Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord

Lent is a time of preparing ourselves to take in (again) the enormity of God’s love for the world through the events we celebrate in Holy Week and Easter. There are many different ways we might prepare; but most of them include some aspect of self-examination.

     That introspection that is inherent in the season of Lent invites us all to slow down, and one way we can do so is simply to be quiet. To that end, through the season of Lent we will incorporate more moments of silence into our liturgy, specifically after each reading. You are invited to use those moments to consider how the scripture connects to you, to pray, or simply to be still.

     Welcome to St. Paul’s, where we seek God all around us, as well as within.


Collect

O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, 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. Violet, symbolic of penitence and expectation, is used in the seasons of Advent and Lent and may also be used for the offices and Masses for the dead, and on Ember and Rogation Days.

Congregational Letter – Coronavirus and Congregational Life

Right now the most important story is the spread of coronavirus around the world and here in the United States. Since this disease appears to be even more infectious than the flu, there is considerable concern about how to keep people safe. This is a highly fluid time and there is much we do not yet know about this disease, and we should all continue to pay attention to experts and medical professionals as recommendations evolve. (I am indebted to Father Michael Tuck of Trinity Church, Lenox, for this clear and helpful information.)

According to the experts, older folks and folks with compromised immune systems are most at risk from this disease, so we have many people in our congregations for whom we need to take extra precautions. It’s also important to note that, while coronavirus may be the reason we are paying close attention now, these are issues every year in flu season. It is a good idea for us to be a little more thoughtful about what we do as a congregation to keep everyone safe and healthy.  Read the complete letter on our website by clicking on this link, Coronavirus and Congregational Life.

Lenten Book Study:
A Resurrection-Shaped Life – Thursdays in Lent, noon and 6:30 pm
St. Paul’s will join with Episcopal, Lutheran and UCC churches of the Southern Berkshires to read and discuss this intriguing new book by Jake Owensby, retired Episcopal bishop of Western Louisiana. Each Thursday, March 5 to April 2, 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. Please join us for one or every time as we explore the biblical concept of resurrection and how Jesus’ resurrection guides us daily in our lives. In preparation for the next gathering, please read chapter 3. Questions? Ask Father Sam.

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Lee Food Pantry: This Sunday’s food pantry suggestion is peanut butter. 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.) St. Paul’s will volunteer at the Lee Food Pantry next Saturday, March 14 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: 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).


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

This Sunday, March 8

Celebrant/Preacher: The Rev. Sam Smith
8 am:Jorja Marsden
10 am:Tracy Johnson, Greeter
Diana French, Usher
Diane Dillon, Lector
Don Temples, Intercessor
Natalie Boyce, Altar Guild
Don Temples & Sam Smith, Hospitality
Nancy King, Organist

Next Sunday, March 15

Celebrant:  The Rev. Sam Smith
Preacher:The Rev. Jane Tillman
8 am:Pam Drumm
10 am:Tom Skakel, Greeter
Don Temples, Usher
Vaunie Graulty, Lector
Ginny Willcox, Intercessor & Altar Guild
Vaunie Graulty & Ginny Willcox, Hospitality
Mari Enoch, 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: St. Paul’s Children’s Center
  • Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: Christ Church, Fitchburg
  • Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Provence of the Anglican Church of Congo
  • Birthdays: Elisabeth Wheeler (7th), Danielle Fillio (9th) and Emma Skakel (13th)