The E-pistle

August 11th, 2023

A Message from Libby

Our Gospel Reading this Sunday is the story of Jesus walking on the water, Peter stepping out of the boat and beginning to sink. As Peter cried out to be saved from perishing in the stormy sea, “Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him.” (Mt. 14:31). The hymns we’ll sing as part of our worship reflect this image. The offertory hymn from Lift Every Voice and Sing is a gospel song written by Thomas Dorsey, known as the father of gospel music. Though Dorsey wrote over 400 compositions, “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” is perhaps his best known. Dorsey’s father was a Baptist preacher and his mother a church organist. He was drawn to both sacred and secular music, but in his early years gravitated toward vaudeville, blues, and jazz. Having moved to Chicago from Atlanta as part of the Great Migration, his hectic schedule led to a nervous breakdown. In 1925, after a second breakdown and recovery, he began to compose sacred music, though mainstream churches rejected his songs. In 1932, the death of his wife and son during childbirth threw him into a period of intense grief, and he turned to the piano for comfort. The tune he wrote, “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” came, he says, direct from God. In 1939, Thomas Dorsey and Mahalia Jackson ushered in the “Golden Age of Gospel Music.”  Here are the words to the song. Imagine Peter singing it. Imagine yourself singing it. Then come on Sunday and make this your fervent prayer: “Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, let me stand, I am tired, I am weak, I am worn; through the storm through the night, lead me on to the light, take my hand, precious Lord, lead me on.” 

(info about Dorsey’s life came from a PBS documentary)

This Sunday - On the Lawn at 9:00 AM

Collect for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

Grant to us, Lord, we pray, the spirit to think and do always those things that are right, that we, who cannot exist without you, may by you be enabled to live according to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Scripture for August 13thGenesis 37:1-4, 12-28, Psalm 105, 1-6, 16-22, 45b, Romans 10:5-15, Matthew 14:22-33

Worship Team for August 13th

On the Lawn at 9 a.m.

Celebrant The Rev. Libby Wade

Preacher The Rev. Libby Wade

Reader Carl Sprague

Intercessor Carl Sprague

Usher/Greeter Vaunie Gaulty

Lemonade Host Ginny Willcox

Musician David Smith

Worship Team for August 20th

On the Lawn at 9 a.m.

Celebrant The Rev. Jane Tillman

Preacher The Rev. Libby Wade

Reader Frank Smith

Intercessor Sharon Billetter

Usher/Greeter TBD

Lemonade Host Gale Page

Musician Nancy King

Parish Prayer List

-  People we pray for on Sundays: Bruce, Charles, Linda, Veronica, Jeff, Karen, Lisa, Allie, Rosalind, Estreeta, Kit, Anne, and Keith

-Long-term prayer list: Irby, Ginger, Joan, Duncan, Bernadette, Ray, Piers, Katrina, Rich, Karen, Michael, Michael, Tom, Khali, George, Doug, Barbara, Christy, John, and Anthony

- Our partners at Grace Church, Great Barrington, and their priest Tina Rathbone; Christ Trinity Episcopal-Lutheran Church, Sheffield, and their priest Erik Karas; the Austen Riggs community and the Riverbrook Residence

- Victims of war, violence, abuse, persecution, and disaster at home and abroad; and those

impacted by the pandemic

-Outreach Ministry of the Week: St. Paul’s Children’s Center

-Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: Holy Trinity, Southbridge

- Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Iglesia Anglicana de Chile

- Birthdays: Elizabeth Skakel, Jim Wade, Quinn Dillon

St. Paul’s First Story Walk


It’s fitting that our first Story Walk at St. Paul’s is up in time for a child’s baptismal Sunday! “There’s Only One You” is the title of this charming story. We hope the colorful storyboards will appeal to families who already enjoy walking through St. Paul’s gardens and relaxing in the Adirondack chairs. The Walk begins at the Little Book Box near Main Street and ends at the entrance to St. Paul’s Children’s Center. Thanks to Jessica Maloney for bringing this idea to life! 

Food Transport Cart Blessed for Use at Lee Food Pantry

Thanks to a Mission Grant from the Diocese of Western MA, St. Paul’s purchased two carts to help transport food at Lee Food Pantry. The carts were blessed at our outdoor worship service on July 23rd. Sue Gore, Food Pantry Director, expressed her gratitude after the carts were delivered to the Pantry. 

Sunday, August 13 – After Worship

Quick Weeding of the Garden


Thanks to those who helped on July 23rd, the driveway and rectory gardens are in much better shape. Your next opportunity to help is on Sunday, August 13. 

Open for Tours on Sunday, August 20


The annual Stockbridge Arts and Crafts Festival is August 19-20. St. Paul’s will take part in this Festival on Sunday, August 20, as we offer worship on the lawn at 9 a.m. followed by guided tours of the church. Thanks to Genet Jeanjean, Jean Rousseau, Carl Sprague, Jim Wade, and Libby Wade for volunteering to be our tour guides from 10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (There are slots for a couple more tour guides. Tell Libby if you’re interested.) St. Paul’s is blessed with a church and grounds replete with art and architectural craftsmanship. While our doors are always open for self-guided tours and prayer time, it’s great to be able to offer a guide who can add their own storytelling flair to the experience. At 4 p.m., The Mount is bringing a small seminar group to view our stained-glass windows (see below). David Pearson will be parish host for that ticketed event.

America’s Great Art Contribution:

Stained Glass of LaFarge and Tiffany

Presented by The Mount with Richard Guy Wilson

Sunday, August 20


In the late 19th century, a new form of stained glass emerged using color and radiance. Created by John La Farge and then picked up by Louis Comfort Tiffany, it became known as “American Glass in France and Europe." This talk and tour with architectural historian, Richard Guy Wilson, will investigate this extraordinary creation.

The program starts in the Stable auditorium at 2 p.m. with a slide presentation followed by guided tours of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Stockbridge and Trinity Episcopal Church in Lenox to view the glassworks. The group will be at St. Paul’s from 4 – 4:45 p.m., then return to The Mount. Tickets are $75 and may be reserved on The Mount’s website ( Registration limited to 18.

Richard Guy Wilson is Commonwealth Professor Emeritus in Architectural History at the University of Virginia. A frequent lecturer, television commentator, and author of many articles and books on different aspects of American and modern architecture and design, including The American Renaissance (1979), McKim, Mead & White, Architects (1982), The AIA Gold Medal (1983), Machine Age in America (1986), Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village (1993, 2009) The Colonial Revival House (2004), Harbor Hill: Portrait of a House (2008), and Edith Wharton At Home (2012).

Parish Family

… Fellowship Hosts will find their task much easier thanks to Patty Melville’s work cleaning out and organizing the credenza in the Tower Room.

…Quinn Dillon departed last week for Costa Rica, where he will be studying for his last years of High School. 

…Congratulations to Chloe Alexandra Mitchell, granddaughter of Jo Dare and Bob Mitchell, who was baptized at St. Paul’s last Sunday. 

Have you checked out St. Paul’s new website yet? If not, make it a point to do so. It will continue to evolve and be updated regularly as time goes on. We hope it will help engage the imagination of potential rector candidates, but we also hope the website will prove helpful to you by making information about worship, special events, and giving easily accessible. Please let us know what’s most helpful to you and what we might improve as time goes on. To access the website, use the same address as always (

What’s Next in the Search Process? Two steps will be taken this coming week. 

·     Canon Rich Simpson, Diocesan Transition Minister, will file St. Paul’s Profile (the answers to the 12 questions that many of you helped the Profile Committee put together last winter) with The Episcopal Church’s Office of Transition Ministry. That’s the “matchmaking” system where both churches searching for priests and priests searching for churches place their profiles. Seek and ye shall find, as the saying goes!

·     Anne Covell, Search Committee Chair, will begin gathering the Search Committee to prepare for their work. We’ll begin praying regularly for the Search Process. Many thanks to those serving on the Search Committee: Anne Covell, Donna Gray, Darryl Lafferty, Martha Bodine, Matt Fillio, David Pearson, and Robin Race. 


Your Part in the Search Process:

·     Pray for the Search Committee and the Vestry and for the priests who might feel a call to serve with St. Paul’s.

·     Tell priests you might know that they can read about St. Paul’s on our website and encourage those who express an interest to contact Canon Rich Simpson (his contact info is on our website).

·     Help continue the re-invigoration of St. Paul’s by participating in worship and other activities.

·     Support fundraising for the Rectory Renovation which will be a significant piece of welcome for a new Rector.  (More about that in a future newsletter.)

·     Be faithful to the great commandment to love God and love neighbor.

Rectory Renovation Update

Picture your new rector drinking morning coffee next summer with this view from the bay window in the Rectory Kitchen

Though still a work in progress, the Rectory Kitchen is looking great. The appliances are waiting to be fully installed among the cabinets. Then painting will be finished and the floor uncovered. The only things remaining from the old kitchen are the refrigerator, washer, and dryer. Everything else is new, efficient, and attractive.  

Calendar of Upcoming Events


+ Every Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. (on Zoom) –Morning Prayer


+ Saturday, August 12 – Appalachian Trail Angels Work Day for St. Paul’s Team (contact Sharon Billetter for details)


+ Saturday, August 12 – Lee Food Pantry – St. Paul’s Team (contact Jim Wade for more info)


+ Sunday, August 13, 9:00 a.m. – Holy Eucharist on the Church Lawn followed by a Quick Garden Weeding    (Worship inside if it’s raining)


+ Sunday, August 20, 9:00 a.m. – Holy Eucharist on the Church Lawn

followed by Guided Tours of the Church from 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. during the Stockbridge Arts & Crafts Show. (To volunteer as a guide, contact Libby Wade)


+ Sunday, August 20, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. – A Seminar Group studying the stained glass art of LaFarge and Tiffany will visit St. Paul’s.  Registration is limited to 18. Visit The Mount’s website to purchase a ticket. 


+ Saturday, August 26, 9:30 a.m. – Memorial Service and Interment for former member Jim Harpst


St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

29 Main Street, P.O. Box 704

Stockbridge, MA 01262

Church Office Voicemail: (413) 298-4913


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