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

The Good News of St. John’s

January 27, 2023

January 29: Annual Meeting!

Every Episcopal church has an annual meeting in which we take the time to reflect on the past year and look toward the coming year. We take a collective look at our common life of ministry, programming, and finances as the community of St. John’s in Kingston. Here are some parts of our Annual Meeting at St. John’s, which will take place in the Parish Hall beginning at 10:00 am:
  1. Annual Reports – The leaders of ministries create reports from the previous year, which are collated into one document. Rev. Michelle will send this out as a PDF to everyone in the community and there will also be hard copies available beginning on Sunday. This report also contains the Vestry approved financial budget for the coming year.
  2. Vestry – The congregation votes for people to be on the Vestry. In the Episcopal Church, a Vestry is responsible for the temporal assets of the congregation – money and buildings, mostly – as well as assisting the clergy in leading the congregation in mission and ministry.
  3. Brunch! At St. John’s, the Vestry always puts on a great brunch for the whole congregation. But if you have something to contribute, please do bring whatever you’d like to share.
  4. Rector’s Address – Each year the rector (Rev. Michelle) offers an overview of our ministry in place of a sermon, because we combine our worship with our Annual Meeting in a specially designed format. Sometimes others are invited to offer reflections or announcements during this time.
  5. Childcare – For the first time this year, because we are blessed with so many families, we are gladly offering childcare so that parents can focus on our conversation.
  6. Thanksgiving and Blessing – Finally, but most importantly, we offer thanks for those who have been in leadership the previous year, we celebrate the ministry of those leaving leadership positions, and we bless those who will be leading in the coming year.
Standing for election on January 29, 2023:
Warden 2-Year Term: Leah Siuta
Vestryperson 3-Year Term: Kathy Burdick
People Rolling Off Vestry:
Lynn Dennison finishes 2 consecutive 2-year terms as Warden (plus a 3- year term on Vestry prior to that).
Sheena MacGregor-Pilz finishes her year, completing a 3-year term. Also, Wes Dangler is completing 2 years as Treasurer.

People Continuing on Vestry:
Warden: Claudette Ford (current term ends 2024)
Vestry members serving until 2024: Liz Moeller and Nilsa Rodriguez-Jaca
Vestry members serving until 2025: Paula Wisneski and Sara Hutton


Consider Masking
While masking remains optional at St. John’s, you are encouraged to consider wearing a mask during worship to help keep down the transmission of covid, flu, and other illnesses. Masks are available at both entrances.

The Ongoing Work of Anti-Racism and Racial Reconciliation

When I was at seminary, we went through a special 2-day anti-racism workshop. It was filled with reflection and conversation. I thought it was really good and it helped me to see some of the ways that I have developed a racial bias. And I remember we were also told that, as clergy in the Episcopal Church, this workshop (or some kind of similar training) would be required every 5 years. At first, I wondered why, but then I came to realize that Anti-Racism work is the work of a lifetime. There are layers of unconscious bias we have as human beings. And, as a Christian, as one who believes deeply in the message of the Gospel and the inherent belovedness of every human being… if I’m not doing this work all the time and making it a part of how I live my life, I’m simply not living into my baptismal vows, not to mention my priestly vows.  

As the community of St. John’s, we began this work before the pandemic, but we did not continue moving forward with it. Now is the time for us to pick the ball back up and continue. This will be happening in a few different ways.

  1. First, I will be forming a Committee on Anti-Racism and Racial Reconciliation at St. John’s and I will speak more about that in coming weeks.
  2. Second, Vestryperson Paula Wisneski has offered to lead up a history project at St. John’s in which we look at our collective history as a congregation and its connection to slavery. Given that Sojourner Truth argued for her son’s freedom at the Ulster County courthouse in 1828 and St. John’s was founded in 1832 (and even though slavery was formally abolished in New York State in 1827), it’s likely that there is a connection. Why bother with the past? Because in order to move forward, we have to know the truth about our own past.
  3. Third, I have installed a new bulletin board in the Parish Hall called Becoming Beloved Community. These resources were developed by the Episcopal Church’s Office of Racial Reconciliation and we will be using them throughout the coming year to frame our discussion as a congregation.
  4. Fourth, the Episcopal congregations in Ulster County will be coming together for an online Lenten Learning Program based on Becoming Beloved Community. Please be looking for information on how to join the conversation and learning while getting to know others from the Episcopal congregations nearby.
  5. Fifth, I will be communicating with everyone about more opportunities to be involved in the work of Anti-Racism and Racial Reconciliation – including the Poor People’s Campaign and the upcoming schedule for Black History Month in Kingston.

I sincerely hope you will join me and the larger congregation in these conversations. If you have any questions or concerns, please do reach out to talk with me. My door is always open.

In God’s love and mine,
Rev. Michelle


Announcements for January 29
The Fourth Sunday After the Epiphany

St. John’s Office Hours
Mondays from 11:00-4:00 pm and Thursdays from 1:00-3:00 pm
Phone: 845-331-2252
stjohnskingston@aol.comNEXT SUNDAY: All Ages Worship celebrates St. Brigid! St Brigid of Kildare is a national patron saint of Ireland and this year, in honor of her day becoming a national Irish holiday, we are celebrating Brigid too! Come and learn more about this amazing woman and stay after worship to make St. Brigid’s crosses to bless your home.

Christian Formation Survey (the green sheet): Last week and this week, you will have noticed a green sheet in your bulletin, which is a survey for all adults asking for thoughts, opinions, and suggestions about adult formation topics. Rev. Michelle loves to teach, and this is your opportunity to make some requests. Please return it to Rev. Michelle by Feb 15 – either hand it to her or place it in her mail cubby outside the kitchen.

House Blessings – one of the traditions of this season is to bless our homes for the new year. During our Epiphany Celebration on Friday this past week, we marked our own doors of St. John’s to acknowledge and remind ourselves of God’s blessing of Light and Love. So that you can do this at home, there are take-home kits available with everything you need. Questions? Ask Rev. Michelle

Pledge Envelopes Are Here: If you made a pledge to St. John’s for 2023, your pledge envelopes are available. You can find a set with your last name on the box where you pick up your bulletins near the lectern. If you’re new to using them or have any other questions, speak with Lynn Dennison.

Acolytes, Ushers, and Lectors… Oh, my! Attention all people of St. John’s! Rev. Michelle will offer a forum after worship on February 26. During this forum, you will learn more about different liturgical duties and be invited to register for training. We’ll talk about Lectors, Sacristans, Acolytes, and Ushers – all of whom are important to our common worship at St. John’s. People from age 6 to adult are welcome to consider these ministries.

Page Turners Book Club Meetings are on the first Thursday of the month at 2 p.m., in the parish hall. Here’s what we selected for the next few months: February 2: The Plot, by Jean Hanff Korelitz; March 2: Inside the O’Briens, by Lisa Genova. If we have bad weather during the winter, we will switch to a Zoom meeting. Interested? Talk with Lynn Dennison.

Angel Food is in need of drivers! Drivers deliver meals on Thursdays. Meals are ready by 11 a.m., and most routes take about an hour. Substitute drivers are also needed so if you can help out as an on call driver, you are needed! Speak with either Rev. Michelle or Lynn Dennison if you can help.

Visit to the Jewish Museum ~ Organized by the Episcopal-Jewish Relations Committee Tue, March 21 10:00 am – 2:00 pm A private guided tour of the museum with a museum educator, followed by lunch and discussion, led by the Rev. Posey Krakowsky, at the Church of the Heavenly Rest. Lunch, which is included in the $10 cost, will consist of an assortment of sandwiches and salad (with options to meet all dietary needs), cookies, and coffee and tea.  Register here: Visit to the Jewish Museum ~ Organized by the Episcopal-Jewish Relations Committee – Episcopal Diocese of New York (

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

St. John’s Upcoming Schedule
Feb 5: All Ages Worship celebrates St. Brigid. After worship activity – St. Brigid’s Cross making.
Feb 21: Shrove Tuesday: The night before Lent begins we celebrate with games and pancakes. Plus, the burning of the palms.
Feb 19: Godly Play for kids; Healing Prayers during Communion
Feb 22: Ash Wednesday: Services are at 12:15 pm and 7:00 pm. Ashes-to-go for the community will be available from 7-9 am and 4-6 pm.
Feb 25: St. John’s Vestry Retreat
Feb 26: St. John’s Forum: Acolytes, Ushers, and Lectors… Oh, my! Come and learn more about the various liturgical/worship roles at St. John’s and sign up for training.
Mar 5: All Ages Worship
Mar 19: Godly Play for kids; Healing Prayers during Communion
Mar 26: Purple Sunday – Special after-worship forum by the Alzheimers Association on Alzheimers and dementia. Please wear purple!
Apr 2: Palm Sunday All Ages Worship
Apr 6: Maundy Thursday
Apr 7: Good Friday
Apr 8: Holy Saturday with the Easter Vigil
Apr 9: Easter Sunday with Community Brunch and Egg Hunt for the kids