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Rector's Message: Saturday, 27 February 2021

Updated: Mar 6, 2021

Sunday, 28 February

Second Sunday in Lent

Included in today's update: The Rector's Message, Birthdays in the week ahead, Celebration of Life for William Morland Griffiths, Help needed by a Parish member, Drive-Thru Reception Postponed, Work beginning on the Parish Roof, Creative Angels Recipe, and Ongoing Updates


Saturday, 27 February 2021

Dear Friends:

+ + + The Season of Lent + + +

+ Dates Lent, the 40-day period preceding Easter, begins on Ash Wednesday and ends with the celebrations on Easter Day. The final week before Easter is called Holy Week, with special services between Palm Sunday and Holy Saturday. (NOTE: Sundays are not counted within the 40 days because every Sunday is a ‘little Easter,’ commemorating the Resurrection.)

+ Theme Retreating into the Wilderness & Preparing to Receive God’s Grace: In the 40 days of Lent, Christians imitate Moses and the ancient Israelites’ 40-year wandering in the desert before entering the Promised Land; and Jesus’ withdrawal into the desert for 40 days following his baptism.

+ Color If liturgical colors are used, decorations are purple, the traditional color reserved for royalty, for the Church is preparing to receive our risen King. Other options include: ‘the Lenten array,’ draping the altar in unbleached muslin; or, as much as possible, eliminating color completely, symbolic of the arid starkness of the desert experience.

+ Lent is a season of soul-searching and repentance, a time for reflection and taking stock. Originating in the very earliest days of the Church as a preparatory time for Easter, Lent was a period when the faithful rededicated themselves and when converts were instructed in the faith and prepared for baptism. All Christian denominations (Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Episcopal, Lutheran) having a continuous history extending before 1500 C.E. observe Lent in various ways.

+ Spiritual Disciplines for this period have traditionally included: penitential prayer and confession; scripture reading and study; fasting; and almsgiving. These disciplines are helpful in preparing the individual believer to receive the wondrous gift of Our Risen Lord at Easter.

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.

Let's all continue to do our part to stop the spread of this pandemic!

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

Blessings! Peace! Grace! And Love!

- Keith

PLEASE NOTE: The Drive-Thru Retirement Reception for Sue Phillips – originally scheduled for tomorrow morning – has been postponed and will be rescheduled for a future date. Stay tuned . . .


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.

  • Barb Tudgay

  • Pam Daveler

  • Grayce Hoffman

  • Helen Vanderslice

  • Molly Unangst

  • Diana Mulroy

  • Jami Behm

  • Doris Griffiths

  • Carol Lawrence

Celebration of Life for

William Morland Griffiths

2 March 1921 + 16 January 2021

This Tuesday, March 2nd, on what would have been his 100th birthday, family members will gather for the funeral and interment of Bill Griffiths. At Doris’ request, the service will be videoed and made available on the church website.


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.


The work to replace the roof on the Parish Hall with a standing seam metal roof has begun! 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 $35,000.00 from members of the congregation. Presently, we have raised $63,765.20 toward this goal! 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:; 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 (

Thank you for whatever assistance you can give toward this important parish project!


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

As we face springtime (and pray for it!), we also hope for memorable together times with the special people in our lives.

This recipe is elegant served with a crisp salad, outside on a warm evening.

Champagne Chicken Piccata

  • 4 - 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/3 cup flour

  • Dash of salt and pepper

  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 4 Tablespoons butter

  • Small amount of minced garlic

  • 1 cup champagne

  • 6 Tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup brined capers (optional)

Mix together the flour, salt, pepper and grated Parmesan. Rinse the chicken pieces in water. Dredge them thoroughly in the flour mixture. Heat olive oil and 2 Tablespoons of butter in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add half of the chicken pieces to the skillet. Brown well on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove chicken from pan and reserve on a plate. Cover plate with aluminum foil and keep warm in oven while preparing the sauce. Add champagne, garlic, lemon juice and capers (if using). Reduce sauce by half. Whisk in remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter. Plate the chicken and serve with sauce poured over chicken. Serve over cooked rice.


And now....a fun pre-Easter project.....

How to Marbelize Eggs

Mix 1/4 cup of boiling water, 1/8 teaspoon of vinegar, 1/8 teaspoon of vegetable oil and 4 to 8 drops of food color in a shallow bowl. Make sure to agitate mixture with a small fork or small whisk so oil droplets are small. Gently roll hard cooked egg in one color for 30 seconds or until egg is the desired shade. Repeat if second color is desired. Place, carefully, on baking cooling rack to dry.

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