In the Hands of the Potter

Our Old Testament reading this week comes from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 18:1-11). In fact we have been reading from Jeremiah for a few weeks now, and will do so off and on through the end of November. Who was this prophet, and what exactly is a prophet?

     The Prophets of the Old Testament were the truth-tellers of their time, responding to all kinds of crises and acting as intermediaries between God and God’s people. Jeremiah lived in the period of the Babylonian exile. He begins by speaking in judgment of people who had lost their way, but ends up speaking in hope—and as such he may well be a prophet for our time too.

     In this week’s reading Jeremiah likens God’s shaping of us to the work of a potter. This metaphor speaks both to judgment and hope: God may shape a world that will deal with us as we deserve, but God may also shape us more into God’s image. These words remind us that we are God’s vessels—shaped by God, filled with God, in the miraculous world God created.

Welcome to St. Paul’s, where we honor the wisdom and skill of the Potter.


Collect

Grant us, O Lord, to trust in you with all our hearts; for, as you always resist the proud who confide in their own strength, so you never forsake those who make their boast of your mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Altar Flowers are given in loving memory of all the victims of September 11, 2001.

Baptistery Flowers are giving in loving memory of Mary’s dear friend Eddie Costa.

Lee Food Pantry
This week’s food pantry suggestion is cereal. 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: fruit and vegetables).


Remembering 9/11: Next Sunday, September 9, we will begin our 10:00 service with a remembrance of the events of September 11, 2001. Please bring a flower or some greenery to contribute to a communal bouquet in memory of those killed in the 9/11 attacks. You will be invited to bring your offerings forward during the prelude to be assembled into a beautiful floral arrangement offered as a prayer. Questions? Contact Patty Melville (413-717-0850 or pattylmelville@gmail.com).


DON’T FORGET –

St. Paul’s Sunday schedule beginning next week is as follows:

8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist, Rite 1       

10:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist, Rite 2, with music; Godly Play in the Parish House beginning September 15 (see below)

We worship at one joint service at 9:00 a.m. on the fifth Sunday of the month – like this month!

Godly Play is back September 15

Parents are invited to bring their children to the 2nd floor of the parish house before the 10:00 service beginning on Sunday, September 15. They will enjoy a story and creative response time, followed by a feast and prayers. For more info, please speak to Anne Skakel (anneskakel@gmail.com) or Father Sam.

Our Next Bible Study

The Gospel of Matthew – Six Tuesday Evenings, 6:00-7:30 p.m., beginning October 1.

Each year our Sunday gospel readings focus on a different gospel. Beginning this December we will hear readings from the Gospel of Matthew. To prepare, our fall Adult Bible Study will explore the first book of the New Testament, guided by Conversations with Scripture: The Gospel of Matthew, by John Yieh (published by Morehouse Publishing). To participate, sign up at the back of the church and get the book (available new, used, or electronically from Amazon). Questions? Ask Father Sam.

Altar Flowers

If you would like to honor or remember a loved one by providing altar flowers, the following Sundays are available: Dec. 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, September 8

Celebrant/Preacher:   The Rev. Sam Smith

8 am:    Pam Drumm

10 am:  Sebastian Bonner, Greeter

              Diane Dillon, Usher

              Vaunie Graulty, Lector

              John Davies, Intercessor

              Jennifer Carmichael, Altar Guild

              Ginny Willcox, Hospitality

              Nancy King, Organist

Next Sunday, September 15

Celebrant/Preacher:   The Rev. Sam Smith

8 am:    Pam Drumm

10 am:  Natalie Boyce, Greeter

              Don Temples, Usher

              Peter Dillon, Lector

              Diane Dillon, Intercessor

              Ginny Willcox, Altar Guild

              Diane Dillon & Anne Skakel, Hospitality

Nancy King, Organist

Parish Prayer List

  • People we pray for on Sundays: Cecilia, Khali
  • Long-term prayer list: George, 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: St. Paul’s Children’s Center
  • Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: Christ Church Cathedral, Springfield
  • Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Province of the Episcopal Church of Sudan
  • Birthdays: Lyon Graulty (9th), Tom Sirois (12th)