"2020 was terrible and wonderful – but mostly terrible. With a global pandemic, a continued rise of authoritarianism, the unveiling of a deeply racist system of oppression, and economic hardship, it's natural to wish that year into the dustpan of history.
But...we learned a lot about who we are and who we can become. We learned new patterns of working – online and alone. We spent more time with family. We learned about stillness, rootedness, and silence. We learned about fear, anger, hope and love. We were asked to practice our love for one another in ways that didn't look like what was once our norm. Our understanding of community expanded."
This came into my inbox from pilot, author, pastor Cameron Trimble.
I've been glad to hear your experiences of faith during these trying times. Many of you have been able to log-on and participate in weekly worship and we're thrilled by the community experience each Sunday or on a monthly basis face-to-face communion in the garden on the first Sundays of the month. We miss those of you who haven't joined us!
Others have participated in studies or have volunteered to be liturgists so you can come to the sanctuary. THANKS. (We so appreciate the Trustees who put in an "air scrubber" filtration to make it possible for the team to stream worship from the sanctuary. Other churches are creating worship out of homes and we appreciate the opportunity to use our church building. If you can contribute to those large expenses to make our air safer, please do).
The Campbells and the Weirs have been taking LOTS of family hikes and it's been great to share the joy of their experiences. Others are channeling their energy in renovating homes spaces (Kristy is working on a bathroom and Donna is working on a sewing room). Still others have been engaged in the spiritual discipline of cleaning out -- YES, I think it's a spiritual discipline to clear out, clean out, and learn to let go of stuff. Talk to Karen Tutt about those experiences.
Some of you have managed to continue spiritual disciplines developed before covid like devotional reading of Upper Rooms or prayer chains or meditation with online apps (like Calm or Headspace or Insight Timer) or yoga... more power to you. Phyllis and Al have found ways to safely continue with mission work. Pam, Emily and others have been creative... sewing, coloring, painting, etc.
Everything in my world has turned upside down so it's all about developing new ways of coping and being faithful. And to be honest not all my new ways of coping have been healthy -- like emotional eating, carbs, and the accompanying weight gain.
So I don't want to lose the lessons of these trying times -- the helpful and the not so helpful behaviors I've fallen into, those practices intentionally created, or learnings discovered by surprise.
What are those lessons for you? Please share them. Others can learn or commiserate or be strengthened when they hear how we're all in this together. So tell your experiences--where you've struggled to know God is holding your life. And those moments when you were assured that God is holding your life. I look forward to hearing from you.
.The Vestry Class will resume on Zoom at 9:00 a.m. 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.
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.
Help Family Promise of Southern NH Reopen
Main Street United Methodist Church has partnered with Family Promise (formerly the Anne Marie House) since it opened. The staff at Family Promise have been working hard to prepare their new Nashua facility for the arrival of families. The need to house homeless families is extreme, and the staff hopes to move 10 families into the facility very soon. In order to do so, they need linens and other items to equip the family bedrooms, bathrooms, and cleaning kits.
Please consider either purchasing a few items, or, if you're feeling creative and generous, equipping a whole room. Due to the pandemic, all items must be NEW.
Sign up below for the items you intend to purchase, and drop them off at the Church on Sunday, January 31, between 1 and 3 p.m. or on Monday, February 1 between 10 a.m. and noon or between 4 and 6 p.m. Thank you!
(Family Promise is a 501c-3 non-profit organization, and so your donations can be itemized for your taxes, so save your receipts.)
Contact Pastor Kristy Besada and Look for Sign up Genius Link in the next Mainstreeter Blast.
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.
Covid Vaccination Information
Starting this Friday, 1/22 at 8am, NH residents who fall into one of the categories listed below may schedule an appointment to receive the COVID vaccine at any of the state's fixed vaccination clinic sites by going to https://www.vaccines.nh.gov/.
Adults age 65 and over
Medically vulnerable individuals under the age of 65with multiple comorbidities that put them at significantly higher risk
Staff and residents of IDD facilities
Corrections officers and prison staff
In honor of our 110+ year mission to act "in service to all in our communities", St. Joseph Hospital has communicated to DHHS that we are willing to operate an "Open Vaccine Clinic" which means that, in addition to the fixed vaccination sites run by the National Guard, we will vaccinate any eligible member of our community, not just our patients here at the hospital as well. However, as of this moment, the state has not yet told us if they will be utilizing us as a vaccine clinic. We are hoping to have that answer by today or tomorrow, but I know that it is very dependent on how many doses the state gets from the federal government week-to-week. Regardless of whether or not we end up vaccinating the community at SJH, we are instructing our patients who wish to be vaccinated to go to https://www.vaccines.nh.gov/ or call 2-1-1 for assistance/questions as early as 8am this Friday.
Additionally, since Phase 1B includes our medically vulnerable patients under the age of 65, but with at least 2 comorbidities, we are currently working on a process to contact them and ensure they are included in Phase 1B should they choose to get the vaccine. This part of the process still requires some additional information from the state – but if you receive questions in the meantime, please let folks know we are working on it.
Lastly, we will also be posting updates regularly on our website and on our social media channels. Please follow us on:
the Reverend Kelly Turney (she/hers) Pastor, MainStreet UMC, Nashua, NH
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.
December 2020 Finance Snapshot:
General Fund (GF) Total GF Income Received as of 12/31/2020: $436,879.68* Total GF Income Budgeted through 12/31/2020: $430,300 (revised budget) ($447,176.80 orig. bud.) Total GF Expenses Paid through 12/31/2020: $404,438.88 Total GF Expenses Budgeted through 12/31/2020: $433,772.10 (revised budget) ($447,176.80 orig.) * Includes $43,081.73 designated for Heart of Nashua Continued ($35,797.36 spent—$24,000 budgeted) and CARES Act PPP $37,385 received and used for GF expenses.
Notes on General Fund Current on payments. Thanks to the generosity of the church, mission shares were paid in full for 2020.
Heart of Nashua 1 & 2 (GiF) & HON Cont. (Capital Campaign/Elevator, Connector, Renovations) - Balance Due on HON Loan as of 12/31/2020: $147,913.20 (Loan was $358,343.45) - In December the $1,769.53 monthly payment was paid plus $800 on the principal. HON Cont. funds on hand 12/31/2020 ($7284.37) will pay the January 2021 payment and the next three months. - Total Paid (including interest) Using HON 1, 2 & Continued as of 12/31/2020: $1,884,580.00
Funding for the Future, 100 for $150 (Endowment) – Received Jan.- Dec. 31, 2020: $3045.00 Our goal is to have 100 people or families give $150 each year to this fund to grow our endowment for future generations of
Thank You - Thank you to all who helped support this congregation in 2020 in any way. Included in this group is the UMW which donated some of its income from the virtual craft fair to support the church. Other donations were made to pay missions and to support the General Fund which covers most of the expenses of the church. - We especially appreciate everyone's efforts to donate as early as possible to allow time to meet our commitments.
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. We also accept stock donations.
We need more counters to assist with counting the weekly donations. Each Sunday we need two counters. We'd like to have enough counters so each counter would only need to count one Sunday per month. If you are interested, please contact one of the pastors, Joe Dechene or any member of the Finance committee.
Continue to support the church, its members and the world in prayer.
Mainstreet United Methodist Church · PO Box 1517 · Nashua, NH 03061-1517 · USA