Rector's Message: Saturday, 16 January 2021
Updated: Jan 23
SUNDAY, 17 January
Second Sunday after
the Feast of the Epiphnay
Included in today's update: The Rector's Message, Birthdays in the Week Ahead, Request for Volunteers, Liturgical Calendars, YOGA Resumes, Winter Book Group Starting, Creative Angels Recipe & Craft, and Ongoing Updates
FROM THE RECTOR
Saturday,16 January 2021
Whether you call it a protest or an insurrection, the tragic events that occurred in our nation's Capitol Building on January 6th were horrific, an indelible stain our our nation's history, integrity and standing as a leader in the world. Despite our national myth of being above all the ugliness that so often is witnessed in other nations, we have shown that without much prompting, without scratching the surface too deeply, we can quickly descend into the darkness for which we have so often condemned others.
It deeply saddens me to learn that there are now more armed troops stationed in our nation's capital than in Iraq and Afghanistan. Who are we? What have we become? How sad that the inauguration of our next President and the transfer of power to a new administration, what should be a celebration of our democracy, a gift we have given and inspired in so many disparate places of the world, is now in peril and danger of armed conflict.
I ask you to join with me in appealing to Our Lord through fervent prayer over the next several days and weeks on behalf of our great nation, asking for peace and calm, understanding and tolerance, truth and unity, despite our differences of opinions and viewpoints.
A Prayer for America's Future
Make us a great nation, yes. But more than that, make us good, Lord, with a heartbeat that wants every person of every creed and color to know Your love, Your goodness, and Your worth. Make us wise as serpents, but gentle as doves. Turn our fears to faith, as we look to You and You alone for the future of our country. Give us God-confidence that no matter what happens, we will believe You are not only in control, but that You know exactly what is needed to accomplish Your purpose. Help us not to second-guess Your moves, but to move at Your command, always without hesitation.
Forgive us for wanting our own way and making our own paths - often the ones paved with least resistance. Forgive us for fence-walking, or for ignoring completely the truths that can so easily set us free. Deliver us from mindless quarrels and destinations that lead us nowhere, but away from You. Free us from divisiveness, and melt our hardened hearts to love, not hate, and to heal, not debate. Amen.
Oh, how good and pleasant it is, *
when the people of God live together in unity!
It is like fine oil upon the head *
that runs down upon the beard,
Upon the beard of Aaron, *
and runs down upon the collar of his robe.
It is like the dew of Hermon *
that falls upon the hills of Zion.
For there the LORD has ordained the blessing: *
life for evermore.
May your year ahead be filled with health, happiness and hope!
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.
A REQUEST FOR VOLUNTEERS
With Sue Phillips’ retirement as of December 31st, we are now without a Parish Administrator in the Church Office; and due to budget constraints, it is not anticipated that a new Administrator will be hired for 6 months. So, the Rector could use some help! (Are you thinking: True words!) If you could occasionally spare a few hours to be in the Church Office, answering phones, preparing mailings, and performing other odd jobs, it would be a huge help. We are hoping for enough volunteers to fill a schedule that allows each person only having to serve once every 2-3 weeks. Hours: 9:00am-1:00pm, Monday through Thursday. If interested, or if you have questions, please contact the Rector: 215-699-9204; firstname.lastname@example.org.
2021 LITURGICAL CALENDARS ARE HERE
As they have done for the past several years, William R. May Funeral Home, located on Main Street in North Wales, has provided the parish with liturgical calendars. These calendars feature the liturgical colors of the various church seasons, note Holy Days and Saints’ Days, and the readings assigned for each Sunday. The calendars are free and are available in the church office.
YOGA CLASSES RESUME
Now that the holidays are over, you might be feeling a bit sluggish; or perhaps you made a resolution to get in better shape; or maybe you’re just curious. Whatever the reason, you are invited to join in the weekly yoga sessions being offered by Diana Mulroy. The sessions are being offered in a virtual format, so it makes it easy and safe to participate. Classes are $10.00/session, and all proceeds benefit the outreach projects supported by Belfry Bargains. Sessions are Monday and Wednesday evenings at 6:30pm; and Thursday mornings, 9:30am. Diana notes: “If there is a different time that might work better for you, email me and I’ll try to add it.” Contact Diana (email@example.com; 267-481-6091) to register or for more information.
At a time such as this –
join a winter book discussion via Zoom beginning THURSDAY JANUARY 21, 2021 at 2:00 p.m.
Unafraid: Living with Courage
and Hope in Uncertain Times
“You’d be hard-pressed to overstate the extent to which fear, anxiety, and worry permeate our lives today. Fear wreaks havoc on our relationships and communities. It leads us into making bad decisions. It holds us back from the very pursuits that promise fulfillment and joy.”
REVEREND ADAM HAMILTON is senior pastor of the Church of the Resurrection outside Kansas City, the largest and most influential United Methodist congregation in the United States. He is a leading voice for reconciliation and church renewal in mainstream Christianity, and the author of twenty-five books. He has seen the cost of fear up close. When he surveyed his congregation on how fear affects them, 2,400 people responded - and what they said was eye-opening. Eighty percent admitted to living with moderate or significant levels of fear.
Unafraid is Hamilton's insightful and impassioned response. Drawing on recent research, inspiring real-life examples, and fresh biblical insight, Hamilton uses a mixture of facts and faith to help readers understand and counter fears related to such outsize perils as death and illness, as well as the everyday anxieties all of us encounter. He invites us to:
Face our fears with a bias of hope
Examine our fears in light of the facts
Attack our anxieties with action
Release our cares to God
His book shows us how we can develop sustaining spiritual practices and embrace Jesus’s recurring counsel: “Do not be afraid.” For anyone struggling with fear or wondering how families and communities can thrive in troubled times, Unafraid offers an informed and inspiring message full of practical solutions.” (Amazon.com)
Amazon – Hardcover - $16.79; Kindle - $11.09
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.
YOUTH OF MESSIAH CONTINUE
TO COLLECT 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.
Some people have ordered items online and had them sent directly to the church, which is perfectly fane and eliminates the need to shop in crowded stores. And the 12-step groups that meet here at the church have also contributed items. Thank you to everyone who has donated to this worthy cause!
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 $35,00.00 from members of the congregation. In less than a month, we have raised $55,440.00 toward this goal! WOW!! THANK YOU!! Funds raised above the stated $35K goal will ease the needs imposed by the endowment withdrawal and diocesan loan.
We are asking you and your household to prayerfully consider a financial donation to meet this important need. Work will 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Thank you for whatever assistance you can give toward this important parish project!
2021 OFFERING ENVELOPES
AVAILABLE FOR PICKUP
If you currently use weekly offering envelopes for your pledge, you will again receive envelopes for the coming year. Envelopes are now available for pickup, located on a table in the hallway outside the Rector’s office. Questions: please contact the bookkeeper Sarah Patram email@example.com; or the church office. Thanks!
Most of us look forward to dinners with tasty roasts, gravy and mashed potatoes or egg noodles. This tasty dish is bound to become one of your family’s favorites.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Soupy Roast Beef
2-3 Tablespoons salt
1 3lb eye roast
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 10 oz. cans French Onion soup
1 10 oz. can Golden Mushroom soup
Rub the salt into the meat very well. Coat meat with flour. Heat vegetable oil in a large cast iron Dutch Oven and sear the roast on all sides. Transfer the roast to a platter and scrape the pan to loosen the drippings. Add the French Onion and Golden Mushroom soups and 3 3/4 cups of water to the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Return the roast and it’s juices to the pan. Cover and cook until the meat is tender, about 3 hours. Remove the roast to a platter or cutting board to rest. Slice and serve with mashed potatoes or egg noodles and the pan gravy. Enjoy!
Soon it will be spring and we’ll be sitting outside enjoying the evenings. Lighting always enhances the ambiance of these times. Here’s an idea that gives you the flexibility of putting lights wherever you choose.
Making Mason Jar Oil Lamps
One glass mason jar with a metal lid
A strip of 100% cotton for the wick, or a fiberglass wick
Olive oil, citronella oil, or other non-toxic lamp oil
Food coloring, if desired
Nail and hammer
Unscrew the lid from the jar. Hammer the nail through the center of the lid to make a hole for the wick to pass through. Measure how much wick you need to hang from 1/4” over the lid, to the very bottom of the jar, then add an extra couple of inches so that you will get a lot of use out of the wick as you trim it. Before assembling your lamp, put the bottom third of the wick into a bowl and cover with the oil you’ve chosen to use. Allow it to sit for a few minutes to soak up oil. Remove the wick from the oil and lay it on a paper towel to absorb excess oil until you are ready to insert it into your lamp. This will make your first burn go easier. Pour your chosen oil into the jar, adding food coloring, if desired. Screw the lid on the jar. Insert the wick, leaving 1/4” outside and above the top of the lid. If you leave too much wick you will have a huge flame. For fun, fill your jar with decorative items such as dried flowers, pine cones, berries or shells before adding the oil. Have fun!