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

The Good News of St. John’s

January 28, 2021

St. John’s Annual Meeting: What you need to know

The St. John’s Annual Meeting is scheduled for THIS SUNDAY, January 31.  A time to focus on the ministry of St. John’s and reflect on our mission.

Obviously, we cannot meet in person but we have a plan that allows space for us to reflect on our ministry and mission this past year, learn about ways to be engaged in the coming year, and have the opportunity to speak with the leadership and ask questions.  Here is what you need to know:

  1. Date and Time: The Annual Meeting will be combined with worship.  So we will begin at 10:00 am on Sunday, January 31.  Please be a few minutes early so that we are all assembled in time for the Clerk to take attendance.  Believe it or not, many congregations combine their Annual Meeting with worship so this is not all that unusual.
  2. Length: Please be prepared for our Annual Meeting/Worship to last around 90 minutes.
  3. Content: Refer to the worship bulletin that will be posted on the St. John’s website by Saturday morning here: Online Streaming Worship – St. John’s Kingston
  4. Brunch: Please prepare, for your household, a delicious brunch (so we don’t miss out on this tradition) and we’ll eat together at the beginning of worship, similar to our Easter celebration last year.
  5. Annual Report: A PDF has been emailed to the members of St. John’s.  It is also posted on our website here: Online Streaming Worship – St. John’s Kingston
  6. Election of Vestry: Most years, the members of Vestry have been elected by the Clerk casting one ballot (with all the candidates on it) on behalf of the congregation.  This year, to allow for nominations from the floor, the “Ballot Box” will be opened at the beginning of worship (rather than at the end) and the named Clerk will be available to take nominations via Zoom chat during the meeting.  After at least an hour, the Clerk will be asked if there have been any nominations and we will move forward with the election.
  7. Communion: The sacrament of Communion will not be offered after worship that day.
  8. Vestry Meeting: The newly-elected Vestry will meet immediately after the Annual Meeting to complete some necessary business.

If you have any questions about this year’s Annual Meeting, please reach out to our Wardens, Lynn Dennison ( and Claudette Ford (, or our Rector, Rev. Michelle (


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.

Richard Rohr is a Franciscan priest in the Roman Catholic tradition.  He has written several volumes on spirituality and speaks regularly.  Several years ago, he started an organization called the Center for Action and Contemplation where people can come to learn the necessary connection between prayer and justice work in the world.  You can learn more about this place here: Center for Action and Contemplation (

Richard is offering free daily mediations for anyone who signs up to receive them and I commend them to you.  Here’s what he says:
“We are living through a period of global disorder. People around the world are experiencing tremendous suffering, uncertainty, and disruption to their lives. Reality is being unveiled— systems of evil and injustice are being seen in greater clarity, and our collective “normal” has been radically upended. Walking through this chaos and despair can be difficult; but, ultimately, it is when everything seems adrift that the spiritual journey becomes both an anchor and a sail. God uses tragedy, suffering, pain—and even death to guide us into greater Love.”

To learn more and to sign up to receive his daily meditations, click here.



Dear Ones:  I attended an online workshop this week on Sabbath.  I thought it was a good time to be reminded of God’s commandment to rest.  The beginning of the year and be a very busy, even in the midst of a pandemic.  And, I think, because of the pandemic, we might be finding it difficult to get real rest.  So I was thankful for the suggestion of a new book called Sacred Rest by Saundra Dalton-Smith.  She’s a medical doctor who knows how important rest is for our bodies.  But she’s not talking about sleep because she says sleep is not rest.  I have come to learn the deep truth of this.

In Sacred Rest, Dr. Dalton-Smith talks about 7 types of rest.

  1. Physical rest – time to still our body
  2. Mental rest – space to quiet our mind
  3. Emotional rest – courage to attend to our full emotional life
  4. Spiritual rest – contemplation on things greater than ourselves
  5. Social rest – prioritizing time with friends and others with whom you can relax
  6. Sensory rest – removing sensory input, including unplugging our phones for 30-60 minutes per day
  7. Creative rest – venues that offer opportunities to take in beauty and inspiration

I find that what Dr. Dalton-Smith is really talking about is Sabbath.  True rest is not simply a matter of getting better sleep, but it is something that requires us to attend to the deeper needs of our souls.  You can learn more about the Seven Types of Rest here: Saundra Dalton-Smith: The real reason why we are tired and what to do about it | TED Talk .  I’ll be reading Sacred Rest and using this as a basis for my Lenten practice this year.  So, you can look forward to more posts about God’s commandment of Sabbath.

In God’s love and mine, Rev. Michelle


Announcements for January 31, 2021

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

The Page Turners book for February 2nd is “Braiding Sweetgrass,” by Robin Wall Kimmerer.  The book for March 2 is “Hamnet,” by Maggie O’Farrell.  Speak to Lynn Dennison for more information.  All are welcome!

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