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:

I write this article to meet a publishing deadline, which means that at this point on “the day after”, we do not know who we have elected to be the President. And given the way 2020 has unwound, it figures. The entire year thus far has been wrapped in uncertainty and bound with anxiety. The entire year has demanded that we wait… and keep waiting, to the point where it is quite common among us to be exasperated with waiting any longer. In this, many of us are tempted to grasp any offered certainty, even if what is offered is patently false, even dangerous.

With this in mind, I am mindful of the opening sentences of Evening Prayer (BCP., page 117): “O God, make speed to save us. O Lord, make haste to help us.” In this pandemic time, many of us have learned to pray this petition in the night prayers of Compline (page 128). And the words of this request speak directly to our impatience, to our restlessness, to our fear in the face of confusion. Of course, this sentiment is not unique to us or to our times, as Psalm 13 reveals: “How long, O Lord?” But the waiting for clarity, for resolution – be it of an election or our own deliverance – tests one’s faithfulness, one’s steadiness, one’s hope. Like a woman in the last stages of pregnancy, the waiting at that point feels overdone and even a burden; but waiting is still required. Pushing may be what we want, but doing so prematurely doesn’t help.  READ MORE

 

 

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.

 

Take & Eat Report

The St. Philip’s community came together during its 2017 parish retreat began to plan for outreach ministries that would allow us to be “A caring church that longs to be a partner in Christ.” After some work, we identified the “Take & Eat” ministry, an outreach activity that reflects the parish’s continued and historical interest in food security. “Take & Eat” is an ecumenical effort that serves elders and home-bound in need, preparing and delivering weekend meals to over 90 clients in Easthampton, Southampton, and Westhampton, on the first, third, and fourth Saturday of the month. These clients use the “Meals on Wheels” service, but require additional help, as “Meals on Wheels” does not operate on weekends. Clients are provided a hot meal and a sandwich lunch at no cost to them. Our Lady of the Valley Roman Catholic Church, Easthampton, hosts the ministry for the area.

See the report HERE.

 

2020 Thanksgiving Day Food Drive

Starting this week, we will be collecting food donations to support the center’s efforts to help those in need have a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner. Your donations can be dropped off at the church hall vestibule on Thursdays between 1-5 pm. Mary and I will bring them to the EHCC.

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
Gravy
Canned vegetables
Condiments
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.Over the last few years the Center has provided 700 – 800 turkeys for Thanksgiving.This year their funds will only allow for 400.

Thank You for continuing to support this ministry.

 

Read the complete News of the Week HERE