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:

Have you noticed? There’s a lot going on in the next few days. Early Sunday morning we are to set our clocks back an hour: FALL BACK! Tuesday is the long-awaited election of a president and members of congress. VOTE! And for good, spiritual and liturgical measure, Saturday is HALLOWE’EN; SUNDAY IS ALL SAINTS DAY; and Monday is ALL SOULS DAY.

With the changing of the way we keep time, I hope that we all can take advantage of an extra hour of sleep or at least an extra hour’s good rest. In terms of the election, as faithful stewards of the life of our country, voting is an act of responsible faith. In our stridently polarized political atmosphere, this practical insight from Sir Thomas More [16th century English statesmen and philosopher]: “If you cannot so order things that they be very good, so order them that they be not very bad.” Yet, as important as is the way we keep time and elect leadership, for Christian pilgrims marking the occasion of All Saints speaks of a deeper sense of time and an unassailable understanding of belonging as citizens of a larger country. In a nutshell, All Saints is what happens when Easter’s reality hits the road. And this is the reason I love the three days of Hallowe’en, All Saints, and All Souls. Together, they are the earthly dance steps of what the God-life is about. READ MORE

While most people have cell phones and computers which will
“fall back” one hour automatically, some of us still need to reset
our clocks and watches when the time changes. The clocks change
at 2:00 am Sunday morning, so, if you need to, set them back
one hour Saturday night and get some extra sleep!



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.


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.


Two Reflective Organ Preludes

Two special pieces of music came to mind as I returned to the organ bench during this beautiful and troubled autumn. My 10/25 prelude, I Vow to Thee, My Country (Thaxted) is based on a melody written in 1921 by Gustav Holst.  The tune is familiar as the “Jupiter” theme from his work The Planets. Holst later set a familiar poem to this music, naming the tune after his village of Thaxted. This hymn is a standard at English services of remembrance.  My 11/1 prelude, Nimrod, was written by Edward Elgar as one movement of his work Enigma Variations.  This music, like the Holst piece, conveys a yearning quality and is often heard at memorial services.  I offer it to you on All Saints Day.

Karen Banta, Minister of Music


Read the complete News of the Week HERE