Reflecting on 2 Decades (and then some!) of Ordained Ministry:
A Note from Deacon Sue
When Michelle asked if I would write a few paragraphs about my upcoming retirement on June 13, I felt my heart skip a beat. What could I possibly say after 23 years of active ministry? Except for a period of time when I served first at St. Paul’s, Poughkeepsie and then Christ the King, Stone Ridge, I have have been blessed to be “your” deacon for 19 years.
I say this because, historically, this has not always been the case in other dioceses where deacons are assigned to other parishes every few years. But when I was ordained in 1998, the practice in the Diocese of New York allowed for a deacon to remain in their home congregation. So I have indeed been blessed to be among you for such a long time.
While I look forward to retirement, I know that the transition from active ministry will be a challenge. Service has been my life’s work and I will miss so many aspects of church ministry. I would never have believed that I would one day be actively involved in establishing Angel Food East or a death row ministry or an active Episcopal Peace Fellowship chapter. Together we marched in Albany with our friends in the Rural & Migrant Ministry, participated as members of New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty, supported Everytown for Gun Safety/Moms Demand Action, tolled our bell whenever there was an execution to bring attention to capital punishment, and worked on civil rights issues. We collected hundreds of notebooks and pens for jail inmates, donated backpacks, Christmas toys and food for Peoples Place, and supplied toys and clothing for the Darmstadt Shelter. We formed inter-generational teams that joined the annual CROP Hunger Walk and the Relay for Life at Dietz Stadium to support the fight against cancer. And of course the parish came together for fundraisers and community events like the Summer Fair and BBQ, the Harvest Ham Dinner, and mid-winter soup sales. So many happy memories of fellowship and outreach to the community!
So what comes next for me? First, rest and then some travel. It will be good to have time to see distant relatives and friends after the long period of covid restrictions. As for church, several of you have asked if I will be able to attend St. John’s after my retirement. No, I will be worshipping elsewhere for the next year. It will be an opportunity to visit my deacon colleagues and other congregations in the area. Roger however can remain active at St. John’s. And the good news is, when I return to St. John’s in the future, you will find me sitting right next to you in the pews.
Finally, I am incredibly grateful to have served alongside so many wonderful lay people and members of the clergy over the years. You have supported and encouraged me and even brought me to task when I needed it. We have laughed and cried together. You have invited me into your lives and homes and that in itself is a special blessing that I have never taken for granted. Thank you, dear friends.
Celebrating Deacon Sue’s Ministry
Dear Ones: It’s been such a blessing to be leading you all in ministry alongside Deacon Sue. She has such a generous heart and is a clear-minded colleague who offers a depth of wisdom to every conversation she’s a part of. I will miss her regular presence more than you can imagine. And now it’s time to celebrate her diaconal ministry of 23 years.
On Sunday, June 13th Deacon Sue will serve as “our” deacon for the last time at St. John’s. An official email invitation will go out to everyone on the St. John’s mailing list next week so please look for it in your email.
Bishop Mary Glasspool will be with us on June 13 to preach and preside over worship. Afterwards, we will have food and beverages in our tent on the lawn. And plans are being made to create a fund in Deacon Sue’s name so that we may continue her diaconal ministry here at St. John’s. I so look forward to when she can rejoin us after her time away and witnessing how her baptismal ministry will unfold.
I sincerely hope everyone in the parish will make it a point to be there. Deacon Sue has given so much of herself to St. John’s in service to Christ and I believe we all want to let her know just how much she has meant and will continue to mean to all of us. So let us offer a blessing upon her, as she has been a blessing for us as individuals and for the entire community of St. John’s.
In God’s love and mine, Rev. Michelle
Announcements for May 9, 2021
NEXT WEEK: The Pastoral Care Team meets after worship at 12:00 noon via Zoom.
Shifting Worship Patterns: Look for an announcement this coming week from Rev. Michelle that will detail a shift in our worship pattern beginning on the Feast of Pentecost – May 23.
Organ Recitals Featuring Terry Earles: Old Dutch Church in uptown Kingston has refurbished their organ and has asked our Director of Music to help celebrate by offering his ministry of musicianship. On May 30 at 3:00 pm, Terry will perform in honor of Mary Mine. And on June 5 at 12:00 noon Terry will perform as a part of the Old Dutch Fine Arts Program.
Forward Day by Day The new devotional books are here to support your daily prayer and reflection for the months of May, June, and July. Available in both pocket-sized and large print. Email Rev. Michelle to claim a copy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Flower Memorial Dates Available! The dates are April 25th, July 18th, September 6th and October 31. If you’d like to have a date to honor someone, you can contact Elaine Lawrence at 845-532-6585 or by email at email@example.com.
The Page Turners is the St. John’s book club who meet every first Tuesday evening of the month for good discussion and good company. All are welcome to attend. For June 8, the book is, ‘The Midnight Library’, by Matthew Haig. Email or call Lynn Dennison for more information.
Have an announcement for the bulletin?
Please send by Wednesday at noon to firstname.lastname@example.org.