If Only…

In this week’s reading from the Gospel of Luke (Luke 17:5-10) Jesus challenges the disciples: “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed…” But how often does each of us question our faith? For many of us, faith can be elusive.

     What is faith, anyway? It is difficult to define. We read in the Letter to the Hebrews that, “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction things not seen.” [Hebrews 11:1] So faith is the opposite of doubt and fear. When we are in the faith groove, we feel certain about the path, and we have confidence we can keep moving forward.

     Sadly, faith is not always a constant in our lives. As life happens to us, we move in and out of faith. Wouldn’t it be empowering to know that you can depend on faith, especially in the low moments of life? How might we build the habit of faith? How can we be sure that we will always have at least mustard seed’s worth of faith, so it will be with us when we need it most?

     Welcome to St. Paul’s, where we help each other build our faith muscles!


Collect

Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: Pour upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things for which we are not worthy to ask, except through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Altar Flowers are given in memory of Sarah Cabot Sedgwick.

Lee Food Pantry
This week’s food pantry suggestions are pasta, rice and beans. Please bring this or other non-perishable food items with you to church on Sunday to share with those in need in our community. (Suggested item for next week is: cereal).

Blessing of the Animals, This Sunday, October 6, 3:00 p.m.
Saint Francis is remembered for his compassion for the vulnerable, especially animals, who he blessed as God’s creatures on earth. Following in this tradition, Father Sam will lead a brief service in St. Paul’s Churchyard to bless the pets and other animals we love so dearly. All creatures large and small are welcome to this special Sunday event, and appropriate refreshments will be served for all. (In case of inclement weather, the Blessing will move into the church.) 

Gospel of Matthew – Bible Study
Continuing Next Tuesday, October 8, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Our second of six sessions will focus on chapter 2 of the accompanying book, Conversations with Scripture: The Gospel of Matthew, by John Yieh (published by Morehouse Publishing and available new, used, or electronically from Amazon).  Please feel free to join in even if you haven’t read the book or can’t get to every session. Questions? Ask Father Sam.

You’re Invited
Baroque Concert — Saturday, October 12 at 5:00 p.m.
The concert promises to be a real Baroque extravaganza with music from the late 16th and early 17th centuries (a very experimental period in the history of music) and will feature Emily Hale, Baroque violin, Anne Legêne, viola da gamba, and Mariken Palmboom, harpsichord. The program will end with a not so often heard sonata by J.S. Bach. Donations will be gratefully accepted.

Mark Your Calendars!

  • Sun., October 6          Blessing of the Animals at 3:00 pm in the church yard (We will gather inside the church in the event of rain.)
  • Sat., October 12         St. Paul’s will volunteer at the Lee Food Pantry at 10:00 a.m.
  • Sat., October 12         Baroque Concert at 5:00 p.m.

Worship Teams (If you exchange shifts with someone, please notify the Church Office by Thursday morning at stpaulsstockbridge@gmail.com.)

This Sunday, October 6

Celebrant:The Rev. Jane Tillman
Preacher:The Rev. Sam Smith
8 am:Jorja Marsden
10 am:Diane Dillon, Greeter
Deb Pege, Usher
Diana French, Lector
Don Temples, Intercessor
Jennifer Carmichael, Altar Guild
Diana French & Patty Melville, Hospitality
Nancy King, Organist

Next Sunday, October 13

Celebrant/Preacher:The Rev. Sam Smith
8 am:Pam Drumm
10 am:Anne Covell, Greeter
Bill Higgins, Usher & Lector
Vaunie Graulty, Intercessor
Tracy Johnson, Altar Guild
Anne Covell & Bill Higgins, Hospitality
Ron Hanft, Organist

Parish Prayer List

  • People we pray for on Sundays: Cecilia
  • Long-term prayer list: George, Jeff, David, Doug, Barbara, Charles, ZsuZsa, Tom, Rich, Ronnie, Karen, Michael, Christy, John, George
  • Our partners at Grace Church, Great Barrington and the Rev. Janet Zimmerman; Trinity Episcopal/Christ Lutheran, Sheffield and the Rev. Erik Karas; the Austen Riggs community and the Riverbrook Residence; victims of violence, abuse, persecution and disaster at home and abroad
  • Outreach Ministries of the Week: Lee Food Pantry and Berkshire Diaper Project
  • Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: Trinity Church, Ware
  • Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Church in Wales
  • Birthdays: Penelope Spangler (6th), Jean Rousseau & Anne Skakel (11th)
  • Anniversaries: Skip & Alicia Newsome (9th)