St. Philip’s Episcopal Church

Easthampton, MA

News of the Week (NOW) 7/23/2020

A Note from Fr. Michael
Dear Folks:

Two lives are in the news this week.  One is internationally known; the other is known only to us.  They both have something important to say about what matters, what it means to honor and live the God-life, and how our lives can make a difference.

Congressman John Lewis died on the 17th of this month.  Much has been said and written about the impact of this man’s life on our nation and the world.  I will not try to summarize who Mr. Lewis was or what he did to help ransom the nation’s soul.  As the last of the living civil rights leaders of the 1960’s, Lewis’s death marks the end of an era, the echoes of which one hopes are being renewed now.  Yet, the thing that amazes me – no, overwhelms me – about John Lewis and his legacy is how he managed to confront the reality of evil in our midst, absorbing with his body the blows of violence and hatred – how he did this without retaliation, without becoming violent.  When outraged racists extinguished their cigarettes on his skin, when he was slathered by the words of hate and intimidation, when he was beaten over the head with clubs in the name of the law, John Lewis absorbed all this with a dignified and non-violent persistence that, for Christian people of awareness, embodied the concrete reality of Christ’s own example.

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P.S.  Just before I submitted this article, our Bishop, Doug Fisher, sent this notice to the Diocese:

July 22, 2020


I am saddened to inform you of the death of Rabbi Mark Dov Shapiro. Since September 1, 2016, Mark served as Christ Church Cathedral’s first Rabbi-in-Residence where he worked collaboratively with Dean Tom Callard. After twenty-seven years of leadership at Sinai Temple, Springfield, he came to our cathedral to teach, to preach, and to begin a conversation about God – the Mystery at the root of all faiths. It has been a gift to have a scholar of Mark’s caliber among us and as a conversation partner in these complex times.

I participated in several classes that Rabbi Shapiro offered at our cathedral.  His openness and ability to share the biblical faith and experience with integrity and respect will stay with me.  Godspeed, Mark.

A Note from Deacon Jason

Dear friends,

I am pleased to announce that we will be bringing the program Sacred Ground to Saint Philips “Sacred Ground is a film- and readings-based dialogue series on race, grounded in faith.  Small groups are invited to walk through chapters of America’s history of race and racism, while weaving in threads of family story, economic class, and political and regional identity. The 10-part series is built around a powerful online curriculum of documentary films and readings that focus on Indigenous, Black, Latino, and Asian/Pacific American histories as they intersect with European American histories.

Sacred Ground is part of Becoming Beloved Community, The Episcopal Church’s long-term commitment to racial healing, reconciliation, and justice in our personal lives, our ministries, and our society.  This series is open to all, and especially designed to help white people talk with other white people.  Participants are invited to peel away the layers that have contributed to the challenges and divides of the present day – all while grounded in our call to faith, hope and love.”

There are some introductory videos on the Sacred Ground website homepage at the link above.

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at 10 am

Jacobs Ladder,


Since we had technical difficulties last week we will try again this week and do this hymn.  “As Jacob with Travel Was Weary One Day,” # 453, is an English folk melody with words likely from the 18th century. Its verses paint a picture, and its melody is charming.  Please sing with me, especially the repeated refrain.
Karen Banta, Minister of Music
Nightly Compline
We now have 8 people participating in the leading of Compline. Thank you to each and every one of them for their willingness to assist with this important ministry. One of the purposes of Compline is to close down the day and prepare ourselves for rest, but it is also a part of the larger purpose of having a book of common prayer. Read More
Track 1 Lectionary

Join Zoom Meeting on Saturday, July 25th

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 THIS SATURDAY, July 25th. We will be serving meatloaf with all the trimmings.
We will continue to operate with a smaller crew to reduce exposure. If you feel ill in anyway, please stay home.  Read More
THANK YOU for Maintaining Our Financial Health
During the Covid-19 Pandemic
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: you again and God bless you all,
The Finance Committee
During the Covid-19 Pandemic
The need for food aid continues to grow in our region, as more families become victims of the economic fallout associated with the pandemic.  The center continues to provide food aid to several hundred families and senior citizens as well as distributing a “Kids Bag” to every child every week.  Read More