A NOTE FROM PASTOR AILEEN – October 20, 2020
Over the next two weeks we will celebrate two significant liturgical holidays. The first is Reformation Sunday, when we not only remember the events that led to the reforming of the church and which set off a protest that eventually gave us the foundation of our faith in Jesus Christ alone, but also draw us into the future. The second follows on November 1, All Saints Sunday, a Sunday dedicated to remembering both those who have gone before us in faith as well as our own status as saints called by Jesus Christ to follow his path of sacrificial love for all the world.
Just this week the confirmation students were discussing what is foundational to their faith; what grounds them. Their answers varied from being part of a really great church to being forgiven to being accepted for who they are by God and their faith community to being loved by God. Oh, and coffee hour was also up there!
I was so proud of our kids. These are indeed the things that ground us. We ARE forgiven. We ARE loved. We ARE accepted. We ARE part of a really great church. Our faith is built on the love of Christ for us and for all people and that is indeed something to celebrate.
And, we learned these things from the saints who taught us well. Those who have gone before us have shown us unconditional love and forgiveness and a steadfast faith. Some have died, some have moved away, some of the saints who have taught us are even much younger than us – like the aforementioned confirmands!
This year we remember some remarkable people on November 1. Each and every one of them has touched my life in some way. They have all taught me something about faithful discipleship. So, I give thanks for the lives of Pete Bansbach, Jean Ingham, Zip Kraemer, Harry Hargrave, Ed Orlando, Sandy McLellan, Joe Hardy, Elsie Burke and Millie Strauss.
We also will be tolling a bell for the countless lives lost to Covid-19 and one for those whose lives were lost to violence. For it is not only those who died in our faith community who leave a lasting impact on our lives. We are also touched by the lives of those who we may not even have known but whose existence is intrinsically interwoven with our own.
As we continue to struggle to make sense of this pandemic and do what is right for our neighbor; as we continue to strive for justice and peace for all people, the ongoing work of the Reformation continues in us. Christ continues to call us forward, a forgiven and loved people sent to forgive and love the world that God has made.
Hunger is real. The 2020 Grocery Run is going virtual. Each year the East Avenue Grocery Run provides thousands of dollars for Messiah's feeding ministries, and this year will be no different. Although the race/walk is going virtual, you can still participate in and/or sponsor someone on the Messiah team and help raise much needed funds for our feeding ministry. Because of the unique way this event is organized, for every dollar that is pledged, Messiah actually receives more than a dollar to help feed the hungry. Head on over to
https://runsignup.com/melc and click on one of our team members and make your pledge of support! Contact Jeff Gerstenberger if you have any questions.
Messiah will again be partnering with the Greece Ecumenical Food Shelf in the Thanksgiving Basket Program. Because of the complications resulting from the Pandemic, GEFS is encouraging the donation of funds to purchase Aldi’s gift cards to be given out in lieu of actual Thanksgiving food. If you wish to donate to the anticipated increased requests to the program this year, please mail your checks to church made out to Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church, with “Thanksgiving Baskets” noted in the memo, within the next two weeks. We will, in turn, mail one check to GEFS in early November for the purchase of the gift cards.
All Saints Sunday is November 1. If you have a loved one who died in the past year, either call the church office or send an email by October 26 so we can include their name in our remembrance.
Another Opportunity to Serve: There is a need for 2 to 4 people to serve on the Nominating Committee for this year. This is a one month obligation to select candidates for church council. Those who serve on the nominating committee are ineligible to be elected to Church Council. Please contact Pastor Aileen or Jeff Gerstenberger if interested or if you have any questions.
Christmas Tree sale for the National Youth Gathering.
Lot set up will be Nov 14th at 9am. Tree delivery and setup will be Nov 21st at 9am.
Sign up link for Lot Set- up November 14th @ 9am is volunteersignup.org/FQAM9
Sign up for tree delivery November 21 at 9 am is volunteersignup.org/JFTPK
Please sign up so we can be sure we have enough volunteers to set up the lot and the trees. Any questions, contact Rhonda Eastland.
The Outreach team is putting together the Backpack Program for this school year. We are in need of a few drivers that will pick up the bags at Foodlink on Mt. Read Blvd. (at Ridgeway) and deliver them to Holmes Rd, and/or Buckman Heights schools. The bags will be picked up on Thursday mornings this year due to the school schedules of alternating days for students. Anyone interested in helping with this ministry please contact Kim Mass at Mass_kimberly@yahoo.com. Don’t worry if you have never done this before, we will train all new drivers. Our first delivery is scheduled for Thursday, October 22.
Our last Outdoor Prayer Services will be next week, Sunday 10/25 at 5 pm and Tuesday 10/27 at 6 pm. If you attend, bring a lawn chair, wear a face mask and remain 6 feet apart at all times.
Food distribution: Current needs are cereal, side dishes and jelly. Donations may be brought to the main door during distribution hours Tuesday 11/10, 11/24 from 10 am –12 pm, Thursday 11/12 from 1 pm – 3 pm, or to one of our outdoor prayer services. If you wish to donate a gift card or check (made out to Messiah, with “Food Distribution on the memo line), either mail it to church or drop it off at the above stated times. Who we are feeding: One our clients is struggling to keep up with his medical bills, so the food we provide is a big help to him.
Thursday morning Bible Study will not meet October 29th. Join us the following week at 10 am via Zoom on the following link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84124197592?pwd=RlU3Y3BpQnRjUWFtWkRnUVd3SGtDZz09 Meeting ID: 841 2419 7592 Passcode: 137975 One tap mobile +19292056099,,84124197592# US (New York)
We are exploring the words contained in the Beatitudes in the Gospel of Matthew.
Greece Baptist Church is hosting a study of the book White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. Tuesdays at 7:30pm. Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85102494643
Meeting ID: 851 0249 4643 Passcode: 245128
One tap mobile +16465588656,,85102494643# US (New York)
Dial by your location +1 646 558 8656 US (New York) Meeting ID: 851 0249 4643
Our silent rallies for Racial Justice conclude this week due to the time change and weather. Our final rally:Friday, October 23: 11:30 am-12:30 at Greece United Methodist (1924 Maiden Ln.)
Sunday Night Study will end this Sunday, October 25. Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81735101124?pwd=V1RxL1F5ZWsreWh2ZVJhWXlPVUt1QT09 Meeting ID: 817 3510 1124 Passcode: 694271
One tap mobile +19292056099,,81735101124# US (New York)
+13017158592,,81735101124# US (Germantown)
Spiritual Growth Group meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month from 7 pm – 8:15 pm.
The link remains the same each week. If you wish to receive the lesson in advance, contact Julie Gerstenberger.
Zoom video: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/971654509 Meeting ID: 971-654-509
Audio only participation: (929) 205-6099 Meeting ID: 971-654-50
Sunday Worship continues to be available to everyone at 10 am. Join via Zoom using this link: us04web.zoom.us/j/573579627 If you do not have internet, you can listen to the service by dialing 270-2524. After the greeting, enter conference ID 291-1296 followed by the # key. At the prompt, state your name, and then press the # key again. The service is also recorded and can be accessed through Messiah’s Facebook page. Coffee hour is held after worship via zoom, using this link: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/367670353
Work out together with the Ripples Chair Yoga Group, every Thursday at 9 am https://us04web.zoom.us/j/450243871 Zoom meeting ID: 450-243-871
Try this 5 minute break: Sit up straight in a chair with feet flat on the floor. Place hands together in front of you like your praying. Inhale, expanding your belly, as you lift your hands, reaching for the ceiling. Exhale bringing your straight arms down to your side. Repeat 4 times.
Mindful Meditation Ripples of Wellness offers the opportunity to practice Mindful Meditation with Joyce Callen each Thursday after Chair Yoga from 9:45 am to 10:05. Try this quick and easy relaxation technique that can be practiced anywhere. Pull your shoulders up to your ears and then relax them slowly. Take a deep breath through your nose, feeling your breath rasp down your throat, filling your lungs and continue until your belly below the navel pooches out. Reverse the process slowly exhaling through your nose. Repeat as necessary. This deep breath engages your diaphragm and the lower aspects of your lungs as opposed to the high chest breathing that we do all day.. Come join us to learn how 20 minutes of meditation can bring composure and calmness to your life. Need more information? Contact Joyce.