I was talking to a member this morning about the wisdom that can come when in the presence of trees. A walk in the forest, when you are awake and aware, can bring whispers of revelation. I certainly appreciate the trees of Mine Falls Park in my morning runs. This time of year is especially fantastic because you can see the structure, the pattern of the trunks, the branches reaching out.
The Confirmation Class is working on bringing our attention to the ordinary moments of living to discover God moments, the movement of the spirit, the call to make the situation more kind, more fair, more just.
Here's an article about forest bathing from the Marie Kondo folks who believe that decluttering our lives can bring us joy. Joy is the candle we light in the Advent wreath this Sunday. May we take a walk in the woods (even in our imaginations) –to clear away all that keeps from making room for Christ to be born anew in us this Christmas. https://konmari.com/shinrin-yoku-a-case-for-forest-bathing/
And if you'd like to go for a walk with me in Mine Falls Park, let me know...that can be arranged.
-- Pastor Kelly
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!
We at Main Street UMC are so looking forward to celebrating Christmas with you this year! The chaos and uncertainty of pandemic have, perhaps more than ever, prepared us for the coming of Emmanuel. We need to experience God with us now!
In order to include as many people as possible in our Christmas Eve celebration, we will live-stream our Christmas Eve service at 7:00 p.m. on Facebook and YoutubeLive. The church website: https://www.mainstreet-umc.org/will provide links for joining the service online.
If you feel the need to be present in the sanctuary for the service, 100 people (including worship leaders, etc.) may pre-register to attend with masks and physical distancing, beginning on Sunday, December 5th at 1:00 p.m. and ending on December 23rd at noon. Those who wish to register for in-person worship only may do so at the following link...
...or by calling Pastor Kristy at 603-882-3361 x16 and leaving a message.
We look forward to celebrating the birth of Christ with you online and in person!
Beloved in Christ:
The Holiday season began with Thanksgiving gratitude. We are here, living these God-given lives. God is with us in the messiness of our times. Ingenuity from God's creative energy is serving churches well as we adapt. Stick-to-itiveness flowing from faith is evident in our leaders and congregations. We look forward to the NEAC's 2021 After Christmas recorded worship for seasonal use.
It is another strange season! Do you feel the absurdity of seeing COVID numbers rise while vaccinations also rise? It's a natural response to ask, "Is this working?" even when we know that vaccinations, masks, and clean air exchange do indeed work. These are tools in the battle to overcome the virus' spread.
We experience the paradox of being inundated with information daily, yet still not finding everything we want and need to know. We feel a pile-on of stresses. We may experience what social scientists now call, "languishing," a loss of motivation and energy to deal with long-term challenges.
Then we remember the mess that Jesus was born into; the raw reality of the nativity, the ominous first-century political environment, a young family fleeing from violence into the land of their ancestors' captivity. In the face of adversity, as those who follow the God revealed in Jesus Christ, we are called to the hopeful kind of response modeled by Mary and Joseph.
We remember the future our Creator promises:
"See, the homeof God is among mortals. God will dwellwith them; they will be [God's] people, and God will be with them; [God] will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away." — Revelation 21.3b-4
We're not powerless as God shepherds us through this mess. There are things we can do such as:
Stay calm as new SARS COVID 19 variants are identified.
Listen to science as researchers learn.
Identify specific things you can do at different points on the continuum of cases rising and falling and share your ideas.
For example, in worship you can clap, stomp, snap, or hand drum when conditions prevent singing.
In fellowship, can bring encouragement and joy. Perhaps choose a school or medical facility each week to support their staff. Practice prayer that offers anxieties to God and receives God's empowering Spirit.
Collect and tell stories of resilience. Be a witness to God's work.
Take time to grieve well the losses you've experienced.
Send support and encouragement to hospital workers.
Allow gratitude for small things to find a place in your day.
Have a Blessed Advent, New England Conference Re-Entry Team Karen L. Munson, Jill Colley Robinson, Taesung Kang, Rick McKinley, and Beth DiCocco
Calling children of all ages (young and young at heart) who enjoy caroling! The children's Faith Formation this month is an intergenerational, church-wide event. We invite you to join us in singing Christmas Carol's in front of the church on Saturday, December 18th at 1:00pm. Children in attendance will receive an activity booklet along with candy canes--one to eat and one to give away! And remember that you can bring your gently-used toys for our Saver's donation to this event. We hope to see you there!
During Advent, our children's time series is reminding us to make room for Jesus, the one who matters most. One way our younger congregants can do this in a concrete way is by donating their gently-used toys. We are collecting toys to be donated to Savers, a local for-profit company and secondhand store that pays nonprofit organization for the goods you donate, which in turn helps the nonprofits fund programs in our community. There will be a collection box on the first floor of the connector. The final day for collection will be Sunday, December 26th. Children and families are also welcome to bring their donations to our next Faith Formation on Saturday, December 18th from 1-3pm. We hope you make some physical room for Jesus while also making spiritual room for Jesus. Thank you!
Vaccine Volunteer Opportunity:
The State of NH is looking for a few volunteers on Saturday, December 11th to help them with at a Vaccine Booster Clinic at the Milford Armory at 154 Osgood Street, Milford from 8am to 4pm. If you 'd like to help, please sign up here: https://prd.blogs.nh.gov/dos/hsem/?page_id=13212
Photos can also be sent to the Main Office and you might be surprised to see it on our slides one week! Thank you for your participation.
Pastor Kristy will join us to share what she has been working on in the community for housing justice, highlighting YIMBY groups (Yes In My Back Yard). She will also update us on what local agencies are currently looking for in volunteers.
This meeting is open to the congregation and friends. You need not be part of UMW. Please contact Pam Breniser firstname.lastname@example.org leave a message with the church office if you plan to attend in person, we can have up to 20 people.
Missions News for December
Heart of Nashua Food Assistance Ministry: This year, the Missions Work Area will provide gift certificates to our New American Families instead of assembling boxes. We encourage those families, as well as anyone in the Nashua area who needs food, to go to the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter during the week before Christmas for Holiday boxes.
If you wish to help provide the gift certificates for purchasing gift cards for our New American families, you can add a check to the church into your envelope with "Christmas basket gift cards" in the notes line. Many thanks to those who have continued to support the food pantry. This money has been used to purchase Thanksgiving gift cards for 20 families. Gift cards will allow them to have traditional foods or some of the basics that an ordinary food basket will not provide. Thank you for your assistance. Special thanks to Beatrice Bahati for making sure that families in need get the cards.
Gifts for the King: We do not have a special tree with individual children and their needs on a tree this year. However, the Nashua Soup Kitchen has a wish list for children. NSKS is requesting hats, water resistant gloves/mittens, and snow pants in various sizes for children in our community. Check out their Amazon wish list for easy shopping. https://a.co/8JRilkwYou can shop on the Amazon site (or use it for ideas) or just donate warm winter items for children. We will have a bin available at church in the lobby. And of course if you knit children's hats, you know what to do!! You can also shop for good heavy winter socks for youth and adults in our community. There is a separate sock bin in the lobby.
Do you have furniture you would like to donate? We have partnered with the Congregational Church of Amherst and their homestarter program. Our youth are able to take advantage of this resource when they move into their first apartments. They will even pick up donations and deliver furniture to the youth.
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.
Let's have some vocabulary fun! Acronyms are accepted.
Deadline for entries is Sunday, December 19th.
Coming in January: HALF TRUTHS by Adam Hamilton -- Combined youth and adult class
The confirmation class and the adult Vestry class will join for this series, exploring popular sayings that miss the point. They are simple phrases: "God helps those who help themselves," "Love the sinner, hate the sin," and others. They sound Christian - like something you might find in the Bible. We've all heard these words. Maybe we've said them. They capture some element of truth, yet they miss the point in important ways. Discover the whole truth by comparing common Christian clichés with the wisdom found in Scripture.
This video-based class will be led by Paul Pederzani and/or Pastor Kelly, and lively discussion is assured! Starts Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m., January 2nd-30th, 2022.
TOP FOUR 2021 TAX HINTS
1. Save your donation receipts. The 2021 IRS CARES Act provides a $600.00 charitable deduction for a married couple and a $300.00 deduction for an individual.
2. Direct charitable gifts from your IRA to a qualified charity without being taxed on the distribution for those over the age of 70 1/2 and who have an IRA account. Call us to find out more about this wonderful opportunity.
3. Gift your appreciated stocks or mutual funds to your church to avoid paying a capital gains tax. The stock market has done well this year so to simplify the transaction, you can gift the stock to the Foundation. We will process the gift, then send the sale proceeds to your church.
4. Talk to us about the Foundation's charitable gift plans. If your tax planner suggests making a large tax-deductible charitable gift to help lower your tax bill, the Foundation can work with you and your advisors to maximize both your gift and tax benefits through either our Donor Advised Fund, Donor Endowment Fund, or Gift Annuities.
Contact Gary Melville at 800-595-4347 x103 with any questions ?or if you would like to arrange a gift planning consultation.
2022 Giving Envelopes
Due to the high surplus of envelopes from previous years that have not been used, the Finance Committee has made the decision not to order dated and numbered envelopes for 2022.
Instead, previous years envelopes are being recycled with dates and envelope numbers marked out. These are available in the church lobby in two different package sets for pickup at your convenience. For those wishing to give weekly, the boxes contain 52 envelopes. For those wishing to give monthly, a 12 envelope set is also available. When using these recycled envelopes please print your assigned envelope number and name on the envelope, and date if desired, so your contribution can be accurately recorded and tracked.
Going forward, when envelopes will eventually need to be reordered, those will be generic envelopes without dates or numbers so we can prevent future waste and be more cost effective.
As a reminder, contributions can also be made online through PayPal or Vanco or by check from your bank or financial institution. Bill Patterson also asked me to remind retirees that they can give through a Qualified Charitable Deduction from their IRA which has the additional advantage to the giver that it becomes non-taxable.
Thank you for your generosity and understanding.
Paul Curtis MSUMC Financial Secretary
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