The Priestly Pen
For God so loved the world that he gave his only son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not perish,
but may have eternal life.(John 3:16)
Sisters and brothers all,
God sent Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior for one reason: to give us eternal life. We have names for that incredible gift: Amazing Grace, Wondrous Love, Almighty King, Beautiful Savior, Gracious Spirit, Hope of the World, Christmas Joy, Easter Gladness, Alleluia! and many more. Jesus suffers and sacrifices his life so we can live with God eternally. The hymnist's sentiment is surely our own: "But when I think, that God, his Son not sparing, sent him to die, I scarce can take it in."*
It is Lent, the season of calling to mind Christ's suffering for our sake, the season of rejoicing - yes, we can rejoice in Lent! For 2,000 years, it has been the custom of Christians to reflect on the Mystery of our Redemption by giving up or by sacrificing some part of our lives or habits as we recall our Savior's sacrifice "for us and for our salvation."** Let us consider ways that we might rejoice this Lent!
Suppose that this Lent, each of us chooses something to "sacrifice" gladly that will truly add to our Christian life. Sacrifice a few extra minutes in the sack each morning and use that quiet time to read through one of the gospels during Lent. How about sacrificing an hour or two of free time on a Saturday to help the Reach Thrift Store or The Sharing Center? Give up a few hours of your time to visit sick or homebound persons you know. How about you babysit for free for your Jewish neighbors so they can go to Sabbath or Passover services? The "mitzvah" possibilities are endless!***
In addition to whatever sacrifice you choose to mark your Lenten journey and make your Cross-walk more meaningful, consider sacrificing a little something extra:
+ Addicted to the Times, Journal or other crossword? Sacrifice it for Lent and sent the
$20 or so to Episcopal Relief and Development for their work in Puerto Rico where
still only 75% of the power grid is up (sometimes) and potable water remains the #1
issue (85% have access - sometimes).
+ Can't live without your Starbucks or Daily Grind latté? Sacrifice that during Lent and
send the $90 to Murphy Free Methodist Church for their Tuesday Free Lunch
Program, or to First Baptist Church to help their Monday Free Lunch Program.
+ Drive your car/truck/SUV without planning? Tighten up your schedule, give up a few
unnecessary jaunts, and send $30 to the Friendship House most of whose clients
have no car - or home.
+ Sacrifice eating out just once each week in Lent and give that $50-$250 to our own
Messiah Brotherhood of St. Andrew for their assistance to veterans.
My dear family in Christ, the possibilities are as limitless as God's love! When we let our Lenten "giving UP" become "giving TO," then by grace our small sacrifices make others' lives a little better. Join me in praying each morning and evening during Lent: Merciful Father, we offer with joy and thanksgiving what you have first given us -
our selves, our time, and our possessions - signs of your gracious love. Receive
them for the sake of him who offered himself for us, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
In the Savior's love,
Pastor Maggie Rourk
*How Great Thou Art," stanza 3, #60 Lift Every Voice and Sing II. Text: trans. Stuart K. Hine (1899-1989).
**Phrase from second article of the Nicene Creed, BCP p. 358.
***"mitzvah" - Hebrew for "commandment" or a good deed or act of human kindness done to the glory of God.
What is the “God’s Pathway” Brick Campaign? Our “Buy A Brick” campaign will raise funds for the preservation, maintenance, and up-keep of our historic church. These bricks will be used in a special pathway so that, in years to come, you will be able to bring your children and grandchildren to “God’s Pathway” to see your name and their names as a permanent legacy of Church of Messiah. You will be able to create your own message or choose from selected designs for your brick(s).
Everyone is invited to buy a brick, either for you or for someone else, to commemorate special occasions, or to honor or remember a special loved one. All proceeds will go towards the Church of Messiah’s Building & Grounds Fund. “God’s Pathway” and the Brick campaign is an on-going campaign. Orders will be accepted throughout the year, but can only be processed in lots of 5 or more bricks.
Adult Sunday School- Please join us at 9:15 am each Sunday for an interesting and comprehensive journey through the Bible with 30 minute video presentations each followed by a discussion period. This is a great opportunity to visit each book of the Bible in depth. One week does not depend on another, so come whenever you can.
Sunday of the Passion + Palm Sunday
March 25 + 10:30 am
Blessing and Procession of Palms + Holy Eucharist
Reading of the Passion of Our Lord according to St. Mark
Maundy Thursday + March 29 + 7:00 pm
Holy Eucharist and Stripping of the Altar
Good Friday + March 30 + 7:00 pm
The Office of Tenebrae + The Service of Shadows and Darkness
Holy Saturday + March 31 + 7:00 pm
The Great Vigil of Easter with the First Eucharist
Easter Sunday + April 1
The Feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord
10:30 am - Festival Choral Eucharist
Following the service, there will be fellowship and refreshments
and an Easter Egg Hunt for the children.
Please remember that we always need supplies for the Church too!
You may bring to Church toiletries, socks, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, paper towels and anything else you can think of to help the homeless. The shelter has been staying at 25 people which is absolute capacity!
We will as always be donating our second Sunday loose offering to this ministry.
Think about supporting at least one of these ministries while shopping:
Friendship House Homeless Shelter - Constantly in need of cleaning and paper supplies, soap and laundry detergent.
Care Kits - for shelters and police departments. Small toiletry items as well as bandanas and carabiner clips. We will be assembling some kits again in a few weeks.
Sharing Center Food Pantry - Non perishables; also paper products
Aluminum Can Recycling - Bring your crushed aluminum cans to our recycle bin behind the Church. Proceeds go to Messiah Youth projects.
Free Membership to Dog Park
As you may know, my daughter Katherine and I bought Messiah's Peachtree property as the new location for her expanded pet care facility. ( You may have noticed the fencing and the little green building where the pavilion used to be.) As a provision of the sale, Messiah's members get a free membership to the new dog park. (One time $3 fee for the card to open the electronic gate.)
Please e-mail Katherine at
Someone will forward you the documents you need to become a member. If you have any questions, please call All Creatures Short and Tall at 828-837-4390.
Cheryl Rutland has a new e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copies of the recently published directory are available in the parish hall.
The Church Directory has been updated and will be printed in the coming week. It will be available in an electronic format if you would prefer.
Send an e-mail to Jeanne Stump to request the e-edition.
Jeanne's address is email@example.com
Need a Name Tag?
We haven't ordered them in a very long time. If you would like to have one, please respond to this email.
They will be on a board as you enter the Church and if you should leave by the back door (Parish hall), there will be a basket where you can drop them off.
If anyone would be available to meet once a month to help coordinate outreach activities, please email Linda Ray. (Lindaray.firstname.lastname@example.org)