The E-pistle

September 1, 2023

During the Season of Creation (September and October), we join with billions of Christians around the world to celebrate in prayer and action our Gospel calling to protect the Earth that God has entrusted to our care. You’ll notice a thematic emphasis on creation in our Sunday worship with Eucharistic Prayer C (beginning on September 10), Creation Collects, and often a reading from tradition as well as scripture. This week’s reading will be from Hildegard of Bingen. This liturgical material has been authorized for use in public worship in the Diocese of Western MA and almost two dozen other Episcopal dioceses. May these prayers and readings deepen our response to the living God and strengthen our resolve to follow Jesus in this critical time for all of Creation. One special event as part of our celebration of the Season of Creation will be a Blessing of the Animals on Sunday, October 8 (Time TBD), a fun event for the community. 

Patterns of Grace & Tranquility in Nature

A Photography Challenge

Focus on Wisdom and do not be distracted. Watch the patterns of creation,

and you will awaken to grace and tranquility. 

(Rabbi Rami Shapiro’s translation of Proverbs 3:19-22)


How can we remain focused so as to receive wisdom from creation? One way is with an camera (I-phone or other). It’s amazing how patterns can emerge that are missed by the naked eye. Here’s the challenge. Take photos of nature that show patterns of creation and represent grace and/or tranquility. Send a photo(s) to Libby ( 


Each week in September and October, we’ll include one or two photos in the E-pistle. If possible, we’ll also create a photo exhibit to display in late October. (If you’re a painter instead of a photographer and want to share a painting, just take a photograph of the painting and send that.)  If you want to include a sentence or two about your photo, feel free, but that’s not a requirement. Here’s this week’s contribution from Libby to get us started. She says the center of this zinnia speaks of joy and grace to her. 

This Sunday – In the Church at 9:00 AM


Creation Collect for the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Lord of all love and glory, the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of your creation; increase in all true unity; nourish the world with all goodness; and bring forth the fruit of good works; through Jesus Christ the Wisdom of Creation, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.


Scripture for September 3: Exodus 3:1-15; Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45C; Matthew 16:21-28

Worship Team for September 3rd

Celebrant/Preacher   The Rev. Libby Wade

Reader                          Vaunie Graulty

Intercessor                   Sharon Billetter

Usher/Greeter             Vaunie Graulty

Lemonade Host          Ginny Willcox

Musician                      Doug Schmolze

Worship Team for September 10th


Celebrant/Preacher The Rev. Libby Wade

Reader                     Darryl Lafferty

Intercessor                 Sharon Billetter

Usher/Greeter           Jim Wade

Lemonade Host        TBD

Musician                   David Smith 

Parish Prayer List

-People we pray for on Sundays: Bruce, Charles, Linda, Veronica, Jeff, Karen, Lisa, Rosalind, Estreeta, Kit, Anne, Rose, Jacob, 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, 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 residents and staff of the Austen Riggs community and the Riverbrook Residence

- We give thanks for the birth of Julia Ann Carreras, granddaughter of Lisa Kane.

- We pray for all students, educators, and support staff, as they begin a new school year. 

- We pray for Graham Higgins and his fiancée Natalie as they prepare for their marriage on September 9.

- We give thanks for David and Anne Pearson as they celebrate their marriage anniversary.

- Outreach Ministry of the Week: Lee Food Pantry

- Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: St. Peter’s, Springfield

- Anglican Cycle of Prayer: The Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean

- Flowers for today’s service are provided by Georgeanne Rousseau in memory of Winifred Rousseau and Charles Mitchell.

Search Committee Update

The Search Committee (David Pearson, Martha Bodine, Darryl Lafferty, Donna Gray, Robin Race, Matt Fillio, & Anne Covell) has begun its work as the next step in St Paul's search for a new minister. Visit our new church website and click on the rector search button for more information on the process and how potential candidates can "look" at our church. The committee will keep the congregation updated as we progress.

-Anne Covell, Chair

Prayer for Rector Search

Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a rector for this parish, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(From the Episcopal News Service)


Presiding Bishop Michael Curry is resting at home following a hospitalization to address a reoccurrence of internal bleeding, according to an August 23 release from the Episcopal Church’s Office of Public Affairs. On September 8, Curry will undergo surgery to remove his right adrenal gland and an attached mass. His surgeon estimates his recovery period will be two to three weeks, after which Curry is expected to resume his regular work schedule. Curry was admitted to the hospital on August 17, after a reoccurrence of the internal bleeding that required him to be hospitalized over Memorial Day weekend. Please continue to pray for the presiding bishop, his family, and his entire medical team.

Ministry – Mine, Yours, Ours

Forum after 9 A.M. Worship on Sunday, September 10

In the Catechism found in the Book of Common Prayer, there is a section called “The Ministry” (p. 855-856). The first sentence says “The ministers of the Church are lay persons, bishops, priests, and deacons.” As part of this forum, you’ll hear a bit from Darryl Lafferty (lay), Sharon Billeter (deacon in training), and Libby Wade (priest) about our calls to ministry. Libby will also touch briefly on the ministry of Bishop in the Episcopal Church. You’ll also have an opportunity to consider opportunities to join in the ministry that is ours as part of the Body of Christ.  

Laurel Hill Day – Saturday, August 26, 2023


What a privilege it was to be part of Laurel Hill Day this year, especially since a St. Paul’s family – the Berles – was honored with a proclamation from the Board. In many ways, this felt like the beginning of our Fall Season of Creation! Entering its 171st year, the Association is the oldest community improvement organization in the United States and has been instrumental in stewarding the natural wonders of this beautiful part of the Berkshires. Diana French created two gorgeous floral arrangements for the rostrum, and yes, that’s the back of Carl Sprague’s head in the audience! Both he and Diana are on St. Paul’s vestry. 


Here is the text of the proclamation presented to Lila and Mary Berle as part of the program:

The Board of Trustees of the LAUREL HILL ASSOCIATION

acknowledges The Berle Family (Peter, Lila, and Mary) for their decades of

Thoughtful Preservation and Enduring Stewardship of Properties

in Stockbridge and the Berkshire County Region.

(Signed by Hilary Somers Deely, President, along with members of the Board)

Laurel Hill Day, Saturday, August 26, 2023

Lila Berle, Mary Berle, Hilary Somers Deely

(photos by Jim Wade)

Welcome Back, St. Paul’s Children’s Center

School started on Wednesday, August 30. After an early morning thunderstorm, the rain stopped in time for the children to really enjoy the playground before naptime. Lisa’s excellent staff handled opening day with grace and skill so that Lisa could spend time with her new granddaughter, Julia Ann Carreras, born last week in New Orleans.


Request for Help

A single mom with two children left a note in our Prayer Basket this week that she has nowhere to live. She asked for prayers, but also if anyone knows of an apartment or room for rent, she would appreciate that information. She expressed her thanks, and said she’s sorry she only speaks Spanish. I have her phone number, but I don’t speak Spanish. If you can help with resource info for her, please let me know. 

-      Libby


Student Names and Addresses Needed

If you have a child or grandchild away in college or graduate school, please send their name, school address, and year in school to the church office ( ) so we can compile a list of recipients for our College Care Packages later this fall. Would you be willing to serve as Coordinator for this project? If so, please let Libby know as soon as possible. 


A Prayer for Labor Day – Monday, September 4

Almighty God, who has so linked our lives one with another, that all we do affects, for good or for ill, all other lives: So guide us in the work we do, that we may do it not for self alone, but for the common good; and, as we seek a proper return for our own labor, make us mindful of the rightful aspirations of other workers, and arouse our concern for those who are out of work; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.  (Book of Common Prayer, 210)

Upcoming Events 


- Every Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. – Morning Prayer on Zoom (link on website)


- Every Sunday at 9:00 a.m. through September – Holy Eucharist


- Every Sunday at 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. beginning October 1 – Holy Eucharist


- Gideon’s Garden Volunteer Opportunities: Mondays, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. or Wednesdays, 1-5 p.m.


- Saturday, September 9 – St. Paul’s Team serves at Lee Food Pantry


- Sunday, September 10, after worship – Call to Ministry: A Panel Discussion and an Introduction to Opportunities this Fall at St. Paul’s


- Thursday, September 13, 5:30 p.m. – Vestry Meeting in Parish House


- Sunday, September 24, 9:00 a.m. – Bishop Doug Fisher Preaches & Celebrates at St. Paul’s


- Sunday afternoon, October 8, Time TBD – Blessing of the Animals

Our Lands, Our Home, Our Hearts: Nda’keena, Weekeyaak, Nda’ana

Stockbridge-Munsee Community Cultural Affairs

Free workshops this Fall


All are held at the Mission House Museum, 19 Main St., Stockbridge

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


Saturday, September 23: Mohican Travels through Storymapping with Maggie Bennett

Monday, October 9: Healing Within the Community with Kim Hoffman

Saturday, October 21: Honoring Our Traditional Seed Relatives with Lucy Grignon

Saturday, November 4: What is Indigenous Education? with Dr. Sandee Barton

Saturday, November 18: Tribal Medicines with Misty Cook


This is a free event, but space is limited, so register now to reserve your spot. 

To learn more about the Stockbridge-Munsee Community, visit


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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