Weekly news & updates
April 4, 2021
The vestry has approved a plan to resume in person worship, as long as it is deemed safe to do so by local and state health officials as well as on the advice of trusted members of the medical and scientific community. We are hoping that on Mother’s Day, May 9th, at 10 AM we will be able to gather safely out of doors at the open air pavilion at Linwood Spirituality Center here in Rhinebeck, rain or shine. It is a beautiful site overlooking the Hudson River and has plenty of room to gather safely. More details will be forthcoming, but our hope is to be able to celebrate communion once again and we will keep you all posted. We will meet there through the summer until our church is ready and it is safe to gather again indoors for worship. The service will be broadcast via ZOOM and will be recorded for YouTube.
We continue to broadcast and record our Sunday Morning Prayer service and ask you to disable the video and audio components for everyone except the participants. We will then be able to hear and see one another for a virtual coffee hour immediately after the service. Our thanks to everyone who has made the services possible, especially Nicole in our parish office.
Messiah has received a grant from the Thompson Trust to provide direct assistance to members of our community that are most at risk given the virus’ economic impact. Our grant has been supplemented by donations from members of our congregation and the community, including Rhinebeck Responds. The review of funding requests is made by a subcommittee of the parish Outreach committee. To date we have distributed almost $40,000 in grants to people in the community who have been impacted by COVID-19.

We also are very grateful to the Frost Memorial Fund for their ongoing support of our food pantry as well as all those who have directly contributed to this vital ministry. Contributions to the Messiah Emergency Grant Fund can be made directly through the parish office with “Messiah Emergency Grant Fund” in the memo line of the check. Contributions to the Food Pantry can be made through our website or the parish office.

Our ministry of providing food distribution continues, having expanded to include perishable food items. This has been made possible by a generous grant from the Frost Memorial Fund, Inc. here in Rhinebeck. This will significantly expand our capacity to meet the food needs of our neighbors and we are very grateful to be able to do this. Our appreciation for all our volunteers as well as those of you who have made financial contributions to the Food Pantry. Contributions to the Food Pantry can be made through our website or the parish office.
4/3/2021: On Saturday, April 3, the Food Pantry served 45 households, with the following breakdown of demographic categories: 26 children, 60 adults and 34 seniors, for a total of 120 individuals served this week.
Information Regarding COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment Assistance at Messiah
I am writing to let you know that given the complexity and confusion surrounding the effort to vaccinate all eligible people in our parish and community, there has been progress in getting eligible people appointments to be vaccinated.
We will therefore continue to help anyone needing assistance in making an appointment, but our ministry seems to have achieved its goal in the past.
We are continuing to explore ways we can be of assistance to the wider community.
The following sites continue to be helpful:
         Tops: https://www.topsmarkets.com/covid19

  • In addition to the state and county sites, there may be hospitals and pharmacies which may individually obtain vaccine and we can communicate that information to our members. It seems that Northern Dutchess Hospital will shortly become an official vaccination site in the New York State appointment system.
  • We’ve also heard from parishioners that you may be able to get an appointment if you are eligible through Walgreens. You will need to download their app and create an account.
  • The hotline listed as a place to make an appointment has now begun operating more effectively. It opens at 7am. NYS Hotline: 1-888-364-3065

We could also use assistance of any who are fluent in Spanish, for assisting our English as a Second Language students who may be eligible.
Our thanks to everyone who has assisted people in the important work of getting everyone who is eligible vaccinated. 
Update on Vaccine Ministry
As of this past week, we were able to assist 44 members of the congregation to schedule vaccines for the immediate future who were eligible to receive the vaccine. It would appear that the pharmacy websites are the best way to make an appointment, often early morning has been the best time to check.
End of Year Financial Contribution Statements
End of year statements are being sent out this week, for both annual stewardship and capital campaign. Your continued generosity and support are very much appreciated.
Forward Day by Day  
The next quarter (February – April 2021) of Forward Day by Day booklets are in the office. If you'd like one sent to your home, email us your current mailing and we will send them out to you. 
Parish Office Hours
Nicole is now keeping office hours from 9:30am to 1:30pm Monday through Friday. However, for the sake of safety and caution, we ask that you continue to telephone or email the office rather than stopping in, unless you have checked in with Nicole first.  
Bible Study continues Tuesday, April 13th at a new time, 3pm.
We are studying the second chapter of St. Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. You can join the study group without having participated in the group previously. 
Discussion and Reflection on Women in the Bible by Reverend Gwyneth is on hiatus until the Fall.
Manufactured masks available to the parish
We have received through the generosity of the Rotary Club of Rhinebeck, 200 KN95 masks. These masks are certainly more effective that a homemade protective covering, but there is some concern if these masks are as effective as the N95 masks. A report on Friday in the New York Times reported that the CDC had removed a large number of Chinese manufacturers from the authorized and approved list of providers, but more details were not available. With that in mind, we are happy to provide masks to anyone in the parish who needs them. Just email the office and we can make arrangements to get a mask to you or have you pick them up at the parish hall. We have offered the masks to our volunteers at the Food Pantry as they continue to distribute food to the wider community.
We are very grateful to the kindness and generosity of the Rotary Club for this donation to our church.

At a time when so much is changing, it is heartening to know that the Rhinebeck community remains caring and generous in their response to COVID-19.
Much love and prayers for your wellbeing and safety.
Fr. Richard