Being Transfigured

On the Last Sunday after the Epiphany each year we read an account of Jesus being transfigured on the mountaintop. This year is Luke’s version. As we prepare to enter the holy season of Lent, might we dare to ask Jesus to transfigure us?

     How do you need to be transfigured? Are you too busy, and needing to learn how to rest and restore? Are you angry or sad, and need to find joy? Are you addicted to a substance or a mindset, and need to be freed? This story of transfiguration reminds us that Jesus—God come to earth—can make us into something new.  Welcome to St. Paul’s, where we welcome transfiguration and renewal!


 Collect

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.


Laissez les bons temps rouler!
St. Paul’s Mardi Gras Celebration – This Sunday, March 3, after the 10:00 service

This year we will celebrate the end of the season after Epiphany with a Chili lunch in the Parish House. We’ll provide meat and vegetarian chili and the fixings; you provide accompaniments to the meal (chips, saltines, salads, desserts, cheese, bread, etc.) We’ll have our own Mardi Gras parade as we enjoy one last celebration together before the sparseness of the Lenten season. Questions? Contact Natalie Boyce or Father Sam.

Note that our Ash Wednesday service will be in the church, Wednesday, March 6 at 6:00 p.m. (a listing of other Ash Wednesday services throughout the county is available on the back table.)

Our Lenten Study – Thursdays, March 7 – April 25
Making Sense of the Christian Faith

Our Lenten group study for adults will focus on the questions we have about God in the world. Using the book Making Sense of the Christian Faith by David Lose, we will explore our core beliefs. The study employs the four primary sources of our theological thought: Scripture, Tradition, Experience and Reason. Lively conversation and lots of room for all questions are assured. In addition, this class will serve as preparation for confirmation, reception, or affirmation for any who might so desire.

     We will undertake the study in conjunction with our friends at Christ/Trinity Church in Sheffield. The same session will be offered noon-1:00 pm at the Church in Sheffield and 6:30 – 7:30 here in Stockbridge, with participants free to attend either. (Participants are welcome to bring a sack lunch/dinner to any/all sessions.) To participate you are encouraged to purchase a book (available from Amazon.com in either electronic or paperback form for less than $13.00) and read the introduction and first chapter before the first session. Questions, or want to discuss confirmation? Ask Father Sam.

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, Week One


40 Days of Love and Kindness Challenge, Week One
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness.

Colossians 3:12

Wed., March 6:     Send a card or letter to someone you have lost touch with.

Thurs., March 7: Donate non-perishable food items to your church food pantry or local food bank.

Fri., March 8:     Purchase a gift card at the grocery store and ask the cashier to give it to the next person who comes through the line.

Sat., March 9:     Thank a soldier. A Million Thanks: http://www.amillionthanks.org

Sun., March 10: Donate supplies to an animal shelter

A Pastoral Letter from the Bishop

Bishop Doug Fisher has sent a letter to the People of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts about the pain of sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse in the church, and how those who have been wronged may seek restitution. The letter in its entirety is attached to this email, and printed copies will be included in this Sunday’s bulletin.

Berkshire Conversation Project

The good people of First Congregational Church here in Stockbridge are organizing a series of important community dialogues. Beginning March 13, a coalition of organizations and educational institutions will gather a broad cross-section of the community at Berkshire South for a series of dialogues (not arguments, debates or fights) about the intersection of community, safety and firearms. Copies of the registration form, which gives more information, are available on the bulletin board in the Tower Room.

Lee Food Pantry
This week’s food pantry suggestion is toiletries and diapers. 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: tuna.) St. Paul’s will volunteer at the Lee Food Pantry on Saturday, March 9.

St. Paul’s Prayer Circle will meet this Tuesday, March 5, from 5:30-6:30 p.m., for contemplative prayer.

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 at stpaulsstockbridge@gmail.com.)

This Sunday, March 3

Celebrant/Preacher: The Rev. Sam Smith

8 am:               Pam Drumm, Assisting

10 am:             Tracy Johnson, Greeter

                        Natalie Boyce, Usher

                        Bill Higgins, Lector

                        Martha Bodine, Intercessor

                        Jennifer Carmichael, Altar Guild

                        Nancy King, Organist

Ash Wednesday, March 6

Celebrant/Preacher: The Rev. Sam Smith

6 pm:               Don Temples, Lector

                        Nancy King, Organist

Next Sunday, March 10

Celebrant/Preacher: The Rev. Sam Smith

8 am:               Jorja Marsden, Assisting

10 am:             Sebastian Bonner, Greeter

                        Carl Sprague, Usher

                        Kim Savery, Lector

                        Peter Dillon, Intercessor

                        Ginny Willcox, Altar Guild

                        Diane Dillon & Anne Skakel, Hospitality

                        Nancy King, Organist

Parish Prayer List

  • People we pray for on Sundays: Cecilia, Ray, Jackie, James
  • Long-term prayer list: Jeff, David, Doug, Barbara, Charles, ZsuZsa, Tom, Rich, Ronnie, Karen, Michael, Christy, John, George
  • 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: St. Philip’s, Easthampton
  • Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Anglican Church of Chile
  • Birthdays and Anniversaries: Ginny & Doug Willcox (3rd), Father Sam (4th), Lila Berle & Alex Johnson (5th), Elisabeth Wheeler (7th), Danielle Fillio (9th)