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Rector's Message: Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Sunday, 28 November

The First Sunday of Advent


A Scripture Verse for the Week:


A Message from the Rector

Each year, on Thanksgiving, once the turkey is carved and all the many side dishes are ready and set out, our family and guests gather in a circle, each one taking a turn to say what they are especially thankful for as they reflect back on the past year. This tradition is certainly not unique to the Marsh household, perhaps you do something similar. Usually, these shared memories and offerings are accompanied by much laughter, and often a few tears – both happy and sad. Once the circuit is complete and everyone has taken a turn, we join in a prayer that I found several years ago. Having just shared our many blessings, gathered with loving family and friends around an abundance of food and in the warmth of a comfortable home, the prayer’s words and images are particularly poignant. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

A Thanksgiving Prayer

O God:

when I have food,

help me to remember the hungry;

when I have work,

help me to remember the jobless;

when I have a home,

help me to remember those who have no home at all;

when I am without pain,

help me to remember those who suffer.

And in my remembering,

help me to destroy my complacency,

awaken my compassion,

and be concerned enough to help

through my words and deeds

all those who cry out for all I take for granted.



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.

  • Hary Parke

  • Ginny Oldt

  • Diane Stinson

  • John Skorny

  • MaryJo Melberger

  • Bill Jacobs


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.


Don't forget to scroll down and read the "Reaching out to the Community" section to find out all of the great ways you can help to serve others this holiday season!!



All 2022 pledge cards have been mailed. We ask that you please return your card by November 30. If you did not receive your envelope and card, please contact the office. Thank you in advance for your kindness and generosity!


Online Rummage Sale

Do you have items in your home that you no longer need or want? If so, please consider donating them to Messiah. We will post them online on Facebook marketplace and will arrange for the sale. All proceeds will go towards achieving our annual fundraising goal. Items that tend to sell online are furniture, clothing lots, shoes, accessories, books, seasonal products, home goods, sports and fitness equipment, electronic appliances, etc. If you have any of these items that you wish to donate, reach out to Jennifer Marsh at with a detailed description of your item as well as photographs of the item from different angles. Jennifer will post the item on Facebook and will communicate with interested buyers to arrange for a sale at the best price. Once a sale is made we will coordinate with you to bring the item to the parish hall (either Jennifer will pick it up from your location or you may drop it off). If an item is too big (like a large piece of furniture) Jennifer will meet with the buyer at your location at a time that is convenient for you. The buyer is fully responsible for lifting and transporting large items from your location.


Way to go Belfry! If you have not stopped in yet this season, you need to go!



On December 5, SMG Clubhouse and the Youth of Messiah are offering an afternoon filled with games, arts & crafts, pizza, prizes and fun. Children ages 8 months to 10 years old are invited to come and stay while parents get a day out! Children can stay from 1 pm to 4 pm. The cost is $30 for the first child and $15 for the second. Volunteers will be needed to help with games and crafts. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Syeida Logan at 215-999-3811 or the church office.



Advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas,

Advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas, is a season of the liturgical year observed as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for both the celebration of the Nativity of Christ at Christmas and the return of Christ at the Second Coming. Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year, and is part of the wider Christmas and holiday season. The name was adopted from Latin adventus "coming; arrival". Thus, the season of Advent in the Christian calendar anticipates the "coming of Christ" from three different perspectives: the physical nativity in Bethlehem, the reception of Christ in the heart of the believer, and the eschatological Second Coming. Practices associated with Advent include keeping an Advent calendar, lighting an Advent wreath, praying an Advent daily devotional, as well as other ways of preparing for Christmas, such as setting up Christmas decorations.

A selection of Advent devotionals and Advent calendars are available in the narthex for your personal use or as gifts.



Saturday, December 4th – 8:30am-12:00noon

ANGLICAN PRAYER BEADS: a form of contemplative prayer

Since the earliest of times, people have used pebbles or a string of knots or beads on a cord to keep track of prayers offered to God. Virtually every major religious tradition in the world uses some form of prayer beads. Anglican prayer beads are a relatively new form of prayer aid, blending the Orthodox Jesus Prayer Rope and the Roman Catholic Rosary. The thirty-three bead design was created by The Rev. Lynn Bauman in the mid-1980’s, through her leadership of a contemplative prayer group in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. The use of the prayer beads helps bring us into a space of contemplative or meditative prayer – being mindful of the act praying, of being in the presence of God. The touching of the fingers on each successive bead is an aid in keeping our mind focused, and the rhythm of the prayers leads us more readily into stillness.

The morning will include an introduction to contemplative prayer practice, instruction in building your own set of prayer beads, and exploration of various forms of prayer using the beads.

Space is limited to twelve participants. To reserve a space, contact the Rector:; 215-699-9204.


News from SMG Clubhouse


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 (

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



If you can count, and you want to praise God with music, we would love to have you join the handbell choir. You don't need to know how to read music, we will guide you. We rehearse on Thursday nights from 6:00pm-7:00pm, in the church. Let one of the bell ringers know that you are interested, or come to rehearsal on Thursday and we will get you gloved and ringing! How about even joining us for a season? Give it a try! Thank you.



Stop by the tree in the Narthex and take a tag to buy a gift for a child or adult! Gifts should be returned by December 5 at the latest, and gifts should be unwrapped with the bottom portion of the tag attached.


Help us to Fill Gift Bags!

On December 5, we will be filling approximately 250 bags for the residents of Whosoever Gospel mission along with Silver Stream and Gwynedd Square care facilities, and we need your help! Please meet in the Parish Hall following the 9:30 service to chip in and fill some bags!



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.



The Rector’s Zoom Book Study & Discussion

GENESIS - The Opening Chapters: Origins & Foundations

Wednesday evenings – 7:00pm

First Session: October 6 – November 10, 2021

Second Session: January 12 – February 16, 2022

The first book of the Bible is a book of beginnings. The first eleven chapters of the Book of Genesis bring us back to our origins and the foundation of life itself: the creation stories; the Fall; the first murder; the ark and Great Flood; the first covenant; Tower of Babel; and dispersion of the nations. We learn how we were created and about the origins of sin and its fallout through meeting Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and his family. We find ourselves drawn into tales of deceit, jealousy and outright failure. And woven throughout these earliest stories are the golden threads of God’s promises and revelation.


There will be no church school this coming Sunday for the Thanksgiving Weekend

Church School will continue to meet in person and virtually on Sunday mornings at 9:30 in the Parish Hall.

Following the CDC and diocesan guidelines, and for the safety of all:

  • all children, teachers and nursery volunteers will be strongly encouraged to wear a mask or face covering, regardless of vaccination status

  • seats will be spread out, when both sitting at a table or on the carpet

  • snacks and drinks will not be served

  • hand sanitizer will be available, as well as the restroom sink for hand washing

  • each child will be supplied with a bag of their own supplies to eliminate the need for sharing supplies


This week there will be no YOM Meeting



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

Here's a new take on Pumpkin pie for your Thanksgiving table!

Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie with Brown Sugar Streusel

You can start with a store bought pie crust or make one from scratch.


Pie Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 3-4 Tbsp ice water

Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie Filling

  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree

  • 1/2 cup apple butter

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon*

  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger

  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice

  • 3 eggs

  • 3/4 cup half & half

Brown Sugar Streusel

  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cubed

  • 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour

  • 4 Tbsp brown sugar

  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans

Can I Make This Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie Ahead of Time?

  • Yes, you can! You can make this 1-2 days in advance and keep it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Quick and Easy Baking Tips:

  • The pie is going to bake for a little bit before you add the brown sugar streusel on top. If you forget and add it on in the beginning, it’s not a huge deal, but the streusel will probably be a little darker.

  • This recipe calls for half & half, which is half milk and half heavy whipping cream. If you can’t find Half & Half at the store, you can substitute with half whole milk and half heavy whipping cream. However, do not substitute with evaporated milk or sweetened condensed milk. This is a pumpkin pie without sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk for a reason. If you use it, it won’t come out the same because of the ratio of ingredients in this pie.

  • If you are using a store bought crust, make sure you use one that is unbaked (whether it’s an unbaked shell or one you roll out yourself).


Pie Crust

  1. In a large bowl (or the bowl of a standing mixer), mix flour and salt together.

  2. With your standing mixer or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the flour, a little at a time until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs (I usually do this with my standing mixer on low; you can also use a fork or your pastry cutter and do it by hand).

  3. Add in the water, 1 Tbsp at a time, until the dough begins to come together.

  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and form the dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or until ready to use.

Baking the Pie

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and set out a 9" or 10" pie dish (I suggest a deep dish one).

  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out your pie dough in a large circle, about 1/4" to an 1/8" thick.

  3. Carefully transfer the dough to your pie plate and gently push the dough into the plate. Carefully trim off any excess dough (leaving about 1/4"-1/2" of overhang).

  4. Tuck the ends of the dough underneath and then crimp the edges. Set aside.

Apple Butter Pumpkin Filling

  1. In a large bowl, mix pumpkin puree, apple butter, and brown sugar together. Add in all spices, and mix until combined.

  2. Add in half & half and eggs, then mix until fully incorporated.

  3. Pour filling into prepared pie crust, and smooth the filling until it's in a nice, even layer.

  4. Bake for 30 minutes.

  5. While the pie is baking, prepare the brown sugar streusel.

  6. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, flour, and pecans together. With a pastry cutter or fork, work the butter into the brown sugar and flour mixture, until the streusel topping resembles coarse crumbs.

  7. Sprinkle the streusel over the pie, and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes, or until the pie is set when jiggled slightly (or insert a knife into the center of the pie; if it comes out clean, the pie is done).

  8. Allow to cool at least 30 minutes before serving (or refrigerate it).

  9. Top with whipped cream.

  10. Refrigerate leftovers.

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