St. John’s Episcopal Church
207 Albany Avenue, Kingston, NY 12401

The Good News of St. John’s

  1. June 15, 2023

    This Week at St. John’s

    Sunday Programming!

    Join us for a Sunday full of programming this week:

    • Bible Study – Weekly Bible Study begins at 8:30, bring your Bible and your Sunday morning brew and join Rev. Michelle as we begin studying the Gospel of Matthew.
    • Godly Play – Leah Siuta will be leading Godly Play for the young people this coming Sunday. If you’re a parent, bring your child to the upstairs Godly Play room and then come down for worship. All the kids will join us in time for Eucharist.
    • Healing Sunday – Laura Ricci and the Healing Ministers will offer prayers for all those who request them during communion.
    • Pastoral Care Meeting – After worship, join the Pastoral Care Team to discuss pastoral care needs at St. John’s. All are welcome.

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    Bible Study Begins June 18 and 21

    To learn more, click here

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    Rural and Migrant Ministry

    Last Sunday, we were blessed with our guest preacher, the Rev. Richard Witt, who is the Executive Director of Rural and Migrant Ministry. He stayed after worship to talk with us more about this vital organization and what help is currently needed regarding the current situation in our rural counties, in which the mayor of New York City is sending busloads of people to other counties. As Richard reminded us, it’s not unusual for us to be receiving immigrants from NYC. What is unusual is the manner in which this is happening. We need to reach out and assist in their settlement here. Rev. Michelle

    Rural and Migrant Ministry is hosting a resource fair for the recently arrived refugees in the Hudson Valley — up to several hundred on Saturday, June 17, at our center at the Grail in Cornwall-on-Hudson. We are partnering with many of the organizations and congregations that have been at the forefront of the initial welcoming of the refugees. Sign up to help here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BWK9XHB

    This is a quick turnaround because time is of the essence. The refugees have been given three months of housing by New York City and three Chef Boyardee-type microwave meals a day — and that’s it. At the end of the three months, they are apparently out on their own.

    On June 17th, we will bus the refugees from the various Hudson Valley motels to the Grail for a day of workshops that will help them further acclimate to the cultural, housing, legal and employment realms of the Hudson Valley. Our goal is to help them gain a more solid footing, avoid exploitation, and connect to long-term resources and the greater community.

    We need help with the following:

    • Prepared meal, fruit and snacks: As we mentioned, the refugees are not being fed decently. We intend to have a diverse meal while they are here with us on the 17th — and we hope to have lots of extras — so we also ask for the donation of carry-out containers for the men to take food back with them.
    • Translators: We need people who speak Spanish, Chinese (we are still trying to figure out which dialect), Arabic, Russian, Portuguese, Haitian Creole and French. We will need interpreters who can engage the men in one-on-one conversations throughout the day, and also in the numerous workshops we will be doing. It would also be great to have folks who are from or have cultural heritage from these countries, so that we can give some connecting comfort.
    • Folks who are willing to engage in fellowship and elementary conversational English — and who might be willing to be an individual ally in the weeks to come during the asylum process.
    • Folks who might have some short-term work for the men to do. All of the men have been vetted by the government and are waiting for work authorization. The refugees we’ve worked with all have one overriding, immediate concern, and that is finding work. Therefore, we are also putting together a job board for anyone who can offer short-term/long-term employment assistance to these very capable men. Work can include things like landscaping and yard cleanup, home maintenance, and more. In order to avoid having the men be exploited and to assure them a just wage, we ask that you offer $20 per hour and provide transportation.
    I know it’s a lot to ask, and on short notice — but if we can get lots of us contributing, we can make it work. Here is the link for folks to sign up:   https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BWK9XHB
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    Christian Saints: St. John the Baptist

    A new “regular feature” of our Newsletter about the lives of the saints.

    June is an auspicious month to begin this feature of our Newsletter because St. John’s in Kingston was named after St. John the Baptist, whose life is celebrated every year on June 24. There is some lore in the verbal history of St. John’s that our parish was named after both St. John the Baptist and St. John the Divine, but the records indicate that it’s more likely John the Baptist because the founding date is listed as June 24, 1832. As such, John the Baptist is our patron saint.

    St. John the Baptist is one of the better-known saints, having been the one who is named in our scripture as the baptizer of Jesus of Nazareth and the one who identifies him as the messiah. His ministry of preaching and baptism in the Jordan is described in all 4 gospel accounts and his death is also told in scripture by Matthew, Mark, and Luke (known as the Synoptic Gospels). The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus also makes note of his life, ministry, and death in Antiquities of the Jews. There are all kinds of relics of his all over the world including his head, his right hand, and his decapitation cloth.

    John was what we call an ascetic, someone who is characterized by self-discipline and fasting from indulgence. He lived a life apart from worldly ways and called others to do the same because he preached against the worldly corruption of the current Jewish leadership (which got him killed) and prophesied the coming of the messiah. He is the ultimate “fire and brimstone” preacher, one who pronounces hope through reconciling with God and God’s holy ways.

    It is said in the Gospels that John is foretold in the words of the Prophet Isaiah as “the one crying out in the wilderness.” In art, John is depicted as described in scripture – preaching with clothing made of camel’s hair, a wild look, and a diet of locusts and honey.

    You can learn more about John the Baptist in these scripture passages:
    Matthew 3:1-17; 11:2-7; 14:1-12
    Mark 1:4-14; 6:14-29
    Luke 1:5-80; 3:1-22; 9:7-9
    John 1:6-42; 3:22-36; 5:30-42
    Acts 1:1-22

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    St. John’s: Then… Up to Now


    Dear Ones,We’ve been talking about a project for a few years now – learning more about the history of St. John’s. This project is a part of our journey towards Becoming Beloved Community.

    Vestrymember Paula Wisneski is leading this project and she wants to gather other members of St. John’s who are curious enough to read through the stories in our archives. We have all kinds of records – letters, bulletins, vestry minutes, newspaper clippings. And, in order to have access to everything possible, this group will not only have my assistance, but the assistance of Wayne Kempton, the Archivist and Historiographer of the Diocese of New York.

    Then, the members of this group will be asked to bring these stories to the larger congregation of St. John’s in two ways: First, we will install a timeline on paper in our Parish Hall and add events/stories to this timeline. People will be able to peruse these stories whenever they want. Second, we will have a regular feature in the Newsletter in which people will re-tell these stories and help us to make connections to the larger context. We know this isn’t a short-lived project, but will take the better part of a year to really dig into the archives and find the stories that matter.

    Paula volunteered to take on this project because she knows how important it is for us to embark on a journey of truth-telling – learning about and telling the full story of our churches, especially including our story of race. Only then, are we really able to do the work of anti-racism.

    And Paula has already found a pretty juicy story: According to the Vestry Minutes of a meeting in 1885, the Rector resigned his position because of what happened at a previous Vestry meeting. Now, Paula cannot yet locate the minutes of the previous meeting, but I wonder what happened! Don’t you?

    Please speak directly with Paula by the end of June if you’d like to be a member of this team of St. John’s Historians.

    In God’s love and mine,
    Rev. Michelle

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    Announcements for June 18
    The Third Sunday After Pentecost

    St. John’s Office Hours
    Wednesdays 10:00-12:00 noon,
    Thursdays 1:00-4:00 pm

    Phone: 845-331-2252
    Email:
    stjohnskingston@aol.comHave an announcement for the bulletin?
    Please send by Wednesday at noon to
    stjohnskingston@aol.comAnchor.

    THIS SUNDAY! Pastoral Care Meeting The Pastoral Care Team meets after worship. All are welcome to attend!

    Summer Book Read: Join us for the St. John’s Summer Book Read. We will meet over Zoom so you don’t have to worry about missing a meeting due to travel! The book is No Act of Love Is Ever Wasted by Thibault and Morgan. It’s a non-fiction read that focuses on caring for people with dementia but is also a good reflection for all who provide pastoral care or are caretakers of friends or family. Please contact Rev. Michelle before June 30 if you intend on participating. We will announce discussion dates soon after.

    Bible Study: Come and join in Bible Study with Rev. Michelle. Beginning June 18, we will have two opportunities to join in a weekly Bible Study – Sundays at 8:30 am (in person) or Wednesdays at 12:00 noon (via Zoom). We begin our study with the Gospel of Matthew.
    Email Rev. Michelle if you’d like to join either group.

    Grief Support Group: Hudson Valley Hospice comes to St. John’s for the summer to offer a Family Grief Support Group, Monday afternoons 2x a month, June 5 through Sept 25. Prior registration is required – call 845-240-7579 for more information and to register.

    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 June 1,  These Precious Days by Anne Patchett. Our next meeting after that will be September 7 when we will discuss Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver. No meetings in July or August. All are welcome! Interested? Talk with Lynn Dennison.

    St. John’s Outreach Project – People’s Place: When you go to the store, pick up a few extra non-perishable food items for People’s Place food pantry (tuna, soup, pasta, sauce, etc.). We are also taking donations of birthday napkins/plates, candles, and gift bags in various sizes. Bring them to church and place them in the appropriate baskets near the Font.

    The Spiritual Practice of Singing: Join Holy Cross Brother Josep Martinez-Cubero for a daylong workshop on the fundamentals of singing – posture, breath, tone, and diction. All are welcome. No registration necessary. Saturday, July 8 from 9am-3pm at Ascension/Holy Trinity in West Park. $20 donation requested.

    St. John’s Upcoming Schedule

    June 17:     Ulster Deanery Meeting, 9-12:30 at Ascension in West Park
    June 18:     Sunday Bible Study begins in person at 8:30 am, Godly Play for kids, Healing Sunday, Pastoral Care meeting after worship
    June 21:     Wednesday Bible Study begins on Zoom at 12:00 noon
    June 25:     Instructed Eucharist and Liturgical Forum
    July 2:        Summer Worship begins in the Parish Hall
    July 29:      Mid-Hudson Regional Gathering at Christ Church in Poughkeepsie

  2. June 9, 2023

    This Week at St. John’s

    TODAY: FRIDAY!
    St. John’s Game Night is back

    Sunday’s Guest Preacher: The Rev. Richard Witt

    This week we’re giving Rev. Michelle a break from preaching by inviting our guest, the Rev. Richard Witt to offer his gifts as Sunday’s homilist. Richard has served as the Executive Director of Rural and Migrant Ministry since 1991. He drives all over the state of New York working to offer support and advocate for just working conditions for migrant workers. In 2022, Richard was named by the City and State of New York as one of New York’s Top 100 Faith Leaders. Richard is also a member of the Reparations Commission of the Diocese of New York. For us here in Ulster County, Richard is a kind and humble neighbor who genuinely loves people and is committed to justice and God’s Love. This Sunday’s plate offering will be donated to RMM.

    Afterwards, stay for coffee hour and attend a special forum with Richard to learn more about the work of Rural and Migrant Ministry.

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    To learn more, click here

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    Gun Violence Awareness

    Gun violence is a health crisis that is raging out of control in the US. It is now the #1 cause of death of children (ages 1-18) in our country. The last few decades have seen such a sharp increase in gun violence that the first weekend of June is now devoted to National Gun Violence Awareness. This is marked by the color orange and the Wear Orange campaign.

    We cannot simply live in helpless outrage. We must commit to acting and to holding our leaders accountable for the action and their inaction. Please consider how you are called to act as an individual and speak more with Rev. Michelle or Deacon Sue about how you imagine St. John’s might respond as a congregation.

    Friday, June 2, Deacon Sue Bonsteel helped lead a vigil alongside our neighbors at Congregation Emanuel. Deacon Sue along with several others created an installation on the front lawn of St. John’s that has been on display all week – orange t-shirts with the names of all those killed in the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, TX on May 24, 2022.

    Thank you to Lynn Dennison, Bob Dennison, and Roger Bonsteel for helping create the installation. And also thank you to these members of St. John’s for attending the vigil alongside Deacon Sue: Claudette Ford, Barbara Johnston, Lynn Dennison, Bob Dennison, Nilsa Rodriguez-Jaca, and Roger Bonsteel.

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    St. John’s Vestry Notes

    The St. John’s Vestry meets on the third Monday of the month, except for July. Here are the highlights from the May 15 meeting. The next meeting is June 19.
    • The Vestry voted unanimously to:
      • elect Kathy Burdick as the Clerk of the Vestry. Kathy already serves as a member of Vestry.
      • appoint Keith Ferber to the open slot on Vestry. Keith already serves as Treasurer.
      • obtain a credit card, naming Keith Ferber (Treasurer) and Michelle Meech (Rector) as those authorized to use it.
    • The Vestry discussed the following:
      • The new Rector schedule and the addition of Morning Prayer to the worship life of St. John’s.
      • Issues, concerns, and income from the Rental Program.
      • The proposed Events Schedule, discussion to-be-continued at the June meeting.
      • Scheduling a Mutual Ministry Review that will help to define ministerial responsibilities of Rev. Michelle, Officers, Vestry, and Staff. This is in response to the reduction in Rev. Michelle’s hours and responsibilities.
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    Living Into


    Dear Ones,The Season After Pentecost is the longest liturgical season we have in the church year. From the Feast of Pentecost (this year, May 28) through the beginning of Advent (this year, Dec 3), this season spans late spring, all of summer, and most of the autumn. We see all sorts of changes during this liturgical season. And the color we use for all of this change is green. Green is, of course, the color of growth.

    During this year’s Season After Pentecost, St. John’s is living into a change of pattern for our common life. Change is not always embraced, as we know. We are all designed to find patterns of life and behavior that suit us and keep us comfortable. Change can be stressful, which is perhaps the main reason we do our best to avoid it. But it’s an inherent aspect of growth, integral not only to our survival, but to our flourishing. We are called by God to discern how to mindfully move through the changes and chances of life so that we care for ourselves and care for one another.

    Some of the ways St. John’s is changing: We are re-establishing Bible Study, we are growing our Family Ministries, we are creating new relationships with people and organizations through the regular rental of our facility, there are new faces at St. John’s nearly every week… and all of this asks us to be adaptable, open to possibility, and willing to actively engaged in the process of becoming. In other words, it all asks us to be willing to change.

    A few weeks ago, I spoke about specific changes to my schedule as the Rector of St. John’s and to our worship life. This week, I want to let you know how the St. John’s leadership team is responding to the shift in how we accomplish the tasks that support our common life. There are 2 ways the leadership is addressing this:

    1. The Staff and Officers of St. John’s will meet later this month to discuss how to develop new workflow patterns so that what we do relies less on the position of the Rector to act as coordinator.
    2. Later this year, the Vestry will be asking the Rev. Allison Moore to come and perform a Mutual Ministry Review, a tool that will help us look at our patterns of leadership and prayerfully determine how to best live into a new way of leading St. John’s.

    The Vestry is moving into a new “season” of leadership themselves. For the last 18 months, the Vestry has been in the process of making difficult and emotional decisions about the financial sustainability of St. John’s. They have been faithful to this task and have done excellent work. With the change in the Rector’s hours, this process comes to an end and the Vestry is now free to more fully lead other aspects of our common life – like stewardship, events, and mission.

    I also hope you’ll note in the Vestry Notes (above) that the Vestry has voted Kathy Burdick in as the new Clerk of the Vestry and Keith Ferber into the open Vestry seat. Both now have dual responsibilities so please offer your thanks to both Kathy and Keith for their faith, commitment, and leadership.

    • As Clerk, Kathy’s main tasks are administrative, making sure the Vestry is attending to its responsibilities to the larger church and tracking/communicating the business of the Vestry and congregation. Kathy is also serving as a Vestry Member, which is not required for the position of Clerk.
    • Occasionally, the Vestry has an open seat either because someone has stepped down from their responsibilities or there were not enough candidates at the time of Vestry elections in January. When this happens, the Vesty is empowered to appoint someone into that seat for the remainder of the year until the next election. Keith is already functioning as Treasurer of St. John’s and now he is also a full member of Vestry with voice and vote.

    Finally, I promise that not all of my missives to you this summer will be about this change (nor will they be as lengthy!). But I also know that clear communication during times of change is vitally important. My door remains open to you. And if you’d like to speak with anyone on the Vestry, please do. We all want this process to be as transparent as possible so that we can grow into this change together.

    In God’s love and mine,
    Rev. Michelle

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    Announcements for June 11
    The Second Sunday After Pentecost

    St. John’s Office Hours
    Wednesdays 10:00-12:00 noon,
    Thursdays 1:00-4:00 pm

    Phone: 845-331-2252
    Email:
    stjohnskingston@aol.com

    Have an announcement for the bulletin?
    Please send by Wednesday at noon to
    stjohnskingston@aol.comAnchor.

    THIS SUNDAY: Stay for a special Forum with the Rev. Richard Witt of Rural and Migrant Ministries to learn more about the work they do across the state of New York.

    NEXT SUNDAY: Pastoral Care Meeting The Pastoral Care Team meets after worship on Sunday, June 18. All are welcome.

    Summer Book Read: Join us for the St. John’s Summer Book Read. We will meet over Zoom so you don’t have to worry about missing a meeting due to travel! The book is No Act of Love Is Ever Wasted by Thibault and Morgan. It’s a non-fiction read that focuses on caring for people with dementia but is also a good reflection for all who provide pastoral care or are caretakers of friends or family. Discussion dates announced soon, in the meantime, go ahead and buy the book. Want to learn more? Talk to Lynn Dennison, Sue Bonsteel, or Rev. Michelle.

    Bible Study: Come and join in Bible Study with Rev. Michelle. Beginning June 18, we will have two opportunities to join in a weekly Bible Study – Sundays at 8:30 am (in person) or Wednesdays at 12:00 noon (via Zoom). We begin our study with the Gospel of Matthew. Email Rev. Michelle to let her know your interest.

    Grief Support Group: Hudson Valley Hospice comes to St. John’s for the summer to offer a Family Grief Support Group, Monday afternoons 2x a month, June 5 through Sept 25. Prior registration is required – call 845-240-7579 for more information and to register.

    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 June 1,  These Precious Days by Anne Patchett. Our next meeting after that will be September 7 when we will discuss Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver. No meetings in July or August. All are welcome! Interested? Talk with Lynn Dennison.

    St. John’s Outreach Project – People’s Place: When you go to the store, pick up a few extra non-perishable food items for People’s Place food pantry (tuna, soup, pasta, sauce, etc.). We are also taking donations of birthday napkins/plates, candles, and gift bags in various sizes. Bring them to church and place them in the appropriate baskets near the Font.

    St. John’s Upcoming Schedule
    June 9:       St. John’s Game Night! Begins at 6:00 pm
    June 11:     Guest Preacher – The Rev. Richard Witt and Special Forum after worship about Rural and Migrant Ministries
    June 17:     Ulster Deanery Meeting, 9-12:30 at Ascension in West Park
    June 18:     Sunday Bible Study begins in person at 8:30 am, Godly Play for kids, Healing Sunday, Pastoral Care meeting after worship
    June 21:     Wednesday Bible Study begins on Zoom at 12:00 noon
    June 25:     Instructed Eucharist and Liturgical Forum
    July 2:        Summer Worship begins in the Parish Hall
    July 29:      Mid-Hudson Regional Gathering at Christ Church in Poughkeepsie

  3. May 25, 2023

    This Week at St. John’s

    The Feast of Pentecost

    Pentecost is called the “birthday of the church” by some people because it is on the Day of Pentecost, as depicted in the Acts of the Apostles, that God’s Holy Spirit came to live inside of us, giving us the ability to prophesy and call upon the name of Christ for our salvation. We celebrate this with the fiery color of red because God’s Holy Spirit is often experienced as a flame that becomes lit inside of us, a passion that leads us more deeply into God’s mission in the world. But how do we know it’s God’s Holy Spirit that is leading us and not our own whims and desires? A good question for this auspicious celebration. We hope to see you there.

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    Announcing: St. John’s Bible Study

    Meeting Times

    Beginning June 18, St. John’s will have 2 times available for Weekly Bible Study with Rev. Michelle. Our first study will be the Gospel of Matthew.

    • Wednesdays from 12:00-1:00 pm via Zoom.
    • Sundays from 8:30-9:30 am in person.

    How To Participate

    1. Email Rev. Michelle. If you wish to register for either meeting time, email Rev. Michelle at michelle.stjohnskingston@gmail.com. Check your email each week for the assigned text and zoom link, if applicable.

    2. Purchase your own Bible. You will need your own Bible. If possible, select one that is annotated and has the apocrypha. There are online and audio options available, if you prefer. Talk to Rev. Michelle if you would like to use one of the St. John’s Bible.
    Any of these translations will work for our study:

    • New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
    • New International Version (NIV)
    • Common English Bible (CEB)

    The following resources are not required, but you may find them helpful for your study:

    • The Inclusive Bible
    • The Message by Eugene Peterson
    • The First Nations Version of the New Testament
    • Harper Collins Bible Dictionary
    • Chronological and Background Charts of the Old Testament by John Walton
    • Chronological and Background Charts of the New Testament by H. Wayne House

    3. Prepare by reading the assigned scripture. Each week, Rev. Michelle will assign scripture reading. Read through the passage 1-2 times before coming whenever possible but if you cannot, please don’t let that prevent you from attending.

    4. Come to every gathering. Of course, you will miss from time to time. But consider how much it means to you when others show up to class. Your presence is just as important as everyone else’s. We all learn as a community. You can attend either gathering each week – Wednesday OR Sunday.

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    Upcoming Events and Programs

    Friday, June 2: Gun Violence Awareness Event at 5:30 pm
    St. John’s joins our neighbors at Congregation Emanuel of the Hudson Valley and other members of the Kingston Interfaith Council in marking national Gun Violence Awareness Day. Park at St. John’s and join the gathering at CEHV for a vigil. Afterwards, we will return to St. John’s to create an installation on our front lawn. If you’d like to help with materials, contact Deacon Sue Bonsteel. #wearorange
    June 4:       All Ages Worship – The Creation Story
    First Sunday is always All Ages Worship and this month we will be telling the Creation Story from Genesis so be ready to participate!
    June 9:       St. John’s Game Night! Begins at 6:00 pm
    Our beloved Game Night returns! Bring your favorite game and your favorite “Friday-night-food.” And bring a friend! Contact Sara Hutton if you have questions or would like to help: shutton324@gmail.com
    June 11:     Guest Preacher – The Rev. Richard Witt of Rural and Migrant Ministries
    Richard is the Executive Director of Rural and Migrant Ministries, traveling all across the state to advocate for and support migrant farmworkers and their families. After worship, stay for a special forum to learn more about the work of RMM. All monies given in the plate that day (that are not identified as pledges) will be given to RMM.
    June 17:     Ulster Deanery Meeting, 9-12:30
    The Episcopal congregations in Ulster County all meet regularly for learning, support and to plan events. If you’re interested in joining the St. John’s contingent, talk with Rev. Michelle.
    June 18:     Sunday Bible Study begins in person at 8:30 am, Godly Play for kids, Healing Sunday, Pastoral Care meeting, after worship
    It’s a busy Sunday at St. John’s, including a special Father’s Day prayer. Be sure to join us!
    June 21:     Wednesday Bible Study begins on Zoom at 12:00 noon
    Join us for weekly Bible Study – Wednesdays at 12 noon via Zoom or Sundays at 8:30 am in person.
    June 25:     Instructed Eucharist and Worship Forum
    Join Rev. Michelle for a special learning opportunity. Our regular Sunday worship will be an “instructed Eucharist.” So, if you’ve ever wanted to learn more about the symbols and actions in our Eucharist, this is your chance. Then, after worship, she will offer a forum on the differences between Eucharist and Morning Prayer. This will be an opportunity for us all to begin learning and re-learning this form of prayer as we incorporate it into our regular worship pattern at St. John’s.
    July 2:        Summer Worship begins in the Parish Hall
    Every summer, we take advantage of the air-conditioning and move our worship to the Parish Hall. We will gather for worship this way until September 10.
    July 15:      Mid-Hudson Regional Gathering at Christ Church in Poughkeepsie
    Our newest bishop, the Rt. Rev. Matt Heyd, will join this special gathering of the Mid-Hudson congregations for Eucharistic worship, potluck reception, and a conversation with the bishops. More information coming.
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    All Things Bright and Beautiful


    Dear Ones,

    If you’ve never walked through our beautiful Memorial Garden, you really need to do so soon. Late May through June is the perfect time of year to experience the garden in all its glory. It’s not only St. John’s members who benefit from this outdoor sanctuary, I see people sitting in this peaceful space all the time. It’s a lovely ministry for our neighborhood.

    Of course, the caretaking of any garden doesn’t happen by itself. I remember when I got here over 7years ago, the front end of the garden was just as beautiful as it is now – lush greenery surrounding the St. Francis fountain, inviting all to take a seat and relax. But the back end of the garden was another story. Weeds had taken over the pergola area and the paint was chipped in several places. It’s was very uninviting.

    Today, the welcoming beauty of the entire Memorial Garden is sustained by the efforts of many people.

    The Columbarium Board (Lynn Dennison, George Mine, and Sarah Corrigan) oversee the entire space and ensures that the maintenance of all the greenery occurs – trees, bushes, and lawn. In addition, of course, they oversee the Columbarium itself, where many members of St. John’s have found their final resting place. Right now, the Board is looking to replace the front gate of the Memorial Garden, which has aged due to time and weather. If you’d like to make a contribution, to this effort, please speak directly with either Lynn or George.

    And, as many of us know, the pergola area of the Memorial Garden has been cared for by our own Director of Music, Terry Earles, for the past four years. Terry has experimented with various plantings and added some new features to deepen the peaceful beauty we can now all find there. He also raises money for his plantings so if you would like to contribute, please speak with him.

    If you would like to join any of the gardeners in this ministry of care and beauty, please do speak with them. But I hope you will take the time to thank them. They all give so much for so many.

    In God’s love and mine,
    Rev. Michelle

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    Announcements for May 28
    The Feast of Pentecost

    St. John’s Office Hours
    Wednesdays 10:00-12:00 noon, Thursdays 1:00-4:00 pm
    Phone: 845-331-2252
    Email:
    stjohnskingston@aol.com

    Have an announcement for the bulletin?
    Please send by Wednesday at noon to
    stjohnskingston@aol.comAnchor.

    Gun Violence Awareness Day Event: On Friday, June 2 at 5:30. Join members of St. John’s and Congregation Emanuel of the Hudson Valley for an event in support of the National Gun Violence Awareness Day, sponsored Everytown for Gun Safety, Sandy Hook Promise, and others.

    St. John’s Game Night is back! Our beloved Game Night returns on Friday, June 9 at 6:00 pm. Bring your favorite game and your favorite “Friday-night-food.” And bring a friend! Contact Sara Hutton if you have questions or would like to help: shutton324@gmail.com

    Summer Book Read: Join us for the St. John’s Summer Book Read. We will meet over Zoom so you don’t have to worry about missing a meeting due to travel! The book is No Act of Love Is Ever Wasted by Thibault and Morgan. It’s a non-fiction read that focuses on caring for people with dementia but is also a good reflection for all who provide pastoral care or are caretakers of friends or family. Discussion dates announced soon, in the meantime, go ahead and buy the book. Want to learn more? Talk to Lynn Dennison, Sue Bonsteel, or Rev. Michelle.

    Bible Study: Come and join in Bible Study with Rev. Michelle. Beginning June 18, we will have two opportunities to join in a weekly Bible Study – Sundays at 8:30 am (in person) or Wednesdays at 12:00 noon (via Zoom). We begin our study with the Gospel of Matthew.
    Email Rev. Michelle if you’d like to join either group.

    Grief Support Group: Hudson Valley Hospice comes to St. John’s for the summer to offer a Family Grief Support Group, Monday afternoons 2x a month, June 5 through Sept 25. Prior registration is required – call 845-240-7579 for more information and to register.

    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 June 1,  These Precious Days by Anne Patchett. Our next meeting after that will be September 7 when we will discuss Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver. No meetings in July or August. All are welcome! Interested? Talk with Lynn Dennison.

    St. John’s Outreach Project – People’s Place: When you go to the store, pick up a few extra non-perishable food items for People’s Place food pantry (tuna, soup, pasta, sauce, etc.). We are also taking donations of birthday napkins/plates, candles, and gift bags in various sizes. Bring them to church and place them in the appropriate baskets near the Font.

     

  4. May 18, 2023

    This Week at St. John’s

    The Feast of the Ascension

    While most people know about two of the major feasts of the Christian calendar (Christmas and Easter), many forget that there are others. And the Feast of the Ascension is one that is often overlooked. Always celebrated on a Thursday, 39 days after the Resurrection of Easter, the Day of Ascension marks Jesus’ final ascent from the finite, earthly realm 39 days after the Resurrection at Easter. We will be celebrating the Ascension this coming Sunday and talking about what it means for Christ to ascend above all in our own hearts and minds. How do we offer ourselves over to Christ?

    Godly Play!

    Bring your young people to our upstairs Godly Play room so they can join Leah Siuta for this Montessori-based curriculum. Everyone sits in a circle as Leah tells a story from our Godly Play shelves and are invited to wonder with God to bring the story closer to their own hearts and minds. Then, the group comes down to join us for Eucharist.

    Inquirer’s Class – What We Do: Ministry and the Baptismal Covenant

    Our Final Inquirer’s Class from 1:00-3:30 in the Rectory  
    As Christians, we believe in an incarnate God – the Christ – who came to teach us that all the law and the prophets point to Love. And that this love isn’t something we feel, it’s something we do. Jesus’ two commandments of: Love God and love your neighbor as yourself aren’t about warm fuzzies and “thoughts and prayers.” These commandments must guide our participation in this incarnate reality. As we deepen our journey with Christ and our faith matures, we learn how to become ministers in the world. Our Baptismal Covenant is the place we return to in order to remind ourselves of God’s dream for all of us.

    Bible Study Survey – please turn them in!

    As Episcopalians, scripture has a central place in our worship and is foundational to our Christian faith. As such, we are called to take the reading of scripture seriously, to open it up and explore its meaning. A Weekly Bible Study is an opportunity to interrogate scripture alongside others while developing relationships and community. What can we learn from scripture for our lives today?

    If you are interested, please take this survey to let Rev. Michelle know when you are able to attend. Fill out this electronic form OR use the paper form found in your Sunday worship bulletin. Make sure they are turned in by Sunday, May 21.

    ______________________________________________________

    The Consecration of Matthew Foster Heyd

    This Saturday, May 20 the Diocese of New York consecrates Matthew Foster Heyd as Bishop Coadjutor at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. If you are not coming to be in person, you can still join the celebration online through the cathedral’s youtube page.The procession begins at 10:15 am on youtube.com/@CathedralSaintJohn

    Paula Wisneski and Roger Bonsteel will process with the St. John’s banner. Paula and Roger will then sit with other members from St. John’s – Sue Bonsteel, Kathy Burdick, Claudette Ford, Rebekah Hendricks, Ana Hernandez, Don Hughes, Liz Moeller, and Nilsa Rodriguez-Jaca. Finally, Rev. Michelle will be processing and sitting with the Committee to Elect a Bishop.

    Afterwards, there is a reception outside on the Cathedral Green where Liz will host an activities tent for the kids.

    We’ll take plenty of pictures and share them on Instagram and Facebook and here in next week’s Good News from St. John’s.

    Let’s all keep Matt and his family in our prayers as they make this transition into his new ministry.

    You can learn more here and also watch a video of Matt talking to Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.

    ____________________________________________________________

    Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes


    Dear Ones,
    I hope you recognize the title of this comes from David Bowie’s iconic song, “Changes”.

    As the Vestry and I have been communicating to you all, there are changes to the Rector’s salary and schedule occurring this year. In April, the Vestry voted to reduce the hours of the Rector to 60% beginning June 1. This comes in response to the need to move into more sustainable financial practices, a situation that is facing all denominations across the country. We are not alone. And I want to be very clear that this decision is one that I have supported at every step. I agree with the decision of the Vestry.

    There are 2 changes I am announcing here – my schedule and a shift in our worship. In addition to more lay leadership of events, committees, and other ministries, these will be the most significant changes for us to move through as a congregation as we live into this new arrangement.

    Rev. Michelle’s Schedule as of June 1
    Sundays: I will be with you for every Sunday service, except for the Sundays that I am off. I have been given more Sundays off with this change.
    Mondays: I am unavailable, except for our monthly Vestry meetings.
    Tuesdays: I am unavailable.
    Wednesdays: I am unavailable, except to lead our online Centering Prayer.
    Thursdays: I am available all day and will have office hours for part of the day in the church building, should you wish to stop by or need to access the office. More details coming.
    Fridays: I am available all day.
    Saturdays: I am available but will spend the better part of the day writing the sermon and preparing for Sunday.

    With the rest of my time, I will be doing some work for the Diocese of New York as well as leading more retreats to supplement my income. Of course, I will be with you all for regular liturgical events regardless of when they fall during the week – Ash Wednesday, Holy Week, Christmas, etc. And should there be a pastoral emergency, I will be there.

    The officers and I will review this schedule in September.

    Shift in Worship
    One of the ways in which we are looking to reduce costs is to be strategic about how much we spend on supply priests on the Sundays when I am not with you. Because the Episcopal Church requires that sacraments be presided over by ordained priests or bishops, we need to re-think our worship pattern, if we want to spend less on supply priests.

    About 50 years ago, Eucharist was not offered every Sunday in the Episcopal Church. Instead, we worshipped together in a service called Morning Prayer. Morning Prayer can be led by anyone in the church – ordained leaders or lay leaders. And we have several lay leaders at St. John’s who are offering to expand their ministry: Leah Siuta, Wes Dangler, and Lynn Dennison.

    This summer, St. John’s will begin a practice of having Morning Prayer on the “5th Sundays.” By that, I mean that in any month where there are 5 Sundays, we will have Morning Prayer instead of Eucharist on that last Sunday. Even if I’m here, I will officiate over Morning Prayer on the 5th Sundays.

    We hope to incorporate the beauty of this liturgical form into our common worship life so that, when Leah, Wes, or Lynn are called upon to lead Morning Prayer, everyone at St. John’s feel more comfortable with and prepared for worshipping through this form.

    Before we begin this new worship pattern, I will offer a forum and other forms of teaching to help us all with the shift. For those of you with a Book of Common Prayer, you can get started by taking a look at the form beginning on page 75.

    Finally, I ask for your grace and understanding as we all move into this new arrangement of congregational life. Having said that, I can understand if you feel angry or upset about this. These are common emotions when it comes to changes. So please do reach out to me with any questions or concerns. I am here and my door is open.

    In God’s love and mine,
    Rev. Michelle

    ________________________________

    Announcements for May 21
    The Feast of the Ascension

    St. John’s Office Hours
    Wednesdays 10:00-12:00 noon, Thursdays 1:00-4:00 pm
    Phone: 845-331-2252    Email: stjohnskingston@aol.com

    Have an announcement for the bulletin?
    Please send by Wednesday at noon to
    stjohnskingston@aol.comAnchor.

    Join the thousands of Episcopalians who are committing themselves and their households to sustainable living. Go to: sustainislandhome.org

    Gun Violence Awareness Day Event: On Friday, June 2 at 5:30. Join members of St. John’s and Congregation Emanuel of the Hudson Valley for an event in support of the National Gun Violence Awareness Day, sponsored Everytown for Gun Safety, Sandy Hook Promise, and others.

    Summer Book Read: Join us for the St. John’s Summer Book Read. We will meet over Zoom so you don’t have to worry about missing a meeting due to travel! The book is No Act of Love Is Ever Wasted by Thibault and Morgan. It’s a non-fiction read that, while it focuses on caring for people with dementia, is also a good reflection for all who provide pastoral care or are caretakers of friends or family. Dates announced soon, in the meantime, go ahead and buy the book. Want to learn more? Talk to Lynn Dennison, Sue Bonsteel, or Rev. Michelle.

    Summer Grief Support Group: Hudson Valley Hospice comes to St. John’s for the summer to offer a Family Summer Grief Support Group, Monday afternoons 2x a month, June 5 through Sept 25. Prior registration is required – call 845-240-7579 for more information and to register.

    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 June 1,  These Precious Days by Anne Patchett. Our next meeting after that will be September 7 when we will discuss Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver. No meetings in July or August. All are welcome! Interested? Talk with Lynn Dennison.

    St. John’s Outreach Project – People’s Place: When you go to the store, pick up a few extra non-perishable food items for People’s Place food pantry (tuna, soup, pasta, sauce, etc.). We are also taking donations of birthday napkins/plates, candles, and gift bags in various sizes. Bring them to church and place them in the appropriate baskets near the font.

    St. John’s Upcoming Schedule
    May 28:     Feast of Pentecost and Renewal of Baptismal Vows
    June 2:       Gun Violence Awareness Event at 5:30
    June 4:       All Ages Worship – The Creation Story
    June 11:     Guest Preacher – The Rev. Richard Witt of Rural and Migrant Ministries, Special Forum after worship about Rural and Migrant Ministries
    June 17:     Ulster Deanery Meeting
    June 18:     Godly Play for kids, Healing Sunday, Pastoral Care meeting, after worship
    June 25:     Rector’s Forum: Celtic Christianity, after worship
    July 2:        Summer Worship begins in the Parish Hall

  5. May 11, 2023

    This Week at St. John’s

    Special Prayer for Mothering

    Mother’s Day carries with it much emotional content because, by their nature, our relationships with mothers and childbearing are deeply emotional human experiences. At St. John’s, we offer a special prayer every year while the larger American culture celebrates this holiday. Through this prayer, we do our best to honor the multi-faceted reality of motherhood, in all of our lives.

    ___________________________________________

    Bible Study Survey

    As Episcopalians, scripture has a central place in our worship and is foundational to our Christian faith. As such, we are called to take the reading of scripture seriously, to open it up and explore its meaning. A Weekly Bible Study is an opportunity to interrogate scripture alongside others while developing relationships and community. What can we learn from scripture for our lives today?

    If you are interested, please take this survey to let Rev. Michelle know when you are able to attend. Fill out this electronic form OR use the paper form found in your Sunday worship bulletin. Make sure they are turned in by Sunday, May 21.

    __________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________

    The St. John’s Memorials Account

    Did you know we have a Memorials Account? And what does that even mean?

    For many years, St. John’s has had a way for people to make memorial or thanksgiving gifts into an account to be used for undesignated, special needs of the parish that come up, often related to our worship services. Examples are new altar linens, vestments, and our recent purchase of a new Gospel Book cover. George Mine has managed this account for many years, and Wes Dangler is on the committee.

    In recent years, this account has been spent down and is now in need of replenishment. This came to light because we need to replace our green chasuble (seen in the images below), the one we use most, which is more than 25 years old. A new one, which will match our altar set, will cost about $750.

    We invite you to help with this purchase by making a gift in memory or in honor of someone. You can speak to Lynn Dennison, George, Wes, or Rev. Michelle for more information. Thank you!

    ____________________________

     

    Rogation Days


    Dear Ones,

    If you look in the calendar of the Book of Common Prayer, you may note that there is something called Rogation Days, which are optional days of commemoration “traditionally observed on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before Ascension Day.”

    As with everything on the Christian calendar, these Rogation Days replaced a pagan Roman procession called Robigalia (this was an unfortunate tradition of walking in a procession, which the Romans loved to do, and then sacrificing a dog as a way of appeasing the god of agricultural disease in order to protect crops). I’d like to think that Rogation Days are an improvement on that particular ritual.

    Warning: History Lesson ahead!
    As Christianity settled into the British Isles, this tradition came with it. There, Rogations Days became a syncretistic mixture of Christian allegory, the pronouncement of God’s blessing on the crops, and the more practical practice of marking property boundaries. People paraded along the boundaries of the town’s crops carrying banners, one with a dragon representing Potius Pilate and one with a lion representing Christ while chanting Psalms over several days leading up to the celebration of the Day of Ascension (the celebration of Christ’s ascension that is held 39 days after Easter). Interestingly, this is where the word “gang” came from – the old English word “gan” which meant to go walking.

    Over the centuries, the allegorical nature of this ritual waned and it became a more communal event that the priest was in charge of leading every year. And, as you might imagine, they also became rather raucous from time to time and from place to place, which was one of the issues the Puritans had with the Church of England.  Eventually, due to the Industrial Revolution, this tradition also included prayers for industry and commerce. And today, in the United States, this ritual is performed more as a nostalgic tradition than anything else because we have become so deeply separated from the land and the growing cycle of our food.

    Here endeth the Lesson.

    Every morning in the spring, I find that I cannot wait to get out into the garden and see what has happened overnight. I think this is quite something, given that I am not a morning person. I just like to walk the grounds, with coffee in hand, and take notice of the slight changes, figure out what needs to be watered or cared for, spend a bit of time pulling a weed or two, and visualize what’s coming next. It also gives me time to tune into myself and think about my family.

    Today, as I was doing this, I realized that it’s like my own little Rogation procession: A practice of paying attention to the blessing of creation and all that I’ve been given to care for; of noticing what is needed for growth and offering what I can, knowing that I’m not going to do it all perfectly.

    So, I wonder what your “Rogation procession” looks like. What are the regular rituals you participate in that allow you to notice what is needed? What do you do that enables you to tune in to a different frequency so that you can offer what is needed in support of the growth and nourishment of others?

    This is, after all, what Ascension is about for us humans – the maturation of our own journey. We know that Jesus himself is no longer here, but his teachings remain and the presence of Christ will always be with us through our desire to tend to God’s creation – not in our image and for our own purposes, but in God’s image and for God’s purpose. It is to this we have always been called as Christians.

    In God’s love and mine,
    Rev. Michelle

     

    ___________________________________________

     

    Announcements for May 14
    The Sixth Sunday of Easter

    St. John’s Office Hours
    Mondays from 12:00-4:00 pm and Wednesdays from 10:00-12:00 noon
    Phone: 845-331-2252    Email: stjohnskingston@aol.com

    Have an announcement for the bulletin? Please send by Wednesday at noon to stjohnskingston@aol.comAnchor.

    Join the thousands of Episcopalians who are committing themselves and their households to sustainable living. Go to: sustainislandhome.org

    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 June 1: These Precious Days by Anne Patchett. Our next meeting after that will be September 7 when we will discuss Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver. No meetings in July or August. All are welcome! Interested? Talk with Lynn Dennison.

    St. John’s Outreach Project – People’s Place: When you go to the store, pick up a few extra non-perishable food items for People’s Place food pantry (tuna, soup, pasta, sauce, etc.). We are also taking donations of birthday napkins/plates, candles, and gift bags in various sizes. Bring them to church and place them in the appropriate baskets near the font.

    NEXT WEEK: Our Final Inquirer’s Class! From 1:00-3:30 in the Rectory
    What We Do: Ministry and the Baptismal Covenant
    As Christians, we believe in an incarnate God – the Christ – who came to teach us that all the law and the prophets point to Love. And that this love isn’t something we feel, it’s something we do. Jesus’ two commandments of: Love God and love your neighbor as yourself aren’t about warm fuzzies and “thoughts and prayers.” These commandments must guide our participation in this incarnate reality. As we deepen our journey with Christ and our faith matures, we learn how to become ministers in the world. Our Baptismal Covenant is the place we return to in order to remind ourselves of God’s dream for all of us.

    Interested in Baptism? In the Episcopal Church, we offer the Sacrament of Baptism on the Feast of Pentecost (this year, on May 28). If you are interested in Baptism or interested in having your child baptized, talk to Rev. Michelle as soon as possible to set up a time to talk more about it. The next time set aside for Baptism will be All Saints Sunday on November 5.

    St. John’s Upcoming Schedule

    May 20:     Consecration of Matthew Heyd as Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of New York, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in NYC.
    May 21:     Godly Play for kids, Healing Sunday, Inquirer’s Class – What We Do: Ministry and the Baptismal Covenant, from 1:00-3:30 pm in the Rectory.
    May 28:     Feast of Pentecost and Renewal of Baptismal Vows
    June 4:       All Ages Worship – The Creation Story
    June 11:     Guest Preacher – The Rev. Richard Witt of Rural and Migrant Ministries, Special Forum after worship about Rural and Migrant Ministries
    June 18:     Godly Play for kids, Healing Sunday, Pastoral Care meeting after worship
    June 25:     Rector’s Forum: Celtic Christianity, after worship
    July 2:        Summer Worship begins in the Parish Hall

  6. May 4, 2023

    This Week at St. John’s

    All Ages Worship, Sunday at 10 am

    All Ages Worship is designed to engage the minds and hearts of everyone. It’s the same worship we normally have but we use some different words that work well for younger ears and Rev. Michelle tells a story in place of a sermon. Come and join us for a loving and joyful feast. Our story this month will be about how God’s Love is connected to our own resilience.

    Inquirer’s Class, Sunday 1:00-3:30 pm, St. John’s Rectory

    We continue our two-part primer on reading scripture as a part of the Inquirer’s Class Series from 1:00-3:30 pm on May 7: How We Read Scripture in the Episcopal Church. We begin with the Hebrew Scriptures or as they are often called, the Old Testament. In the second session, we delve into the Greek Scriptures, or the New Testament. Why spend 2 sessions talking about scripture? To put it into perspective, we claim that Holy Scripture contains all things necessary for salvation. And “perspective” is one of the important things to discuss as we take a look at scripture. So, what lens are we using? Where did all these writings come from? What are some helpful resources/guides? We will discuss these questions and more, and also spend time reading scripture together.

     

    _______________________________

    Bible Study Survey

    As Episcopalians, scripture has a central place in our worship and is foundational to our Christian faith. As such, we are called to take the reading of scripture seriously, to open it up and explore its meaning. A Weekly Bible Study is an opportunity to interrogate scripture alongside others while developing relationships and community. What can we learn from scripture for our lives today?

    If you are interested, please take this survey to let Rev. Michelle know when you are able to attend. Fill out this electronic form OR use the paper form found in your Sunday worship bulletin. Make sure they are turned in by Sunday, May 21.

    ____________________________________

    ______________________________________________________

    The Consecration of Matthew Foster Heyd
    Our Next Bishop Diocesan
    Saturday, May 20 at 11:00 am, St. John the Divine, NYC

    Reserve your seat on the bus ASAP by contacting Rev. Michelle!

    It’s not often in the life of a Diocese that we consecrate a new bishop. On Saturday, May 20 we will consecrate Matthew Foster Heyd to be our Bishop Coadjutor, which means he will serve alongside our current Bishop Diocesan Andy Dietsche until he retires next year.

    Matt was voted into office last December by representatives from every congregation in the Diocese of New York which contains the following counties: Staten Island, Manhattan, the Bronx, Rockland, Orange, Sullivan, Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, and Ulster. This represents approximately 180 congregations and thousands of Episcopalians who live along the Hudson River. The consecration will be a rather spectacular event and it will be held in the largest Gothic cathedral in the world – St. John the Divine in NYC.

    Most importantly, we will be worshipping together as a diocese – praying together, singing together, celebrating Eucharist together. Our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will be present, as will many other bishops from other dioceses across the church.

    There are several ways for you to participate!

    • All congregations are invited to be in the opening procession with our parish banner.
    • Or… don’t process, just come and worship.
    • You can help out by bring an usher or a greeter, with some assistance from cathedral volunteers.
    • You can bake cookies or another individually wrapped dessert for the reception.
    • If you’re unable to make the trip, you can view the consecration on the Diocese of New York youtube channel.
    There are no tickets or reservations needed as there is plenty of seating available. BUT, if you would like to ride the free bus to the cathedral on May 20, please contact Rev. Michelle ASAP! The bus seats are going fast.
    ____________________________________________

    The St. John’s Memorials Account

    Did you know we have a Memorials Account? And what does that even mean? For many years St. John’s has had a way for people to make memorial or thanksgiving gifts into an account to be used for undesignated special needs of the parish, often related to our worship services. Examples are new altar linens, vestments, and our recent purchase of a new Gospel Book cover. George Mine has managed this account for many years, and Wes Dangler is on the committee.In recent years, this account has been spent down and is now in need of replenishment. This came to light because we need to replace our green chasuble, the one we use most which is more than 25 years old see below). A new one, which will match our altar set, will cost about $750.

    We invite you to help with this purchase by making a gift in memory or in honor of someone. You can speak to me, George, Wes, or Rev. Michelle for more information. Thanks! Lynn Dennison

    ________________________________________________

    In the Rectory Garden


    Dear Ones,Ana and I were married nearly 5 years ago and ever since then, I have been deepening my love for gardening and becoming, dare I say it, an avid gardener. This is not something I was prepared for because, when I was younger, I never found it very interesting. But something clicked that first winter we were married, I just wanted to grow things.

    We started small. We bought a bed, a bunch of soil, and a bunch of common and really odd herbs to plant in that soil. Easy enough. Then, we started clearing out all the beds around the Rectory that I had let overgrow. And that felt good. Again, easy enough. Until I got to the poison ivy. I spent the entire month of June sitting in colloidal oatmeal baths, covering myself in calamine lotion, and taking steroids. I now know what poison ivy looks like and how to get rid of it properly.

    The next year, we expanded our garden, planting seeds indoors and transplanting them outdoors in mid-May. We learned a lot about letting tomato plants get out of hand, what cabbage worms are, the vertical leaping abilities of rabbits, and why squash should be grown vertically.

    I suppose the larger story in all of this isn’t one of great insight, it’s just the simple truth that this is how life goes. You can never predict exactly how the whole endeavor will end up and, after all of the failures and injuries and misadventures, there are so many beautiful moments. Ana and I still dance around the room (literally) when a new sprout arises from the soil. I still can’t wait to share the first pod of peas with Ana in the middle of the garden. I still savor the first tomato sandwich made from the tomatoes in the garden. And Ana still loves to find things to do with everything we harvest.

    I try to post as many things as possible on Instagram and Facebook as we move through the spring and summer months. And I invite you to join us in our misadventures and our joy this year.

    In God’s love and mine,
    Rev. Michelle

    ________________________________________

    Announcements for May 7
    The Fifth Sunday of Easter

    St. John’s Office Hours
    Mondays from 12:00-4:00 pm and Wednesdays from 10:00-12:00 noon
    Phone: 845-331-2252    Email: stjohnskingston@aol.com

    Join the thousands of Episcopalians who are committing themselves and their households to sustainable living. Go to: sustainislandhome.org

    THIS SUNDAY! Inquirer’s Class meets from 1:00-3:30 in the St. John’s Rectory. We continue our discussion, “How We Read Scripture in the Episcopal Church.” All are welcome!

    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 next month: May 4 – If on A Winter’s Night A Traveler by Italo Calvino. All are welcome! Interested? Talk with Lynn Dennison.

    St. John’s Outreach Project – People’s Place: When you go to the store, pick up a few extra non-perishable food items for People’s Place food pantry (tuna, soup, pasta, sauce, etc.). We are also taking donations of birthday napkins/plates, candles, and gift bags in various sizes. Bring them to church and place them in the appropriate baskets near the font.

    Interested in Baptism? In the Episcopal Church, we offer the Sacrament of Baptism on the Feast of Pentecost (this year, on May 28). If you are interested in Baptism or interested in having your child baptized, talk to Rev. Michelle as soon as possible to set up a time to talk more about it. The next time set aside for Baptism will be All Saints Sunday on November 5.

    Have an announcement for the bulletin?
    Please send by Wednesday at noon to
    stjohnskingston@aol.comAnchor.

    St. John’s Upcoming Schedule

    May 20:     Consecration of Matthew Heyd as Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of New York, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in NYC.
    May 21:     Godly Play for kids, Healing Sunday and Inquirer’s Class – What We Do: Ministry and the Baptismal Covenant, from 1:00-3:30 pm in the Rectory.
    May 28:     Feast of Pentecost and Renewal of Baptismal Vows
    June 4:       All Ages Worship – The Creation Story
    June 11:     Guest Preacher – The Rev. Richard Witt of Rural and Migrant Ministries and Special Forum after worship about Rural and Migrant Ministries
    June 18:     Godly Play for kids, Healing Sunday and Pastoral Care meeting after worship
    June 25:     Rector’s Forum: Celtic Christianity, after worship
    July 2:        Summer Worship begins in the Parish Hall

     

  7. April 27, 2023

    Coming Up at St. John’s

    THIS WEEK: April 30
    April Rector’s Forum: Life at the Time of Jesus

    Context is everything! Join Rev. Michelle after worship to learn more about this time and explore questions like: What was life like in Galilee? Who had power and who didn’t? How was Judaism practiced when Jesus was alive? What did people believe about resurrection?

    NEXT WEEK: May 7

    All Ages Worship

    All Ages Worship is held every first Sunday of the month and is designed to engage minds and hearts of all ages. Our story for May will be about how God’s Love is connected to our own resilience. 

    Inquirer’s Class from 1:00-3:30 pm in the St. John’s Rectory

    We continue our two-part primer on reading scripture as a part of the Inquirer’s Class Series from 1:00-3:30 pm on May 7: How We Read Scripture in the Episcopal Church. We begin with the Hebrew Scriptures or as they are often called, the Old Testament. In the second session, we delve into the Greek Scriptures, or the New Testament. Why spend 2 sessions talking about scripture? To put it into perspective, we claim that Holy Scripture contains all things necessary for salvation. And “perspective” is one of the important things to discuss as we take a look at scripture. So, what lens are we using? Where did all these writings come from? What are some helpful resources/guides? We will discuss these questions and more, and also spend time reading scripture together.

     

     

    _________________________________________________

    St. John’s Outreach Committee Project: People’s Place

    Fellow parishioners,
    There are two ministries that we would like to resume.

    Although a few people have been donating non-perishable food items for People’s Place we haven’t made announcements about this ministry recently.  Please bring non-perishable food items and place them in the basket

     and these items will be delivered to People’s Place. This includes things like pasta, canned goods, sauces, canned meats, peanut butter, etc. 

    People’s Place also provides birthday cakes and party supplies to children 12 and younger.  They provide a birthday cake which is being donated by People’s Place, but they need donations of birthday-themed napkins, plates, cake candles, and gift bags in various sizes, so we will also be collecting these items.

    Thank you for all that you do,
    St. John’s Outreach Committee

     

     

    ______________________________________________

    ____________________________________________

    The St. John’s Rental Program
    Welcome, Brian Silver! Our new Kitchen/Office Administrator

    This week, we welcome Brian Silver to our St. John’s Community. Brian is taking over for Suzanne Campise, who recently left to take a job with the Kingston Farmers’ Market. His primary focus at St. John’s will be to continue developing relationships between St. John’s and the members of our community through our space/kitchen rental program.

    When he’s not working for us at St. John’s, Brian is an events manager and booking agent at Mohonk Mountain House and also works as a realtor. He graduated in 2016 with dual degrees in Communication and Music from Tulane University in New Orleans.

    Brian will be working mostly from home, staying in touch with current clients and reaching out to the larger community to explore more possibilities for community partnership. He will also keep up with incoming email and phone calls. Brian’s office hours at St. John’s are Wednesdays from 10-12.

    You can reach Brian by contacting the St. John’s Office at 845-331-2252 or stjohnskingston@aol.com.
    If you would like to schedule a rental or recommend our facility to a friend, have them contact Brian at kitchenatstjohns@gmail.com.

    _______________________________________________

    The Sacrament of Baptism

    Dear Ones,

    As you hear me say every week during our celebration of Eucharist – All are welcome at God’s Table. And “all” really means ALL at St. John’s. I truly hope that everyone feels welcome to participate.

    Eucharist is one of our two sacraments in the Episcopal Church, the other being Baptism. What does that mean? What is a sacrament? Our Book of Common Prayer defines sacrament as “an outward and visible of sign of an inward and spiritual grace.” This means that when we celebrate/participate in a sacrament, we are making known to all and, perhaps, mostly to ourselves, that this inward and spiritual grace is present and real. We are actively claiming that as true for us. I supposed one might say that it’s a bit like coming out of the closet.

    What is this grace that we are claiming? To put it simply, by participating in Eucharist, we are claiming the continuing presence of God’s reconciling love. By participating in Baptism, we are recognizing that we are God’s beloved children. Nourishment and identity, and the healing and love that deepen when we claim these surrounded by the support of our Christian community.

    In the Episcopal Church, we will offer the Sacrament of Baptism on 4 occasions throughout the year and our next opportunity for Baptism is on the Feast of Pentecost (this year, on May 28). The other times we set aside for Baptism are the celebration of the Baptism of Christ (early January), the Great Vigil of Easter (Easter Eve), and All Saints Sunday (early November).

    If you are interested in Baptism or interested in having your child baptized, let’s talk.

    In God’s love and mine,
    Rev. Michelle

    ______________________________________________

    Announcements for April 30
    The Fourth Sunday of Easter

    THIS SUNDAY! Rector’s Forum: Life at the Time of Jesus  Context is everything! Join Rev. Michelle after worship to learn more about this time and explore questions like: What was life like in Galilee? Who had power and who didn’t? How was Judaism practiced when Jesus was alive? What did people believe about resurrection?

    NEXT SUNDAY! All ages worship: Our story will be about how God’s Love is connected to our own resilience.

    NEXT SUNDAY: Inquirer’s Class meets from 1:00-3:30 in the St. John’s Rectory as we continue our primer on “How We Read Scripture in the Episcopal Church” All are welcome!

    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 next month: May 4 – If on A Winter’s Night A Traveler by Italo Calvino. All are welcome! Interested? Talk with Lynn Dennison.

    St. John’s Outreach Project: When you go to the store, pick up a few extra non-perishable food items for People’s Place food pantry (tuna, soup, pasta, sauce, etc.). We are also taking donations of birthday napkins/plates, candles, and gift bags in various sizes. Bring them to church and place them in the appropriate baskets near the altar.

    Interested in Baptism? In the Episcopal Church, we offer the Sacrament of Baptism on the Feast of Pentecost (this year, on May 28). If you are interested in Baptism or interested in having your child baptized, talk to Rev. Michelle as soon as possible to set up a time to talk more about it. The next time set aside for Baptism will be All Saints Sunday on November 5.

    Have an announcement for the bulletin?
    Please send by Wednesday at noon to
    stjohnskingston@aol.com.

    St. John’s Office Hours
    Mondays from 12-4 pm and Wednesdays from 10 – 12 noon
    Phone: 845-331-2252
    Email:
    stjohnskingston@aol.com

    2023 Easter Season at St. John’s

    Here are the many opportunities for people to engage and learn at St. John’s over the coming months. Look for more information here in our e-newsletter, The Good News from St. John’s.
    May 7:       All Ages Worship – Resilience in Christ AND Inquirer’s Class – How We Read Scripture II: The Greek Scriptures, from 1:00-3:30 pm.
    May 20:     Consecration of Matthew Heyd as Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of New York, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in NYC.
    May 21:     Godly Play for kids, Healing Sunday AND Inquirer’s Class – What We Do: Ministry and the Baptismal Covenant, from 1:00-3:30 pm.
    May 28:     Feast of Pentecost
    June 4:       All Ages Worship – The Creation Story
    June 11:     Guest Preacher – The Rev. Richard Witt of Rural and Migrant Ministries and a special forum after worship to learn more about the good work they do in NYS.
    June 18:     Godly Play for kids, Healing Sunday AND Pastoral Care meeting, after worship
    June 25:     Rector’s Forum: Celtic Christianity, after worship
    July 2:        Summer Worship begins in the Parish Hall
  8. April 21, 2023

    This Week at St. John’s

    Outreach Committee: Meets after worship on Sunday

    The St. John’s Outreach Committee discusses ways to support community care efforts in and around Kingston. They oversee our Outreach Fund, giving financial support to various organizations. Join in the conversation after worship on Sunday. All are welcome!

    Inquirer’s Class – This Sunday from 1:00-3:30 pm

    We begin a two-part primer on reading scripture as a part of the Inquirer’s Class Series from 1:00-3:30 pm on April 23 and May 7.  How We Read Scripture in the Episcopal Church. We begin with the Hebrew Scriptures or as they are often called, the Old Testament. In the second session, we delve into the Greek Scriptures, or the New Testament. Why spend 2 sessions talking about scripture? To put it into perspective, we claim that Holy Scripture contains all things necessary for salvation. And “perspective” is one of the important things to discuss as we take a look at scripture. So, what lens are we using? Where did all these writings come from? What are some helpful resources/guides? We will discuss these questions and more, and also spend time reading scripture together.

    Stay tuned! Rev. Michelle will soon be announcing a weekly Bible Study class to which all are invited!

    __________________________________________________________

    A Party to Plan Parties: St. John’s Event Planning

    Tuesday, April 25 from 5:00-6:30 at the St. John’s Rectory
    All are invited.
    Bring snacks if you got ’em!

    What kind of event would be “sustainable”… something that can take place every year? What kind of event would bring in enough funds to make it worth our time and effort while still being a fun event for us and for those who we will invite to come? What kind of event would you be willing to lead or co-lead? Or take an active role in planning? What events do we want to schedule that are not fundraising related, but are events in service to the community? What organizations might we consider partnering with?

    ______________________________________________________________

    Announcement from the St. John’s Vestry

    Dear Fellow Parishioners,

    Happy Spring!! With this season of new growth, reflection and recommitment upon us, we wanted to update you on the recent work that the Vestry has taken on. As you know from previous meetings and announcements, we have been considering a reduction in Rev. Michelle’s hours as a means of addressing the financial hardship our church is facing.

    We have now made a decision to have Rev. Michelle begin a revised schedule of 60% of her current hours, beginning June 1, 2023. The priorities for her work with us will continue to focus on Worship Leadership, Pastoral Care and Christian Formation. These are, of course, Rev. Michelle’s gifts, experience, and education. We will continue to discuss how we, as a congregation, can work together to address some of the  responsibilities that Rev. Michelle will have less time to focus on. This will include such things as office administration, buildings and grounds, stewardship, special events, etc.

    It is important to recognize that this change is something that Rev. Michelle is very comfortable with as it also allows her to pursue other pastoral endeavors in our community and in the diocese. We are truly appreciative of the discernment work we have done with one another, as well as the discernment done by former vestry members and the congregation as a whole. This has not been an easy decision. However, we are optimistic that this challenge also presents new opportunities to come together as a worshipping community and for each of us to consider how we can contribute our time, talents and treasure to St. John’s.

    Please feel free to reach out to any member of the Vestry if you would like to discuss this.

    Leah Siuta and Claudette Ford – Wardens
    Liz Moeller, Nilsa Rodriguez-Jaca, Sara Hutton, Paula Wisneski, Kathy Burdick – Vestrypeople

    ______________________________________________________

    The St. John’s Rental Program:
    What’s Happening During the Week at St. John’s?

    Our rental program is up and running thanks to our Kitchen/Office Administrator, Suzanne Campise. And there is more in the works as we continue to share our space and resources with the larger community of Kingston.

    In our Kitchen, we have renters cooking savory pies, mixing teas, baking dog biscuits… and more! In our Parish Hall we have an improv class for kids on Tuesday nights given by Maclain Maier and, in June, the Hudson Valley Hospice will begin offering a Family Grief Support Group on Monday afternoons.

    We also just opened our doors to the Bridge Arts and Education program: Qualified teachers offer individual lessons and both kids and adults have the opportunity to participate in jazz and choir ensembles. Their rehearsals are on Sunday afternoons and Tuesday nights in both the Sanctuary and Parish Hall.

    We are so thankful to Suzanne for helping us to create a viable model for space rental which makes it more difficult to announce her departure. Suzanne is leaving to pursue work that meets her heart’s desire more completely. As you may recall, Suzanne got this program up and running in Spring of 2022, left to give birth to her first child and then came back in January to continue developing the program. After this first year, we’re very excited about the potential and we are in the process of hiring our next Administrator who, we hope, will continue growing this program and, with it, our connections in the Kingston community and Ulster County.

    Stay tuned for an announcement soon about our new Administrator. And thank you, Suzanne, for all you’ve done for us!

    ______________________________________________________________

    Earth Sunday


    Dear Ones,

    As we shake the frost from our lives and feel ourselves open up to the warmth of spring, we tap into the energy of life that is birthing all around us. Trees budding, flowers blooming, seeds sprouting, peepers peeping. Aside from the pollen and, perhaps, the ticks… this is such a beautiful time of year.

    Perhaps because this beauty gives us life in so many ways, we can be seduced into thinking that God puts on this show of glory just for us – for our enjoyment and consumption. We coexist with all the life on this tiny planet. We are gift and we are gifted. We are kept by its bounty and we are keepers of its life – just as all other creatures are a part of the interconnected web that lives and breathes in and around us. We are bound to its rhythms and riches.

    The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 on April 22 in response to the developing crisis of pollution and the prosperity-over-all mindset. US congress members from “both sides of the aisle” joined together to engage community organization, faith groups, and others in a mass teach-in on college campuses. Since then, Earth Day has become an international event. You can learn more here: Earth Day: The Official Site | EARTHDAY.ORG

    The Episcopal Church recognizes Earth Sunday every year (this year, April 23) as a time for us to focus on the question: What is our faith calling us to do in our care for this Earth, our island home? As a part of this reflection, I ask each of you to visit this site: sustainislandhome.org.

    This site will ask you for basic Episcopal parish information and will then lead you to create an account for your household through Bright Action. Then, you can decide which areas you would like to make progress on – clean energy, water wise, eating green, etc. and you will be guided to take action and track your progress. By logging in as a member of St. John’s, you will be joining thousands of other Episcopalians across the church in tracking together the progress we, as a church, are committing ourselves to when it comes to caring for our common home.

    I hope you’ll join us in this effort!

    In God’s love and mine,
    Rev. Michelle

     ________________________________________________

    Announcements for April 23
    The Third Sunday of Easter

    This coming Sunday is Earth Sunday. Join the thousands of Episcopalians who are committing to sustaining the Earth, our island home. Go to: sustainislandhome.org

    This Sunday! The St. John’s Outreach Committee meets after worship today in the Parish Hall. All are welcome to join the discussion.

    How We Read Scripture in the Episcopal Church. This Sunday, we begin a two-part primer on reading scripture as a part of the Inquirer’s Class Series from 1:00-3:30 pm on April 23 and May 7.  We start with the Hebrew Scriptures or as they are often called, the Old Testament. In the second session, we delve into the Greek Scriptures, or the New Testament. Why spend 2 sessions talking about scripture? To put it into perspective, we claim that Holy Scripture contains all things necessary for salvation. And “perspective” is one of the important things to discuss as we take a look at scripture. So, what lens are we using? Where did all these writings come from? What are some helpful resources/guides? We will discuss these questions and more, and also spend time reading scripture together.

    NEXT WEEK! Rector’s Forum: Life at the Time of Jesus
    Context is everything! And the season of Easter is a wonderful time to delve into what life was like at the time of Jesus and the original Apostles. Join Rev. Michelle after worship on April 30 to learn more about this time and explore questions like: What was life like in Galilee? Who had power and who didn’t? How was Judaism practiced when Jesus was alive? What did people believe about resurrection?

    Interested in Baptism? In the Episcopal Church, we offer the Sacrament of Baptism on the Feast of Pentecost (this year, on May 28). If you are interested in Baptism or interested in having your child baptized, talk to Rev. Michelle as soon as possible to set up a time to talk more about it. The next time set aside for Baptism will be All Saints Sunday on November 5.

    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 next month: May 4 – If on A Winter’s Night A Traveler by Italo Calvino. All are welcome! Interested? Talk with Lynn Dennison.

    St. John’s Office Hours
    Mondays from 12:00-4:00 pm and Thursdays from 1:00-3:00 pm
    Phone: 845-331-2252
    Email:
    stjohnskingston@aol.com
    Please note: Rev. Michelle’s Sabbath Day is Friday and she is unavailable.

    Have an announcement for the bulletin?
    Please send by Wednesday at noon to
    stjohnskingston@aol.comAnchor.

    2023 Easter Season at St. John’s

    Here are the many opportunities for people to engage and learn at St. John’s over the coming months. Look for more information here in our e-newsletter, The Good News from St. John’s.
    April 30:     Rector’s Forum: Life at the Time of Jesus, after worship
    May 7:       All Ages Worship – Resilience in Christ AND Inquirer’s Class – How We Read Scripture II: The Greek Scriptures, from 1:00-3:30 pm.
    May 20:     Consecration of Matthew Heyd as Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of New York, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in NYC.
    May 21:     Godly Play for kids, Healing Sunday AND Inquirer’s Class – What We Do: Ministry and the Baptismal Covenant, from 1:00-3:30 pm.
    May 28:     Feast of Pentecost
    June 4:       All Ages Worship – The Creation Story
    June 11:     Guest Preacher – The Rev. Richard Witt of Rural and Migrant Ministries
    June 18:     Godly Play for kids, Healing Sunday AND Pastoral Care meeting, after worship
    June 25:     Rector’s Forum: Celtic Christianity, after worship
    July 2:        Summer Worship begins in the Parish Hall
  9. April 6, 2023

    Holy Week: Everything you need to know!

     

    Maundy Thursday

    We begin at 6:00 pm with a simple soup supper in the Parish Hall. Afterwards, we move into the Sanctuary for Eucharist, offering foot-washing (so be prepared to take off your socks/shoes) or hand-washing. After Eucharist, we strip the altar, removing liturgical decorations and all symbols of Christ. We leave in silence.

    Good Friday

    Beginning at 12 noon, we enter the bare space – no sign of Christ. Through the reading of John’s Passion, we contemplate Jesus’ sacrifice. We pray and venerate the cross before leaving in silence.
    You are also invited to attend the Good Friday prayer service at 2:00 pm at Ascension/Holy Trinity in West Park, NY. Both Rev. Michelle and the Rev. Br. Aidan Owen will be leading these Good Friday services together.

    Stations of the Cross

    On Friday at 7:00 pm in the St. John’s Sanctuary we offer a video presentation of the Stations of the Cross – looking through the lens of Jesus’ journey to Calvary we examine contemporary society.

    Holy Saturday Prayers and Work Gathering

    Before we prepare our Sanctuary for the coming celebration, we gather to reflect and pray at 9:00 am. Then we get busy with cleaning, placing flowers, and decorating the space. All are welcome to come and help out.

    The Great Vigil of Easter

    Bring a bell from home to ring! We begin at 8:00 pm in the Memorial Garden by lighting a new fire. We tell stories and sing hymns inside by candlelight, awaiting the dawn of Christ. We celebrate by renewing our Baptismal Vows and sharing Eucharist. The congregation of Ascension/Holy Trinity in West Park will join us as we all celebrate together.
    This will be available by Zoom for those who are unable to drive at night.

    Easter Sunday

    A big, joyous celebration! Lots of singing and fun. Godly Play is available for the kids and an egg hunt after worship. Plus an abundant Community Brunch so bring food to share.

    ______________________________________________________

    From the St. John’s Vestry

    Please keep the Vestry in your prayers as we continue to discern how our current financial reality can be used to renew the ministry of St. John’s. The adjustment of the Rector’s salary, hours, and responsibilities is central to this discernment so we are taking the time that is needed to pray and deliberate with the Holy Spirit. Please continue your individual exploration of the gifts that you have to offer and employ in our common ministry. And please bring your prayerful insights and comments to any one of the Vestry members. Thank you!
    _________________________________________________________

    The Final Word Is Always Love


    Dear Ones,I hope to see you for our Holy Week services. It is always a rich journey as we remember together Jesus’ final days. Every year I am deeply moved by some moment during this week – something that reshapes my understanding of myself and my relationship with God.

    I remember when I started coming to church about 20 years ago now, I wondered, why would we want to spend so much time looking at this horrific act of state and communal violence perpetrated upon Jesus? I still sometimes find myself wondering about that, if I’m honest. What is this sacrifice about?

    But here’s the thing: Violence is not and never was God’s design or intent. Yet, God does have a response to violence. And that response is always Love. The sacrifice we are invited into is one in which we are asked to give up our own forms of violence – indifference, cynicism, anger, envy, judgment – all the ways we do violence to others and to ourselves, so that we can open ourselves up to learn more and more about what Love really is.

    So come and allow these Holy Week services to meet you where you are this year. Let the words and the liturgical acts wash over you or hear the Spirit’s invitation to enter into them.

    Because violence is never the end. Love is always the final Word.

    “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” – Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi

    In God’s love and mine,
    Rev. Michelle

    ___________________________________________________

    Announcements for April 9
    Holy Week and Easter Sunday

    Social Hour Hosting: You are invited to sign up on the bulletin board in the Vestibule to be a social hour host! Talk with our Hospitality Coordinator, Barbara Johnston for more information.

    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 next month: May 4 – If on A Winter’s Night A Traveler by Italo Calvino. All are welcome! Interested? Talk with Lynn Dennison.

    St. John’s Office Hours
    Mondays from 12:00-4:00 pm and Thursdays from 1:00-3:00 pm
    Phone: 845-331-2252
    Email:
    stjohnskingston@aol.com
    Please note: Rev. Michelle’s Sabbath Day is Friday and she is unavailable.

    Have an announcement for the bulletin?
    Please send by Wednesday at noon to
    stjohnskingston@aol.com.

    2023 Easter Season at St. John’s

    Here are the many opportunities for people to engage and learn at St. John’s over the coming months. Look for more information here in our e-newsletter, The Good News from St. John’s.
    FOR DETAILED SCHEDULE OF HOLY WEEK SERVICES, PLEASE SEE ABOVE.Apr 9: Easter Sunday: Festive Choral Eucharist with Godly Play provided, followed by Community Brunch and Egg Hunt for the kids.
    Apr 16: Healing Sunday, no Godly Play
    Apr 23: Outreach Meeting after worship.
    How We Read Scripture I: The Hebrew Scriptures. Inquirer’s Class is held from 1:00-3:30 pm.
    Apr 30: Rector’s Forum – Life at the Time of Jesus. After worship.
    May 7: All Ages Worship
    How We Read Scripture II: The Greek Scriptures. Inquirer’s Class is held from 1:00-3:30 pm.
    May 20: Consecration of Matthew Heyd as Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of New York, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in NYC.
    May 21: Godly Play for kids, Healing Sunday
    What We Do: Ministry and the Baptismal Covenant. Inquirer’s Class is held from 1:00-3:30 pm.
    May 28: The Feast of Pentecost
  10. March 30, 2023

    This Sunday: April 2

    • Palm Sunday – Read below for special instructions regarding kids’ worship

    • Inquirer’s Class – What We Believe: The Creeds of the Church… and Beyond!

    Palm Sunday: A Complicated and Paradoxical Day

    On Palm Sunday we begin the story of Jesus’ journey in his final days. Jesus enters Jerusalem to the shouts of “Hosanna!” – a triumphal entry for a messiah. What happened next? What can we learn from this part of the story? We reflect on the complexity and drama inherent in human nature and in the society we create.

    All of us will begin in the Sanctuary for the special Liturgy of the Palms. Then, the young people will go with Leah for a special lesson. We will all come back together for Communion and end with the Reading of the Passion. Finally, we all leave the sanctuary in silence.

    What We Believe: The Creeds of the Church… and Beyond!
    Parish Hall from 1:00-3:30

    Christianity in America is many-faceted. So much so that 2 different communities that both call themselves Christian can have two completely opposing beliefs. How do we make sense of that? And where is the Episcopal Church in all of this? We’ll discuss the catechism, the Nicene Creed, the Resurrection, the Virgin Mary, the Trinity, what we believe about the Eucharist, and more. We’ll also talk about the difference between faith and belief.

    All are welcome to join in our Inquirer’s Class. Come to the whole series or come to the topics that interest you the most. Learn more or register, here.

    What is “Inquirer’s Class?

    Whether you are new to the Episcopal Church or you have been here for years and want to learn more, this class is for you! We take a deeper dive into our Christian faith and how that is expressed as Episcopalians through 6 class sessions. Come to all of them or just come to the sessions where the topics interest you the most.

    This class also serves as preparation for adult baptism, confirmation, or reception into the Episcopal Church. Speak with Rev. Michelle to learn more.

    _____________________________________________

    Easter Memorials

    One way of making an offering at Easter is through our Easter Memorials program. It’s a wonderful way to honor a loved one or offer thanksgiving for the abundance in your life. Each memorial will be listed in the Easter Sunday bulletin.You can choose to help us pay for the flowers that adorn our Easter altar AND/OR to contribute to the Easter Outreach donation, which is going to People’s Place this year. You have a few ways to do this.

    1. Use the form/envelope found in the Sunday bulletin and return with a check or cash to the church before April 5. If you’re here on Sunday, simply put the envelope in the donation plate.
    2. Email Rev. Michelle with the words you would like to have in the Easter Sunday bulletin before April 5. Then, use our Paypal account to make the donation. Choose “one-time donation” and be sure to leave a note on the next page about how you would like to have your donation distributed.
    3. Send a check to the church, marking the memo line with how you would like to apply the donated funds and email Rev. Michelle before April 5 with the words you would like to have in the Easter Sunday bulletin.
    Thank you for your donation!
    ____________________________________________

    Holy Week Schedule

    ________________________________________________

    Our Director of Music Offers “9:30 Sunday Music”

    I have been surprised at how few music schools offer organ studies for worship any longer. There are very few organ students now except those who study to become concert organists. Patelsons, which was THE former music center in NYC for organists, had only a small box full of music before it closed in recent years. Organ music is seldom published on the scale it once was, and it is expensive. If I need a title that isn’t in print, I now need to order it from England, and it has to be printed especially for my order.On Sundays, between 9:30 and 10:00, I am offering organ literature from the hundreds of years of work, and devotion of other organists. Bach dedicated all his sacred music in this way: “Soli deo Gloria” or To the Glory of God only.

    So, I invite you to come a little early and hear music that once was commonly heard but is less and less frequently heard anywhere. God Bless.

    Soli deo Gloria,
    Terry Earles

    ______________________________________________

    A New Offering at St. John’s

    I have to admit that the pandemic has made me aware of the risks that many people deal with every day. Now that we are all living with covid as a part of our reality, those with autoimmune disorders have so much more to navigate than those who do not.  I’m really proud to see one of our beloved St. John’s members, Sara Hutton, offer such an important support group right now. May this be a blessing to many.           – Rev. Michelle

     

    ____________________________________________________

    Holy Week: Ancient Rites of the Pilgrim Path


    Dear Ones,

    Holy Week is the most sacred time in the Christian faith.

    From earliest times Christians have observed the week before Easter as a journey of special devotion that can have a life-changing effect on us in the present. Jerusalem is the site of many sacred places where Jesus suffered and died. And for centuries, pilgrims have followed the path of Jesus in his last days at these places with processions and worship services.

    The rites Episcopalians and other Christians will observe during Holy Week evolved from the observances of the pilgrims at these holy sites. These rites provide a worship experience of the last days of Jesus’ earthly life, as well as the time and events leading up to the Resurrection.

    Find all the details here: Holy Week – St. John’s Kingston

    Come and worship this coming week and journey into the deeper meaning of Easter.

    In God’s love and mine,
    Rev. Michelle

    ________________________________________________________

    Announcements for April 2
    Palm Sunday

    Easter Memorials Please consider making an offering to help cover the cost of Easter flowers or toward our Easter Outreach recipient, People’s Place. Use the slips/envelopes in your bulletin or email Rev. Michelle before Wednesday, April 5. All memorials will be listed in the Easter Sunday bulletin. It’s a meaningful way to help and to honor your loved ones.

    THIS SUNDAY! April 2
    What We Believe: The Creeds of the Church… And Beyond!
    A part of the ongoing Inquirer’s Class series at St. John’s. We meet from 1:00-3:30 in the Parish Hall on Sunday afternoon.  Christianity in America is many-faceted. So much so that 2 different communities that both call themselves Christian can have two completely opposing beliefs. How do we make sense of that? And where is the Episcopal Church in all of this? We’ll discuss the catechism, the Nicene Creed, the Resurrection, the Virgin Mary, the Trinity, what we believe about the Eucharist, and more. We’ll also talk about the difference between faith and belief.

    Social Hour Hosting: You are invited to sign up on the bulletin board in the Vestibule to be a social hour host! Talk with our Hospitality Coordinator, Barbara Johnston for more information.

    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: April 6 – Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus; May 4 – If on A Winter’s Night A Traveler by Italo Calvino. All are welcome! Interested? Talk with Lynn Dennison.

    St. John’s Office Hours
    Mondays from 12:00-4:00 pm and Thursdays from 1:00-3:00 pm
    Phone: 845-331-2252
    Email:
    stjohnskingston@aol.com
    Please note: Rev. Michelle’s Sabbath Day is Friday and she is unavailable.

    Have an announcement for the bulletin?
    Please send by Wednesday at noon to
    stjohnskingston@aol.comAnchor.

    2023 Easter Season at St. John’s

    Here are the many opportunities for people to engage and learn at St. John’s over the coming months. Look for more information here in our e-newsletter, The Good News from St. John’s.
    FOR DETAILED SCHEDULE OF HOLY WEEK SERVICES, PLEASE SEE ABOVE.Apr 9: Easter Sunday: Festive Choral Eucharist with Godly Play provided, followed by Community Brunch and Egg Hunt for the kids.
    Apr 16: Healing Sunday, no Godly Play
    Apr 23: Outreach Meeting after worship.
    How We Read Scripture I: The Hebrew Scriptures. Inquirer’s Class is held from 1:00-3:30 pm.
    Apr 30: Rector’s Forum – Life at the Time of Jesus. After worship.
    May 7: All Ages Worship
    How We Read Scripture II: The Greek Scriptures. Inquirer’s Class is held from 1:00-3:30 pm.
    May 20: Consecration of Matthew Heyd as Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of New York, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in NYC.
    May 21: Godly Play for kids, Healing Sunday
    What We Do: Ministry and the Baptismal Covenant. Inquirer’s Class is held from 1:00-3:30 pm.
    May 28: The Feast of Pentecost