Be Careful:  If you come here, you will grow!
A note from The Rev. Michael A. Bullock
30 April 2020
Dear Folks:

It is hard to absorb the fact that today is the last day in April, that tomorrow is May; and there is still some talk of snow!  But the rhythms of nature will not be denied.  In the mixture of flurries and sunshine, daffodils have blossomed into their bright yellow; the cherry trees arch with their pink branches; and I am very pleased that my roses are sending small, vivid green leaves out from their stems.  It is all a heartening sight, especially after such an inconsistent winter and most especially as we continue to struggle with the confining separation demanded by the Covid-19 virus.

The experience of rhythms is also part and parcel to a fruitful spiritual life of prayer.  In this time of pandemic, our worship as a gathered community has been put on hold for the foreseeable future.  This has by and large necessitated using the Daily Office through a virtual experience, since the essence of Holy Communion lies in its public interaction.  [The Prayer Book tradition requires at least two people participating to constitute a “public” celebration.].

I wrote last time about the movement that recaptured the Eucharist as the central act of Christian worship.  This movement unfortunately turned out to remove Morning and Evening Prayer from the familiarity of most Episcopalians.  The telling issue is not a matter of “either/or” but of an appreciation of “daily prayer” hung between and anchored in sabbath sacrament.  In the Prayer Book the term for this day-to-day cycle of prayer is the “Daily Office”.  The meaning of “Daily” is self-evident; the term “Office” means “duty”, which is to say that the daily duty of every Christian is to keep the prayers and absorb their Godly rhythms into our own lives.  [Refer to the Baptismal promises on page 304 of the Prayer Book, specifically to the one that mentions continuing “in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers.”]

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Announcement from the Rt. Rev. Douglas J. Fisher
A Pastoral Directive From The Bishop:
Worship in the Time of Pandemic
April 27, 2020

Clergy Colleagues and Wardens,

I begin with gratitude for you, and for all the ways you have sought to be present to God’s people since the outbreak began. By grace and with creativity, we shared a holy Lent and an Easter redolent with the hope of the risen One. Thank you for being good shepherds. In the best of times, I have seen you embrace the challenges of 21st century ministry; but in these days of physical distancing, your embrace of the digital has been a game-changer. We know there are seekers who never stepped through the red door, but who have now “entered” our faith communities because we have, by necessity, left the brick and mortar. The Church has left the building, but the mission goes on and out beyond the nave. Thanks be to God!

We’ve been at this for a while now. Holy Week and Easter have come and gone. Many theologians have weighed in on this season of adaptation. Voices from The General Seminary, Virginia Theological Seminary and Church Divinity School of the Pacific, to name a few, have written about what has been good and what has not in our common prayer, and specifically on the meaning of Holy Eucharist at a time when we are physically apart. I encourage you to read it all, but commend especially, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s Word to the Church: On Our Theology of Worship. Some of our congregants remember Sunday Morning Prayer as the norm and Holy Communion once a month. While our understanding of the centrality of the Eucharist has been a gift of untold measure, it is good for us to remember that the risen Christ comes to meet us in the Word as well as the wheat. There is great loss for us in this moment, but we will break bread together again.

In the meantime, I have been listening, and reflecting, and praying for the Spirit’s Wisdom in these challenging times. I ask you to adopt one of the following forms of celebration or try them all and see which feels most nourishing for your community.

1.    Morning Prayer
Returning to what was our tradition for so many years may inspire love for God and neighbor through the Daily Office. Those who choose this option are encouraged to use the Sunday Lectionary.

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SCRIPTURE STUDY SATURDAYS 10-11AM
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/79818696936?pwd=WmhRZkpLRzBNaFg3WEVlSGltRGdsUT09
Meeting ID: 798 1869 6936
Password: 5TeGKL

http://lectionarypage.net/YearA_RCL/Easter/AEaster4_RCL.html

THIS SUNDAY
The Fourth Sunday of Easter

Sunday Worship & Coffee Hour
10:00 am on-line only

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/79216725745?pwd=Ui8xaFRXZ2xDaTdXQmNHR1ZFSG5IQT09

Meeting ID: 792 1672 5745
Password: 123456

TO JOIN BY TELEPHONE
you will need to call: 

1-(415) 762-9988 or
1-(646) 568-7788
AND follow the verbal instructions
Enter the meeting ID you wish to join followed by the # key.  If you are asked for a meeting Password, enter it 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.

CLICK HERE FOR SUNDAY BULLETIN
https://www.youtube.com/user/Altonfreth/

Hello Friends,
Our Virtual Compline (Every evening at 8 pm) is progressing and getting better every day.  I have provided the link in this email to get to my YouTube channel which is where you will find the videos both here and on our Facebook page.

Jason’s YouTube Channel.

THANK YOU for Maintaining Our Financial Health
During the Covid-19 Pandemic

First, we would like to thank our parishioners for their continued support during these trying times. This is wonderful, considering all the changes we have experienced over the last two months.

While some of our operating costs are being reduced because of social distancing, our income from use of our facilities has dropped to zero, as our partners are unable to use the hall.  Unfortunately, the Benedictine group will no longer be using our facilities in 2020.  This will reduce our planned income by $4500.  The fate of our other partners is still unclear.

Secondly, and happily, we want to let you know that the Diocese has obtained a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan from the federal government.  This loan covers the salary of all Diocese employees, including the Parishes, over an eight-week period, starting mid-April.  It will turn into a Grant, if the employee count stays constant over the loan period.  This will relieve some of the financial pressures we and all parishes are facing.  But it will not remove our deficit for the year.

Please continue to honor and maintain your financial pledge, while we are not able to be in church together.  You can mail your weekly pledge directly to St. Philip’s at 128 Main Street, Easthampton, MA 01027, attention Joe Bianca, OR you can now pay your pledge or other donations securely online here: https://tithe.ly/give?c=1332157.  

Thank you again and God bless you all,
The Finance Committee

Support of the Easthampton Community Center
During the Covid-19 Pandemic
 
Over the last two months the ECC has signed up 200 new families for food aid.  These families are victims of the economic fallout associated with the pandemic and the closure or curtailment of other services in the area.  This has placed a strain on volunteers and staff as well as funding.  The center continues to provide food aid to each family, as well as distributing a “Kids Bag” to every child every week.  Most of these children participate in the school free lunch program.

There are several ways for us to continue our support of the Centers efforts.  Donations of food items can be made directly to the center, located at 12 Clark Street.  Monetary donations can be made directly to the center, via their Face Book page, or through St. Philip’s by sending a check to 128 Main Street, Easthampton.  If you send a check to the Community Center please put St. Philip’s in the “For” line.  If you send a check to St. Philip’s please put EHCC in the “For” line.

Thank You for continuing to support this ministry.
DURING MARCH & APRIL ST. PHILIP’S CONTRIBUTED $330 TO THE ECC.

The church office and our buildings are closed until further notice due to the advice of Bishop Fisher and Governor Baker.
However, Laura IS working from home.

Email is best to reach her.

office@stphilipseasthampton.org
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