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

The Good News of St. John’s

January 7, 2022

Expanding a Program at St. John’s: Facility Rental

Hopefully, it’s no secret that the St. John’s building is available for use by a wide variety of programs and organizations. We have and continue to rent our space to 12-step groups and exercise groups and prayer groups… just to name a few. These organizations are a part of the larger St. John’s Community. What we are creating with the people who share our space is much more than an agreement or a contract. It’s a relationship, a covenant – to share and build community together.

For the new year, the Vestry wants to expand our missional focus of sharing our space and resources. They have voted to expand our rental program to include a focused effort on renting our commercial kitchen. Not only will this expand our reach into the community, it will also enable new entrepreneurs who are a part of the evolving Kingston “foodie” scene, to have a place to develop their craft and their business.

Because we will increase the income we receive from this part of our budget, we are hiring two new part time employees to support the rental program – a Sexton and a Rental Manager. These two positions will directly support the rental program. The Sexton will ensure that the facility is clean and well-maintained (this includes the Rectory and the grounds) and the Rental Manager will ensure that people know about our facility and will manage communications and contracts with all of our renters.

We need your help! You can find these job descriptions on our website at Employment Opportunities – St. John’s Kingston. Will you please share these job descriptions with people you know? You may know someone looking for a job like this or you may know someone who can get the word out to a wider group of people. You can download them from the website and email them as attachments or just email the link to this page of the website.

And stay tuned for more information! Soon, we will have a page on our website devoted to our expanded rental program and other ways to pass along information to those who want to become a part of our extended St. John’s Community.


Rectory Heating Update!

The Vestry met for an emergency Zoom session on Thursday, January 6 and voted to install a new gas furnace in the Rectory. The furnace is an upgrade to a 95% efficient Ruud model and will be installed this coming Tuesday (January 11) by HWS here in Kingston. Matt from HWS has been great to work with so far and the Vestry is pleased with the choice, especially that he can schedule the installation on such short notice.

The Buildings and Grounds Committee worked hard over the Christmas season to do some good, solid research on options – including those that explored the possibility of getting the Rectory off of fossil fuels. There were several options to choose from and they also consulted with the architect who is consulting on our larger project of roof repair and accessibility concerns in the church building. In the end, because the Rectory is an historic structure with stone walls, the choice was clear and the Vestry voted unanimously to accept the recommendation by the Buildings and Grounds Committee.

Rev. Michelle is deeply thankful for the ministry of both groups and the effort they made to expand their knowledge and ask the right questions. Well done!


The Endless Season of Uncertainty

I love to make plans. You can ask my wife Ana… I spend so much time and effort creating my own planner each year out of a dot journal, including pages for planning my garden, my wish list for books to read, and my plans for liturgy and formation at St. John’s. This year, Ana and I also spent a few days doing some vision boards together so that we could become more intentional about our life together.

I find this to be an extremely life-giving practice every year because it offers an opportunity for reflection about what’s important in my life and my ministry. In other words, it’s a form of prayer – listening to God’s Holy Spirit inform my choices so, when I’m tired or become upset about something, I can refocus myself instead of just waiting for the next thing… which is more like a default setting for me. It’s an opportunity to recommit myself, just as prayer always is.

It was during this process over the past couple of weeks, that I realized the exact source of why this Christmas has been so difficult for so many of us – uncertainty. Last Christmas was challenging but this Christmas, we were hit with a new surge just when we thought we might have figured a few things out. This pandemic has most definitely created a great deal of fear and anxiety in our lives. So much life has been lost. And, underlying all of this, is this endless season of uncertainty. So much for all my planning, right?

When the pandemic started, we thought if we marshalled our efforts, we could “get back to normal.” Soon, of course, we realized that wasn’t going to work because, as we’ve observed, vaccines are a big help but they aren’t eradicating anything. And I don’t know one person who isn’t tired of masks and Zoom. The deeper issue is that we are wholly uncertain, and we don’t know when our uncertainty is going to end.

In our liturgical life of the church, we are given seasons of uncertainty to dwell in the experience of not-knowing – Advent and Holy Week come to mind. Even still, neither of those quite hold the space for what we are going through, mostly because we know those seasons end in our two most joyous festivals and… they are short. The reality is, we don’t know what’s at “the end” and we don’t know when that end will be.

What I do know, is that God is in this with us. I believe that with everything I am. But I also know that it helps to acknowledge just how helpless and vulnerable and, perhaps, angry, all this uncertainty makes us feel. To give it a name gives us the power to lift ourselves and reach out a hand to help lift others. In so doing, we usually find that God is right there doing all the lifting for us.

So, in the midst of this season of uncertainty, what is it that we can make plans for? How do we recommit ourselves to our deepest values and our own heart’s desire?

I offer a quote from Madeleine L’Engle who lived nearby in Litchfield, CT and wrote A Wrinkle in Time – a beautiful mix of Christian faith and science. This quote isn’t from that book, but from her larger work.
Unclench your fists
Hold out your hands.
Take mine.
Let us hold each other.
Thus is God’s Glory

As we begin this new year, having knelt at the manger of Love’s birth among us, may we recommit ourselves to this path and to one another as we follow Christ’s light in the way of truth and love.

In God’s love and mine,
Rev. Michelle


Announcements for
January 9, 2022

Page Turners Book Club: The books for the next several months have been announced: February 1- Oh, William, by Elizabeth Strout; 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.

EfM- Education for Ministry: Participants in the Episcopal Church program, EfM, spend a year studying each of these 4 topics: Hebrew Bible, New Testament, church history, and theology/ethics and commit to one year at a time. While the course materials provide academic content, the focus of the program is on understanding the call to ministry in our daily lives. EfM provides Christians with a life skill which creates a foundation for Christian ministry — theological reflection. A new group is forming soon in our area! If you are interested, please contact Deacon Teri Jones, group mentor, at or 845-453-0422.

Announcing a new program at St. John’s!
Click here for more info!

Have an announcement?
Please send by Wednesday at noon to

St. John’s Upcoming Schedule
Jan 30: St. John’s Annual Meeting and Ministry Fair
Feb 27: Building the Lent Ark, from 2-4 pm at St. John’s
Mar 1: Shrove Tuesday
Mar 2: Ash Wednesday
Mar 5: Vestry Retreat at Huntington House
Apr 10: Palm Sunday
Apr 14: Maundy Thursday
Apr 15: Good Friday
Apr 16: Holy Saturday and Easter Vigil
Apr 17: Easter Sunday