Love Conquers

Evil has always existed and always will. This Sunday’s story of Jesus’ encounter with a man possessed by demons is only one example of Christ confronting evil. Christ’s power in these stories is embodied in his compassion—his willingness to counter evil with love. How might we respond lovingly in the face of evil? As we consider our response to hatred and violence, how can we embody love? There are no easy answers; but love is always the strongest position of default.

     Welcome to St. Paul’s, where we lift the banner of love.


Collect:

O Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your loving­ kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Altar Flowers this week are given by Jim and Libby Wade in thanksgiving for 48 years of marriage.

Lee Food Pantry
This week’s food pantry suggestion is tuna. 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 items for next week are: pasta, rice and beans).

Berkshire Strings Studio will present a student recital celebrating the end of the school year tonight at 6:00 pm. Presentations will include classical and fiddle repertoire and will be given by students ages 7 – 77. Contact Erika Ludwig for more information; erika@berkshirestrings.com.

The Bishop is Coming!!!
Next Sunday, June 30, at 9:00 am, our diocesan bishop, The Rt. Rev. Douglas J. Fisher, will be with us to lead worship. The service will include confirmation and reception into the Episcopal Church. Following the service, a festive coffee hour will provide the opportunity to meet and converse with the Bishop. Please be sure to be in church that day for this important event for St. Paul’s.

Community Summer Reading Project
The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life
, by David Brooks
This Summer we are joining with First Congregational Church here in Stockbridge and Christ/Trinity Church in Sheffield to read David Brooks’ latest book The Second Mountain. This book explores the four commitments that define a life of meaning and purpose: to a spouse and family, to a vocation, to a philosophy or faith, and to a community. It is about embracing a life of interdependence rather than independence.

      After reading the book, beginning around mid-July participants will gather in small discussion groups around the area in different formats, at different times, and in different locations like a home, a coffee shop, or the church, so that everyone can find an option that fits their summer schedule. Finally, on Sunday, August 25, all participants will gather for a picnic to talk together about their experience and discuss the final section of the book about building community.

     If you would like to be part of this Inter-church summer read, get the book and start reading, then sign up on the Tower Room bulletin board beginning in July. Questions? See Father Sam.

Volunteer This Summer: Help a Child Soar!
The Jewish Women’s Foundation (JWF) is again looking for volunteers to support a vital program helping kids learn and grow. For the past five years, JWF has coordinated a literacy initiative at the Project Connection summer camp, a grant-funded program for high needs students in the Berkshire Hills Regional School District.

     The Project Connection summer camp offers a blend of typical summer camp activities and engaging academic programming to help its high-needs students who would normally experience summer learning loss. JWF coordinates volunteers for the intensive literacy block for students in grades 1-4. JWF volunteers have been able to help some students make more progress in weeks than they had made in months during the previous school year! You may choose what day you would like to volunteer, which age you prefer and if you want to work with a teacher or on your own. Project Connection is only four weeks, July 8 -Aug 2. We will work with the kids one hour (9:15–10:15am) Mondays, Tuesdays, and/or Wednesdays to help them maintain/improve their reading skills.

     To learn more and to volunteer, contact the program’s coordinator Phyllis Cohen at 413-528-4225 or phyllis111cohen@gmail.com. (Volunteers are needed in other areas as well—see the information sheet a the back of the church, or ask Phyllis if you’d like more information.) This hands-on opportunity has a very positive impact on these children and is a wonderful way for us to demonstrate our love for, and commitment to our Berkshire neighbors!

Altar Flowers
If you would like to honor or remember a loved one by providing altar flowers, the following Sundays are available: June 30; 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, June 23

Celebrant/Preacher:   The Rev. Sam Smith

9 am:    Tracy Johnson, Greeter & Altar Guild

              Deb Pege, Usher

              John Davies, Lector

              Carl Sprague, Intercessor

              Don Cook & Tim Swingle, Hospitality

              Nancy King, Organist

Next Sunday, June 30

Celebrant/Preacher:   The Rev. Sam Smith

9 am:    John Davies, Greeter

              Natalie Boyce, Usher & Lector

              Don Temples, Intercessor

              Jennifer Carmichael, Altar Guild

              Hospitality – POTLUCK

              Nancy King, Organist

Parish Prayer List

  • People we pray for on Sundays: Cecilia, Anouk, George
  • 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: Gideon’s Garden and Construct
  • Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: St. John’s, Northampton
  • Anglican Cycle of Prayer: United Church of North India
  • Birthdays: Ron Muir & Nicholas Dillon (22nd), Tyler Race (23rd), Vaunie Graulty (28th)
  • Anniversaries: Don Cook & Tim Swingle (23rd), Jonathan & Donna Gray (28th), Donna & Jim Touponce (29th)