End of Year Planning
There are several items to take note of as we close 2021 and look toward 2022.
Pledging: Please be sure to get your pledges in. We need both your pledge form for 2022 and your final pledge payments for 2021. If you have any questions, please speak with Warden Lynn Dennison or Treasurer Wes Dangler.
Outreach Meeting: The Outreach Team will meet on Sunday, December 12 at 1:00 pm via Zoom. We will be allocating the rest of our 2021 outreach funds at this meeting. You can join the meeting by clicking here.
Project Santa: Please be sure your gifts are at St. John’s by this Sunday, December 12. We’ve been asked to buy games and puzzles. If you’d rather not go shopping, you can donate to the effort. Be sure to notate it’s for Project Santa.
Christmas Poinsettia Memorials and Thanksgivings: Fill out the envelope enclosed in the bulletins over the next 2 weeks with your money inside and place it in the collection plate or drop it by the Rectory. All memorials and thanksgivings need to be to Rev. Michelle before Wednesday, December 22 so they can be listed in the Christmas Eve bulletin.
Seasonal Worship Schedule
Longest Night Healing Service
Monday, December 20 at 7:00 pm
A time of mediation, quiet, and prayer set aside on the darkest night of the year to offer space for the heaviness of our lives. Healing Ministers will be available. This will be broadcast online: Online Streaming Worship – St. John’s Kingston
Christmas Eve Family Service
Friday, December 24 at 5:30 pm
Join us as we tell our most sacred story together. Singing and costumes and fun.
Candlelight Christmas Eve Service
Friday, December 24 at 8:00 pm
Our yearly festive Eucharistic service with singing and candlelight. Caroling starts at 7:30 pm.
Christmas Day Morning Prayer
Saturday, December 25 at 9:00 am
A brief service of Morning Prayer to offer song and praise for the coming of light and love into the world.
On Grief and Healing at Christmas
We have all been through so much in the past couple of years as the pandemic has dominated our lives. So many people have died. So many people have struggled economically and have had their lives disrupted. So many people have felt utterly overwhelmed in trying to balance everything, missing their families and friends and just feeling safe in public. I think, even if we aren’t aware of it, we are all carrying some level of grief. If for no other reason, than to have come to the realization that the pandemic is not ending anytime soon.
I have not been shy about sharing with you all the personal difficulties in my life that have needed time and space for reflection and healing. As you may recall, I took 3 weeks in the middle of this past summer to get some rest and spend time in retreat for reflection. I know I returned feeling energized to do my work and much more grounded to continue my healing journey.
And I say “continue” because healing isn’t a one-stop kind of thing. Most of us have been through enough in our lives to realize the grief that comes from trauma and loss is something that never completely “goes away.” But we can come to a place in which we have healed enough that we stop functioning from our wounded place and begin to live again. We allow hope back into our lives. We allow ourselves to experience Love in all its fullness.
This year, more than ever before, Christmas may be a very heavy time. As we continue to deal with the pandemic and recognize the loss it has created in our lives. As we recall memories of people we miss. And as we face the darkest time of the year.
Come to the Longest Night Healing Service on Monday, December 20 at 7:00 pm. All are welcome. The Healing Ministry team has designed a very quiet, meditative service with readings, contemplative music, prayer and silence. Come and sit for a while and give yourself space for whatever you’re feeling. The sanctuary will open at 6:30 pm for those who just want space to sit, and the service begins at 7:00 pm. We will broadcast the service on our Youtube channel: St. John’s Episcopal Church Kingston NY – YouTube
You can also find the link on our website at: Online Streaming Worship – St. John’s Kingston
In God’s love and mine,
December 12, 2021
THIS SUNDAY: Pastoral Care Meeting after worship in the Parish Hall. Outreach Meeting beginning at 1:00 pm on Zoom. Plus, fundraiser items are still available for sale in the Parish Hall.
NEXT SUNDAY: Stay after the worship service to help us “green” the church. We need lots of helpers to make sure the sanctuary is ready for Christmas.
Christmas Poinsettia Memorials By purchasing a poinsettia, you’re not only helping to decorate the sanctuary for Christmas, but also offering a special memorial or thanksgiving at Christmas time. All poinsettias will be given out by the Pastoral Care team. Fill out the envelope enclosed in the bulletin with your money inside, and place it in the collection plate. Or bring it back next week. All memorials and thanksgivings will be listed in the Christmas Eve bulletin.
Longest Night Healing Service is a time of quiet and prayer set aside on the darkest night of the year to offer space for the difficulties we face during the holidays – memories, grief, loneliness. Monday, December 20 at 7:00 pm.
Fellowship Hour Sign up! – The Hospitality Committee invites you to sign up for St John’s Social Hour. A sign-up sheet is posted on the bulletin board in the Vestibule. All are welcome to offer their generosity to others & share some good conversation as well. Questions? See Barbara Johnston.
St. John’s Pledge Campaign continues! If you haven’t made a financial pledge for 2022 yet, the Stewardship Committee is still receiving pledges. Send your form in with a selfie or, if you’re new to pledging, you’ll find blank forms on the bookcase near the lectern.
Page Turners Book Club: For January 4th the book is, ‘The Lincoln Highway,’ by Amor Towles. Speak with Lynn Dennison for more information.
Have an announcement?
Please send by Wednesday at noon to firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. John’s Upcoming Schedule
Dec. 12: Pastoral Care meeting in person after worship
Outreach meeting at 1:00 pm over Zoom
Dec. 19: Decorating the Sanctuary after worship
Dec. 20 (Mon): Longest Night Healing Service, 7:00 pm
Dec. 24 (Fri): Christmas Eve Family Service, 5:30 pm
Candlelit Christmas Eve Service, 8:00 pm,
caroling begins at 7:30 pm
Dec. 25 (Sat): Christmas Day Morning Prayer (online), 9:00 am