This week, Pastor Kelly and I presented to the Nashua Area Interfaith Council about how, as a church, we have changed and been changed by pandemic. This seemed like a simple question, but as we began to review all that this body has done over the last two years to both protect and connect, we were surprised by the number of missional accomplishments of this congregation and its leaders. After years of saying that we wanted to reach more deeply into the community, the pandemic forced this body to do it more and better. We have succeeded!
We took creative church to the streets...and the parks, and the bars and restaurants! We hiked, took art walks, shared communion and meals on the city's sidewalks, blessed animals, decorated hope-trees for Plaid Friday, applied rainbow tattoos for PRIDE, worshipped in the park, and sampled the wares of local brewers, bakers and chefs together. When the bars closed, our four-letter-word signs beamed HOPE, LOVE, and other good news to tired people on the darkened street.
We took creative church to cyberspace. The music team created a cyber-choir with instrumentalists. Youth and adults created beautiful video content for worship and social media. Sermons were preached from mountain tops, fields, beaches and airports. The youth group grew online, meeting throughout the whole pandemic. We learned to pass the Christmas candle and pray at "Gethsemane" virtually. We learned hybrid learning technology through classes, book discussions and a film festival. We streamed major milestone ceremonies around the world, and UMW even figured out how to create a virtual fair. Vacation Bible School leaders learned to do VBS "take-out" style!
We took creative church to the community, supporting civic groups (especially our school board) with our very bodies when they were threatened by those who seek chaos; participating in the city's master planning process; working directly with legislators and civic leaders to create more just and reasonable housing policy; providing pastoral presence at the Longest Night and Longest Day services; and partnering more deeply with organizations that share our compassion for people in crisis, such as ReVive Recovery, the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter, Stepping Stones center for homeless youth, United Way, Granite State Organizing Project and the Nashua Area Interfaith Council.
As hard as it has been at times, this season's hard work and innovation has blossomed into good fruit. We have new members and constituents who value creativity, who want to learn more about Jesus, who desire social justice, and who need streamed worship and classes because they either live out of town or work on Sundays. We have been joined by new volunteers who may align with other faith traditions but who value serving side-by-side with us in the warmth and hospitality of our community. Most importantly, we are becoming better known as people who come out to serve in the spirit of love, rather than people who inhabit "the church that used to have the shrubbery." We have dreamed of this rebirth. We have prayed for this rebirth. Let us celebrate the manifestations of it now!
We know that God isn't finished with us yet. Though the worst of the pandemic seems to be behind us (and we pray that it is), we must commit ourselves to continual discernment of how and what parts of our "new" and "legacy" ministries will come with us into the future. Let's all pray together that we are guided by the Holy Spirit. The best is yet to come.
Memorial donations will go to the building and music endowment funds.
Do you know a friend or family member who may be interested in part-time childcare work during our Sunday worship?
This paid part-time staff position is every Sunday, 9 am to noon, with the possibility of added hours during some Bible studies or church-wide meetings.
Must be 18 years of age and willing to commit for at least one year.
Willingness to submit to a background check and completion of all required forms.
Must take our Child Protection training class.
We have a strong preference to locate someone outside of our church community to allow all of our members to attend Sunday worship services. If you know of someone who may be a suitable candidate, have them send their resume to:
Speaker from Stepping Stones 7 PM Wed. Sept. 21 8 PM Fall Fair planning
Meet in vestry or via Google Meet. (Link is in church calendar on MSUMC website.)
Come learn about this organization that is helping young adults get off to a good start and ways that we can help. If you can stay after the speaker to help us wrap up details for the fair that would be greatly appreciated.
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.
In case any of our members know of people in the Manchester area who might be able to host:
GSOP announces that they are hosting two international community organizing fellows from Albania in October and needs host homes for the two young women who are coming to NH to learn.
They will be in NH from September 30 to October 27. GSOP needs host homes that are in Manchester or have access to public transportation to Manchester. The only requirement for host homes is that each fellow gets their own bedroom.
In the past, our hosts have developed deep and lasting relationships with the fellows they hosted.
Enkeleda has a PhD in Educational Psychology and works with vulnerable children and families in Albania. Anila is a researcher at the Albania Center for Economic Research. (For a bio, please click on a name.) Neither has been in the US before and both are fluent in English.
Please let Sarah Jane Knoy know right away if you can host one or both of these fellows for either the whole month or a few weeks.
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 your recruiter 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!