The E-pistle

December 7th, 2023

A Message from Libby

On this Second Sunday of Advent, we will light the “Love” Candle. The image from the prophet Isaiah of a shepherd gathering the lambs lovingly in his arms while gently leading the mother sheep is soothing and comforting. Then the Gospel of Mark gives us the wild man John calling for repentance. As he prepares a way in the desert, he proclaims that the one who is coming (Jesus) will be more powerful than he. So on this Second Sunday of Advent, we hold these two images of tender care and humble power in tension as we give thanks for the love demonstrated in Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of both Isaiah’s and John’s prophetic words. Love incarnate – God with us.

This Sunday, December 10

8 AM & 10 AM Holy Eucharist

Collect for the 2nd Sunday of Advent

Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Scripture for December 10 : Isaiah 40:1-11; Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13; 2 Peter 3:8-15a; Mark 1:1-8


Worship Team for December 10

8:00 a.m. & 10:00 a.m.

Celebrant        The Rev. Jane Tillman

Preacher          The Rev. Libby Wade

Reader (8)       Rob Maloney

Intercessor (8) Peter Dillon

Reader (10)     David Pearson

Intercessor (10) Frank Smith

Usher/Greeter   Jim Wade

Fellowship      Lis & Virgil Stucker

Musician          David Smith


Worship Team for December 17

ONE SERVICE ONLY at 10:00 a.m.

Celebrant         The Rev. Libby Wade

Preacher           The Rev. Jane Tillman

Reader             Jean Rousseau

Intercessor       Diana French

Ushers/Greeters Gale Page & Frank Smith

Musician           Nancy King



Parish Prayer List

-People we pray for on Sundays: Bruce, Charles, Linda, Veronica, Jeff, Karen, Lisa, Rosalind, Estreeta, Kit, Jacob, Kathleen, Doug, Margie, Holly, Rick, Keith, David, John, and Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

-People on our Long-term prayer list: Allie, Irby, Ginger, Joan, Duncan, Bernadette, Ray, Piers, Katrina, Rich, Karen, Michael, Tom, Khali, George, Barbara, Christy, John, Anthony, Margie, and Estreeta

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

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

- For peace and an end to violence and oppression in the world

- Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: Ministerio Hispano en Worcester

- Anglican Cycle of Prayer: The Church of Pakistan (United)

- Birthdays: Donna Gray, Libby Wade, Anders Tierney

- Marriage on December 16: Piers Boyce and Brii White

- May the soul of Bette White rest in peace and rise in glory.

(There will be a private graveside service for Bette White, but no service at St. Paul’s.)

Advent Candle Liturgy


An Advent Wreath can be a wonderful addition to your spiritual practices during the season of preparation for the coming of Christ. The wreath is a circle of greenery with four candles spaced around the circle. Either purple or blue are the traditional colors of Advent candles. Sometimes the Joy candle is pink. In the center of the wreath, a taller white candle represents the light of Christ. 


Week Two: Love

Creator of the stars of night,

Your people’s everlasting light,

O Christ, Redeemer of us all,

We pray you hear us when we call.


In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and set lights in the sky—sun and moon and stars. By these stars, our ancestors charted their journeys. By these stars, they knew God was with them. Today we light two candles to bring the fire of the stars down from heaven to earth, to nestle among the greens. We name this candle Love. (Light the candle.)


We too are on a journey, and we do not always know the way. But we chart our path by the star of love. Even when sharp words rattle in our ears, and our hearts sit cold and numb, we set our face steadily towards the light. Listen now to the wisdom of the early Christians: “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us, and his love is perfected in us.” (1 John 4:7-12)


Lord Jesus, as we search for signs of love this week, help us to become the signs of love that others are searching for. As these candles are but a glimpse of the light of the heavens, help us to be a glimpse of heaven’s love.

Rooted in Abundance – Stewardship Commitment for 2024

As we eagerly await the January arrival of St. Paul’s new Rector, the Rev. Sam Vaught, the vestry is charged with putting together an annual budget to support our mission as a parish. Expenses for 2024 will increase with a full-time priest with benefits. To remain strong as a parish, we need everyone’s help. That includes making a financial commitment, as well as continuing support through volunteering time and talent. Thanks to those who have already turned in a pledge card, we’re about 2/3 of the way toward supporting a responsible no-frills budget. So far, most people have increased their pledge. That’s wonderful, but we still hope to hear from the rest of the St. Paul’s community. We need to support each other, welcome our new priest, and honor God through our giving. Please mail or e-mail your pledge commitment today or place your pledge card in the offering plate on Sunday. 

All things come of thee, O Lord,

and of thine own have we given thee.

(Offertory Words in our Rite I Worship Service)

Waiting in Prayer

Advent Study

on Zoom


Tuesdays 12/12 and 12/19 at 7:00 p.m.


Ministry Intern Sharon Billetter leads a prayerful reflection

on the scripture for the upcoming Sunday. 

New participants are welcome.

Building the Future – Rectory Renovation Fund


The Rectory Renovation Fundraising Team – Virgil Stucker, Genet Jeanjean, Martha Bodine, and the Rev. Libby Wade – are pleased to announce that funds raised as of December 1, 2023 have far exceeded the $100,000 goal set by the Vestry.

Total Pledged is $172,134!


We gratefully acknowledge the following donors (listed in alphabetical order):

Anonymous Gifts (2)

Martha Bodine

Sebastian Bonner & Anne Auberjonois

Natalie & John Boyce

John & Helen Davies

Peter & Diane Dillon

Diana French

Vaunie Graulty, in memory of Bill Graulty

Donna & Jonathan Gray

Genet & Philippe Jeanjean

Chris & Tracy Johnson

Darryl Lafferty & Peter Wright

Robert & Jessica Maloney

Jorja Marsden

John Muller & Cecelia Jones, in memory of Cecelia

Gale Page & Frank Smith

Deborah Pege

Michael & Ramelle Pulitzer

Jean & Georgeanne Rousseau

Virgil & Lis Stucker

Mary Taylor

Jane Tillman

Jim & Libby Wade

Alice Sedgwick Wohl, in memory of the Rev. John Tarrant

Wine Tasting Event

St. Paul’s Children’s Center

Thanks to your generosity the Rectory is a fitting home for St. Paul’s Rector.

All are invited to come see the newly-renovated and updated Rectory and enjoy brunch on Sunday, December 17 after the 10 a.m. Holy Eucharist.

The Holy Moment

Holiday Candlelight Concert

Oakes & Smith Folk Duo

Saturday, December 9 at 7:00 p.m.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

29 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA


“…emotional, heartfelt music that touches the soul…”

No Charge, but donations will be accepted for Outreach Ministries of St. Paul’s



Though we aren’t sponsoring a family this year at Christmas, there are several possibilities for giving to others through St. Paul’s.


Our loose-plate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day offerings will go to support the Multicultural Bridge. In a later E-pistle, you’ll hear more about their work in a number of areas, including helping with the recently-arrived migrant families that we’ve supported through gift certificates, clothing, and baby items.


We continue to support these migrant families. The Family Resource Center in Great Barrington (141 West Avenue), 413-528-0298 x 9501, welcomes volunteers to help sort and organize clothes and other donated items. If you have an hour or two to give, this would be helpful, but please call first.


“Change a Diaper. Change a Life.” That’s an apt slogan for Berkshire Community Diaper Project. St. Paul’s supported this project in its beginnings and we continue to pray monthly for the good work they do in our community. Since 2014, the Diaper Project has distributed over 1.8 million diapers. This Advent, as we contemplate the awesome birth of baby Jesus, let’s see how many diapers we can accumulate around our baptismal font for the Diaper Project. Bring diapers anytime in December and we’ll make sure to deliver them. 


The “Reverse Advent Calendar” is a fun way to increase our giving to the Lee Food Pantry during Advent.

While the poster suggests bringing your food box to church on Christmas Eve, it would be better if you brought it on Sunday, December 31, to the 10:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist.


That’s a festive Lessons and Carols service, as well as Libby’s last day as our Interim Priest. She would like nothing better than to see our space overflowing with people, non-perishable food items for Lee Food Pantry, and diapers for the Diaper Project! 

Festive old and new holiday music with an earth-conscious message

Register and Purchase Tickets at

A few tickets may be available at the door.


More Information:



The Crescendo Chorus, its soloists, and instrumentalists present a timeless message for this holiday season: peace, not from heaven, but on earth. We’re celebrating in the music of our nativity, and of our home here on earth, at two historic churches in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Ranging from the Renaissance to modern compositions, and spanning both Christian and Jewish traditions, the music will inspire our quest for earth-stewardship, perhaps our best hope for shelter as the cold comes upon us. Our earth holds our faith and peace in its air and water, its hills and valleys. That’s why it’s our best comfort as the days darken. Performers are: Crescendo Chorus, Nadia Aguilar, soprano, Laura Evans, mezzo-soprano, Igor Ferreira, tenor, Christopher Belluscio, trumpet, Tricia van Oers, recorder, and Douglas Schmolze, guitar, directed by Christine Gevert from the organ.

Upcoming Events


-      Every Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. – Morning Prayer on Zoom

-      Saturday, December 9, 9:30 a.m. – St. Paul’s team serves at Lee Food Pantry

-      Saturday, December 9, 7:00 p.m. – Oakes & Smith Candlelight Concert at St. Paul’s

-      Sunday, December 10 (2nd Sunday of Advent), 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. – Holy Eucharist

-      Sunday, December 10, 11:45 a.m. – St. Paul’s Creates Collage Workshop in Parish House

-      Wednesday, December 13, 5:30 p.m. – Vestry Meeting in Parish House

-      Saturday, December 16, 4:00 p.m. – Crescendo Concert (Carols for the Earth) at St. Paul’s

-      Sunday, December 17 (3rd Sunday of Advent), 10:00 a.m. (ONE SERVICE ONLY)

-      Sunday, December 17 – Rectory Open House after Church

-      Sunday, December 24 (4th Sunday of Advent), 10:00 a.m. – Holy Eucharist

-      Sunday, December 24 (Christmas Eve), 5:30 p.m. & 10:30 p.m. – Holy Eucharist

-      Monday, December 25 (Christmas Day), 10:00 a.m. – Holy Eucharist

-      Sunday, December 31, 10:00 a.m. – Lessons and Carols with Holy Eucharist

-      Sunday, January 7 (Epiphany), 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. – Holy Eucharist

-      Sunday, January 7, 6:30 p.m. – Community Three Kings Celebration at the Red Lion Inn

-      Sunday, January 14, 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. – Holy Eucharist- The Rev. Samuel T. Vaught’s first Sunday as Rector of St. Paul’s

Christmas Poinsettias

Christmas Poinsettias – Due Date Monday, December 18

If you would like to give money to purchase poinsettias to adorn the church on Christmas in memory of a loved one or in thanksgiving for someone or some event, please send your check (in any amount) along with the following information to St. Paul’s Church, PO Box 704, Stockbridge, MA 01262 (or place the info and check in the offering plate on Sunday. In order to print the names and purchase the flowers, we must have this info no later than Monday, December 18. 

           I/We would like to contribute toward flowers

In memory of ___________ or In thanksgiving for__________.

Your Name and Contact Info __________________________


St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

29 Main Street, P.O. Box 704

Stockbridge, MA 01262

Church Office Voicemail: (413) 298-4913

Email: [email protected]

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