box 1517 · Nashua, NH 03061-1517 · USA