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St. Philip's Episcopal Church

Easthampton, MA

News of the Week (NOW) July 29, 2021
This edition is for two weeks
There will not be a NOW on August 5 due to staff vacation.
Be careful:  If you come here, you will grow!

A Note from the Rev. Michael A. Bullock
Dear Folks:

Returning from a bit of vacation, where we in fact “got away” (one of the benefits of being on an island with no cars) begins to restore one’s perspective.  With some time and a change of pace not only does the inner wheel begin to reduce its rpms to a more moderate level; one’s mind begins to recalibrate the spending of our energy and attention.  Along these lines a recent meme caught my attention: “You are afraid of surrender because you don’t want to lose control.  But you never had control; all you had was anxiety.”  

Over the years I have noticed that when I take some down time (either “getting away” or just settling in place), it takes me time to unwind (a sure sign of my familiarity with anxiety’s presence).  Last Sunday was my first day back; and as I gladly presided over our community’s worship, the words of the Collect of the Day leap out at me.  As with all these types of prayers (Collects are prayers that “collect”), the form of the day’s Collect first addresses God and the Holy One’s centrality.  Then, from this “Dear God” beginning, the prayer’s petition is expressed.  Last Sunday’s petition was (to use baseball’s parlance) “high and tight”.  It buzzed me as if it were a fastball with “chin music”.  It got my attention with these words: “Increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we lose not the things eternal…”. ZING! 

Perspective.  Keeping perspective is always a good thing; but it is one thing to acknowledge the wisdom of keeping perspective and quite another to live that balanced wisdom.  Living with anxiety and its gnawing away at a balanced perspective, our souls get warped, and we increasingly become pulled by what is “temporal” (that is, what is not lasting) to the detriment of keeping our eyes on the lasting prize (God’s life and love).  Yet, beyond the good wisdom of keeping a Godly balance in our lives, I truly appreciate what I regard as good Anglican spirituality in the words that are employed in the Collect.  Specifically, that with God’s increased “mercy”, we “may pass through” what is so often in our face without losing sight or sense of receiving the gift of life on God’s terms.  What I mean by this is that the Collect and the deeply wise spirituality in which it is rooted is not asking that we live in some ethereal realm, where all is pure, all is good.  Rather, the prayer requests that we may “pass through” (as opposed to avoid or deny) what must be confronted in our lives in such a manner that we “lose not” what is eternal in the mix of daily realities.  It is important, for instance, to pay our mortgage or rent so that we can have a reliable roof overhead.  It is important to be able to buy groceries, pay our bills and even take a vacation; but there is more to all this “temporality” than that.  There is God and God’s life in our midst because the Holy One in Christ has given us the life we need., a life we cannot provide for ourselves, a life that is not defined by anxiety but lasting Communion: “Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus”.

Keeping this truth in mind as we go about our temporal business provides a great perspective.  What in our lives reflects what truly matters, what lasts?  Amidst all our responsibilities and challenges, how can we keep a perspective that recognizes that we are not on our own but remain beloved of God?  A big part of any answer is a matter of showing up as the church, as Christ’s Body and being reminded of what lasts among us and giving thanks for it.

And Next!
Bulletins for August 1 and 8

This Sunday we celebrate
the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
(Proper 13, Year B)

Next Sunday we celebrate
the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

(Proper 14, Year B)

Our Holy Eucharist service is in-person AND  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 stream live on our website:

Click HERE for the bulletin for
the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost, August 1, 2021

Click HERE for the bulletin for
the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, August 8, 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
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.


"I am the Living Bread that came down from heaven." This new portrait of Christ presents the Savior as the High Priest eternally offering Himself through the Holy Eucharist. The Lumina Gold background is further enhanced with ornamentation in these icons of Christ.

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.

Due to staff vacation, this week's NOW
is for two weeks and includes the bulletins for August 1 and 8.
Copyright © 2021 St. Philip's Episcopal Church, All rights reserved.

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