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

The Good News of St. John’s

July 8, 2021

What’s Going On in the Memorial Garden

When’s the last time you checked out the St. Francis Memorial Garden?  If you haven’t done so in a while, make sure to walk through and stay a while because our beloved Director of Music, Terry Earles, has been hard at work gardening and beautifying the space around the pergola.  For several years, the pergola space has been left untended and it became overgrown.  Now, however, thanks to Terry’s efforts, the pergola is filled with bright color, soothing sounds, and beautiful smells.  He’s even gathered donations from his neighbors to help cover the cost.  Please be sure to offer Terry thanks for his ministry.  He’s given a wonderful gift to us all.

Thank you, Terry, for your hard work, your dedication, and your love.

The following people have donated to beautify the Memorial Garden and Terry has asked that we keep them in our prayers.

Mr. and Mrs. J. T. Pinna in memory of Lucille
Samir Hrachi in memory of Frank Simpson
Wesley Dangler in memory of Lawrence and Grace
Beth Petramale in memory of Suzi Filak
Terry Earles in memory of Rev. Dr. F. P. Reynolds & family
Steven Savona in memory of William Madden
William Bozzetto in memory of Anna Mac Graw
Lauren Stein in memory of Patricia Massa



A Theology of Gardening

I’m a recent convert to gardening.  I always felt overwhelmed by the idea of tending to outdoor space.  I suppose I thought it was too much work to fight with the plant life that so clearly has more of an understanding about how to grow than I do about how to control its growth.  For many years I focused on indoor plants as they were easier to get my mind around and, therefore, easier to control.

But Youtube is a wealth of information and watching Monty Don on the UK show Gardener’s World has become a weekly Friday night event in the Rectory.  I’ve found that working outside in the garden these past years has taught me so much more about how life functions – and I don’t just mean the life of the plants, but my life too.  We are so connected to this soil we call home because the nutrients you find in the soil are the same nutrients you find in our bodies.  And God created all of it, all of us, from this rich loam that sustains all of life.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far is that the cultivation of a shared space where plant life, animal life, and human life can all thrive together is necessary for us all to learn just how interdependent we are.  Beginning in the mid-20th century, I think we humans lost that lesson:  Agri-business took over the food chain, fossil fuels became the dominant energy source, plastics became a cheap alternative to just about everything, and computer technology replaced actual experiences with virtual ones.  We’ve separated ourselves more and more from the earth over the past 70 years.  And now, the younger generations are teaching us that we’ve done this to our peril.

How do we return?  How do we understand this as a part of how we are called to be reconciled with God?

So, I’ve come to rejoice in the simple tasks these days – planting seeds, tending to a growing plant, picking a ripe tomato, creating a welcoming space for the birds and bees so they will stick around to pollinate the garden.  And learning about abundance from God’s ready-made bounty.

In God’s love and mine, Rev. Michelle



Announcements for
July 11, 2021

Join the Blue Fridge Team: Interested in helping out with food security issues here in Kingston?  Join us as we gather to support the Blue Fridge, a community refrigerator on the grounds of Clinton Avenue Methodist Church in Midtown.  St. John’s is working with Congregation Emanuel to field a team of people who will volunteer and support this effort.  Interested?  Email Rev. Michelle directly at  We’ll meet after she’s back from vacation.

Annual Backpack Drive: We are delighted to be asked again by People’s Place again to assist with the distribution of school supplies.  Bring your donations of backpacks to church and drop them off in the basket near the altar. If you’d like to give money to the effort, please place your donation in an envelope marked “School Supplies” or write “School Supplies” on your check. As we get closer to the start of school, look for more information on when you can volunteer to help out with the distribution.

Social Hour Is Back!  So please sign-up to bring refreshments for after Sunday worship – cool drinks and snacks.  We’ll meet outside in the tent this summer for Sunday fellowship time.  See the bulletin board in the vestibule to sign-up to be a Sunday host.

Voices Heard: A series of panel discussions sponsored by the Reparations Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of New York.  This series of panel discussions organized by the Reparations Committee for the Diocese of New York intends to broaden awareness and deepen our understanding of the pressing topics of an intractable nature of systemic racism on education, health, economics, gender, policing and the criminal justice system, the church and more that negatively impact people of African heritage. Bringing experts, community organizers, civic leaders, clergy and laity into dialogue will help to inform us.  All panels will take place from 7:00–8:30 p.m. on Zoom.  Registration in advance is required for each individual Discussion.

  • Tuesday, July 20 – Rectors of Color: Examining the Missed Opportunities of Deployment

For more information or to register:   Webinar ~ Voices Heard: A Diocese Explores Pathways Toward Reparations – “Educational Opportunity Denied: The Legacy of Segregated Housing” (

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