I never wanted to be a Gastroenterologist, but I appreciate the work they do to keep us healthy. A Gastroenterologist found my father's colon cancer in time to save his life. Because of my family history, a Gastroenterologist regularly checks for and removes anything in my own body that even looks like it could become cancer. Inviting a camera into one's intestines is not something we do joyfully. (Preparing for it isn't much fun, either!) But we know that, after a certain age, visiting the Gastroenterologist is critical to keeping us safe and healthy, especially when there is a known risk.
As the person who has chaired the church Safety Committee since well before the pandemic, I can tell you that the work sometimes feels like being the church gastroenterology team. As the people now tasked by the Church Council with responding to the pandemic with policies to keep the church and the wider community as safe as is reasonably possible, our goal is to enable ministry without causing harm to our congregation and the wider community. We know that the work sometimes feels invasive and inconvenient. We are truly doing our best.
We ask for your trust. We are doing all that we can to know the most current, peer-reviewed science and to understand the new policies as they are released. We also ask for your cooperation, even when the changes feel invasive.
With the arrival of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, we are shifting policies again. The Omicron variant is significantly more contagious than the previous ones, and I have personally witnessed the load this is putting on our hospital system and its workers. Local schools, too, are now experiencing an infection rate that is greater than the surrounding community, resulting in school closures due staff shortages. As moral leaders in our community, the church must respond ethically and with the best science available to us.
For all of these reasons, for the next several weeks until the Omicron variant subsides, the Safety Committee is asking the following of the congregation:
If you are able, please stay home and stream worship online. The MIT calculator we use has drastically reduced our recommended building capacity for Omicron. Staying home allows worship space for those who cannot stream worship at home, eliminating the need for pre-registration. If you need to be present for other reasons, you are still welcome.
Please wear surgical masks (or better) when in the building. Cloth masks appear to be insufficient to stop the spread of the Omicron variant. For the benefit of all who are present, surgical masks are available at the back door for your convenience.
If you have a fever or are in the first 5 days of new illness symptoms, please stay home, regardless of vaccination status or home-test results. Home tests appear to be less reliable for detecting Omicron. The more reliable PCR tests are taking 6 or more days for processing, so the 5-day isolation is less onerous than waiting for a negative PCR test and is in keeping with the new state isolation guidelines.
While it is not a policy, I would ask this, too: Please be kind. This is a stressful time and many of us are operating with a hair-trigger. Before unleashing your criticism or refusing to comply with new protocols, take two deep breaths and count to 10. If you still disagree with a policy, please do so through the pastoral staff or Safety Committee, rather than putting Natasha, Emily, Chuck, or Karrie in the uncomfortable position of being asked to interpret or violate the policy. Proper channels matter, and the Safety Committee and I are the proper channels.
Above all else, please remember that this is temporary, and we are all in this together. It is not the same for any of us, but surely, none of us like it. Thousands of years of Church history prove that the Christian commitments to loving God and neighbor is the glue that holds a community together. The church has survived fierce storms before, and I look forward to the day when we can declare that both this wave of Omicron and the pandemic, overall, are history. In the meantime, thank you for taking good care of one another until that day.
Grace and Peace,
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!
Funeral service to be held at Rochette Funeral Home (21 Kinsley St. Nashua) on Friday, January 14th, 2022 with the Rev. Kelly Turney officiating. Due to COVID restrictions, the service at 3:30 pm is limited to family only and friends may pay their respects between 4-6pm.
Beginning in January 2022, New England clergy and laity are invited to register for four online courses taught by Brian and the Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, senior pastor of Middle Collegiate Church in New York City.
For more information, please use the following link:
Our next 8 week worship series through the season of Epiphany is called "Drawn In" and will focus on our creativity in all aspects of life.
We hope to be able to change the artwork on the altar as people bring in pieces to share. If you or a family member, including children, have made something you are willing to loan for a week or so, please drop it off at the church office during Jan. and Feb. with name and any info. we might find interesting about the piece. If you are unable to make a trip to the church,pick up of art work can be arranged.
If you would like to share photos with us, please send them to email@example.com You may see some of your artwork images in the slides during worship.
This week our creative pieces on the altar include two paintings Ginny Bowden made when in school. One is of a snowman, the other of two trees with a hammock hanging between. The wooden ark and animals were made by Kathy Romano. She did an Occupational Therapy internship in the Psychiatric unit of a Children's Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The staff made them as a fundraiser in the wood shop they used for OT. While she was there she helped make many to sell and one to keep.
If you have any creative objects to share for one Sunday on the altar such as pottery, baskets, weaving, sewing, knitting, painting, drawing, wood working, stained glass and the like, please contact Pam firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love children's art and any stories that go along with these creations.
When there is a new fall of snow and a Wolf Moon, (first full moon of the year), that calls for a Trail Adventure!!!
If you are ready to ring in the new year in nature, (howling is optional), join the snowshoe trail adventure on Monday, January 17th at 7:00pm. Meet at the Lincoln Park entrance of Mine Fall Park. Don't forget to bring a thermos of hot chocolate.
Faith Formation Events News
Due to the unpredictability of the weather in Nashua, and the spike in COVID numbers, there will be no Faith Formation events in January and February. A decision about March will be made at a later date. There will be packets available to go along with the current worship series "Drawn In".
If you have an elementary age child (child, grandchild, niece or nephew, or just a friend), please notify the church office: email@example.com or Mavis Pyle at (603-860-9792) and we will provide one. Thank you.
Mavis Pyle, Sunday School Superintendent
Affordable Housing Update: Pastor Kristy
As you may know, Pastor Kristy and others at Main Street UMC have been working with the Nashua Area Interfaith Council's Housing Justice Group and GSOP to advocate for more affordable housing in Nashua. On December 28th, Nashua's Board of Aldermen unanimously approved an amendment to the City's Inclusionary Zoning ordinance, guaranteeing that a greater portion of housing units built and remodeled in Nashua will be affordable to Nashua's workforce. This is good news!
The group will continue working with the city to reform Nashua's housing policies and to adequately fund the City's affordable housing trust to help landlords offer affordable housing to the people who live, work, play and learn in this area.
News From United Methodist Women During our next meeting we will go over our annual budget and do some planning for our spring meetings and events. This meeting will be virtual only. We hope to get the budget information out with the zoom link next week prior to the meeting. If you are not already on the UMW email list and would like to be, please contact Pam at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All are welcome. Please plan to join us and share your ideas for this new year.
Next Meeting Wed. Jan. 19 7PM via Zoom (link to be sent closer to date) Budget and Program Planning for 2022
UMW Sponsored Book Study
Maggie Dechene will be leading a book study for Right Here, Right Now: The Practice of Christian Mindfulness by Amy Oden. There will be an in person group, meeting on Wednesdays in the Vestry, starting on the 5th and finishing on the 26th, from 10:30-11:30 am. There will also be an evening Google meets group on Thursdays the 6th through the 27th, from 7:00 to 8:00 pm. It is NOT too late to join in the discussions.
"Christians have always practiced mindfulness. Yet, from the popular landscape of mindfulness movement, you'd never know that. Where is the Christian voice in this fast-growing movement? Many Christians practice mindfulness outside of church and believe it does not belong to our faith tradition. This book reveals the Christian roots of mindfulness and the actual practices that, when reclaimed, deepen the life of faith and the power of our mission of love in the world. When we understand how radical it is to live in God's presence right here, right now, our lives are transformed toward mercy, justice and abundant life". (Book information provided by Amazon).
Continuing our 40 Year Tradition - Celebrating the Life & Legacy of Martin Luther King
Join First Baptist Church of Nashua for our 40th Annual MLK Celebration!
This year's theme is "Act Justly, Walk Humbly, Love Mercy." The celebration will be hosted online via Zoom on January 15th, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. EST and will feature a variety of speakers and musical selections, including performances by the First Baptist Church Chancel Choir, the New Hampshire Gay Men's Chorus, the Community Interfaith Choir, and soloist Julia Leonard.
Our keynote speaker for this year will be the Rev. June R. Cooper, Theologian in the City at Old South Church, Copley Square in Boston, Massachusetts.
Reverend June Cooper is a social justice education, visionary leader, and Christian minister. Currently, Reverend Cooper serves as the Theologian in the City at Old South Church in Copley Square in Boston MA. June also serves as a Scholar in Residence at City Mission Boston. June served as the Executive Director of City Mission Boston which addresses the most urgent needs of Boston's residents and provides social justice education and residences to ministers, seminarians, and youth. June is an ordained ABC,USA minister and serves on numerous boards including the Northern Baptist Educational Society, the Massachusetts Conference of Baptist Ministers, and Bangor Theological Center.
Interested in attending?
To receive the Zoom link for this year's MLK Celebration, you can email FBC at email@example.com, or you can join the meeting directly on January 15th from our Facebook event here.
We have a team and are ready to have you support or join right in. The Strangely Warm Frogs is our name and we are ready for some winter fun!! If you are interested in joining them on Sunday, February 6th 2022, please use the link listed below.
Attention Runners and Walkers:
From February 5th to the 13th, participants will be challenged to complete a 5K, 10K, or Half Marathon walk/run course with challenge stops along the way that we're calling the "Nashua Nor'Easter Run / Walk".
Runners can compete for the fastest time or the most points by completing individual exercises, including lunges, burpees, squats, pushups, army crawls, etc. Throughout, runners will learn about the many great nonprofits that make up the community safety net because that's where the stops are!
You can donate or join the team by going to the following link:
We are just hopping with enthusiasm and thank you for your support!!
Sunday, January 16th 2022 is Human Relations Day
On Human Relations Day, we partner with other UMC congregations in a special offering to support neighborhood ministries through Community Developers, community advocacy through United Methodist Voluntary Services and work with at-risk youth through the Youth Offender Rehabilitation Programs. Our gifts work together for the common good, building community and sharing God's love. HOW TO GIVE: Write a check to your local church and write "Human Relations Day offering" in the memo line. To give online or set up monthly giving, go to http://umc.org/SSGive
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