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Rector's Message: Saturday, February 12, 2022

Sunday, 13 February

The Sixth Sunday After the Epiphany

Feast Day of Blessed Absalom Jones


A Scripture Verse for the Week:


A Message from the Rector

In the Episcopal Church’s Calendar of Lesser Feasts and Fasts, February 13th, is designated each year as the Feast Day of Blessed Absalom Jones. At the request of Bishop Gutierrez, the lessons appointed for this Sunday are replaced by the scripture readings for the Absalom Jones Feast Day, to honor this native son of Philadelphia. If you are like me, your knowledge of American history may have been deficient of the black experience in our country. In that case, you may not have heard of The Rev. Absalom Jones. I admit to not knowing of him until I took a seminary course focused on the saints of the Episcopal Church.

Absalom Jones was an African-American abolitionist and clergyman who became prominent in Philadelphia. Born into slavery in Delaware, he was separated from his mother and siblings when he was sold to a new owner and moved to Philadelphia, where he worked in his owner’s mercantile store. Recognizing Absalom’s intelligence and capabilities, he was allowed to attend school and learned to read and write. Upon marrying an enslaved woman belonging to a neighbor of his master, Absalom purchased his wife’s freedom so that their children would be free; then, years later, he was manumitted by his owner. At that time he took the surname “Jones.”

Absalom began attending St. George’s Methodist Episcopal Church since that denomination admitted persons of all races and allowed African-Americans to preach, and he became one of the first black men licensed to preach by the Methodists. However, in 1792, while attending a church service at St. George’s, Absalom and all other blacks in attendance were told that they were no longer allowed to be seated on the main floor, but must be segregated to the balcony. After completing their prayers, Jones and most of the other African-American members walked out.

Wanting to be affiliated with the Episcopal Church, Jones petitioned and was granted permission by the Diocese of Pennsylvania to establish the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, the first black church in Philadelphia, in 1794. The following year, Jones was ordained as a deacon, later being ordained a priest in 1802, the first African-American priest in the Episcopal Church.

Absalom died on 13 February 1818, in Philadelphia. He was originally interred in the St. Thomas Churchyard, later relocated to Eden Cemetery. In 1991, his remains were exhumed, cremated and placed in a reliquary in the Absalom Jones altar of the current African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas (now located at 6361 Lancaster Avenue, Philadelphia). The national Episcopal Church remembers his life and service with a Lesser Feat on the anniversary of his death, 13 February. The Diocese of Pennsylvania honors his memory with an annual celebration and award.


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.

rd. Amen.

· Lucas Barry

· Colton Marshall

· Paul Vollmar


VISIT THE WEBSITE: Here you can find a video of the Sunday service as well as the bulletin and the sermon.




Monday through Friday 9:30 to 2:30



Should you have an urgent need to contact the Rector outside of Church Office hours, please use his cell phone: 215-692-2667.




Two service times: 12:00 noon & 7:00 pm

Not only is this special day the beginning of Lent, the forty-day church season that precedes Easter, but this year it marks the reopening of the church for in-person services. Mark your calendar and join us here at Messiah for one of the two services to be held that day.


Belfry Bargains Will Also Remain Closed for the month of February.



After many years serving the parish as our Youth Minister, Dave Reichley has resigned from that position. We are deeply grateful for his dedication in guiding out teenaged members, as well as the many events, activities and summer mission trips he coordinated and led. Dave will continue to offer his talents and ministry in the Church School program, as well as videoing services. Please make an effort to thank him for all he has done for our teenagers and the parish. Because of this development, for the next few weeks, Youth of Messiah (YOM) meetings and activities are suspended until further notice.


Valentine's Day Dine and Donate



A new church directory is in the works. Directories will be available by the end of February. If you did not fill out an updated communications form, and you know your information has changed, please notify the office ASAP. Thank you!


Forward Day by Day

The Day by Day devotionals for February through April 2022 are now available. They are currently available to pick up in the office during office hours.



One of our parishioners is in need of rides from her home in Hatfield to occasional doctor appointments in Doylestown/Warrington. She has said she will gladly compensate anyone who is willing to give her a ride. Please contact the church office if you would be willing to help: 215-699-9204.


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-PERSONIn-Person Services are temporarily paused for the month of January due to the rising number of Covid cases

  • LIVE-STREAMED - the service will be broadcast on YouTube – follow the link posted on the church website (

  • WEBSITE – at the close of the service, a video will be posted to the parish website ( for viewing at a time convenient for you



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.


Church School will be meeting virtually at 10:30 Sunday mornings for the month of January and February. A meeting link will be sent out on Saturday evenings.


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

The kids love this! Sloppy Joes are easy to put together and so appreciated by each person who enjoys them. Put this mixture on a fresh hamburger roll, serve with some cut up fresh veggies and sit back and collect the compliments for the chef!



Real Sloppy Joes

Canola oil, 1 Tablespoon

Yellow onion, 1 diced

Celery, 1 stalk diced

Green bell pepper, 1/4 cup finely diced

Ground beef, 1 1/2 pounds

Tomato sauce, 1 cup

Ketchup style chili sauce, 1/2 cup

Worcestershire sauce, 1 Tablespoon

Dijon mustard, 1 Tablespoon

Cider vinegar, 1 Tablespoon

Light brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon firmly packed

Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon

Freshly ground pepper, 1/4 teaspoon

Hamburger rolls, 6 split

In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the beef and turn the heat to medium high. Cook, stirring and breaking up the beef with a spoon, until it’s no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup water, the tomato sauce, chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce,mustard, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes to blend the flavors. Toast the rolls. Place bottom half of the rolls, cut side up, on warmed individual plates and top with the beef mixture, dividing it equally. Cover with the roll tops and serve immediately.

6 servings

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