Be careful: If you come here, you will grow!
St. Philip’s Episcopal Church
A note from the Rev. Michael A. Bullock
Last Saturday, our Diocese met in Convention. For the first time in 119 years, this representative, legislative body met not in person but remotely. It must be 2020! (St. Philip’s has three voting delegates: Steve Bailey, Elizabeth McAnulty, and me. Joe Bianca is our alternate delegate.) What was truly amazing was how smoothly it all went. (Special kudos to the Rev. Vicki Ix, Canon for Communications, for organizing all the technology!). And while not being together personally was a loss, the question continually needs to be raised about what of our impromptu practices in this pandemic time need to be kept and integrated into our routines, when the new “normal” emerges?
This is a question that we at St. Philip’s have been asking as well. Our remote “coffee hour” is a prime example, where those who choose to participate in the “Hollywood Squares” visuals have found that the time is filled with real conversation. With Bonnie Katusich (and others) facilitating, each “square” has the opportunity to “check in”; and what is conveyed is often illuminating. Real conversation, couched with real listening, has resulted in us getting to know one another as real people. Ironically, meeting in the noisy parish hall at our separate tables has never accomplished so much with so little effort! How do we keep this going? READ MORE
THE ANNUAL PARISH CANVASS IS THIS MONTH
Hard and Uncertain Times Bring Out Our Faith
By the time you receive this edition of the NOW, most of you will have received a letter from me (Veterans Day notwithstanding), asking you to make a financial pledge to St Philip’s so that we will have the necessary funding support in 2021 to continue our mission and ministry. Our financial pledges to the parish are a concrete expression of our commitment to being the church, Christ’s Body in our time and place. Put more directly, money (in addition to our time) is how we choose to use our power; and our annual Canvassing of the parish membership seeks to ask for your investment in what St. Philip’s stands for and does.
In 2020, every aspect of our life has been pushed off-balance by the pandemic. This is certainly true of our life at St. Philip’s. And while many of us have been forced to re-evaluate how we live and how we specifically use our money, I am asking you to remember what God has done and is doing through you and me, through St. Philip’s. I will not rehearse the surprising life that is bubbling up among us; nor will I chronicle the ways in which we are working to keep one another connected during this straining time of separation. It is enough to say that we have remained faithful and creatively so in these last nine months and will continue to do so in the demanding time ahead.
I talk a good deal about “showing up” and how important this is to all of us in our pilgrimage as followers of Jesus. Making a financial commitment to St. Philip’s, to our life and our ministry, is a crucial way we “show up”. So, I ask you to make a financial pledge to St. Philip’s for 2021. Together, we are doing important things.
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.
The Take & Eat coordinators would like to thank you for continuing to volunteer for our Saturday service. We (and our clients) really do appreciate your help. Our next service will be on November 28th.
We will continue to operate with a smaller crew to reduce exposure. If you feel ill in anyway, please stay home. Contact Jon and he will let the kitchen coordinators know. Please only come to a service if you have signed up. Due to the risk, we ask that children stay home.
You can sign up at:
Cooks and Packers, we ask that you wash hands on entry, wear gloves & apron, and clean surfaces after every use . Please come with clean hat and clothes, and a mask.
Drivers, before you arrive, please sanitize the bags and coolers you use to transport food. Pickup will take place at the picnic tables outside the kitchen. During delivery, handle the food with gloves or use hand sanitizer, and when you drop off the food, please leave it outside and call the recipient to let them know.
If you find that the signup is full, but are still interested in volunteering, please email Jon at email@example.com, and he will put you on the backup list.
All the Best,
Jon & the Take & Eat Team
2020 Thanksgiving Day Food Drive
Thanks to those who left food donations at the church hall this week. There were two baskets full. May be this Thursday there will be three or four.
Please remember that Easthampton does not allow the Community Center to distribute food beyond the “Use by Date”.
We will continue collecting Thanksgiving food donations to support the center’s efforts through next Thursday. Your donations can be dropped off at the church hall vestibule on Thursdays between 1-5 pm. Mary and Joe will bring them to the EHCC. After next Thursday, donations can be made directly to the Community Center on Clark Street.
Any of the following items will help the Community Center in their efforts,
- Stuffing – Stove Top or store brand
- Instant Potatoes
- Cranberry Sauce
- Pie fillings – pumpkin, cherry, blueberry
- Cake mixes
- Bread or Brownie mixes
- Canned vegetables
The Community Center will also be providing turkeys for Thanksgiving to those in need.Donations in support of these can be made directly to the Center via mail or their website.You can also donate any unused Stop & Shop or Big Y gift cards our store coupons. Over the last few years the Center has provided 700 – 800 turkeys for Thanksgiving.This year their funds will only allow for 500.
Read the complete News of the Week HERE