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 PANDEMIC AND ADVENT: I return to an observation I have already made this season: namely, that our experience of the Covid-19 pandemic ironically expresses what the season of Advent contains.  And what does Advent contain?  I can think of no greater (and more direct) expression of the essence of Advent than the words of the Collect that we offered in late September [Proper 20; BCP. P. 234].
Grant us, Lord, not be anxious about earthly things,
but to love things heavenly; and even now,
while we are placed among things that are passing away,
to hold fast to those that shall endure… 


Looking Ahead to Advent and Christmas at St. Philip’s

With the Sunday after Thanksgiving Day being the start of a new Christian liturgical year and the beginning of the Season of Advent, and with all the challenges we have faced as a community of faith during this time of separation and trial, it seems even more important than usual to announce what we will do at St. Philip’s to mark the time and to be strengthened by the experiences.

Unfortunately, we will not be able to meet for in-person worship; but we will continue to live-stream our liturgical life. (In this vein, we will be asking Santa for a laptop computer, which our technical elves have assured us will greatly help in the sound and picture reliability of what we broadcast! What a gift this would be! Santa, are you listening?) Nonetheless, we intend – as best we can — to offer the richness and loveliness of Advent and Christmas and invite you to join us as best you can.

1. WE WILL HAVE CHRISTMAS EVE AND CHRISTMAS DAY WORSHIP SERVICES. They will be live-streamed on our Facebook channel and also available on phone audio for those without internet access. Moreover, we have decided that the Christmas Eve liturgy will be a Communion service. While actual on-site distribution of the Sacrament will be limited to the four individuals providing the liturgy’s leadership, our intention is to create a sign-up sheet to identify those who may desire home Communion from the service. We are even working on the possibility of distributing Communion after the service, outside the church to those who can come by and receive. The logistics of this are challenging and still very much in the works; but at the very least we intend to bring Communion to those who cannot get out. But sign-ups are essential for being able to do this. So please keep an eagle eye out for more on the procedure and the sign-up in the weeks to come.

2. ADVENT WEDNESDAYS: QUIET EVENINGS: In the past few years, we have offered several quiet Wednesday evenings in the church for Advent reflection and prayer. This year, in lieu of Compline on Wednesdays (on three successive Wednesdays (12/2, 12/9, 12/16)), we will live-stream a similar experience, combining music, readings, reflection, and prayer – all in the context of Advent’s strengthening quiet anticipation

3. FAMILY STORY TIME: Continuing a “small “t” tradition among us, we will mark the season of Advent with three story opportunities on Zoom (same as Scripture Study and Coffee Hour link), which are designed for CHILDREN of ALL ages and families of ALL sizes. On three consecutive Saturdays and in lieu of Compline on those days (12/5, 12/12, 12/19), we will gather via zoom to remember the richness of this season’s great anticipatory time. The first Story Time will be in honor of St. Nicholas. The second Story Time will recall what used to be the longest night of the year and the tradition of St. Lucy. The third Story Time will be to read the famous story written by a nineteenth century, Episcopal, seminary professor: “The Night Before Christmas” and perhaps the sharing of another seasonal insight!



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

Our plan is to celebrate Holy Communion at the Christmas Eve liturgy. Remotely broadcast with only the five liturgical leaders present in the church, Deacon Jason and I have the intention of bringing Communion to the homes that request such a visitation. In order to organize the logistics of this, we need to know specific requests ahead of time. Please contact the office either by phone [413-527-0862] or by email [] to place your name on the sign-up list. Also, please include your name, address, phone number, and the number of people to receive.

Communion will be offered, according to the Prayer Book form: “Communion under Special Circumstances” [BCP., p. 396ff], with special content for Christmas. Consecrated bread will be individually sealed, one per person, and pandemic protocols will be employed in these brief visits.

Questions or comments may be directed to Fr. Michael [].


A December Christmas Toy and Food Distribution
will take place on Saturday (12/12) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sponsored by the City of Easthampton and St. Philip’s food ministry partner, Pioneer Valley Power Pack, Christmas presents and our monthly food distribution to school-age children in Easthampton will take place in the St. Philip’s parking lot. Interested parish volunteers for the PVPP food distribution should contact Clare Boyd [].



As with everything this year, 2020 has been somewhat of a challenge, but not an insurmountable one. For the last few years St Philips has had a Christmas Giving Tree requesting donations of children’s pajamas and socks for the Easthampton Community Center. We would like to continue with that tradition this year with a different twist. So many parents have either lost employment or have had their hours significantly decreased making the need much greater. In past years our parish has donated 56 pairs of pjs and socks. If you are interested in participating in this much needed ministry, please contact me at and I will assign you a size or sizes to purchase. Jan Davis and I have come up with a few ways to make this a little easier.

Unwrapped donations can be dropped off at the Davis’ home any time during the day, where a container marked ‘St Philips’ will be placed outside of the garage. If you wish to buy on-line you can have the donation shipped to either Jan or myself. Thirdly, if you are unable to drop off the donations or are unable to have the donations shipped, I will be happy to pick it up at your house.

Joe and I will bring the collected donations to the Community Center the week of December 14th.

Jan Davis
170 Park St.
Easthampton, MA 01027

Mary Bianca
58 Gilbert Rd.
Southampton, MA 01073

If you decide to have the donations delivered, please email or call whoever you have shipped it to so that we will be sure to watch for the delivery.

Thank you to all and God Bless you,

Saint Philip’s is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Advent Storytime: Saint Lucy brings Light to the Darkness
Time: Dec 12, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 495 873 2817
Passcode: 270862







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.


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