PREPARING FOR SUNDAY WORSHIP Saturday, 7 November 2020
Included in today's update: Rector's Message, Birthdays this Week, Community Donation Days, Stewardship Campaign, Rector's Advent Book Group, NEW Forward Day By Day, Sunday Ushers & Video Team Volunteers Needed, New Creative Angels, Yoga Continues, Liturgy For Tomorrow's Worship, and more.
FROM THE RECTOR
Saturday, 7 November 2020
Anxiety, confusion, anger, joy, angst, worry, fear, excitement, anticipation, hope, despair. These are the mixed emotions that have been expressed over the past four days. And I know they are genuine, because I have experienced all of these within myself since Tuesday.
As I stand at my computer and write this, the reading and counting and tabulating of votes still continues in several states and neither presidential candidate has accumulated enough electoral votes to be declared our President for the next four years. While the waiting is agonizing, I am grateful for the fact that this is the largest voter turnout in 100 years. Hopefully, this will trigger an awakening from the apathy and neglect that has been evident in our nation for far too long. The right to vote and determine the leaders of this great country - from the national level, all the way down to our local decision-makers - is our greatest privilege. This right to make our voices heard has been won and protected by the blood and lives of countless patriots over the past two centuries. Let us be thankful for this great gift, the envy of many across the globe. May we never again take it for granted or neglect to exercise this right and privilege.
My greatest hope for us as a people, as Americans of every color and creed, is that we can unite behind whomever is elected, for we have much more that binds us together than anything that might split us apart. I hope that each and every one of us, regardless who we cast our vote for, may find the grace not to be sore losers or ugly winners. May the wishes, desires and petitions expressed in this prayer become evident in every chamber of decision and power throughout our nation.
Prayer for Our Nation
O Lord our Governor, whose glory is in all the world: We commend this nation to your merciful care, that, being guided by your Providence, we may dwell secure in your peace. Grant to the President of the United States, the members of the Senate and House of Representatives, the Governor of this Commonwealth, and to all in authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do your will. Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness, and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve this people in your fear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
Blessings! Peace! Grace! And love!
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 WINDING UP
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!
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 email@example.com; 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!”
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 and the narthex.
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).
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 (email@example.com) and we will publish one with each edition of the parish email. Thank you!
As we move further and further into chilly weather, we love to indulge in the warmth of comfort foods. Valerie Carr has shared her recipe for some deliciousness that her family looks forward to each time they get together.
1 1/2 cup of cooked rice (or 3/4 c. uncooked rice) We use cooked because it's easier.
1 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 c. raisins
cinnamon and nutmeg to your taste
Cook in saucepan for 10-15 min. until thick and creamy.
Stir in 1 1/2 c. milk .and 1 beaten egg. Cook another 2-3 minutes. Stir frequently. Remove from heat and stir in 1 Tbsp. butter or margarine and 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Pour into bowl and chill.
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
8 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.
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. 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.