Stewardship is about how you use the blessings given you: your time, your gifts, your service and your witness. Please join us in worship as we celebrate all the gifts we bring in faith, and we bless our pledges of financial gifts for the 2022 year of ministry at Main Street UMC.
Make the use of your money reflect your values and consider sharing in proportion to your blessings. Prayerfully consider your giving and take a step toward tithing your income.
The irony in moving out of Scare City (or scarcity), we don't have to pack and go anywhere. Rather, we're called to transform the places within and around us with the evidence of God's love and grace. We are called to build altars everywhere to reveal the gifts of abundance to a hungry world. On this Consecration Sunday, we bring our pledges for our 2022 giving and explore how we offer radical generosity to transform the places where we are.
The previous articles addressed the nuts and bolts of budgeting, income categories, and tracking/reporting contributions. This article attempts to focus more on our mission through the eyes of finances. Financially vital congregations focus on God's great abundance rather than bemoaning the fact that people don't give as they used to and worrying about what to cut from the budget if pledges are not adequate for desired expenses. These congregations start the annual budgeting process with a period of time dedicated to discerning God's plans for the coming year instead of assuming that they know what the budget should include. Financially vital congregations seek to develop stewards rather than see members as donors.
While we may not totally be there quite yet, MSUMC is well on its way to becoming a financially vital congregation. Just look at what we include in our mission statement – "…to assist in times of difficulty and sorrow…to provide a haven for the needy of spirit, body and mind…to invite all to use their gifts and graces in a variety of ministries to downtown Nashua, the surrounding community and the world." And one of core values is serve – "Serving is doing God's work in the world. It is action…Jesus' entire ministry was filled with acts of service – feeding the hungry, healing the sick, comforting the grieving, and advocating for the weak, the poor, and the oppressed. We strive to identify new ways and places where God is calling us to serve."
One of the primary areas we are already serving is in paying our mission shares. Many of you will recall that there was a period of time, not too long ago, when MSUMC was not able to pay its mission shares in full. For the past several years however, this has been prayed for and we have been blessed to meet our obligations and pay our full apportionment of mission shares. If you were like me however, you may have not known anything more than the title Mission Shares or how much they are. So what exactly are these?
Mission shares from MSUMC, along with mission shares from all other churches in our conference, are part of the New England Conference budget as determined by the Annual Conference. These shares, or apportionments, in reality enable the mission and ministry of Local Churches, our Conference and our Denomination, locally, regionally and throughout the world.
Since the creation of the New England Conference in 1994, the same formula has been used to determine shares. This formula is the sum of statistics reported by local churches (compensation and benefits for pastor and staff, program expenses, operating expenses) and statistics added by the conference statistician for pension, health insurance, property insurance, and workers compensation minus the estimated expense of operating church buildings for outside groups. This sum is then divided by total spending for all congregations to obtain a church factor. This factor is averaged for the last three years. Not included in determining mission shares are capital expenses and improvements, spending on mission, membership, attendance, or church income. As shown below, mission shares for each church change from year to year based on the conference budget, what our church spends on itself as a percentage of what all conference churches spend on themselves, and a three-year rolling average to prevent drastic changes to a local church budget from impacting their Mission Shares in one year.
Mission Shares are made up of three parts with ratios that change each year: 1 – World Missions (supporting work around the world), 2 – New England Missions (providing spiritual life, faith ministries, diversity ministries, leadership development, conference stewardship activities, and connectional mission shares [anticipated unpaid apportionments), and 3 – Ministry Support (covering health benefits for retired/disabled clergy, conference share of Episcopal operating expenses, salaries/housing/office expenses for district superintendents, deployed clergy and equitable salary for support of churches where there are critical needs, and conference administrative support). Please note that unpaid portions of Ministry Support are carried over to the next year with interest. MSUMC mission shares also include contributions to the Clergy Retirement Security Program.
So how does this translate into numbers? 2021 2022 - New England Conference -- World Missions $1,560,832 (20.8%) $1,753,428 (24.1%) -- New England Missions $1,729,246 (23%) $1,652,966 (22.8%) -- Ministry Support $4,231,682 (56.3%) $3,862,946 (53.1%) Total $7,521,760 $7,269,340
- MSUMC Church Factor 0.0071168 0.0072836
- MSUMC Mission Shares -- World Missions $11,108 (20.8%) $12,771 (24.1%) -- New England Missions $12,307 (23%) $12,040 (22.8%) -- Ministry Support $30,116 (56.3%) $28,136 (53.1%) -- CRSP Pension $11,726 $11,726 Total $65,257 $64,673
This is a lot of information to take in, but I hope it gives you a fuller and clearer picture of what Mission Shares are all about.
Thank you for being an informed giver.
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) filed for bankruptcy after numerous suits were filed for sexual abuse. As part of the bankruptcy process, United Methodist local churches across the country had the opportunity to file a proof of claim. Filing a proof of claim indicated, among other things, that the local church had a right to be indemnified/protected by BSA as well as BSA insurance policy coverage for any claim filed against the local church by a scout survivor. Your local church filed a proof of claim and now has the opportunity to vote on the bankruptcy plan. Because local churches' votes must be received by December 14, 2021, and because we will not know if all United Methodist local churches will be covered against BSA claims until November 23, 2021, all United Methodist local churches that filed a proof of claim must prepare now to record their vote. The congregation's vote is critical to ensure United Methodist local churches are protected from a lawsuit filed concerning an individual claiming they were abused while in a scouting program associated with the local church. A special charge conference is set for Monday, November 29th at 3:00 pm to record the vote. As this is a Charge Conference,only member leaders/officers can vote. Regular members can attend with voice but NOT VOTE.
The format of this conference is primarily online. However, if you are interested in a hybrid/in-person option, please contact the Main Office at (603)882-3361 or email@example.com
Sunday School News
Join us this Saturday, November 20th 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!
The Downtowner photo of the week was captured by Andrea Weir, taken at last Thursday's Veterans Day parade down Main Street in Downtown Nashua. Look at these cute parade-goers! Thanks for sending it in!
One of our youth members, Amy Campbell, an 8th grader at Merrimack Middle School will perform this Friday & Saturday.
All the Good: A Wesleyan Way of Christmas Begins November 28th @ 9:00 a.m. on Zoom
The Vestry Class will journey through Advent together, guided by the practices in John Wesley's means of grace. As always, this group promises compassionate community, frothy conversation, and prayer. Facilitated by Paul Pederzani, the class is video-based, and no preparation is necessary.
A daily Advent devotional Guide, "All the Good: Devotions for the Season" can also be purchased at Cokesbury and Amazon.com.
WHAT IS UNITED METHODIST STUDENT DAY?
One of the major challenges that students face is the lack of financial support to attain a college education. Worrying about expenses adds to the already existing anxieties youth experience and it may take away from their ability to excel in their studies or activities. But for students attending United Methodist Churches, we extend a hand to help them accomplish their career goals.
For more than 100 years, United Methodists have been supporting their students' educational needs through a special offering. The funds received from the offering go into the United Methodist Student Loan Fund to underwrite scholarships for United Methodist students. Scholarships are awarded to deserving United Methodist students annually.
Support Local & join us for Plaid Friday this year in Nashua, NH!
Plaid Friday is the relaxing and enjoyable alternative to the big box store "Black Friday."
The first 400 attendees will receive a free Plaid Friday Nashua tote bag, stuffed with special offers and other goodies from participating Downtown shops and restaurants.
Tickets are free, but a donation of $5 or $10 is suggested, and will help support Great American Downtown's mission of vibrancy during a year that has been a big challenge for an organization that relies on large events to support our work.
Thank you for your support of Downtown Nashua! We'll see you at Plaid Friday!
The Worship Committee will be offering Christmas poinsettias for purchase this year--to make the sanctuary festive for those worshipping with us in person and for those joining us online. Poinsettias will be offered in red or white and cost $11.00 each.
We will be putting up a slide of names and they'll be listed in the bulletin.
All payment should be sent to:
Main Street United Methodist Church
P.O. Box 1517
Nashua, NH 03061-1517
The deadline for ordering poinsettias will be Sunday, December 12th. Poinsettias will be available for pickup after the Friday, December 24th service. Thank you and God Bless.
Office Help Needed
I would like a to form a team of office support volunteers who would be willing and available to assist for special projects, such as bulk mailings, VBS preparations, creative assignments and anything else that might come along.
I will provide ample notice prior to task and be flexible in scheduling times to help. Qualifications include: enthusiasm, good sense of humor, and creative patience.