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

The Good News of St. John’s

February 4, 2021

Wednesday Mornings with Terry

Each Wednesday morning, you’ll find our Director of Music Terry Earles in the St. John’s sanctuary, readying himself for Wednesday Mornings with Terry.  A program brought on by the desire to help the St. John’s community connected during the pandemic, Wednesday Mornings with Terry is a delightful 30-minute program of music and commentary beginning at 10:00 am.

Terry brings our 100+ year-old Estey organ to life with hymns, sacred works, and other pieces of music all the while offering us knowledge about how music is used for church practice and insight into how this music prepares us spiritually for worship.  And to honor those who may need additional prayers, Terry will dedicate his programs in their name.

He’s always looking for requests too!  So please send him an email at to offer suggestions, ask questions, or make requests.  And then join us for a lovely mid-week interlude at 10:00 am on Wednesdays.  Just go to Online Streaming Worship – St. John’s Kingston and click on the appropriate link to join us in the Zoom room.


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.

As we look forward to learning more about the lives of Christian saints through Lent Madness this year, perhaps this is a good time to turn to one of them for an uplifting gift – cookies.

And not just any cookies, but “Cookies of Joy.”  This recipe comes to us from St. Hildegard of Bingen, a mystic, composer, philosopher, healer, and poet from 12th century Germany.  You can learn more about her here.  And listen to some of her music here.

Hildegard wrote this recipe over 900 years ago and instructed people to take them “at regular intervals to increase joy and positivity.”  How can you go wrong with that?

Click here for the recipe of these spice cookies.


Increasing Light

Dear Ones:  This week marks several things on our calendars – the Christian feast of St. Brigid on February 1, and the confluence of Candlemas, the Feast of the Presentation, and Groundhog Day (of course!) on February 2.  All of these tell us there is a shift in our earthly movement – the halfway point between Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.  The light is increasing.

Each year, I look forward to this mid-way point because it signifies that spring is on its way.  And this year, Ana and I will begin our second year of sowing seeds as we prepare for spring’s thaw.  We’ve got quite a list!  But first up is snapdragons, perhaps the tiniest seeds we have. We tried to sow them last year but they didn’t do very well and we ended up with only a couple of plants.  This year, we’re starting a little earlier and using better lighting.  And we’ll see how it goes this time.

And I believe that’s what the increasing light reminds me of – the human capacity to keep trying, to keep hoping.  Spring is always going to come, another chance to try again.  Another possibility for snapdragons.

Let’s see what happens.

In God’s love and mine, Rev. Michelle


Announcements for February 7, 2021

Ash Wednesday: February 17
St. John’s will hold Ash Wednesday Services via Zoom at 12:15 pm and 7:00 pm.  Look for links here: Online Streaming Worship – St. John’s Kingston.  There will be no imposition or distribution of ashes due to the pandemic.  In place of our Ashes to Go service, this year we will be offering a Prayer Fire on the front lawn of St. John’s from 4:00-6:30 pm for the members of St. John’s, as well as the larger community.  People will be invited to write down the prayers, which are laying on their own hearts, on a paper heart.  And then offer it to the fire as an invitation to begin a Lenten practice of letting go.  More information is coming so stay tuned.

Epiphany House Blessings!  Each year Rev. Michelle makes the rounds to offer a blessing upon your home and will gladly do so this year, although she cannot stay for a visit.  You can sign up for a House Blessing visit from Rev. Michelle or download simple instructions on how to bless your own home.  Epiphanytide House Blessings – St. John’s Kingston

Clothing Shed is open again!  Yes, the clothing shed in our parking lot is open again.  Please let everyone know that they can drop off clothing and housewares (textiles only!).  Everything needs to be in a sealed bag and every bit helps to raise money for St. John’s.

Friday Bible Study  We’ve moved from our study of the creation story in Genesis to a study of Jesus’ miracles.  Come on Friday mornings at 9:00 am, bring your coffee, and join a group committed to delving deep into scripture.  We ask the hard questions as we uncover how scripture speaks to our lives today.  Every Friday morning at 9:00 am via Zoom.  Email Rev. Michelle for more information or just join us via the Zoom link found here: Online Streaming Worship – St. John’s Kingston

The Page Turners meets on the first Tuesday of every month.  The book for March 2 is “Hamnet,” by Maggie O’Farrell.  Speak to Lynn Dennison for more information.  All are welcome!

Forward Day by Day:  If you would like a Forward Day by Day – scripture and reflection for the months of February, March, and April – please contact Rev. Michelle either by phone or email and we’ll get one out to you!

Lenten Fun and Games: Lent Madness  What?!  But Lent is supposed to be solemn and serious!  Well this year, we need a little levity and silliness.  So all the members of St. John’s are invited to participate in Lent Madness.  We start on Thursday, February 18 so sign up now and get ready!  What is Lent Madness? (yes, like March Madness) In seeking a fun, engaging way for people to learn about the men and women comprising the Church’s Calendar of Saints, the Rev. Tim Schenck came up with this unique Lenten devotion. Now put together by two church-geeky guys (Tim and his friend Scott Gunn), Lent Madness has a straightforward format: 32 saints are placed into a tournament-like single elimination bracket. Each pairing remains open for a set period of time and people vote for their favorite saint. 16 saints make it to the Round of the Saintly Sixteen; eight advance to the Round of the Elate Eight; four make it to the Faithful Four; two to the Championship; and the winner is awarded the coveted Golden Halo. The first round consists of basic biographical information about each of the 32 saints. Things get a bit more interesting in the subsequent rounds as we offer quotes and quirks, explore legends, and even move into the area of saintly kitsch.  How do I play?  Sign up to receive a daily email or follow the Lent Madness page on Facebook.  Each day you’ll be encouraged to vote in a match-up of one saint versus another.  Rev. Michelle will be following the Lent Madness posts, tracking on a poster-sized scorecard, and offering regular commentary via Facebook Live.  Here’s where you can learn more and sign up to participate: Lent Madness

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).

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