I Love St. Philip's
by Mary Rubeck
I love St Philip's because of the fun-loving, God-loving people who are members.
the 2nd reason I love St. Philip's is because my great-grandparents James & Elizabeth Pollard were members of the church when it began along with their children.
My grandfather Thomas Pollard was their youngest child and was a member also. Grandfather was one of the members of the church who wanted to have a church in Easthampton. His name is on the document given to them from the diocese of Massachusetts on January 8,1871.
The first service was held in the lower floor of old Town Hall on Main Street.
A few years later the parish purchased land on the corner of Union St, and Chapman Ave. where they built and used Union Chapel for a few years. In 1899 the parish purchased land at 128 Main St from The Sawyer Estate and laid a cornerstone there. On Dec 25,1901 the church was consecrated and in July, 1902 the church was dedicated. The corner stone dated 1902 is at the southwest, right front of the church.
I was born Aug 2, 1928 at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, the daughter of James & Edith (Cory) Pollard. Since my parents were members of the church I guess I can say I was born into the faith.
Special events I remember during my life attending St Philip's:
At age 5 I remember climbing the curvy staircase going up to the tower room of the church. I think maybe it was nursery class during church service. I know the teacher was Mrs. Eva Carter.
I was baptized in Oct 1928; and then when I was 15 I was confirmed at St Philip's.
After high school I became a Sunday school teacher.
David Haines and Richard Truehart tell me I was their teacher. I belonged to the Woman's Fellowship; I was a vestry member; and now I'm on Altar Guild as Directress; I also sang in the choir for over 40 years.
In 1957 the vestry voted to double the size of the parish hall to what we have today.
In 1959 I married Roland Rubeck at Notre Dame church but continued attending St Philip's.
In the early 1970's Roland, Mark and Laurie joined st Philip's and became active members. A few years later Missi was confirmed and became a member of our church too.
I recall reading about the organ being replaced a few times and I think the organ we have now was purchased in the mid 1970's it was a used organ purchased from a church in the south. The console used to be on the pulpit side of the church up in the choir but was moved to where it is now.
We jump a few years and then in the 1990's the tower room roof needed repair. As I recall they lowered the roof a little bit but the little room is still there.
In 1999-2000 our beautiful Victorian Rectory was in need of much repair, so it was decided to take it down. It was sold for one dollar; they had to pay to have it removed. It was taken away by truck.
A gentleman from purchased it and moved it piece by piece to Hatfield and has constructed it to it's original state. We now have a nice parking lot in its place.
I have met many wonderful people and made many good friends. Over these 92 plus years, I love this little church, it means a lot to me. The people who come alway make me feel welcome, as I try to do for them.
What St. Philips Means to Me
About 6 years ago, I came to St. Philips and, since I knew 2 people there already, I quickly felt at home. The openness and friendliness of the St. Philips community increased that feeling. But that wasn’t so different from my experience at other churches. What was different was the energy of the priest and the congregation to not just preserve the status quo, but to make the church ever more a vehicle for spiritual transformation - through creative liturgy, community outreach, and study/prayer groups. I have also discovered at St. Philips an appreciation of one’s gifts and encouragement to be oneself - even while working to be transformed. This pandemic year has intensified the need of the church to adapt to new conditions, to stay relevant, to be creative in bringing “the people to God and God to the people.” And St. Philips is meeting the challenge. Long live St. Philips!