PREPARING FOR SUNDAY WORSHIP Saturday, 28 November 2020

Updated: Dec 5, 2020

Included in today's update: Upcoming Services Reminder, Birthdays this Week, Parish Roof Replacement Appeal, Christmas Outreach Opportunities, 2021 Offering Envelopes, Thank You & Welcome, Creative Angels Recipes & Crafts, Liturgy For Tomorrow's Worship...



FROM THE RECTOR


Saturday,28 November 2020


Dear Friends:


I hope you all enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving, even though it was probably a bit smaller than usual, with fewer family and friends gathered around your table. Perhaps you even skipped the turkey, trimmings and sides for something less traditional and time consuming. (That's how new traditions are born!) Still, I hope you found many blessings to remember and a host of people and things to give thanks for having in your life. And while there will, no doubt, be lasting changes, this difficult separation will not become the norm! Please maintain your flexibility along with your sense of humor and tolerance. Wear a mask, keep a social distance, and sanitize your hands frequently. We're all in this together - just apart for a little while longer . . .

AND A REMINDER

Please remember that we will not hold in-person worship for the first three Sundays in Advent - November 29, December 6 & 13.


But 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.

  • A link to the service will be posted on the church website: messiahgwynedd.org.

  • In addition to the Messiah online worship postings, Bishop Gutierrez will continue to post weekly services on the diocesan website: diopa.org. And for the four Sundays in Advent, Bishop Gutierrez will be broadcast on CBS at 5:30 a.m.; and at 6:00 a.m. on Christmas morning.

  • 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 had 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.

Blessings! Peace! Grace! And love!

- Keith


BIRTHDAYS IN THE WEEK AHEAD

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.

  • Ginny Oldt

  • Diane Stinson

  • John Skorny

  • MaryJo Melberger

  • Bill Jacobs

  • Sue Phillips

PARISH ROOF REPLACEMENT APPEAL

In periods of heavy rain, quite a bit of water now enters the Parish Hall, even making its way into the basement rooms, damaging floors, walls and ceilings along the way. Inspection of the roof shows that spot repair is no longer possible; the entire roof now needs replacement. As any homeowner can attest, repairs like these rarely come as a total surprise, but never at an opportune time. And yet, the project demands that a way be found to accomplish it.


Cost for the project totals $125,000.00. Following advice from the investment committee, the vestry has unanimously endorsed a financial plan consisting of:

  • withdrawing $40,000.00 from the endowment;

  • a $50,000.00 loan from the diocese at only 2% interest for 5 years;

  • and an appeal to fund the remaining $35,000.00 from members of the congregation. To date, we have raised $6,000.00 toward this goal; leaving $29,000.00 still to be raised or pledged.

We are asking you and your household to prayerfully consider a financial donation to meet this important need. We are hoping to raise this amount in a timely manner so that work can begin soon, before any further damage is done to the interior spaces of the building.

  • If making a donation by check: Please make check payable to: Church of the Messiah; include Roof Replacement on memo line of your check.

  • You can also make your donation electronically using TitheLy: Go to the church website: messiahgwynedd.org; click the DONATE button; in the “TO” field, scroll down and choose: Roof Replacement.

  • If you are unable to make a donation at the current time, but wish to make a pledge for future giving, please complete and return the form enclosed in the parish mailing or notify the Church Office (rector@messiahgwynedd.org).

Thank you for whatever assistance you can give toward this important parish project!


CHRISTMAS OUTREACH OPPORTUNITIES

  • Gifts for Families on the Virtual Christmas Tree: If you signed up to purchase a gift or gift card for families served by Laurel House or Interfaith Housing Ambler, please bring your gift to the Church Office this week. All unwrapped gifts and cards are due back by NEXT SUNDAY, DECEMBER 6TH.

  • Holiday Turkey and Ham Donations: 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 the Church Office. These will be delivered to local food cupboards in Lansdale and Ambler until Christmas.

  • Youth of Messiah Collecting New Sweatpants: Advocates for Homeless & Those in Need (AHTN) is a Bucks County interfaith non-profit that serves the homeless and those in need by providing access to emergency shelter, food and other life-sustaining services. They are in desperate need of new sweatpants in all sizes to be distributed to homeless women and men who live in tent camps in the woods throughout the county. Collection bins are located outside the Rector’s office.

WRAPPING UP THE 2021 STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN

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!

2021 OFFERING ENVELOPES

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 sarah@messiahgwynedd.org; or the church office. Thanks!

THANK YOU!

& WELCOME ABOARD!

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.


"CREATIVE ANGELS!"

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 (bebstevenson@yahoo.com) and we will publish one with each edition of the parish email. Thank you!

This week's recipes - for both dinner and breakfast - are favorites of Jean London's family!

Coquilles Saint-Jacques

Makes 8 servings

An easy recipe for an elegant dish. One of my all-time favorites to make ahead as an appetizer or in a casserole for the buffet table. If you are not a scallop fan, crabmeat works just as well.

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 2 lb sea scallops, washed and drained

  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine

  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion

  • ¼ lb mushrooms, drained

  • 1/3 cup flour

  • Dash pepper

  • 1 cup light cream

  • ½ cup milk

  • 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese

  • ½ cup dry white wine

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

  • ½ cup packaged dry bread crumbs

  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

  1. In medium saucepan, combine 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and salt; bring to boiling. Add scallops; simmer, covered, 6 minutes, or until tender. Drain on paper towels. [skip this step if using cooked crabmeat]

  2. In 4 tablespoons hot butter in medium saucepan, sauté onion and mushrooms until tender – about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in flour and pepper until well blended. Gradually stir in cream and milk.

  3. Bring to boiling, stirring. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring frequently, 4 to 5 minutes, or until quite thick. Add cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat.

  4. Carefully stir in wine, lemon juice, and parsley. Add scallops or crabmeat. Turn into 8 scallop shells, or other single-serving dishes, or 1 ½ quart casserole.

  5. Mix bread crumbs and melted butter; sprinkle over scallops. Place shells on cookie sheet.

  6. Broil, 4 inches from heat, 2 or 3 minutes until golden brown.

Low Carb “Crackers”

  • Preheat oven to 325°

  • Grate Gouda cheese and roll into little balls like you’re making small meatballs

  • Flatten slightly and place on a cookie sheet spaced at least an inch apart

  • Bake for approximately ½ hour or until melted and drying out around the edges

  • Transfer to paper towels to blot excess oil and cool

  • Store in an airtight container

Overnight Artichoke and Ham Strata

Makes 6 servings

Great do-ahead when having weekend guests. Make ahead tip: Prepare the strata a day ahead; cover and chill 8 hours or overnight. In the morning, just uncover the strata and bake it straight out of the refrigerator in a preheated oven.

  • 3 English muffins, split and quartered

  • Cooking spray

  • 1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine, melted

  • 1 cup chopped lean ham (about 4 ounces)

  • ½ cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

  • 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated fat-free milk

  • 3 large eggs

  • 3 large egg whites

  1. Arrange muffin pieces, crust sides down, in an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray; drizzle with butter. Arrange ham and next 4 ingredients (ham through garlic) over muffin pieces.

  2. Combine nutmeg and remaining ingredients in a bowl; stir well with a whisk. Pour over muffin mixture. Cover; chill 8 hours or overnight.

  3. Preheat oven to 375°

  4. Uncover strata; bake at 375° for 50 minutes or until set. Let stand 10 minutes.

Pumpkin “Pie” – Low calorie and low carb

  • Pureed Pumpkin – 1 soup can size

  • Evaporated non-fat milk – 1 soup can size

  • 2/3 cup Splenda

  • 3 egg whites

  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin spice

  1. Mix all together and pour into a glass pie plate

  2. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes

  3. Lower oven to 325° and bake for an additional 45 minutes


In addition this week, here’s a craft idea for you (and/or the kids) to make for fun gifts. A suggestion is to make these in sets of three tied with a pretty ribbon bow.

STRETCH BRACELETS

  • Materials needed:

  • 0.7 or 1 mm elastic cord

  • Beads

  • Glue (E6000 or Super Glue)

  1. Cut a piece of stretch cord about 12” long.

  2. Stretch cord by pulling taught on both ends.

  3. String beads on cord to desired length.

  4. Knot cord ends together when desired length of bracelet is reached. Use a surgeons knot (a square knot with an extra loop).

  5. Make sure knot is tight.

  6. Add a dab of glue to knot.

  7. Allow glue to dry for 24 hours.

Have fun!

LITURGY FOR TOMORROW'S WORSHIP

First Sunday of Advent

29 November 2020

The bulletin for the Sunday service, as well as a text of the sermon, is posted on the church website (www.messiahgwynedd.org). 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.

SUNDAY SERMON AVAILABLE 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 RETURNS TO CBS

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

PLEASE KEEP YOUR PLEDGE UP TO DATE

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 Tithe.ly, an on-line giving platform recommended by the Diocese of Pennsylvania. Simply visit the parish website (messiahgwynedd.org), 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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