"Nothing reveals character like a crisis." No doubt you've heard some version of this idea. I'm not sure how true it is. Certainly my truest self–the organized person who makes lists, plans ahead, and tries to control all the variables– has been sorely challenged by this pandemic. Even as people are vaccinated and we prepare for the day when it will be possible to gather in the sanctuary, there are still stressors and surprises that disrupt our plans. And I'd like to think I can be cool and collected in those moments, that I can pivot quickly to on-line meetings and share deeply across screens, but that's not completely accurate. Crisis show us who we are . . . and it's shown me that I like things to go according to plan. Only nothing much has.
So we adjust as we can. But for those who have been unable to connect with their church family online over the past year, there's even more anxiety, more isolation, more missing out on the communal aspect of church. How can we find ways to be together while apart?
The city of Nashua, in their briefing this week, reminded us that while the peak infection numbers seen in January have gone down, the number of active cases has gone up the last two weeks. Our county is still considered "very high risk." They encouraged us to "practice religious holiday customs at home, to prepare and deliver a meal to a neighbor, to attend religious ceremonies virtually" and remember "celebrating outdoors is always safer." (City of Nashua briefing, Facebook 3/24/21)
Holy Week at MSUMC will provide an opportunity for it all.
Most importantly, drivers are needed! On Holy Saturday, there are 14 houses to drive around and find on our Easter House Hunt – it's a parade of sorts where you can drive around and visit folks from the safety of your car. You'll be delivering a smile and a wave to folks, at least 10 of whom don't get out much and need to feel connected to their church family. Let's make it a festive time of gathering on the streets! And if you're fully vaccinated and can drive around those who can't drive, let us know or contact Nancy. There are several folks who live in condo properties, high-rises, or facilities whose locations can't be visited by a roving line of cars, but you can help them be part of the drive-by.
Start your week off right with a Palm/Passion Sunday cantata live-streaming at 10:30. Get inspired by an organ concert Tuesday night. On Maundy Thursday, you can worship with your church family in a unique way – by sharing communion live. Using Google-Meet (no software required) you can log-on and hear the story of the Passion from characters in the story. And sign-up to pray with Jesus in the garden Thursday night into Friday afternoon. The Easter drive-by is Saturday, then join us Easter morning in-person at 8:30 in the front garden, or on-line at 10:30a.m.
You can also care for others by sending cards and making phone calls. From those who have received calls in the past, it even works when receiving a call from someone they don't really know. Just a call from someone who says they're calling on behalf of the church to say "hello" means a great deal. Check out your directory and get calling or mailing. Serving others, even when you yourself feel stressed, is a great way to be a disciple in a crisis.
There's no doubt this time of isolation and contagion is nerve-racking, we've endured so much loss. But in a crisis, may our true nature as disciples shine through as we care for each other.
Please use the following link to join this beautiful performance:
In an effort to create a more in-person atmosphere, we will be holding our Maundy Thursday service on Google Meet, link provided below.
As Maundy Thursday is a somber, contemplative service we ask that you please keep your microphone on mute during the service. You will be invited to unmute during communion.We also ask that you create a darkened room space, and gather bread and juice for communion and a candle. Log on at 6:45 for fellowship and tech support.
If you are on a computer, laptop or notebook device, you will be able to see the presentation as well as some of the other worshipers. If you go to the right of your screen, you will see three dots. This is where you can adjust your screen view. If you select "Spotlight" you will only see the presentation and not other people during the service. This link will help with viewsettings: https://support.google.com/a/users/answer/9850209?hl=en
Please use the following link to join the service:
You are invited into a simple, meditative prayer service with Taizé chants as part of your Lenten journey. The pre-recorded services will be available each Wednesday from Feb. 24 to March 31, 2021. The services will be 30-35 minutes. Author, educator and spiritual director Kate Young Wilder will be our host. The services will be posted on the website at https://www.neumc.org/Taizé_Lent
February 2021 Financial Snapshot
General Fund (GF) Total GF Income Received as of 2/28/2021: $69,702.16 Total GF Income Budgeted through 2/28/2021: $72,278 Total GF Expenses Paid through 2/28/2021: $64,579.25 Total GF Expenses Budgeted through 2/28/2021: $77,674.46
Notes on General Fund · World and New England Mission Shares were not paid in January or February. We should be able to catch up later. · The church owes for the air cleaning units installed. A portion was paid and the balance will be paid in March using additional donations and reserve funds. · Current on other expenses.
Heart of Nashua 1 & 2 (GiF) & HON Cont. (Capital Campaign/Elevator, Connector, Renovations) · Balance Due on HON Loan as of 2/28/2021: $145,537.20 (Loan was $358,343.45) · In February the $1,769.53 monthly payment was paid. HON Cont. funds on hand 2/28/2021 ($8149.31) will cover payments for four months. · Total Paid (including interest) Using HON 1, 2 & Continued as of 2/28/2021: $1,888,119.06
Funding for the Future 100 for $150 (Endowment) – Received this year as of 2/28/2021: $785 Please be one of 100 people or families giving $150 each year to grow our endowment for our future.
Thank You · We have received donations to cover the purchase of two AEDs. Thank you UMM and others who made donations for these. · As of 3/7/2021 we received $6090 in donations toward the air purifiers for the church.
The Worship Committee will be offering the opportunity topurchase lilies and tulips for Easter.
White lilies come in a 7" pot with dark purple foil and are $14.00. Tulips come in a 7" pot with dark purple foil and are $14.00 (the florist delivers a variety of colors, however we are unable to specify the colors). Plants can be picked up on April 5th-8th from 9am-1pm in the church lobby.
Please include In Memory/In Honor/In Celebration of information for the Easter bulletin. Mail payment to: Main Street UMC P.O. Box 1517 Nashua, NH 03061
Be sure to include "Easter Flowers" in the memo line.
The deadline to order is March 26th.
This is a wonderful time to "gather" and be able to see one another in a safe and joyful way. We encourage you to take a ride and share this time together. Many of our congregants have not been able to see their church family and are looking forward to this time together. Drivers can decorate their cars, wear bright colors, wave and cheer, keeping the celebration festive.
You can start with any house you want and pick the route that works best for you. We only ask that you visit between 1-2 on Saturday. If you have kids drop by the church between 1 and 1:30 to pick up the Sunday School supplies for the Easter season. If you're so motivated, you could even dress up your car in an Easter bonnet (we would dearly love to see that). If you're decorating your car windows, remember not to paint the ones you're going to roll-down!
If you would like more information about the Easter House Hunt, please contact Natasha Drew at 882-3361 firstname.lastname@example.orgThe map will be shared next week with church participants only.
We are missing seeing our MSUMC children and youth and would love to have them be a part of the Easter live-streamed service. Your child can read all or part of this popular children's book or even tell us the story in their own words on video. Another idea would be to have a picture taken with the book. Whatever they are willing to provide we'd love to have it. Send videos and/or photos to the churchoffice, email@example.com the tech crew will work their magic.
Soup for the Soul
Zoodle Ramen(from Delish.com)
INGREDIENTS 4 large eggs
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
8 c. low-sodium bone broth
1 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
4 medium zucchinis, spiralized or cut into noodles (about 2 lb.)
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1/2 c. chopped red cabbage
1 c. shredded carrots
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1. Place eggs in a small pot and cover by an inch of cold water. Place pot on stove and bring to a boil. Instantly turn off heat and cover pot. Let sit 11 minutes.
2. Remove eggs from pot and dunk into ice water. Peel, then halve lengthwise.
3.Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add mushrooms and cook until soft, 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook, 1 minute.
4. Add in bone broth, soy sauce, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add zucchini noodles and cook until tender, 2 minutes more. Stir in sesame oil.
5.Divide broth and noodles among four serving containers or mason jars. Divide carrots, cabbage, and hardboiled eggs among each.
6. Top each with scallions, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes.
7.Eat right away or let cool, then store in fridge. Rewarm before eating.
We thank you, O Lord, for this food, for this day, and your many blessings, in Jesus' name.
March Missions Updates for All
Food Bank Pickup help: Sometimes we need a person and vehicle to meet at the NH Food Bank in Manchester to help transport food back to the Nashua Soup Kitchen. Please reply to this email and let me know if you want to be on the "alert" list for picking up food. Your cell phone number would be helpful. The Food Bank pickups are all done out of doors now. We load our own vehicles, so some lifting is required, but someone will unload at the Soup Kitchen, and we can stay masked, distanced, and out of doors! When things are somewhat more back to normal, the Soup Kitchen truck picks up everything for us, but they are still providing lots of extra food and produce distributions around Nashua and have not been doing Food Bank runs except for the special USDA boxes that come each week. Most of the foods that we get are produce or meat, and they are a big help to the Food Pantry at the Nashua Soup Kitchen.
SAVE THE DATE: March 30th Food Bank Opportunity - The NH Food Bank will bring a truckload of fresh food to distribute to families and individuals of Southern NH. Use the following link for more information: Food_Bank_Flyer.pdf . At the church- Are you aware that you can actually go into the church Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 1 pm? You can ring a doorbell or call the church office at 603-882-3361. Someone will let you into the lobby. Sign in, check your temperature, answer a few questions, have your mask in place, and then, you can do these Mission related things:
Drop off Soup in the big Soup bin just inside the lobby door. Soup that does not have to be mixed with water is preferred, but any soup is welcome. Let's fill that bin for Lent!
Pick up UMCOR Hygiene Kit instructions or drop off your completed kit. There's a box for that!
Walk on in to the Church office, meet Natasha Drew, our new administrative assistant, and give her your Heifer choices (and check) for those folks you want to remember or honor at Easter on our currently evolving Easter Tree of Life. If you choose to donate directly to Heifer online, when the gift is acknowledged by Heifer, please forward the acknowledgement to firstname.lastname@example.org and to the church office. We will fill that tree one way or another! The Heifer form is included below.
- Phyllis Appler, Missions Chair
EASTER TREE OF LIFE: THE HEIFER PROJECT
Here are some options for our Easter Tree of Life, an alternative way to honor or remember a special person in the life of your family. Any gift that you choose will help to make another family more independent, and a young animal will be passed on to a new family so that your gift will keep on giving! Fill out the form below and mail it with your check to the church office at PO Box 1517 Nashua, NH 03061. Please complete by Palm Sunday, March 28, in order to be included in the Easter Sunday bulletin.
As your emails and phone calls and checks come in, we will put your animal or water pump or tree or seeds on the Easter Tree of Life. There has been some talk of videotaping as each new addition is made! Be sure to involve your kids in this project. This link takes you to many wooly and wonderful Heifer downloadable activities!
Animal or plant chosen___________________________ Amount_________________
In memory of _________________________________________________
In honor of _________________________________________________
In celebration of _________________________________________________
Pastors: Equalization members, especially under 30, needed for AC 2021
Conference Secretary John Blackadar reports there are 66 equalization members, selected by virtue of their office, for the 2021 Annual Conference session. An additional 20 equalization members are needed from each district. At least two of those must be between ages 12 and 17 and at least two between ages 18 and 30. The Cabinet is committed to meeting this requirement to include youth and young adults, which is outlined in our Conference Policies and Procedures as well as the Book of Discipline. Pastors are encouraged to lift up names for consideration, particularly youth and young adults and send them to the district office. Those interested in being equalization members should contact their pastor or district office.
Submission of Resolutions for consideration at Annual Conference
Resolutions are generally submitted by annual conference agencies, committees, task forces, or ad hoc groups. It is possible, however, for a resolution to be submitted by any member of the annual conference (lay or clergy) or by any local church. All resolutions are to be submitted to Annual Conference Secretary John Blackadaratsecretary@neumc.orgno later than April 1, 2021. Submit materials using Microsoft Word. It is also helpful to use the Calibri 11 font. If you need assistance feel free to reach out to Rev. Blackadar.