The Priestly Pen


Advent is upon us once more, thanks be to God.  Advent is the Church's very own Happy New Year!  The first Sunday in Advent is our chance to anticipate anew our Lord's coming among us.  All over again we get to rejoice at his birth, proclaim his epiphany to all people, imitate his life and work, recall his passion and death for our sake, and celebrate his resurrection and ascension - all "for us and for our salvation."


            The approach of this season is not without its frustrations:  it was only the last week in August when in some store I saw Christmas trees, ornaments, gift promotions, yard decorations, and the like!  Oh, never mind the season (it was still blazing hot) or the pesky detail that even Thanksgiving was still three months away.  But while harrumphing my way through tacky tinsel displays in 90-degree heat, I remembered that God is never constrained by our foolish schedules.  Advent means coming, and God comes when God is good and ready, not before and certainly not later.


            God's timing is, as ever, absolutely perfect.  That is miracle enough in itself:  God chose to break into our human time and live among us as a human being.  But even that breaking into human time is God's holy doing according to the holy timing.  800 years before Jesus was born, the Hebrew people had yearned for deliverance from exile, praying, O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, O Lord.... (Isaiah 64:1)   Well, God did exactly that, if not exactly the way the Jews expected!


            This year, let us celebrate Advent as God's Happy New Year for us, the coming of new days for new hearts, new spirits, new life.  Let our waiting be sweet anticipation of the coming of Christ in glory.  Let us savor watching yet just a little while longer for the coming of the Promised One.  Let us revel in the God-time of preparation to receive God-with-us.  Let us slow down and expect our ever-coming Savior who brings his birthday gifts to us - hope, mercy, grace, love.  Let us embrace this Coming as did blessed Mary - with joy and thanksgiving.  As the Babe grows within her, he grows within us, too, in the womb of our hearts.  May this Advent gently enfold us, shield us from all things frantic, raise us up in hope and faith, and prepare us to bear the Word to the world.  Each day in Advent, let us pray together:

What mystery, Most High, that you should seek

             My little heart to hold your eternal love

              And my small soul as home for endless joy.

                    What miracle, Holy One, that you                                     should choose

to make of me a cradle of Creation

to hold and rock salvation's new Beginning.


Amen, come, Lord Jesus.



In the Savior's love,



                                                            Pastor Maggie Rourk

Help Preserve Our Historic Church of Messiah; buy a brick on “God’s Pathway”.

 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.

Upcoming Events


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.


December 17th - Advent III - Holy Eucharist and Youth Christmas Program 

December 20th, 6:00pm - Advent Soup Supper 

December 20th, 7:00pm - Evening Prayer

December 24th, 7:00pm - Christmas Eve Mass



Please remember that we always need supplies for the Church too!


Outreach Ministries

Our Outreach Project for July

The Cherokee County Sharing Center Food Pantry

Since they are able to buy things affordably in bulk from various sources their main need is money.  Gene Forrister is currently the only volunteer from Messiah, working two days each month.  The Sharing Center supplies basic food supplies for hundreds of local families. If you would like to make a contribution, please indicate that on your check. We will as always be donating our second Sunday loose offering to this ministry.


Also 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

Dear Parishoners,
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.
Ann Taaffe


Church Directory

Cheryl Rutland has a new e-mail address:

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

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.   (