Be Cool! Summer Worship Is Here
Many remember that, prior to the pandemic, we worshipped in the air-conditioned Parish Hall during the summer months of July and August. This pattern of worship allows for all of us to feel cool and to worship in a space where it’s easier to hear one another. This Sunday, it’s time to return to the Parish Hall. We will have plenty of room for everyone, including space set aside for families. After worship, things magically transform (with some help) into coffee hour. In addition to the air-conditioning, we will have air purifiers, but please be sure to wear your masks to help us all keep healthy.
Tomorrow! Rally for reproductive rights
Join with the people of Kingston and as we rally in support of reproductive rights. Let’s pray with our feet.
When: Saturday, July 2 at 11:00 am
Where: Academy Green Park (corner of Clinton and Albany Aves)
Learn more about the rally here: WE WON’T GO BACK | Women’s March (wewontgoback.com)
The Right to an Abortion
Sometimes, I feel like the word “abortion” is one of those words that should be whispered, like some people whisper the word “cancer.” It’s a difficult subject to talk about because there are a lot of strong feelings associated with the procedure. As there should be. It’s not anything to be cavalier about. But a lack of discussion only ends up keeping the truth in shadows. And, as Christians, our hope is that Christ’s light will shine in all the shadows of our lives as we seek reconciliation with God and with one another.
I understand and appreciate that many people feel strongly about the sacred nature of life as it expresses itself in pregnancy. Indeed, children are precious and in need of our love and protection. This is instinctual in all forms of life. Even though I’ve never been pregnant myself, I also have this instinct to protect innocence.
And it’s precisely because life is so precious that the question of abortion is not a simple good/bad discussion. For all women, the choice to terminate a pregnancy is a personal and very often an incredibly painful one because the woman is making a choice about her own health, if not her own life. I think in our joy about the idea of creating a baby, we forget just how dangerous being pregnant and giving birth can be for all women. The recent studies on maternal mortality in the US demonstrate a rise at the same time that these rates are declining across the world. Of course, these numbers have to do with disparities in overall healthcare which means that when state governments place an all-out ban an integral piece of women’s healthcare, they are undermining an already-broken system. And, in these places, women are not seen as full citizens with the right to autonomous decisions about their own bodies.
And here’s why this is important for us, as Christians: The removal of the right for a woman to choose is a spiritual one. First, to make the judgment that a woman is incapable of making this decision without God, that she has no capacity to pray and discern, is to say that she is lesser in the eyes of God. Second, to force a woman to carry a child when it puts her own life at risk is a form of bondage because it defines her worth as only being a vehicle for childbirth.
God has given us these bodies and in them we celebrate and experience joy. We taste, touch, hear, see, smell because of them. We are an integral part of the whole Incarnation and we know, because of Jesus, that God understands what it means to be incarnate. God knows how vulnerable we are and how strong we are. And we are commanded by our Savior love God by caring for one another’s bodies because we are all vulnerable. Pregnancy and childbirth is, therefore, a decision that belongs with the person who lives in that body and our job is to trust that God is there with her in her decision.
Remember our scripture tells us that when the angel Gabriel came to Mary and explained to her what would happen, Mary’s response was, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38) In other words, Mary prayed and was visited by an angel and discerned for herself before she said yes. Mary had a choice. So should we all.
In God’s love and mine,
Announcements for the Fourth Sunday of Pentecost
July 3, 2022
Join us in the kitchen to clean, chop, stir, and make cool stuff on the last Saturday of the month from 10-5. Last year, we canned jams, chutney, and conserves; made Sara’s soap, hand sanitizer, and Jocelyn’s amazing Beeswax wraps! No experience necessary. Hands of all ages welcome. Show up for shifts of 2, 4, or 6 hours, and let’s have fun while we raise money for St. John’s!
Mark your calendar: July 30; August 27th; Sept. 24th, and Oct. 29th
St. John’s Walkers: Let’s get moving! We do one walk a week, alternating morning and evening times, so pick the times that work for you and let’s get moving! We meet at the location. If you need a ride, contact Ana Hernandez at email@example.com or 914-357-0365 and she will arrange a ride. We need people to lead walks and come up with ideas for walks, keeping in mind that we have people of all abilities.
Summer Walking Schedule
Tues, July 12, 9am
Thurs, July 21, 7pm
Tues, July 26, 9am
Thurs, August 4, 7pm
Tues, August 9, 9am
Thurs, August 18, 7pm
Tues, August 23, 9am
Thurs, August 30, 7pm
Tues, Sept. 6, 9am
Benefit Concert for Ukraine: Sunday, September 11 at 4pm. The Kingston Interfaith Council is hosting the event here at St. John’s. Please save the date! We’ll need many hands on deck to help that afternoon.
Flower Ministry: Every week, members of St. John’s offer a memorial of thanksgiving or honor a loved one who has gone before by supporting the Flower Ministry at St. John’s with a monetary donation. You’ll see this memorial listed in the bulletin each week. This ministry ensures we have lovely fresh flowers every week on our altar. Please consider signing up for a Sunday. Contact Elaine Lawrence at firstname.lastname@example.org
Calling all bakers! Do you like to make things in the kitchen? Our Communion Bread recipe is easy and quick. You bake one batch, deliver the bread to the church, and we keep it in the freezer until we use it. Sign up to bake for a month (or two) this year. The sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board in the Vestibule.
Welcome Lydia Picknell! We welcome a new person to our St. John’s Staff: Lydia Picknell. Lydia is taking over in the role of Kitchen/Office Administrator and her main job will be to reach out and find renters for our spaces here at St. John’s. She will be in the office Tues, Weds, and Thurs afternoons so stop by and welcome her.
Page Turners Book Club: The Page Turners are returning to meeting in person on July 19th. Claudette Ford has offered to host this meeting, at 7 p.m. (Thanks Claudette!) The book to be discussed is ‘Cold Millions’ by Jess Walters. We will skip August and meet in September. Details for that meeting will be announced as soon as possible. New members are always welcome. Please speak to Claudette, or Barbara Johnston for more information about the July meeting or about the book club in general.
Have an announcement for the bulletin?
Please send by Wednesday at noon to email@example.com.