Christian life involves loving God and loving our neighbors as ourselves. Through practical assistance, financial contributions, and shared participation, St. Philip’s shares the message of Jesus-in-action as well as in word and sacrament. This is the meaning of mission.
Jesus’ ministry was a healing ministry, in all possible meanings of the word. For that reason, St. Philip’s is active in supporting healing and recovery.
Recovery from Addictions
For over 50 years (!), an AA chapter has met at the Parish Hall for a weekly meeting. More recently, an NA group has begun meeting weekly at St. Philip’s. Certainly, St. Philip’s is pleased to support groups that base recovery on belief in a higher power.
Relay for Life
St. Philip’s takes part in the annual American Cancer Association’s Relay for Life in Northampton, MA. As a church, we partner with Relay for Life, to raise funds to support cancer research and treatment. In addition to raising funds, we participate in a 24 hour walk, and offer prayers for those affected by cancer. Although Christianity has sometimes lost its way in devaluing the body, or seeing it in opposition to spirit, St. Philip’s firmly contends that God’s choice to become incarnate is a godly affirmation of the good of the human body. And Jesus’ healing of bodily afflictions—even on the Sabbath—affirms the worth of the body even more.
Jesus was concerned about the most vulnerable in society and showed a concern for women’s physical and emotional safety and well-being that was unusual in his time. Each year, St. Philip’s participates in a walk/run and raises funds to support Safe Passage, a service organization that provides housing and assistance to women and children who experience domestic violence.
The body needs not only to be healed and protected, but well nourished from infancy through old age. Certainly, Jesus was concerned to feed people, in a most practical as well as spiritual sense. Each week, St. Philip’s parishioners contribute foodstuffs which are donated to two local shelters. Increasingly, the church has looked to address issues of Food Insecurity, with intensified efforts during the seasons of Advent and Lent, including increased contributions of both food and cash.
Resources of the church are gifts from God’s abundance and the church is dedicated to sharing those gifts with our neighbors.
In addition to partnering with community recovery, health, safety, and food programs, St. Philip’s partners with other churches—most notably our four neighboring Congregational Churches, as well as other Episcopal Churches—to engage in community service and to provide worship programs during Advent and Lent.