Rector's Message: Saturday, 17 April 2021

Sunday, 18 April

Third Sunday of Easter

Included in today's update: The Rector's Message, 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


Saturday,17 April 2021

Dear Friends:

"Have you anything here to eat?"

In my first position after seminary and ordination, I served as assistant to an experienced pastor in a large suburban parish in Louisville, KY. His name was Dick Humke, and I learned much from Dick and greatly credit my time under his mentorship for forming me and making me into the priest I am today. He once advised me that when making a grief call to a home following a death in the family, when it seemed that the grieving individuals were slightly disoriented and having difficulty focusing, "I always find it helpful," he would say, "to ask: Do you have the coffee pot on?" It is a lesson I still use from time to time all these many years later. In the midst of things that knock us off course, it helps to keep going about the ordinary tasks of life. The ordinary grounds us, especially in moments of disorientation and confusion.

In tomorrow's Gospel lesson (Luke 24:36b-48), Jesus asks the disciples, who are still trying to come to grips with his death, and then his Resurrection, "Have you anything here to eat?" In their time of disorientation, Jesus seeks to bring them back to the ordinary, and, in so doing, they come to recognize his presence among them.

And this is not the only instance: On the trip to Emmaus, in breaking the bread at the evening meal, the disciples who had known who was accompanying them on the road, suddenly recognize their teacher, Jesus. In a picnic on the beach after a night of fishing, the apostles are reunited with their Risen Lord. All these centuries later, it is still the same. It is in the breaking of the bread at the altar that we, Jesus' modern disciples, come to recognize Christ's presence. And it is through us, in the sharing of bread with the hungry of the world, that Christ's presence is made known in love and hope.

The extraordinary, the Divine, intersects with the ordinary, in our earthly, mundane, daily tasks. Worship and witness, prayer and work, receiving bread at the altar and sharing bread with the hungry - all these are part of the same fabric for the faithful Christian. Through the bread, the body of the Risen Christ received at the altar rail, we are transformed into the Body of Christ, the Church; and we are then led to share the bread of the earth with the hungry. We receive Christ's body in order to be Christ's Body in and to this hungry world.

As the Church, let us constantly ask ourselves: "Have we anything here to eat?" And may we always have something to lovingly and joyfully share with those around us who are not just physically, but spiritually and emotionally, hungry. For it is in the breaking and sharing of bread that Christ's presence is made fully known.

May the days of your Easter season be filled with joy, health, and hope!

Blessings! Peace! Grace! And Love!

- Keith


We have now resumed in-person worship with 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 are 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 live-streamed and posted on the parish website, allowing for participation on-line, either in real-time or at your convenience. If you do not have access to the website (, 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.


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 (

  • 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 ( for viewing at a time convenient for you


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.

  • Margaret Harkins

  • Walter Unangst

  • Kathy Parry

  • Patti Macek

  • Laura Brogan

  • AJ Gardner

  • Shawn Martin

  • Carl Benz


This event has been scheduled for NEXT 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.



The Youth of Messiah are 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:


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.


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 (; 215-699-9204).

  • June 13

  • July 11

  • August 1

  • October 3

  • October 31


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!


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.


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.


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

John Sprouse confessed to liking to cook! He said he likes to make “simple things.” He shared two of his favorites for us to enjoy!

Oven Baked Chicken

Turn oven to 350 degrees. Use aluminum foil to line a baking tray (size depends on how much you’re making). Spray the foil covered tray with olive oil. In a zip lock bag, mix 3-4 Tablespoons of Italian bread crumbs, a Tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder. Zip the bag closed and shake to mix thoroughly. Use chicken breasts ( slice thick chicken breasts as you would a filet) or chicken tenders. Use 4 pieces of chicken. Dry chicken thoroughly with a paper towel. Coat pieces of chicken with a thin layer of mayonnaise. Spread out the dry mixture on a dinner plate. Roll the chicken in the dry mixture. Place chicken on the prepared baking sheet. Bake chicken for about 20 minutes. Then, turn oven to broil. Place chicken under the broiler for 2 - 3 minutes to get the chicken a little brown on top. A dip of equal parts of mayonnaise, horseradish and Dijon mustard served with the chicken works well.

Roasted Potatoes

Turn oven on to 350 degrees. Use a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Use 2 to 3 baking potatoes. Wash the potatoes thoroughly and cut each potato into four pieces lengthwise. Coat the potato pieces with olive oil. Arrange the potato pieces on the baking sheet skin side down. Sprinkle with a small amount of black pepper, salt, garlic powder and paprika. Roast for 25 - 30 minutes until the tops of the potatoes begin to brown. Serve with sour cream.


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