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

The Good News of St. John’s

June 15, 2023

This Week at St. John’s

Sunday Programming!

Join us for a Sunday full of programming this week:

  • Bible Study – Weekly Bible Study begins at 8:30, bring your Bible and your Sunday morning brew and join Rev. Michelle as we begin studying the Gospel of Matthew.
  • Godly Play – Leah Siuta will be leading Godly Play for the young people this coming Sunday. If you’re a parent, bring your child to the upstairs Godly Play room and then come down for worship. All the kids will join us in time for Eucharist.
  • Healing Sunday – Laura Ricci and the Healing Ministers will offer prayers for all those who request them during communion.
  • Pastoral Care Meeting – After worship, join the Pastoral Care Team to discuss pastoral care needs at St. John’s. All are welcome.


Bible Study Begins June 18 and 21

To learn more, click here


Rural and Migrant Ministry

Last Sunday, we were blessed with our guest preacher, the Rev. Richard Witt, who is the Executive Director of Rural and Migrant Ministry. He stayed after worship to talk with us more about this vital organization and what help is currently needed regarding the current situation in our rural counties, in which the mayor of New York City is sending busloads of people to other counties. As Richard reminded us, it’s not unusual for us to be receiving immigrants from NYC. What is unusual is the manner in which this is happening. We need to reach out and assist in their settlement here. Rev. Michelle

Rural and Migrant Ministry is hosting a resource fair for the recently arrived refugees in the Hudson Valley — up to several hundred on Saturday, June 17, at our center at the Grail in Cornwall-on-Hudson. We are partnering with many of the organizations and congregations that have been at the forefront of the initial welcoming of the refugees. Sign up to help here:

This is a quick turnaround because time is of the essence. The refugees have been given three months of housing by New York City and three Chef Boyardee-type microwave meals a day — and that’s it. At the end of the three months, they are apparently out on their own.

On June 17th, we will bus the refugees from the various Hudson Valley motels to the Grail for a day of workshops that will help them further acclimate to the cultural, housing, legal and employment realms of the Hudson Valley. Our goal is to help them gain a more solid footing, avoid exploitation, and connect to long-term resources and the greater community.

We need help with the following:

  • Prepared meal, fruit and snacks: As we mentioned, the refugees are not being fed decently. We intend to have a diverse meal while they are here with us on the 17th — and we hope to have lots of extras — so we also ask for the donation of carry-out containers for the men to take food back with them.
  • Translators: We need people who speak Spanish, Chinese (we are still trying to figure out which dialect), Arabic, Russian, Portuguese, Haitian Creole and French. We will need interpreters who can engage the men in one-on-one conversations throughout the day, and also in the numerous workshops we will be doing. It would also be great to have folks who are from or have cultural heritage from these countries, so that we can give some connecting comfort.
  • Folks who are willing to engage in fellowship and elementary conversational English — and who might be willing to be an individual ally in the weeks to come during the asylum process.
  • Folks who might have some short-term work for the men to do. All of the men have been vetted by the government and are waiting for work authorization. The refugees we’ve worked with all have one overriding, immediate concern, and that is finding work. Therefore, we are also putting together a job board for anyone who can offer short-term/long-term employment assistance to these very capable men. Work can include things like landscaping and yard cleanup, home maintenance, and more. In order to avoid having the men be exploited and to assure them a just wage, we ask that you offer $20 per hour and provide transportation.
I know it’s a lot to ask, and on short notice — but if we can get lots of us contributing, we can make it work. Here is the link for folks to sign up:

Christian Saints: St. John the Baptist

A new “regular feature” of our Newsletter about the lives of the saints.

June is an auspicious month to begin this feature of our Newsletter because St. John’s in Kingston was named after St. John the Baptist, whose life is celebrated every year on June 24. There is some lore in the verbal history of St. John’s that our parish was named after both St. John the Baptist and St. John the Divine, but the records indicate that it’s more likely John the Baptist because the founding date is listed as June 24, 1832. As such, John the Baptist is our patron saint.

St. John the Baptist is one of the better-known saints, having been the one who is named in our scripture as the baptizer of Jesus of Nazareth and the one who identifies him as the messiah. His ministry of preaching and baptism in the Jordan is described in all 4 gospel accounts and his death is also told in scripture by Matthew, Mark, and Luke (known as the Synoptic Gospels). The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus also makes note of his life, ministry, and death in Antiquities of the Jews. There are all kinds of relics of his all over the world including his head, his right hand, and his decapitation cloth.

John was what we call an ascetic, someone who is characterized by self-discipline and fasting from indulgence. He lived a life apart from worldly ways and called others to do the same because he preached against the worldly corruption of the current Jewish leadership (which got him killed) and prophesied the coming of the messiah. He is the ultimate “fire and brimstone” preacher, one who pronounces hope through reconciling with God and God’s holy ways.

It is said in the Gospels that John is foretold in the words of the Prophet Isaiah as “the one crying out in the wilderness.” In art, John is depicted as described in scripture – preaching with clothing made of camel’s hair, a wild look, and a diet of locusts and honey.

You can learn more about John the Baptist in these scripture passages:
Matthew 3:1-17; 11:2-7; 14:1-12
Mark 1:4-14; 6:14-29
Luke 1:5-80; 3:1-22; 9:7-9
John 1:6-42; 3:22-36; 5:30-42
Acts 1:1-22


St. John’s: Then… Up to Now

Dear Ones,We’ve been talking about a project for a few years now – learning more about the history of St. John’s. This project is a part of our journey towards Becoming Beloved Community.

Vestrymember Paula Wisneski is leading this project and she wants to gather other members of St. John’s who are curious enough to read through the stories in our archives. We have all kinds of records – letters, bulletins, vestry minutes, newspaper clippings. And, in order to have access to everything possible, this group will not only have my assistance, but the assistance of Wayne Kempton, the Archivist and Historiographer of the Diocese of New York.

Then, the members of this group will be asked to bring these stories to the larger congregation of St. John’s in two ways: First, we will install a timeline on paper in our Parish Hall and add events/stories to this timeline. People will be able to peruse these stories whenever they want. Second, we will have a regular feature in the Newsletter in which people will re-tell these stories and help us to make connections to the larger context. We know this isn’t a short-lived project, but will take the better part of a year to really dig into the archives and find the stories that matter.

Paula volunteered to take on this project because she knows how important it is for us to embark on a journey of truth-telling – learning about and telling the full story of our churches, especially including our story of race. Only then, are we really able to do the work of anti-racism.

And Paula has already found a pretty juicy story: According to the Vestry Minutes of a meeting in 1885, the Rector resigned his position because of what happened at a previous Vestry meeting. Now, Paula cannot yet locate the minutes of the previous meeting, but I wonder what happened! Don’t you?

Please speak directly with Paula by the end of June if you’d like to be a member of this team of St. John’s Historians.

In God’s love and mine,
Rev. Michelle


Announcements for June 18
The Third Sunday After Pentecost

St. John’s Office Hours
Wednesdays 10:00-12:00 noon,
Thursdays 1:00-4:00 pm

Phone: 845-331-2252
stjohnskingston@aol.comHave an announcement for the bulletin?
Please send by Wednesday at noon to

THIS SUNDAY! Pastoral Care Meeting The Pastoral Care Team meets after worship. All are welcome to attend!

Summer Book Read: Join us for the St. John’s Summer Book Read. We will meet over Zoom so you don’t have to worry about missing a meeting due to travel! The book is No Act of Love Is Ever Wasted by Thibault and Morgan. It’s a non-fiction read that focuses on caring for people with dementia but is also a good reflection for all who provide pastoral care or are caretakers of friends or family. Please contact Rev. Michelle before June 30 if you intend on participating. We will announce discussion dates soon after.

Bible Study: Come and join in Bible Study with Rev. Michelle. Beginning June 18, we will have two opportunities to join in a weekly Bible Study – Sundays at 8:30 am (in person) or Wednesdays at 12:00 noon (via Zoom). We begin our study with the Gospel of Matthew.
Email Rev. Michelle if you’d like to join either group.

Grief Support Group: Hudson Valley Hospice comes to St. John’s for the summer to offer a Family Grief Support Group, Monday afternoons 2x a month, June 5 through Sept 25. Prior registration is required – call 845-240-7579 for more information and to register.

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 June 1,  These Precious Days by Anne Patchett. 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.

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.

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.

St. John’s Upcoming Schedule

June 17:     Ulster Deanery Meeting, 9-12:30 at Ascension in West Park
June 18:     Sunday Bible Study begins in person at 8:30 am, Godly Play for kids, Healing Sunday, Pastoral Care meeting after worship
June 21:     Wednesday Bible Study begins on Zoom at 12:00 noon
June 25:     Instructed Eucharist and Liturgical Forum
July 2:        Summer Worship begins in the Parish Hall
July 29:      Mid-Hudson Regional Gathering at Christ Church in Poughkeepsie