PREPARING FOR SUNDAY WORSHIP Saturday, 31 October 2020 All Saints Day
Updated: Nov 7
Included in today's update: Rector's Message, Special National Cathedral Service, Birthdays this Week, Community Donation Days, Stewardship Campaign, Rector's Advent Book Group, Holy Envy Book Group, NEW Forward Day By Day, Ushers Needed, Holiday Recipe, Yoga Continues, Liturgy For Tomorrow's Worship, and more.
DON'T FORGET TO SET YOUR
CLOCKS BACK ONE HOUR TONIGHT!!!!
FROM THE RECTOR
Saturday, 31 October 2020
VOTE ! ! !
Have you voted yet? If not, please make sure to visit your assigned polling station on Tuesday, November 3rd. The right to vote is perhaps the most important privilege of living in this great nation and should never be ignored.
Our Bishop has written an extensive and though-provoking message to the diocese, entitled: How will your vote reflect Jesus? It is too lengthy to set the entire text into this platform, but I highly encourage everyone of you to go the Diocese of Pennsylvania website (diopa.org), choose the 'News' tab at the top of the page, then scroll down to find the message. Regardless of your political affiliation, I think you will find it intriguing.
Over the past two weeks, as voting has been occurring across the country, I have been giving you prayers written for this important season in our country's life. This week's election prayer comes from The Pastor's Prayerbook.
Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, guide and direct, we humbly beseech thee, the minds of all those who are called at this time to exercise the responsible duty of electing fit persons to serve in the government of this nation. Grant that the effect and right issue of their choices may promote thy glory and the welfare of your people; and to all those who shall be elected, give them we pray thee, the spirit of wisdom, courage, sympathy, and true godliness. All this we ask in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Blessings! Peace! Grace! And love!
Special Online Service From
The Washington National Cathedral
Wednesday, November 4, 2020 | 12:00pm
The Bishop of Washington, The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, and Dean Randy Hollerith will lead a mid-day service of prayers for the nation in the wake of the election. As ballots are counted and winners and losers determined, we will pray for a renewed sense of national unity, calm and perseverance for the challenges that lie ahead. This will be broadcast on the National Cathedral website.
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.
MESSIAH PARTNERS WITH
AREA CHURCHES FOR
COMMUNITY DONATION DAYS
NEXT WEEKEND - NOVEMBER 7 & 8, 2020
Your help is needed to help others! Most likely, you are fortunate enough to have three healthy meals a day. But everyone is not so fortunate. Right now, there are many individuals and families in our local area who don’t know where their next meal will come from. And now, because of conditions associated with COVID-19, there are many more people facing this reality. The food supply in local food cupboards is dwindling and needs to be replenished so that people in need can have nutritious food during this challenging time.
Several churches in the North Wales/Gwynedd communities are joining together to help alleviate this situation by hosting Community Donation Days. We are asking you, your neighbors, and your friends to participate by donating non-perishable food, paper products and cleaning/sanitizing products. Bring your donations to Church of the Messiah:
Saturday, November 7th, 7:00am-7:00pm;
or Sunday, November 8th, 7:00am-12:00noon.
Collection bins will be located at the doors to the Parish House. After church on Sunday, the Youth of Messiah will organize and package your donations. The food collected will then be delivered to local food cupboards: Manna on Main Street, Inter-Faith Housing Alliance, Mattie N. Dixon Community Cupboard.
Items Needed Most: § Peanut Butter & Jelly § Canned Proteins (Chicken, Salmon, SPAM, Beef Stew, Ham, Sardines, Tuna) § Canned/Dried Fruits & Canned Vegetables § Soups and Broths (canned or boxed) § Whole Grain Pasta & Sauce, Stuffing, Potato Flakes § Rice, Quinoa, Beans (dried/canned) § Coffee, Tea, Juice, Condiments, Crackers § Baking (Flour, Oil, Sugar, Spices, Muffin Mix) § Toilet Paper, Paper Towels/Plates, Tissues § Sanitizing Wipes, Baby Wipes, Diapers § Dish/Laundry Detergent, Cleaning Products
If You Prefer to Make a Monetary Donation: If you wish to make a monetary donation that will be used to purchase items to be given to the food cupboards, please make your check payable to "Rector's Discretionary Fund", with "Community Donation Days" on the memo line. These monetary donations will then be used to purchase items that were not collected, and will be included in the food delivery.
2021 STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN ONGOING
Last week, you should have received a letter explaining the pledge campaign for the coming year. In the envelope, you also found a pledge card and return envelope, along with information explaining Tithe.ly, an on-line giving platform recommended by the diocesan offices and being incorporated by many parishes throughout the area. The vestry asks that you please complete and return your pledge card by Sunday, November 8th in order for the 2021 parish operating budget to be prepared.
THE RECTOR’S ADVENT BOOK
DISCUSSION GROUP ANNOUNCED
The Church’s liturgical season of Advent begins on the Sunday following Thanksgiving, November 29th, just four short weeks away. This season of four Sundays leading up to Christmas are intended as a time of preparation. As expectant parents prepare a nursery for the anticipated birth of their child, so the Christian faithful are encouraged to prepare a space in our hearts to receive the newborn Jesus. But that can be a difficult expectation to fulfill. As The Rev. Russell Levenson, a seminary classmate of mine, writes in his book, Preparing Room – an advent companion:
“Ah, how full the modern heart is today. There are so many ways to cram it full with e-mail, text messages, faxes, television, and satellite radio. Filling it even more are our worries and frets, bills and debts, health and hopes; need I go on? In hearts so full, it is sometimes difficult to place yet one more thing, thought, or feeling.”
I invite you to set aside some time on four Tuesday evenings to join with me and other parishioners as we intentionally clear away some of the clutter in our hearts and prepare just a bit of room for the birth of the King of the Universe, Jesus Christ. We will be using Rev. Levenson’s book of scripture, meditations and prayers as our guide. As the book cover states:
“Preparing Room reminds us that the pieces of the beginning of the Christian story come together not from one set of hands, but from many. The Gospel of Mark makes no mention of the events leading up to and surrounding the birth of Jesus. John, for the most part, points back to Genesis. Most of the historical pieces come to us from Matthew and Luke. The scriptures together are the key to telling the story of the season. Levenson’s daily meditations help us to step more deeply into the Advent story and find its meaning and impact for their own lives.”
We will begin on Tuesday evening, November 24th, at 7:00 via ZOOM, for the first 90 minute session; 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 $16.95. You are welcome to order it yourself, or I will be happy to order it for you and you may pick it up in the church office or on Sunday morning ahead of the class. Please indicate your wish to join me in these sessions by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org; and please indicate if you wish me to order a book for you. 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!”
ANOTHER NEW BOOK GROUP
FORMING WITH MARYJO MELBERGER
Would you like to join other Messiah readers in a discussion of "Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others" on Tuesday's at 1:00 p.m. beginning on November 3rd via ZOOM?
Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others
Barbara Brown Taylor continues her spiritual journey begun in Leaving Church of finding out what the world looks like after taking off her clergy collar. In Holy Envy, she contemplates the myriad ways other people and traditions encounter the Transcendent, both by digging deeper into those traditions herself and by seeing them through her students’ eyes as she sets off with them on field trips to monasteries, temples, and mosques.
Troubled and inspired by what she learns, Taylor returns to her own tradition for guidance, finding new meaning in old teachings that have too often been used to exclude religious strangers instead of embracing the divine challenges they present. Re-imagining some central stories from the religion she knows best, she takes heart in how often God chooses outsiders to teach insiders how out-of-bounds God really is.
Throughout Holy Envy, Taylor weaves together stories from the classroom with reflections on how her own spiritual journey has been complicated and renewed by connecting with people of other traditions—even those whose truths are quite different from hers. The one constant in her odyssey is the sense that God is the one calling her to disown her version of God—a change that ultimately enriches her faith in other human beings and in God.
Amazon - Paperback - $11.59 ; Kindle - $11.99
Please email MaryJo at email@example.com if you would like to take part in this book discussion. We'll begin our journey into the book on Tuesday November 3rd........after you place your VOTE!!!! Your Zoom invitation will arrive the Monday before.
AND SPEAKING OF BOOKS . . .
NEW FORWARD DAY BY DAY AVAILABLE
If you are a reader of the daily devotional, copies covering the months of November through January have arrived and are available in the church office.
HELP STILL NEEDED!!! – 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org; 215-661-9956).
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 (email@example.com) and we will publish one with each edition of the parish email. Thank you!
As we look forward to Thanksgiving, no matter how it looks this year, we gather to give thanks for our many blessings. In addition, we are praying that our country, friends and family will be healthy and fulfilled as we move into the holiday season. Part of the wonderful holiday season is sharing (and eating!) our favorite recipes. Marie Zelner has shared this family selection - a favorite in their house!
1 cup butter, melted
1 ¼ cups sugar
8 eggs, well beaten
2 1lb. cans crushed pineapple
10 slices white bread, cubed
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease 13 x 9 pan
In pan: Spread bread cubes; Sprinkle with sugar; Pour melted butter; Pour beaten eggs; Top with pineapple.
Bake for 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
WEEKLY YOGA CLASSES CONTINUE TO
BENEFIT LOCAL SOCIAL AGENCIES
Classes, led by Diana Mulroy, are held outdoors when weather permits and in the Parish Hall when necessary. Each session costs $10, and all proceeds benefit local social service agencies usually supported through Belfry Bargains funds. In the month of September, almost $900 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. Use this link to sign up: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0F4CAEA922A4F58-join2
LITURGY FOR TOMORROW'S WORSHIP
ALL SAINTS' DAY
1 November 2020
In the Christian Scriptures, saints are called ‘holy’ not for any virtues they possess, but because they have been called to share in God’s holiness. From the earliest years, the Church has celebrated the memory of those whom Christ has redeemed in every age, including our own, and including ourselves. In their lives, their deaths and promised resurrection we see evidence of Christ’s victory over evil and death; setting the tone for this day as joyous and celebratory.
The Church’s celebration of all Christian saints is grounded and centered in the sacrament of Baptism. It is in Baptism that we are adopted as children of God and become members of the communion or fellowship of saints; therefore we join in renewing our own baptismal promises.
The saints are not just those few exceptional Christians who were holy in themselves; rather the saints are all those who have received the Spirit of God. The festival of All Saints, one of the seven Principal Feast Days of the Church calendar, celebrates not only those who have died in the faith but all baptized people, for this feast celebrates the truth that emerging from the baptismal waters we have all been given and share the same miraculous and saving gift - the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Tomorrow’s liturgy celebrates the two primary ways in which we become God’s chosen and holy people.
First: we receive God’s Spirit in Baptism.
Second: we are renewed in God’s Spirit each time we gather around Our Lord’s table at the Eucharist.
Our most faithful and ‘saintly’ response to God’s gifts in these two sacramental mysteries is to strive to live a life described in the lessons for this day.
The bulletin for the Sunday service 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.
PLENTY OF WORSHIP OPTIONS
ARE AVAILABLE EACH WEEK
If you are unable to join us here at church for in-person worship on Sunday morning, several options for participation are available:
The service will be live-streamed on YouTube at 9:30am.
For those without computer access, an audio-only option is available by phone. Simply dial 609-663-5164 to listen to the service.
At the conclusion of worship, 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.
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 am so looking forward to welcoming many more of you back to church each week, but if you choose not to return until more time has passed, please be assured that your decision is understood and respected.
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 BROADCASTS EACH SUNDAY
Bishop Gutierrez continues to broadcast Sunday morning Eucharist services. Each week, the Bishop or another cleric from around the diocese will preach the sermon. You can watch at 9 a.m. on YouTube and Facebook (@Episcopal PA) and any time afterward on the Diocesan website.
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. Pledge statements through the third quarter were sent to all pledging households last week. Please check the statement for the latest accounting of your donations. And please remember to submit this month's pledge. Thank you!