Rector's Message: Saturday, 10 April 2021
Sunday, 11 April
Second Sunday of Easter
Included in today's update: The Rector's Message, Reopening of the Church, Ways to Worship, Birthdays in the Week Ahead, Sue Phillip's retirement reception, Guidelines for in person worship, YOM Food Drive, Seeking Vestry Nominations, Creative Angels Recipe, and Ongoing Updates
FROM THE RECTOR
Saturday,10 April 2021
This Sunday following Easter Day could be called "Doubting Thomas Sunday," because the Gospel lesson always comes from John's Gospel (20:19-31) where the story relates Jesus second appearance to the apostles in the Upper Room. The story is set a week after his Resurrection and first appearance, and Jesus gives the gift of the Holy Spirit to those present. Thomas, who was absent for that first post-Resurrection revelation, is now gathered with the others and, after first doubting the other apostles' statements, comes to believe when he experiences the Risen Lord's appearance himself. "My Lord and my God!' he exclaims.
Based on this Gospel lesson, I offer you the following prayer:
Holy God, we give you thanks and praise
for light and life and love, and - above all -
the presence of the living Lord among us.
By your Most Holy Spirit, who breathes within us,
strengthen our faith, use our gifts,
and work in our lives to bear witness
to the Resurrection of Christ our Lord.
Let my life be a sign of Christ's life
so that others may come to believe
that the Lord is risen indeed.
May the days of your Easter season be filled with joy, health, and hope!
Blessings! Peace! Grace! And Love!
BEGINNING THIS SUNDAY
9:30 EUCHARIST IN-PERSON
Beginning on April 11th, the Second Sunday of Easter, there will be one Sunday service at 9:30am. The same guidelines followed last fall will be followed, gradually lifted as restrictions are eased by the Bishop’s office. These services will also be live-streamed and posted to the parish website for later viewing.
This deliberate and cautious approach still includes necessary constraints:
Attendance is limited to 50% capacity – 125 people here at Messiah
Masks are required for all attending
Social distancing between household groups must be observed
Holy Communion is limited to the distribution of bread only
Congregational singing is prohibited
Worship spaces must be disinfected between gatherings * see note below
Contact tracing information must be collected
All doors must remain open for maximum ventilation
After-service fellowship may not include serving food or drinks
For those who may still be wary about gathering indoors with others, all personal choices will be honored and respected. EVERY INDIVIDUAL IS ENCOURAGED TO MAKE AN INFORMED PERSONAL DECISION ON WHETHER TO ATTEND. To assist those choosing not yet to attend in-person, the service will continue to be videotaped and posted on the parish website, allowing for participation on-line. If you do not have access to the website (messiahgwynedd.org), please contact the parish office for weekly mailings of the service bulletin and sermon.
** A NOTE ABOUT DISINFECTING THE CHURCH: We have purchased a professional fogger for use in disinfecting our worship and other spaces. This allows us to efficiently and effectively apply a hospital-strength disinfectant on all pews, door handles, restroom, tables and other surfaces.
MULTIPLE WAYS TO JOIN US FOR SUNDAY WORSHIP
Thanks to the wonders of modern technology and the hard work of several parishioners, we are able to offer a variety of ways to participate in Sunday services:
IN-PERSON – COVID precautions strictly observed
LIVE-STREAMED - the service will be broadcast on YouTube – follow the link posted on the church website (messiahgwynedd.org)
BY PHONE – for those without computer access, dial 609-663-5164 to listen to an audio-only option on your phone
WEBSITE – at the close of the service, a video will be posted to the parish website (messiahgwynedd.org) for viewing at a time convenient for you
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.
YOM FOOD COLLECTION
FOR MANNA ON MAIN STREET
The Youth of Messiah are excited to be hosting a food drive for Manna on Main Street! We will be collecting donations through Sunday, April 25th. Our teens will be organizing our donations when we meet on the 25th and we will deliver our donations to Manna the following week. Donations can be dropped off in the narthex before or after Sunday Service, or at the Parish Hall during day-time office hours (9:00am-1:00pm, Monday-Thursday). To see a full list of current items needed, visit Manna on their website: mannaonmain.org
SUE PHILLIPS' RETIREMENT RECEPTION
This event has been scheduled for Sunday, April 25th. Following the 9:30 Eucharist, we will gather outside for some refreshments, presentation of gifts and opportunities for you to wish her well in this new life chapter.
FORWARD DAY BY DAY
Copies of the next edition of this popular devotional for the coming quarter (May, June, July) have arrived and are available to be picked up in the narthex. Copies are free. If you are unable to pick one up in person, please contact the church office and one will be mailed to you.
ALTAR MEMORIAL FLOWER OPEN DATES
There are several dates available for memorial altar flowers. Suggested donation amount: $60.00. If you would like to dedicate flowers for one of these dates (listed below), please contact the rector (firstname.lastname@example.org; 215-699-9204).
WE'RE GETTING CLOSER, BUT WE'RE NOT THERE YET
I know we're all becoming COVID-weary, but don't forget the 3 W's:
Wear a mask.
Watch your distance.
Wash you hands.
And please, please, please! When you have the opportunity, get vaccinated!
Despite the actions in some states, let's all continue to be vigilant and keep doing our part to stop the spread of this viral pandemic! With every vaccination, we are getting closer! Let's not make the mistake of turning back now!
SEEKING VESTRY NOMINEES
Each year, at the Annual Parish Meeting, held on the first Sunday in May, four parish members are selected to fill three-year terms on the Messiah Vestry. If you are interested in serving, or if you have someone you wish to be considered, please contact a member of the Nominating Committee: Vicky Fogel, Susan Miller, Charles Sudlow.
ON THE WEBSITE
Check the website each weekend for the video of the Sunday service. And make it interactive by checking out the service bulletin with all the responses, lessons, and weekly updates and information. A copy of the Sunday sermon is also available.
IN CASE OF A PASTORAL EMERGENCY AFTER HOURS
Should you have an urgent need to contact the Rector outside of Church Office hours, please use his cell phone: 215-692-2667.
NOTE: Barbara Stevenson continues to need recipes and craft ideas to pass along to the parish through the weekly email messages. You can send your submissions to Barbara at email@example.com.
A special treat with a wonderful meal is something we all enjoy. My family loves these delicious (and easy) popovers with roasts, meat loaf or chicken. Although it’s not as healthy, serving them with soft butter makes them unforgettable! Please enjoy!
3 Tablespoons melted butter, divided
1 cup milk, warmed for 30 seconds in the microwave
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a pastry brush, coat 8 muffin cups with 1 Tablespoon of melted butter and put tin in oven for 5 minutes. Mix eggs in blender until light yellow. Add warmed milk and blend. Add flour, salt and remaining melted butter and blend until smooth. Pour batter into warmed muffin tin and return it to the oven to bake until golden, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven and serve warm.
Make some pretty summer themed candles... go to the Dollar Store and purchase some inexpensive 2 - 3 inch diameter white candles. Glue, with super glue, various shells from the beach all over them. You can add a ribbon with a bow midway on the candle. These look predawn the center of a summer themed table.