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PREPARING FOR SUNDAY WORSHIP Saturday, 21 November 2020

Updated: Nov 21, 2020

Included in today's update: Upcoming Services Reminder, Birthdays this Week, 2021 Offering Envelopes, Annual Outreach Holiday Giving, Thank You & Welcome, Turkey & Ham Donations, Community Days a Huge Success!, Creative Angels, Virtual Yoga, Liturgy For Tomorrow's Worship, Bishop Returns to CBS...


Saturday, 21 November 2020

Dear Friends:

Like all of you, the Marshes are preparing for a very unusual Thanksgiving this Thursday. The Thanksgiving holiday has always been celebrated in our house with a large gathering of family and friends - even including members of our family who have traveled from England to participate in the uniquely American holiday. Some years as many as 25 have joined us and shared in the feast! This year, however, due to the surging COVID numbers, only our immediate family - five of us - will be around the table. Even my mother will not be with us, which saddens us greatly. Still, we will continue our tradition of everyone taking turns to list those things for which they are grateful, before we say grace and tuck into our plates. For the past several years, this is the prayer we have offered up. I offer it to you and your family. As we pray it again this year, we will be thinking of each of you with gratitude for being brought into our lives.

O God:

when I have food,

help me to remember the hungry;

when I have work,

help me to remember the jobless;

when I have a home,

help me to remember those who have no home at all;

when I am without pain,

help me to remember those who suffer.

And in my remembering,

help me to destroy my complacency,

awaken my compassion,

and be concerned enough to help

through my words and deeds

all those who cry out for all I take for granted.


Finally, I end with the same urgent request I made last week:

I implore you wear a mask whenever you are out of your house, maintain a

social distance of at least 6 feet at all times, and wash your hands or use

hand sanitizer repeatedly throughout the day. And urgently pray for health - your own, as well as your neighbors'.

Blessings! Peace! Grace! And love!

- Keith


You should have received a message on Thursday morning informing you of the difficult decision to not hold in-person worship for the first three Sundays in Advent - November 29, December 6 & 13. I won't repeat that message here, but just want to remind you that the church will be open for in-person worship tomorrow morning at 9:30a.m.

Should you determine that your best decision is to stay home tomorrow, please remember that a number of options are available to you for joining in and participating. And even on those Sundays when we will not be gathering in-person, the service will be available online.

  • The service will be live-streamed on YouTube at 9:30am.

  • For those without computer access, an audio-only option is available by phone. At 9:30am, simply dial 609-663-5164 to listen to the service live.

  • At the conclusion of worship, a link to the service will be posted on the church website:

  • In addition to the Messiah online worship postings, Bishop Gutierrez will continue to post weekly services on the diocesan website:

  • Weekly mailings of the liturgy, readings and sermon will continue to be sent to homebound parishioners without computer access. Should you wish to be added or removed from this list, please contact the church office: 215-699-9204.

I have already inquiries asking what this means for Christmas services here at Messiah. Truthfully, I don't yet know. In the week of December 14th, the Bishop will issue updated directives based on the COVID situation at that time and we will have new information to make appropriate decisions at that point. Please know that the staff and I will be preparing for a variety of circumstances and possibilities and will publish the Christmas service schedule as soon as finalized. I ask for you understanding and flexibility.


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.

  • Michael Mulroy

  • Barbara Groshens

  • Dee Newman

  • Dan Ryan

  • Sam Fogel

  • Cheryl Berry

  • Matthew Gruszecki

  • Calvin Biehl

  • Harry Parke


The vestry asks that you please complete and return your pledge card by November 8th in order for the 2021 parish operating budget to be prepared. If you have not returned your completed card, please do so asap. If you did not receive a pledge card in the mail, please contact the church office. If you have misplaced or need a new pledge card, they are available in the narthex. Thank you!


If you currently use weekly offering envelopes for your pledge, you will again receive envelopes for the coming year. HOWEVER: If you currently use envelopes and do not want them for 2021, or if you did not use envelopes this year but want them for next year, we need to hear from you! Please contact the bookkeeper Sarah Patram; or the church office. Thanks!


It is that time of year again, when the Outreach Committee is busy coordinating the annual gift giving program for Laurel House and Interfaith Housing Ambler. The procedure is a bit different this year – isn’t everything!! Rather than taking a tag from the Christmas tree in the narthex as in past years, this year you are encouraged to use this link:

There you will find a list of requested gifts, then merely click on an item or items to sign up.

Please bring your gift to church and leave it under the tree in the narthex. All UNWRAPPED gifts and gift cards are due back in the church narthex by SUNDAY, DECEMBER 6TH. Be sure to AFFIX A TAG with the family number and the recipient’s age and sex on your gift (in certain cases, there may be only a family number to apply). This is very important to ensure that the right gift is matched with the right recipient.

If you have any questions, or need help signing up, please contact Diana Mulroy at 267-481-6091, or



After serving faithfully and tirelessly as Jr. Warden for the past five years, Jean London has announced that she will be stepping down from that position at the end of the year. We will certainly miss her guidance, administrative skills and buoyant willingness to take on any project asked of her. During her tenure, she has greatly enhanced our parish communications, both within the congregation, as well into the larger community. Thank you, Jean! But don't worry, she's not going anywhere - and I already have some ideas of other avenues to keep her busy!

And I am thrilled to announce that Barbara Stevenson has agreed to step into the position and serve as our next Jr. Warden. Welcome aboard, Barbara! We are delighted to welcome her to her new responsibilities and look forward to having her lead us in this important ministry.



We will be reading the book, Preparing Room, written by The Rev. Russell Levenson, Jr., a seminary classmate of the Rector. Sessions begin this Tuesday evening, November 24th, at 7:00 via ZOOM, for the first 90-minute discussion; then continue on the first three Tuesday evenings in December (12/1st, 8th & 15th). Fr. Levenson’s book is available through Amazon and Church Publishing Incorporated for $16.95Please indicate your wish to join me in these sessions by contacting me at Your ZOOM invitation will be sent on the Monday preceding each class.

As we prepare to begin another Advent, another church year, I quote Rev. Levenson: “And now, my friend, I invite you to open your heart, to make room for the God of us all. Let us begin, at the beginning!


Again this year, we will be collecting turkeys and hams to be given to our neighbors in need through local food cupboards. If you would like to give a turkey or ham to grace the holiday table of a family in need, please bring it to church and place it in the cooler located at the back of the sanctuary. These will be collected and delivered to local food cupboards in Lansdale and Ambler. Thank you for your generosity!



One hundred bags and boxes of food, hygiene and cleaning supplies – over 1,200 pounds! - were collected here at Messiah! These were combined with the donations collected at the other local churches, bringing the total to more than 675 boxes and bags of non-perishable food and supplies for local food cupboards! This will provide more than 50,000 meals for our neighbors in need! Messiah’s donations were delivered to the Mattie N. Dixon Food Cupboard in Ambler and they were most grateful to receive the goods and replenish their shelves. Thank you to everyone who contributed! And to the YOM members and leaders who sorted and packed and delivered the donations!


SUNDAY USHER CORPS: We are in desperate need for volunteers to serve as Sunday morning ushers! Due to some retirements (after lengthy times of service), some unfortunate deaths, and some reluctance at this time to serve for in-person services, the corps has been severely depleted. This places a great strain on our ability to staff this important Sunday morning ministry. BTW: This ministry is not a “males-only” opportunity! We are an equal opportunity ministry! Perhaps you and your spouse, or you and your teenager, or you and your friends would like to serve together. If you are interested in serving or wish more information, please contact Ed Steinbauer (; 215-661-9956).

SUNDAY MORNING VIDEO TEAM: Members of the congregation are volunteering to film the Sunday morning for live-streaming, then posting it to the Messiah website for viewing later in the day or week. These online services have become a vital lifeline for many of our parishioners who are homebound or reluctant to attend in-person services. If you are interested or have questions, please speak with or contact the Rector. Training and assistance is provided.


We are collecting recipes and craft ideas to pass along during this unusual times we find ourselves in. Please submit your recipes and craft instructions to Barbara Stevenson ( and we will publish one with each edition of the parish email. Thank you!

Jennifer Christman shared this recipe as one her family enjoys during the summer. It look so delicious, it’s probably a dish that our families would love any time of the year!

Summer Shrimp Scampi with Tomatoes and Corn (Serves 4)

  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • Kosher salt and black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes (or Roma or Beefsteak)

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (from 4 ears)

  • 5 garlic cloves, minced

  • ½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes

  • ¼ cup dry white wine

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces

  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley or chives, or torn basil leaves

1. Pat the shrimp very dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large (12-inch) skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Add the shrimp and cook until pink and lightly golden in spots, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shrimp to a plate.

2. Add the tomatoes to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring just once or twice, until they start to blister in spots, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the corn, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring just once or twice, until the tomatoes burst and the corn is golden in spots, 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Add the garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until you smell garlic, about 1 minute.

4. Reduce heat to medium, and add the wine and lemon juice, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until nearly evaporated, then add the butter and stir until melted. Add the shrimp and its juices and stir until warmed through. (If the sauce breaks and looks greasy, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of water and stir until emulsified.)

5. Remove from heat, add the herbs, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve with extra lemon for squeezing over, if you like.

NOTE: Not necessary, but could serve with pasta



For the next two weeks, classes led by Diana Mulroy, will be live streamed instead of in person. Each session costs $10, and all proceeds benefit local social service agencies usually supported through Belfry Bargains funds. In the month of September and October, almost $1,500 was raised and distributed to Laurel House, Interfaith Housing, Manna on Main Street, and Community Cupboard. Classes are appropriate for all levels - beginners, as well as more advanced participants. For more information and session dates over the holidays, contact Diana (; 267-481-6091) Use this link to sign up:


Invitations to view musical videos have been received from two musical groups with ties to Church of the Messiah.

  • The first comes from Alan Segal, husband of The Rev. Joy Segal, a former Assistant here at Messiah: I hope that you, your families and friends remain well in these very serious times. We wanted to present our music to you and your friends as a respite to staying at home and keeping safe. The Jazz Sanctuary realized that live streaming to Facebook without the musicians wearing masks or keeping socially distant sent the wrong signal to the public. Since we could not perform in public as we usually did and we wanted to follow the rules of prevention a decision was made to make videos – The Jazz Sanctuary Live – and replicate as much as possible the live Jazz & Joe feeling. And so we produced videos, 1:15 in length and did no post engineering. As in a live presentation there are errors and glitches in the videos, they are not perfect, nor were they intended to be perfect. The response has been wonderful with well over 450 “hits” for the first video. I invite you to get a cup of coffee, have a snack close at hand settle in your favorite chair and experience The Jazz Sanctuary Live: the link:

  • The second comes from Messiah’s former Music Director, Rick Rosen, and features his men’s acapella choral group, Cordus Mundi: To all my friends at Messiah: Hi! Cordus Mundi has just released a video of "You Do Not Walk Alone" from our November, 2018 concert. We invite you to check it out -


22 November 2020

The bulletin for the Sunday service, as well as a text of the sermon, is posted on the church website ( This is the same bulletin used in church, so all the responses are provided, along with the weekly lessons, announcements and weekly parish schedule. We hope you will find this to be a more complete resource for participating in the service from home.


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.


For the four Sundays in Advent, Bishop Gutierrez will be broadcast at 5:30a.m.; and at 6:00a.m. on Christmas morning.


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. We know how difficult it can be to remember your pledge when not attending church services, but we need your ongoing support. Please remember to submit this month's pledge. Thank you!

Looking for an easy way to ensure that your weekly or monthly pledge is received regularly? Check out on-line giving using, an on-line giving platform recommended by the Diocese of Pennsylvania. Simply visit the parish website (, click on the DONATE button, and follow the prompts.

And if the COVID-19 situation has resulted in unemployment or reduced income for your household and you feel the need to adjust your pledge, we understand; please let us know so we can both assist in some way as well as make adjustments to the church budget.

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