Rector's Message: Saturday, April 09, 2022
Sunday, 10 April
A Scripture Verse for the Week:
A Message from the Rector
There are times when the enormity of the Passion Story, in all its stark simplicity, can be overwhelming. Yes, we do read portions of this drama whenever we celebrate the Holy Eucharist, but hearing it whole, from the somber moments of the Last Supper to the burial, becomes almost unbearable. This is a tale that uses few adjectives and only a scarce number of adverbs. It doesn’t need them. The unfolding of the story of God’s tragic love revealed in Jesus needs no embellishments. Listen to the power of the verbs: They brought Jesus before Pilate…Pilate sent Jesus to Herod…He questioned him…They mocked him…They blindfolded him…They kept heaping insults on him…
The Son of God allows himself to be moved from place to place, to be questioned by corrupt politicians, to be mocked by a fickle mob. Just a few days ago, they were praising him as he entered Jerusalem. But how quickly praise turns into abuse, and celebration into tragedy. Now the mob, urged on by lies, spit on him and slap him on the face. We are horrified. “Why would God allow this?” we cry.
We now watch as the evangelist continues his stark description of Jesus who is not responding to the mockery, not calling on his followers to defend him, but allowing the evildoers to continue their gruesome march as they push him to the cross. Up to the point of his arrest, he has been in charge of the drama; now he relinquishes his power. We watch the abandonment, the utter loneliness as he is being led to his death.
Throughout the long, terrible night of Thursday, we feel his profound love for his friends at their last supper together; we weep at the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane; and hear his painful question at his arrest: “Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a bandit? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness!” We too enter with him into the darkness that seems to triumph throughout the night and the day that follows. All hope has departed from those who loved him best - and from us. The power of darkness engulfs us.
And so, we enter Holy Week, as participants, not just observers. Let us watch. And let us listen. After all, we too are feeling the weight of darkness in a world torn by strife and hatred. We wait. Then we hear his words, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
In November 1940, Coventry Cathedral in England was bombed to destruction. The city has allowed the bombed frame to remain as it was found on the days that followed, while the new, rebuilt cathedral stands next to it. After the bombing, the faithful found two charred beams of wood as they had fallen in the shape of the cross. They tied them together and that cross still stands today at the altar. Behind it, these words are engraved; words that stand unto eternity as a testimony to the events of the Passion: “Father, forgive.”
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.
· Tabitha Biehl
· Chris Byrnes
· Dave Bonner
· Betsy Johnston
· Like Fogel
· Gloria Jones
· Andy Case
· Steve Oldt
VISIT THE WEBSITE: Here you can find a video of the Sunday service as well as the bulletin and the sermon. https://www.messiahgwynedd.org/
VIEW THE CALENDAR
Monday through Friday 9:30 to 2:30
IN CASE OF A PASTORAL EMERGENCY AFTER HOURS
Should you have an urgent need to contact the Rector outside of Church Office hours, please use his cell phone: 215-692-2667.
HOLY WEEK & EASTER SERVICES - 2022
Palm Sunday – April 10th
8:00am - Blessing of the Palms, Passion Gospel, Eucharist
9:30am - Blessing of the Palms, Passion Gospel, Eucharist, Choir & Hymns
* No Church School or Coffee Hour on this day
Each of these services begins with the distribution of palms, remembering Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. But after a joyous procession into the church, the tone of the liturgy takes a sudden turn as the recounting of Jesus’ betrayal and passion plunges us into the darker experiences of the week ahead.
Maundy Thursday - April 14th
7:00pm - Holy Eucharist with Foot-Washing;
followed by Prayers before the Cross
This unique liturgy echoes the example of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples at the Last Supper, reminding them of their ministry to live as servants to the world and all God’s children; then leads into the celebration of the Eucharist, a foretaste of God’s heavenly Kingdom. As the evening draws ever closer to Good Friday, we conclude with prayers before the cross.
Good Friday - April 15th
12:00noon & 7:00pm - Good Friday Liturgy
The Good Friday liturgy includes a recounting of the Passion narrative, the traditional solemn collects and adoration of the cross, concluding with Communion from the sacrament reserved from the previous evening.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Easter Day - April 17st
8:00am Holy Eucharist, Rite I – a quieter, more meditative, traditional celebration opens the day;
9:30am Holy Eucharist, Rite II – celebratory liturgy featuring festive music from the Messiah choirs and musicians;
followed by the Church School’s annual EASTER EGG HUNT
and a festive reception in the Parish Hall
DECORATING THE CHURCH FOR EASTER
SATURDAY, APRIL 16th - 9:30AM
Please plan to join us for a while on Saturday morning as we gather to decorate the church for Easter services. Help is needed – no experience required! Many hands make light – and quick – work, so the more the merrier! Coffee, juice and pastries will be provided.
THANKS TO YOU, A NEW FREEZER IS ON ITS WAY!
Through the generosity of many parishioners, we quickly raised not only enough money to purchase a new commercial freezer for the parish kitchen, but an added bonus – an icemaker! WOW!!!! A big thank you to everyone who contributed!
If you would like to honor a loved one(s) by dedicating the altar flowers in their name, please contact the church office. There are lots of open Sundays for the spring and summer! The suggested donation is $60.
HELP WANTED . . .
As we reopen for in-person worship and begin ramping up to pre-COVID levels of activity and participation, we are in need of volunteers in several areas. Please consider giving of your time and talents to help in these various important ministries.
SUNDAY MORNING VIDEO TEAM - When church services were paused due to COVID, we began live-streaming worship services and posting the videos to the church website. This has developed into an important and much relied-upon ministry, providing those unable to join us in-person to continue to worship and participate as part of our faith community. Because of its importance, we will be continuing to broadcast and post our worship gatherings. Training is provided - so don’t be afraid, or let technology scare you! It's just a camera! If willing to be a part of this vital ministry, contact the Rector: firstname.lastname@example.org.
USHER CHAIR & USHERS – The Usher Chair recruits, trains and ensures that ushers are assigned for Sunday and special services. Ushers are responsible for greeting worshippers and distributing bulletins, counting and reporting attendance, collecting offerings, and assisting with traffic flow at Communion. We are hoping to assemble a corps of volunteers large enough to allow for a monthly rotation. And ladies, please remember: This job isn’t just for men!
LECTORS & CHALICE BEARERS – Volunteers are needed for both the 8:00am and 9:30 to read the lessons and Prayers of the People, as well as administering the chalice at the time of Communion. Willing to serve? Questions? Speak with Mercer Sisson: email@example.com.
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 – 8:00 and 9:30am
LIVE-STREAMED - the 9:30 service will be broadcast on YouTube – follow the link posted on the church website (messiahgwynedd.org)
WEBSITE – at the close of the service, a video will be posted to the parish website (messiahgwynedd.org) for viewing at a time convenient for you
SUPPORT FOR MANNA ON MAIN STREET
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.
AID FOR UKRAINE
**You can also help by donating to Episcopal Relief and Development. You can take a flyer from the Narthex and mail your payment with the coupon or contribute online at episcopalrelief.org/Ukraine-crisis
**Another way to help: Ukraine Aid Donation Collection: A collection for aid to Ukraine has been set up through the Ukrainian Catholic Church of Lansdale. The collections will take place during the two upcoming weekends (March 11-13 and 18-20), and the goods will be shipped overseas through the Ukrainian Relief Committee (out of Philadelphia).
Presentation of Our Lord Ukrainian Catholic Church
1564 Allentown Road, Lansdale, PA 19446
Our first round of donations has already been picked up. Please continue to donate!!
Church School is back in person!! Please meet us upstairs in the Parish Hall at 9:30!
Please take note of our updates schedule of events for teens!
You will find a variety of events, focused on both fun and service, as well as within the parish and outside in the larger community!
Click Here to view the schedule!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
When I have guests for dinner, I like to serve elegant looking, but simple to prepare, desserts. This one fits the bill so well. It’s also light and sweet and perfect to serve with an otherwise heavy dinner.
Puff Pastry with Italian Crème
1 roll frozen puff pastry, defrosted
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup whipping cream
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 Tablespoons flour
In a medium pot, add egg yolks and sugar and whisk together until combined. Then, add flour and vanilla, place pot over low heat, add cream that has been warmed, whisking continually until thickened. Remove to glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap ( make sure wrap touches the cream mixture). Let sit for about 20 minutes and then refrigerate for about 3 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut puff pastry into 12 equal squares. Puncture each square with a fork a few times, sprinkle with sugar and bake for about 20 minutes until puffy and lightly golden. Cool, then carefully, cut each square through the center to make two parts ( top and bottom.) Remove pastry crème from the refrigerator, place in pastry bag or use a spoon to fill the 12 bottom sections and then top with the remaining top squares, dust with powdered sugar and serve!