July 2, 2020 edition of The Newsletter

The Newsletter 
Saints James and Andrew
Greenfield, Massachusetts

Dear People of Saints James and Andrew,

During the summer months, our spiritual lives often receive an energy boost as we spend more time in God’s extraordinary creation.  We find ourselves drawing closer to God as we go for walks and hikes, ride our bikes, take scenic drives, and tend our gardens.  Prior to the pandemic, the summer was typically a time for traveling, visiting family and friends, and slowing down the pace of our non-stop schedules. 

This summer we find ourselves grappling with decisions on whether it is safe and wise to visit far away family and friends, whether to take our planned trips, and finding alternative ways to give ourselves a bit of rest and renewal.  In this strange and uncertain time, there are no easy answers.  What is right for one person, is deeply uncomfortable to another.  We must respect that we are all in different places when it comes to venturing beyond our homes and towns. 

What is essential for each of us, is that we cultivate the space for rest and renewal this summer. Whatever your pandemic or reopening routine may be, I invite you to set apart time that is for your rest and renewal. It is in our rest and renewal that we reconnect with God, and deepen the roots of our faith. This restorative work is critical for our long term spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health.  It is what enables us to continue God's work of mercy and restorative justice. 

This week, I invite you to consider how you will cultivate space for rest, renewal, and reconnection with God, whether it be in the form of time in God’s extraordinary creation, nurturing relationships, or carving out time for just you and God. 

Know that each of you is a precious and beloved child of God.  God wants you to be your whole, complete, restored self.  When we have ensured our own oxygen mask is on and properly working, then we are better poised to help care for those around us. 

God bless you and keep you. 


Rev. Heather


Building Closure

Bishop Fisher, by pastoral directive, closed all diocesan buildings through July 1. As each congregation discusses how to safely reopen according to diocesan guidelines, it is up to each individual parish to extend the closure of their buildings.  Based on the amount of work that still lay ahead before we can safely reopen, the Vestry voted that the buildings of Saints James and Andrew will remain closed until at least September 8.  In the meantime, we will keep being the Church in both virtual and traditional ways for as long as necessary. Our love of God and neighbor comes before all else.


How to worship online

The easiest way to find all the links is by visiting our website: 

Online Streamed Worship Sundays at 10 a.m.

Join us for worship on Facebook Live.  (You do not need to have a Facebook account to view this public live stream). We will start the live feed by quarter of.  

Offering Plate

We realize household finances are shifting due to COVID-19. For those who are able, please consider mailing in the check you would ordinarily put in the offering plate. A Counter is coming in each week to deposit our checks. For those interested in giving electronically, please consider taking advantage of your bank’s online bill pay feature or donating on our website through,   (If at all possible, it helps if you can cover the processing fee).  Your ongoing pledge will allow us to continue our outreach and mission, paying our staff, and caring for our campus.  Thank you in advance.

Virtual Coffee Hour on Sundays at 10:45 a.m.

Following Facebook Live Worship, we will gather on Zoom for a virtual coffee hour.  If you have never used Zoom before, please watch this video showing how to use it:


Join our virtual coffee hour by 

Meeting ID: 592 077 112

Dial in by Phone: +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

Parish Life

Franklin County Pride: To honor our LGBTQIA+ friends! This year, the parade and celebration was canceled, but we still showed our support. We decorated the lawn of the church for Pride. You can come by the church during the day and take your picture in front of the decorations and share on social media.
-Erin Donnally-Drake



VIRTUAL COFFEE HOUR, Sunday, 10:45 a.m.





Notices and Announcements


Book Group Opportunity for Youth Age 9+

We will be reading "This Book is Anti-Racist" by Tiffany Jewell. (Excerpt from description from is HERE

“In a racist society, it’s not enough to be non-racist—we must be ANTI-RACIST.” —Angela Davis

Who are you? What is racism? Where does it come from? Why does it exist? What can you do to disrupt it? Learn about social identities, the history of racism and resistance against it, and how you can use your anti-racist lens and voice to move the world toward equity and liberation. 
Gain a deeper understanding of your anti-racist self as you progress through 20 chapters that spark introspection, reveal the origins of racism that we are still experiencing, and give you the courage and power to undo it. Each chapter builds on the previous one as you learn more about yourself and racial oppression. 20 activities get you thinking and help you grow with the knowledge. All you need is a pen and paper.

The group will meet weekly via Zoom to process through and share the activity(ies) from each short chapter.

Please contact Julie Carew ( if you're interested.
Please join us on July 19th after virtual coffee hour from 11:30 - 12:30 for our second Grow in Faith Summer Book Group.  In Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, Father Gregory Boyle, a Jesuit priest, relates his experiences with Homeboy Industries, a program he founded to provide an alternative to gang membership for young, mostly Latinx men and women in Los Angeles. Poignant and often funny, Tattoos provides an inspiring testament to the power of unconditional love to transform and redeem broken lives—and our own.   The discussion will be led by Joanne Melish.

A Zoom meeting link will be provided closer to the date.

Mission and Ministry

Bombas Giving Team Update

The Mission Team would like to thank Bombas for granting us another 1,000 pairs of socks that we can share at Whitney's Pantry, our street ministry Emmaus Companions, our ministry partners working with our local jail, and so many other places. Bombas' practice of abundance is making this world, and peoples' feet, a happier place.

"We believe that a more comfortable world is a better world. That everyone, no matter their circumstances, deserves to put on clean clothes that makes them feel good. So we spent years perfecting socks and t-shirts you’ll want to live in. Creating apparel you’ll never want to take off. And for every item you purchase for yourself, we donate an item to someone affected by homelessness." - Bombas Socks

Pictured below are Happy Bombas recipients, who received these socks through our ministry to those experiencing homelessness and life on the margins. Please help share the good news about Bombas generosity!

Did you know? Every time you wash certain synthetic fabrics, millions of microfibers are released into the water.

Microfibers are too small to be filtered out by waste treatment plants, so they end up in our septic systems and our waterways and oceans, where they affect marine animals and the environment.  Textiles used in the manufacturing of garments are often processed with hazardous chemicals throughout production and finishing. When the fibers from these garments are shed, these coatings are as well, and they both enter septic systems and wastewater treatment plants in large volumes.   

A 2016 study commissioned by outdoor clothing company Patagonia with graduate students from the University of California Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science and Management  found that we are sending significant amounts into rivers and oceans every day.

Microplastics have been recovered from the gastrointestinal tracts and tissues of zooplankton, shrimp, mussels, many fish and whales.  According to the research team, microfiber pollution is troubling on two levels.

  • First, it means that animals considered to be filter feeders such as oysters and mussels, which eat by straining food particles out of water, are directly intaking the fibers. Microfibers have been found in oysters and clams.

  • Second, synthetic fibers (unlike natural ones like wool or cotton) are prone to absorbing chemicals. That means microfibers could potentially pick up chemicals while they travel through wastewater treatment plants, or that they could make it into oceans or streams carrying the chemicals originally added to the clothing they came from.

When you do your laundry you can reduce microfiber pollution by:
  • Washing synthetic clothes less frequently and for a shorter duration.

  • Trying to purchase higher quality products as these are likely to shed less fibers during each wash cycle.

  • Filling up your washing machine. Washing a full load results in less friction between the clothes and fewer fibers released.

  • Switching to a liquid laundry soap. Laundry powder scrubs and loosens more microfibers.

  • Using a colder wash setting. Higher temperature can damage clothes and release more fibers.

  • Using a front loading instead of top loading washing machine.  Research reveals that top-loading washing machines cause microfiber shedding at a rate almost six times as high as front-loading. (Note: no find information on top-loading machines without center agitators.)

  • Installing a washing machine lint filter for your water discharge.

  • Purchasing a microfiber trapping laundry bag or ball.

  • Using a septic tank filter to catch microfibers.

There are a variety of products available on-line to help reduce microfiber pollution.  I am going to try a Guppyfriend, a bag to hold synthetic garments, to trap microfibers which is touted to be 90% effective.  I also saw filters for effluent from washing machines including the Lint LUV-R and Filtrol Lint Filter.  Let us know what you find! 

-Ella Ingraham for the Green Team

SsJA Outreach Programs

Sunday Sandwiches Program:
Each Sunday four volunteers (who are not experiencing any cold like symptoms) prepare bagged lunches to be handed out from the takeaway window in the Whiteman Room from 12-12:30 PM.  Three Ways to Help: 

  1. Donate items:  individually-wrapped granola bars, trail mix, plastic sandwich bags and brown paper lunch bags--which can be dropped off at a bin near the elevator in the parish hall  between 11 and 12:30 on Sundays.

  2. Volunteer:  To help with preparing, distributing and cleaning up from Sunday Sandwiches, contact Nancy Maleno and she will add you to the schedule (413) 772-0678  or

  3. Donate money:  You can send donations to the church with a note marking it for ‘mission’.

Weekly Bible Study:
Join us on Mondays from 6:30 p.m. to whenever we finish, usually 7:45 p.m. 
Via Zoom.
Call Charlie at 413-522-7914 to get on the notification list.

Second Helpings To Go:
On Mondays starting at 4:30 p.m., our volunteers package and distribute a nice hot meal for our neighbors in need! Our “customers” respectfully keep social distance as they pick up their dinner at the Whiteman take-out window.
-Contact Maggie,  or Erin, for more information.

Weekly Spiritual Reflection:
Join us on Fridays from 6:30 p.m. to around  7:45 p.m. 
Via Zoom.
Call Charlie at 413-522-7914 to get on the notification list.

Whitney’s Pantry:
From 4:30 to 5:30 p.m, on the last Monday of the month, a dedicated group of volunteers pack bags of personal essentials for our neighbors in need. The bags are then distributed free of charge at our Whiteman take-out window to very grateful recipients.
-Contact Doris for more information.


  • Albert W. Charsky has reached the end of his earthly days. Al was an active member of our faith community for over sixty-five years and will be missed.

Ministry Friends

Dear Friends,

Karenna Gore, founder and director of the Center for Earth Ethics, Union Theological Seminary, will address the Charlemont Forum via Zoom on July 9, 2020, 7:00 PM.  Her presentation is entitled Forging an Earth Ethic in a Time of Crisis. The host for the evening is Dr. Peter B. de Menocal, Dean of Science at Columbia University and founding director of the Center for Climate and Life. The talk will be followed by an opportunity for questions from the audience. 

Ms. Gore's work with the Center for Earth Ethics grew out of Union's Religions for the Earth conference which brought together religious and spiritual leaders from around the world to  "reframe climate change as a moral issue and galvanize faith-based activism to solve it."   "Climate change, she says, "is about more than science and economics, it is about morality, ethics, and the very meaning of life," Ms Gore is a wonderful speaker whose work with indigenous leaders has shaped her vision of  "medicine for humanity"  in the movement to heal the planet.

The presentation is free and open to the public.  Registration is required.  Please share the attached e-poster with members of your congregations and any others whom you believe would be interested in the event.  You may also register at our facebook page: 

Many thanks,
Pam Porter
Charlemont Forum Planning Board


Advocacy Tools for Loving Your Neighbor

Our thoughts and prayers inform our actions. Join us on Thursday, July 9 from 12:30-2:00p.m. ET for an online training event jointly hosted by The Episcopal Church and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Both Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry and Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, plus advocacy leaders from both denominations, will be part of this time of exploring the nature of faith-based advocacy, the issues to which we can speak, and the ways we can make our voices heard. Rostered ministers, Lutherans, Episcopalians and friends are welcome to the free webinar and will leave with tools and inspiration to make a difference. 

Register from and receive instructions for joining us Thursday, July 9.

ELCA Advocacy

Around the Diocese

     Join Zoom Meeting HERE

Important Resources

A Process for Moving Forward 

and other COVID updates can be found on our Website.
Luther Seminary’s Faith+Lead:
5 sermons from 5 black preachers
FCC Warns Public About COVID-19 Scams

The FCC offers the following tips to help you protect yourself from scams, including coronavirus scams:
  • Do not respond to calls or texts from unknown numbers, or any others that appear suspicious.
  • Never share your personal or financial information via email, text messages, or over the phone.
  • Be cautious if you’re being pressured to share any information or make a payment immediately.
  • Scammers often spoof phone numbers to trick you into answering or responding. Remember that government agencies will never call you to ask for personal information or money.
  • Do not click any links in a text message. If a friend sends you a text with a suspicious link that seems out of character, call them to make sure they weren't hacked.
  • Always check on a charity (for example, by calling or looking at its actual website) before donating. (Learn more about charity scams.)
Find out more

Click HERE to view the complete calendar of events on our website.

Prayer List:  Names are on the list for 4 weeks, then removed. Feel free to re-add at any time.
 Alissa, Cindy, Bill, Mike, Christen, Beth, and Peter.
Contribute to The Newsletter:  by emailing the office by Monday, July 13, 2020. Published on the first and third Thursdays of the month. 

Our Mission:  We believe God is calling us to cultivate a community of love, joy, hope, and healing. Jesus is our model for a life of faith, compassion, hospitality, and service. We strive to be affirming and accessible, welcoming and inclusive; we seek to promote reconciliation, exercise responsible stewardship, and embrace ancient traditions for modern lives.

Vestry Contact Information

Quick Links

Copyright © 2020 The Episcopal Church of Saints James and Andrew, All rights reserved.

Virtual Office Hours:  
Monday - Friday:  9 am-12 pm
Closed on Holidays

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