Rector's Message: Saturday, 20 March 2021

Sunday, 21 March

Fifth Sunday in Lent

Included in today's update: The Rector's Message, Birthdays in the week ahead, Reopening of the Church, Parish Roof Complete, Seeking Vestry Nominations, Help needed by a Parish member, Creative Angels Recipe, and Ongoing Updates


Saturday, 20 March 2021

Dear Friends:


the Reopening of Church of the Messiah

for In-Person Worship



8:00am Rite I, Holy Eucharist

10:00am Rite II, Holy Eucharist with Music

With the consistent reduction of infections, hospitalizations and deaths, and the increasing numbers of vaccinations, the Diocesan Office and their medical advisory panel, which has taken a conservative approach throughout this pandemic, has eased restrictions for churches to reopen. Following these new guidelines, the wardens and vestry have unanimously approved a plan to allow for in-person worship beginning on Easter Sunday.

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

  • 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 (, please contact the parish office for weekly mailings of the service bulletin and sermon.

As noted above, there will be two services on Easter Sunday:

  • The first is a quieter, more meditative offering with extended periods of silence, allowing contemplation of the mighty acts of the day.

  • The second service will carry a more festive, celebratory tone, featuring music expressing the joy of the Resurrection.

Beginning on April 11th, the Second Sunday of Easter, there will be one Sunday service at 9:30am. The same guidelines noted above will be followed, gradually lifted as restrictions are eased by the Bishop’s office.

I look forward to greeting many of you on Easter morning! But whatever your choice – whether joining us here in-person, or joining with us on-line or through the weekly mailings – know that you are loved in the name of Our Risen Lord!

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.

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!

May your week ahead be filled with health, happiness and hope!

Blessings! Peace! Grace! And Love!

- Keith


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.

  • Peggy Kern

  • John Sangston

  • Nathan Merritt

  • Jackson Marshall

  • Amanda Knowles

  • Carter Dunlap

  • Bob Duffield

  • Kaylynn MacMinn

  • Ed Steel

  • Jim Hautzinger


The work to replace the roof and gutters on the Parish House is now finished! If you haven't been by the church recently, I think you will greatly pleased with the new look of the building. The red roof really makes a statement and the building stands out beautifully. Thanks to everyone who contributed to make this project possible. And to Marv Walters for his time and effort in coordinating with the contractors. Well done!!!


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.


A member of the parish with limited mobility and can no longer drive has been receiving assistance from a couple of parishioners with rides to doctor's appointments, errands, and help 1-2 times a week with minor household chores (taking out trash, etc). She has just moved into a new apartment for independent living, and needs additional help getting settled. Her new apartment is in Hatfield, twice the distance from parishioners who have been helping her. If anyone lives near Hatfield can help this parishioner settle in her new apartment (unpacking, minor furniture repair/placement, cleaning) and/or provide rides to appointments, please contact Michael Stinson at Enter "Help for Parishioner" in the subject line. Thank you.


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.


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

So many of us have enjoyed sourdough bread but have not engaged in making it because we thought it too difficult.’s a simple recipe for making a sourdough starter. So many new recipes for sourdough are appearing everywhere. Try this and have fun!


  • 3 - 4 grain flour (unbleached, whole grain wheat, whole grain rye) divided

  • 3 - 5 cups filtered water, divided

In a non-reactive glass or ceramic bowl, combine 1 cup of flour with 1 - 1 1/4 cup water to create a pancake-like batter. Cover loosely with a light kitchen towel and leave on the counter. On every following day, add an additional 1/4 - 1/2 cup of flour with equal amounts of water. Add an additional tablespoon of water, if needed, to maintain consistency of pancake batter. Stir to combine, scraping down sides of bowl to keep them clean, then cover again. In warmer weather, use 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water. In around 5 days, the batter will be bubbly and have a pleasant fermented scent. Transfer the starter to a clean 1/2 gallon jar and store in the refrigerator or counter. To replenish used starter, simply add enough flour and water to refill the jar about 1/2 - 2/3 of the way up and keep the pancake batter like consistency.

Making Sourdough Bread

  • 3/4 cup fed, active and bubbly sourdough starter

  • 1 1/2 cup water

  • Just over 4 1/4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for shaping

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt

Pour the sourdough starter and water into a large glass or ceramic mixing bowl. Whisk together. Add the flour and the salt. With clean hands, combine all ingredients for about 20 seconds until all flour is cleaned off of the sides of the bowl. The dough will feel sticky. Let the dough rest. Put a tea towel on top of the bowl and set on the counter for 30 minutes to an hour. Starting from one end of the dough, lift it up and fold it over itself into the center of the dough. Then rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat, until all sides have been lifted, tucked and folded. Cover the bowl and let sit on the counter. Then, repeat the lifts and tucks 2 more times, each one about an hour apart. Cover the bowl with Saran Wrap and then a tea towel on top. Place in the refrigerator and let sit overnight. Pull the dough out of the refrigerator and clear your countertop. On half of the counter, sprinkle some flour and leave the other half clean. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on the flour side. Do one more round of the lifts and tucks to form your dough. Remove the dough from the flour side, flip it over and set it on the non flour side. Form the letter C with your hands. Use a cupping motion around the dough to create a ball. Rotate the ball with short rotations in a circle. The dough ball should be easy to pick up. It shouldn’t be sticky. Add more flour if sticky. Use a sheet of parchment paper and place the dough on the parchment paper. Pick up the parchment paper and set the dough in a Dutch oven. Cover with a tea towel and let sit on the counter for at least 2 hours. Take the bread that was rising in the Dutch oven out of the Dutch oven. Turn the oven to 450 degrees and place the Dutch oven into the oven to preheat with it. Once the oven is preheated, score your bread. Create one or two slits. Carefully place the parchment paper with the bread on it inside of the Dutch oven. Cover the Dutch oven with the bread inside and place it in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes with the lid on, and then another 20 minutes with the lid off. Take the bread from the oven. Take the bread from the pot and place it on a cooling rack so it can cool. Let cool for an hour. Enjoy!

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