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

The Good News of St. John’s

August 22, 2023

This Week at St. John’s

Neighborhood Block Party Meeting: THIS SUNDAY!

This Sunday after worship, join us to continue planning our upcoming Neighborhood Block Party on Sunday, Sept 17. It’s all hands on deck for this event as we welcome our neighbors and area non-profits to our side lawn. You’re help is needed to prepare for the event so come to the meeting and find out more.

Bible Study

We’re studying the Gospel of Matthew. This week, we continue our reading of the Sermon on the Mount – chapters 5, 6, and 7. Sundays 8:30-9:30 in person or Wednesday 12:00-1:00 on Zoom. If you’d like to join Wednesday’s session, email Rev. Michelle so she can send you the Zoom link. To learn more, click here

Family Ministries Meeting

Thursday, August 31 at 5:45, Parish Hall
Are you a parent of one of our St. John’s young people? Please come to help us plan ministry and programming with our kids for the coming year. We’ll talk about Godly Play, All Ages Worship, Worship Supplies for Kids, and the possibilities of a playground and a learning project for the winter/spring. See you there!


Christian Saints: St. Bartholomew

With a feast day this past week on August 24, Bartholomew is one of the 12 apostles appearing in the Gospel stories of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. He is also a part of the story in the Acts of the Apostles. We don’t often hear much about him though. Who was he? What did he do?

The name Bartholomew is a Greek transliteration from the Aramaic name bar-Tomay, which simply means “son of Tolmay” or son of the furrows, a furrow meaning a trench dug into the ground. This likely means that Bartholomew and his father were farmers in the region of Galilee.

But Bartholomew is not known for being a farmer. He is best known for being an evangelist of Christ and our tradition tells us that he was martyred for this and there are lots of stories about this. Depending on which account you read, he was either kidnapped, beaten, and drowned, or he was crucified upside down, or he was flayed and beheaded. Regardless of the story, Bartholomew remains an especially significant figure in Armenian Christianity and other Eastern Christian Churches because it was in the countries we now know as Turkey and Azerbaijan, that Bartholomew traveled to spread the news of Jesus the Christ.

What is often true of Christian Saints is that they become significant to us through the stories we tell, some of which may be based on the factual history of their life. These stories we call hagiographies. And the fantastical tale of Bartholomew’s death by flaying has captivated the imaginations of so many who have tried to wrap their minds around the kind of courage and faith that martyrdom requires. This story has led us to identity him as the patron saint of professions such as tanners, bookbinders, leatherworkers, tailors, and butchers. Through the centuries, artists have also been fascinated, depicting Bartholomew’s death in many graphic offerings.

After his trek in this area of the world, Bartholomew went on to India… or possibly Ethiopia. Scholars are in disagreement about the exact location of this mission trip as they attempt to read the works of 4th century hagiographers, Jerome and Eusebius. 

The Saint Bartholomew Monastery was founded in the 13th century and it became a prominent part of the Armenian Church, used continuously for centuries. However, during the Armenian Genocide of the early 1900’s, the monastery was abandoned and then destroyed by Turkish military. It still stands in ruin today.

Here are the scripture verses that talk about the presence of Bartholomew as a disciple and apostle:
Matthew 10:2-4
Mark 3:16-19
Luke 6:14-16
Acts 1:1-13


Church Programming

Dear Ones,

Right now, all across the church, clergy and lay leaders are all getting ready to launch our “programming year.” Following the calendar of the traditional American school year, we shift back into our regular schedule.

What does this mean for us at St. John’s? We have regularly placed programming throughout the month that provides a rhythm of common life and enables us to schedule other things around what is important to us in our life at St. John’s.
Here is what our typical month will look like:

  • First Sunday: All Ages Worship – the words and music of our liturgy are slightly altered to accommodate younger ears and, instead of a sermon, we have a story that illuminates the lesson of the Gospel for that week. Sometimes there are fun additions to worship. And, most importantly, we have our younger kids helping to lead worship. NOTE: For September (due to Labor Day), this will be moved to Sunday, Sept. 10!
  • Third Sunday: We offer Godly Play for kids during worship and one of our healing ministers is available to offer healing prayers during communion. After worship, the choir gathers for a longer rehearsal.
  • Fourth Sunday: Rector’s Forum – I offer a special teaching or I find someone to come and offer a presentation on a special topic. I’m always open to suggestions so let me know what you’d like to learn more about.
  • Fifth Sunday (if there IS one): Morning Prayer is offered, led by either myself or one of our lay leaders.

We also have the following events scheduled in the coming year:

  • Neighborhood Block Party – Sunday, September 17
  • Stewardship Campaign – Dates to be announced
  • St. John’s Harvest Sale – dates for cooking and sales to be announced!
  • Christmas Eve – All Ages Worship is mid-afternoon our candlelit choral Eucharist is in the evening followed by a dessert reception (finally coming back after covid!)
  • Annual Parish Meeting – held on the last Sunday in January, reflecting on what we did the past year and elect officers for the coming year.
  • Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper – the night before Ash Wednesday
  • Ash Wednesday – the beginning of Lent, 2 services and Ashes to Go are offered out front to the larger Kingston community
  • Holy Week and Easter Sunday – our Christian high holidays that are happening this year in the last week of March
  • More plans in progress!

We are still finalizing plans as we look toward what we want and need from our common life. You can always find the most up-to-date schedule in your weekly bulletin or here on the St. John’s website.

Do you have ideas for programming or events? Reach out to our Events Team: Kathy Burdick, Sara Hutton, Paula Wisneski, or Ana Hernandez.

I’m really looking forward to this year!

In God’s love and mine,
Rev. Michelle


Announcements for August 27
The Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost

St. John’s Office Hours
Wednesdays 10:00-12:00 noon
Thursdays 1:00-4:00 pm
Phone: 845-331-2252

Have an announcement for the bulletin?
Please send by Wednesday at noon to

Neighborhood Block Party! Sunday, Sept. 17 from 12:00-4:00 pm.  It’s all hands on deck to help get the word out and ensure all the people and businesses in our neighborhood are invited. Clear your schedule and be sure to sign up on the bulletin board in the vestibule for set-up and take-down duties that Sunday too!

Social Hour Sign-up! If you enjoy staying after worship for snacks and socializing, please sign up to host for a week. The sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board in the vestibule. Talk to Barbara Johnston if you have any questions.

Bible Study: Come and join in Bible Study with Rev. Michelle on Sundays at 8:30 am (in person) or Wednesdays at 12:00 noon (via Zoom). We are studying the Gospel of Matthew and you can join the conversation any Sunday! Everyone is welcome to pick up a one-page overview of this Gospel on the bulletin board in the Vestibule. Email Rev. Michelle if you’d like to join the Wednesday Bible Study on Zoom.

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 Page Turners Book Club will meet on September 14, at 2 p.m., in the parish hall, to discuss ‘Demon Copperhead’ by Barbara Kingsolver. New members are welcome! To learn more about the book group, speak to Lynn Dennison or Barbara Johnston.

St. John’s Upcoming Schedule
Check back, more events/dates being added!

Aug 28-Spt 1   Creation Care Camp for Kids, 9-12 Monday-Friday
Aug 28      Vestry Meeting, 6:00 pm, Parish Hall
Sept 9        Choir Luncheon and Rehearsal, 11:00 am
Sept 10      All Ages Worship and Return to the Sanctuary
Sept 17      Godly Play, Healing Sunday; Choir Rehearsal after worship
Sept 17      Neighborhood Block Party 12:00 – 4:00 pm
Sept 18      Vestry Meeting, 6:00 pm, Parish Hall
Sept 23      Ulster Deanery Meeting, 9-12 at Holy Cross/Santa Cruz, Kingston
Oct 1         All Ages Worship
Oct 15       Godly Play, Healing Sunday; Choir Rehearsal after worship
Oct 31       Morning Prayer
Nov 5        Feast of All Saints’ All Ages Worship
Nov 11      247th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of New York
Nov 19      Godly Play, Healing Sunday; Choir Rehearsal after worship
Dec 3         Season of Advent begins
Dec 17       Godly Play, Healing Sunday; Choir Rehearsal after worship
Dec 24       Christmas Eve Worship: Family Service 3:00 pm; Choral Eucharist 8:00 pm
Dec 31       Morning Prayer