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:

In last Sunday’s New York Times, there was an article describing the effects of the pandemic in terms of creating “fatigue”. Among us. As the President has recently said, people are tired of the virus and want to move on, but the consequences of our “fatigue” can be seen in the rise in Covid-19 cases, the emergence of the dreaded second surge. Both in Europe and the U. S., attempts to “open up” socially (and economically) are rooted in this weariness, with ominous predictions by public health officials of a dire next twelve weeks. We may be tired of the virus, but the virus is not tired of us. I do think that our fatigue results in the fact that our hopes have been invested in a vaccine that will quickly return us again to “normal” life. Sadly and even tragically, our desire for “normalcy” serves more as a distraction from our fatigue than a way forward.

In his poem, The Four Quartets, T. S. Eliot, has written that “humanity cannot bear too much reality”. The experience of the pandemic is one long course in the fact that we are not in control of life but rather quite vulnerable –not to mention increasingly irritable when our usual distractions from this disturbing reality are eliminated by lockdown and social distancing. We are tired and frustrated with what Richard Rohr calls our “survival dance”. Its music seems to go on and on and on, day after day, until we simply want to quit. Even our desire to pray can be affected. The old biblical complaint of “how long, O Lord?” suddenly and painfully comes home to us, and we can wonder what might happen in the face of our dwindling strength and will. Read More

Michael+

 

All Saints Day – November 1st
Names for the Necrology Requested

Among the many layers of tender and hopeful meaning associated with All Saints Day, one of the day’s important traditions is to remember those whom we have loved and who have entered the greater life. We will remember those in our community who have died in the last year, but we also invite you to provide the names of your loved ones who have died but still remain as personal models of Christ’s life and love. These names will be included in the public offering of our prayers for All Saints Day.

Please send your names (with a phonetic pronunciation, if necessary) to the office by Wednesday, October 28.

 

Worshiping Remotely – Not As Hard As It Seems

As daunting as using technology for our common worship can be – and has been, we at St. Philip’s have stayed steady, learned, and developed our way into live-streaming Sunday worship. From the feedback received, all of us delight in seeing our worship space and being able to hear our organ play. While there is no substitute for us actually being together in our familiar and comforting worship space, Christ’s promise that whenever two or three of us gather in his Name, the Risen One will be present still applies.

So it is that accessing our remote worship, both on Sundays and daily for Compline needs to be simple and reliable. And it is. To clarify this point, let me reiterate the “how-to’s” of the technology.

First, we are using Facebook as our platform. YOU DO NOT NEED A FACEBOOK ACCOUNT TO ACCESS OUR COMMUNITY’S WORSHIP.

Use the link provided in the NOW (click photo at top of this article). The Facebook link for Sunday worship and Compline is the same. Click on that link, and you will move straight into St. Philip’s Facebook page.

We still use Zoom for Lectionary Study Group (Sundays at 8:45 a.m.) and for Coffee Hour which follows our 10 o’clock worship. The Zoom link is always provided in the NOW, along with a link that provides a copy of the Sunday bulletin.

Those who do not have internet access may continue to follow the phone-in instructions, which are also given in each NOW (see below for Scripture Study and Coffee Hour). (We are working on the sound problem a few had last Sunday. God bless Barbara Weeks, who always phones in for worship and coffee hour, but who could get her audio to work last Sunday. Undeterred, Barbara simply took out her prayer book and offered the service with us!)

One other thing about using Facebook: Unlike YouTube, where you could get on in preparation for the upcoming liturgy and wait until the officiant came on live, Facebook is different. There is no connection until the worship leader goes “live”. Even if you are on seconds before the leader goes “live”, there will be no connection yet, but there will be in a moment.

In terms of Sunday worship, we will turn the church camera “on” by 9:50. The organ prelude will start at 9:55 (or thereabouts). All of which means that you can connect with the Sunday worship by 9:50 and settle in quietly, until Karen starts the prelude.

Hope all this helps. Do let us know what your experience is.

 

Read the complete News of the Week HERE