top of page

Rector's Message: Saturday, 21 August 2021

Updated: Sep 7, 2021

Sunday, 22 August

The Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Included in today's update: Updated Mask Advisory, A Message from the Rector, Scripture Verse for the week, Birthdays in the Week Ahead, Bishop Curry's Prayer for Afghanistan, Blue Jeans Collection for the Homeless, Church School News, YOM Calendar for the upcoming year, Celebration of Life for F. Lee Mangan, Support our Manna on Main St. Ministry Partner, Prayer Shawls Available, Volunteers Needed for Tea on the Terrace and Altar Flowers Guild, Important Fall Dates, Openings still available for Rector's Pilgrimage to Oberammergau Passion Play, Update on the daycare/preschool/education center, Job opportunities at SMG Clubhouse, Creative Angels Recipe, and Ongoing Updates


In accordance with the latest CDC guidelines

and for the safety of all,

particularly the children in our parish family,

all worshippers are highly encouraged

to wear a mask or face covering,

regardless of vaccination status.

Thank you for prayerfully considering this request

for the health of all members of our faith community.


Saturday,21 August 2021

With children, teachers, administrators and support staff making final preparations for heading back into the classroom, there is a growing sense of anxiety and concern throughout our communities. This is a new and constantly changing situation for everyone. I offer this prayer for your consideration and use in the days ahead.

Prayer for the Safety of Returning to School in a Pandemic

Heavenly Father,

hear us when we tell You of our concerns

of sending our children and educators back to school.

Know that we are striving to make all the right decisions

and need your love and power to help us overcome any difficulties.

Please watch over everyone as times and routines are about to change once again.

We know that we can do anything through You,

so please help us ensure health and semi-normalcy in the coming months.

We give our hearts to You, now and forever. Amen.

-Author unknown

And I offer you the following poem from Laura Kelley Fanucci. In the midst of so much sickness and death and uncertainty, it can be difficult to find hope for the future. These verses fill that need for me - and perhaps for you - as we move together through this viral pandemic crisis.


When this is over,

may we never again

take for granted

a handshake with a stranger

full shelves at the store

conversations with neighbors

a crowded theatre

Friday night out

the taste of Communion

a routine checkup

the school rush each morning

coffee with a friend

the stadium roaring

each deep breath

a boring Tuesday

life itself.

When this ends,

may we find

that we have become

more like the people

we wanted to be

we were called to be

we hoped to be

and may we stay

that way - better

for each other

because of the worst.

May your closing summer days be filled with joy, health, and hope!

Stay safe! Keep well!

Blessings! Peace! Grace! And Love!

- Keith


Each week, from the lessons and psalm assigned within the lectionary, I select a verse or two that I hope you will find inspirational and helpful in the days ahead. This week's selected verse comes from Psalm 84:3-4.

Happy are they who dwell in your house! *

they will always be praising you.

Happy are the people whose strength is in you! *

whose hearts are set on the pilgrims' way.


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.

  • Barbara ‘Bobbie’ Myers

  • Sara Stavely

  • Richard Thatcher

  • Richard Pearcey

  • Patti Saunders



Eternal God, hear our prayer for the peoples of Afghanistan. There is a profound humanitarian crisis. Countless people, mostly women and children, are now fleeing and vulnerable. The lives of many are now endangered. The hopes of many are forgone. Send your Spirit, Lord, to rally the resolve of the nations of the earth to find pathways to save human lives, protect human rights, and to resolve the hardships of those seeking refuge, asylum, and safety. Hear our prayer for the peoples of Afghanistan. This we pray as followers of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Amen.

The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry

Presiding Bishop and Primate

The Episcopal Church

NOTE: For the many people who have asked how they can support The Episcopal Church's efforts to resettle and provide direct assistance to Afghans seeking special immigrant visas, please visit:


The deacons of the diocese are leading a blue jeans collection throughout the churches of the diocese. Blue jeans are durable and in need by those who are without shelter. The deacons are asking all churches - and you - to collect what you can so that they can be delivered to those across our community most in need. Collection bins are located in the narthex of the church. Please help us fill them!


  • clean, gently worn jeans

  • those jeans in the back of you closet that you know you will never wear again

  • brand new jeans, in your size (it's good to be generous!)


Mark your calendars for the start of the new Church School year:

  • SEPTEMBER 12 - Church School registration

  • SEPTEMBER 19 - Church School and Nursery reopen for the year

Following the CDC and diocesan guidelines, and for the safety of all:

  • all children, teachers and nursery volunteers will be strongly encouraged to wear a mask or face covering, regardless of vaccination status

  • seats will be spread out, when both sitting at a table or on the carpet

  • snacks and drinks will not be served

  • hand sanitizer will be available, as well as the restroom sink for hand washing

  • each child will be supplied with a bag of their own supplies to eliminate the need for sharing supplies

PLEASE NOTE: Nursery volunteers are needed to care for with our youngest parishioners during the 9:30am service. Please contact Tiffany Reichley if you are willing to serve: 215-779-0391;



Dave Reichley, Messiah's Youth Minister, and Cheryl Berry, the YOM program's lead volunteer, along with the Rector and Warden, spent much of the summer planning the events, activities and meetings for the upcoming year. Many changes and upgrades were in response to suggestions included in last spring's survey from teens and parents. Thank you to all who participated and gave such helpful feedback.

We are excited about the range of variety of the offerings presented - an increased number of community outreach projects, as well as a "Sr. Prom" for members and friends of the parish. Go the parish website to find the complete calendar. September activities include:

  • SEPTEMBER 19 - following the 9:30 service - Parents Meeting to review the calendar, answer questions, recruit volunteers

  • SEPTEMBER 26 - 5:30-7:00pm - Potluck and game night for all YOM parents and teens - an opportunity for new families to get to know everyone, and experienced families to reconnect at the beginning of a new year


Actually, she really needs no introduction since she and her family have been active and faithful members of Messiah for quite some time; she and her husband, Dave, were married here; her two children, Addison and Jameson, were baptized here; and she has served as our Church School Director for the past several years. TIFFANY REICHLEY will assume her new responsibilities on the first of September. She will be in the parish office twenty-five hours each week, Monday-Friday, welcoming visitors, answering phones, supporting the Rector and other staff members, and performing the wide variety and number of administrative tasks required to keep the parish (and Rector!) organized and functioning smoothly and in a timely fashion. Please welcome Tiffany to her new position.




Following the service to be held here at Church of the Messiah, all are invited to continue the celebration at a luncheon to be served at the William Penn Inn. In order for adequate preparations to be made for the meal, please RSVP to Lynn Mangan by September 9th: 215-699-8743,



Both last summer and this year, throughout the summer months, twice each week, a local farmstand donates their excess fresh vegetables and fruit to those in need. Two of our parishioners – John Sangston and Ulrich Taglieber – transport the donations to Manna, allowing them to distribute fresh produce to their clients. In appreciation for their generosity, Messiah parishioners may wish to consider visiting and supporting the farmstand as a gesture of our gratitude for assisting us in this important ministry. Skippack Pike Farmstand is located is located at 1040 West Skippack Pike, Blue Bell (between Valley Road and Cathcart Road, next to the former Korean restaurant).

And We Continue to Collect & Deliver Non-Perishable Items

As you do your weekly shopping, please pick up some non-perishable food items, toiletries and cleaning supplies. These donations can be left on the back pew of the church or left outside the Rector’s office door. These will then be delivered to Manna to stock their shelves for distribution to meet clients’ needs.


The Prayer Shawl Ministry has an abundant supply of prayer shawls available for distribution. If you or someone you know is ill or hospitalized, shut-in, experiencing the death of a loved one, welcoming a new baby into the family or celebrating another life event, a prayer shawl serves as a reminder that they are being held in others’ thoughts and prayers. Requesting a prayer shawl is easy: simply contact the Rector (; 215-699-9204) or Nancy Sisson (; 215-285-0331).



Each Sunday, the altar is graced with flowers dedicated to the glory of God, as well as the memory of a loved one or given in thanksgiving by members of the congregation. For the past several years, these weekly arrangements have been lovingly done by Nancy Sisson and Deb Casey, with occasional help from Dale Murphy and Kristin Pickell. Sadly, Deb will soon be relocating to the Delaware beach area - a bit too far to commute for flower arranging! We are now looking for volunteers to assist in this important ministry by taking responsibility of providing floral arrangements for a few weeks each year. If you have experience in this area, or are interested in learning, please contact Nancy Sisson for more information (215-285-0331; Your help will be greatly appreciated.


After being shut for several months due to the pandemic, Belfry Bargains will reopen in September! All proceeds from this important parish ministry, now in its third decade, provides outreach funds to local, national and international social service and justice agencies and organizations. Hours of operation are 10:00am-1:00pm, Monday through Saturday. Volunteers perform a variety of tasks: assisting customers; manning the sales counter; receiving, sorting, pricing and stocking donated clothing, small kitchen items, and other merchandise. Assistance is needed, particularly on Mondays and Thursdays. If you are willing to serve, have questions, or need more information, please contact Diana Mulroy (



  • OUTDOOR EUCHARIST - celebrate Communion and the splendor of God's Creation on the church lawn in the beauty of autumn

  • PARISH BRUNCH PICNIC - gather with your parish family and share a meal and fellowship

  • SMG CLUBHOUSE DAYCARE - tour the newly renovated lower level of the Parish Hall, greet the daycare director and teachers

  • CHURCH SCHOOL REGISTRATION - register your children (age 4 through 6th grade) for the upcoming church school year

  • 'SNEAK PEEK' SHOPPING DAY AT BELFRY BARGAINS - get a first crack at shopping before the official opening to the public on the following day: Monday, September 13th


  • 8:00AM EUCHARIST RESUMES - after 18 months hiatus, the early service returns for those who prefer a shorter, more contemplative Sunday worship experience

  • CHURCH SCHOOL CLASSES BEGIN - children gather for class upstairs in the Parish Hall by 9:30am, then return to church in time to share in Communion

  • NURSERY SERVICE RETURNS - the parish nursery, located on the upper level of the Parish Hall, is staffed by volunteers from 9:15am until the end of the service

  • YOM PARENT MEETING - following the 9:30 service, join us in the Guild Room to learn more about the events, activities and meetings planned for the parish youth in the year ahead





a cultural & spiritual experience of a lifetime

September 10-21, 2022

more info: see flyer & narthex display

The original performance of the world-renowned Oberammergau Passion Play dates back almost four centuries to the year 1634. During the Thirty-Year War, the small Bavarian village of Oberammergau was spared the ravages of the Black Plague. In thanksgiving, the residents vowed that every ten years they would reenact the last days of Christ in a magnificent passion play. All of the performers of this once-each-decade event are required to be native to the village, from babes in arms to village elders. To be chosen for the various roles is a great honor, and to lend authenticity to the performance, the cast starts to grow their hair and beards more than a year in advance. In addition to visiting the charming Oberammergau village and attending the Passion Play (Category 1 tickets and seating), we will visit a trio of Europe’s most beautiful cities: Budapest, Vienna and Prague; as well as the fairy-tale town of Cesky Krumlov and other sites and experiences throughout the region. And our final night, in Munich, coincides with the opening of Oktoberfest!

Reservations are now being accepted for the limited spots available.

A $500. deposit holds your spot.

From the Rector: “Having escorted a group to the Passion Play in the year 2000, Deb and I can assure you that it is an experience you will never forget, will inform your understanding of Our Lord’s Passion, and deepen your faith!”



The deep cleaning has been accomplished! All the spaces have been painted! The new flooring has been laid! And the tables, chairs, cribs, toys and other furnishings and supplies have started to arrive! The lease has been approved by the diocese and signed by both parties! The credentialing applications have all been filed and are waiting for approval!

SMG Clubhouse at Church of the Messiah

is well on its way to becoming a reality!

Be sure to be here on Sunday, September 12th, for the open house and tour of the newly renovated spaces, and an opportunity to meet the Day Care Director and staff.

If you, or someone you know, is in need of day care (3 months to 5 years) and wants to know more about SMG Clubhouse and enrollment opportunities, contact the Director, Syieda Logan, at 215-999-3811 or for information.


We are seeking adults that would be responsible for supervising, nurturing, and caring for children ages 3 months to 5 years old, school age children in our before- and after-school program and children utilizing our drop-in childcare option. Staff are responsible for welcoming children & families each day, providing meals, developing crafts and activities, changing diapers, assisting with toileting, and ensuring children behave well when in contact with others.

Primary responsibilities include, but aren't limited to...

  • Nurture and care for children

  • Supervise older children before and after school.

  • Provide nutritious meals.

  • Take temperatures and record 3 x's per day.

  • Wipe hands and mouth before and after meals.

  • Perform good hand-washing techniques for disease and infection control.

  • Organize activities and implement curricula that stimulate children's physical, emotional, intellectual, and social growth.

  • Prepare bottles/ cups and change diapers.

  • Ensure children have adequate supplies from home, such as diaper cream and diapers.

  • Provide for a child's basic needs.

  • Comfort children when they are crying.

  • Determine cause of distress.

  • Post updates to parents each day through the use of a parent engagement app.

  • Participate in a minimum two evening parent teacher conferences per year to discuss a child's progress & needs.

  • Become familiar with a child's IEP and accommodations.

  • Make suggestions for things parents can work on at home.

  • Recruit parent volunteers to work with the children and participate in administrative decisions and program planning.

  • Prepare daily and long-term schedules of activities.

  • Supervise children while they are playing outside.

  • Supervise children while on field trips.

Job Types: Full-time, Part-time, Substitute Teachers, Cook

Pay: $12.00 - $13.00 per hour


  • Employee discount

  • Professional development assistance

Please contact Syieda Logan - 215-999-3811

Resumes can be emailed:


The Parish Office will be closed on Thursdays for the remaining of the summer - August 5, 12, 19, 26; September 2 - in order for the Rector to take some vacation days. Hours on Monday through Wednesday are 9:00am-1:00pm.

Beginning after Labor Day, office hours will expand to Monday through Friday, 9:30am-2:30pm.


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


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

I have been in Virginia this week with my cousin. One of the things we enjoy doing together is trying new recipes. She had collected an abundance of tomatoes so we put together this tomato tart. It is a delicious side dish and easy to make.

So good!



Tomato Feta Tart

  • 1 14 oz package puff pastry, thawed

  • Flour, for dusting

  • 2 - 3 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 4 - 5 tomatoes, ripe, sliced

  • 2 - 3 Tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled

  • Fresh thyme or basil, for garnish

  • Kosher salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. roll out the puff pastry on a sheet of lightly floured parchment paper. Prick the pastry in a few places with a fork and brush all over with olive oil. Slide the parchment paper onto a baking sheet. Arrange the tomatoes on top (a little overlap is fine, leave a 1 inch border), sprinkle with cheese, salt and pepper, then drizzle with another Tablespoon of olive oil.

Bake the tart until edges of pastry are browned, puffed and crisp, 25 - 30 minutes. (Start checking after 15 minutes). Let cool about 10 minutes before slicing.

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
bottom of page