Be careful: If you come here, you will grow!

St. Philip’s Episcopal Church
Easthampton, MA

 

A note from the Rev. Michael A. Bullock

Dear Folks:

The poet T. S. Eliot has written a disturbing truth: “Humanity cannot bear too much reality.” Given this, our tendency is to make things up. We have the propensity to construct a sense of reality that fits with how we see ourselves and the world – a vision of things that is at least not overly unpleasant. However, when what we actually experience about ourselves and the world around us is too much to bear, too contradictory to our sense of what is real, we resort to defensive psychological and emotional mechanisms in order to provide ourselves with some feeling of control and safety. As one depth psychologist has penned, “[t]he human capacity for self-deception is astounding”.

Spiritually and biblically speaking, this behavioral tendency is what “sin” is all about. At its heart, sin is the deception that allows us to believe that we can replace God at the center. In Shakespearean terms, this is the essential tragedy: We believe that we can usurp God’s position in our lives; and as in the Bard’s tragedies, the result of such rebellion creates chaos, destruction, suffering, and death. From this perspective, I personally find it very helpful to understand the much maligned (and abused) issue of “original sin” to refer to this human capacity for “self-deception”. It is humanity’s “default position”, a position that requires redemption and transformation. READ MORE

 

This Sunday we celebrate the First Sunday after the Epiphany,

Our service is streamed online at 10:00 am on Facebook Live.
The Prelude starts at 9:55 am.
You do not need a Facebook account to view this Livestream of our service.
https://www.facebook.com/stphilipseasthampton/live/

Please click HERE for the bulletin to follow along with the liturgy.

 

Sunday Lectionary Study is at 8:45 a.m.
and Coffee Hour follows the service on Zoom

USE THIS ZOOM LINK
Meeting ID: 845 1770 3924 / Password: 270862

To Join by Telephone
Audio conferencing participant (joining by telephone) will need to call: +1 929 436 2866 US AND follow the verbal instructions. Enter the meeting ID you wish to join followed by the # key.
If you are asked for a password, enter the password followed by the # key. You will be asked to enter your participant ID. If you do not know your participant ID, simply press the # key.

Click HERE for the Epiphany Readings

THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE PARISH 
will be held (via Zoom) on Sunday, 7 February 2021
immediately after the day’s liturgy. Please mark your calendars
and join us in the election of new Vestry and visual reports
on the life and ministry of St. Philip’s.

 

WE ARE LOOKING FOR PHOTOS AND/OR VIDEOS
that members may have taken that convey what we do.
Please forward them to Fr. Michael or Bonnie Katusich.
Additionally, we are looking for folks who would be interested in
taking these contributions and making them into
an Annual Meeting Video Presentation.
Please let Michael or Bonnie know, if you are interested.

 

 

 

Hello Everyone!

I hope you all had a relaxing Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year. I wanted to send a quick note of thanks to the folks who helped this past weekend. It was a small crew, but we managed to get out 99 meals this Saturday. Thanks to our drivers’ for their patience as we got the meals finished.

I also wanted to thank everyone for all their help in 2020. It has been a wild and challenging year, but I’m proud to say we still managed to deliver 90+ meals every month, in spite of the pandemic.

Finally, I wanted to share with you some quick stats. We submitted our grant report to our Episcopal Diocese in November. From that report, I can inform you that during the grant period of April 2019 – March 2020, we had 40 participants from St. Philips, Westhampton Congregational, and Our Lady of the Valley. We made 1112 deliveries to our clients.

This success garnered additional funding at the beginning of 2020: Westhampton Congregational donated $900 to the operating fund and the Westhampton Council for the Aged donated an additional $100. Currently we have a little over $2300 in our fund – enough for ten more months of further service!

Thanks for all your support and see you in the New Year!

Best,

Jon and the T&E Coordinators

 

Phishing Scam Active Again Impersonating the Bishop

December 29, 2020

This is the sixth time we’ve become aware of a phishing scam involving the bishop’s email. A phishing scam is an effort by bad agents to coax funds, sensitive information, passwords, usernames or credit card information from you by impersonating a trusted person – like a bishop. Take a look at what came to one of our priests this morning.

There is nothing we can do to keep someone from creating an email address that looks similar to a diocesan address and uses the name of a diocesan staff member. But there are ways to spot this fraud and deal with it wisely.

  • Know our email signature. All diocesan house staff have an email that looks like this: NAME@diocesewma.org. We will never communicate with you via gmail or hotmail or any other email provider.
  • Phishing emails smell fishy. Asking for emergency funds while traveling is a standard ploy.
  • If you think it’s a scam… Do not open the email. If you’ve already opened it, do not click on anything. Block the address or designate it as spam.
  • This is happening at the congregational level, too. Having a designated email domain is one way to minimize this opportunistic threat. If your congregation currently uses gmail, it would be a good time to look into your own email domain. This is typically done through your webhost.

Christmas peace,
Vicki+

The Rev. Vicki Ix
Canon for Communications

 

THE ANNUAL CANVASS TO SUPPORT THE 2021 PARISH BUDGET is set to conclude. Thanks to all those who have sent in their 2021 financial commitment to the life, ministry, and mission of St. Philip’s. Senior Warden, Bonnie Katusich, and the Vestry would like to wrap-up this asking period so that an operating budget for next year can be adopted. If there are any questions or concerns about making a pledge, please speak with Bonnie or Fr. Michael.

 

Read the complete News of the Week HERE