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

The Good News of St. John’s

December 24, 2020

Christmas Worship: What you need to know

Thursday, December 24: The Feast of the Nativity of Jesus Christ
7:30 pm, Music and Carols; 8:00 pm, Worship
Click here for the Zoom link and bulletin.
You’ll need: a candle for singing Silent Night and
a glass of your favorite celebratory beverage to toast with us after worship.
You’ll also be able to view this service on Facebook:

Friday, December 25: Christmas Day Morning Prayer at 10:00 am
This is a relaxed service of prayer, music, and scripture from the Rectory.
Click here for the Zoom link and bulletin.
You’ll also be able to view this service on Facebook:

Seasonal Shifts – Christmas and Epiphany

The Dream of the Three Wise Men by He Qi

As the song The Twelve Days of Christmas tells us, there are actually 12 days in the season of Christmas.  Beginning on December 25 (of course) we begin our 12-day Christmas celebration.  Throughout this short season, there are several feast days to honor, which you can learn more about here:  The Lectionary Page.  This means the next season doesn’t start until January 6 – the Feast of Epiphany.

However, because the majority of our worshipping community at St. John’s comes together on Sundays, we always move our celebration of Epiphany to the closest Sunday.  Thus, we will celebrate the Feast of Epiphany on Sunday, January 3, when we will talk about the magi traveling to Bethlehem and about the light of Christ spreading all over the world.




Tending Our Light

Our weekly offering of goodness to help keep our spirits buoyed and our mental health on track through the darker months of winter.

Margaret Guenther writes: “True prayer, whatever outward form it might take, is first and foremost a condition of loving attentiveness to God in which we find ourselves open and receptive to who we are in our deepest selves.”

We begin a new calendar year next week and one of the most powerful ways of entering a new year is to pray your way into it.  What are the most audacious prayers you have for this world?  This nation?  This community?  For yourself?  Perhaps prayers of true peace, or justice for all God’s creation.  Safety in the midst of the pandemic, or an end to the pandemic.

Whatever your prayers are, why not be bold in offering them?  What do you have to lose?

Prayer flags are one way to be audacious with your prayers.  Simple pieces of fabric attached to a rope/string – that’s all you need.  If you received a Worship Box, you received a beautiful kit for making a set with instructions.  If you didn’t receive a box, you can still make the flags.  Here are the instructions:

Materials needed: 5 or more 6-10″ cloth squares, 4ft or more of ribbon/string/rope, markers, glue, and creative embellishments like buttons, gems, or glitter.

  • With your markers write out a prayer on each cloth square.  You can write one specific prayer, or one word like “unity” “peace” or “love” on each piece of cloth. Then decorate each square as you see fit.  Get as creative and as colorful as you’d like.
  • Next, lay the length of the ribbon flat on your surface and use glue (or a stapler in a pinch) to adhere completed squares to the ribbon.  If you sew, you can stitch your prayer flags onto the string.
  • Once the glue is dry, you can hang your prayer flag outside in a place where the wind can carry your prayers out into the world.



Dear Ones: As we know, scripture tells us that God rested on the seventh day of creation after doing a boatload of work.  The Jewish people who wrote down the story of creation, understood the great importance of rest.  So much so that God herself, rested.  We call this sabbath.

Resting isn’t a luxury, but a commandment that reminds us to take time for drinking deeply of the fruit of our labor and the gifts that God has showered upon us.  Resting brings gratitude to our hearts and slows us down long enough to remember that relationships are more important than tasks.

I’m not good at this kind of rest, task work and to-do lists keep my mind occupied and give me a sense of purpose.  I can talk myself into thinking that the world simply cannot do without me and my tasks.  Which just means it’s all the more important for me to be intentional about sabbath.  In sabbath, there is a deeper purpose – to fill the deep well of our being so that we may be of service in this world in the ways that God needs us, not the way our egos need us.

So, I’ll be resting this coming week after we celebrate Christmas – from Sunday, December 27 to Sunday, January 3.  It’s been a long year for us all and I’m in need of the deep rest of winter.  I’m quite sure the world will be just fine without me for a few days.  There will be no weekday programming, no Weekly Good News.  I will review my emails once a day to see if I need to take care of something and I’ll see you on Sunday, January 3 for worship when we’ll celebrate the Epiphany (moving it from January 6).

May this tender threshold time of moving from one year to the next be one of rest and peace for you.

In God’s love and mine, Rev. Michelle


Announcements for December 27, 2020

The Page Turners will meet Tuesday, January 5th to discuss, “Rules for Visiting,” by Jessica Francis Kane.  Our book for February 2nd is “Braiding Sweetgrass,” by Robin Wall Kimmerer.  Speak to Lynn Dennison for more information.  All are welcome!

Education for Ministry (EFM):  What is EFM?  Every baptized person is called to ministry. EFM is a program designed to support that ministry.  Participants gather in small, mentored groups where they learn more deeply about the Christian faith and how it shapes our lives.  A Tuesday evening Zoom group is being shaped among the Episcopal congregations in Ulster County that will start in January.  Space is limited so contact Teri Jones ASAP for more information at

Anti-Racism Workshop: The Episcopal Diocese of New York is offering another all Zoom, multi-part Anti-Racism workshop.  The workshop is open to all and those who are in positions of leadership at St. John’s are strongly encouraged to attend and be certified.  Register now because these workshops are filling very fast.  The online workshop will be conducted on Mon, Jan. 4; Thurs, Jan. 7; Mon, Jan. 11; Thurs, Jan. 14.  All sessions will be begin at 7:00 p.m. and end at 9:00 p.m.  Participants will be required to complete individual viewing and corresponding assignments before online Zoom meetings. Completion of all assignments and attendance at all meetings is required for diocesan certification.  Click here to register:  Anti-Racism Workshop (Online) (

Ministry Opportunities

Children’s New Book Drive: Family of Woodstock is in need of books for children who are in or are leaving shelters.  If you are coming to in-person church, please consider bringing a new children’s book (all ages).  Or send a donation to the church (207 Albany Ave) and we will do the shopping.  Questions? Contact Outreach Coordinator Elaine (845-532-6585) or Deacon Sue (845-331-5575).

Have an announcement?
Please send by Wednesday at noon to