Rector's Message Monday 30 March 2020

MESSIAH UPDATE MESSAGE Monday, 30 March 2020 FROM THE RECTOR The prophet Isaiah, speaking to the Hebrew people hundreds of years before Jesus, had the following to say: Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the wrath is past. (Isaiah 26:20) Dear Friends: How very timely those words are for us today as we deal with the new phenomenon of isolation and quarantine, either forced or voluntary, on a national scale. While I read and study scripture often, I am repeatedly caught by how many times the text I am reading is a direct commentary on where I find myself to be, seemingly written specifically for the current situation o

A Lesson You Can Do At Home

Hi Families- Since we are still not able to be together in person, I wanted to send out a lesson for the week that you can do at home with your children. I am trying to figure out a way I can send some video lessons...so stay tuned in the coming weeks! Just a reminder: Our Lenten lessons have come from the lessons on the Episcopal Church website. Here's a bit of background that the website offers for this lesson series(If you are familiar with this section from last week, you can skip ahead to this week's lesson): Lent is a reflective season - an opportunity to go deep within ourselves and focus on our relationship with God and with others. The forty days of Lent remind us of the forty days

Waiting is the Hardest Part

Lent 5/A 29 March 2020 Ezekiel 37:1-14; Psalm 130; Romans 8:6-11; John 11:1-45 All of us are doing a lot of waiting these days: waiting for the latest statistics of infections, hospitalizations and deaths; waiting for the daily Coronavirus Task Force briefing; waiting for new guidelines from the CDC; waiting for a phone or Skype call or email message from family and loved ones we cannot visit to give a hug or receive a kiss; waiting for the restrictions to be lifted; waiting for church services to resume . . . waiting . . . waiting . . . waiting . . . And as Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers sang: “The waiting is the hardest part.” Christians around the world wait for Easter, wondering how dif

You're not alone!

Dear Families: I wanted to share some of my quarantine experience so far. Maybe yours is similar. Maybe not. Either way, I just have to be honest! If this is totally not you, then you can have a good laugh. If it sounds familiar, then know you are not alone. Here goes: My kids are on a ten meal a day schedule-half of them involving fruit snacks Each day they have at least one fight that I'm sure is going to end in a death match Even the dogs are craving alone time If it weren't for my cell phone, I would have no idea what day it is I've eaten everything in the house that even remotely tastes like chocolate My living room looks like Toys R Us dumped the last of its inventory before closing r

AN INVITATION!

Staying Connected In the Midst of Isolation Send us a photo! Then check the website to see your Messiah friends as we (virtually) gather together and pass the peace! ONE BIG VIRTUAL HUG FOR ALL!!!! From Diana Mulroy and the Outreach Committee comes the following invitation: I hope this message finds all of our Messiah family well. During this time of social distancing, self-isolation and quarantine, many of us are feeling a loss of contact with our church family and friends. So, we would like to start a "Virtual Warm Wishes" campaign for Messiah. Please take a minute, over the next day or two, and snap a photo of you and your family. Then send it to: dimulroy@yahoo.com. If you prefer or are

A LITANY AMIDST THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK

Written By Michael Kurth God the Father, Have mercy on us. God the Son, Have mercy on us. God the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us. Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us. Most merciful God, we come to you in this time of anxiety and uncertainty surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19. As the sorrows of our heart and mind increase, we beseech you to save us from all trouble and fear. Cast away all works of darkness. Be our rock, a castle to keep us safe. For the Lord is our stronghold and sure defense, and he will be our Savior. For all who have died: receive them into the arms of your mercy, grant them eternal peace, and surround those who mourn with your healing grace. Lord, hear our prayer.

Rector's Message Friday, 27 March 2020

MESSIAH UPDATE MESSAGE FROM THE RECTOR Friday, 27 March 2020 Dear Friends: In conversation with a parishioner a couple of days back, she relayed a story about a neighbor who commented that perhaps this virus' forced slow-down of our world's usual hustle and bustle may be God's unique way of telling humanity to hit the reset button. Over the course of the last day or two, this comment has stayed with me and I have found myself reflecting on it. It occurs to me that this is a perfect image of the Lenten theme: Repent, and return to the Lord. Each year, the Church invites us to the observance of "a holy Lent, by self examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by readin

Rector's Message Wednesday 25 March 2020

MESSIAH UPDATE MESSAGE FROM THE RECTOR Wednesday, 25 March 2020 Dear Friends: Such a strange and unprecedented time we find ourselves in these days. Each day - sometimes each hour! - seems to bring new changes. And each new, sometimes contradictory or confusing announcement, seems only to take us further into uncharted waters. As I was spending some time in quiet reflection and saying my prayers on this rather gray and sunless morning, I took comfort that this daily routine sustains me through the changes and chances of this season. The words that comprise my morning prayer, a prayer I have said for many years, since seminary thirty years ago, having no idea who wrote it or where it comes fr

Rector's Message Monday 23 March 2020

MESSIAH UPDATE MESSAGE FROM THE RECTOR Dear Friends: Monday morning . . . and so another strange, unprecedented week begins . . . I do hope this message finds you and your family keeping well, staying healthy, and following the precautions advised by the CDC and other public health agencies. I am finding it somewhat incongruous and inconsistent that, in the midst of an early and beautiful and warm spring season, we are being forced to confront and cope with such uncertain and unsettling times. And yet, as the snowdrops, crocus and daffodils once again send forth leaves and blossoms, and the redbud trees and forsythia bushes burst forth once more, I am heartened by the fact that God's marvelo

Where Is God In This Mess?

Lent 4 /A 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 23; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41 Why is this happening? What did we do to deserve this? Where is God in this mess? One of the things that always surprises me is how very current and relevant to our contemporary times is the Gospel assigned on various Sundays. Despite being written 2,000 years ago, and assigned to this Fourth Sunday in Lent almost thirty years ago when the Revised Common Lectionary was finalized and adopted by the Episcopal Church and most other mainline denominations, this Gospel story about Jesus healing the man born blind is particularly current for the situation in which we – and indeed, the whole world - currently find ourselves. Amidst

Rector's Message Friday 20 March 2020

FROM THE RECTOR Friday, 20 March 2020 Dear Friends: This has been quite a week . . . schools and churches closed, bars and restaurants curtailed, most activities and events cancelled, gatherings of over 10 prohibited, mixed and confusing and rapidly changing messages from all quarters and "experts" . . . Personally, what has most caught my attention has been the pervasive quiet that seems to have caught everyone and everything in its embrace. Every aspect of our life has been affected and subdued. Not since 9/11 do I remember such all-encompassing silence. But in that silence, I have noticed other sounds that I often overlook - or sounds that perhaps just cannot compete with the usual noise

God Gave us Love

Dear Messiah Families, Here's a little story to remind us how much God loves us, and how much we need to love each other right now.

URGENT MESSAGE TO MESSIAH PARISHIONERS

Cancellations & Instructions Due to COVID-19 12 March 2020 Dear Parishioners and Friends: After consulting with medical professionals, discussions with the diocesan office, and receiving a directive from the national church office, I have made the difficult decision to cancel services, parish meetings, classes and events here at the church for the remainder of the month. I assure you that this action was not arrived at easily or quickly, but after much thought and prayer - and more than one sleepless night. I ask for your understanding and support. The size of the church will not allow for the 6-8 feet of advised social distancing and, even after deep cleaning the pews, furnishings and other

Feeding Others As We Are Fed

Lent 3 / A 15 March 2020 Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 95; Romans 5:1-11; John 4:5-42 "… the disciples (urged Jesus), 'Rabbi, eat something.'" We are advised never to go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. And it seems I can now also advise against sermon preparation. I must have been hungry when I sat down to read the lessons for this morning and begin work on a homily. Or perhaps I was anticipating this morning’s chili cook-off. For whatever reason, this was the verse that jumped out at me from this morning’s lengthy Gospel reading: "Meanwhile, the disciples were urging him, 'Rabbi, eat something.'" It is not often that we find anyone in the Gospels giving Jesus advice or telling him what to do.

Meditations for a Holy Lent

Meditation for the Third Sunday in Lent - March 15, 2020 We live in the world bordered by Massah and Meribah; we are the murmurers before the Lord. Always in us is an airless thirst, a restless dissatisfaction, with the way the world is, and the way the world receives and treats us. This is the thirst the Israelites knew in the wilderness, the life-thirst, we may call it, that the Samaritan woman knew, on that hot noon-day, at Jacob’s well. Lent is the season in which we face our thirst squarely. Some of us know that life-thirst, the broad, symbolic world of dryness, immediately and painfully, even in the midst of plenty. It may be that we simply long for more –more of the world’s goods, m

Red Cross Blood Drive April 6th 2:00 to 7:00 pm

Red Cross Blood Drive will be here on Monday, April 6, from 2 pm to 7:30 pm. Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. It is essential for surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses, and traumatic injuries. Whether a patient receives whole blood, red cells, platelets or plasma, this lifesaving care starts with one person making a generous donation. Please contact Cheryl Sargent (cherylsargent623@gmail.com or 215 896-5966.

From Darkness Into Light

Lent 2/A March 8, 2020 Genesis 12:1-4a; Psalm 121; Romans 4:1-5, 13-17; John 3:1-17 One of the real challenges for any preacher, but particularly those who have the discipline of sticking to the lectionary, is trying to find that elusive “fresh perspective” or “new insight” into the assigned Biblical text. In fact, the more familiar the scripture, the greater the effort, sometimes bordering on desperation, to find something “new” and “fresh,” something novel and unique to say about it. The challenge is especially keen every Christmas and Easter. Just try to find something “new” to highlight within those well-known texts. Or worse, ending up with a sermon that sounds like it was inspired by a

POSTPONED! Calling all Cooks and Tasters to our CHILI COOK OFF Sunday March 15th

Out of concern for everyone's safety, the chili cook-off, originally scheduled for this coming Sunday, 3/15, has been cancelled.We apologize to those who have been inconvenienced but think it's best to proceed with caution. Back by popular demand, Messiah's " HOTTEST" EVENT OF THE YEAR!! Fellowship Ministry is hosting our Famous Messiah Chili Cook-Off. Sunday March 15 following the 9:30 service in the Parish Hall. Prepare your spatulas and taste buds for a Chili Challenge at the Best of Messiah Chili Cook-Off. Whether you want to "cook and compete" or "just eat and judge" is up to you. Prizes will be awarded! A sign-up Poster is now available: Please designate which category will best descr

Connections in the Desert Times

Lent 1/A March 1, 2020 Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7; Psalm 32; Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11 The Gospel reading for this morning is an odd bit of Scripture, quite dissimilar from the majority of Gospel literature. To begin, this particular passage is full of symbolism, hyperbole, and imagery. Very vivid images, in fact - so very vivid that we almost can’t help but conjure up the scene of Jesus’ conversation with the tempter as it might appear on stage or screen. Those among us with very lively imaginations, might swear to feeling the searing temperatures reflected off the desert rocks and sand; and the scorching, almost-too-hot-to-breathe heat of the dry desert wind. And how do you picture the d

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