FROM THE RECTOR
Friday, 20 March 2020
This has been quite a week . . . schools and churches closed, bars and restaurants curtailed, most activities and events cancelled, gatherings of over 10 prohibited, mixed and confusing and rapidly changing messages from all quarters and "experts" . . .
Personally, what has most caught my attention has been the pervasive quiet that seems to have caught everyone and everything in its embrace. Every aspect of our life has been affected and subdued. Not since 9/11 do I remember such all-encompassing silence. But in that silence, I have noticed other sounds that I often overlook - or sounds that perhaps just cannot compete with the usual noise of our modern day-by-day: the early spring songs of the birds are brighter, the laughter of children at play in the church parking lot across from our home are a delight, the greetings over the backyard fence from neighbors I haven't seen all winter are welcome . . .
I was talking with a parishioner a couple of days back who told me that she is actually relishing these quieter, less hectic, less overly-full, stay-close-to-home days. Since that conversation, I find my outlook has changed and I too am welcoming this forced slow-down. May you also come to find this time to be a gift rather than an imposition.
Please make it a point to consult the church website (messiahgwynedd.org) on a regular basis. There you will find the latest updates, worship resources, a weekly sermon and reflection, and other important information.
In the name of our savior Jesus Christ,
and our God who wants only health and wholeness for his children,
I send you blessings, peace and grace in these uncertain and anxious times.
FROM OUR BISHOP
Bishop Gutierrez is writing a daily reflection for the duration of this COVID-19 disruption. You can sign up to receive these daily messages by going to the diocesan website: diopa.org. Also at the site, you can find updates and other resources published by the diocesan staff to assist you and your family.
MESSIAH OFFICE HOURS
For the safety of church staff members, I have instructed them to work from home as much as possible. During this time, I will have church office hours from 9:00am to 1:00pm, Monday through Thursday, for the purpose of answering the phone, returning phone messages, and replying to emails.
IN THE EVENT OF A PASTORAL EMERGENCY OUTSIDE THESE HOURS: Please contact the Rector on his cell phone: 215-692-2667, or personal email: .firstname.lastname@example.org
DINE & DONATE CONTINUES
Monday & Tuesday, 23 & 24 March
Even in the midst of a pandemic, you still gotta eat! Why not satisfy your hunger and benefit your parish at the same time!
ANTHONY'S COAL FIRED PIZZA
(in the shopping center at the corner of DeKalb PIke & Skippack Pike)
960 DeKalb Pike
Blue Bell, PA
With eat-in dining being curtailed, you can still take part through using the delivery or pick-up options. Anthony's menu can be accessed online. Then simply call in your order - 610-275-2625 - and tell them that you are participating in the Church of the Messiah fundraiser. This will ensure that the parish receives the 20% donation from your order.
PLEASE REMEMBER YOUR PLEDGE
While Sunday church services and parish events are suspended, the bills still arrive and must be paid. We will be most grateful if you would remember to drop off your church pledge during the office hours listed above, or send your payment to: Church of the Messiah, 1001 DeKalb Pike, Lower Gwynedd, PA 19002-1941. Thank you!
A TIME TO SERVE
During these troubling, confusing and uncertain times, please be aware of others around you who may need your heightened attention and care - neighbors, friends, even members of your extended family. Greater awareness and compassion for others may be a welcome and unexpected by-product of this difficult situation.
An unexpected phone call or long-overdue note to someone may be appreciated more than you can ever know.
Double that chili or soup recipe and take a meal to someone who will be grateful, not just for the food your bring, but for the attention you give them.
Going to the store yourself? How about checking in with an elderly neighbor who may need some milk or eggs or bread as well.
Is there someone you know who might welcome a ride - and the company and conversation - to a medical or other appointment?
WORDS OF COMFORT FROM THE ANCIENT PSALMIST
Frank James, Dean of Missio Seminary in Philadelphia and member of our Messiah community, sent the following with a note that he and his wife, Carolyn, have been using the following psalm verses as a meditation . . .
I look up to the mountains - does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!
He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers nor sleeps.
The Lord himself watches over you!
The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night.
The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.