Worshipping with the Wider Church
As a part of the larger Episcopal Church, St. John’s is connected to an amazing array of preachers, theologians, and activists. One gift that the pandemic has afforded us is the opportunity to be more connected to the wider Church through online worship mediums. Here are two amazing opportunities happening this coming week!
First, the Diocese of New York is having our yearly convention, a time for delegates from all the congregations to gather, discuss, and vote on matters that affect our common life. This year, of course, we cannot gather in person so we’re attending a series of diocesan events online.
- Everyone is invited to attend the Convention Evensong worship service on Monday, November 2 at 6:00 pm, streamed directly from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. St. John the Divine is the largest gothic cathedral in the world and the featured preacher is the prophetic and powerful Very Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at UTS in New York. This webpage will have the streaming details when they have been announced.
- You’re also invited to observe the Diocesan Convention on Saturday, November 6 (it runs from 10:00-4:00) where you’ll be able to hear from our bishops – Andy Dietsche, Mary Glasspool, and Alan Shin among others. Rev. Michelle will be attending along with Deacon Sue and our warden Claudette Ford. And, because not every part of convention is interesting, Rev. Michelle will be updating us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook so we can jump on and catch the action throughout the day. Click here to find the streaming details or follow Rev. Michelle’s posts throughout the day.
Second, our Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Michael Curry, will be presiding over a special service on All Saints Day called Holding on to Hope: A National Service for Healing and Wholeness. With a combination of live and pre-recorded elements, the service will be broadcast from the Washington National Cathedral on Sunday, November 1 at 4:00 pm. Joining Bishop Michael will be people like Father James Martin, a noted Roman Catholic author and commentator on American life and values; Valarie Kaur, an inspiring Sikh filmmaker, author, and civil rights attorney; and Secretary Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State and head of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Click this link to learn more and connect directly to the service when it starts. Or, join your St. John’s friends as we watch it over Zoom together: Click here beginning at 3:45 pm or go to the St. John’s Online Streaming Worship page for the link.
The Long Nights Ahead: Planning Self-Care
Dear Ones: We all know that this pandemic has been difficult on us. I was reading an article the other day that spoke about how important it is to remember that, in addition to the low-grade depression brought on by the pandemic, this is also the time of year when people start to feel low due to the loss of light and the cold weather. And this article said: Make a plan.
Honestly, I think that’s half the battle when it comes to feeling low – to know ourselves well enough that we can anticipate our own low points. This way, we can prepare and plan to do things to keep ourselves buoyed and connected to other people. With the pandemic, we didn’t have time to make a plan and so we were all caught off-guard by the sudden severity of it, the disappointment of having all our plans changed, and the fear as we watched people lose jobs or housing or lose the people they love, or their very lives.
But right now, we know more about what’s coming. We know that Thanksgiving and Christmas will likely look very different for many of us. We also know that social media is not always helpful for our mental state. And we know that having less of the sun’s light can make our lives feel lonely even when we know God is with us in the midst of the long nights.
So, my beloveds, I ask you to make a plan. And I’ll help. Throughout the next few months, I’ll be on the lookout for ways to keep our spirits up and our mental health on track. And then each week, I’ll pass along a new idea to you in the Weekly Good News. We are called to bring the Light of Christ to the world so let’s be sure we tend to the Light for ourselves too.
In God’s love and mine, Rev. Michelle
Announcements for November 1, 2020
THIS WEEK! Please vote if you haven’t yet. If you need a ride to your polling place, email/call Rev. Michelle and we’ll make arrangements to get you there.
Hospitality for voters at St. John’s on Nov. 3: Join Rev. Michelle on Election Day as St. John’s becomes a polling place for the day (which we are every year). Let people know how welcoming we are at St. John’s during a very divided time in our country and help keep up the spirits of the voters. You can help in 2 ways:
- Come for an hour or two and help Rev. Michelle with hospitality (only if you’re comfortable doing so!) You can stay in the St. John’s kitchen and make coffee or help in the outside tent to pass out coffee, treats, chairs, etc. to people in line. Let her know you’re coming and, please… no partisan clothing or discussion!
- Drop off snacks for the voters during the day – bottles of water, granola bars, leftover Halloween candy, etc.
Diocese of New York Convention Our delegates, Rev. Michelle, Deacon Sue, and Claudette Ford, have been preparing themselves by attending weekly online presentation meetings and this coming Saturday, they will virtually attend convention to vote on those things that affect our common lives here in the Diocese of New York. You’re welcome to attend too! The worship service will take place on Monday, Nov 2 at 6:00 and Convention begins at 10:00am on Saturday morning, Nov. 7. Go to the website, find the calendar at the bottom of the front page and click the links to attend: https://www.dioceseny.org/
The Page Turners: Will meet by Zoom on November 10th to discuss ‘Caste,’ by Isabel Wilkerson (date changed because of Election Day). Our December selection is ‘The Mountains Sing,’ by Nguyen Phan Que Mai. This discussion will be on December 1st. All are welcome! Contact Lynn Dennison at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The 2020 Pledge Campaign Continues! By now, you’ve received a letter from our Stewardship Committee to announce this year’s campaign. Using the theme of Faith the Size of a Mustard Seed, we’re focusing on how all of our giving – time, talent, treasure – is the seed that grows our St. John’s community. Look for your letter and your opportunity to pledge! And then, bring your leaves to church on Sunday, mail them in, or bring them by the Rectory. We’ll make sure they get placed on the tree.
Gathering in Gratitude – the annual Kingston Interfaith Council’s Thanksgiving celebration will be held online this year on Tuesday, November 17 at 7:00 pm. This year’s celebration will feature important teachings on home and homelessness as well as musical presentations and readings. Click here for more information: https://www.kingstoninterfaithcouncil.org/events-1/interfaith-thanksgiving-service
Children’s New Book Drive: Family of Woodstock is in need of books for children who are in or are leaving shelters. If you are coming to in-person church, please consider bringing a new children’s book (all ages). Or send a donation to the church (207 Albany Ave) and we will do the shopping. Questions? Contact Outreach Coordinator Elaine (845-532-6585) or Deacon Sue (845-331-5575).
People’s Place Project Santa Sock Drive! What did one new sock say to the other? “Great things are afoot!” It’s Project Santa time again and we’ve been asked by our friends at People’s Place to host a sock drive. All sizes and shapes of new socks will be needed. Plain socks, character socks, slipper socks, heavy winter socks, crew socks and knee socks are needed for infants all the way up to 14 year-old boys and girls. Your donations of new, quality socks will warm the toes and hearts of our young neighbors. Please be generous. You can drop off the socks in the box by the rectory or make a donation and we will shop for you. All donations must be dropped off no later than Sunday, December 6th. Thank you from Elaine Lawrence and Deacon Sue on behalf of the Outreach Committee.
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