Healing our Relationships

In this week’s reading from the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 5:21-37) Jesus discusses some tough subjects, including murder, but also adultery, and divorce. Surely he must have done so with at least a little trepidation! Adultery and divorce are “third rail” subjects, as so many have been touched by them at some point in their lives.

     Jesus’ approach is to consider relationship: in both cases his focus is on the damage that these offenses bring upon the wife. (Jesus was speaking to a completely patriarchal society; it is our job to understand that both men and women may fall into these failures of relationship.) He concludes by saying, “carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.” We are called to honor those with whom we are in relationship, first and foremost, including God.

     Welcome to St. Paul’s, where we strive to strengthen all of our relationships.


Collect

O God, the strength of all who put their trust in you: Mercifully accept our prayers; and because in our weakness we can do nothing good without you, give us the help of your grace, that in keeping your commandments we may please you both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


The Liturgical Colors – As God has flooded the earth and sky with color, so the Church has sensed the symbolic use of color in its worship. As dominating colors in nature change with the seasons of the fourfold year, so in the Church Year there is a structured change in the colors of the Eucharistic vestments, the liturgical colors.

This sequence of liturgical colors has a principal role in Christian visual education, in teaching the Gospel through the eye. Green, the color of living things and of God’s creation, is used on the Sundays in the season after Epiphany and Pentecost.

Words of our WorshipAdult Study
Last Class: Tuesday, February 18, 6:00-7:30 pm

Episcopalians love using specific language for various aspects of our communal life. Our adult study will use that specialized vocabulary as a launching point for a general explanation of Anglicanism. We will focus on theology. Join us for our last Tuesday in the Church. Questions? Ask Father Sam. If there are concerns about weather, attendees should check the front page of the website for cancellations, www.stpaulsstockbridge.com.

Don Cook Memorial Coffee Hour – February 23
Please join us following worship for a special coffee hour to remember our dear friend, Don Cook. Those who wish to may bring a coffee hour potluck offering in remembrance of Don.

Join Us for a St. Paul’s Tradition: Thomas Bray Dinner on Shrove Tuesday, February 25, 6:00 p.m.
St. Paul’s has long celebrated the “last hurrah” before Lent NOT with pancakes, but with heartier fare! This year we will gather again in the Parish House to enjoy a New Orleans staple: Red Beans and Rice! Revelers are invited to bring salads, breads and cornbreads, or desserts to share with all—along with your finest Mardi Gras beads and masks! Beer and wine, as well as attractive alternative beverages will be supplied. After a feast we’ll dance and parade – laissez les bon temps rouler! (Questions? Ask Natalie Boyce.)

Ash Wednesday service Wednesday, February 26 at 6:00 p.m. in the church.

Lenten Book Study: A Resurrection-Shaped Life – Thursdays in Lent, noon and 6:30 pm
Beginning March 5
St. Paul’s will join with the people of Grace Church in Great Barrington and Christ/Trinity Church in Sheffield to read and discuss this intriguing new book by Jake Owensby, retired Episcopal bishop of Western Louisiana. Diana Butler Bass said of this book, “it made me remember what kind of human I long to be—and why I can’t quit Jesus. Read A Resurrection-Shaped Life and fall in love again with God—and with hope.” Each Thursday for five weeks will offer the same content noon – 1:00 p.m. and 6:30-7:30 p.m., at the office/chapel of Grace Church (where Centering Prayer is also offered each Thursday at 5:00 p.m.). The book is available in paperback and on Kindle. A Resurrection Shaped Life. In preparation for the first gathering, please read the Prelude and the first chapter. Questions? Ask Father Sam.

It’s Time to Refill Our United Way Book House
“Everyone is a reader… some just haven’t found their favorite book yet.”
Our Book House shelves are almost empty! Help us continue to provide more opportunities for children to access books. Donations of new or gently used children’s books can be placed on the table at the back of the church. Questions? See Anne Skakel.

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”.

Lee Food Pantry: This Sunday’s food pantry suggestions are personal care items and diapers. When you shop this week, please consider buying a few items to bring to church next Sunday, to share with those in need in our community. (Please be sure that food you bring for the pantry has not expired – we are not able to give away food beyond its freshness date.)

Altar Flowers –If you would like to honor or remember a loved one by providing altar flowers, the following Sundays are available: Aug. 16, Nov. 29 & Dec. 20. 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).

For the first time, in 2020 the U.S. Census Bureau will accept responses online. The process will be quick and secure. You can respond to the census in less time than it takes to finish your morning coffee. You’ll still be able to respond by mail. To learn more about what to expect, visit 2020census.gov.


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

This Sunday, February 16

Celebrant/Preacher:  The Rev. Libby Wade

Celebrant/Preacher:  The Rev. Sam Smith

8am:    Pam Drumm

10am:  Kim Savery, Greeter & Lector

            Tracy Johnson, Usher

            Carl Sprague, Intercessor

            Jorja Marsden, Altar Guild

            Kendra MacLeod & Ginny Willcox, Hospitality

            Nancy King, Organist

Next Sunday, February 23 – Don Cook Memorial Coffee Hour

Celebrant/Preacher:  The Rev. Sam Smith

8am:    Jorja Marsden

10am:  Jean Rousseau, Greeter & Intercessor

            Sebastian Bonner, Usher

            Kendra MacLeod, Lector

            Robin Race, Altar Guild

            POTLUCK – Hospitality

            The Rev. Libby Wade, Pianist

Parish Prayer List

  • People we pray for on Sundays: Cecilia, Donnice, Brian, Robb
  • Long-term prayer list: George, Jeff, David, Doug, Barbara, Charles, ZsuZsa, Tom, Rich, Ronnie, Karen, Michael, Christy, John, George, Khali
  • 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: Cathedral of the Beloved
  • Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: Good Shepherd, Clinton
  • Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Church of the Province of Central Africa
  • Birthdays: Bette White (17th), Willie Winn (19th)