Coming Events at St. John’s
Jan 6, Feast of Epiphany: Epiphany Celebration 7:00 pm. Come for a Friday evening celebration of light and love. Firepit, hot chocolate, singing, and storytelling – activities for all ages!
Jan 8: The Baptism of Jesus: At the beginning of the year, we renew our Baptismal Vows as we tell the story of Jesus’ baptism by St. John the Baptist (our patron saint!).
Consider MaskingWhile masking remains optional at St. John’s, you are encouraged to consider wearing a mask during worship to help keep down the transmission of covid, flu, and other illnesses. Masks are available at both entrances.
The Coming of the Light
I heard someone say the other day that they always talk about the Winter Solstice as the first day of summer. It’s an interesting thing to think about, really. We know, of course, that the Winter Solstice is the official beginning of winter – cold, snow, ice – all happen in the 3 months after the winter solstice. But what this person was referring to, is the slow movement of the earth as the Northern Hemisphere begins to tilt toward the sun again.
As we know, the movement of the earth was happening long before Jesus was born, and long before the birth of Christianity after he died. The observation of the solstices, the celebration of the return of food sources in plant and animal life, the marking of time throughout the year… these have all been happening for eons in different parts of the world. They have always been ways of recognizing God is with us and our response of gratitude for this is deeply important to our humanity and, therefore, to our personal salvation.
As Christians, we have come to associate these seasonal shifts with Christ in the celebration of Christmas and Easter, among others. There was, of course, some political reasons for this back when these holidays were set into the current calendar. Nonetheless, we are still celebrating the fact that God is with us. And Christ – the Incarnate God – is what has been with us throughout all time. Jesus gave to us a profound way of understanding this truth that he found in the core of Jewish teaching – we are here for one another and, therefore, systems of oppression must be overturned. This is also deeply important to our humanity and to our personal salvation.
We have come to see this knowledge as Christ’s light. Jesus’ gift to the world. That the incarnation is not here just for our consumption, something for which we “ought to be” grateful. We are a part of the incarnation and, therefore, responsible for its care so that our gratitude then manifests as a kind of custody and safe-keeping. We are one another’s keepers.
The light we receive at this time of year, the good-will and the love birthed among us… this light is what begins to grow in us… if we let it. And as this light grows, so does our understanding of how to tend to this life within us and around us. Moving from consumers of God’s abundance to inheritors of God’s abundance, fostering true growth of God’s Love and Light.
This is God’s promise for each of us. May this year be one of Love and Light for each of you.
Emmanuel: God is with us.
In God’s love and mine,
Announcements for the Christmas Season
December 25 – January 6
This Friday: All Ages Epiphany Celebration January 6 at 7:00 pm. Join us for a Friday evening celebration of light and love. Firepit, hot chocolate, singing, and storytelling – activities for all ages!
Now Forming! Adult Inquirer’s Class: Beginning in mid-February, Rev. Michelle will start an Adult Inquirer’s Class (6-8 sessions). All members of St. John’s are welcome to attend. We will cover topics like: How do Episcopalians read the Bible? How did the Episcopal Church get started? What do Episcopalians believe? Please reach out to Rev. Michelle via email if you are interested and we will determine the best class times based on the availability of those interested. Childcare will be made available for in-person sessions.
Save the Date: St. John’s Annual Meeting: On Sunday, January 29 we will have a combined worship and Annual Meeting beginning at 10:00 am. Stay tuned for more information and plan to be there!
Acolytes, Ushers, and Lectors… Oh, my! Attention all people of St. John’s! Rev. Michelle will offer a forum after worship on February 26. During this forum, you will learn more about different liturgical duties and be invited to register for training. We’ll talk about Lectors, Sacristans, Acolytes, and Ushers – all of whom are important to our common worship at St. John’s. People from age 6 to adult are welcome to consider these ministries.
Page Turners Book Club Meetings are on the first Thursday of the month at 2 p.m., in the parish hall. Here’s what we selected for the next few months: January 5: Trust, by Hernan Diaz; February 2: The Plot, by Jean Hanff Korelitz; March 2: Inside the O’Briens, by Lisa Genova. If we have bad weather during the winter, we will switch to a Zoom meeting. Interested in joining? Talk with Lynn Dennison.
Ulster Immigrant Defense Network needs Food Sponsors. You can support an immigrant family for 1, 2, 3, or 4 weeks a month. The cost is $45/week. Sponsorship forms are available on the bulletin board in the vestibule. Or send a one-time donation to UIDN, 30 Pine Grove Ave, Kingston.
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