What keeps you living in Scare City? What anxieties and fears feel like they are lurking around the corner?
For me, it's often a focus on institutional survival. I hear it all the time in my work at the national level, at the denominational level – what will it mean for the United Methodist Church to no longer be "united." Can we survive coming untied? With the 2020 General Conference postponed yet again, there's a lot of uncertainty what this latest delay will mean for a church already experiencing the pressures and declines of every other denomination. Trends that have been accelerated by the pandemic.
I get it. Infection rates and hospitalizations have risen again and deaths in New Hampshire reached a high level not seen since January. The pandemic is not yet over despite our desperation for it to be done. The stress and strain of it all permeate our society. Signs on shops apologize for supply chain disruptions, invite our patience, and plead for us to be nice to employees. Anxiety is spilling out in our behavior in ways we wish it wasn't. Some days, it feels like we all need to breathe deeply and light a lavender candle.
It can all be overwhelming, if you're not sitting with our youth around a table on Sunday mornings. Because if you're in the Confirmation Class you experience a group of brilliant young people who are resilient and thoughtful and caring. Who are graciously following safety protocols because they want to protect their loved ones and their community. Who are curious about our Wesleyan tradition. Who have been formed by this faith community and who trust their elders here. They are willing to explore what it means to be people of faith and they are interested in helping create a more just and generous place. When I hear them share where they are experiencing life-giving moments, where they are witnessing the movement of the spirit, where they see kindness and creativity and justice, I know the Holy Spirit is still at work in the world. When I see their passion for being loving people, I know God is still calling us into the act of co-creating that more loving world.
And then I don't feel so scared about institutional survival and I can move from that tight place of fear into the wide-open spaces where the community thrives and Main Street Church was part of the journey to get there.
Fellowship Virtual Coffee Hour
Be sure to join us for our Virtual Coffee Hour and Fellowship Time following the 10:30 am service. We look forward to seeing you there!
The last article covered the giving categories used by MSUMC. This article identifies the different line items and purposes under each of those categories. For your awareness and information, in 2021 the Finance Committee created an MSUMC Income Definitions and Purposes document that will get reviewed and updated annually during the budget planning cycle for future years. An excerpt from this document is presented below.
General Use Funds
Envelopes & Pledges General Fund: Contributions/donations attributable to a church member that are received in member or pew envelopes, mailed to the church, or from online. They may/may not be known to be against a pledge. Loose Offering: Offerings received during services or on premise donations not part of above; generally in the form of cash. Heart of Nashua Continued: Earmarked for connector mortgage and principal paydown. Missions – Earmarked for MSUMC portion of the New England Conference Mission Shares. Maintenance/Repairs: Earmarked for routine, preventive and corrective maintenance and repairs. Loaves & Fishes: Earmarked for MSUMC Youth Director and Family/Intergenerational Coordinator salaries. Fund Raising-Ham & Bean: Monies received for payment of a Ham & Bean meal ticket. Fund Raising-Other w/Memo: Monies received for an approved fund raiser. Trust Fund Dividends: Dividends received from MSUMC investment accounts. Current MSUMC Trust Funds covered under this category include:
- Trustee's General Account to help fund ministries of MSUMC and applied to the General Fund. Invested in/through the UMFNE.
- Trustee's Unrestricted Cramer Fund with income contributed to the general fund of the church and the principal available for the general fund of the church. Invested in/through the UMFNE. - Trustee's Restricted Account to help fund ministries of MSUMC from income funds only [i.e. dividends]. See restriction below. Invested in/through the UMFNE. Bank Interest: Interest received from MSUMC bank accounts. Facility Use Donation w/Memo: Donations received from individuals or non-MSUMC organizations that use MSUMC facilities. Funding for the Future 100 for $150 – Contributions to increase the investment value/principal of the above mentioned Trust Funds. Easter Offering: Contributions received in the Easter special offering envelope or notated with Easter in the memo line of a check. Thanksgiving Offering: Contributions received in the Thanksgiving special offering envelope or notated with Thanksgiving in the memo line of a check. Christmas Offering: Contributions received in the Christmas special offering envelope or notated with Christmas in the memo line of a check. Miscellaneous w/Memo: Contributions/donations received that do not fall in one of the above categories. A memo will be annotated to describe the specific purpose.
Downtown Crossing – Supports immigrants, refugees and other members of the local community. Food Pantry – Supports the Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter and other food assistance ministries. Pastor's Discretionary Fund – Discretionary funds received in January, March, May, July, September and November and provided to the pastor to be used at his or her discretion. Donors cannot specify or control payments from this fund. Good Samaritan/Benevolence Fund – Discretionary funds received in February, April, June, August, October and December for support to needy individuals within the local community. Donors cannot specify or control payments from this fund. Capital Maintenance/Improvements - Earmarked for specifically identified purposes that exceed General Fund maintenance expenses/purposes or which may increase an asset's function or service capacity. Memorial – Contributions collected "In Memory of". If not restricted by the donor, these funds may be used for general use fund expenses. Wanakee Scholarship – Contributions help pay for church youth to attend Camp Wanakee. Youth Ministry – Supports MSUMC youth programs.
Pass Through Funds
Africa University – UMC supported university transforming Africa by educating and empowering students from across the African continent. CWS Blankets – Supports the Church World Services Blanket program providing blankets to those in need. Normally occurs during Mother's Day. CWS Tools – Supports the Church World Services Tools program providing tools and materials needed to rebuild people's lives. Normally occurs during Father's Day. Heifer Project – Support's Heifer International's mission to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way by supporting and investing alongside local farmers and their communities. Normally occurs during the Easter/Lenten season. UMCOR Sunday (formerly One Great Hour of Sharing) – Enables the United Methodist Committee on Relief to reach out through worldwide ministries of food, shelter, health and peace. Supports UMCOR administrative functions only. (Fourth Sunday of Lent) UMCOR Disaster – 100% of monies received provide dedicated support to identified US and International disasters. Human Relations Day – Strengthens United Methodist outreach to communities in the United States and Puerto Rico, encouraging social justice and work with at-risk youth. (Sunday before the national observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday) Native American Ministries Sunday – Nurtures mission with Native Americans and provides scholarships for United Methodist Native American seminarians. (Third Sunday of Easter) Peace With Justice Sunday – Enables The United Methodist Church to have a voice in advocating for peace and justice through a broad spectrum of global programs. (First Sunday after Pentecost) World Communion Sunday – Provides scholarships for U.S. racial- and ethnic-minority students and international students, on both undergraduate and graduate levels. (First Sunday of October) United Methodist Student Day – Furnishes scholarships and loans for students attending United Methodist-related and other accredited colleges and universities. (Last Sunday of November)
Trustee's Restricted Account – Helps to fund various ministries of Main Street United Methodist Church with income from funds only [can be used for GF expenses] and preservation of the principal gift [the restriction]. Invested in/through the UMFNE. Trustee's Restricted Hall Music Fund – Restricted to flowers and music needs. Income/dividends applied to/re-invested in the fund. Invested in/through the UMFNE.
As mentioned in the beginning, these line items and purposes will be reviewed during the annual budget planning cycle.
For the next article, I would like to provide more details and information on Mission Shares. I think some of you may be surprised on how this works and how much MSUMC contributes.
Thank you for being an informed giver.
Message from SPRC
On October 31st, Mike Brown; Chair of SPRC, shared information about our staff. highlighting the various roles each staff member plays and areas that each one continues to commit to and devote extra energy towards.
There was an announcement made regarding Pastor Kristy and her great impact with our ministry regarding those who are unhoused. Mike mentioned all of her areas of expertise and shared that Pastor Kristy has done more in this past year to further our mission in this area than we have ever accomplished before, all while being unpaid, without a salary role as Associate Pastor at MSUMC.
It was announced that and Associate Pastor Fund has been created.
We have been blessed to receive an anonymous donation of $15,000 from a member of the congregation towards a direct salary for Pastor Kristy. Thank you to our anonymous donor for this generous act of giving.
Mike shared both a challenge and a goal for congregation. We are now accepting donations for the associate pastor fund to exceed the initial donation of $15,000. Towards that goal we have already received confirmation of 3-4 additional donations of $1000 each. Donations of all sizes will be accepted. If you're interested, please mail a check to MSUMC and put Associate Pastor Fund in the memo field.
The associate pastor fund will cover Kristy's appointment thru 2022 calendar year. Beginning in January, Kristy will receive bi-weekly paychecks drawn against the fund. I plan to provide updates on progress of the donations in November and December.
Thank you for your time, energy and continued donations.
Advent/Christmas Cantata Announcement
It's that time again - time to start preparing for our Christmas cantata! Like last year, the cantata will once again be a video project. However, this year, there will be the opportunity to sing together and record IN PERSON! On Sunday, November 14th and Sunday, November 21st from 12-1 pm, there will be an outdoor rehearsal and recording session for the cantata. We will gather outside the connector building at the back of the church, where we will rehearse and record. Be sure to dress warmly, and you are encouraged to wear something festive!
In addition to in-person recording, there will be a virtual choir component to the cantata, just like last year, for those who are not comfortable singing in person.
There are also reading opportunities, which will be filmed in December.
If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please contact Emily email@example.com. I will send you the music in advance so that you can practice on your own, as well as practice recordings to help in learning your music. I'd love to include your voice this year!
BIG BOX FOR ADVENT
Andrea Weir is working on the Advent children's times. She needs a BIG BOX like one that a refrigerator or washer comes in. If you have one she can use starting November 21st. You can reach her firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us on Saturday, November 20 at 1:00 pm at the church for our November Sunday school event. We will be making Thanksgiving centerpieces and decorating the sanctuary with leaves. Maybe Fletcher, our friend from last week's Children's time story, will visit us! We will also be handing our Advent materials for the children to enjoy at home, and there may be a treat or two as well. All are welcome to join us; if the weather cooperates, we will be outside, if not we will follow the Safety committee's protocols ( masks and social distancing ) and be inside. We hope to see you there!
Virtual Yuletide Fair Reminders
We are live and online! There is still time to shop for great gifts, holiday decorations, household items, wonderful paintings, plants, pet accessories, and more. We have 15 different areas to shop! You won't believe the creativity and skill of our crafters, so many lovely handmade items throughout the fair and some cool used things in Grandma's Attic. And if you love fudge, cookies, jelly/jam, mini pies, rolls or bean soup you are in luck.
Visit the Main Street UMW Facebook page between now and Fri. Nov. 12 at noon. There is also a new link created for those not on Facebook: https://www.mainstreet-umc.org/fair All instructions will be provided and pick up at the church will be: Fri., Nov. 1, 6-7 PM Sat., Nov. 13, 9 AM-2 PM Sun., Nov. 14, 11:30 AM-12 PM (after church) Additional baked goods will be available
Note to bakers: Baked goods can be dropped off Fri. the 12th from 9 AM-1:00 PM. Contactumwfair20@gmail.comif you need an item picked up, need the required baking instructions, or have questions.
Wed. Nov. 17, 7PM via Zoom United Methodist Women's Meeting
This month our regular meeting will be virtual. We will share prayer concerns, review how the Fair went this year, see a sample of the Christmas Eve ornaments and discuss possibilities for our December program.
A zoom link will be sent out prior to the meeting. If you are not currently receiving emails from UMW and would like to, please notify the church office at office@Mainstreet-umc.org and we will add you to the mailing list.
Scouting for food will take place November 13th. You should have received a donation tag Saturday, November 6th . MSUMC will be a recipient agency. For more information please use the following link: