This Week at St. John’s
The Spiritual Practice of Singing
Join Holy Cross Brother Josep Martinez-Cubero for a daylong workshop on the fundamentals of singing – posture, breath, tone, and diction. All are welcome. No registration necessary. Saturday, July 8 from 9am-3pm at Ascension/Holy Trinity in West Park. $20 donation requested.
Bible Study Continues
We continue reading the Gospel of Matthew! This week, we finish the birth narrative in chapters 1-2 and then move to chapter 4 to discuss the calling of the first disciples. Sundays 8:30-9:30 in person or Wednesday 12:00-1:00 on Zoom.
Christianity and Christian Nationalism
Politics is politics. There will always be one faction trying to gain leverage over another faction. This is a part of the human story, a part of the worldliness of our lives.
And… there are moments when politics ceases to be just about politics because those in power are stripping away the rights of citizens. These are the moments when the church cannot and should not remain silent.
The past two weeks, for the second year in a row, we have seen the justices of the Supreme Court do significant damage to the rights of people in this country. Last June, we watched in disbelief as the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and since then have witnessed extreme abortion laws be put into place in many US states putting women’s health in danger. This year in June, we found ourselves, once again, watching the Supreme Court make painfully bigoted rulings as they removed the requirement of affirmative action in college admissions and removed gay rights protection in business dealings.
These decisions demonstrate a marked movement in our elected officials – and now in those appointed to the Supreme Court – towards Christian Nationalism. And to be very clear, Christian Nationalism is NOT Christianity. It is a political ideology. It is the use of Christian symbols and rhetoric to enact a political agenda. The same thing happened about a century ago in Germany as the Nazi party rose to power.
Earlier this week, in response to the outrageous decisions of the Supreme Court, our new bishop, Matt Heyd, offered a brief video message alongside the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas. Please take the time to view it here. Bp. Matt is very clear: “The church cannot wait to be church… Being church is not about our doctrines and dogmas, our words and intention. But rather, being church is about our actions and commitments.”
Our actions and our commitments. What actions are we taking? What commitments are we making? This is exactly what Bp. Matt means when he says that “the world needs a Gospel that is bright, bold, and clear.”
I ask each one of you to pray on this – to engage in an active conversation with God about why God is calling you to be church (ekklesia, Greek for “those who are called out”). May we all come to clarity about our actions and commitments and live into our Baptismal Vows to be the church that this world so desperately needs.
In God’s love and mine,
Announcements for July 9
The Sixth Sunday After Pentecost
St. John’s Office Hours
Wednesdays 10:00-12:00 noon,
Thursdays 1:00-4:00 pm
Have an announcement for the bulletin?
Please send by Wednesday at noon to email@example.com.
St. John’s Outreach Project – People’s Place: When you go to the store, pick up a few extra non-perishable food items for People’s Place food pantry (tuna, soup, pasta, sauce, etc.). We are also taking donations of birthday napkins/plates, candles, and gift bags in various sizes. Bring them to church and place them in the appropriate baskets near the Font.
Bible Study: Come and join in Bible Study with Rev. Michelle on Sundays at 8:30 am (in person) or Wednesdays at 12:00 noon (via Zoom). We are studying the Gospel of Matthew and you can join the conversation any Sunday! Everyone is welcome to pick up a one-page overview of this Gospel on the bulletin board in the Vestibule. Email Rev. Michelle if you’d like to join the Wednesday Bible Study on Zoom.
Page Turners Book Club Meetings are on the first Thursday of the month at 2 p.m., in the parish hall. Our next meeting after that will be September 7 when we will discuss Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver. No meetings in July or August. All are welcome! Interested? Talk with Lynn Dennison.
Mid-Hudson Gathering On July 29, the Episcopal parishes of the Mid-Hudson will gather for a special Eucharist to continue the celebration of our newly consecrated Bishop Matt Heyd, who will preach that day. Plan to bring items for the potluck afterwards and come early at 9:45 to join the festival choir! Saturday, July 29 at 11:00 am at Christ Church, Poughkeepsie.
St. John’s Upcoming Schedule
July 29: Mid-Hudson Regional Gathering at Christ Church in Poughkeepsie