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Rector's Message: Saturday, 29 May 2021

Sunday, 30 May

Trinity Sunday

Included in today's update: A Message from the Rector, Updated guidelines for worship, Birthdays in the Week Ahead, Office Closed this Week, Annual Parish Meeting, YOM Mission Trip, Seeking Vestry Nominations, Virtual VBS, Creative Angels Recipe, and Ongoing Updates


Saturday,29 May 2021

Dear Friends:

"It does not require many words to speak the truth." - Chief Joseph

When Chief Joseph began his 1879 address in Washington, D.C., with these words, he was setting the stage for an entreaty to the U.S. government to allow his people, the Nez Percé American Indian tribe, to return to their land in the Pacific Northwest. These words were an effort to show that two differing groups - white settlers and Indigenous American tribes - could understand each other and see one another’s points of view. They are words worth living by, not only on a national level, but on a personal and spiritual level as well. To forge relationships based on love and understanding - with our family, friends and neighbors, as well as our God - we need to speak from the heart and with honesty.

"When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth." - Jesus (John 16:13)

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

Blessings! Peace! Grace! And Love!

- Keith


Bishop Gutierrez has released updated guidelines for worship gatherings, based on the new guidance from the CDC. As a result, we are now revising the protocols for Church of the Messiah.

Beginning, Sunday, June 13th,

the date for our Annual Parish Meeting:

  • Pews will no longer be roped off. Social distancing between households is still a good idea, but the decision on where to sit and who to sit with will be left to the individual.

  • Congregational singing will resume.

  • Fellowship will resume. This means that our annual custom of gathering after worship for Summer Tea on the Terrace can begin again.

  • Contact tracing sheets will no longer be required.

  • Eucharist will continue to be offered in one kind, meaning only bread will be distributed, until further notice from the Bishop. For the safety and comfort of all, the celebrant will remain masked and gloved when administering the host.

  • The wearing of masks will be optional for fully vaccinated adults. This is now an individual decision. When deciding whether to be masked, please remember that while most adults have had the opportunity to be vaccinated, children under 12 are still not eligible, and youth 12-16 have only recently been cleared for vaccination. There are also those among us who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. Whether you decide to wear a mask or not, please be sensitive to the decisions of others.

  • Activities for children and youth must still include masks and social distancing of participants. With this in mind, Vacation Bible School will again be virtual this year. Repeating the success of last summer’s ‘VBS-in-a-Box’, supplies will be distributed to all families, and daily lessons and activities can then be accessed on the church website.

  • The Sunday morning service will continue to be livestreamed, and also available on the website. This has become an important means of outreach and participation for those unable to join in in-person worship.

Should you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me (215-699-9204;



the celebrant and preacher for this coming Sunday. The Rector is away on vacation for a few days and Father Brown graciously agreed to step in. Thank you, Bob!


Should you experience a pastoral emergency while the Rector is away (May 29-June 7), please contact The Rev. MaryJo Melberger (215-692-4123) for assistance.


Please note that the parish office will be closed this week. Phone and email messages will be checked periodically, but may not be returned until the Rector's return on June 8th.


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.

  • Marge Kraekel

  • Bruce Givnish

  • Ethel Pyrz

  • Jack Repine

  • Christine Evangelisto

  • Kristen Unangst

  • Nancy Poulin

  • Brad Pickell

  • Julie Sabokbar


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.

2021 YOM 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


JUNE 28 - JULY 1

Repeating the success of last year's VBS-in-a-Box, this year’s VBS program will again be fully virtual. We felt it was the best way to meet every family’s schedule and safety concerns. Our program this year is titled:

TREASURED - discovering you're priceless to God

  • All digital material will be available beginning June 28 via the church website


  • All other materials will be available for pick up/delivery during the week of June 21.

Please email if you are not able to pick up a box, and we will make sure you get one!


Each year, at the Annual Parish Meeting, 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.


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

Now that we see people getting out more and more, the thought is that we should do things that we haven’t done in a long time. As we plan those family activities it helps to have crock pot meals that we can prepare so that dinner is ready after our fun filled day. This tasty stroganoff recipe fits the bill!



Super Duper Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

  • 1 1/2 lbs cubed beef stew meat

  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 Tbsp dried chives

  • Small amount of diced garlic

  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 cup beef bouillon

  • 1/2 cup red wine

  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch

  • 1 Tbsp flour

  • 1 8 oz container sour cream

  • 1 8 oz pkg sliced fresh mushrooms

  • 4 oz cream cheese

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Spread stew meat into bottom of slow cooker; season with salt and pepper. Layer onion over the beef. Pour mushroom soup and water over the beef; add chives, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and beef bouillon. Whisk red wine, cornstarch, and flour together in a small bowl; pour over the mixture in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 - 7 hours. Stir in sour cream , mushrooms, cream cheese and parsley into the beef mixture; continue cooking for an hour more. Serve with egg noodles. Tasty!

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