PREPARING FOR SUNDAY WORSHIP Saturday, 18 July 2020 Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Included in today's update: A Message from Father Keith, the Liturgy for Tomorrow's Worship, Some Sad News, Birthdays in the Week Ahead, and other updates and reminders...


Saturday,18 July 2020

Dear Friends:

"In the midst of life, we are in death"

These words from the Prayer Book have been on my mind over the past few days . . .

I woke on Thursday morning to the news of John Long's sudden and very unexpected death in the night, following a surgical procedure a week before.

This news was accompanied by another phone message from a life-long friend back in Indiana letting me know that his son had died, also suddenly and unanticipated.

Then, mid-morning, a distraught family arrived at my office door, referred to me by a local funeral director whom I also hold as a friend. This grandmother, aunt and uncle came seeking solace and information about burying their 4-year-old granddaughter and niece who had been murdered by her mother in Ohio amidst a bitter custody battle.

Later in the day, I was asked to visit 'Doc' Alpert and Effie. 'Doc' was clearly nearing the end of his time with us and the family asked that I come by the house. It was a quiet visit with the two of them, Nancy and Mercer, sharing in some prayers at his bedside, the reciting of the 23rd Psalm, and a final anointing and laying on of hands. And as you know, he passed, quite peacefully, early on Friday morning.

And on Friday morning, I conducted the graveside service at Whitemarsh Memorial Cemetery for a young woman who had died at her home in Florida, but was returned back here to Pennsylvania where she had grown up to be buried near her family.

In difficult times such as these, I am deeply grateful that I am a person of faith, able to fall back on the hope and truth of Christ's Resurrection and the promise of eternal life that wondrous event gives to all who believe in him. How, I often wonder, does one who does not have that faith in the Risen and Ascended Christ get through times such as these?

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, confusing and anxious times.

- Keith




The grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ,

the love of God,

and the communion of the Holy Spirit

be with you. Alleluia!

And also with you. Alleluia! Alleluia!


Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


Gracious God: through your Fatherly goodness, make Church of the Messiah a Christian community united to serve others; enrich our life in Christ, that we might celebrate and share Christ’s love with the world; and send your Holy Spirit to give us strength and courage to proclaim the Good News of your grace through word and deed. Amen.


Genesis 28:1-19a; Romans 8:12-25 Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43


O Lord, you have searched me out and known me; *

you know my sitting down and my rising up;

you discern my thoughts from afar.

You trace my journeys and my resting place, *

and are acquainted with all my ways.

Indeed, there is not a word on my lips, *

but you, O Lord, know it completely.

You press upon me behind and before, *

and lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; *

it is so high that I cannot attain it.

Where can I go then from your Spirit? *

Where can I flee from your presence?

If I climb up to heaven, you are there; *

if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.

If I take the wings of the morning *

and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

Even there your hand will lead me, *

and your right hand hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me, *

and the light around me turn to night,”

Darkness is not dark to you;

the night is as bright as the day; *

darkness and light to you are both alike.

Search me out, O God, and know my heart; *

try me and know my restless thoughts.

Look well whether there be any wickedness in me *

and lead me in the way that is everlasting.


I believe in God, the Father Almighty,

Creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.

He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit,

and born of the Virgin Mary.

He suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died and was buried.

He descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again.

He ascended into heaven,

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of Saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.



Response: Hear us, O God.


O God, who created all peoples in your own image, we thank you for the wonderful diversity of races and peoples who have come together in this great nation, and strengthened our culture with the many gifts, talents, perspectives and flavors they have each brought and shared. Enrich our lives by ever-widening circles of fellowship, abolish all prejudices that separate us, open our eyes to recognize, and acknowledge, and celebrate your presence in those who differ most from us, until our knowledge of your love is made perfect in our love for all your children; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


O God, our times are in your hands: Look with favor, we pray, on these your servants as they begin another year. Grant that they may grow in wisdom and grace, and strengthen their trust in your goodness all the days of their life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

July 20 .... Jessica Ryan, Vicky Fogel

July 22 .... Steve Miller

July 23 .... Rebecca Kaelin

July 24 .... Mark Ault


Be sure to check out the weekly music and carillon recordings. Go to the Gallery tab on the parish website; select videos; there you will find hymns selected for the day, along with the ringing of Messiah's church bells. This music is presented each week by Hannah Albrecht, Sam Frenkel and friends. Thank you, Hannah and Sam - and all who contribute each week!


Each week, the text of the Sunday sermon is posted to the website. Feel free to print it out if you find that helpful. And perhaps you might also print a copy and send to someone who doesn't have computer access. This would be greatly appreciated and provide a way for these parishioners to also stay connected.


Bishop Gutierrez continues to broadcast Sunday morning Eucharist services. You can watch at 9 a.m. on YouTube or Facebook, and any time afterward on the Diocesan Website.


Thank you to all of you who have dropped off or sent in your pledge over the past several weeks! Your faithfulness has allowed us to stay current with payroll and bill payment. Can it really be the middle of July already? - please remember to submit this month's pledge.

Thank you!

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