The E-pistle

January 25th, 2024

A Note from Father Sam

Dear friends in Christ,

On Tuesday, Brett and I drove to the Cinemark in Hadley to watch the one-night only showing of A Case for Love, a documentary about the message of unselfish love preached so passionately by the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Michael Curry. The film explores this theme of the Presiding Bishop’s ministry through an extended interview, broken up by a dozen or so stories about the transformational power of love—love shown by friends, family, strangers, and by God. Again and again, people told stories of healing, transformation, and lives turned beautifully upside down, all because someone showed them the love of God, the same love we see manifest in the life and teachings of Jesus. You can learn more about the film here.

This Sunday, we’ll hear another story of a life turned upside down by God’s love in Jesus—the story of Saint Paul, our patron saint, who was literally knocked off his horse and transformed from the Church’s greatest persecutor into the Church’s greatest evangelist. Even Paul, who held the coats of the people who stoned the young deacon Stephen, wasn’t safe from the power of God’s love in Christ. Even Paul found his life swept up in the love and mercy and grace of Jesus, and spent the rest of his days spreading the good news of that grace.

If there was hope for Paul, might there be for you and me, too? If the people who shared their stories in the Presiding Bishop’s film found the power of this love, might we, too? Every day is an opportunity to share the love of God we have all received so freely in Jesus Christ. Every day is an opportunity to love, and be loved, by the people in our lives—family, friends, neighbors, strangers. God loves you deeply—of this I am sure.


Father Sam

St. Paul’s Day–This Sunday, January 28th

Today (January 25th) is celebrated by the Church as the feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle. It’s the day when we liturgically remember Paul’s dramatic Damascus road experience, and celebrate his calling to grow the early church and bring the good news of Christ to Gentile communities throughout the Roman Empire. Because Saint Paul is our patron, the Prayer Book calendar allows us to transfer this special day to Sunday. So come celebrate our church’s namesake with some special readings and hymns for Saint Paul that only get pulled out on an occasion like this!

Sunday, January 19th

8:00 and 10:00 A.M.

Holy Eucharist

Collect for the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle

O God, by the preaching of your apostle Paul you have caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world: Grant, we pray, that we, having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may show ourselves thankful to you by following his holy teaching; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Scripture for the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle: Acts 26:9-21, Psalm 67, Galatians 1:11-24, Matthew 10:16-22

Worship Team for January 28th

8:00 and 10:00 AM

Celebrant                                               Father Sam

Preacher                                                  Father Sam

Assisting Priest                  The Rev. Jane Tillman

Reader (8)                                                Matt Fillio

Reader (10)                                      Martha Bodine

Intercessor (8)                                 Darryl Lafferty

Intercessor (10)                             Sharon Billetter

Usher/Greeters                         Kim & Don Savery

Fellowship                                         Ginny Willcox

Musician                                              David Smith

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                                                         TBD

Fellowship                                                                  TBD

Musician                                                       Nancy King

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: Gideon's Garden

- 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: St. John’s, Athol

- Anglican Cycle of Prayer: The Anglican Church of Southern Africa

- 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

Represent St. Paul’s at Diocesan Convention

Each year at the Annual Meeting, we elect 2 delegates to Diocesan Convention, the yearly meeting of the Diocese of Western Massachusetts. At Convention, delegates pass resolutions affecting our common life and witness as a diocese, approve the diocesan budget, elect members of diocesan committees, and hear the Bishop’s annual address, all in the context of prayer, worship, and fellowship. This year, Diocesan Convention will take place on Saturday, November 9. If you are interested in being a convention delegate, please reach out to Senior Warden Jorja Marsden, Junior Warden Martha Bodine, or Father Sam.


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, sausages, fruit, 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? Stay tuned for more details soon!

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

Contacting 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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