MSUMC has made a lot of technical changes over this pandemic. According to the Rev. Brian McLaren, "technical changes are important and they matter." That was part of the class last night that Pam, Peggy, and I attended. The class began last fall with several sessions, then we took the summer off but now we've started back with a session called "Curating Change" where McLaren spoke of the church's deep resistance to change.
But there's another kind of change that these trying times require – adaptive change. Adaptive change is more unknown, uncertain and messy. It's the kind of change that requires a change of ideas and attitudes. It requires an internal change in ourselves.
Last Sunday we talked about how change often begins with loss and grief. Brian said it begins with pain. For the snake shedding its skin, change begins with discomfort.
I've been involved in congregational consultation at the national level with a lot of churches across denominations talking about what this will mean for local congregations. In part, it will mean re-visioning our mission and re-developing our building use. And we've begun that process. And we hope to soon receive a grant from Homeland Security to help improve and secure access to our facility for a broader group of organizations. But it's a long-term process. There's a fabulous vision here but these processes of change are difficult and time-consuming.
There is so much happening at MSUMC that we can celebrate – more collaborations with other agencies, more ministries with populations in need, more visibility in the community, more advocacy for affordable housing and community needs through, mostly, Pastor Kristy's ministry as a deacon.
We have more people joining us (both officially in membership and in willingness to be a partner in worship and ministry). Previously unchurched people are liking what they see and are returning to the church through MSUMC. We've got several weddings, babies being baptized, and more online engagement and worshipers.
Those who have made financial pledges to this ministry have been so faithful in their on-going giving. Even those who have found these last few years more financially challenging continue to invest – and in many cases, in higher proportions than those who have weathered these years more easily. People have offered second-mile gifts and personally financed items. Amazing. Thanks!
And yet, in our budget process we are reminded, again and again, that we are short on funds. Like many–perhaps all–churches, we cannot fund our budget with the giving of members alone. This has always been true. Fundraisers, building use fees, and other income streams are necessary to balance church budgets. And we have been lacking those things during the pandemic.
So much of our budget is hardcoded–things we have little control of: personnel salaries/insurance/pension, mission shares, utilities, memberships & licensing, online requirements, copyright, and children's Sunday School curriculum. Even if we cut all our program ministries, it wouldn't be enough to balance our budget. And to do so, we wouldn't be the church with a heart in the heart of Nashua.
Brian McClaren asked: "How do we think of these times as an opportunity and not as an interruption. Looking back, what did we learn as a congregation?"
So I invite you to consider those questions. And to pray for this church in its budget and visioning process. And the Swahili-language congregation, who used to worship in this building, has asked that we pray with them for the next month as they re-form their congregation with a plan to return in November.
As change swirls around us and within us, let us lean in and on one another.
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!
The Weirs would appreciate an RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to have an idea of food, but it's not necessary. Friends and family welcome!
You may be worried about the asphalt plant being proposed for Temple Street here in Nashua.
The good news is - it is just a proposal and we can stop this pollution from coming into our community.
Please join GSOP tomorrow - Friday September 23rd - from 8 to 9 am on the sidewalk at East Hollis and Arlington Streets for a visibility action to raise awareness about this dangerous proposal and its possible heath effects.
Please contact the Nashua Planning Board at email@example.com to let them know this use is not compatible with our community, our schools or our churches. The Planning Board meets every other Thursday at Nashua City Hall at 7 pm. The meetings are open to the public. The asphalt plant proposal may be discussed on October 6, October 20 and /or November 3. Show up and use your voice!
Below is the link for the FACT SHEET (English & Spanish) about the proposal and the possible hazards of asphalt plants.
General Fund (GF) Total GF Revenue from YTD Receipts Available General Fund (GF) Total GF Revenue from YTD Receipts Available 8/31/2022 YTD: $271,752.72 Total GF Revenue Budgeted through 8/31/2022: $313,261.92 Total GF Expenses Paid through 8/31/2022: $267,001.37 Total GF Expenses Budgeted through 8/31/2022: $305,198.30
Notes on General Fund We are current on payments due through August to suppliers. In August, we paid one half of our monthly amounts due for New England and World Missions. This brings us to having six and a half months paid of our annual amount for these two missions. In September we must pay a bit over $6000 in property insurance. Finances will be quite tight in September and through year end.
Heart of Nashua 1 & 2 (GiF) & HON Cont. (Capital Campaign/Elevator, Connector, Renovations) - Balance due on HON Loan as of 8/31/2022: $126,406.79 (Loan was $358,343.45) - In August the monthly payment of $883 was paid. HON Cont. funds on hand 8/31/2022: $8288.16 - Loan pay off date is 2/8/2039. - Total Paid (including interest) Using HON 1, 2 & Continued as of 8/31/2022: $1,914,764.89
Funding for the Future, 100 for $150 (Endowment) – Received this year as of 8/31/2022: $1600 Anyone can be one of 100 people or families giving $150 (or any amount) each year to grow our endowment for the future of this church. If you donate to this, please mark your check or envelope "Funding for the Future."
Parsonage Mortgage – As of 8/31/2022 we owed approximately $57,700 on the parsonage. The parsonage mortgage will be paid off on 1/23/29.
Thank You We are grateful for all donations given. Your donations help us continue the mission of the church. We appreciate those who continue to donate to help cover the renovation loan payments, missions and provide funds to cover utilities, salaries, and supplies needed to support our work. We are especially grateful for those who volunteer their time and talent to support the church.
Expenses Most of our expenses are paid from general fund money. Donations are always needed and welcomely received for this fund. Budget planning for 2023 has started so we are busy working on funding the balance of 2022 and 2023. We need your help and support to meet these goals.
Remember, you can give from your IRA Tax-Free this year!
Are you 70 1/2 or older? Do you have an IRA? A Qualified Charitable Distribution (OCD) is a tax-smart way to make an impact to Mainstreet UMC by allowing your dollars to go further. Start your end-of-calendar-year-planning early to take advantage of this opportunity for 2022 and each year thereafter.
Why Consider this type of Gift?
The value of these gifts will not be counted as part of your adjusted gross income, so you will not pay income taxes on the amount distributed directly as gifts.
Keeping your taxable income lower may reduce the impact to certain tax credits and deductions, including Social Security and Medicare.
Beginning in the year you turn 72, you can use your gift to satisfy all or part of your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD), which must be taken and/or spent each year.
The tax benefit does not depend on itemizing.
You can also name Mainstreet UMC as a beneficiary for all or a percentage of your IRA. Because MSUMC is tax-exempt, there are both income tax and estate tax benefits.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION for those donating items to the fair:
If you are baking something for the Bake Table or Cookie Walk there are some city food guidelines. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get the list.
Baked items can be brought in on Friday or early Sat. morning.
Used items for Grandma's attic, used adult and children's books and puzzles or craft items to be sold can be brought in to the church starting Sun. Oct. 9 after the 10:30 worship service, and up through Thurs. Oct. 13 during church office hours.
If another time is needed please email umwfair20@gmailcom.
Please mark clearly if items are for Grandma's attic or a craft area.
A suggested price for crafts is helpful.
Please include your name if you would like any unsold items to be returned to you.
We appreciate your donations!
Kathy Romano will have the fair volunteer signup sheet available on Sunday morning at church.
Every year, Main Street Church has thrown open its doors for the Downtown Nashua Winter Holiday Stroll. This is a perfect opportunity for us to welcome our community a give them glimpse of what we are all about. Do you know where the sanctuary is? Do you know where the restrooms are? Then you are qualified!
In order for us to register as a venue, we need a minimum of 9 committed volunteers for the evening (three two-hour shifts of three people each).This is complicated somewhat in that it would not be reasonable to enforce a mask requirement for the general public for this event, therefore volunteers would need to be comfortable in large presumably unmasked crowds though as a volunteer you are encouraged to wear a mask based up on your comfort and typical practice.
Church Venue Host/Hostess
Your presence is simply to provide assistance/directions to visitors who will be attending the entertainment hosted in the sanctuary. Help us put a good foot forward as the community visits us to enjoy our Chancel Choir and other entertainment. Direct visitors to the sanctuary venue, restrooms, and other activities in the church.
How You Can Help!
Volunteer for one (or more) of the 2-hour timeslots available during the stroll. No experience necessary. Contact Jerry Harrow to commit to volunteering and enable us to participate as a venue. For more information contact Jerry at 673-6024 or Jerry.Harrow@mainstreet-umc.org.
City Year New Hampshire is recruiting young adults to serve as tutors and mentors!
Not only will these mentors help students grow academically and socially, they'll gain valuable work experience and join an inclusive, supportive community. It's paid, fulltime, and has a $4,500 grant for future education and weekly professional development days.
Know someone? Interested in serving yourself? Fill out this form: https://bit.ly/cynhrec1 City Year would love to meet them and consider together this life-changing opportunity. They're accepting applications now for positions that start in October—apply by Sept. 27—or any future academic year. Please take a moment to nominate someone you know.
Join us this September for 30 days of antiracism. Each day we will engage in an activity that helps us to become more antiracist in the ways we think and act. Share your progress with a picture or a reflection using #30DaysAntiRacism.
GREATER NASHUA CROP Hunger Walk: "We walk because they walk." This is our 38th year! The walk will take place on Sunday, October 30th beginning and ending at Temple Beth Abraham, 4 Raymond Street in Nashua. Registration is from 12 to 1pm with opening ceremonies at 1pm and stepping out at 1:30pm. Registration and celebration are in the TBA tent to keep us safe.
The Greater Nashua Area CROP Hunger Walk has raised over one million dollars in its previous 38 years. We now have 21 teams and last year we raised $57084! Each of our 5 recipient agencies received $2849. The money raised fights hunger and poverty around the world and locally and provides refugee and disaster relief through Church World Service. The Nashua Area Interfaith Council sponsors the event.
You can also find us on Facebook! Just look for Nashua Cropwalk.
To sign up, see Mission Co-chairs, Jennifer or Maggie to make sure that you have all the tools you need to be a CROP walker! (Each team or faith community has a recruiter.) You can also "walk on the web." Your recruiter will set up a team page on the website or you can start your own team and raise money online. Just google Greater Nashua Crop Hunger Walk or go to this link: https://events.crophungerwalk.org/2022/event/nashuanh
If you can't walk, be sure to sponsor a walker, or make a team donation. We can also always use volunteer help at the event if your feet aren't made for walking!