Is homework a dirty word to you? I ask, because we have an assignment for you. And we hope you see it as a positive opportunity to shape the conversation of who the church will be in a post-pandemic context. And how the church will be? And some would even say, IF the church will be? By which, I think what they mean is "Will the church be relevant?"
John Wesley was a big fan of homework assignments. He thought faith should be lived out every day not just a once-a-week, one hour experience. The small classes that met regularly offered plenty of opportunities to offer things to work on and then follow-up on how those assignments were progressing.
We've started a social media campaign with conversation starters inviting us to reflect on the post-pandemic church. How can we move from crisis to opportunity? We began the conversation a couple months ago with the Church Council and now it's time for everyone to get involved.
We've highlighted some provocative and insightful quotes from secular sources and theological giants, hoping to inspire discussion. We ask that you read the quote posted daily (find it on our homepage, our facebook feed or follow us on instagram). Think about it, pray about it, have a conversation with somebody about it. Talk with anybody, it need not be a member of a church. In fact, it might be helpful to listen to outside voices. If you're the sharing sort, share those quotes and use the hashtag #FromCrisisToOpportunity.
We look forward to hearing about how the conversation goes... but we won't be handing out grades. This is more of a pass/fail moment for the church. Will we adapt? Will the church be part of the larger conversation? Will we seek to shape the transformation in society that is ongoing and accelerated due to the pandemic? Or will we insist on living in the past, returning to a normal that wasn't working, and increasingly become more irrelevant?
I'm excited about the opportunities of this time and I hope you'll ask questions with us.
Join Pastor Kelly as we explore high conflict. High conflict, is what happens when discord distills into a good-versus-evil kind of feud, the kind with an us and a them. In this state, the normal rules of engagement no longer apply. The brain behaves differently. We feel increasingly certain of our own superiority and, at the same time, more and more mystified by the other side.
Blanket Sunday is scheduled for Mother's Day, May 9th. We encourage you to honor your mother, grandmother, or another special person on Mother's Day with a Church World Service blanket. In the past, we have been able to distribute Church World Service Blankets ourselves. We understand how powerful this special gift can be. You can mail your donation to the church at PO Box 1517 Nashua 03061, take your donation to the church Monday-Thursday 9am—1pm, or donate online:
Please note who you are honoring and we will include your honoree in the Mother's Day bulletin. For more information contact Phyllis Appler at firstname.lastname@example.org
Next week, we are going to meet/order takeout from Don Ramon (6 Whitney St. Merrimack) on Tuesday, May 11th at 5pm. We also love to see your photos of homemade tacos. If you have questions, need information, or have photos to share send them to email@example.com
Gate City Bike Co-op will be hosting two events:
May 8th: 10 am-4 pm, 90 Phoenix Ave, Lowell MA
May 22nd: 10 am - 4 pm, 325 Amherst St, Nashua NH
This is why we do what we do.
When Gate City Bike Coop provides a bike to this client it means they can take the job and can improve their life. The bike we provided was not new. It had outlived its usefulness to its original owner. But with a couple of hours work we turned it into hope.
Want to help make a difference while you shop in the Amazon app, at no extra cost to you? Simply follow the instructions below to select "Main Street United Methodist Church" as your charity and activate AmazonSmile in the app. They'll donate a portion of your eligible mobile app purchases to us.
How it works: 1. Open the Amazon app on your phone. 2. Select the main menu (=) & tap on "AmazonSmile" within Programs & Features. 3. Select "Main Street United Methodist Church" as your charity. 4. Follow the on-screen instructions to activate AmazonSmile in the mobile app.
That's all there is to it! Thank you for shopping and sharing.
Save the date: COVID-19 update from the Re-Entry Team
The Conference Re-Entry Team will host a webinar from 7-8:30 pm on Monday, May 10, 2021. Team members, along with other experts, will offer guidance and information as well as take questions about in-person worship, vaccines, church music and more.
We need a person interested in attending the Annual Conference; online Jun 10-12 (most of the work is Thursday and Friday and Saturday morning). You would be elected as a voting member (an equalization member) representing MSUMC.
If you are that person, please contact the firstname.lastname@example.org There will be training and information provided prior to the conference.
The office still takes used ink cartridge donations that can be recycled to Staples and applied to our Staples Rewards program. In the last office supply order I was able to save $70.60 with coupons and rewards that the church had earned! If you have used ink cartridges to donate, you can bring them to the office on Monday-Thursday from 9am - 1 pm. Please call when you are in the parking lot and I will be happy to meet/greet you (603) 882-3361.
We are aware that while we may be through with this pandemic, it's not through with us. At our early Easter service and the Earth Day hike we had asymptomatic COVID positive participants who did not yet know they were exposed. We notified the health department and other participants of these exposures and encouraged everyone (including those who are vaccinated) to get tested if they have COVID symptoms. We pray for those who are sick to get well soon. Sadly, the Lutheran church member for whom we prayed on Sunday has died from the virus. We also continue to pray for the family of a fully vaccinated friend who died after contracting a mutated strain of COVID and for Noah, a teen who is suffering from the rare inflammatory syndrome that affects some children. These cases remind us of how critical the safety protocols are and how important it is for us to continue to be careful, including wearing a mask.
For a long time, younger community members wore masks to help protect older, more susceptible members of the community. Now it's the turn of older community members, even those who are vaccinated, to remain vigilant and continue with safety protocols, including wearing masks indoors, until our young people are vaccinated. At this time, the largest percentage of infections is among young people under 24, with children under 18 making up 22% of infections. Regardless of your vaccination status, let's be mindful of those in our community who are not yet protected.
Re-gathering the Body
As more people get vaccinated and some restrictions are lessened, the Safety team, in conjunction with the New England Conference, are exploring ways we can be together while mitigating the infection risk.
We've been having an in-person communion service in the garden every month, and we've enjoyed regular fellowship opportunities through hikes and outdoor dining (Taco Tuesdays continue through Pentecost). We're planning a church picnic this summer to help folks get reacquainted beyond our screens. With the conference's permission, we're also planning an early, in-person meditative service on Pentecost with reduced capacity and advanced registration to prepare for our future return to regular, indoor, in-person worship when conditions allow. You may register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/main-street-umc-in-person-pentecost-worship-registration-tickets-153529794749
We look forward to all these opportunities to see you face to face. And hope you'll join us whenever you feel comfortable.
-Pastor Kelly and Pastor Kristy
Pastor's Sabbath Days: Pastor Kelly: Tuesday Pastor Kristy: Friday
Days to Reach Pastors Pastor Kelly: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday Pastor Kristy: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Mainstreet United Methodist Church · PO Box 1517 · Nashua, NH 03061-1517 · USA