On Rally Sunday at the Greeley Park Gazebo, we celebrated all the ways this congregation is uniquely blessed to be a blessing with a review of the last year.
In this last pandemic year, we have studied how high conflict traps us and how to get out of it, we've reflected on the origins of our country's discontent and tried to better understand the history of race in this country, we've watched films to be encouraged by communities across history who believed even in trying times. Small groups have continued their journey through the Bible or studied the uppity women of the Bible, even as we, the congregation, took a deep dive into all the birds of the Bible. And our leaders have reflected on what a post-pandemic church might look like.
In worship, we've studied our Wesleyan heritage and been reminded of our 3 simple rules (do no harm, do good, stay in love with god), we've allowed the rhythms of the oceans to help us recover our sense of being holy vessels, we've been inspired to piece together a life by fellow members and their quilt stories, and widened our welcome with a rainbow laity sunday. We've been assured of all the ways God is holding our lives. Our Safety Team worked hard to prevent infections at worship, and unlike other churches, we were never a super-spreader event. We baptized a baby, welcomed a new member, met with visitors online and in-person, and through it all we've dared to dance through the rain.
The Joyful shepherds have continued to encourage, and call, and send cards, and visited when possible, and have kept us connected in prayer. The Youth Group met weekly throughout last year, interviewed members, learned new cooking skills, enlivening our worship. They were biblical characters and palm sunday paraders, they told the story of the resurrection with umbrellas and were a very hungry caterpillar. They picked blueberries and apples and found ways to stick together.
The United Methodist Women made Greeley Park their home and continued to find ways to meet in-person outdoors.
We said goodbye to 9 loved one at funerals in a variety of settings, and we have a few more planned for this fall and 1 re-scheduled to May.
We've increased our social media presence, had weekly meditative moments with special musical offerings by a choir learning impressive, online skills, playing flutes in the forest, bells and a folk harp, in the gazebo. And we used our Instagram account to interact with local events and increase engagement.
We've enjoyed 13 outdoor services, including blessing animals, as well as offered plaid blessings and chalk encouragement on our sidewalks. We folded paper cranes for a community art installment, fed the sculptors at the Nashua symposium and discovered our 2nd floor lobby window has a ministry all it's own with colorful four-letter words.
We've enjoyed 39 fellowship events (a record number for ANY years) on trails and around tables with 6 Taco Tuesdays. We hosted 2 prayer vigils in the sanctuary and an organ concert. We managed to move the holiday fair online, and offered 2 different remote Vacation Bible Schools. Creative thinkers had us doing a reverse Easter Egg Hunt, where we drove about and sought out Easter houses.
We continued to participate monthly at the food bank through buying food, collecting beans, packing boxes or now in-person interactions. Through it all we managed to continue to financially support our ministry with community partners.
And it's not just about what we do, it's about who we are–a witness to the wide welcome of the inclusive love of God, a congregation with a commitment to be reconciling, to embrace all. We're becoming a vital part of the downtown community, meeting business owners and encouraging one another. And the office sent out over 340 "Miss You" postcards to welcome folks back this summer.
The staff went away on retreat a couple weeks ago and we're working to create a brave space for the messy, wonderful work that is ahead of us. We're prayerfully discerning how we want to lead, and who, as a congregation, we are and can be for this community.
And it's exciting to consider. We are uniquely placed in the heart of Nashua, so let's be the church with a heart where God has placed us.
Looking for Liturgists
We need liturgists for the following Sundays:
Oct. 3rd (World Communion Sunday)
You may read in person, in the sanctuary, arriving at 10 am on Sunday. If you prefer to worship online, you may film your scripture reading from where you are.
Prayer is universal; it knows no boundaries. Prayer melds people, places, and projects; it unifies across time, space, and cultures. Since United Methodist Women is a global outreach ministry putting faith into loving action, one of the ways UMW at MSUMC supports global ministries is in prayer. And we invite you to join us in prayer in vibrant support of our missionaries.
Birthday Prayer Party!
How will this work? Each month we will hold in prayer all the missionaries whose birthdays occur during that month. Why are their names not listed? In case the listing is not up-to-date, we choose to focus on birthdays in each month of all who are in mission, knowing that Spirit fulfills our intention perfectly to encourage each one for the gift that person is.
Since parties are held in a location, the place, or mission field, where a missionary serves is also included in prayer. Place is significant for it shapes the people who live there, how they live their daily lives, and the development of their culture. Why are the locations unnamed? Areas and territories can change depending on local circumstances and conditions while the mission itself remains intact.
By including person(s) and place(s), all aspects of creation—human, creature, geographic locale and its natural environment—are honored as equal participants with the Universal Christ. What is meant by the phrase "Universal Christ"? As Richard Rohr writes "Christ is everywhere. In Christ every kind of life has a meaning and a solid connection." (from The Universal Christ introduction) Use the prayer form or expression that is most meaningful to you; whether that is verbal, thought, visualization, meditation, contemplation, swimming, walking, running, hiking, dancing, singing or expressive arts. The point is to focus your intention, attention and energy on celebrating the birth of people into Creation and the places in Creation where they shine—"You are the light of the world", MT 5:14.
"Shards of Truth" Film Series
Church of the Good Shepherd has invited us to participate in their upcoming Race in America online film series.
Their Racial Reconciliation Taskforce is sponsoring a series of documentaries this fall that look at different pieces of race in America, from a truth and reconciliation commission examining the impact of Maine's child welfare system on Native American children, to the development of today's prison system, to a look at the Harlem Cultural Festival. Streaming via Zoom with conversation to follow.
This year's Greater Nashua Crop Hunger Walk will return on Sunday October 24, rain or shine. The walk begins at 1:30 pm with registration and kick-off preceding at 12:30-1:30 pm. We will be outside for walk and celebration. If it rains, we'll find a safe option for the celebration. To register as a walker and/or raise money go to:
We're keeping a close eye on the Delta-variant COVID situation locally and will adjust and advise accordingly. Masks are always a good idea and will certainly be required for the registration and kick off programs if they are indoors. For those at high risk or uncomfortable with the group walk, we invite you to walk with a small group of family or friends throughout the month of October and raise your monies in that way.
Streams of Creativity
Two new and exciting opportunities for small groups and individuals-
Any adult is inclusively welcome to participate. Contact the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-882-3361 for more information or to sign up. Covenants regarding confidentiality and methods of communicating and meeting will be set by the groups. Church COVID safety procedures will be followed for any in-person activities.
You may participate as an individual or if several read the same book you may choose to have a discussion. Books can be borrowed from local libraries, read online when available, or purchased at book stores. Theme categories are: Education for Mission, Leadership & Development, Nurturing for Community, Social Action and Spiritual Growth. There are fiction and nonfiction, youth books, children's books, Response Magazine, podcasts and movies: a lot to choose from and great topics. Please contact the office for a reading program catalog: email@example.com
This will be a casual group of folks interested in writing. Whether you very seldom write or have found your niche, come join us in trying something new: from poetry, to journaling as a spiritual discipline, writing devotionals or recording stories about your childhood memories. The intent is to offer support and encouragement, maybe share an inspirational photo, scripture or writing prompt. No experience required!
Groups are sponsored by United Methodist Women (UMW)
As we volunteered at the Nashua Soup Kitchen, we learned of the need for a freezer for the kids meal program. We had enough money in our food pantry account to fund the freezer! Thank you, Main Street!
DO YOU SHOP ON AMAZON.com?
How about taking advantage of Amazon's great deals AND support the church at the SAME TIME.
MSUMC is a verified charity on AmazonSmile and invites supporters to order throughsmile.amazon.com. The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the church.
On your ﬁrst visit to AmazonSmile smile.amazon.com, you need to select MSUMC from the list of charitable organizations. Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation. You can still log in as usual, pay as usual, but you are now supporting the church.
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