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

The Good News of St. John’s

February 26, 2022

So Many Things!

There is so much happening and soon-to-be happening! Here’s a list of announcements.

Welcome Alex Serrano, our new Sexton!
As we’ve previously announced, the Vestry decided to hire a Sexton to take care of maintenance on our church properties as well as cleaning in the church building. We’re pleased to welcome Alex Serrano to the staff of St. John’s! Alex grew up in the area and is already the Sexton at Holy Cross/Santa Cruz, across town. He also owns a landscaping company so he’s an expert at outdoor work. If you see him around the church property, please say “Hi! Welcome to St. John’s!” and introduce yourself. Alex will be heading up our Parish clean-up days so everyone who comes to volunteer will get a chance to meet him then.

Shrove Tuesday Sunset Prayer Fire and Burning of the Palms
This coming Tuesday, March 1 is Shrove Tuesday, our last day before we begin the season of Lent on Ash Wednesday. As we know, fire is an element of transformation in which one thing becomes another. Come at sunset on Shrove Tuesday, March 1 between 5:30-6:30 pm to the front yard of St. John’s where we will be burning the palms from last year’s Palm Sunday and offering a prayer fire. Write your prayers down and bring them to be offered to God in the fire and be sure to bring your palms so they can become our ashes for Ash Wednesday. And, if you want to sit for a while, bring a chair!

Ash Wednesday: Ashes-to-go and Ash Wednesday Services
This coming Ash Wednesday we will host our yearly outreach to the Kingston community with Ashes-to-go. Between 7:00 – 9:00 am and 4:00 – 6:00 pm, several ministers of St. John’s will be out front along Albany Ave to greet people and, to those who ask, pray with and offer the imposition of ashes. If you would like to be involved in this ministry, reach out to Rev. Michelle.
While Ashes-to-go is an outreach to the larger community of Kingston, the members of St. John’s should make the time to attend one of 2 Ash Wednesday services: 12:00 noon or 7:00 pm. At 12:00 noon, we’ll have a guest preacher – Canon Victor Conrado, who leads the Congregational Development ministry on the Diocesan Staff.

CANCELLATION: Building the Lent Art
Our event on Sunday, February 27 from 2-4 called Building the Lent Ark has been cancelled. Look for more opportunities for all ages formation in the coming months.

Continuation of Masking Policy at St. John’s
While we recognize there are some relaxation of masking policies across the state of NY, St. John’s is maintaining our masking policy for the time being. Whenever you are in the building, please remain masked. The exception to this is that when people are leading worship, they may remove their mask.

Social Hour Returns on March 6
Now that the winter covid surge has passed, we feel comfortable once again to engage in Social Hour after worship. There is a new sign-up on the bulletin board in the vestibule so take a look and sign up to host today! Speak with Barbara Johnston if you have questions.

The St. John’s Choir Returns in April
Choir rehearsal will begin in late March in anticipation of our choir returning to lead worship on Easter Sunday. If you’re interested in joining choir, speak with Terry Earles. All members must be vaccinated and will wear special masks for singing. Choir members can look for more information in your email about rehearsal dates.


The 80th General Convention of the Episcopal Church:
Hearings and Committee Deliberation Continue

Every 3 years, a rather large group of Episcopalians meet to make decisions about the ministry and mission of the Episcopal Church. This group, called the General Convention, was due to meet for the 80th time in 2021. But, because of the pandemic, the officers of the General Convention decided to postpone the meeting until this year. This coming July, the General Convention will meet in Baltimore, MD.

Along with this postponement, comes something new – the meetings are beginning several months earlier and they are taking place over Zoom. This means the work of General Convention more available to people across the Church. You can join a Zoom meeting to watch the hearings and even sign up to testify in support of or to argue against any resolution begin considered by the 80th General Convention.

Resolutions are assigned to different Legislative Committees for reflection. Then the Legislative Committees will decide how to move each resolution forward for voting in July when General Convention meets.

How do I participate?

  1. Begin by going to the General Convention’s “virtual binder” where you can find all the information you need about what resolutions are being considered and when the hearings are taking place. Click this link to go to the virtual binder: General Convention Virtual Binder (
  2. Once you’re on the website, go to “Legislative Committee Meetings” to view the schedule and the docket for that Committee. If you’d like to review the Resolutions themselves, click on “Resolutions” instead. It will tell you which Legislative Committee has been assigned to it.
  3. Decide which meetings you would like to attend and/or offer testimony in.
  4. Send a request to attend by clicking here: Legislative Committee Meetings — The General Convention of The Episcopal Church.  Note: You must register at least 2 days before the committee is set to meet.


Discerning the Qualities of a New Bishop: Your Voice Is Needed!

Last fall, I made a few announcements to let you know that our Bishop Diocesan, Andy Dietsche is retiring. As you may recall, Bishop Andy’s last visit with us was on October 31 when he received 5 of our members into the Episcopal Church and baptized Richard Smith.

Just like there are several kinds of positions a priest can have, depending upon the size and needs of the congregation, there are several positions a bishop can have, based on the size and needs of the diocese. But most of our dioceses have a Bishop Diocesan. This person is the chief officer of a diocese and is also the person who, along with others, sets the missional direction of the diocese. The bishop is responsible for management as well as vision.

In my announcements, I also told you that I was elected to the Committee to Elect a Bishop, also known as the CEB. This committee has 8 other members plus a consultant to help direct our efforts. We meet once a month and, in between, various subcommittees do the work of the larger group.

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be talking more about the work of a bishop because the first responsibility we have as the CEB is to listen to the members of the diocese to learn more about what we are seeking in a bishop. This means the voice of everyone is important – including YOU!

To begin, ALL the members of the diocese have been asked to fill out a simple survey. Ask yourself these questions as you begin to discern what kind of qualities we need in a new bishop:

  • The congregation of St. John’s serves in Kingston – a significant part of the Hudson Valley and of Ulster County. What is happening here? What are powers/systems at work? Who are the people in need? How can we continue to build-up the church here, so that it is attentive to its mission to be Christ in and for the world?
  • What unique voice does the Episcopal Church bring to this place and to the larger culture?
  • What is happening in American society and how is the church affected by that?
  • How is the church called to respond to the larger culture in this place at this time?
  • Then, ask yourself, what kind of qualities do we need in a bishop to help us with all of this?

Once you have done this reflection, please take the time to fill out this survey:
Episcopal Diocese of New York Bishop Search – A Website of the Episcopal Diocese of New York (

This is NOT the only opportunity you will have to share your thoughts. Please be looking for opportunities to join online Zoom conversations with the members of the Committee to Elect a Bishop in the month of March.

Once these listening sessions have been completed, the CEB will write up a profile that will be published in April to the larger church in order to seek applicants for this position. I will be sure to pass that along to you.

This is an important time in the life of our diocese and of our own congregation of St. John’s. I look forward to hope-filled conversations with you as our discernment begins.

In God’s love and mine,
Rev. Michelle


Announcements for
February 27, 2022

Altar Flower Slots for 2022: The following Sundays are open for those who wish to make a dedication in the name of their loved ones with altar flowers. April 24, June 12, June 26, October 30. Please contact Elaine Lawrence via email to discuss:

Sunset Prayer Fire and Burning of Ashes: As we know, fire is an element of transformation in which one thing becomes another. Come at sunset on Shrove Tuesday, March 1 between 5:30-6:30 pm to the front yard of St. John’s where we will be burning the palms from last year’s Palm Sunday and offering a prayer fire. Write your prayers down and bring them to be offered to God in the fire and be sure to bring your palms so they can become our ashes for Ash Wednesday. And, if you want to sit for a while, bring a chair!

Page Turners Book Club: The books for the next several months have been announced: March 1-The Rules of Magic, by Alice Hoffman; April 5- Cloud Cuckoo Land, by Anthony Doerr; May 3- The Murmur of Bees, by Sofia Segova. Speak with Lynn Dennison for more information.

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

St. John’s Upcoming Schedule
Mar 1: Sunset Outdoor Prayer Fire and Burning of Palms from 5:30-6:30 pm
Mar 2: Ash Wednesday
    7:30 – 9:00 am Ashes-to-go
    12:00 noon Ash Wednesday service, Guest Preacher: The Rev. Canon Victor Conrado
    4:00 – 6:00 pm Ashes-to-go
    7:00 pm Ash Wednesday service
Mar 5: Vestry Retreat at Huntington House from 10-4
Mar 27: Guest Preacher: The Rev. Dcn. Gene Bourquin, Pastoral Minister for Deaf and Disability Ministry – stay after worship for a conversation with Deacon Gene.
Apr 10: Palm Sunday
Apr 14: Maundy Thursday
Apr 15: Good Friday
Apr 16: Holy Saturday and Easter Vigil
Apr 17: Easter Sunday and Egg Hunt!