About Us
Rev. James LaMacchia 
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it has been the rector at Parish of the Messiah since September 2012. Previously, Father James served for 14 years as Associate Chaplain & Religious Studies teacher at Saint Mark’s School, an independent, coeducational boarding and day school located in Southborough, MA.

He holds a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge and a Master of Arts in English from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude as an English-Honors major. Before his ordination to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church, he was an English teacher for 16 years. He taught writing as well as English, American, and World Literature. Prior to his tenure at Saint Mark’s, he served as the Anglican Chaplain at the Andover Newton Theological School in Newton Center. His parish experience includes serving as a priest in two parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire.

Father James is the author of The Riches of the Word of God: Homilies of an American Priest and is working on another book. He spent many summers living and studying in Israel/Palestine, and much of his ordained life has been involved with ecumenical and interfaith dialogue, especially among Jews, Christians, and Muslims. He is particularly interested in Holocaust studies and was invited to speak at the 2012 biennial International Conference on Holocaust Education in Jerusalem. He also is a commissioned presenter of the method of Centering Prayer for Contemplative Outreach.



Annual Meeting
The Annual Meeting was held February 1. A delicious potluck lunch was enjoyed by all. The present state of the parish was discussed.

annual meeting held Feb. 1

Farewell for Tim Treacy

Because of the demands of his regular work schedule, Tim has decided to take a break from his many years of ministry as a church musician. Tim has been with Messiah as our Music Director for almost six years. We are most grateful to him for his essential role in our worship. We celebrated Tim's ministry among us with a special coffee hour after the November 9 service. Two of the gifts presented to Tim were a wall hanging with a Celtic cross and a framed picture of the Jesse tree mural that graces our sanctuary.

Tim playing the organ during the Nov. 9 service
presenting the Celtic cross wall hanging Tim and the picture of the Jesse tree mural
Baptism Celebration

This November, we celebrated with the Galli family the baptism of their daughter Jill.

Jill and her parents and sponsors
Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday was a warm, sunny spring day, appropriate for our festive celebration of Christ's resurrection. An Easter egg hunt was held for the children after the service.

celebrating the Easter Eucharist
before the start of the Easter egg hunt finding an Easter egg hidden on the lawn
Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting was held January 26. A delicious potluck lunch was enjoyed by all. New vestry members were elected and outgoing members were thanked for their service. Old and new business was discussed.

during the business meeting
members selecting food at the potluck the past senior warden receives a special present
Christmas Eve Service

Messiah celebrated Christmas with an early evening Eucharist. It was a family-oriented service that started with a half-hour carol sing. Daryl Mark read the poem “Who Built the Stable?” by Ashley Bryan.

Christmas Eve at Messiah
Daryl Mark reading Who Built the Stable? to the children Fr. James reading the Christmas gospel
Youth Bake Sale

The Messiah youth hosted their 3rd Annual Bake Sale. There were wonderful cookies, muffins, cupcakes, marmalade, gingerbread men and more. A total of $150 was raised. The funds will be used to buy gifts for the children served by Hildebrand Family Self-Help Center. Any remaining funds will be given to the Women In Need (WIN) project of Messiah. Thank you to bakers, to supporters, and to everyone who enjoyed the delicious treats!

Sales were brisk at the youth bake sale table All kinds of delectible goodies were purchased

Pennies for the Philippines

The Sunday School collected $47.20, mostly in pennies, for the Episcopal Relief and Development Disaster Fund to help those in the Philippines. Thank you to everyone who donated to this cause during the fellowship after the service.

Some of the pennies collect to support the Philippine relief effort

Baking Thanksgiving Apple Pies

The annual event to make apple pies for Thanksgiving baskets at one of the food pantries in the Charles River Deanery was held November 17 at Christ Church in Needham. The Hilton, Jean and Graham families are shown here putting the finishing touches on one of their pies.

The bakers with one of their apple pies

Supporting Operation: Care and Comfort

For Veteran’s Day, Messiah held its second annual drive to support servicewomen overseas to provide them with products they can't easily obtain, such as: hair bands, clips, bobby pins, tampons, maxi and mini pads, oil free face cleaner, makeup remover, nail kits, mascara and makeup. Thank you to all that generously donated items. Members of the Outreach Committee above are (L to R) Daryl Mark, Stephanie Hilton, Bernie Jones and Jane Galli.

Members of the Outreach Committee display the items for womens vetrans

Messiah Celebrates St. Francis of Assisi and Blessing of the Animals

On October 6, Messiah held its annual celebration of St. Francis of Assisi and the Blessing of the Animals. Although it was a rainy day, some bold pets braved the weather to come with their owners to receive a blessing and a St. Francis token.

Fr. James prepares to bless the animals a couple of patient cats wait for their blessing

"Welcome Back to Messiah" Ice Cream Sundae Party

On September 8, under clear blue skies, sunshine, and warm temperatures, Messiah celebrated getting back to our regular 10:30 AM Sunday schedule by holding an ice cream sundae party out on the lawn. We welcomed members and friends back from Summer vacation and also celebrated Father James’ first year with us as rector. Everyone had a good time visiting and catching up on summer activities while enjoying delicious hot fudge and strawberry sundaes with homemade ice cream and special, add-on toppings. Catering of the award-winning ice cream and fixings was by Lizzy’s of Waltham.

ice cream sundaes being dished out the children enjoying ice cream
enjoying an ice cream sundae Messiah members add the toppings they want on their sundaes

Messiah Women Meet For Tea

On a recent Saturday afternoon filled with sunny, blue skies about 15 Messiah women posed in their Summer hats just before refreshments were served at the home of parishioner Daryl Mark who hosted a tea. Amid good conversation and much laughter, the women sampled home-baked delicacies, brewed teas, and cool drinks. The idea for an informal Messiah women’s tea originated several years ago from Iza Hussin, wife of our former rector Devin MacLachlan, and has become an almost annual tradition.

The Messiah women that celebrated Tea

The Outreach Committee Donates Book of Common Prayer to Newton Wellesley Hospital Chaplaincy

The Outreach Committee at the Parish of the Messiah would like to thank everyone for supporting their spring Greenraising fundraiser. Through your support, $247.13 was raised, all of which will go towards the parish ministries. The committee's most recent project was a donation of five copies of the Episcopal Church's Book of Common Prayer to the Protestant chaplaincy at the Newton Wellesley Hospital. The chaplaincy greatly appreciated our gift of the books.

The Outreach Committe with the Books of Common Prayer to be donated to the Protestant chaplaincy at the Newton Wellesley Hospital

Tinka Perry Brings the Mission of Episcopal Relief and Development to Messiah

Tinka Perry, Diocese of Massachusetts Coordinator of Episcopal Relief and Development, delivered the homily at the Sunday, June 9 worship service. She spoke of her recent trip to Africa and the strides that the Episcopal Relief and Development is making in the lives of people there. She also discussed some of the hurdles that they face while trying to start programs such as distributing mosquito nets to villagers and countering long held tribal and cultural misinformation. After the service during the fellowship, there was time to read information from the Episcopal Relief and Development display and ask Tinka Perry questions about her work.

A link to her homily is here.

Tinka Perry and her Episcopal Relief and Development display Messiah members reading the Episcopal Relief and Development display


Alexis York Lumbard Reads Her Book The Conference of Birds

Alexis York Lumbard, an author of children’s books, read her debut picture book, The Conference of the Birds, at the coffee hour on Sunday, June 2 at 12 noon, following the 10:30 AM service. The story retells an ancient Persian classic in a poetic way that is accessible to children. It is an inspiring story of a flock of birds and their adventures searching for a king. During the reading, the author encouraged the children and adults to participate. Ms. Lumbard signed copies of her book after the reading and answered questions.

Alexis introduces the hoopoe bird that plays a role in the story Alexis reading from The Conference of Birds
Alexis reading from The Conference of Birds Alexis signs one of her books while her daughter, Tessa, looks on

The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris, Bishop Suffragan, visits Messiah 

The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris, Bishop Suffragan, came to Messiah on March 17 for our yearly bishop’s visitation. She was assisted by the Rev. Deacon Holly Hartman. Bishop Harris delivered the sermon and was principal celebrant at the Eucharist. Deacon Hartman read the Gospel. After the worship service, Bishop Harris shared a light lunch and participated in a lively and informative Q and A with the congregation. She also met with the vestry for further discussion. Her dog, Piccola, was an instant hit with Messiah members, especially the children.

Deacon Hartman reading the Gospel Bishop Harris celebrating the Eucharist
Bishop Harris giving the final blessing Bishop Harris with her dog, Piccola, during the congregation discussion

Making Easter Baskets for The Second Step 

Twenty-three Easter baskets were made for the children who are cared for by The Second Step in Newton, a program for women and children who are victims of domestic violence. This is an outreach project of Messiah using funds from the WIN program.

making the Easter baskets the group that created the baskets
making the Easter baskets making the Easter baskets

Snow Elves Shovel Roof

The snowfall over the weekend of February 10 dumped almost two feet of snow on Newton, including the flat rubber roof over the Brookline Infant Toodler Center that uses our downstairs area during the week. Safety concerns were raised about the weight of the snow. A band of hardy snow elves removed the snow with plastic shovels to not damage the roof.

Many thanks go to Meg Silver, Jane Galli, Steve Isabelle, Greg Hilton, Melissa Leahy, Carlos DaSilva, and Kevin Galli.

roof snow before shoveling
roof snow during shoveling
roof snow when finished
hardy band of snow elves

Three Kings Come To Messiah

To celebrate Epiphany, someone bakes a Three King's Cake at Messiah. Three beans are baked into the cake and whoever receives the bean in their piece becomes honorary king, or queen, for a day. The cake is served at our fellowship time after the service.

This year's kings are Fr. James La Macchia, Teddy Hilton and Bryan Hilton.

Kings for a day on Epiphany

Helping Heros - Veteran's Day

Members of the parish recently collected toiletries such as travel-size shampoo, conditioner, hand and body lotion, as well as hair ties and headbands to donate to “Operation: Care and Comfort” for women serving in the military who often are far from access to such needed products. OCC, based in San Jose, California, collects donations received from all over the United States and makes up care packages for deployed U.S. military service members, male and female, serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other conflict regions. The parish also sent copies of the Episcopal church’s Prayer Book for theArmed Services which has prayers for those in harm’s way along with Bible and Psalm selections and sections to assist those who are Roman Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, or Spanish speaking in time of need as well as copies of Forward Day by Day, a pocket-size manual of daily Bible readings and devotions. Donations were collected over three Sundays in November and sent out in time to be received by Veterans’ Day.

2012 Veterans Day collection 2012 Veterans Day collection

Saying Goodbye to Rev. Suzanne Colburn

On Pentecost, Messiah celebrated Rev. Suzanne Colburn's last Sunday with us. She had served as our Interim Priest since March 2011. There were processions and recessions involving the children of the parish. A bagpiper from the Clan Sutherland Pipe and Drum Band led the congregation out of church at the end of the service. A special coffee hour was held after the service where gifts were presented to Rev. Colburn by the children and parish members.

Lining up for the Recession Bubbles
Cards from the Children Cake Cutting


Summer Yard Sale

Even a mid-afternoon shower did not dampen the spirits of interested bargain hunters and treasure seekers at the summer yard sale. Bagpipers from the Clan Sutherland Pipe and Drum Band played a brief concert to the delight of unsuspecting shoppers, drivers, pedestrians,and bikers on Commonwealth Avenue.

Yard sale activity Yard sale activity
Yard sale activity Clan Sutherland Pipe and Drum played during the day

Blessing of the Animals

A surprisingly peaceful assortment of cats and dogs were present at the service this Sunday. For those animals that didn't like to travel and those that were no longer with us but are still loved, pictures and names were placed beside a painting of St. Francis. All pets received a blessing and a St. Francis medallion. A special offering was taken to support the Humane Society's Disaster Relief Fund and a local shelter.

Animals receiving a blessing Animals patienly waited to be blessed
Animals patienly waited to be blessed Animals receiving a blessing

Messiah's 140th Anniversary

We celebrated "Christ the King" Sunday as well as Messiah's namesake and anniversary day on November 20. A warm, sunny day greeted us on this joyous occasion when friends and former members came together to commemorate the happy event. A special sermon (pdf version) reliving our history was given by Bernie Jones (pictured below), the church historian. The children participated in a grand procession leading us outside to find the building cornerstone. Rev. Suzanne Colburn offered a brief blessing and rededication of the cornerstone. After the service during our fellowship, the congregation viewed a Messiah time line of people and events that shaped our history. Members were invited to add their own personal information to the time line. The Newton TAB, our local newspaper, covered the event with a story and front page photo.

140th Bernie Jones giving the sermon 140th Children leading the recession
140th Gathering outside to rededicate the cornerstone 140th Reception after service

Lessons and Carols

Messiah hosted a celebration of the Advent and Christmas season on December 4 with Church of the Good Shepherd, another Episcopal church in Watertown; and Cappella Clausura, our Artist-in-Residence. During the service of joyful song and anticipation, ancient scriptures were read and one of the lessons from the book of Isaiah was canted in Hebrew by Ben Silver, guest soloist. The service also included special organ music and a cappella anthems as well as congregational hymn singing of traditional carols. A joint choir, made up of singers from all three groups, performed and led the singing. A reception featuring seasonal fare followed in the Parish Hall.

Click here to hear the duet I Sing of a Maiden, a Middle English lyric poem adapted by Patrick Hadley and performed by Martha Bancroft and Amelia LeClair during the service.

Lessons and Carols service Ben Silver canting one of the lessons from the book of Isaiah
The combined choirs that led the service Reception after the Lessons and Carols service


Parish of the Messiah of Auburndale has merged with Trinity Parish of Newton Centre.  Trinity Parish is located at 11 Homer St. in Newton Centre.  We invite you to join us! Holy Eucharist is celebrated each Sunday at 10:00 AM.  Sunday School and childcare are offered beginning at 9:45 AM.  Fellowship follows the 10:00 AM service. More information can be found on Trinity’s website:  www.trinitynewton.org.

On-street parking is available.


For local directions, click here.


Woodensign2Excerpts from "The Messiah Miracle"


 J. Foster Ober was commissioned to draw up plans of a church building located to the North and West of the Chapel [built in 1881] .... The congregation went to work with a will to raise the necessary funds with fairs, suppers, and other activities on which goodly sums were realized. The cornerstone of the church [seen below] was laid by Bishop Phillips Brooks on October 3, 1892. The tune "Auburndale" in the 1918 Hymnal was composed by Horatio Parker for this occasion.




Church of Messiah in October1943

On November 15, 1943, tragedy came to our beloved church, when the entire plant was completely gutted and destroyed by a fire of unknown origin. It was indeed a heart-rending sight when many stood in the ruins the next day .... But there amid the ashes and rubble was born the determination to rebuild as soon as possible.

Church of Messiah in November1943 
Help came from unexpected sources: friend and foes, Jew and Gentile, [Black and White], members, former members, from the neighborhood, from sailors in the Pacific ... from a stranger in Chicago, from our sister churches, and from community offerings ... Services were held at the Auburndale Club.  The stage serving as sanctuary ... and the lounge was used as a side chapel for early communion celebrations and baptisms.Messiah cornerstone
 Parish of the Messiah in June 2011 
Permission to rebuild was granted us by the War Production Board in May 1944 ... On Sunday, October 15, 1944, in impressive ceremonies, the cornerstone was re-laid by Bishop Sherrill assisted by Mr. McClintock ... The church was dedicated on September 30, 1945, by Bishop Sherrill and the service was attended by many ministers of the city ... Following the service the 500 people present were invited to meet the mayor, bishop, and rector in the living room of the new rectory. It was a great day for the parish and the crowning climax to a long up-hill struggle.
On November 22, 2015 after 144 years ministering to the Auburndale and surrounding communities on the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Auburn Street, the Parish of the Messiah celebrated it last Sunday service before merging with Trinity Parish in Newton Centre. On November 29, 2015, Messiah celebrated it first worship service as a combined with Trinity Parish.
More than 70 years after that service in September 1945, the present members of this active community plan to carry on the traditions of those early members and rededicate themselves and the church as a place of worship, healing, and hospitality as they join communion with Trinity Parish. The parish will strive to initiate new outreach programs outside the walls of their new parish.




Click here to read the Wikipedia entry for the Parish of the Messiah.