Thoughts from Father Sam 

The Lord is my Shepherd

The Fourth Sunday of Easter is known as Good Shepherd Sunday, as our gospel reading for this day is always from the 10th chapter of John. In this extended discourse with the Pharisees, Jesus presents what one commentator calls, “a highly realistic picture of Palestinian sheepherding in ancient times.”

The metaphor of God as a shepherd appears throughout both the Bible and other writings of the ancient Near East. And the 23rd Psalm, which we will also read this Sunday, is perhaps the most beloved example. It is the most often-read psalm at funerals, bringing comfort and hope to the grieving.

Of course, it brings comfort and hope to us in these challenging times, too. Join us this Sunday as we take a closer look at this beloved psalm of David and explore what new gifts and insights might be uncovered for us today.


Worship, Prayer and Meditation

Sunday Morning Spiritual Eucharist
Join us online Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m. for The bulletin for this week is attached to this email as a PDF file or you may access it here, Bulletin – The Fourth Sunday after Easter.  If you would like 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. 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)   

Wednesday Morning Prayer – 8:30 a.m. 
A simple service of Morning Prayers with the St. Paul’s Community.
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.
Download Compline Service
If you’re looking for Christian community in these days, join us every night at 8:00 PM EST. While Bishop Doug Fisher officiates at many services, others also take turns officiating, including our own Jane Tillman, who is the officiant on Saturday evenings.

Join Zoom Video Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/714336095
Dial in by phone +1 646 876 9923
Meeting ID: 714 336 095 Password: 806374

Habits of Grace: An invitation for you, from Presiding Bishop Curry
As we learn how to adjust our lives given the reality of the coronavirus and the request to do our part to slow its spread by practicing social distancing, I invite you to join me each week to take a moment to cultivate a ‘habit of grace.’ A new meditation will be posted on Mondays through May. These meditations can be watched at any time by clicking here.

Memorial Site Created for Victims of COVID-19
www.rememberwma.org
Please use this form to add a name to the list of our beloved dead. Date of death will be required. All names will be added to this site for our common prayer.


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.

The Rev. Pam Mott offers three classes in May
When you click the link to register, you will get an e-mail form. Please be sure to include your full name and which class you are registering for! In response, you will receive a ZOOM link for the class.

Finding a Life of Prayer in This New Time
Wednesdays, May 6,13, 20, & 27
1-2:15 pm  OR  6:30 pm – 7:45 pm
Please specify which time slot you would like to join; register by May 5th.
Email Pam to Register

A four week class to join with partners from around the diocese to reflect on prayer: How can we find ways to pray for ourselves and others? How might we build a “trellis” of prayer around which new life can grow? Each class will have some information and reflections, discussion and some time to pray together. If you have always wanted to explore a deeper life of prayer, this may be a fruitful opportunity for you! Group size will be limited to 12 for each section, and no new people will be added to either section after the first week.

Listening in Love: The One Thing We CAN Do For Each Other
Thursday May 7, 1-2:30 pm
Register by May 6; gathering size is limited
Email Pam to Register

A second chance to listen in on this class, since we had several people say they missed it! For lay people, vestry members and others who are encountering discouraged friends and relatives, as they call people to check in. We will talk about active listening, and listening as a spiritual practice.

What I Have Learned Since Life Changed in the Pandemic
Thursday May 7, 6:30 pm – 7:45 pm
Register by May 6; gathering size is limited.
Email Pam to Register

An open forum for people to reflect on what they are learning as our lives have changed, possibly to brainstorm things they want to hold on to when this is over, a place for deep listening, support and inspiration.


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.
(dial in: 1-646-558-8656; meeting ID – 925 396 586)

Don’t do Facebook, but want to see what we post?
Sign up for our “Weekly Update from St. Paul’s” or visit our website to see the “Latest News”


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. mail a check 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. text one of the following options to 73256 on your smartphone. Standard text message rates do apply.  
    • StPaulsStockbridge Pledge $XXX (insert pledge amount) to give towards your Annual Pledge
    • StPaulsStockbridge Give $XXX (insert gift amount) to give to the General Fund
    • StPaulsStockbridge Discretionary $XXX (insert gift amount)to give to the Rector’s Discretionary Fund 

Please contact the church office (stpaulsstockbridge@gmail.com) 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.


Worship Teams

This Sunday, May 3
Celebrant:
Preacher:
Reader:
Intercessor:

The Rev. Jane Tillman
The Rev. Sam Smith
Don Temples
Ginny Willcox
Next Sunday, May 10
Celebrant/Preacher:
Reader:
Intercessor:

The Rev. Sam Smith
Diana French
Bill Higgins

Parish Prayer List

  • People we pray for on Sundays: Cecilia, Katrina, Randy, Jean
  • 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: Lee Food Pantry and Berkshire Community Diaper Project
  • Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: Trinity Church, Lenox
  • Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Anglican Communion in Japan
  • Birthdays: Alison Larkin (28th), Cameron Skakel and Michael Sirois (2nd), Robin Race (8th), Darryl Lafferty (9th)