This coming Sunday is marked in our liturgical calendar as the Last Sunday after the Epiphany. Each year on this final Sunday celebration before Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent we read the story of the Transfiguration from one of the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, or Luke). We hear each year the story of Jesus going up a mountain with Peter, James, and John – this year we read Matthew’s account (Matthew 17:1-9).
This is a pivotal moment in the story of Jesus, because it not only identifies Jesus as the Son of God, but also as God’s messenger. It is a scene often depicted in Christian art; the idea of the face of Christ shining like the sun, as well as the appearance of Moses and Elijah, sparks the imagination!
And it provides an opportunity for us to think about the ways that we have been changed by the love of God. Have you had a mountaintop experience? What did it mean to you, and how did it change you? Does that memory help you in the low moments of life?
Welcome to St. Paul’s, where we live both on the mountain and in the valley.
O God, who before the passion of your only begotten Son revealed his glory upon the holy mountain: Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory; 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.
Don Cook Memorial Coffee Hour –
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
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.
Lee Food Pantry: This Sunday’s food pantry suggestion is tuna. 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.)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.)
This Sunday, February 23 – Don Cook Memorial Coffee Hour
Celebrant: The Rev. Jane Tillman
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
Next Sunday, March 1
Celebrant/Preacher: The Rev. Sam Smith
8am: Pam Drumm
10am: Anne Covell, Greeter
Bill Higgins, Usher
Carl Sprague, Lector
Martha Bodine, Intercessor
Jennifer Carmichael, Altar Guild
POTLUCK – Hospitality
Nancy King, Organist
Parish Prayer List
- People we pray for on Sundays: Cecilia, Brian, Robb, Katrina
- 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: Gideon’s Garden and Construct
- Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: St. Mark’s, East Longmeadow
- Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Anglican Church of the Central America Region
- Birthdays: Tommy Carman (23rd), David Carman (23rd), Matthew Weston (23rd) and Lisa Thorne (24th)