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THE RECTOR'S MESSAGE Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Included in today's update: A Message from Father Keith, An Invitation from The Rev. MaryJo Melberger, Virtual Choirs Feature Messiah Singers, Produce for Manna, Guatemala Chica Beans Coffee, Recipes Needed, and a Prayer & Psalm for the Week


Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Dear Friends:

One of my favorite Scripture passages is Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 11. It is often chosen to be read at funerals. And for those of us of a certain age, we most probably came to know of it because of The Byrds 1965 hit song: Turn! Turn! Turn! Whether because of the Bible or the song, it is one of the most well-known pieces of Scripture, easily recognized and known by church-goers and non-church-goers alike . . .

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

a time to kill, and a time to heal;

a time to break down, and a time to build up;

a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to seek, and a time to lose;

a time to keep, and a time to throw away;

a time to tear, and a time to sew;

a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

a time to love, and a time to hate;

a time for war, and a time for peace.

God has made everything suitable for its time.

I don't know if this was the inspiration for what follows, but it certainly carries much of the same feeling. A parishioner recently gave me this poetic advice and I have kept it visible on my desk for the past few weeks where I can read it at least once a day.


Take time to think …. it is the source of power

Take time to play …. it is the secret of perpetual youth

Take time to read …. it is the fountain of wisdom

Take time to pray …. it is the greatest power on earth

Take time to love and be loved …. it is a God-given privilege

Take time to be friendly …. it is the road to happiness

Take time to laugh …. it is the music of the soul

Take time to give …. it is too short a day to be selfish

Take time to work …. it is the price of success

Take time to do charity …. it is the key to heaven

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


Parker Palmer's book, "On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity & Getting Old" has been on my " want to read AND discuss list" for some time!! How about joining a "virtual book group via ZOOM? The discussion can be joined via Zoom by using either the visual, online or by telephone.

Here is a description of the book:

"From beloved and bestselling author Parker J. Palmer (Let Your Life Speak, The Courage to Teach, Healing the Heart of Democracy), comes a beautiful book of reflections on what we can learn as we move closer to "the brink of everything." Drawing on eight decades of life -- and his career as a writer, teacher, and activist -- Palmer explores the questions age raises and the promises it holds. "Old," he writes, "is just another word for nothing left to lose, a time to dive deep into life, not withdraw to the shallows."

But this book is not for elders only. It was written to encourage adults of all ages to explore the way their lives are unfolding. It's not a how-to-do-it book on aging, but a set of meditations in prose and poetry that turn the prism on the meaning(s) of one's life, refracting new light at every turn.

From beginning to end, the book is laced with humor as well as gravitas -- beautifully enhanced by three free downloadable songs from the gifted singer-songwriter Carrie Newcomer, written in response to themes in the book."At Amazon the cost is: hard cover - $12.79, Kindle - $9.99

If this sounds like something you'd be interested in pursuing just let me know - - then buy the book and read the Prelude and Chapter 1:" The View from the Brink" and I will send you an invitation for a "zoom meeting". We will begin Zooming on TUESDAY AUGUST 25th at 2:00 p.m.. My proposal is to continue every Tuesday at 2 through September 29th. I look forward to hearing from you. Please take good care and stay well!!!!!


Even a world-wide pandemic can't silence the music! In this time of social distancing, choirs around the world are finding innovative and creative ways to continue producing and promoting music - and some of these virtual choirs feature singers we know!

Our own Sam Frenkel and Barbara Harvey's daughter, Amanda, have participated in a choir featured on YouTube. Follow this link to find them: Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir 6: Sing Gently

And our former soprano, Vanessa Levy, has participated in the Self-Isolation Choir, a virtual choir based in England and featuring thousands of singers from around the world. Here is the link to one of their recent pieces: Quanta Qualia - The Self Isolation Choir

And members of Messiah's Chancel Choir are working on a virtual choral piece - The Lord Bless You and Keep You - in memory of all those who have died over the time we have not been worshipping together. Current choir members, as well as a collection of former members, are participating. Be on the lookout for their debut . . .THANK YOU TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED


One of Messiah's parishioners has undertaken a new ministry of providing fresh corn on the cob from a farm market to Manna on Main Street for distribution to clients, along with using it in their meal program. Twice each week - on Mondays and Thursdays - the corn is brought here to Messiah, then later in the day I deliver it to Manna. They are delighted to receive it, allowing them to supplement the canned and non-perishable goods they normally give out.

This has gotten me thinking . . . At this time of year, with so much fresh vegetables and fruit available at quite reasonable prices, why don't we make it a Messiah mission to provide fresh produce to those in need within our community? Too many zucchini or tomatoes in your garden? Bring them to the church. See a good deal on fresh green beans or cucumbers or lettuce? Pick up an extra pound or two and bring them to the church. These will be added to the donation and delivered each Monday and Thursday afternoon.



Each week, since Messiah's Guatemalan Mission Team returned in January, we have included in our Sunday prayers a new ministry project we were introduced to during our trip. Tree4Hope Girls School, located just outside Antigua is affiliated with our companion parish of St. Alban's, has undertaken the mission of providing quality education to the young women of Guatemala. Numerous studies and experience has proven that the quickest way to improve and upgrade the society of a nation is to educate its women, and Tree4Hope is fulfilling that role in a society where many girls never receive the opportunity for an education beyond the early grades.

The school has now partnered with a consortium of small, independent, women-owned coffee growers. The Director of the School writes: "Our non-profit, Tree4Hope, just partnered with Chica Bean, and amazing female run coffee production company in Guatemala. Order a bag now at Chica Bean Coffee with our coupon code - "tree4hope" - and not only will you get delicious Guatemalan coffee delivered right to your door, but $4 of your purchase will come back to support our ongoing work!"

Learn more about Chica Bean on their website where you will be introduced to these women farmers, but will also learn more about their mission to empower and support women, and read this about their endeavor: "Specialty Coffee That Changes Communities: Chica Bean prides itself as a specialty coffee that inspires. We create an incredible coffee that gets its quality and flavor from a combination of the ideal conditions in which it's grown and the precise and powerful women who produce it. We are relentless in our pursuit of delivering perfect coffee through the empowerment of women."

Members of the Mission Team toured a coffee plantation and processing plant and can attest to the exceptional quality and flavor of Guatemalan coffee. Join me in ordering a few bags and support both the families of the women farmers and the education of the country's young women.



Barbara Stevenson and I are working to publish a Messiah edition of a "Quarantine CookBook". We would love to include at least one recipe from every Messiah household! Do we have your submission yet? 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.


A Thanksgiving:

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we thank thee for all thou hast given and for all thou hast forgiven; for thy hidden blessings and for those which in our negligence we have passed over; for every gift of nature or of grace; for our power of loving; for all which thou hast yet in store for us; for everything, whether joy or sorrow, whereby thou art drawing us to thyself through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

from the Diocese of Massachusetts


The heavens are telling the glory of God; *

and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.

Day to day pours forth speech, *

and night to night declares knowledge.

There is no speech, nor are there words; *

their voice is not heard;

yet their voice goes out through all the earth, *

and their words to the end of the world.

In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun, *

which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy,

and like a strong man runs its course with joy.

Its rising is from the end of the heavens, *

and its circuit to the end of them;

and nothing is hid from its heat.

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; *

the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple;

the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; *

the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes;

the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; *

the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; *

sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb.

Moreover by them is your servant warned; *

in keeping them there is great reward.

But who can detect their errors? *

Clear me from hidden faults.

Keep back your servant also from the insolent; *

do not let them have dominion over me.

Then I shall be blameless, *

and innocent of great transgression.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart *

be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

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