The E-pistle

June 21st, 2024

Parish Picnic Sunday, June 30

Join us on Sunday, June 30 for a celebratory parish picnic following our 9:00 outdoor worship. At the Eucharist, we’ll celebrate the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, one of our Patronal Feast Days, and then enjoy each other’s company over good food! The parish is providing hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, and buns. We invite potluck contributions of sides, salads, and desserts. There will be a clipboard at church the next two Sundays to sign up!

A Note from Father Sam

Wednesday was Juneteenth, the federal holiday that celebrates the end of slavery in the United States. It was on June 19, 1865, that enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached Texas. Ever since, June 19 has come to be a day to commemorate the freedom and independence gained by African Americans as the institution of chattel slavery was broken down in the wake of the Civil War.

Did you know that Stockbridge has a close connection to the abolition of slavery in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts? Perhaps you know the story of Elizabeth Freeman, also known as Mumbet (pictured above), who in 1781 successfully sued for her freedom from Colonel John Ashley in Sheffield, with the help of a young lawyer named Theodore Sedgwick. Mumbet’s case was instrumental in a case later that year in the state court that effectively abolished slavery in the state. Mumbet later moved to Stockbridge and is buried in the Sedgwick family plot in the town cemetery. You will often find her grave decorated with small stones and other tokens left by the pilgrims who visit her resting place. On this Juneteenth, let us give thanks for the courage and determination of women like Elizabeth Freeman and all those who gave their lives to the pursuit of freedom for all in our country. 

You can learn more about Elizabeth Freeman here. You might also check out this podcast episode from the Massachusetts Historical Society all about Mumbet, including some of the artifacts we have from her life.

Finally, let us pray.

Almighty God, who created us in your own image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (For Social Justice, BCP p. 260)

Sunday, June 23rd, 2024

9:00 A.M.

Holy Eucharist

Collect for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost:

O Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your loving-kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Scripture for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost: Job 38:1-11, 107:1-3, 23-32, 2 Corinthians 6:1-13,

Serving this week, June 23

Celebrant/Preacher: The Rev’d Libby Wade

Server: Darryl Lafferty

Lector/Intercessor: Kendra MacLeod

Musician: Doug Schmolze

Greeter: Jim Wade

Fellowship: Patty Mellville

Altar Guild: Ginny Willcox

Serving next week, June 30

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

Assisting Priest: The Rev’d Jane G. Tillman

Server: Darryl Lafferty

Lector/Intercessor: Linda Mason

Musician: Virgil Stucker and Libby Wade

Greeter: Ginny Willcox

Fellowship: Parish Picnic

Altar Guild: Jennifer Carmichael

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, John, Lenore, Vicki, Donna, Cynthia, Eliza, Cindy, Lori, LaDawn, Elaine, Kit, David, Ann, Jessica, Heidi, Paul, Kate, John

Those who have recently died

Joyce Monachina, former substitute at SPCC

Tom Kelly, father of Lisa Kane

Brian White, brother-in-law of Piers Boyce

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 Astrida

Those celebrating birthdays or anniversaries

Diocesan Cycle of Prayer (Week of 6/23)

Congregations, Ministries, and Partners in Ministry

Church of the Nativity, Northborough (The Rev’d Meghan Mantler, Priest-in-Charge)

Diocesan Council

The Church and Wider Mission

Episcopal Church Women (ECW)


Anglican Cycle of Prayer

Sun 6/23: The Church of England

Mon 6/24: Diocese George (Southern Africa)

Tues 6/25: Diocese of Georgia (Episcopal Church)

Wed 6/26: Diocese of Gippsland (Australia)

Thurs 6/27: Diocese of Gitega (Burundi)

Fri 6/28: Diocese of Glasgow (Scotland)

Sat 6/29: Diocese of Gloucester (England)

What Happened at the Vestry Meeting, June 11

We had a good meeting, and Father Sam shared many updates with us. The musicians for the summer services are all booked. It looks like we will have a delightful array of musicians. Our summer formation class is happening on Wednesday evenings at 5:30, when we read and discuss the lessons for the upcoming Sunday. Given that Father Sam will be gone on his honeymoon, we are taking a break and will resume on July 10th at 5:30 on Father Sam's screened porch. We planned how the parish picnic will work for Sunday, June 30th (look for a clipboard sign-up). We have two opportunities to volunteering: Appalachian Trail Angels is one. If you wish to volunteer for a day, email Father Sam and he will send you a link for signing up. The other is riding along in the car when immigrants are taking their road tests at the RMV. Sebastian Bonner can give you details on this. Lastly, Father Sam told us that Diana French resigned from the Vestry. She has moved to Philadelphia to closer to family. We will miss her! The Vestry also elected David Pearson to the Vestry to finish out Diana's term.

Our Senior Warden Jorja Marsden updated us on the progress of work being done on the Rectory and grounds. Things are moving along on the Rectory Roof replacement, the chimneys, and the painting/repair of the screened porch. She is working with the powers that be to get a date for the sewer work. We are looking forward to getting a report on the Church roof and needed repairs inside.  

Our Junior Warden Martha Bodine gave an update on the Fellowship dinners that will happen this July and August. The E-pistle has more details for signing up for a dinner.

Our Treasurer, John Davies, gave his monthly report. The Children's Center has completed their fiscal year (the school year) and the numbers are just about exactly what was budgeted. We voiced a thank you to Lisa Kane for her good work.

The church is in a good position as well, income and expenses are what we planned for.

-Martha Bodine

Summer Bible Study on pause until July 10

Thank you to those who have participated in our first two Bible Studies of the summer! The conversations have been rich and insightful as we have explored the readings for each upcoming Sunday. Because Father Sam will be away for the next three weeks, Bible Study will be paused until Wednesday, July 10. See you then at 5:30 p.m. on the Rectory screen porch!

Reminder: Bring a lawn chair to Outdoor Worship

We had a lovely problem at our first outdoor worship of the year—we nearly ran out of chairs! If you have a comfy lawn chair at home, don’t forget to bring it along as we worship outdoors this summer. This will save the metal folding chairs and Adirondacks for those who need them.

Join a Fellowship Dinner this Summer!

Would you like to deepen your relationships with fellow parishioners? Would you like meet new people at St. Paul’s over good food? If so, you are warmly invited to join one of the Fellowship Dinners hosted in the homes of parishioners this summer. There are eight dinners scheduled in the months of July and August in the various locales in which we live. Find one that works for you and sign up here. If you are having any difficulty with accessing the google doc, please call Martha (413-281-9772) and ask for help. She recently discovered that she can add names using her desktop computer, but cannot on her phone! She is happy to help you!

Questions? Contact Junior Warden Martha Bodine

Appalachian Trail Angels Site Opening Day

Monday, June 17 was a near-perfect early summer day, which made for a delightful opening day for the Sheffield AT Angels site.  Since St. Paul’s is now one of the three host churches (Christ Trinity and 1stCongregational in Sheffield are the founding hosts), I was part of a mixed team from Christ Trinity and St. Paul’s.  I enjoyed getting to know my fellow volunteers as we transported supplies, and set up chairs, hand washing station, grill for burgers and hot dogs, and the bountiful food table.  Someone brought delicious potato salad, while another volunteer provided homemade chocolate chip cookies.  Both were a favorite of the seven hikers who visited the tent on their way north.  A couple of the hikers were “section hikers,” one hoping to complete the trail this year after 10 years of hiking sections!  The others had begun in Georgia this spring and intend to make it to Mt. Katahdin in early fall.  I particularly enjoyed talking with three hikers from Quebec, Germany, and Scotland.  Our ministry of hospitality is off to a great start.  There are still a few open volunteer slots.  Fr. Sam is away for the next 3 weeks, so if you’d like to sign up, please e-mail, and I’ll make sure you have access to the google doc sign up.  

For the second year in a row, St. Paul’s is sponsoring a hole at the Human to Human Golf Tournament, a new annual fundraiser to support a wide variety of ministries throughout Western Massachusetts. Father Sam would like to issue an additional challenge: this year, let’s field a team of 4 players to play the tournament! If you enjoy golfing, you can represent St. Paul’s, raise money for important work around the Diocese, and have fun all at once! You can find more information here. And don’t let the registration cost deter you—the Vestry is happy to pitch in to make any registration possible.

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.


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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