The E-pistle

April 19th, 2024

A Note from Father Sam

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

Dear friends,

Easter is a 50-day season, and our celebration continues on Sunday with a special theme. Every year on the Fourth Sunday of Easter, we hear from the tenth chapter of John’s Gospel, in which Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd.” We also read one of the most well-known of Psalms, the Twenty-Third, which begins, “The Lord is my shepherd…”

For some, these words might strike up bucolic images of green pastures, sunny skies, and fluffy sheep (although I’m sure that the sheep farmers among us can give us a more realistic picture!). We all know, however, that life is not always a warm afternoon in the meadow. Jesus calls himself the good shepherd not because life is a storybook, but because life is tough! Because like sheep, we can get lost, or hurt, or tired, or sick. To say that Jesus is our shepherd is not to say that nothing bad will ever happen to us, but rather, that when we get lost, there is One who knows us, who loves us, who cares for us enough to go and search for us. To find us in the midst of our pain, and right there to lead us into his good pastures.

Whatever you are facing right now, I pray that you may know the presence of the Good Shepherd. God is faithful. Christ is risen. We are not alone.

The Lord is my shepherd; *

I shall not be in want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures *

and leads me beside still waters.

He revives my soul *

and guides me along right pathways for his Name's sake.

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I shall fear no evil; *

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me; *

you have anointed my head with oil,

and my cup is running over.

Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, *

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Yours in the risen Christ,

Father Sam

Sunday, April 21st

8:00 A.M. and 10:00 A.M.

Holy Eucharist

Collect for the Fourth Sunday of Easter

O God, whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people; Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Scripture for the Fourth Sunday of Easter: Acts 4:5-12, Psalm 23, 1 John 3:16-24, John 10:11-18

Serving this week, April 21 (8:00 a.m.)

Celebrant: The Rev’d Jane Tillman

Preacher: The Rev’d Samuel T. Vaught

Crucifer: Sharon Billetter

Verger/Acolyte: Darryl Lafferty

Lector: Sharon Billetter

Intercessor: Sharon Billetter

Altar Guild: Jennifer Carmichael

Serving this week, April 21 (10:00 a.m.)

Celebrant: The Rev’d Jane Tillman

Preacher: The Rev’d Samuel T. Vaught

Crucifer: Sharon Billetter

Verger/Acolyte: Darryl Lafferty

Lector: Kendra MacLeod

Intercessor: Carl Sprague

Musician: Nancy King

Greeter: Carl Sprague

Fellowship: Cheryl Resetarits

Altar Guild: Jennifer Carmichael

Serving next week, April 28 (8:00 a.m.)

Celebrant and Preacher: The Rev’d Samuel T. Vaught

Crucifer: Sharon Billetter

Verger/Acolyte: Darryl Lafferty

Lector: David Pearson

Intercessor: David Pearson

Altar Guild: Robin Race

Serving next week, April 28 (10:00 a.m.)

Celebrant and Preacher: The Rev’d Samuel T. Vaught

Assisting Priest: The Rev’d Jane Tillman

Crucifer: Sharon Billetter

Verger/Acolyte: Darryl Lafferty

Lector: Frank Smith

Intercessor: Gale Page

Musician: David Smith

Greeters: Gale Page and Frank Smith

Fellowship: Gale Page

Altar Guild: Robin Race

Parish Prayer List

Those who are ill or in need of intercession

Bruce, Charles, Linda, Veronica, Jeff, Karen, Lisa, Rosalind, Jacob , Kathleen, Doug, Holly, Rick, David, John, Lenore, Vicki, Donna, Cynthia, Eliza, Cindy, Lori, LaDawn, Elaine, Kit

Those who have recently died

Charles Mancivalano

Those who have asked for our long-term prayers

Allie, Irby, Ginger, Joan, Duncan, Bernadette, Ray, Piers, Katrina, Rich, Karen, Michael, Khali, George, Barbara, Christy, John, Anthony, and Estreeta

Those celebrating birthdays or anniversaries

Diane Dillon, Brett Roberts

Diocesan Cycle of Prayer (Week of 4/21)

Congregations, Ministries, and Partners in Ministry

St. Helena’s Chapel, Lenox (The Rev’d Michael Tuck, Priest-in-Charge; the Rev’d Jennifer Gregg, Curate)

Creation Care Ministries

Mampong Babies Home, Ghana

The Church and Wider Mission

Episcopal Media Services

Archives of the Episcopal Church

Anglican Cycle of Prayer

Sun 4/21: The Anglican Church of Australia

Mon 4/22: Diocese of Dunedin (Aotearoa, New Zealand, Polynesia)

Tues 4/23: Diocese of Dunkwa-on-Offin (West Africa)

Wed 4/24: Diocese of Durgapur (North India)

Thurs 4/25: Diocese of Durham (England)

Fri 4/26: Diocese of Dutse (Nigeria)

Sat 4/27: Diocese of East Kerala (South India)

Altar flowers are given this week by Martha Bodine, in memory of Bob Bodine

Exploring the Prayer Book: Four-Week Sunday Formation Series

Thank you to everyone who stayed after Church on Sunday and contributed to our first conversation about the Prayer Book. We continue our four-week formation series all about the Book of Common Prayer this Sunday with a discussion of the Holy Eucharist. This “principal act of Christian worship,” as the Prayer Book itself says, is probably the thing in the book we know the best! Join us after the 10:00 Eucharist to go deeper.

Remaining sessions

Sunday, April 21: “The principal act of Christian worship:” The Holy Eucharist

Sunday, April 28: The Daily Office

Sunday, May 5: Music, the Prayer Book, and the Hymnal

Sharon Billetter to be Ordained to the Diaconate

We are thrilled to share that Sharon Billetter, our Ministry Intern for the past year, will be ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons on Saturday, April 27, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Stephen’s, Pittsfield. While this means that Sharon will soon be leaving us to serve a new parish as Deacon, we rejoice that her road to ordination is nearly over and give thanks for our role in her formation. It was previously announced that Sharon’s last Sunday at St. Paul’s would be April 28. Sharon will likely get to stay with us for a little longer–we will announce her last Sunday, and celebrate accordingly, when we know more!

Celebration of New Ministry for St. Paul’s and Father Sam

On Wednesday, May 8, the Eve of Ascension Day, we will celebrate our new ministry with Father Sam, together with Bishop Doug and friends from around the community and Diocese. There will be a festive Holy Eucharist at 6:00 p.m. in the church followed by a reception at the home of Ginger and Arthur Schwartz. Stay tuned for more information in the coming month!

Attend or Host a Fellowship Dinner

Would you like to deepen your relationships with fellow parishioners? Would you like to find out who lives close to you and join together for dinner? Father Sam and the Wardens invite the whole parish to participate in one of several Fellowship Dinners, hosted in the various “neighborhoods” we find ourselves in (for example: Stockbridge center; West Stockbridge; Lee/Tyringham/Monterey; Lenox/Pittsfield; Great Barrington/Housatonic/Egremont; the Hudson Valley; etc). Father Sam will attend each dinner, and the only goal is fellowship and deepening our relationships. If you are interested in hosting a fellowship dinner for parishioners in your area, please contact Junior Warden Martha Bodine ( Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks.

Mark your calendars: Parish Life Events

Mark your calendar for two events in the early summer: one work and one play!

Sunday, May 19: Church Clean-Out Day

Stay after church to join with fellow parishioners in a clean-out day! We’ll tackle some of the clutter in the basement, do some gardening, and have jobs for all ages and abilities. Bring your work clothes!

Sunday, June 30: Parish Picnic

On the last Sunday in June, we’ll celebrate our other patronal feast, the Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, and join together for a parish picnic after worship. Stay tuned for more information!

It has come to our attention that at least two parishioners have been targeted by email scams pretending to be Father Sam. These emails come from a generic email address such as “pastor65@...” and even come with the name “Rev. Samuel T. Vaught.” They will ask for a favor, such as purchasing gift cards for someone in need, and might mention that Father Sam is tied up in a meeting and unable to make the purchase himself.

Father Sam will never email you from any address other than Father Sam will never ask you over email to buy anything for anyone. If you ever suspect that a communication purporting to be from the church is a spam, please call Father Sam’s cell phone at 765-401-6112. Thank you for your vigilance in looking out for one another.

Two Opportunities to Pray Together Each Week

Wednesday: Morning Prayer at 8:30am (Online)

Every Wednesday, a group of parishioners meet at 8:30am to pray Morning Prayer online via Zoom. All are warmly welcome to join via the Zoom link on our website. Thank you Darryl Lafferty for continuing to lead this weekly offering.

Friday: Intercessory Prayer at 8:30am (In-person)

Some may remember that several years ago, a group of parishioners met each week to pray for the needs of those on the parish prayer list. All are invited to join on Friday mornings in the church as we revive this tradition of intercessory prayer. Thank you Alice Wohl for your leadership in reviving this weekly offering.

Getting Ahold of Father Sam

Father Sam now has a working church email address,, 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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