The E-pistle

July 27th, 2023

A Message from Libby - Search Process Moves Forward


When I got the e-mail from Web Designer Rich Bradway last Wednesday that he had just made the swap from the old website to our new website, I was elated. Having an up-to-date descriptive website with representative photos and text that tell OUR STORY is a crucial part of the Search Process for a new rector. It’s also important for people who are searching for a new church home, performers who are considering holding a concert in our worship space, and for parishioners who want accurate information about upcoming worship and activities. 


The site has been in process since late last fall. In addition to Rich Bradway’s work, thanks go to the Profile Committee for designing the Rector Search portion of the site and to Cooper Maloney, who took some of the photos. More recently, Rob Maloney, Patty Melville, Kyra Saltman, and I have contributed text, photos, and editing. Our Diocese provides support by helping fund the cost of parish website updates. We know there are still a few “bugs” to work out and a website is always a work in progress, so Kyra will be in charge of keeping the site current going forward. We all hope you’ll enjoy exploring the new site. 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. As part of that gathering, we will commission the Search Committee during worship this Sunday, July 30th. We’ll also 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.

Summer Sundays -- One Service at 9:00 A.M. on the Lawn

If you can bring a lawn chair for worship, that’s helpful. We have bug spray and sunscreen. For those who find walking on the uneven ground difficult, we’ll reserve a few chairs just off the walkway and we’ll bring communion to people in their seats. Healing prayers will be offered during communion, also. Of course, if it’s raining, we’ll worship inside. Last Sunday, a first-time visitor commented that the worship service was lovely. She summed up her experience with two words: “Wow” and “Refreshing.”

If you haven’t been attending, we miss you and hope you’ll come. Perhaps you, too, will find the experience worthwhile

Collect for the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: Increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Scripture for July 20th: 1 Kings 3:5-12, Psalm 119:129-136, Romans 8:26-39, Matthew 13:31-33,44-52

Worship Team for July 30th

On the Lawn at 9 AM

Celebrant                The Rev. Libby Wade

Preacher                  The Rev. Libby Wade

Reader                     Bill Higgins

Intercessor              Torey Winn

Usher/Greeter        Ginny Willcox

Hospitality Host     Anne Covell

Musician                  Doug Schmolze

Worship Team for August 6th

Inside at 9 AM

Celebrant    The Rev. Libby Wade

Preacher      The Rev. Jane Tillman

Reader          Martha Bodine

Intercessor   Sharon Billetter

Usher/Greeter     TBD

Hospitality Host  Patty Melville

Musicians  Doug Schmolze & Nancy King

Parish Prayer List

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

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

--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 who continue to be impacted by COVID.

--Outreach Ministry of the Week: Berkshire Community Diaper Project

--Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: Trinity Church, Shrewsbury

--Anglican Cycle of Prayer:  Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America

--The altar flowers were given by Anne Covell, in memory of the Rev. and Mrs. David R. Covell, Jr.

--Birthdays: Joel Levi, Dan Weston, Cooper Maloney, and Bernadette Brusco

--Anniversaries: Chris & Tracy Johnson

--We pray for the repose of the soul of Keith Holsapple (Darryl Lafferty’s uncle) and for his wife Judy as she grieves. We also pray for the repose of the soul of the Rev. Dr. Edward LeRoy Long, Jr., friend of St. Paul’s.

You Can Help


Are you a welcoming person? We need you to serve as a greeter/usher on August 6 (indoors) or August 20 (on the lawn).

Are you a prayerful person? We need you to lead the Prayers of the People on Sunday, September 3.

Do you appreciate the beauty of flowers and plants? We need you to provide a plant or flowers to enhance our altar. If you bring a plant, it will be added to our gardens after worship. The last remaining summer date is August 30th.

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.

St. Paul’s Welcomes Appalachian Trail Hikers


Our July day as Trail Angels went so well! When our whole team welcomed hikers coming out of the woods, our first question was, “Can I get you a hamburger or hot dog?” The questions that followed were things like “Are you traveling north or south?” or “How are you doing?” I was glad we led with those questions. If the hikers wanted to know who we were, they asked. My favorite memory was the last hiker. This person, who identified as they/them, came at the very end of the day. They had challenging food restrictions, and we had a difficult time finding them some food. Finally, we offered hard-boiled eggs. The delighted person smiled from ear to ear as deviled eggs were made. Jim and I brought them to a place where there was a shower and a place to sleep. I’m excited for next month. We’ll be the Trail Angels again on Saturday, August 12th. I appreciated meeting the hikers and having deeper conversations with the people of St. Paul’s. Peace, Sharon

Calendar of Upcoming Events


Calendar of Upcoming Events


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


+ Sunday, July 30, 9:00 a.m. – Holy Eucharist on the Church Lawn with Commissioning of the Search Committee (In the case of inclement weather, worship will be inside.)


+ Sunday, August 6, 9:00 a.m. – Holy Baptism and Holy Eucharist inside the church


+ Saturday, August 12 – Appalachian Trail Angels Work Day for St. Paul’s Team


+ Saturday, August 12 – Lee Food Pantry for St. Paul’s Team


+ Gideon’s Garden Summer Volunteer Hours: Mondays from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. or Wednesdays from 1-5 p.m. Come for the whole time or just a little while. Gideon’s Garden is on Division St. across from Taft Farms in Great Barrington. Produce harvested goes to local food programs, including Lee Food pantry.


+ Sunday, August 13, 9:00 a.m. – Holy Eucharist on the Church Lawn followed by a Quick Garden Weed. 

If you were intrigued by the collects we used to publish regularly in the E-pistle from the South County EfM group, you might be interested in joining an online EfM group that starts this September. We will meet for 36 weeks on Zoom, beginning on Monday September 9, from 2:30 – 5:00 pm (eastern). Over the course of the year we engage in prayer, discussion, and theological reflection with the group and read substantially in the Christian Tradition. First year participants read the Old Testament, second year, the New Testament, third year Christian History, and fourth year Christian theology and ethics. Participants sign up for one year at a time. This link will take you to the program’s website.

 For more information, please contact Karen Byers, kdbyers at 

From Our Diocese

Safe Church Training Summer/Fall 2023


All Vestry members and those who volunteer with youth or vulnerable adults are required to receive this training and renew every 3 years. If you can’t remember your most recent training date, it may be time to renew. At the end of June, almost all of St. Paul’s vestry was up to date on training. This training is open to anyone who would like to know more about best practices for keeping all of us safe.  

The Rev. Tanya Wallace, our Diocesan Safe Church Officer, will lead Safe Church training on the following dates via Zoom:


Friday, August 25, 9-2 p.m. Clergy, Staff, Lay leaders

Tuesday, September 5, 5-8 p.m., Volunteers

Tues/Thurs, September 19 & 21, 5:30-8:00 p.m., Clergy, Staff, Lay leaders

Sunday, October 22, 2-5:00 p.m., Volunteers

Please sign up early. Registration closes one week prior to training date. Your parish will be billed for your registration fee. You may register by clicking on the date of your choice above. Thank you for helping to keep our churches safe.

An Invitation from the Berkshire Opera Festival

Our Parish Administrator, Kyra Saltman, also works as Operations Manager for the Berkshire Opera Festival in the summers. BOF is hosting a free presentation and discussion at the Berkshire Atheneaum about Puccini's La Bohème. Attendees will receive an invitation to attend the dress rehearsal of La Bohéme as well!

Anniversary of Ordination of Women to Priesthood

(Article adapted from


On July 29, The Episcopal Church will celebrate the 49th Anniversary of the 1974 ordination of the Philadelphia Eleven, the first women ordained to the priesthood in The Episcopal Church—an event that shattered stained-glass ceilings everywhere and irrevocably changed the Church.

Through most of the history of the Christian Church the position of women has been secondary to that of men. During the first half of the twentieth century, as women in the Episcopal Church were seeking to expand their participation in the life of the church, many women became church workers or directors of religious education as “Deaconesses” – a separate order from male Deacons. 

The movement for ordination equity gained momentum in 1970 when laywomen were seated for the first time with voice and vote at a General Convention of the Episcopal Church. A resolution cleared the way for both men and women to be recognized as full and equal deacons. However, another resolution to approve women’s ordination as priests and bishops failed to pass in 1970 and again in 1973.

By July 1974, supporters of women’s ordination grew restless with the stalled legislative process and a service was scheduled to ordain women to the priesthood. Three retired bishops agreed to preside. Eleven women who were deacons presented themselves for ordination to the priesthood. These women, who came to be called the “Philadelphia Eleven”, were Merrill Bittner, Alla Bozarth-Campbell, Alison Cheek, Emily Hewitt, Carter Heyward, Suzanne Hiatt, Marie Moorefield, Jeanette Piccard, Betty Schiess, Katrina Swanson, and Nancy Wittig. 

Their ordinations inspired both celebration and controversy in the Episcopal Church. The House of bishops declared them “irregular” and the Philadelphia Eleven were prohibited from officially exercising priestly functions. Nevertheless, the movement for the ordination of women as priests continued to gain momentum. Finally, at the General Convention in September 1976, the ordination of women to the priesthood was approved to begin on January 1, 1977, and the previous “irregular” ordinations were regularized. 


Holy God, you are always calling us to serve you in various ministries, so that your Church may grow and thrive: we pray that, following the example of the eleven women ordained in Philadelphia on this day, we may “never cease our labour, our care and diligence, until we have done all that lies in us, to serve as messengers, stewards, and keepers of your Good News.” We pray because of Jesus, who calls us to follow. Amen.


St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

29 Main Street, P.O. Box 704

Stockbridge, MA 01262

Church Office Voicemail: (413) 298-4913


Facebook  YouTube