Happy New Year!! Pastor Kristy gave us a powerful opportunity last Sunday with the Wesley Covenant Renewal service to start the year off right. And our new series offers us a chance to be drawn into God's vision for ourselves and for our world in 2022. To get through this recent surge of infections, we'll need to understand ourselves as creative beings who can find creative ways to weather these trying times together. We'll need to acknowledge that we have a calling to co-create a more just and generous world -- and that begins with how we respond in a crisis. What kind of neighbor will we be to an overburdened health care system? What kind of disciples will we be in a region where uncivil behavior is seen at meetings where elected officials try to serve the public good and in grocery stores.
Bishop Beverly J. Shamana, challenged the church to affirm the creative gifts as sacred pathways to a deeper companionship with God and a way to a more vital discipleship. In her book, Seeing in the Dark, she encouraged readers to get re-acquainted with the God-given creativity that IS within.
It seems to be common knowledge that by the time persons reach adolescence, they have been "socialized" out of much of their innate creativity. By the time we reach adulthood, many of us feel that we have no creativity at all. This book begs to differ and encourages readers to get re-acquainted with the God-given creativity that IS within.
We have the ability to creatively respond to this crisis, together. Let's be drawn-in to what is possible with Christ.
-- 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!
Earlier this year, we joined together with author and activist, Brian McLaren, to study his latest book, "Faith After Doubt."What a great experience!
After hearing so many requests for more time with Brian, we reached out to him and his colleagues at Convergenceto explore next steps.
Now we are excited to announce that 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 would like to fill the altar with a collection of artistic pieces that will change somewhat each week. If you have pottery, a basket, painting, photography, weaving or the like, that you or a family member has made and would be willing to share with the congregation for a week or so, please bring it to the church office any time during January and February. Be sure your name and any interesting information about the piece is with it.
If you would like to share photos with us, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org You may see some of your artwork images in the slides during worship.
Our worship theme for the next few weeks looks into the creativity we all have and the different ways we express it. This week features pieces from several of our congregation members. We have a basket woven by Karen Tutt; pottery hand thrown by Kathy Romano; a watercolor entitled "Not Quite Twins", painted by Lynn Moseley of two waterfalls; and an oil seascape painted by Nick Long. These may bring to mind baptism, also a theme of this week's worship.
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.
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.
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 lively discussion is assured! Starts Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m., January 9th-30th, 2022.
News From United Methodist Women At our December meeting, Rev. Kristy Besada spoke to the group about the lack of affordable housing in the Nashua area. Through her previous position and the Front Door Agency, involvement with Granite State Organizing Project (GSOP) and Interfaith networking, she is steeped in the issues people face while trying to find housing. Go to Nashua.gov to see the recent city housing study.
There are ways we can get involved to help the situation. YIMBY groups (Yes In My Back Yard) are forming to attend city planning and zoning board meetings and be a visible and audible presence in support of planned affordable housing. Nashua is developing an Affordable Housing Trust Fund that will be used as incentive to developers to make a certain percentage of their housing projects affordable. You don't need to live in Nashua to participate. Start a YIMBY group in your city or town to offset the people who say NIMBY (not in my backyard). For more information on how to get involved or start a group, contact Kristy at firstname.lastname@example.org call her at the church office Mon.-Thurs. during office hours.
We are a 2021 Mission Today Organization Our local UMW unit has qualified as a Mission Today Organization at the Bronze level by completing goals in several areas. We added at least two new members, held a program that implemented the Charter for Racial Justice in one way, prayed for our missionaries monthly through the prayer chain, contributed a pledge to mission through the greater UMW organization. We helped plan a Children's Sabbath worship service; had at least three women participate in the reading program; two people attended the spring UMW district meeting; at least two women volunteered at a local Food Bank, Feeding program, Women's shelter, etc., that support women and children.
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.
"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.
This is an event that Pastor Kelly and some of the confirmands are interested in participating in. It would be great if we could form a MSUMC team!! If you are interested in joining them on Sunday, February 6th 2022, please contact the Main Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
The money raised will go to the Safety Net Programs, which is supporting a wide range of needs and people. Runners "win" by doing something great for themselves as well as the community at large! Awards, incentives, and raffles are bonuses available to participants too! It will culminate with a Celebration at Boston Billiards Club & Casino on February 17th.
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
November 2021 Finance Snapshot:
General Fund (GF) Total GF Income Received as of 11/30/21: $374,006.44* Total GF Income Budgeted through 11/30/2021: $404,064 Total GF Expenses Paid through 11/30/2021: $346,145.84 Total GF Expenses Budgeted through 11/30/2021: $404,250.27 * Includes $22,727 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 we received forgiveness from the SBA for the loan which is marked "Paid."
Notes on General Fund - In November we paid a full month each to World and New England Missions shares. This leaves us about six month's short on each. (Total amount still to be paid in 2021 is $11,507.34. We received $1220 towards missions in November.) - Except for mission shares and some obligations not yet received, we are current on other expenses.
Heart of Nashua 1 & 2 (GiF) & HON Cont. (Capital Campaign/Elevator, Connector, Renovations) - Balance Due on HON Loan as of 11/30/2021: $134,296 (Loan was $358,343.45) - In November the monthly payment was paid. HON Cont. funds on hand 11/30/2021 ($10,546.54) will cover payments for six months. - Total Paid (including interest) Using HON 1, 2 & Continued as of 11/30/2021: $1,904,044.83
Funding for the Future, 100 for $150 (Endowment) – Received this year as of 11/30/2021: $2465 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 10/30/2021 we owed $63,811.72 on the parsonage. Payments are $896.22 per month. At the present rate, the parsonage will be paid off on 1/23/29. We have used income from the Scrip gift card program to pay extra on the mortgage principal.
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 connectional obligations to the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church. This fund can be used to pay any expense rather than being directed to specific uses.
Thank You Thank you to all who support this congregation. In November, we received extra giving to support the general fund, missions, and to help provide a salary in 2022/2023 for our associate pastor. Thanks to those who donated to Heart of Nashua Continued supporting the connector and elevator renovation. We are grateful for those who pledged for 2022. We are thankful that some were able to increase their pledges. There is still time to pledge.
Early Reminder If possible, please send in year-end donations as early as possible to allow time to deposit and use them to pay our obligations.
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