The E-pistle

February 1st, 2024

A Note from Father Sam

Dear friends in Christ,

Brett and I are away this week completing that other big life event of 2024—getting married! We may have been a little crazy planning a wedding in the midst of our move to Stockbridge, but let me tell you, we are so grateful and excited to be starting our life as a family together here amongst all of you. Thank you for your understanding that your new Rector is out of the parish on the fourth week of his job!

I will be eager to return next week as some important events in our common life come into view. With our annual meeting on Feb 11, the Shrove Tuesday pancake supper on Feb 13, and Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Lenten season on Feb 14, there will be a lot going on in February. Read below for all the details, and I hope to see you there.

Do keep Brett and me in your prayers this week, especially on Saturday. You will be in mine!


Father Sam

Sunday, February 4th

10:00 A.M.

Holy Eucharist

Collect for the Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany

Set us free, O God, from the bondage of our sins, and give us the liberty of that abundant life which you have made known to us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Scripture for the Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany: Isaiah 40:21-31, Psalm 147:1-12, 21c, 1 Corinthians 9:16-23, Mark 1:29-39

Worship Team for February 4th

10:00 AM

Celebrant                   The Rev. Dr. Rich Simpson

Preacher                     The Rev. Dr. Rich Simpson

Assisting Priest                  The Rev. Jane Tillman

Reader                                               Darryl Lafferty

Intercessor                                     Sharon Billetter

Usher/Greeters                                        Jim Wade

Fellowship                                        Martha Bodine                   

Musician                                                 Nancy King

Worship Team for February 11th

8:00 AM and 10:00 AM

Celebrant                                               Father Sam

Preacher                                                 Father Sam

Assisting Priest                The Rev. Jane Tillman

Reader (8)                                          Rob Maloney

Reader (10)                                            Kim Savery

Intercessor (8 & 10)                      Sharon Billetter

Usher/Greeters                                 Ginny Willcox

Fellowship                    Patty Melville, coordinator

Musician                                                David Smith

Parish Prayer List

-People we pray for on Sundays:  Bruce, Charles, Linda, Veronica, Jeff, Karen, Lisa, Rosalind, Kit, Jacob, Kathleen, Doug, Holly, Rick, David, John, Leonore, Vicki, Donna, Cynthia, Eliza, and Cindy

-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, 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 residents and staff of the Austen Riggs community and the Riverbrook Residence

- Outreach Ministry of the Week: The Lee Food Pantry

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

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

- Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts

- Anglican Cycle of Prayer: The Anglican Church of South America

- We pray for the repose of the soul of Sonja Mason

Upcoming Events 

-Every Wednesday at 8:30 AM- Morning prayer on Zoom (link on the website)

-Sunday, February 4th- Holy Eucharist at 10:00 AM only 

-Saturday, February 10th – St Paul’s serves at the Lee Food Pantry

-Sunday, February 11th – Holy Eucharist  at 8:00 and 10:00 AM, followed by the Annual Parish Meeting

-Tuesday, February 13th– Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper at the Rectory at 6:00 PM

-Wednesday, February 14th– Ash Wednesday Holy Eucharist at 6:00 PM

-Sunday, February 18th– Holy Eucharist at 8:00 and 10:00 AM

-Tuesday, February 20th– Vestry Meeting at 5:30 PM in the Parish House

This Sunday, February 4–one service only

With gratitude to Canon Rich Simpson for covering Father Sam’s absence on Sunday, we remind you that there will be only one service at 10:00am. Canon Rich works with Bishop Doug to support ministries across the entire Diocese, and recently helped shepherd the Vestry and Search Committee through the call process for a new priest. Come introduce yourself on Sunday if you haven’t met him!

8:00am Holy Eucharist will return for the long term on Sunday, Feb 11!

Annual Meeting–Sunday, February 11

The Annual Meeting of Saint Paul’s Church will be held on Sunday, February 11, after the 10:00am Holy Eucharist. We will elect Vestry members and Delegates to Diocesan Convention, receive ministry reports and the 2024 budget, and hear the Rector’s annual address. This once-a-year business meeting of the parish won’t take too long, and will be a chance to share in some fellowship and reflection on the last year of our common life together! See you there.

You can read the annual report below by clicking on the image:


Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper–February 13th

Shrove Tuesday– sometimes called Mardi Gras– is the day before Ash Wednesday, and therefore the last day before the 40 day fast of Lent begins. Father Sam and Brett would love to invite the parish to celebrate this festive day with a pancake supper in the Rectory at 6:00pm. We’ll gather to enjoy some pancakes, other food, and drinks, and then we’ll step outside to burn last year’s Palm Sunday palms to prepare this year’s Ash Wednesday ashes. Good food and liturgical pyrotechnics–what’s not to love?

Father Sam and Brett will provide the pancakes. Maple syrup is covered (thanks, Patty Melville!). We could still use some things from the following list. If you’d like to bring something, please email Father Sam to let him know, and we’ll avoid too many doubles! Thank you.

  • Orange juice
  • Sausages
  • Chopped fruit/fruit salad

Ash Wednesday–February 14th

Roses are red, violets are blue, ashes are…gray?

As occasionally happens, Ash Wednesday coincides with Valentine’s Day this year! Holy Eucharist with the imposition of ashes will be offered at 6:00pm in the church. If you’re looking to receive ashes at a different time of day, we are coordinating once again with our fellow South County churches:

10:00 am - Grace Church, Great Barrington

12:00 pm - Christ Trinity Church, Sheffield

Getting Ahold of Father Sam

Father Sam now has a working church email address, [email protected], that can be used for all church communication. You can call him at the church office, (413) 298-4913, or any time at his cell phone, (765) 401-6112. Father Sam will observe Monday as his sabbath day each week and therefore not check email, but will always respond to a pastoral emergency if contacted by cell phone.


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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