The E-pistle

July 6th, 2023

A Message from Libby


Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:18-30, Gospel for July 9th)


Weariness, stress, and depression are common ailments of our time. Some of us carry enormous loads or burdens. We look forward to whatever can give us relief, sometimes turning to unhealthy habits to mask the weariness and make us forget the problems for brief periods of time. In that simple and direct manner so characteristic of Jesus, he says, “Come and I will give you rest.” 


“Come” is the first of three verbs in this passage suggesting actions we are to take. The world may say, “There’s no rest for the weary,” but Jesus says, “If you come, I will give you rest.” The second action verb is “Take.” What follows are working words – “Take my yoke upon you.” It’s not an absence of labor that Jesus promises, but a way to balance the load, to have a sense of purpose, to gain congruity in our actions. A shared load is a lighter load. Finally, Jesus points us toward one more action, when he says “learn from me.” From Jesus’ example we learn humility and grace, passion and compassion, obedience to God’s purposes and commitment to justice. We learn to love, to take risks, to rest. We learn to live in hope. The list could go on and on. 


Three verbs – “Come. Take. Learn.” Christ bids us come to rest. Christ gives us his yoke to take. Christ encourages us to learn what it means to work together. What more helpful and hopeful way of living could there be?

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

Though rain or the threat of rain has kept us inside the church for the last two Sundays, we’ll keep trying to set up on the lawn for Holy Eucharist in a natural setting. Even indoors, we’ve adopted a bit more casual atmosphere and a slightly shorter service. 


One of our hymns this Sunday is “Just As I Am,” which seems an apt description of Jesus’ invitation to us and of our approach to worship. Bring yourself – Come as You Are – with Casual Attire and Open Hearts. Chairs will be set up, but feel free to bring your own. Flower donations might be a plant to be added later to the church garden. Hostas, astilbe, and other shade-loving plants are welcome. 

Collect for the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

O God, you have taught us to keep all your commandments by loving you and our neighbor: Grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit, that we may be devoted to you with our whole heart, and united to one another with pure affection; 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 9th: Zechariah 9:9-12, Psalm 145:8-15, Romans 7:15-25a, Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

Worship Team for July 9th

On the Lawn at 9 AM

Celebrant/Preacher The Rev. Jane Tillman

Reader Sebastian Bonner

Intercessor Martha Bodine

Usher/Greeter – Martha Bodine

Fellowship Host Carl Sprague

Musician Doug Schmolze

Worship Team for July 16th

On the Lawn at 9 AM

Celebrant                     The Rev. Jane Tillman

Assisting Priest             The Rev. Libby Wade

Preacher                                   Sharon Billetter

Reader                                          Virgil Stucker

Intercessor                                Darryl Lafferty         

Usher/Greeter                          Tracy Johnson

Fellowship Host                Jim & Libby Wade

Musician                                 David Smith

Parish Prayer List

--People we pray for on Sundays:  Bruce, Charles, Irby, Ginger, Joan, Duncan, Bernadette, Linda, Veronica, Jeff, Karen, Lisa, Ray, Allie, Rosalind, Estreeta, Michael Curry, and Kit.

--Long-term prayer list:  Piers, Katrina, Rich, Karen, 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 who continue to be impacted by COVID.

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

--Diocesan Cycle of Prayer:  Christ Church, Rochdale

--Anglican Cycle of Prayer:  The Anglican Church of Burundi

--Birthdays: Mary Taylor, Caroline Maloney, Rob Maloney, Helen Davies, Anne Covell

--Elizabeth Skakel and Diego Marchant

--The altar flowers were given by Mary Maltzoff in memory of her brother Serge Maltzoff.

Thank You for helping lead worship this summer.

The following spots are still available:

Usher/Greeter: July 30; August 6, 20, 27

Scripture Reader: August 27

Intercessor: July 30, August 27

Hospitality Host: August 13, 27; September 3

Flower/Plant Donor: July 23, August 13

Clean Up after Worship: Help is appreciated every Sunday putting away chairs


Check your calendar and e-mail Libby to sign up.

OR bring your calendar on Sunday and sign up on Martha’s clipboard.

June Vestry Notes

from Junior Warden Martha Bodine


Our Vestry meeting was held on June 14th. It was lovely to see everyone there! We took care of some important business: Our original contract with Mother Libby was for 12 months and would be expiring at the end of June. We voted to extend the contract by six months to December 31st (or earlier, if a new Rector is in place). 


The Children’s Center wraps up its financial year at the end of June. Our Treasurer John Davies reported that the Center should end the year on budget both for Expenses and Income. He also reported that the Center did very well with the fundraiser. That money raised will go to the scholarship fund and other projects.


We gave a huge thank you to Jorja who is doing a wonderful job overseeing the Rectory renovation. Work continues on all fronts: the Kitchen and Bathrooms, the sanding of the floors (soon), the completion of the painting, discovering that the fireplaces won’t be used for the foreseeable future, water and sewer pipes replacement. 


As Junior Warden, I reported that Jim Wade and I are meeting with the director of the Food Pantry on July 1st to make the plan for using the grant money we received from the Diocese. I also have been meeting and emailing with Chris Johnson and Jean Rousseau to create several to-do lists for the grounds. We will soon have a “This Year” list, a “Maybe Next Year” list, and a “Would be Nice for the Future” list.


Keep reading the weekly E-pistle for updates and news. So many wonderful things are happening in our church!

Sunday, July 16 – After Worship

Quick Weeding of the Garden


We had so much fun working in the church yard in May, that we’re doing it again!

Come in work clothes and stay about 45 minutes. Chris Johnson will guide our work.

There will be ample food and drink. With your help, much can be accomplished in a short time.

Appalachian Trail Angels Ministry

Tuesday, July 18

Saturday, August 12


Thank you to all who’ve volunteered to be part of our two Trail Angel Teams.  Our Ministry Intern Sharon Billetter ([email protected]) is coordinating this outreach ministry, so contact her if you have questions. She’ll contact you soon to finalize the dates each person is working. In addition to volunteering in person, donations toward Kroger gift cards will be gladly accepted to purchase food provided at the Trail Angels site. We’ve received one $50 donation. A total of $200 is needed.  Make check payable to St. Paul’s and mark “AT Ministry”. 

Calendar of Upcoming Events


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


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

(In the case of inclement weather, worship will be inside.)


+ Saturday, July 8 – St. Paul’s Team serves at Lee Food Pantry


+ Wednesday, July 12, 5:30 p.m. – Vestry Meeting


+ Sunday, July 16, after Worship – Garden Work Hour


+ Tuesday, July 18 – Appalachian Trail Angels Work Day


+ Sunday, August 6 – The Sacrament of Holy Baptism will be celebrated. If you or a member of your family would like to be baptized, please contact Mother Libby.


+ Saturday, August 12 – Appalachian Trail Angels Work Day


+ 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.


In the News: Check out this interview with Carl Sprague in Women’s Wear Daily

An Invitation from Our Friends at Christ Trinity Church


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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