Coming up at St. John’s
The Season of Advent is the season of preparation – a time to ready ourselves for Christ’s light, the Love of God that comes to us at Christmas. We have all kinds of ways for you to participate this season so look through the listing below and mark your calendars. Advent begins on Sunday, December 3 and ends on Christmas Eve.
Advent Wreath Making
Sundays: November 26 and December 3, after worship
Stay after worship on November 26 and create an Advent Wreath for the coming season. Advent wreaths are a beautiful way to bring your Christian faith into your home and offer a space of quiet prayer during a busy season as we all prepare for the coming of Christ.
Rev. Michelle will have a set of prayers to go along with your home practice of lighting the Advent Wreath. If you miss November 26, the supplies will be available on December 3 as well. For kids, pick up a paper Advent Wreath kit with special drawings ready to color and cut out.
Advent Learning Series: Becoming Beloved Community
Holy Cross/Santa Cruz and St. John’s Episcopal Churches
4 Evenings: Nov 30, Dec 7, Dec 14, Dec 21
Join members of both Episcopal congregations in Kingston for the season of Advent as we gather on Thursday nights to reflect on scripture, pray, and learn more about what it means to Become the Beloved Community.
We begin with a potluck dinner at St. John’s at 6:00 pm on November 30 and continue each week through the season. A wonderful learning opportunity to learn and a beautiful way to deepen the community amongst both congregations.
For those who do not drive at night, email Rev. Michelle at email@example.com to access the Zoom session each Thursday.
November 30 at 6:00 pm, St. John’s – potluck dinner kick-off!
December 7 at 6:00 pm, Holy Cross Santa/Cruz
December 14 at 6:00 pm, St. John’s
December 21 at 6:00 pm, Holy Cross/Santa Cruz
Advent Quiet Day: Mary and Joseph, Their Yes/Our Yes
Saturday, December 2, 10-4 at Christ the King, Stone Ridge
An Advent Quiet Day for the Ulster Episcopal Deanery
Led by Sisters Shane Phelan and Elizabeth Broyles. the Companions of Mary the Apostle
Mary and Joseph said a wholehearted Yes to God’s desire that they be parents of Jesus. God invites, calls and asks us to say Yes many times in our lives. What goes into that for you? Join us for prayer and reflection as we begin the season of Advent together.
Saturday, December 2 from 10-4 Christ the King Episcopal Church in Stone Ridge. Lunch provided. Carpooling available. Click here to register, Or call the CTK Office at 845-687-9414
St. Nicholas Celebration
All Ages Worship on Sunday, December 3
Don’t forget to bring an extra shoe (or 2) on Sunday, December 3 because we’ll be celebrating St. Nicholas and talking about the surprise of gifts and blessings. Leave your shoes outside the sanctuary… and let’s see what happens!
The Waters of Baptism: Reflecting On Baptism Together
Sunday, December 3 after worship
What does Baptism mean? How does it impact our personal life and our common life as a baptismal community?
At St. John’s, we are blessed with a wide variety of experience with Baptism. Some of us were baptized when we were young, some of us were baptized as older children or even adults, and some haven’t been baptized yet.
What does this event mean to us? Has its meaning changed as we’ve gotten older? What can we learn about Baptism that we hadn’t considered before?
Bishop Mary Glasspool will be with us on December 10 when she will baptize a number of our members, receive some members who are coming to the Episcopal Church from other traditions, and we will all renew our Baptismal Vows.
The season of Advent is a wonderful time to reflect on Baptism as a beginning and a renewal. Join Rev. Michelle on December 3 after worship for a lively conversation and reflection.
Bishop Mary Glasspool: Baptisms and Receptions
And Cookie Exchange!
Sunday, December 10 at 10:00 am
Join in the special celebration of new membership on December 10 as we welcome the Right Reverend Mary Glasspool, Assisting Bishop of the Diocese of New York. Bishop Mary will preach and preside over a special service during which we will baptize 3 people and she will receive 3 people into the Episcopal Church.
Also, on December 10 we will have our Second Annual Cookie Exchange! Make 2 dozen (more or less) of your favorite Christmas cookies and bring them to church on December 10. Then, during coffee hour, choose your favorite cookies from the abundance so you have a beautiful selection of cookies for this year. More info to come!
Film Screening: The Philadelphia 11
Sunday, December 10, 4:00 pm at St. James, Hyde Park
St. James’ Hyde Park will host a screening of a new full-length documentary about the Philadelphia Eleven on Sunday afternoon, December 10th. The film depicts the story of 11 women who were ordained to the priesthood of the Episcopal Church when it wasn’t within the laws of the church to do so. It’s a story of courage, faith, justice, controversy, and love.
You can learn about the film and watch the trailer here: https://www.philadelphiaelevenfilm.com/
The event will open with a brief potluck reception at 4 pm, followed by the 90-minute screening and closing with a service of evening prayer at about 6 pm. Talk to Rev. Michelle if you’d like to carpool.
Greening the Sanctuary
Sunday, December 17 after worship
It’s all hands on deck on December 17. Stay after worship as we decorate with greenery and place our candles around our worship space to prepare for Christmas. We’ll have some warm chili ready to go that morning to keep up the energy for our work.
Longest Night: A service of reflection, healing, and hope
Wednesday, December 20, 6:30 pm in person and online
On Wednesday, December 20 at 6:30 pm, we will offer a Longest Night Service, both live at St. John’s and online via Facebook Live and Zoom. A service of prayer, reflection, and healing for those dealing with loss of all kinds.
We traditionally think of the holiday season as a time of joy and abundance, but for some the pressure to celebrate can be overwhelming. Life situations and loss can heighten feelings of worry and grief. This is a service of light in the midst of darkness and the interplay of both, scheduled on the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year.
Through music, silent meditation, scripture, and healing prayer, we reach out to acknowledge sadness with comfort and quiet remembrance, to reflect on the losses we have experienced and to remember together the real reason for the season: The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. God is with us.
Our guest musician will be composer and musician Ana Hernández. Whether you are having a difficult time this holiday season or just want a moment of quiet, please come. If you know someone who is sad, struggling, or alone, invite them to attend. Everyone is welcome.
December 24: Advent IV and Christmas Eve
3 worship services, one day
10:00 am Our final worship service of Advent is a spoken Eucharist. Come for a quiet, prayerful morning before the festivities begin.
3:00 pm Christmas Eve Family Worship is a sing-along and story-telling service designed for younger ears. Bring along friends and family and help us all tell the story together.
8:00 pm Christmas Eve Festive Choral Worship is when we pull out all the stops – a hymn-filled joyful celebration of Christ’s birth, including Silent Night by candlelight. This year, followed by a dessert reception! Carol singing and music recital begins at 7:30 pm.
Rooted in Abundance:
2023 Stewardship Campaign Continues
Looking for pledge cards?
They are available beside the bulletins as you enter.
Pledge cards will be collected during worship on December 3. If you anticipate being absent that day, please bring them with you to worship and place them in the collection plate or mail them to:
St. John’s Episcopal Church
207 Albany Ave. Kingston, NY 12401
It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green;
In the year of drought it is not anxious and it does not cease to bear fruit.
As Episcopalians, we are a part of the wider Anglican Communion and in our tradition the foundation of our faith in what is commonly referred to as the “three-legged stool.” First and foremost, is scripture – the primary source of God’s inspiration. The other two legs – tradition and reason – are other sources of God’s inspiration that give us insight and perspective. So, scripture is something we take very seriously.
There are so many resources out there for Biblical interpretation that I think it’s important to pay attention to the lens being used for that interpretation. Why? Well, when it comes to faith and what we believe, we human beings often try to confirm our own beliefs by quoting scripture. This practice is called “proof-texting,” using the text to confirm our own biases. It’s a poor use of scripture and bankrupts our sacred texts of the inspiration we can find there.
But we are human and a purely unbiased reading of scripture is impossible. This doesn’t mean that scripture is meaningless. On the contrary, when we learn to see beyond our own biases, we find so much more there than we could possibly imagine.
So, I’d like to offer a resource that I’ve recently been introduced to: Dan McClellan. Dan is a scholar of the Bible and religion and his goal is to increase public access to the academic study of and combat misinformation about both. He is very disciplined at uncovering bias in scriptural interpretation so that he helps open things up like, the concept of hell and homosexuality and the Bible. In all of it, he helps us examine the assumptions that we all bring to scripture.
I find his ministry to be such a breath of fresh air because, rather than to rely on publishing books like so many academics, Dan teaches without walls through his Instagram and Youtube channels. He posts free, short videos in which he demonstrates what it means to look seriously at our Biblical texts and examines common assumptions. He also offers online classes at a pay-what-you-can rate through his website.
Sometimes he uses academic jargon, which can be a bit off-putting, but he is an academic and it’s hard for most scholars to use more common words because they feel the need to be as precise as possible. Most of the time, however, I find him to be rather plain-spoken and engaging.
Interested in learning more? Google “maklelan” and you’ll find all of his work. And let me know what you learn!
In God’s love and mine,
Announcements for November 19
Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Wednesdays 10:00-12:00 noon
Thursdays 1:00-4:00 pm
Special Forum: The Waters of Baptism Some of us were baptized when we were really young, some of us were a little older, and some haven’t been baptized yet. Join Rev. Michelle for a special forum on December 3 after worship to talk about and reflect on the meaning of Baptism in our lives and in the life of the Church. All are welcome!Page Turners Book Club meets the first Thursday of the month, at 2 pm, in the parish hall. New members are always welcome! Upcoming selections: Dec 7: Black Cake, by Charmaine Wilkerson. (A series on Hulu!); Jan 11: The Soul of an Octopus, by Sy Montgomery. Feb 8: The Covenant of Water, by Abraham Verghese (Long book, start early!); Mar 7: The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store, by James McBride. Speak to Lynn Dennison, Barbara Johnston, or Claudette Ford for more info.
Outreach Project: People’s Place Project Santa – This year People’s Place needs blankets for kids up to age 16 for their Project Santa. Collection box is next to the Baptismal Font. And we’re always collecting non-perishable food items for People’s Place food pantry (tuna, soup, pasta, sauce, etc.). Bring them to church and place them in the appropriate basket near the Font. Please contribute!
Online Morning Prayer: Join hundreds of others from across the Episcopal Diocese of New York every weekday morning at 8:00 am. Start your day with prayer, connection, and peace. Go to dioceseny.org/online-morning-prayer to register and receive the Zoom link.