Updates on Life at St. Stephen’s

Worship and Life at st. Stephen’s…

  • The Rev. Jennifer Gregg will be preaching this Sunday, join  live at 10 am on Facebook, Sunday June 7.
  • Drive-Through Communion will be served on the first Sunday of June, June 7 at noon, on the northwest corner of East and Allen Streets.
  • During this continued period of physical distancing, a service is offered Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. on the St. Stephen’s Parish Facebook page. After the initial streaming, the service remains available on Facebook and is posted to St. Stephen’s website on the Sermons page.
  • The Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, coordinating with the Diocese of Massachusetts, has developed a 4 stage process for resuming in-person worship. While the governor has given permission for the resumption of physical worship services where specific guidelines can be followed, Bishop Fisher has directed that we wait until July 1 before reinstating any form of in-person worship. 

    “In each community and congregation we must consider how we protect one another and our neighbors, carry out the mission entrusted to us and offer our prayers and praises to God.”

    Your Interim Rector and Vestry will be using this time to study the state and diocesan criteria and determine how best to implement them here at St. Stephen’s. 
  • Prayers for the week of June 7 can be found here.
  • Prayers for the week of May 31 can be found here.

St.Stephen’s Table

St. Stephen’s Table is NOT suspended. Take-out meals will be prepared and distributed on Thursdays, Fridays, and lunch on the fourth Saturday of the month. The public will not be permitted into the building except to pick up meals, one per person. No food will be consumed on the premises. The health of our Table volunteers is important. No one should feel obligated to serve at this time.

What else is happening in our building?

  • 12 Step groups that usually meet at St. Stephen’s are not meeting in person for the time being.
  • The Berkshire Immigrant Center is managing clients remotely.
  • The nave of our building is being used, on a temporary basis, as a daytime respite center for Pittsfield’s homeless. Click here for additional information. Contact The Rev. Jenny Gregg to volunteer.

Giving and Stewardship During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

Many thanks to all those who are sending in their pledges by mail or electronically. It is as true for St. Stephen’s as it is for your household that day-to-day expenses persist even if day-to-day life is disrupted.

Finally, be sure to subscribe to our email list to receive the latest parish updates.

Sunday, May 31, 10:0 AM – Diocesan Pentecost Liturgy

St. Stephen’s will be worshiping with the Diocese this Sunday!

Come, Holy Spirit! Diocesan Pentecost Liturgy

Join us as we gather for a special online worship celebration broadcast by The Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts. Wear red and have a candle ready to light as we renew our Baptismal Promises!

2 ways to watch:

Download Worship Bulletin for Sunday:

For those who don’t use Facebook – you do not need an account to watch a 10 am Sunday service with your St. Stephen’s family. Please find instructions here. (This is  true for any public Facebook page, including the Episcopal Diocese of Western Mass, Christ Church Cathedral in Springfield, and the National Cathedral.)

Saturday, May 9: A Pastoral Directive from Bishop Fisher

To read Bishop Fisher’s latest pastoral directive on when in-person worship might resume click here.

Tuesday, May 5: “Drive-Through” Communion Announcement

Join us on Mother’s Day, this Sunday, May 10th! We’ll have our 10 a.m. worship together on Facebook then offer drive-through communion from 12 to 12:30 on Allen Street in Pittsfield.

  • Afterward, a recording of the service will be available on the Sermons page of this site and on our Facebook page.
  • Prayers for the week of May 10 can be found here.
  • Prayers for the week of May 3 can be found here.

Sunday, May 3: Reminders

  • This Sunday, May 3, 2020, The Rev. William Loutrel joins The Rt. Rev. John Tarrant and William Frazier. A recording of this service can be found on the Sermons page of this site or on our Facebook page.
  • Next Sunday, May 10, is Mother’s Day and The Rev. Jennifer Gregg and her daughter, Noel, will participate.
  • Also next Sunday, May 10, “drive-by” Holy Eucharist will be offered from Noon to 12:30 p.m. at the end of Allen Street, across from the church.
  • Prayers for the week of May 10 can be found here.
  • Prayers for the week of May 3 can be found here.

Tuesday, April 28: Announcement from the Bishop’s Office

“Governor Baker has extended the closure of non-essential business and the stay-at-home advisory until May 18th. Bishop Fisher is extending the suspension of in-person services to May 18 to align our re-entry process with the recommendations of state health care officials.”

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Wednesday, April 22: COVID-19 Worship Update

When will we worship together again? What will we do in the meantime? Our own The Rt. Rev. John Tarrant helps us make sense of the COVID-19 pandemic. (The video below was released on April 15, 2020. Plans and restrictions mentioned in the video remain in effect until further notice.)

At this time, all St. Stephen’s church services and congregational meetings are suspended.

Prayers for the week of April 28 can be found here.
Prayers for the week of April 19 can be found here.
As always, you may add petitions by contacting the office. Only first names will be used to help ensure privacy.

The Profile Committee continues to work on the search materials while social distancing.  The ministry portfolio is quite close to completion despite some unforeseen complications. A rough draft of the full profile is expected by the end of April ready for May editing. And, for those of you who missed a chance to be filmed before in-person services were suspended, Chris Plankey’s camera will be back when restrictions are relaxed.

Holy Week 2020 at St. Stephen’s

Video service and event schedule:

Tune in on Facebook for each service. After initial streaming, the services will remain available on Facebook and will be posted to this website on the Sermons page.

A Message from the Interim Rector on Plans for Holy week 2020

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Please see the Sermons page for the most recent video offering from our Interim Rector.

Also, be sure to subscribe to our email list and visit our Facebook page on a regular basis for parish updates.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Please see the Sermons page for a mid-week reflection from our Interim Rector.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Dear St. Stephen’s members,

We continue to adapt to the social restrictions required to keep our neighbors and ourselves healthy. Church services remain suspended; virtual services are growing.

Our website has been updated to include resources for virtual worship. More specifically, John’s readings, reflections, and prayers for the 4th Sunday of Lent can be found here on St. Stephen’s website.

This Sunday, The Rt. Rev. John Tarrant will participate in a Facebook Live service streaming from Zion Lutheran at 10 a.m. You will be able to see it on our Facebook page.

John is always available, 413-412-2471. The office is being staffed irregularly; both John and Sarah will be in and out.

Please keep in touch with each other, especially those isolated or living alone. We are stronger together.

These are extraordinary times in which we are living, but even in these times, God is in the midst of us. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Dear St. Stephen’s members,

These are extraordinary times. The Governor has ordered a ban on all gatherings of 25 or more until April 6th. This means that our suspension of public worship services will extend through Palm Sunday.

The leadership of St. Stephen’s and I, with the assistance of Chris Plankey, are working on a plan to bring some spiritual substance to this congregation over the next few weeks. This will be an ongoing process.

Our first effort at this can be accessed through this link. I hope you find this offering helpful. The prayers included are a litany written by the Rt. Rev. Jeffery Rowthorn and his wife Anne addressing the coronavirus.

[Editor’s note: please find our most recent video offering here. You will also find future online worship resources from St. Stephen’s on the Sermons page of this site.]

During this difficult and uncharted time, it is important we keep the parish and each other in our prayers. This is a difficult period for many people, not just those who contract the virus. There is increased anxiety, loss of income, isolation, and fear of getting sick.

St. Stephen’s Church also needs your continued financial support. Unfortunately, our expenses continue. The needs of the marginalized in our community will only increase as the closures continue.  Through St. Stephen’s Table and the Discretionary Fund, St. Stephen’s is, and will continue to be, a beacon of hope for those living life on the edge of survival.

Sarah and I will be in an out of the office this week and remember, I can always be reached by my cell phone (413) 412-2471 in an emergency.

God’s peace be with you,

Interim Rector  

Link to Bishop Fischer’s letter to the clergy.