Thoughts from Father Sam 

Worship in these times

With the announcement this week that schools will not reopen in this academic year, it is clear that it may be a while before we are able to physically gather for worship. So we must adjust to this new normal. 

Sunday morning worship will continue with one service at 10:00 a.m. on the Zoom platform. (See below for the link to this and the other worship opportunities detailed here.) As discussed in last week’s communication, we are celebrating a spiritual Eucharist. Work is currently underway on resolving technical issues so that the Celebrant may broadcast from the Church itself – stay tuned! 

There are a couple of other opportunities for communal worship. Our morning prayer during Holy Week was enjoyed by several people who said it helped them center. So starting this coming Wednesday April 29, we will gather on the Zoom platform at 8:30 a.m. for a brief service of Morning Prayer. And several weeks back Bishop Fisher began offering Compline at 8:00 p.m. for the entire diocesan household, also on Zoom. While the Bishop officiates at many services, others also take turns officiating, including our own Jane Tillman, who is the officiant on Saturday evenings. 

When you join any of these services of worship you are invited to participate fully, but also to enter into a time of meditation and communion with God. Perhaps worshipping in this way will bring you closer not only to God, but also to your fellow parishioners. Many have commented that seeing one another in our home settings, and also participating in conversations before and after worship, has helped us get to know each other better. Perhaps this will be an unexpected gift: may we emerge with closer bonds and a deeper love for God and one another. 

Sunday Morning Spiritual Eucharist – 10:00 a.m.
https://zoom.us/j/647333282
or call +1 646 558 8656  Meeting ID: 647 333 282 

Wednesday Morning Prayer – 8:30 a.m.
https://zoom.us/j/92325064055
or call +1 646 558 8656  Meeting ID: 923 2506 4055 

Pray Compline – every night at 8:00 p.m.
https://zoom.us/j/714336095  Password: 806374
or call +1 646 876 9923  Meeting ID: 714 336 095  Password: 806374  


Christian Formation

Beloved Community Commission Offers “Holy Conversation with Howard Thurman”

Two Sessions via Zoom, May 7 & May 14, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

The Beloved Community Team of the Diocese of Western MA invites all people and parishes in the Diocese to read and discuss Howard Thurman’s Jesus and the Disinherited in 2020.

A mentor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Howard Thurman anticipated many of the themes of liberation theology, including Black Theology. But Thurman’s focus was not direct activism so much as cultivating a liberated spirit. The result is a short, inspiring work of pastoral theology.

Individuals are invited to join members of the Beloved Community Team in a pair of diocesan Zoom conversations about the book on Thursday, May 7 and 14, from 10:00 to 11:30. Conversations may include discussion about Christian formation, spirituality, and racial justice. If interested, please contact Lee Cheek at belovedcommunitywma@gmail.com.

To prepare for these conversations, you may stream a 57 min. video about Thurman called “Backs Against the Wall”. Diocesan Clergy watched this video together at the 2019 Clergy Conference. You may enjoy a video preview of this documentary. In addition, a discussion guide for the book is provided to facilitate discussions. You may purchase the book from your local independent bookstore  via Bookshop or find it on Amazon.


Staying Connected

Come Hang out with St. Paul’s Folks Tonight!

Father Sam will be hanging out on Zoom Thursday evenings from 6:00 to 7:00 PM. You may drop in for a few minutes or for the whole hour.
Click here on Thursday evenings any time between 6:00 & 7:00 PM to join Father Sam.
(dial in: 1-646-558-8656; meeting ID – 925 396 586)

Sunday Morning Spiritual Eucharist – 10:00 a.m. 

https://zoom.us/j/647333282
or call +1 646 558 8656  Meeting ID: 647 333 282

If you have any problems joining the service, feel free to call Matt Fillio (413-822-3759); he will be ready to help!

Wednesday Morning Prayer – 8:30 a.m. 

https://zoom.us/j/92325064055
or call +1 646 558 8656  Meeting ID: 923 2506 4055 

Pray Compline – every night at 8:00 p.m.  

https://zoom.us/j/714336095  Password: 806374
or call +1 646 876 9923  Meeting ID: 714 336 095  Password: 806374  

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How You Can Help

St. Paul’s Church Community

In this unpredictable time, your church continues to give thanks for and need your support. If you are able to send your pledge now, thank you. If you are unable to give at this time, we understand. If you are able to give a bit more so we can respond to the needs of our community, we are very grateful. If you are in need, please contact Father Sam at father.sam.stockbridge@gmail.com or 413-298-7001.

Since we are not gathering in person in community, we ask that you send your gifts in one of three ways:

  1. via mail to St. Paul’s Church, P.O. Box 704, Stockbridge, MA 01262
  2. give online through Realm, our trusted church financial giving site (click here to connect). You can give using a credit/debit card or via a bank draft. Just follow the prompts and you’ll be set.
  3. by texting one of the following options to 73256 on your smartphone.
  4. Adjust the dollar amount as desired. Standard text message rates do apply.
    • StPaulsStockbridge Pledge $100 (change amount to your usual pledge) to give towards your Annual Pledge
    • StPaulsStockbridge Give $100 (change amount as desired) to give to the General Fund
    • StPaulsStockbridge Discretionary $100 (change amount as desired)to give to the Rector’s Discretionary Fund

    Please contact the church office (stpaulsstockbridge@gmail.com) or Treasurer John Davies (jdavies@camden.rutgers.edu) with any questions about giving.

    We pray, trusting that God will see us through this season and beyond. Thank you for giving generously to support the ministry of St. Paul’s Church.

    Lee Food Pantry

    During this time of social distancing we encourage you to continue to support our local food pantries. The need within the community is great. Monetary donations are most helpful at this time and allows the food pantry to provide what is needed most for those in need. You can make a donation to The Lee Food Pantry through Realm, our trusted church financial giving site. 100% of all donations go directly to the purchase of food for people in need.

    DONATE TO LEE FOOD PANTRY HERE and select the Lee Food Pantry Fund.

    If you have non-perishable food donations please leave them inside the church, near the back table. (Please be sure the food you bring for the pantry has not expired – we are not able to give away food beyond its freshness date.)  Volunteers between the ages of 18-60 with no underlying health conditions continue to be needed at the pantry; for more information, or to volunteer, please send an email to Father Sam.


    Resources for Worship and Prayer

    The bulletin for this week is attached to this email as a PDF file or you may access it here, Bulletin – The Third Sunday after Easter.  If you want to have the text of the service and be able to join in the responses, you will want to print it or download it to your computer or tablet. We will not be running the full text of the service as we have for previous Zoom services. Everything you need to participate is included in the bulletin.

    Click here to join us for Sunday Morning Spiritual Eucharist
    or call 1-646-558-8656 (Meeting ID – 647 333 282)

    If you have any problems joining the service, feel free to call Matt Fillio (413-822-3759); he will be ready to help!

    Worship Teams

    This Sunday, April 26
    Celebrant/Preacher:
    Reader:
    Intercessor:
    The Rev. Sam Smith
    Martha Bodine
    Sebastian Bonner
    Next Sunday, May 3
    Celebrant/Preacher:
    Reader:
    Intercessor:
    The Rev. Sam Smith
    Don Temples
    Ginny Willcox

    Parish Prayer List

    • People we pray for on Sundays: Cecilia, Katrina
    • Long-term prayer list: George, Jeff, David, Doug, Barbara, Charles, ZsuZsa, Tom, Rich, Ronnie, Karen, Michael, Christy, John, George, Khali, Brian
    • 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: Gideon’s Garden and Construct
    • Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: St. Helena’s, Lenox
    • Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & The Middle East
    • Birthdays: Diane Dillon (23rd), Arthur Schwartz (25th), Alison Larkin (28th), Cameron Skakel and Michael Sirois (May 2nd)
    • Anniversaries: Frank & Nancy Murray (24th)