Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Feast of Pentecost

No RSVP Needed

St. Margaret's Emmaus,
9 a.m. Sunday morning
May 23rd...

Crash Your Local Episcopal Church: Pentecost

--Here's an invitation you can accept on FB!!

The Holy Spirit is not a magical force we can conjure. We can’t keep it concentrated in a building. We can’t possibly limit its access to those who come to church or to those who are baptized. The Holy Spirit is already out there, wherever you go, everywhere in the world. Any time we say, “Come, Holy Spirit,” it’s ironic, because we’re beckoning Someone who cannot be beckoned, and who is always with us.

But if we didn’t beckon, would we notice? How often does a fish say, “Hey, I’m swimming in water!”? How often does a flame shout, “Aaaah! I’m on fire!”? How often do we stop whatever we’re doing, take a long, deep breath, and appreciate what it means to be alive?

If we did that all the time, people might well think we’d been
drinking, even at nine in the morning. When people live life joyfully, wallowing in the Holy Spirit, amazing things start to happen. People reach out to others to give them what they need. The simplest actions can take on deep meaning and can break down barriers of language and social standing. The result is Resurrection on both a small and large scale.

Come join the movement this Sunday. Bring a friend, or four, or four thousand! Raise the roof! In the immortal words of gospel pop star Kirk Franklin, “We're havin' us a Holy Ghost party up in he-ah!”

Celebrating the
Feast of the Gift of the Holy Spirit

with Holy Eucharist and Holy Baptism
at St. Margaret's, 150 Elm Street-
corner of Keystone and Elm-

9 a.m. Sunday morning,
May 23, 2010

See Acts 2: 13-15

But others sneered and said, "They are filled with new wine." But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem,* Let this be known to you, and listen to what I say, Indeed, these are not drunk,** as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning."

* Editors' additions: 'and all who reside in the Lehigh Valley and beyond'
**Editors' gloss: Filled with wonder, love and praise, we will be tipsy with joy as we baptize Thomas Malcolm and enjoy a brunch following worship which will be lovingly preprepared by his family.

P.S. Wear Red--
the liturgical color of the day!!!


Friday, May 07, 2010

To All the Members and Friends of St. Margaret's Church

To: The Members of St. Margaret’s Church
150 Elm Street, Emmaus PA 18049
From: The Rev. Canon Lexa H. Shallcross
431 Elm Street, Emmaus PA 18049

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dear Friends in Christ,

In the third chapter of Ecclesiastes, we read that “For everything there is a season, and a time...”. So into that mix of birth and death, planting and harvesting, breaking down and building up, I am announcing my retirement date of July 1, 2010. As I will be taking some accrued vacation time before that date during June, my last Sunday with all of you at St. Margaret’s Church will be June 6, 2010. The decision to retire at this time is based on personal, family and financial considerations.

I first came to Emmaus as St. Margaret’s new Rector in June of 1989. During that 21 years, we have shared many faith building experiences. I will always carry the memories of pageants and floods, building in Honduras and at home (new offices and a conference room), settling the Gaye Family from Liberia and welcoming new individuals and families to St. Margaret’s. It was my privilege to work with outstanding individuals like Margot Bradbury, Art Schelling, Gil Peterson, Ken Schaffner, Sally West and Joe Cardinale who served faithfully as Senior Wardens with me. I trust that Tim Merrill, our current Senior Warden, and the Vestry will help both all of you and me in this time of transition.

Through countless acts of pastoral care- marriages, burials, baptisms- and the faithful celebration of Holy Eucharist each Sunday, I have grown close to all of you. I do know that this transition will be difficult. So the immediate future will be a both time for weeping and mourning; as well as for laughing and dancing. My prayer is that the future holds new growth and vitality for St. Margaret’s Church.

Finally, let me say I am grateful for the opportunities for professional and personal development that the faith community of St. Margaret’s Church has provided me over the years.
You all took a chance on a newly ordained, not well experienced priest. and formed me. While I look forward to the opportunities retirement will bring me, I will also carry the people and mission of St. Margaret’s in my prayers.

The Rev. Canon Lexa H. Shallcross

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Easter Worship

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
The Lord is Risen, Indeed! Alleluia!

Full house at St. Margaret's this morning.
Spirited worship.
Full menu for the Parish Easter Breakfast.
Children hunted for Easter Eggs in the Churchyard.

And the Rector told the first Easter joke. This is our tradition. It reminds us
that in the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, God had the last laugh on Satan.

A clergy couple found themselves in line at the Pearly Gates. Looking ahead they could see that St. Peter was diligently making entries on a long scroll of parchment with a quill pen. The line moved very slowly but finally it was their turn.

St. Peter looked up and stood up.
“I’m so glad to see you both. You can help me get things moving a bit. I need some flexible Episcopal clergy. You see, the heavenly computer is down. I have to do everything by hand but if you just agree to return to earth for a day or two when you come back there will be no qualifying questions, I’ll just wave my hand and the gates will open and the trumpets will sound and you’ll be home. You can go back to earth as anything you want. How does that sound?”

The couple looked at each other and nodded yes.

St. Peter said, “Ladies first. How do you want to return to earth?”

“I’ve always wanted to fly like an eagle,” she said.

“Done,” said St. Peter with a wave of his hand.
She was gone.
He didn’t even ask her if she wanted to be a bald eagle or a golden eagle.
Silly me, I think it would make a difference.

“And now you,” said St. Peter turning his attention to the man.
The man looked at the ground and shuffled his feet and cleared his throat.
“Whatever I chose and whatever I do down there won’t make a difference when the time is up, will it?”

“No. No. The heavenly computer is down. We can’t pull you up or even track you down. No worries.”

“Okay, then, this is a little unusual, I know, but I’ve always wanted to be a stud.”
“Done,” said St. Peter and with a wave of his hand the man was gone.
He didn’t even ask if the man wanted to be a surfer dude or a ski bum.
Silly me, I think it would make a difference.

Well, it took six days to fix the heavenly computer.
Then everyone rested on the seventh day.

Day Eight, St. Peter got to work and cleared up the back log.
No more parchment and no more quill pen.

Jesus stopped by to see how things were going and told St. Peter not to forget the clergy couple back on earth.

“I’m on it, Boss,” said St. Peter, “I already set some angels down to track them. The woman wanted to be an eagle. Right now she catching thermals over the Kittanitty Ridge near Hawk Mountain.”

“And the man?”

“He wanted to be a stud.”

There was a twinkle in Jesus’ eye as he asked, “where is he now?”

St. Peter replied, “He’s on a snow tire in North Dakota.”


Friday, March 12, 2010

Heads Up!!

Don't forget
to reset your clocks!

Daylight Savings Time begins Sunday, March 14th.

Set your clocks ahead one hour before you go to bed Saturday night.

A sure sign of spring...!

See you in Church!
At 9 a.m. DST.....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I promised to post these quotes. . .

The following motivational quotes all fit under the slogan:
"Just do it."

-Not what is achieved that is important but what is set in motion.
H.D. Wells

-Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.
Henry Ford

-Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.
Albert Einstein

-Some men see things as they are and say, "Why?" I dream of things that never were and say, "why not?"
R. Kennedy

And just in case you've lost the citation from this morning:

HYMN #333

Now the silence
Now the peace
Now the empty hands uplifted

Now the kneeling
Now the plea
Now the Father’s arms in welcome

Now the hearing
Now the power
Now the vessel brimmed for pouring

Now the Body
Now the Blood
Now the joyful celebration

Now the wedding
Now the songs
Now the heart forgiven leaping

Now the Spirit’s visitation
Now the Son’s epiphany
Now the Father’s blessing

Now Now Now



Saturday, January 16, 2010


Date: January 14, 2010 6:44:50 PM EST
To: readers of "Maggie's Cross"
Subject: For our brothers and sisters in Haiti

Dear Friends,
Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Haiti.
- Haiti is the largest and fastest-growing diocese in The Episcopal Church.
- There are over 83,000 Episcopalians in Haiti
- There are over 110 Episcopal Churches in Haiti, and over 200 Episcopal schools
The Episcopal Church in Haiti has lost a cathedral, convent, Holy Trinity Complex, College St. Pierre, and a Jubilee Center. The Bishop has no place to live. Thankfully, the four missionaries are all accounted for - Mallory Holding, Jude Harmon, Oge Beauvoir and his wife Serette.

How can you help?
Check the Haiti page on Episcopal Relief & Development website

Donate and encourage others to donate to Episcopal Relief & Development by calling 800-334-7626 ext 5129.
Episcopal Relief & Development has a four star rating on Charity Navigator and meets all 20 standards of the Better Business Bureau.
Please do not encourage anyone to travel to Haiti.
Priority must be given to first responders and a few relief agencies so as not to over-burden the already compromised infrastructure.
Thank you for all that you do for our Church.
Malaika Kamunanwire,
Senior Director, Marketing and Communications
Episcopal Relief & Development

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thirty Aftershocks Later....

NewsLine: Wednesday, January 13, 2010

PB on Haiti…Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has issued the following concerning the January 12 earthquake in Haiti:

The people of Haiti have suffered a devastating earthquake, and it is already clear that many have died and many more are injured. Even under “normal” circumstances, Haiti struggles to care for her 9 million people. The nation is the poorest in the western hemisphere, and this latest disaster will set back many recent efforts at development. I urge your prayers for those who have died, been injured, and are searching for loved ones – and I urge your concrete and immediate prayers in the form of contributions to Episcopal Relief & Development, who are already working with the Diocese of Haiti to send aid where it is most needed.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori

Presiding Bishop

The Episcopal Church

For news about the Episcopal Church in Haiti go to The Rev. Lauren Stanley's blog

The home pages for the Episcopal Relief Fund is

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Prayers tonight. . .

We add the people of Haiti to our prayers this night.

They experienced the horrors of an earthquake today. It occurred approximately 10 miles from Port-au-Prince early this afternoon. Strong shaking with was recorded in Port-au-Prince. It was also felt in Cuba, Jamaica, Venezuela and the bordering country of the Domincan Republic.

The US Geological Survey recorded at least six aftershocks in the two hours after the main earthquake. All measured over 4.5.

According to a member of the US Geological Survey, based on the strength and location of the quake, about three million people would have been affected. Additionally, since the quake occurred under land rather than water, structures and people on the surface were directly exposed to the tremors, particularly since the fault was quite shallow.

According to news reports, the last time an earthquake of this magnitude hit Haiti was in 1751.

According to a journalist on Haitian television, the buildings of the National Palace, the finance ministry, ministry of public works, the ministry of communication and culture, the Palace of Justice, the Superior Normal School, the Parliament, and the cathedral of Port-au-Prince have collapsed. Additionally, a hospital was reported to have collapsed. Communications are disrupted, with a Haitian diplomat saying, "Communication is absolutely impossible ... I've been trying to call my ministry and I cannot get through.

Members of St. Margaret's Church may remember The Rev. Laura Stanley who worshiped with us regularly several years ago. She was recently in Haiti, serving in local parishes and writing her thesis for doctors degree in ministry. Like many family and friends of the residents of Haiti, she waits tonight for more news.

+ O merciful Father, you have taught us in your holy Word that you do not willingly afflict or grieve the children of this world; Look with pity on the sorrow of your servants in Haiti for who our prayers are offered. Remember them, O Lord, in mercy, comfort them with a sense of your presence and goodness, grant them your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

You are invited. . .

Sunday, January 3, 2010
8 a.m. The Celebration of Holy Eucharist
10:15 a.m. A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

Photo by The Rev. Elizabeth Diely

Wishing you all a "scandal filled" Christmas!

Frederick Buechner writes in his book The Faces of Jesus: A Life Story

"In trying to say too much, piety always runs the risk of saying too little or saying it wrong, and the great pitfall of Christian art, especially when it tries to portray the birth of Christ, is sentimentalism. The stable becomes a painted backdrop, the floor a carpeted stage, the manger a prop lined with artificial straw. Neither the holiness nor the humanness of the moment is rendered so much as the schmaltz, and the Incarnation becomes merely a Christmas card with all the scandal taken out of it instead of what St. Paul called a "stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles," instead of the proclamation that the Creator of the ends of the earth came among us in diapers." pp. 20-21

Photo by The Rev. Elizabeth Diely


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Worship Schedule

Everyone is invited!
All are welcome in this place!

Christmas Eve
Thursday, December 24th

5 p.m. Holy Eucharist and the Church School Pageant
"The Angel of Rehoboth"

11 p.m. Holy Eucharist

Christmas Morning
Friday, December 25th

9 a.m. Holy Eucharist

Sunday, December 27th
8 a.m. Holy Eucharist
10:15 a.m. Holy Eucharist

Sunday, January 3, 2010
8 a.m. Holy Eucharist
10:15 a.m. Lessons and Carols

Photos by Jim and Sarah Panariso

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Greening the Church for Christmas

St. Margaret’s Altar Guild and Friends “Greened” the Church for Christmas On Sunday morning, December 21st after worship. There had been a snow storm. Fourteen of us were able to stay to help.

I was asked to help decorating the “Peterson” Christmas Tree.
This was so much fun and hilarious now that I am sitting at home. We had to string those lights on that tree 3 times. I asked if they knew if the lights were working and nobody knew. So Dan said well we better plug them in. Then we couldn't find the end. So I unstrung the lights and found that the end had been plugged into itself. So we unplugged it and restrung them. Then Dan was trying to find the male end to plug into the wall. But, all he had was a female end, and he said you can't plug a female end into the wall. So he said we had to undo the tree and then redo the lights. So we had to redo the lights and plug the star into the female end so we could plug the tree in. It's funny now.
When Dan put one of the bows under the star where his wife told him, but then went to help with something else. He asked, “W here is she? She has to approve my work.” We told him it looked great. The bow stayed put.

While we were trimming the tree, pointsetta plants, green sways and wreathes were put out by the Altar Guild. My Daughter Abigail found the drums left out for the Christmas Eve Church School Pageant. She couldn’t wait to bang on those drums. Caleb was so wonderful with her. Playing with her and teaching her. She loved watching him.

Everyone was hard at work. The the star was being hung up. It was raised and lowered quite a bit, but sure looks wonderful now. It made us all nervous each time Scott stood on the narrow back edge of a pew to reach to the heights. So Kathy and Jenn staged a demo of the proper way to use a stepladder! Abigail ran down the center aisle trying to catch the moving star as it was being hung. The final stage seemed to go better with the oversight of the women! But, everyone did a fantastic job.

Christmas Music was played by Alice. She sang and played Jingle Bells, and wonderful bells and chimes on the organ. Jenn practiced the solo she will sing on Christmas Eve. It was truly wonderful. Canon Lexa put out the Nativity figures with white lights. We were almost done, when my Husband Jim took this picture to prove I do know how to use a vacuum cleaner. {Not funny, Jim. ;-)}

We worked and laughed so much. It was great. All done, everyone sat in the pews to admire the beauty of the church while listening to beautiful music being sung and played. It was Kathy's turn to reherse her solo piece for Christmas Eve.

What a GREAT day and wonderful fun time we had.

Thank you so much for letting us help y'all "Green The Church". We had so much fun. There was alot of laughter going on. I commented on all the photos and put them in chronological order. We laughed so much. Marian, Dan and Mickie- his wife , Jennifer with Caleb, Scott, Kathy, Alice, Canon Lexa, Ken and Sue, and the four of us. It was so much fun. My cheeks hurt from all the smiling. WE had a blast helping, and it went up so fast, and the church really looks great.
Thank you,
Jim, Sarah, Abigail, and the Infant James (who ate and slept most of the time)

Note from Canon Lexa: Sarah sent along a dozen pictures she and Jim took on Sunday. The choice of these two to add to her notes was mine. We will try to put the others in other notes or in an album on our website.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sunday December 6th - Holy Baptism

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

St. Margaret's Day

St. Margaret's Day
in Emmaus

Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009

[Photos by The Rev. Elizabeth Diely]

The tables were set with care.
People sported tams, tartans and kilts.
We processed around the Church ...
Following the banner, the drummer and the piper
into Church for worship. Dan Charney, our guest leader,
exhorted and invited us to consecrate ourselves again
to the fellowship of St. Margaret's Church and to
our loving God known to us in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Fully 1/3 of the estimate of giving cards received
on Consecration Sunday showed an increase!

And the Ha
Chieftain of the Pudding Race, disappeared!!

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

St. Margaret's Day

Join us for Worship and Lunch on Sunday, November 15 when we celebrate St. Margaret’s Day

Saturday, I pick up the haggis which will be part of our Celebration Lunch on St. Margaret’s Day. It is being made for us by Janet James of Bethlehem.

Her recipe is chopped lamb, steel cut oats, spices and some liver. It is a milder version of the Haggis served in Scotland. Haggis is traditionally served with “neeps” and “tatties” which is mashed turnip and mashed potato.

She makes 30 to 40 pounds of Haggis around January 25 when it is featured at celebrations of the poet Robert Burns’ birthday. Burns wrote a poem called “Address to the Haggis” which is often recited at events. The poem begins:

"Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!"

Those involved in the presentation of the haggis: poet, piper, cook, and chieftain of the clan get a dram of single malt scotch whiskey as the haggis is dished out for the guests.

So, what is “haggis”?
According to one poll, 33% of American visitors to Scotland believe haggis to be an animal.

Haggis is a dish containing sheep's 'pluck' (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally boiled in the animal's stomach for approximately three hours. It belongs to the sausage family. As the 2001 English edition of the Larousse Gastronomique puts it, "Although its description is not immediately appealing, haggis has an excellent nutty texture and delicious savoury flavour".

Most modern commercial haggis is prepared in a casing rather than an actual stomach. There are also meat-free recipes for vegetarians. It is widely available in supermarkets in Scotland and sometimes it is sold in tins.

Haggis may be served in Scottish fast-food establishments deep fried in batter. Together with chips, this comprises a "haggis supper". A "haggis burger" is a patty of fried haggis served on a bun, and a "haggis bhaji" is another deep fried variant, available in some Indian restaurants in Glasgow. Higher class restaurants sometimes serve "Chicken Balmoral" or "Flying Scotsman", which is chicken breast stuffed with haggis and sometimes also wrapped in bacon. Haggis can also be used as a substitute for minced beef in various recipes. In some Scottish butchers, haggis is combined with Lorne sausage into a product colloquially known as "Braveheart" sausage.

Now for some real trivia:

Haggis is used in a sport called haggis hurling, which involves throwing a haggis as far as possible. The present Guinness World Record for Haggis Hurling has been held by Alan Pettigrew for over 25 years. He threw a 1.5 lb Haggis 180 feet, 10 inches on the island of Inchmurrin, Loch Lomond, in August 1984.

And more locally:
On October 8, 2008, competitive eater Eric "Steakbellie" Livingston set a world record by consuming 3 pounds of haggis in 8 minutes on WMMR radio in Philadelphia.