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St. Philip's Episcopal Church

Easthampton, MA
Be careful:  If you come here, you will grow!

A Note from the Rev. Michael Anderson Bullock

Dear Folks:
Over the course of this pandemic experience, I have made the observation that (at least for me) the sense of time has been flattened.  It is as if the third dimension of time, its depth and texture, have been squashed by the pressure of the uncertainties of each day.  It can feel as if we are marbles rolling on a hard floor, bouncing from one thing to another.  This seems to be a form of survival, where we are content simply to get by, until something changes to re-establish a sense of purpose and meaningfulness.

For Christian people, worship and its rhythms are meant to provide this depth and texture to our lives because our sense of purpose and the meaning of our lives are rooted in our life with God.  So it is that these two senses of time (the “rolling marble” one and the deeply “textured” one with God) collide in little more than a week because a week from Sunday is Palm Sunday; and with that the deep and textured events of Holy Week once again invite us into our life with God-in-Christ.  In my sense of rolling marble time, I am caught up short by the closeness of Holy Week.  How to adjust to the surprising nearness of this preeminent time? 

The Fifth Sunday in Lent (this coming Sunday) has been one way that I have adjusted and prepared for the experience of Holy Week.  I have discovered this last Lenten Sunday as a kind of “dress rehearsal” for the intense events of the days leading up to Good Friday and Easter Day.  I have experienced the content of the Fifth Sunday in Lent as a kind of “dry run” for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and – alas – Easter Day.  All the themes are present on the Fifth Sunday [cf., John 12:1-8]: the last shared meal in Bethany; the drama of betrayal emerging; the anxious confusion and human bickering among Jesus’ friends over his impending death.  It’s all there, save for the fact that the “crowds” are not.  The “theater” is empty.  In the house of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha, it appears that only a few disciples gathered at that table.  The curious and broiling crowds wait for Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem, just as our own congregation will expand later on Easter Sunday.

My point is that the Fifth Sunday in Lent can be a quieter and more personal preparation for and participation in the depth and texture of Holy Week.  Like a dress rehearsal, there is time to focus on the familiar story and our place in it without the pressure or distraction of “the crowd” or the performance.  And in this, I hope that we all will take advantage of this Sunday’s “dry run” opportunity to refamiliarize ourselves with our lines and where we need to stand in this dramatic narrative so that we will be ready to “go live”:that is, to live this story’s meaning and purpose each day.

The Fifth Sunday in Lent
April 3, 2022

Our Holy Eucharist service is in-person AND  streamed online at 10:00 am.
The Prelude starts at 9:55 am.

Due to the fast-changing Covid situation, we now wear masks for worship.

We stream live on our website:
Sunday Lectionary Study is at 8:45 a.m.

Meeting ID: 832 0782 9066   |    Passcode: 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.
Expanding our worship life
Two parishioners, Bonnie Katusich and Becky Taylor, are now trained to be Lay Eucharistic Visitors and can bring Communion to those who are unable to worship in person with the St. Philip’s congregation.  If you would like a pastoral visit from one of them, and the opportunity to share the sacrament and pray together, please let the parish office know.  If you are interested in becoming a Lay Eucharistic Visitor, please speak with Father Michael.  These visits will happen on Sunday afternoons.

Easter Flowers: 
Consider giving flowers for Easter in thanksgiving for/or in memory of a loved one. You can make a donation by using the Easter Flower envelopes available with the ushers. Place your envelope in the collection plate or return to the office by Palm Sunday, April 10th.  Please write ‘Easter  flowers’ in the memo line of your check. 


of Recent Meetings

Learn what your Vestry has been discussing and deciding for the parish. Click on the the links below to read the minutes from recent meetings.

February 22, 2022

January 25, 2022

December 21, 2021

November 23, 2021

October 26, 2021

March 2022 Treasurer Outlook

One of my fiduciary responsibilities as Treasurer, is to keep track of income and expenses and report these to our parishioners on a regular basis.  From time to time however, it is necessary to report an issue to you, that should not wait for a monthly or quarterly report.

As of the end of February our current year pledges, were $2181 below budget. We also received 2021 pledges of $1545 vs a budget of $500.  This is a wonderful expression of commitment to St. Philip’s and it reduced the shortfall in total pledge income to -$1136 (-2181+1045)

I hoped this trend would not continue into March, unfortunately it looks like it has.  While I do not have all the details yet, review of the weekly counter sheets indicate we may be looking at a shortfall in 2022 pledge income of another $1500 to $2000.  While some of this may be made up by other income, it does create a cash flow issue, that may require withdrawing funds from our endowment sooner than we planned.

I am bringing this to your attention so you know the reasons for any future decision to withdraw endowment funds.   

I know, like you, that the cost of food, gas, heating oil and natural gas and other costs are climbing everyday and putting a dent into our personal and household budgets.  

Please make every effort to keep your pledge to the church.  If you are not able to pay the full monthly pledge amount, please donate what you can.  It all adds up in the end.  If you  are  having difficulty meeting your pledge please talk with Rev. Bullock or Bonnie Katucish.

Thank You for all you do,
Joe Bianca, Treasurer

The Pioneer Valley Power Pack (PVPP) Update

Since restarting the PVPP program on January 7, the number of participating children has grown from 100 to 120.  Participating schools include, Pepin & Center, Maple Elementary and Pre-K, and Mountain View Middle School (formally White Brook Middle School) in Easthampton and Smith Vocational High School in Northampton. 
Weekend food bags are packed by volunteers on Wednesday early evenings and delivered to the schools on Thursday (for Pre-K) and Friday mornings each week. 

As of the end of March we will have delivered over 1300 meal bags, containing 2 breakfast items, 2 lunch items and 2 snacks, to children in need. Our volunteer packers and deliverers have spent over 90 hours of time making the program a huge success. 

Plans to expand the program in the 2022-2023 school year are underway.

Thank You to all our St. Philip’s volunteers,
Joe Bianca
Easthampton Community Center - Easter Food Drive

The Community Center is in need of the following items to round out their Easter food distribution.

Cake, bread and brownie/dessert mixes
Instant potatoes
Canned vegies, anything but corn

The need for food is unusually high. While we are all affected by the high price of food, gasoline and heating oil/natural gas,  Acting Together, We Can Make a Difference. If you can help in any way, please bring donations to the church by April 10 or to the Community Center by April 12.

Yours in Christ,
Joe & Mary Bianca

Mission Matters
News from the
Episcopal Diocese 
of Western Massachusetts  
March 29, 2022
The Way of the Cross:
Ending Gun Violence in Massachusetts

April 10, 7pm

Episcopalians statewide are invited to “walk” the Way of the Cross together this Holy Week, by visiting 14 church and ministry sites from Falmouth to Great Barrington via a video project that draws on the ancient practice of pilgrimage to bring attention to the current-day scourge of gun violence.

“The Way of the Cross: Ending Gun Violence in Massachusetts” will premiere on Palm Sunday, April 10 at 7 p.m. on the YouTube channels of both dioceses, and then be available thereafter for devotional use by individuals and groups, at home or church.

Each site featured in the video will serve as a station along the way, contributing a self-recorded video segment that invites viewers into prayer and reflection.

Learn more
EDWMA YouTube channel
Global Mission funds available

The pandemic, climate challenge, and now the repercussions of the war in Ukraine reveal, as never before, the meaning of globalization – the intimate interlinkage of all peoples. The Global Missions Fund of our Diocese exists to support those who interpret this fact not as threat but as opportunity to manifest the lovingkindness of Christ in actions beyond the usual horizons of locality, state, or nation.

Each year, the Global Missions Fund receives a new allocation. This is to be disbursed within the calendar year and it is the earnest wish of the Global Missions Committee to offer grants as widely as possible within the diocese, especially to those parishioners who may not have been aware of the this resource.

Apply now
Join GreenFaith for
Sacred Season for Climate Justice

"During the Sacred Season, religious partners around the globe are offering powerful messages or sacred rituals for climate justice.

Drawing on our core values and in a spirit of compassion, love and justice, we are shifting the narrative by calling for an end to new fossil fuel projects and deforestation and a rapid, just transition to a sustainable future.

Together we’re showing up on our holiest days to connect climate justice with our religious values."

Get involved
Book Reading & Discussion
with the Rt. Rev. Mark Beckwith

April 20, 7pm

On March 22nd, Church Publishing released Seeing the Unseen: Beyond Prejudices, Paradigms, and Party Lines by Mark M. Beckwith. The Rt. Rev. Mark M. Beckwith is bishop (retired) of Newark and has served as Missioner for Spirituality and Leadership in our diocese since 2019.

We are pleased to announce a virtual meeting with the author who will read and discuss the thesis at the heart of this work.

Mark's ongoing involvement with Braver Angels and Bishops United Against Gun Violence has shaped a vision of human relationship that rejects the "us" and "them" dialectic. He suggests that thinking is not sufficient to get us out of the issue-based log jam. "This book is an invitation to see what we don’t see. To see beyond our prejudices, paradigms, and hidebound thinking, all of which can shroud us from, if not blind us to, injustice."

Register here
From The Episcopal Church
Register for the Filipino American Ministry Institute. First 70 registrants free
Good Friday Offering
ERD: Help Ukrainian Families
Workshops & Resources
Processing the Pandemic for Ministry
April 19, 26, & May 3, 8pm EDT

"In Processing the Pandemic, you’ll enjoy an immersive learning experience that includes:
  • Two dedicated hours a week (for three weeks) to practice stillness, intentional reflection, and realistic goal-setting
  • Opportunities to prioritize what’s been learned and to process it in a supportive environment
  • A safe space for integrating what you’ve learned through the pandemic and gently moving forward in whole and healthy ways
  • A sustainable gameplan for achieving two goals – unique to you – in the 30 days following this course
  • … and so much more!"

Learn more
Register here
Aging with Grace Retreat
May 3-5

Led by Gordon Scruton, Jo Ann Bourquard, and Carolyn Jacobs

This in-person retreat invites you to experience, as a community, the blessings and challenges of aging with grace.

There will be brief presentations, music and poetry, an exploration of nature, reflection and sharing. You will have the opportunity to reconceptualize the idea of aging, embrace the full expression of your gift of years, deepen everyday conscious living, learn how to remain present through life’s challenges, and honor your relationships with family, friends, community and Earth.

View the flyer
Register here

Office Hours
Tuesday - Thursday, 1 pm - 4:30 pm
Since not all afternoons are in person,
please call or email for an appointment. 

Phone: 413-527-0862

Submissions for the NOW
This newsletter is published every Thursday at 10:00 am.
The deadline for submissions is 1:00 pm on Wednesdays. 
Please email them to the office by that time.
Copyright © 2022 St. Philip's Episcopal Church, All rights reserved.

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