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THE RECTOR'S MESSAGE Thursday, 30 July 2020

Included in today's update: A Message from Father Keith, Will They Come Back?, New Vestry Members, Property Upgrades, Forward Day By Day, Food Assistance, Recipes Needed,

Various Reminders and a Prayer & Psalm for the Week


Thursday, 30 July 2020

Dear Friends:

I continue to be dismayed at the televised images of people who refuse to wear a mask or practice social distancing. How, I wonder, did we get to the point where the sensible request to wear a face covering became a declaration of a political affiliation or a statement regarding personal liberty? Other countries do not have this problem and their infection counts and death tallies show the wisdom of their compliance. PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! For your own safety and that of all those around you: wear a mask whenever in public; practice adequate social distancing; practice good hand hygiene.

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


Every priest and pastor I speak with these days has the same question: Having become accustomed to online worship services, will our parishioners actually return to sit in

the pews once we can safely reopen and resume in-person worship? Or will congregants prefer to attend Sunday worship services while wearing their pj's and enjoying a cup of coffee in front of their computer? Believe me, it is a legitimate question that I entertain more and more these days.

Which is probably why I find a recent YouTube posting that has gone viral so poignant, as well as entertaining. Check out the following link: Or simply Google "Priest does Hamilton" for a real treat. So very clever!

And remember: in the words of King George III, "You'll be back!" . . . I hope!


Mercer Sisson has accepted the invitation to serve a three-year term on the vestry. He joins Tim Beaver, Jennifer Marsh and Jon Marshall as the new class of parishioners filling this important ministry for the upcoming years, Thank you to all of you for your willingness to serve!


The next time you are on the church campus, drive slowly past the door facing Dekalb Pike

and around the right-hand curve that leads past the handicapped ramp and entrance. You

won't want to miss the new landscaping! What a wonderful improvement and highlight to enhance the beauty of the church building!

The new sidewalk leading from the parking lot to the church has been completed,

eliminating the tripping hazard that previously existed. And soon, the new pole lamps will

be installed along that walkway.

You will also notice new traffic signs posted to direct traffic around the campus and

parking lot.

Thank you, Marv Walters, property chair, and our church sexton, Mike Linn, for making these upgrades happen.

And many thanks to Tina Madison for filling the various pots located around the church and parish hall buildings with new plants and summer flowers.


The new Forward devotional booklets for the months of August, September and October are here! If you are one of the many parishioners who rely on this booklet of short daily devotions to enhance your spiritual and prayer life, they are available for pick-up her in the church office. If you are not able to come into the office, give us a call (215-699-9204) or send an email ( and we will gladly put one in the mail to you.


While other mission teams have had to cancel their trips due to the viral pandemic, the team at Adventures in Mission/Guatemala, the organization that hosted our Messiah team continue to do what they can to minister to the poorest villagers in that country. Angela and Miguel, a young married couple who served as our mission team coordinators, are making and distributing food packages to the people of Jocotenango, located near Finca Fikladelfia, the coffee plantation we toured on our last day before returning stateside.

What is included in a care package: staples such as beans, rice, and oil; fresh fruits and vegetables; toilet paper (when available) and other health needs.

How the package distribution works: families in need of food hang a white flag outside their door. Angela and Miguel go door-to-door, distributing as many care packages as they can until their day's supply is finished.

How much does it cost:

"Adopting" a family and supplying a week of food costs just $20.00.

We have already gathered $1,000 to send to Angela and Miguel. If you feel called to assist in this important ministry: Please send your contribution to my attention here at the church office. Make your check payable to: Rector's Discretionary Fund. These funds will then be sent to Adventures in Mission/Guatemala to support Angela and Miguel in their project to feed the poorest of the poor in Guatemala.




News reports have carried several stories about how, with restaurants being closed or reduced to carry-out only, and with more time available to many of us, lots of us have been cooking meals at home or (re)discovering the joys of baking. I have even heard that the country has baked ourselves into a shortage of flour, sugar and other baking needs! And the empty grocery shelves and rationing bears this out.

I'm sure lots of old favorites and comfort foods have been prepared in most of our homes, as well as some experimenting with new recipes and new techniques you have long wanted to try your hand at. That got Barbara Stevenson and me thinking: What about collecting all those old and new recipes into a Messiah edition of a "Quarantine CookBook"?

We would love to include at least one recipe from every Messiah household! Send your recipes to either: Barbara Stevenson -; or to me - We will then work to organize your submissions, and make the cookbook available to all of you.


Videos of Sunday worship services will continue to be posted to the parish website for the duration of the suspension of church services. Each Saturday, you will receive the psalm and words of the responses and other communal parts of the service, allowing you to fully participate and interact in the worship service.

So get that second cup of coffee, still in your pajamas and bathrobe, and gather together

in front of the computer or iPad or other other device . . . Then join with me and other members of Messiah as we worship together virtually, until we can once again worship together in person.


Bishop Gutierrez continues to broadcast Sunday morning Eucharist services. You can join in as he celebrates and preaches at 9 a.m. on YouTube and Facebook (@EpiscopalPA) and any time afterward on the diocesan website (


Please help Messiah to remain financially solvent and secure through the continued regular payment of your pledge. Payments can be delivered during office hours, or mailed to: Church of the Messiah, 1001 Dekalb Pike, Lower Gwynedd, PA 19002-1941.

Many thanks to all who have submitted pledge payments - and even additional financial donations, or advance payments of pledges. Your faithfulness is greatly appreciated and has been a great help over the past weeks. Thank you!


With all that is going on in our country, this prayer for the nation seems especially appropriate at this time of uncertainty, confusion, distrust, division and anxiety.

O Lord our Governor, bless the leaders of our land, that we may be a people at peace among ourselves and a blessing to other nations of the earth.

Lord, keep this nation under your care.

To the President and members of the Cabinet, to Governors of States, Mayors of Cities, and to all in administrative authority, grant wisdom and grace in the exercise of their


Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

To Senators and Representatives, and those who make our laws in States, Cities, and Towns, give courage, wisdom, and foresight to provide for the needs of all our people, and to fulfill our obligations in the community of nations.

Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

To the Judges and officers of our Courts give understanding and integrity, that human rights may be safeguarded and justice served.

Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

And finally, teach our people to rely on your strength and to accept their responsibilities to their fellow citizens, that they may elect trustworthy leaders and make wise decisions for

the well-being of our society; that we may serve you faithfully in our generation and honor your holy Name.

For yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Amen.

from The Book of Common Prayer, Page 821


I will exalt you, O God my King, *

and bless your Name forever and ever.

Every day will I bless you *

and praise your Name forever and ever.

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; *

there is no end to his greatness.

One generation shall praise your works to another *

and shall declare your power.

I will ponder the glorious splendor of you majesty *

and all your marvelous works.

They shall speak of the might of your wondrous acts, *

and I will tell of your greatness.

They shall publish the remembrance of your great goodness; *

they shall sing of your righteous deeds.

The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, *

slow to anger and of great kindness.

The Lord is loving to everyone *

and his compassion is over all his works.

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