Be Careful:  If you come here, you will grow!
A note from The Rev. Michael A. Bullock
18 June 2020
Dear Folks:
For me and in my life, one of the most important phrases in the Prayer Book lies within the profound words of the “General Thanksgiving” [BCP., p. 101].  The specific phrase is: “And, we pray, give us an awareness of all your mercies…”. The key word for me is “awareness”.  In fact, I would argue that “awareness” lies at the heart of the Prayer Book tradition’s spirituality and purpose: namely, to be “aware” of God at all times and places and to participate in the “God-life” through following Jesus.  I also believe that “awareness” as a spiritual virtue is the most “democratic” of virtues.  This is to say that while there are so many things that I do not understand, I can, nonetheless, still be “aware”.  “Awareness” is a choice all of us can make, and making that choice allows for maturity and its fruitfulness to be possible.In this time of pandemic and racial strife, “awareness” is even more precious and necessary; but awareness is not something that automatically occurs; nor is it unconditionally desired by us because once awareness arrives, there is no going back.  So, as we face the demands both of the virus and the protests for justice among us, we can bump into the limits of our awareness, even and especially as those limits are lodged in our fearful denial.

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TOWARD “REOPENING” THE CHURCH

With Governor Baker’s proposed plan toward lessening the public health restrictions on life in the Commonwealth, the prospect of reopening the church has also emerged.  Our Bishop, in conjunction with the Bishops in the eastern diocese (Massachusetts), have developed “guidelines”, by which the Episcopal Church in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will in unity proceed from our current distancing toward a reopening.

[Click here for details of “Guideline Process:../../Vestry/Reopening.2020./2020.0610.Guidelines Worksheet.pdf].

What our bishops have done is to offer parish churches a process by which we are guided to move toward a medically informed and safe way to regather as church for worship, fellowship, and program.  Our bishops are quick to note that these are “guidelines” and not mandates.  Nonetheless, there is a process in which a parish church like ours must participate.  Consequently, at our first parish leadership meeting since February, St. Philip’s Vestry met via zoom primarily to begin establishing the details of our plan to reopen.  Like other parishes, our plan will need to be submitted to the Diocese and approved by the Bishop before any local action may be taken.

Our Vestry’s approach is to identify “focus ministries” that are “essential” to our life, ministry, and mission and to lay out plans on how these essential parts of our being church may regroup from the pandemic isolation into an active form and expression.  The “focus ministries are:

Worship;
Mission;
Communications/Technology;
Building Usage;
Health Issues;
and the 150th Celebration of St. Philip’s founding (2021).
Each of these essential ministries will have a “team”, convened by Vestry leadership and staffed by members.  Each “team” has the responsibility to identify questions and issues that “reopening” the church entails and to lay plans to accomplish this within the Bishops’ “stages” and process requirements.Currently, the “team’s” membership includes:

Worship: Fr. Michael; Karen Banta
Mission: Elizabeth McAnulty; Julie Flahive
Communications/Technology: Jason Burns; Bonnie Katusich; Laura Smith
Building Usage: Joe Bianca; Chris Sanborn; David Brown
Health Issues: Susan Sachs
150th Anniversary: Steve Bailey
If you are interested in being on one of the “focus teams” and helping to address the questions and issues each ministry faces, please contact one of the named individuals above.  Obviously, within the realities that the virus itself establishes, the sooner our parish can develop plans and to have those plans approved, the sooner we can begin moving toward being together as church.In your prayers, please continue to keep this challenging work in your prayers.

The Next ZOOM SCRIPTURE STUDY will be
on Saturday, June 20th
at 10 AM

http://lectionarypage.net/YearA_RCL/Pentecost/AProp7_RCL.html
We are using Track 1

THIS SUNDAY
The Third Sunday after Pentecost

Sunday Worship & Coffee Hour
10:00 am on-line only
CLICK HERE FOR SUNDAY BULLETIN
Hello Everyone,
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 June 27th. We will be serving beans and franks.As with the last two months, 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, as we need to keep the number of folks in the kitchen low. Due to the risk, we ask that children stay home. You can sign up with the link below:

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70A0C4CAEAA2EAAFB6-take

Cooks and Packers, we ask that you wash hands on entry, wear gloves, and clean surfaces after every use. Please come with clean hat and clothes, and wear a clean apron and mask provided by T & E.

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.

NEW Backups list!

If you find that the signup is full, but are still interested in volunteering, please email Jon at jcartledge404@gmail.com, and he will put you on the backup list. We have had folks who need to drop out for everyone’s safety. Should that happen, Jon will email you the night before to see if you are still available.

Thanks again for all your help. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility during this challenge to our ministry.

All the Best,
Jon & the Take & Eat Team

Our Virtual Compline continues
every evening at 8 pm.
Use the link below
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw_UVJG6J_NGZhLONqeMVGgWe are still looking for more people to participate in leading Compline. If you are interested, please let Jason know. It is quite easy and he has simple directions to follow.

Donate USING TITHE.LY

CLICK HERE
You can sign up for an account so that you can make recurring payments or just give one time.
Please continue to honor and maintain your financial pledge, while we are not able to be in church together.  You can still 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
 
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.

The church office and our buildings are closed until further
notice due to the
directive of Bishop Fisher.
However, Laura IS
working remotely.

Email is best to reach her.

office@stphilipseasthampton.org
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