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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 A. Bullock

Dear Folks:
I write to you this week to announce that, as of Sunday, August 22nd, everyone who attends our in-person worship must wear a mask. 
I regret having to convey this information; but at last Tuesday’s meeting of the Vestry’s Executive Committee (which includes the Senior and Junior Wardens, the Treasurer, and the Clergy), it was decided that considering the growing incidences of the Delta variant, we will take the prudent course and require the wearing of masks for our Sunday in-person worship.  This decision to re-mask ourselves will apply to all in-door use of church facilities for the foreseeable future.
While this feels like a frustrating step backward for us at St. Philip’s, faithfulness demands that we respond proactively to a rapidly changing public health situation.  We want to stay ahead of the proverbial curve in an effort to protect one another, especially those whose immune systems are compromised and the children for whom presently there is no vaccine available. 
The facts are that within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Hampshire County is alone in its low pandemic occurrence rating.  But we do not live in a bubble and, therefore, cannot take our relatively low incidence of infection, hospitalization, and deaths for granted.  The facts are revealing both in the numbers and the perspective:
  • Hampshire County has 80 confirmed Covid cases; zero deaths, which pans out to be 3.5 cases/100,000 general population. 
  • Easthampton reports 13 new cases, which relates to 5.7 cases/day and 1.3% of the general population.  Easthampton has also put out an advisory to wear masks for all in-door gatherings. 
  • Northampton has 9 new cases, which points to 3 infections for every 1000 members of the general population.  The city has mandated that masks be worn in all city in-door gatherings.
Relatively speaking, folks in our region have been very responsible in terms of getting vaccinated and in taking the virus seriously.  But the virus does not respect regional boundaries; and we must be prepared, which is what the Executive Committee has done.  In this, it also needs to be said that for those of us who have made the effort to receive our vaccination shots (and it was often a frustrating effort to get an appointment on the state’s system!), for those of us who have sacrificed personal convenience for keeping physical distances and wearing masks, it is an easy step to harbor anger at those who have not taken these steps and who in their unvaccinated, unmasked state are actually making themselves and others hosts for the variants.  Yet, rather than expressing angered resentments, faithful folks need to summon up compassion for the unvaccinated, many of whom are wrenched by fear and the manipulating lies about the vaccinations.  Treating one another from our common humanity rather than as enemy constituents and to give witness to the fact that we are all in this together is the way forward in shutting off the coronavirus’ spread.
Lastly, I am very concerned about the damage that the pandemic life has caused among us as individuals and as a community.  In the need to keep separate (everything from social distancing to quarantined isolation), I fear that we, the Members of Christ’s Body in the world, have adjusted to being apart and to the centrifugal force that continues to push us away from one another.  While the decision to re-mask will undoubtedly mean a reduced attendance in an already diminished size of our gathering, I implore those of you who are medically able to do so to redouble your efforts at “showing up”, the frustrating inconvenience of wearing masks notwithstanding.  There are safe and effective vaccinations against how the virus separates and harms us.  Yet, the only medicine against the corrosiveness of relational absence is our presence – with God and with one another. 
Be the Body!  Stay connected.  Don’t give up!
Bulletin for August 15

This Sunday we celebrate
the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
(Proper 15, 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 Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, August 15, 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!
Hi Folks!

As many of you know, summer gardens will soon be yielding plenty of vegetables and your neighbors may soon be trying to unload extra veggies on your doorstep. We have a solution! At the St. Philip's Sunday service on August 22nd, we'll be taking donations of summer squash and zucchini to be used for our meal on the 28th. If you have extra veggies, we'll take them and put them to good use!

Our next service is this Saturday, August 28th! We'll be making a meal of pasta and meatballs with summer veggies and watermelon!.

We are accepting baked desserts again. We ask that each volunteer bake two dozen treats and deliver them to the kitchen individually-wrapped by 9:30am on the 28th.

If you are interested in joining us, you can sign up here:

For those attending:

Kitchen staff, our coordinators will be improving our social distancing protocol this session, so make sure to check in when you arrive for details. As always, we ask that you wash hands on entry, wear gloves and an apron, and clean surfaces after every use . Please come with a clean hat and clothes, and bring your own mask.

Drivers, please sanitize the bags and coolers you use to transport food. Pickup will take place at the picnic tables outside the kitchen. During delivery, handle the food with gloves or use hand sanitizer, and when you drop off the food, please leave it outside and call the recipient to let them know.

Remember, if you feel ill, please stay home. Contact Jon if you cannot attend. Only come to a service if you have signed up, as we need to operate with a smaller crew to reduce exposure. We also ask that children stay home.

All the Best,

Jon & the Take & Eat Team
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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