The sense that there is not enough drives greed, fear and exclusion. We begin to live in "Scare City" where it seems that death, starvation, feelings of being overwhelmed and swallowed up can lurk around every corner. The Good News is that this is an illusion. A spiritual journey into the truth of abundance offers us an alternative vision of where to live our lives. This Fall, we're "moving out of Scare City" and traveling to the vast, open habitats of God's abounding grace.
We'll reflect on the idols that bind us an confront the myth of scarcity. We'll consider how divisions make us afraid of the "other." We'll turn to scripture for inspiration around our overprotective fence-builders and hoarder tendencies. Our texts will challenge us to understand that rather than offering safety and freedom, the walls built to protect ourselves trap and imprison us.
The invitation of Christ is to draw the circle wide and experience God's abundance. And the youth will offer some creative tithing calculus to help us discover the joy and freedom of giving beyond our wildest calculations.
The irony in moving out of Scare City (or scarcity), is 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 November 7th - We'll acknowledge one of the fears that lurks is the fear of death. But this All Saints Sunday we honor our faithful dead. As we discover how to trust in the divine presence we can shift our fear to curiosity and assurance that we are never alone.
November 14th - We have a special guest preacher from the New England Foundation, the Reverend Ted Crass.
On Consecration Sunday, November 21 -We bring our pledges for our 2022 giving and explore how we offer radical generosity to transform the places where we are.
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!
Each year, a church/charge conference is held to be the connecting link between the local church and the general church and shall have general oversight of the church council. Our District Superintendent, Taesung Kang will preside on Monday, November 8 at 7p.m. (This meeting will take place via ZOOM).
According to The Book of Discipline members of the charge conference "shall be person of genuine Christian character who love the Church, are morally disciplines, are committed to the mandate of inclusiveness in the life of the Church, are loyal to the ethical standards of the UMC set forth in the Social Principles, and are competent to administer its affairs."
Inclusionary Zoning Information from Pastor Kristy
Do you want to be a part of good changes in Nashua?
I have been working in conjunction with GSOP and the Nashua Area Interfaith Council Housing Justice Group to increase the stock of affordable housing in Nashua. One important component of a multi-layered strategy is to pass a mandatory Inclusionary Zoning ordinance. Inclusionary Zoning requires developers to build a small percentage of income-based housing units in each new or redeveloped housing build in exchange for the benefit of being able to build a few extra full-price units, balancing the profit outcome for the developer and providing more affordable units across the city.
The Economic Development department in the city has drafted such a law, and while we believe that their target income brackets are a bit too high, it is important to get this legislation passed now. The hearing is set for 7:30 November 9th, so it is imperative that we move to support this legislation.
We need your help in the following ways:
1. Contact your Nashua Alderman and the Aldermen at Large this week, letting them know that Inclusionary Zoning must pass.
2. Let them know that the income targets for rental housing only must be lowered slightly to accommodate working households in Nashua, including entry level teachers, first responders, and social service workers, who serve our city and who will benefit from this legislation.
3. If you want to get specific about the income targets, you can say that the present plan targets the 80% Area Median Income bracket (about $80,000/yr for a family of 4) who can pay almost $2,000/month in gross rent (utilities included). Rental housing already exists in this price bracket. We'd like to lower the income bracket to accommodate families at 60% of the Area Median Income (about $66,000/yr). This would drop the gross rent for that family to $1,650 per month, a change that could make a critical difference to many people who live and work in Nashua.
ClickHERE for contact information to send your Aldermen a message.
Please contact me if you have any email@example.com. Thank you for lending your time and energy to this important piece of housing policy!
Grace and peace,
Message from SPRC
Last Sunday, 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.
Now that the church is open for worship on Sunday mornings and we are starting to have interest in funeral services in our Sanctuary, we are realizing the need for ushers and greeters.
As we serve our congregation and community, ushers and greeters are extremely important in welcoming those who attend services and being available to help direct people who may not be familiar with our church to exits and facilities.
At the present time we are looking for individuals who feel comfortable serving during a time of grief and can be available on a flexible schedule to assist during funerals. Ideally, we would like to be able to have two ushers and one greeter during a funeral service. The greeter would not only welcome but be stationed at the door so that late comers can still get in. We are hoping that with enough support these services can be managed on a rotating schedule.
If you are interested and would like to lend your time and talents to this type of service, please contact the Main Office firstname.lastname@example.org call (603) 882-3361.
Children's Sabbath Thank You
On behalf of United Methodist Women, thank you to everyone who participated in the Children's Sabbath Worship Service on Oct. 24th. This was the 30th anniversary of Children's Sabbath, but our first time of doing one at Main Street. Started through the Children's Defense Fund, the idea of Children's Sabbath is to bring together people across various faith traditions to consider the many needs and challenges that children and families face today throughout the world.
Michael Reinke, Director of the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter gave a moving message. If you have weekday volunteer time available, especially Thursdays, please consider helping out at the Soup Kitchen at 2 Quincy St. just a hop, skip and a jump from the church. Monetary and food donations are always welcome.
Thank you to those CROP Walkers who helped raise funds, some of which go to the Soup Kitchen.
Youth News for Veteran's Day
The Youth at Veterans Day Parade: The Nashua Veteran's Day Parade 2021 will be held on Thursday, November 11th.
The parade line-up forms at Holman Stadium at 10:15 am and will start promptly at 11:11 am. The line of march will proceed east on Amherst Street, to Main Street, to Lake Street, and finally, end at Elm Street Middle School, where the units will be dismissed.
Jakob Graudons (10th grade) & Caroline Graudons (9th grade), will be playing and marching with the Nashua High School North band.
Please join the youth at the front of the church building at 11:00 am to root for our marching youth and to honor our Veterans.
Moving Forward ONLINE!
Streaming LIVE on Facebook & YouTube Saturday, November 6, 2021, 7:00pm
Please use the following link for more information:
Nashua has a new family, recently arrived from Burundi by way of Kenya, where they have been living. They family includes the mother, daughters ages 20 and 21, and an 11 year old son.
Here are their needs: Coats for everyone! Women's medium, women's large, Women's xx large, boy's large, slim They took lots of clothes and pots and pans from our room downstairs, but there wasn't much for the boy. So, winter clothing, boys large slim. A safe space heater Sheets and comforters for twin beds Sheets and comforter for queen bed Winter shoes and boots. Target or other gift cards might be helpful for shoes and boots. Thanks to Pastor Kristy's networking skills, many of the other needs are being met.
Another New American family is in need of a television to replace one that is no longer working.
Thanks to all our CROP Hunger walkers and supporters. We had a beautiful day. According to our registrar, Erica Borroto, our own Main Street CROP walk team raised $2300! Thank you, Erica for keeping track of us. The Nashua Area CROP walk had a preliminary total of over $53,915.
"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.
United Methodist Women are hosting their annual fundraiser for local and worldwide mission activities. You need not be a part of UMW to participate by donating crafts or baked goods or by shopping on line for holiday decorations, useful items or great gifts.
Here are the dates you need to know if you are donating crafts or baked goods: Photos (JPEG only; jpg) of crafts and descriptions of baked goods should be submitted to email@example.com by Sun., Nov. 7. Crafts can be dropped off in the meeting room off the church vestry any time the office is open, including Sundays for worship, from now through Thurs., Nov. 11 at 2 PM. We will also have an evening drop off on Tues., Nov. 9 from 6-7 PM. Baked goods can be dropped off Fri. the 12th from 9 AM-1:00 PM. Contact the email above if you need an item picked up, need the required baking instructions, or have questions. Online Fair Shopping Goes live Tues., Nov. 9 at 10 AM until Fri., Nov. 12 at Noon. Visit the Main Street UMW Facebook page to do your shopping! 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!
Volunteers Needed - American Red Cross
I have been blown away by how many community members have stepped up to serve with the American Red Cross of Northern New England this summer in the face of an intense wildfire and hurricane season. The need for volunteers was quite great but the support we received was even greater. For those of you who were able to help us spread the word,thank youas it truly made a difference for the communities we served.
As we come down from this busiest of seasons we continue to need volunteers to serve in both boots on the ground and behind the scenes roles locally. I am reaching out to invite you to an upcoming opportunity to learn more about the American Red Cross, our Northern New England region and talk about some of our current volunteer needs. Our Virtual Volunteer Fair will be taking place on Tuesday, November 2nd at 5PM EST and Wednesday, November 3rd at 12PM EST. Additionally, there is a flyer attached that is great for sharing the event with your friends, family, and/or colleagues.
If you would like to register for one of these sessions you can email and indicate which date you would like to join us (see attached flyer). In return, you will receive an invitation with the meeting details. If your schedule is not yet known you are welcome to join us on the fly at thisMicrosoft Teams link at the appropriate times. *Note: This event is open to the public and all are welcome.
I look forward to hearing from you soon and hope you consider joining us next week!
Bill Patterson is settled and has shared his contact information with us:
Bill Patterson 2429 Emerald Lake Drive Apt# 205 Sun City Center, FL 33573
The Informed Giver Part 2 - Budgeting
For some, budgeting may be a boring or dreaded subject or a task to be avoided all together. In the most basic terms however, it is simply a record of pluses (credits/income) and minuses (debits/expenses) over a period of time. Even if you don't formally make or plan a budget, if you look at your personal debit/credit card statements, checkbook ledger, or even your basic savings account statements, you are looking at the results of your budget.
The real value of a budget is to help understand what you have, determine where you want to go, guide you in developing a plan to get there, and tracking your progress. This is especially true for non-profit organizations like MSUMC that are mission based. For many non-profits, the budgeting process can be difficult and painful – there is never enough income to get where they want to go and they are fortunate if they can pay their recurring bills and meet the minimal recurring needs of those they serve. I think of this as "survival budgeting" because in most cases it doesn't include a sound financial plan to get you where you want to go.
Fortunately for MSUMC, the UMC Finance Guidelines provide guidance and direction on how to accomplish "Missional Budgeting and Fundraising". It starts with a few preliminary steps beginning with reviewing and putting the Mission First. Having responsibility for creating and executing the budget, the Finance Committee and Church Council need to understand a church budget is far more than simply a set of numbers; it reveals the true mission and purpose of the congregation. With that in mind, the church council determines the vision that will steer the MSUMC congregation to the results they hope to achieve through the ministry of finance. After considering the mission and vision of MSUMC, the next preliminary step is for a period of Discernment to be undertaken by the entire congregation.
During this time the question must be asked, "What work is God already doing in our community that God would like us to join this year?" Usually, the pastor leads this critical process, since it is a spiritual, not fiscal matter. Once members have discerned and voiced God's leading for the year, then MSUMC is ready to set specific Goals, Strategies, and Plans that are connected to the drivers of financial vitality with the understanding that financial vitality is not an end in itself, but must be tied to an overarching understanding of disciple formation.
The guidelines provide several questions that can be used to steer the planning process. Frequently, there are more viable plans than there are resources available, so the congregation will need to consider prayerfully which missional goals should be given priority. Once these preliminary steps have been completed, the finance committee can then develop strategies to Match Resources to Mission and the real number crunching can begin. During this phase historical data is provided to the committee by the financial secretary and treasurer and committee chairs submit documented budget requests so there is no misunderstanding regarding the purposes for the funding is requested.
Once the finance committee has developed the annual budget, it is submitted to the church council for review and adoption. Now at this point, you may think the budget process is complete. It is not. The real work begins by executing the budget and the most critical part of that is Funding the Budget. The finance committee, church council, pastor, and all church leadership must help church members see themselves as stewards rather than donors.
As stewards, church members/ contributors are not in a position to decide how much of their money they wish to donate. Instead, they are stewards seeking to discern how much of God's money with which they are entrusted they will offer on a regular basis. The final step in the annual budgeting cycle is to take Measures throughout the year. After visioning, considering mission, setting expectations, establishing strategies, and developing the appropriate budget, the finance committee needs to establish measures to quantify and qualify how well those goals have been met and how fruitful the specific activities have been in accomplishing the vision and mission of the church. These measures are reported back to the church council and congregation so progress is visible to all and adjustments can be made as necessary and appropriate throughout the year.
Next in this series, I will address different categories of giving. Thanks. Paul
September 2021 Finance Snapshot:
General Fund (GF)
Total GF Income Received as of 9/30/2021: $296,128.48*
Total GF Income Budgeted through 9/30/2021: $327,246.00
Total GF Expenses Paid through 9/30/2021: $284,946.16
Total GF Expenses Budgeted through 9/30/2021: $329,007.21
* Includes $17,043 designated for Heart of Nashua Continued and CARES Act PPP Draw 2 Funds of
$41,352.00 received and used for GF expenses. All Cares Act funds were spent and the bank has
approved our forgiveness application and forwarded it to the SBA for review/approval.
Notes on General Fund
- In September, we paid $100 to each World and New England Missions shares using money donated for missions. This leaves us about five months behind on each with another three months' shares to pay this year.
- Current on expenses other than missions as of 9/30/2021. We made the large property insurance payment due in September.
- General Fund income continued to be low through September.
Heart of Nashua 1 & 2 (GiF) & HON Cont. (Capital Campaign/Elevator, Connector, Renovations)
- Balance Due on HON Loan as of 9/30/2021: approx. $136,890 (Loan was $358,343.45)
- In September the monthly payment was paid. HON Cont. funds on hand 9/30/2021 ($8401.60) will cover payments for about five months.
- Total Paid (including interest) Using HON 1, 2 & Continued as of 9/30/2021: $1,900,505.77
Funding for the Future, 100 for $150 (Endowment) – Received this year as of 9/30/2021: $2125
Anyone can be one of 100 people or families giving $150 each year (or any amount) to grow our endowment for our future.
Parsonage Mortgage – As of 8/31/2021 we owed $65,008.75 on the parsonage. We are paying $896.22 per month. At the present rate, the parsonage will be paid off on 1/23/29.
Your Continuing Help Needed
The General Fund, as always, is the fund that most needs our donations. This funds our programs, covers our building expenses (utilities, maintenance, insurance, etc.) and our staff as well as paying our connectional obligations to the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Thank you to all who support this congregation. Your service and prayers are appreciated and needed. In September we received donations toward the flooring in Kristy's office, landscaping stones and Missions. In October, we received a generous donation to cover snowplowing for the upcoming snow season.
Be sure to set your clocks BACK one hour on Saturday night!!
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