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

St. Philip's Episcopal Church

Easthampton, MA

A Note from the Rev. Michael A. Bullock

Dear Folks:

Is there any question that our summer season has begun?  According to the forecast, the relief of cooler temperatures will return about the time you receive this edition of the NOW; but July has most definitely had its summer prelude and is with us now.  In addition, HAPPY CANADA DAY!  The weather relief is curtesy of our northern neighbors; and we hope that periodically throughout the summer such clean air will be offered.  

Of course, July 4th, our Independence celebration day, traditionally marks the opening of the summer season; and from the reports from AAA, a record number of us will be on the move, getting away for some down time.  These large traveling numbers are a direct (and understandable) reaction to our confining pandemic experience.  Yet, “getting away” can only allow us to catch our breath; it never solves the deeper need.  While I hope we all have a chance to “get away” in some form or fashion, I also hope that our refreshment time provides us with some detached perspective because we have all absorbed a great deal of dis-ease. 

What I am driving at is that we are still in the throes of the pandemic.  At best, the trajectory of the near term will continue towards the reopening of our lives.  Yet, the question remains: What have we learned in this time of trial?  What things need to be maintained?  What patterns and practices need to be changed?  What do we need to do differently or better?  I am afraid that we have soaked up so much grief over the losses we have encountered (everything from lost lives to lost jobs to lost time) that we run the risk of ignoring our grief, which is tantamount to ignoring signs of a building’s structural deterioration.  In both cases, collapse is the tragic risk.  

I know that very few of us (including me) are in the mood or have the energy to do this work now, but I do hope that we as a community will gather at the end of the summer to discuss “What’s Next?” -- for us as faithful individuals and as a church.  Perhaps in late September we can orchestrate a “Homecoming” event, in which we can gather for a cookout and some needed reconnection.  Perhaps we can also follow up this reunion with the reinstitution of our quarterly parish townhall meetings and talk about “What’s Next?”, what our regrouping will look like and what it will take.

In the meantime, during the summer things will be on a necessarily slower pace at St. Philip’s – appropriately so.  We will, of course, keep worshipping on Sunday mornings; and I encourage you also to keep the prayers each day.  Yet, rather than springing from grand plans, most of our common life will be expressed more informally.  Coffee hour is a good example, where whomever wishes to share a cool beverage, on a chair, under the shade of our trees is welcomed to do so: Come as you are and as you will!  

We are living in a time that demands healing, and healing takes time and attention.  I ask that we acknowledge our need to heal from the brokenness of the pandemic experience and that we offer our personal presence as a part of that healing.  In this, A good, safe, and healing summer to you!  Godspeed to all.


This Sunday we celebrate
the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
(Proper 9, 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.
We stream live on our website:

Click HERE for the bulletin for
the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, July 4, 2021
Sunday Lectionary Study is at 8:45 a.m.
(Coffee Hour on Zoom is currently suspended)
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 Facebook Page
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. 
May 2021 Update 

The good news is that we have not had to withdraw money from our endowment fund.  Pledge receipts through May were $5000 ahead of budget due to parishioners paying last year pledges and others paying their entire yearly pledge.  However, if those who paid their entire pledge, did not do so, we would be $2500 below budget.
In addition, our parishioners donated $1712 for the Take & Eat program, $1450 to the Easthampton Community Center and $1150 for on-line ministry expenses. The attached narrative presents the details of our financial condition as of the end of May.  

It is extremely important that pledges be fulfilled so that we can meet our financial obligations.  Please do the best you can in the coming months to fulfill your pledge. Our yearly budget is based on it. If you are unable to meet your pledge, please feel free to contact Fr. Michael. 
Pledges can be sent to the church, attn. Joe Bianca or by using the web site.  

January – May 2021 Treasurers Summary

Even though April and May pledge receipts were less then plan, we ended May in sound financial condition. The main reasons for this were, the generous gift of $1150 for our on-line ministry, $5137 full year donation by one of our parishioner families, $1730 for 2020 pledges. 

Total pledge receipts were $41,703 vs a budget of $36,654, $5049 over plan. They included Current Year Pledges of $39,973, $3,319 more than plan and 2020 pledges of $1730.
Endowment Income was $3,757 vs a budget of $3,748.
Plate & Special Offerings were $4,110, $2095 over plan. This included:
           Plate Offerings - $445
           Christmas Offering - $120, Easter Offering - $352,
           Flower Fund - $90, Easter Plants - $40
           General Maintenance Donation of $230 
           Misc. Offerings of $2,800.  $1150 for On-Line Ministry, $1,450 for the EHCC
           Total Income was $49,723 vs $42,418, $7305 above budget.
All normal expenses, such as Salaries, Property & Utilities, Admin. were less than or equal to the budget, overall expenses were $49,429 vs $52,937, $3,500 less then budget.

This income included $405 for RDF, $143 for Domain License and $1,712 for T&E
Expenses included Domain License, $1,021 for T&E, $868 for RDF (included 2020 balance) and $1,025 for the EHCC

Checking Account Balance
May 28 balance was $17,526.  $3087 of this is designated for T&E funding and $425 are EHCC funds.  This leaves $14,014 available to cover June expenses. Our monthly payroll and Diocese assessment requires $7,090.
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

Beginning on Sunday July 4, we will resume 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 would like to restart our weekly donation of food to the Community Center, starting July 4.  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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