Claimed by God

Baptism is the initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into life with Christ, and into full membership in the church. This week we read Matthew’s account of the baptism of Jesus in the river Jordan. At the moment John baptizes Jesus, the heavens open and Jesus sees the Spirit of God descending like a dove. A voice from heaven speaks, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” If you have been baptized you may not have had this direct experience of a voice from heaven, but be assured that you have been claimed by God and the church for a life of ministry.

How do you live out your baptismal covenant? What sort of ministry is God calling you to at this time? What gifts have you been given that you are using to love God, your neighbor, and yourself?

Come to St. Paul’s this week to consider these fundamental questions that shape our life as members of God’s beloved community.  


Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as LORD and Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Join us for our next adult study
Words of our Worship – Four Tuesday Evenings, 6:00-7:30 pm, beginning this Tuesday, January 14.
Episcopalians love using specific language for various aspects of our communal life. Our next adult study will use that specialized vocabulary as a launching point for a general explanation of Anglicanism. Each week will focus on a different aspect of churchmanship:

  • The Eucharist and Liturgy
  • The Church Year
  • Building and Denominational Structure
  • Theology

Each session will also delve into some specific theological concepts and will include a “Stump the Priest” Q&A session. No need to register ahead; join us for any or every one of the four consecutive Tuesdays in the Church. Questions? Ask Father Sam. If there are concerns about weather, attendees should check the front page of the website for cancellations,

Join us for our Annual Meeting – Sunday, January 26
The Annual Meeting is an important event in the life of any Episcopal Church. We gather to do the official business of the church, but more than that, we tell the story of the past year and begin to write the story of the new one. We will have one service only at 9:00 am in the church, followed by a potluck brunch and a brief meeting in the parish house, ending around 11:30. Please bring food to share as well as your story!

Lee Food Pantry: This Sunday’s food pantry suggestions are pasta, rice and beans. 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. St. Paul’s will volunteer at the Lee Food Pantry this Saturday, January 11 at 10:00 a.m.

Altar Flowers
If you would like to honor or remember a loved one by providing altar flowers, the following Sundays are available: Jan. 26, Feb. 23, Apr. 19, Jun. 7, Aug. 23, Nov. 29 & Dec. 20. To sign up, please email 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

Worship Teams (If you exchange shifts with someone, please notify the Church Office by Thursday morning at

This Sunday, January 12

Celebrant:  The Rev. Sam Smith

Preacher:   The Rev. Jane Tillman

8am:   Pam Drumm

10am: Natalie Boyce, Greeter

           Peter Dillon, Usher

           Diana French, Lector

           Bill Higgins, Intercessor

           Robin Race, Altar Guild

           Diana Frency & Patty Mellvile, Hospitality

           Nancy King, Organist

Next Sunday, January 19

Celebrant/Preacher:  The Rev. Sam Smith

8am:   Jorja Marsden

10am: Frank Murray, Greeter

           Natalie Boyce, Usher

           Peter Dillon, Lector

           Nancy Murray, Intercessor

           Jennifer Carmichael, Altar Guild

           Diane Dillon & Anne Skakel, Hospitality

           Nancy King, Organist

Parish Prayer List

  • People we pray for on Sundays: Cecilia
  • 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: St. Paul’s Children’s Center
  • Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: Grace Episcopal, Amherst
  • Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Anglican Church of Australia
  • Birthdays: Chris Johnson (10th), Valerie Takai (17th)