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

St. Philip's Episcopal Church

Easthampton, MA

A word, (okay, many words), from Deacon Jason
    As I write this, the humidity outside my house is 92% and even though I have air conditioning it is off because it works by recirculating the air inside your house and the polyurethane I put on my dining room floor this week, because I was bored, takes a long time to fully set and my house smells like toxic fumes, so if I seem more loopy than usual in my writing you now know why. 
    As I reflected on my sermon from Sunday it occurred to me that I left something out, what I left out was that leading up to the experience of saying goodbye to St. Andrew’s I experienced a great deal of fear and anxiety, debilitating fear and anxiety. What I did not see then, but do now, is that I was going through a kind of death. I was dying to one part of my life so that I could experience new life. I think we often think of the liturgical year as waiting for Christmas and waiting for Easter, there are many people that only think about God at those exact times, my former choir director called them the Birth and Resurrection Society. The problem with only thinking and talking about resurrection during Easter is that we quickly lose sight of the message of renewal and how it applies to every moment of life, not just life after death. 
    There are so many wonderful ministries happening at and because of St. Philip’s, some old and several new, and I am truly grateful that I have been able to participate in many of them, but I am also fearful about the future of St. Philip’s. When I first joined you in February 2019 it was made very clear to me that St. Philip’s would not allow finances to get in the way of being the church and I greatly applaud that because I have seen parishes that let their budget drive their ministry and their ministries are often lacking or even non-existent and that is not the case here. I am, however, left wondering about the sustainability of the ministry of St. Philip’s, what will it take to ensure that it continues in the coming year? 5 years? 10 years? Are there any specific ministries that would cease if St. Philip’s were not here? Would the people of Easthampton notice if St. Pilip’s locked its doors forever? If the answer is yes, then how can we make sure that does not happen? If the answer is no, then there are a different set of questions to look at. 
    To experience resurrection, we must first acknowledge the possibility of death, which is something we do not like to talk about as a society. From a theological perspective death indicates the possibility of change. When something changes, it stops and becomes something new. I call that the cycle of death of resurrection. For the church, a congregation, and even a person to grow into a full relationship with God we must go through several cycles of death and resurrection. If we do not then we run the risk of ceasing to exist, which to me is the definition of what it means to go to hell. 
    I know that I will not be with you forever, such is the life of a deacon. We spend some time with a congregation and then we move on to work with another. It is likely that this will be my last year with you, believe it or not, this is year three and that is usually the limit for a deacon’s placement with a congregation (sometimes it is more, but not usually). My sincere hope is that I will be able to be placed with this congregation again and that when I return, in about a decade, I will find an even more dedicated, vibrant, and God focused congregation than already exists here now. 


This Sunday we celebrate
the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
(Proper 11, Year B)

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

If you attend in person and are not fully vaccinated,
please wear a mask while in the worship space.  
WHEN SINGING, masks are used by all.  Thank you.

We also stream live on our website:

Click HERE for the bulletin for
the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, July 18, 2021
Sunday Lectionary Study is at 8:45 a.m.
Meeting ID: 495 873 2817   |   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.

Live Streaming on our website
During this pandemic time, one of the unexpected blessings of our separation has been the implementation of offering the night prayers on a daily basis (at 8 p.m.).  “An Order for Compline” comes to the Prayer Book tradition from the monasteries; and as the word “compline” indicates, these are the prayers that “complete” the day: “May the Almighty God grant us a peaceful night and a perfect end”. [opening sentences of Compline, Book of Common Prayer, page 127.].
In my eyes there are at least two gifts that have unexpectedly emerged for us in this Compline experience.  One is that in a new way we have begun to register the important rhythms of daily prayer.  Again from the monastic example, daily prayer occurs at regular intervals of the day itself.  Looking at the center that is God-in-Christ from the perspective of the morning, noon, evening, and at night, we find ourselves in the Holy One’s presence amidst the wonderous and challenging details and changes of each day. 
The other unexpected gift of entering into the rhythm and routine of the daily prayers is that such a discipline is meant as something all of us do and, more specifically, the leadership of these prayers rightly falls to the laity.  (Remember our baptismal vows, to continue “in the prayers” [BCP., page 304.].  In this fashion, St. Philip’s not only offers the night prayers daily; the leadership of Compline is almost exclusively handled by the members of the parish.  And it is wonderful to see the blossoming confidence that each of our lay officiants conveys, as they take responsibility for guiding us in these prayers. 
The internet platform we use for Compline has recently changed from “YouTube” to facebook.  We believe that this will be a clearer vehicle for more folks and that it will be easier to access.  All that is needed is to “click” on St. Philip’s facebook home page and then go to the left column of that page to participate “live” with that night’s Compline offering or “video” to see a previous offering (even that same night’s offering at a later time).  YOU DO NOT NEED TO SUBSCRIBE TO FACEBOOK to participate in Compline.  Simply click the image of our beloved St. Philip above, to get to our Facebook link.  
And if you would like to learn how to lead the night prayers, please contact Deacon Jason or me (MAB+); and we will be delighted to add you to the list of helpful officiants. 
Creating Beloved Community –
“Jesus and the Disinherited”

During our church group study entitled “Sacred Ground”, we had the privilege to read Howard Thurman’s book “Jesus and the Disinherited”. 

Thurman discusses how Jesus‘ message ‘focused on the urgency of a radical change in the inner attitude of the people and that Jesus advocated a love of self and others that defeats the fear & hatred decaying our souls and the world around us. Thurman's message helped shape the civil rights movement and changed our nation. I would like to put together a, zoom based, group to study Thurman's book further. It is a short book, so this would not be a huge time commitment, the group would for five weeks for around an hour per session. I envision tackling one chapter at a time and beginning in mid-September. We will be flexible, so if you want to participate, but are not sure you could make every meeting, that is okay. We will determine the exact meeting dates and times as a group in early September. Please contact Sue Brienes at with interest, questions, or suggestions. 
Since we cannot safely gather to celebrate in our usual styles of food, fellowship, presentations, etc... let us gather virtually.  Please write a very brief paragraph containing the theme - "What St. Philips means to me."  These writings can take any form which is comfortable to you - a few sentences, a poem, a lyric, a phrase, or a scripture.  What connects YOU to St Philips?  Family, friends, geography, past moments, future hopes?

I would like to collect these and then publish them on our webpage, facebook, NOW, Sunday bulletin, etc..  Please take some time to consider participating in this exercise.  My prayer is that it will be very uplifting to all.

If you may have pictures or brief videos capturing moments of St Philips' Parish life, these will be welcome also.  These can involve special events in the sanctuary, parish hall, church grounds, or at other venues connected with the many missions and ministries of the people of St Philips.

You may send your selections to or  Thank you for your participation!

Steve Bailey

See submissions on our website.
The Pastoral Team is creating a pool of drivers who for now, can help with rides on Sunday mornings to those who can not drive to church.  The Team will create a weekly rotation by month for drivers,  and will also create a list of specific drivers and phone numbers for members who need rides.  You must be vaccinated (we will not ask you for proof).  As a driver you are responsible for:
Signing up for reserved spaces for Sunday worship (until no longer needed);
Confirming with the person needing a ride, the time you will pick them up;
Driving them home after worship.
Please contact Bonnie Katusich either by email,, or by phone/text, 413-563-5099 if you are able to help.

Thank you,
The Pastoral Team

We have resumed our in-person coffee hour!  Bonnie Pelland has regenerated the coffee hour schedule.  If you would like to participate in it's rotation please call her at 527-5882.

Tables with refreshments will be in the Parish Hall.  We ask folks to bring their own lawn chairs and an extra if you have one, as we will take our food and share fellowship while we sit on the front lawn of the church.  Hopefully we can invite neighbors walking by to join us for coffee and refreshments, and we will certainly be more visible.

In case of rain we will congregate carefully, in the hall:  Masked or not, as people are comfortable.

We continue to tread new waters, and our goal is safety and health for all, as we reunite in person.  Please be patient as we make adjustments over the summer as needed.  

Mostly, we are happy to be together again!

Thank you,
The Pastoral Team
Looking for Ushers
As we return to in-person worship, we are in need of more Ushers to help with the flow of the service.  Please contact Julie Flahive ( or 413-433-2300) if you are interested in learning more about assisting in this important role. Thank you.
THE TECH COMMITTEE is looking for a few good members to help with our Sunday Morning offerings of Scripture Study, Livestream of Morning Prayer, and Coffee hour. These are two distinct roles:

1- Live streaming of Sunday Morning Prayer:  Responsible for setup and running the church laptop and related technology  in order to stream Sunday's service.  

2- Scripture study, sharing of live streamed service for phone callers, and coffee hour:  These are all done via Zoom in the comfort of your own space.  St. Philip's has a paid Zoom account.  The Zoom 'event' is opened at 8:40am Sundays and kept 'on' for scripture study at 8:45am; the Facebook livestream of Sunday Morning Prayer service (9:55am) is shared via zoom for those who call in to listen; Coffee hour starts around 11am. These roles can be shared, by transferring the host or by co-hosting.  

Training is critical and will be provided!  Having more members to share in these tasks will allow our now regulars a much needed breather.  Please contact Bonnie Katusich, Susan May, or Deacon Jason Burns if you are willing and able.

Thank you in advance!
Easthampton Community Center
Weekly Food Donations
Now that we are back in church, we have resumed our weekly donation of food to the Community Center.  During the pandemic, the Center has been distributing kids bags on a weekly basis.  We would like to focus on supporting this program during the summer.
Kid’s bags include the following items,
  • Raman Noodles
  • Tuna Fish
  • Chewy and Crunchy Granola Bars
  • Cereal Bars
  • 100% Juice Boxes
  • Fruit Chews
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Apple Sauce/Fruit cups
  • Chef Boy R Dee Ravioli
  • SpaghettiOs
  • Kraft Mac & Cheese
Food donations can be brought to the church on Sunday mornings or dropped off at the church hall on Thursday afternoons.  You can also make a cash donation to the center by a designated contribution to Saint Philip’s, sending a check directly to the center at 12 Clark Street, or via their Facebook page.

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 © 2021 St. Philip's Episcopal Church, All rights reserved.

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