St. John’s Walkers: Let’s Get Moving!
Walking together is a great church activity for the summer – a way to get to know each other and get out there and move at the same time. The St John’s Walkers is a new group who do one walk a week, alternating morning and evening times so that you can pick the times that work for you. The Walkers will meet at the designated location so if you need a ride, contact Ana Hernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 914-357-0365 and she will make sure you get there.
Ana needs others to lead walks (choosing accessible locations and being the point person) so contact her to help!
Summer Walking Schedule
Thurs, June 23, 7pm – Poet’s Walk at 776 River Rd in Red Hook: A beautifully scenic location overlooking the Hudson and the Catskills, with walks on even ground, just in time for the sunset.
Tues, June 28, 9am
Thurs, July 7, 7pm
Tues, July 12, 9am
Thurs, July 21, 7pm
Tues, July 26, 9am
Thurs, August 4, 7pm
Tues, August 9, 9am
Thurs, August 18, 7pm
Tues, August 23, 9am
Thurs, August 30, 7pm
Tues, Sept. 6, 9am
The Church IS Cracking Open
Over the last couple of months, it seems that I keep reading stories about different and exciting things happening in the Episcopal Church. Dioceses are working together, developing partnerships of different kinds. A few years ago, 2 dioceses began a merger – the Diocese of Western New York and Northwestern PA. On the congregational level, this is also happening. Congregations are also looking at deeper partnerships, and most of those are considering the idea of merging with another congregation. Just this past year, 2 separate congregations in Ossining decided to become one – Grace Church Ossining. And this isn’t just happening in the Episcopal Church.
And when it does happen, it is recognized as a very good thing. It is celebrated as new life. We believe in the Resurrection, after all.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to interpret merger as “failure.” For those who are in the midst of these difficult conversations, it can even feel like something to be ashamed of. But it’s exactly the opposite. These are brave decisions that come as a result of deeply faithful discernment. Holy Wisdom speaks to us, however, only when we are ready to hear her, that is, when we are making decisions as the Body of Christ, instead of decisions based only on our own needs.
And there is nothing to be alarmed about because, if we think about it, change is nothing new in the life of the larger church. For example, did you know that none of the churches that were founded at the time of the Acts of the Apostles are still in existence? The members of those churches either closed the churches, in which case the members most surely became members of another congregation, OR they merged with the members of other churches to become a new larger congregation. Does this mean that those congregations were failures? Absolutely not!
Closures, mergers, changes… This has been going on in the church for, literally, centuries and is a mark of the lasting presence of Christ among us. That is why churches exist, after all, to spread the Good News of God in Christ through loving service in the world.
I hope that reading Stephanie Spellers’ book last year, called The Church Cracked Open, sparked some helpful reflection for us all. Because, just as the woman our Gospelers wrote about… the woman with the perfume who decided to crack open that expensive alabaster jar so that she could wash the feet of Jesus with wild, unbounded, love… we at St. John’s are in the same place as our siblings across the church.
We are all witnessing a significant shift in the context around us and, in response to that shift, we are being asked by God to look closely at what we believe to be so precious, and recognize that God’s mission is the reason for the church. The question is now, as it as always been: How are we called to be the Body of Christ in this place with these resources at this time?
The congregations in the Ulster Deanery are doing some deep discernment right now. We are exploring how we will move out of our silos of doing church-as-usual in our own buildings with our own people and move into a new incarnation, one in which we share life together. I spoke about this in my sermon this past Sunday so if you weren’t in church, I recommend you read it or listen to it. You can do so by clicking here.
If you have questions about this, please reach out to me. And as we move forward down this path of sharing our lives, I will be sure to tell you about what is happening, new movements, new ministries, new ways of being… all the things we can celebrate, together.
In God’s love and mine,
Announcements for the Second Sunday of Pentecost
June 19, 2022
Welcome Lydia Picknell! We welcome a new person to our St. John’s Staff: Lydia Picknell. Lydia is taking over in the role of Kitchen/Office Administrator and her main job will be to reach out and find renters for our spaces here at St. John’s. She will be in the office Tues, Weds, and Thurs afternoons so stop by and welcome her.
Our previous Kitchen/Office Administrator, Suzanne Campise, has completed her job with us, which was to get the rental program up and running. Now, she and her spouse Gregory are awaiting the birth of their first child, so please keep them both in your prayers.
Calling all bakers! Do you like to make things in the kitchen? Our Communion Bread recipe is easy and quick. You bake one batch, deliver the bread to the church, and we keep it in the freezer until we use it. Sign up to bake for a month (or two) this year. The sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board in the Vestibule.
Flower Ministry: Every week, members of St. John’s offer a memorial of thanksgiving or honor a loved one who has gone before by supporting the Flower Ministry at St. John’s with a monetary donation. You’ll see this memorial listed in the bulletin each week. This ministry ensures we have lovely fresh flowers every week on our altar. Please consider signing up for a Sunday. Contact Elaine Lawrence at email@example.com
Page Turners Book Club: The next books are: July 5th (date might be changed): The Cold Millions, by Jess Walter. Currently the book club is considering the idea of meeting in person again but no decision has been reached. Please contact Lynn Dennison for more information if you’d like to join!
Collection Counters: As most of you know, each week, we collect pledges and donations during our Sunday service, along with other monies that come in during the week for rentals, etc. We need volunteers to count the monies immediately after the Sunday service and then make the deposit. You will be paired with one other person, scheduled once/month and will receive full training. Talk to Wes Dangler, Treasurer; Lynn Dennison or Claudette Ford, Wardens; or Rev. Michelle.
Benefit Concert for Ukraine: Sunday, September 11 at 4:00 pm – mark your calendars!
Have an announcement for the bulletin?
Please send by Wednesday at noon to firstname.lastname@example.org.