Be Careful:  If you come here, you will grow!
A note from The Rev. Michael A. Bullock
4 June 2020

Dear Folks:

These last two weeks in our nation have been … unbearable.  It is as if the infection of rawness and fear that the pandemic has produced among us has now burst into an explosion of frustration and anger and despair.  The cultural and social fault lines that most of us choose to ignore have now broken open; and all that contradicts the stated principles of who we are and what we value as a nation, not to mention Who and what calls us as followers of Jesus – all this seems to be under duress to the point of fragility and peril.  It is not that the civil unrest is new, certainly not unique among us; but the intensity of the anger being expressed and the yearning for new life are undeniably deep and can no longer be ignored.

As in other protest movements, the truth that drives the challenge is vulnerable to being manipulated by others whose agendas are much less noble, much less needed.  Whether it is the President of the United States using the Episcopal Church across the street from the White House as a personal and political prop or suburban white kids creating their own “protest-hero” videos, the emotions of this time rage and boil, and it is not easy to discern between the righteous and the unrighteous.  Yet, being overwhelmed into silence or despair by it all is equally untenable.

So, what do people who value biblical faith, Christian discipleship, and mature responsibility do with all this?  Lament is the beginning to an answer.

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IN WITNESS TO COMMUNITY AND FAITH and in response to the Mayor of Easthampton’s invitation, I will be attending Thursday’s town-wide observance over the death of George Floyd.  The Mayor and Chief of Police have asked Easthampton residents to join them in place in kneeling for 8 1/2 minutes in protest and community solidarity over the recent killing at the hands of the Minneapolis police.  I will walk from the church to the Town Hall, and I invite members of the St. Philip’s church community to join me there or in place at 4 p.m. Thursday.  Please add your prayers for George Floyd and his family and for our country’s healing and renewal.
The Next ZOOM SCRIPTURE STUDY will be
on Saturday, June 6th
at 10 AM

http://lectionarypage.net/YearA_RCL/Pentecost/ATrinity_RCL.html

THIS SUNDAY
The First Sunday after Pentecost

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

CLICK HERE FOR SUNDAY BULLETIN
Announcement from the Communications Office
New England Episcopal bishops respond with one voice to President’s “cynical” photo-op 

June 2, 2020

What President Trump did in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square on the evening of June 1 was disgraceful and morally repugnant. Displaying a Bible from which he did not quote, using as a mere backdrop an Episcopal church where he did not pray, and – more callously – ordering law enforcement to clear, with force and tear gas, a path through demonstrators who had gathered in peace, President Trump distorted for his own purposes the cherished symbols of our faith to condone and stoke yet more violence.

His tactic was obvious. Simply by holding aloft an unopened Bible he presumed to claim Christian endorsement and imply that of The Episcopal Church. Far more disturbingly, he seemed to be affecting the authority of the God and Savior we worship and serve, in order to support his own authority and to wield enhanced use of military force in a perverted attempt to restore peace to our nation.

His actions did nothing to mend the torn social fabric of our nation. Instead, they were a blatant attempt to drive a wedge between the people of this nation, and even between people of faith. No matter where we may stand on the partisan spectrum, we, as Christian leaders called to proclaim a God of love, find his actions repugnant. Jesus taught us to love our enemies, to seek healing over division, and make peace in the midst of violence.

Our church may rightly feel outraged and insulted by having the symbols of our faith used as a set prop in a cynical political drama. The real abomination before us, however, is the continued oppression of and violence against people of color in this nation. Let us reserve and focus the energies of our indignation to serve our Lord Jesus Christ’s higher purpose: to extend love and mercy and justice for all, and especially for those whose life, liberty, and very humanity is threatened by the persistent sin of systemic racism and the contagion of white supremacy.

The Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens, Bishop Suffragan, Connecticut
The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, Bishop Diocesan, Connecticut
The Rt. Rev. Thomas James Brown, Bishop Diocesan, Maine
The Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates, Bishop Diocesan, Massachusetts
The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris, Bishop Suffragan, Massachusetts
The Rt. Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld, Bishop Diocesan, New Hampshire
The Rt. Rev. W. Nicholas Knisely, Bishop Diocesan, Rhode Island
The Rt. Rev. Shannon MacVean-Brown, Bishop Diocesan, Vermont
The Rt. Rev. Douglas J. Fisher, Bishop Diocesan, Western Massachusetts

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The Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts | 413-737-4786 |diocesewma.org
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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.

HAVE YOU TRIED USING TITHE.LY YET?

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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