Summer Worship and Ministry at St. John’s
Summer here in the Hudson Valley is a time of family vacations and rest from the normal pace of our lives. Especially this year, so many people are visiting family and doing vacations after a year of travel restrictions and quarantine. When you’re home in Kingston, here are some ways for you to plug-in to what’s happening at St. John’s this summer.
Worship and Fellowship
Every Sunday morning in July we’ll gather in the sanctuary at 10:00 am for Eucharist. In August, we will worship outdoors under the tent in our side yard. More information will be announced later in July about how to participate in outdoor worship. We will not be offering Zoom Sunday worship for the rest of the summer. But we will continue to use Zoom for Tuesday Compline and Wednesday Centering Prayer.
And this Sunday after worship, we’ll return to having fellowship time (coffee hour), moving it outside under the tent. Please sign up to host on a Sunday: bring cold drinks and snacks and put them out on a table with paper cups, plates, and napkins. The paper goods, we’ll have on hand for you to use. The sign-up sheet is on the bulletin in the Vestibule (the ramp door entrance area).
There are two main ministry projects we’ll be working on over the summer: 1) Collecting donations for the Annual People’s Place Backpack and School Supply drive; and 2) Creating a St. John’s Blue Fridge Team that will work with our neighbors at Congregation Emanuel to assist with food security in Midtown Kingston.
- Backpack and School Supplies Drive: We are delighted to be asked to help out People’s Place again this year. Beginning this Sunday, July 4, we will have a basket near the altar where you can offer donations of backpacks, which will distributed to children at People’s Place the week before school starts. Of course you can shop online but a really great place to shop for kids backpacks locally is Five Below. If you’d like to give money to the effort, please place your donation in an envelope marked “School Supplies” or write “School Supplies” on your check. And, of course, we hope to have a team of people helping with distribution of school supplies at People’s Place. It’s a really fun way to serve. As we get closer to the start of school, look for more information.
- Blue Fridge Team: This past Sunday, Rev. Michelle spoke about God’s Economy – where a need arises and abundance responds. You can read the sermon here. And she spoke specifically about the Blue Fridge, located on the property of Clinton Avenue Methodist Church in Midtown. It’s open throughout the day for people to drop off items from their abundance to meet the needs of people who live in Midtown. This summer, Rabbi Yael at Congregation Emanuel of the Hudson Valley is putting together a team to support this effort and Rev. Michelle is doing the same here at St. John’s. We hope these teams can work together as one. If you’d like to be a part of this team, contact Rev. Michelle directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to learn more about the Blue Fridge, click here.
We look forward to seeing you this summer!
Trying Again – Rest
For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. – Isaiah 30:15
As we continue to take steps out of the pandemic, I hope you are finding time for rest and reflection. As the prophet Isaiah reminds us in the above verse, this is key to our healing and, therefore, our salvation. To continually function from a mind and a heart that have been anxious and/or grieving, means that we also struggle to experience God’s presence and Love in our lives.
Back in March, I wrote to you all that I would be taking some downtime to honor my need for rest and reflection. Since my brother’s death in 2019, I haven’t been able to take the necessary time to reflect on what this means for me and for my family because something else always comes crashing in – gall bladder illness and surgery, moving my mother in PA, and tending to St. John’s during the pandemic. And then something else came crashing in – right before I was scheduled to go away in March, Ana and I both became very ill with COVID and it’s been a long, slow recovery.
Needless to say, this degree of illness is also an experience that deserves time for reflection and rest. Yet the spring was full of events to plan and carry out: Resuming in-person worship, celebrating the ministry of Deacon Sue, and overseeing the Radio Kingston Solar Field access. Plus, Ana needed to have surgery. And coming up this fall, we have some new projects to begin which means my window for sabbath time is now.
So, at the urging of many people: our Wardens Claudette and Lynn, Bishop Mary Glasspool, my spiritual director, and my beloved wife Ana, I will take 3 consecutive weeks off this summer. You will be well served during this time by 3 gifted colleagues and friends who made time in their schedules and are looking forward to being with you: The Rev. Alison Quin on July 11, the Rev. Elizabeth Broyles on July 18, and the Rev. Shane Phelan on July 25. Additionally, Alison Quin will be handling pastoral emergencies while I’m gone. I will return to work on July 28 in time to prepare for outdoor worship in August.
I also want to thank the leadership of St. John’s who are making this time possible. Our Vestry Clerk Corrina Malamas is assisting with bulletins. Our Vestryperson and Altar Guild member Paula Wisneski will be making sure the worship space is prepared. Our bookkeeper Pat Allan will be tending to the St. John’s phone and email messages. And, of course, Terry Earles and the team of cantors will be helping to lead worship. Please offer your assistance to these people and to our guest priests over the next few weeks.
I will be sending an email to the St. John’s community next week to give more information about who to contact while I’m away. And I will continue to keep you all in my prayers that you may also find time for your own rest this summer.
In God’s love and mine, Rev. Michelle
July 4, 2021
Join the Blue Fridge Team: Interested in helping out with food security issues here in Kingston? Join us as we gather to support the Blue Fridge, a community refrigerator on the grounds of Clinton Avenue Methodist Church in Midtown. St. John’s is working with Congregation Emanuel to field a team of people who will volunteer and support this effort. Interested? Email Rev. Michelle directly at email@example.com.
Annual Backpack Drive: We are delighted to be asked again by People’s Place again to assist with the distribution of school supplies. Beginning this Sunday, July 4, bring your donations of backpacks to church and drop them off in the basket near the altar. If you’d like to give money to the effort, please place your donation in an envelope marked “School Supplies” or write “School Supplies” on your check. As we get closer to the start of school, look for more information on when you can volunteer to help out with the distribution.
Coffee Hour Is Back! So please sign-up to bring refreshments for after Sunday worship – cool drinks and snacks. We’ll meet outside in the tent this summer for Sunday fellowship time. See the bulletin board in the vestibule to sign-up to be a Sunday host.
The Page Turners is St. John’s book club who meet every first Tuesday evening of the month for good discussion and good company. Right now the group is meeting on Zoom and all are welcome to attend. The selection for July 13 is ‘Humankind, A Hopeful History,” by Rutger Bregman. There is no meeting in August and the group will resume on September 7. Email or call Lynn Dennison for more information.
Angel Food East is in need of volunteers on Thursdays: drivers and kitchen helpers are both needed. Join a fun crew to help feed home bound people in our community. Speak to Rev. Michelle or Lynn Dennison if you’re interested.
Voices Heard: A series of panel discussions sponsored by the Reparations Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of New York. This series of panel discussions organized by the Reparations Committee for the Diocese of New York intends to broaden awareness and deepen our understanding of the pressing topics of an intractable nature of systemic racism on education, health, economics, gender, policing and the criminal justice system, the church and more that negatively impact people of African heritage. Bringing experts, community organizers, civic leaders, clergy and laity into dialogue will help to inform us. All panels will take place from 7:00–8:30 p.m. on Zoom. Registration in advance is required for each individual Discussion.
- Tuesday, July 6 – The Awakening of Unwoke People: Church, Religion and State
- Tuesday, July 20 – Rectors of Color: Examining the Missed Opportunities of Deployment
Have an announcement?
Please send by Wednesday at noon to firstname.lastname@example.org.