Giving and Receiving

Last week’s gospel lesson featured two brothers in the story of the prodigal son; this week we read about two sisters (John 12:1-8). Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus, appear most memorably in a story from Luke’s gospel about discipleship, where Martha complains that Mary is too focused on being with Jesus. Here the sisters are once again at table with him. And they give us a great opportunity to think about the gift of Jesus.

     Of course, Mary’s extraordinary act of anointing Jesus’ feet is meant not only to be an act of worship, but also to be a precursor of his coming death. We are reminded again of the ultimate gift from Christ—his death as victory over death.

     We are also reminded that Jesus’ disciples were both men and women—a point often lost in the male-dominated world of the gospels. What does it mean for each of us to claim our place as Christ’s disciple, no matter who we are, or what we’ve done? Can each of us embrace Jesus, not only at the table, but also on the cross?

     Welcome to St. Paul’s, where we help each other on the road to becoming full disciples.


Collect

Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


40 Days of Love and Kindness

A Lenten program created by our churches in the Berkshires
40 Days of Love and Kindness is a generosity challenge for Lent. Make generosity, love and kindness a part of your Lenten spiritual discipline. Let’s pray that each act of generosity, love and kindness is a drop in a huge ocean, with a ripple effect that starts a wave.

     If you’d like to interact with others taking the challenge, join the WMA Way of Love group on Facebook. We will list the suggested activities for each week throughout Lent – but they are only a guide. Be creative!

40 Days of Love and Kindness Challenge
This week’s challenges:

The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.
Psalm 24:1

Thurs., April 4       Send an anonymous gift to someone who might be lonely or sad.

  • Fri., April 5 Hide encouraging notes in unusual places.
  • Sat., April 6           Make a “things I like about you” card.
  • Sun., April 7         Make a friend outside your usual circle of friends.
  • Mon., April 8        Switch to paperless bills
  • Tues., April 9        Reduce pesticide use.
  • Wed., April 10      Help save the bees by planting bee friendly plants in your garden

A memorial service for Val Evans will be held on Saturday, April 6, at 11:00 at St. Helena’s Chapel, 245 New Lenox Road, Lenox, MA. Father Tad Evans warmly invites the St. Paul’s community to attend.

Lee Food Pantry
This week’s food pantry suggestion is soup or tomato paste. 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). St. Paul’s will volunteer at the Lee Food Pantry on Saturday, April 13.

St. Paul’s Prayer Circle will meet Tuesday, April 9, from 5:30-6:30 p.m., for evening prayer.

Holy Week Schedule of Services

  • Palm Sunday, April 14, 8 and 10 am – Regular services at St. Paul’s
  • Maundy Thursday, April 18, 6:00 pm –Dinner ChurchService at Christ/Trinity Church, Sheffield (followed by Adult Education session at Christ/Trinity)
  • Good Friday, April 19, Noon – Stations of the City, Great Barrington (meet at city hall);
  •  and 6:00 pm – Good Friday Liturgy here at St. Paul’s
  • Holy Saturday, April 20, 7 pm –Easter Vigil at Trinity Church, Lenox with other South Berkshire churches – Bishop Doug Fisher, Celebrant
  • Easter Sunday, April 21, 8 and 10 am –Festival Easter services at St. Paul’s

Easter Flowers & Plants

We welcome contributions toward Easter flowers. Inserts will be in the bulletins and at the back of the church and may be used to list those you would like to honor or remember. Please put completed forms and checks (with “Easter flowers” in the memo) in the offering plate, mail to PO Box 704, Stockbridge, MA 01262, or e-mail to stpaulsstockbridge@gmail.com by Wednesday, April 17th.

March Vestry Meeting Recap

The vestry met on Saturday, March 16th. Highlights of our discussion included:

  • Plans for a family-friendly meal-packaging event in Pittsfield on the afternoon of Pentecost Sunday, June 9th. An outpouring of family volunteers will package 20,000 meals to distribute to very needy families around the world, as well as summer activity packets to be distributed to local children through food pantries and other programs that serve Berkshire families.
  • Projects to maintain our beautiful church: electrical work in the church and parish house and digital security for the Children’s Center.
  • An extensive discussion – to be continued – about how we may bring our organ into a vision of our future.

Your vestry’s next meeting will be on Wednesday, April 24th, 5:30 to 7:30 pm on the second floor of the Parish House. All members of the church are invited to attend.

Altar Flowers

If you would like to honor or remember a loved one by providing altar flowers, the following Sundays are available: June 9; Aug. 25; Sep. 22; Nov. 10; Dec. 1, 8. To sign up, please email stpaulsstockbridge@gmail.com and tell us the date you’d like to reserve, the wording of the announcement, and whether or not you’d like the office to order the flowers for you (cost is $60).

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

This Sunday, April 7

Celebrant/Preacher:   The Rev. Sam Smith

8 am:               Pam Drumm

10 am:             Chris Johnson, Greeter

                        Sebastian Bonner, Usher & Intercessor

                        Natalie Boyce, Lector

                        Jennifer Carmichael, Altar Guild

                        Natalie Boyce & Diana French, Hospitality

                        Nancy King, Organist

Next Sunday, April 14

Celebrant:       The Rev. Jane Tillman

Preacher:        The Rev. Sam Smith

8 am:               Jorja Marsden

10 am:             Don Cook, Greeter

                        Kim Savery, Usher

                        Don Temples, Lector

                        Diana French, Intercessor

                        Tracy Johnson, Altar Guild

                        Ginny Willcox & Patty Melville, Hospitality

                        Nancy King, Organist

Parish Prayer List

  • People we pray for on Sundays: Cecilia
  • Long-term prayer list: Jeff, David, Doug, Barbara, Charles, ZsuZsa, Tom, Rich, Ronnie, Karen, Michael, Christy, John, George
  • We pray for the repose of the soul of Val Evans
  • 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 & Berkshire Community Diaper Project
  • Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: St. Francis’, Holden
  • Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Church of Ireland
  • Birthdays & Anniversaries: Georgeanne Rousseau (4th), Devyn Fillio (6th), Mary Maltzoff (7th), Scott Race (8th), Jennifer Carmichael & Elena Teal (13th)