Rector's Message: Saturday, 24 April 2021

Updated: May 1

Sunday, 25 April

Fourth Sunday of Easter

Included in today's update: The Rector's Message, Birthdays in the Week Ahead, Annual Parish Meeting, Sue Phillip's retirement reception, YOM Summer Mission Trip, Seeking Vestry Nominations, In Person Worship, Creative Angels Recipe, and Ongoing Updates


Saturday,24 April 2021

Dear Friends:

Perhaps you, like me, and most of our country, found yourself holding your breath for a few days as we awaited the verdict of the trial in Minneapolis. With National Guard troops called out in many states, and businesses in that city and others boarded up in preparation of possible rioting and looting, everything and everyone seemed on edge. Thankfully, with the jury's verdict, we found ourselves able to exhale and the tension we carried in our shoulders relaxed.

If justice was not achieved, certainly accountability was accomplished. And for that I am grateful. But there were no winners as a result of these legal proceedings. One man is dead. Another faces years of incarceration. And two families are grieving and changed forever by their losses.

It is too soon to know the path this one step has set us on, and I will leave it to the historians and minds much brighter than my own, to determine what, if anything, has been altered in the tragic trajectory of systemic racism that has plagued this nation for over 400 years.

For now, I can only hope and pray that we have moved closer to the vision of the prophet Amos (5:24) - that one day, we will "let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream."

May the days of your Easter season be filled with joy, health, 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.

  • Tina Madison

  • Joanne Fitzgerald

  • Lyn Jones

  • Mike Clement

  • Karen Givnish

  • Emily Prezuhy

  • Charlotte Donovan

  • Benjamin Meier


The Annual Parish Meeting, normally held on the first Sunday in May, has been postponed this year. The new date is Sunday, June 13th. As is the custom here at Messiah, the meeting will take place in the midst of the 9:30am Eucharist, and will feature presentations by the Rector on the highlights of the past year and proposed events planned for the year ahead, financial data from the Treasurer, and information from the Wardens on important developments for the parish. We will also honor Vestry retirements and approve a new class of Vestry members for three-year terms. Please plan to attend.

YOM 2021 Mission Trip

Local Ministry Week

We are excited to announce our Summer 2021 Mission Trip! This year our week of service will look a bit different. Our group will be working together for several consecutive weekdays during the week of June 21-25. We are coordinating with several different organizations and outreach programs in Philadelphia and Montgomery County, and our group will be volunteering at different locations each day. During a typical year we would be traveling out of state or out of the country, and we would usually be sharing some tight living arrangements with groups from other states. Although we are not travelling far this year, we recognize that there are many needs within our own community and those surrounding us nearby. This past year has brought a lot of challenges, not just financially but also emotionally and spiritually. We hope that throughout this week of service our ministry group can bring healing, love and hope to the people in our communities.

Dates: Monday, June 21st - Friday, June 25th

Who Can Go: Any Youth entering 7th - 12th grade who are currently in our YOM program or will be entering into the YOM program in the coming year. If any youth have friends who are interested in this great experience, we are always open to allowing our ministry to grow!

How Much Will The Trip Cost: The total amount for our week of service will be $100. This will help cover our costs for transportation, materials for some of our volunteer sites, evening meals, and our Friday activities. Some of the expenses are already being covered by our youth fund.

How To Sign Up: Please fill out a Mission Trip Sign Up form and turn it in along with $100 to reserve your space! If you have any friends who may be interested, please have them contact us so that we may provide information on the trip and answer any questions.

We hope you decide to join us for this unique ministry opportunity!

If you have any questions about signing up or our trip in general,

please contact Dave Reichley at: or 267-664-2276


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


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.


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


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

From the Rector: With warmer weather coming in, many people's thoughts turn to prospects another season of enjoying meals from the grill. I enjoy making my own BBQ sauces and pass along three of my favorites. These also make wonderful gifts.


  • 1 can (12 oz.) Dr. Pepper

  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar

  • 2 TBsp spicy brown mustard

  • 1 TBsp orange juice

  • 1 TBsp Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/8 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 30-35 minutes or until slightly thickened; stirring occasionally. Refrigerate leftovers.


  • 2/3 cup white vinegar

  • 2/3 cup cider vinegar

  • 1/2 cup ketchup

  • 3 TBsp packed brown sugar

  • 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1/8 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 15-20 minutes or until flavors are blended.


  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/4 tsp ground oregano

  • 1/2 tsp ground thyme

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp pepper

  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar

  • 1 cup molasses

  • 1 cup ketchup

  • 1 cup prepared yellow mustard

  • 2 TBsp canola oil

Combine sugar, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, cayenne and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Stir in enough vinegar to make paste. Combine molasses, ketchup, mustard, oil and remaining vinegar in a separate bowl; add to herb paste. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat; cool completely. Pour into a glass jar; cover tightly. Store refrigerated for up to 3 months.

Now . . . the following one sounds a bit strange, but trust me, it make a delicious sauce! I have been making this for many years and have received many good reviews whenever I use it.


  • 2 TBsp canola oil

  • 1/4 cup minced onion (about 1/4 medium onion)

  • 2 TBsp tomato paste

  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (may use almond butter if allergies are a concern)

  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar

  • 2 TBsp light brown sugar

  • 2 TBsp molasses

  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

  • 1 tsp pepper

  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

In a medium saucepan, heat oil. Add onion and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until lightly caramelized and deepened in color, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the remaining ingredients, and add 6 TBsp water. Simmer until flavors are combined, and the sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

** Sauce may be used as a marinade, a basting sauce, or served on the side. Refrigerate leftovers in jar with tight lid.


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