The E-pistle

April 26th, 2024

A Note from Father Sam

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

Dear friends in Christ,

Next week marks an important milestone in our life as a community: our Celebration of a New Ministry. This occasion is not just my installation as your new rector; rather, this is a celebration of the new chapter that we are beginning, together, in this place. This is a chance to celebrate where we find ourselves and who we are at this time, as a community gathered in the name of Christ.

Why celebrate this occasion on a Wednesday night, when another (perhaps more convenient) time would do? That’s a fair question. However, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to ask us to celebrate this occasion on the eve of Ascension Day, at the feast which captures something of the mystery of the new beginnings we find in following Jesus.

The Ascension is a strange event to memorialize. In the Ascension, we remember that 40 days after his resurrection, Jesus left his disciples on earth, departing from their sight into the clouds. Having completed his great work of redemption on the cross, having risen from the grave to usher in new life and hope for all creation, Jesus leaves that creation and goes to be in the glory of his Father, the same glory from which he came to live among us. This isn’t the end of the story, however, but only the beginning! Before he leaves, Jesus promises that he will send his Holy Spirit, the Comforter, who will be with the Church forever, leading us ever onward. In the Ascension, we are not abandoned. Instead, we are commissioned, sent forth to spread the good news of Jesus throughout the world, aided and guided and enabled by the Spirit.

As we mark this new beginning here in Stockbridge, I pray that the Holy Spirit might guide us into whatever future is waiting. I am so grateful to be here among you, and very excited for Wednesday night! See you there.

Yours in the risen Christ,

Father Sam

PS: If you’re looking for some whimsical religious art, the Ascension does not disappoint. Notice Jesus’ footprints left behind on the hill in the image above, from a 15-century Flemish illustrated Bible. This tradition has resulted in many humorous works of art that feature Jesus’ toes dangling from the clouds. You can learn more here.

Sunday, May 3rd

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

Holy Eucharist

Collect for the Sixth Sunday of Easter

O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; 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 Sixth Sunday of Easter: Acts 10:44-48, Psalm 98, 1 John 5:1-6, John 15:9-17

Serving this week, May 5 (8:00 a.m.)

Celebrant: The Rev’d Samuel T. Vaught

Deacon/Preacher: The Rev’d Sharon Billetter

Verger/Acolyte: Darryl Lafferty

Lector: Darry Lafferty

Intercessor: Darryl Lafferty

Altar Guild: Jorja Marsden

Serving next week, May 12 (8:00 a.m.)

Celebrant: The Rev’d Samuel T. Vaught

Preacher: The Rev’d Jane Tillman

Deacon: The Rev’d Sharon Billetter

Verger/Acolyte: Darryl Lafferty

Lector:David Pearson

Intercessor: David Pearson

Altar Guild: Jorja Marsden

Serving this week, May 5 (10:00 a.m.)

Celebrant: The Rev’d Samuel T. Vaught

Deacon/Preacher: The Rev’d Sharon Billetter

Assisting Priest: The Rev’d Jane Tillman

Verger/Acolyte: Darryl Lafferty

Lector: Bill Higgins

Intercessor: Martha Bodine

Musician: Nancy King

Greeters: Anne Covell & Bill Higgins

Fellowship: Ginny Willcox

Altar Guild: Jorja Marsden

Serving next week, May 12 (10:00 a.m.)

Celebrant: The Rev’d Samuel T. Vaught

Preacher: The Rev’d Jane Tillman

Deacon: The Rev’d Sharon Billetter

Verger/Acolyte: Darryl Lafferty

Lector:Vaunie Graulty

Intercessor:Kendra MacLeod

Musician: David Smith

Greeter: Jim Wade

Fellowship: Cheryl Resetarits

Altar Guild:Ginny Willcox

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

Those who have recently died

Charles Mancivalano, stepfather of Rob Maloney

Larry Tonini

Leslie Wright, father-in-law of Darryl Lafferty

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

Robin Race

Diocesan Cycle of Prayer (Week of 5/5)

Congregations, Ministries, and Partners in Ministry

St. Mark’s Church, Leominster (The Rev’d Aileen DiBenedetto, Rector)

Beloved Community Commission

The Church and Wider Mission

Evangelical Education Society

National Episcopal AIDS Association

Anglican Cycle of Prayer

Sun 5/5: Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil

Mon 5/6: Diocese of Egba (Nigeria)

Tues 5/7: Diocese of Egba-West (Nigeria)

Wed 5/8: Diocese of Egbu (Nigeria)

Thurs 5/9: Diocese of Egypt (Alexandria)

Fri 5/10: Diocese of Eha-Amufu (Nigeria)

Sat 5/11: Diocese of Ekiti (Nigeria)

Exploring the Prayer Book: Four-Week Sunday Formation Series

Our four-week formation series all about the Book of Common Prayer concludes this Sunday with a discussion about music. How does our common prayer involve music? What is in the Hymnal? How do these books work together? Join us after the 10:00 Eucharist to go deeper.

Final session

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

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

Next 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. Dean Andrew McGowan of Berkeley Divinity School at Yale will be our guest preacher. Please come celebrate this new chapter in our common life!

Support St. Paul’s Children’s Center May 18

The annual St. Paul’s Children’s Center Color Run, in memory of Grayson Pellegrino, will be Saturday, May 18, at 10:00 a.m. behind Monument Mountain High School. If you know a child aged 2-12 who would like to participate in a fun 1-mile run or walk, encourage them to sign up! The entry fee is $10/child, and all proceeds help fund scholarships to help families afford tuition for the Children’s Center. If you’d like to support the runners, all donations will be accepted and appreciated! You can make a check out to St. Paul’s Children’s Center and drop it in the plate at church or mail it to the Children’s Center, PO Box 784, Stockbridge, MA 01262. Entry forms and more information are available in the church tower room.

Pray throughout the week with Forward Day by Day

New copies of Forward Day by Day are available in the back of the church for you to take home. Forward Day by Day is a daily devotional that includes scripture readings, prayers, and a reflection written by a fellow disciple. If you are looking for a daily prayer practice, this is a great place to start! The publication is quarterly, so the new copies will take you through July.

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!

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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