The 244th Convention of the Diocese of New York
Every diocese in the Episcopal Church has a convention each year to elect deputies to General Convention, members of diocesan committees and boards, and make decisions about our common life together. This normally happens as an in-person event with people coming together for 1-2 days and, because of the pandemic, all the dioceses across the church had to do things very differently.
Over the past 2 months, Rev. Michelle, Deacon Sue, and our warden, Claudette Ford, have all been attending weekly meetings to listen to reports and pray together. These meetings culminated this year in one final meeting, held over Zoom, on Saturday, November 7. We all listened and watched as our bishops, Andy Dietsche, Mary Glasspool, and Allen Shin, addressed the hundreds of online attendees. And we all voted remotely through our computers to pass the budget and elect people into their ministries for the coming years.
You can read the official report of diocesan convention, read/watch the bishops’ addresses, as well as review the budget for 2021 by clicking here.
Tending Our Light
Our weekly offering of goodness to help keep our spirits buoyed and our mental health on track through the darker months of winter.
Each week you look forward to this newsletter from St. John’s (hopefully!). Well, there are some organizations that offer daily or weekly emails – short notes of interest or inspiration. It’s a wonderful way to keep the bigger picture in your sight each day and reconnect with the part of yourself that wonders and searches for new ways to engage the world. Here are a few links where you can sign up for a daily or weekly inspirational email. If you know of any others, please send them along to Rev. Michelle so she can pass them on to others.
Brain Pickings – An inventory of the meaning of life (and some great things for kids too!), cultivated by Maria Popova.
Gratefulness.org – The work of Brother David Steindl-Rast through the Network for Grateful Living.
Center for Action and Contemplation – A spiritual center for contemplatives, connecting our spiritual selves to the world in which we live.
Yes! Magazine – Stories of positive change and amazing, inspiring people.
StoryCorps – Personal stories told by real people about building connections and creating a more compassionate world.
The Gift of Ministry
Dear Ones: In my sermons the past couple of weeks, I’ve been preaching about the importance of tending to our light, of surrendering to Love so that we can experience that love ourselves and become a bridge of God’s Love ourselves.
In 12-step spirituality, those who attend meetings are expected to spend time being of service to others as a part of the program. Those who developed this life-giving 12-step framework realized that, when we are too focused on how we think we’re failing or what we think we’re not getting, we are in danger of losing ourselves in self-judgment, anger, and depression. However, when we spend time in active service to others, we are reminded that others have the same struggles we do, our lives suddenly seem more manageable and satisfying and our troubles less pressing.
So, a significant part of tending our light is to be of service. In Christianity we call this ministry, of course. I realize that we tend to think of the things we do at church as ministry – acolytes, lectors, altar guild, choir, etc. But ministry happens whenever we offer ourselves in service to another because being of service to another person is being of service to God.
Especially this year, when our holidays are disrupted by the pandemic, I promise that being of service will be a gift to you. To take the time to put aside your own concerns and focus on helping others, even if its for just a few hours, will be a boon to your spirit and will mean a lot to those you help. Please take a good look at the Ministry Opportunities listed in our announcements each week. There are several opportunities listed already and more will be coming.
Give yourself the gift of ministry.
In God’s love and mine, Rev. Michelle
Announcements for November 15, 2020
Wednesday Morning with Terry is back! Join Terry Earles at 10:00 am every Wednesday as he offers 30 minutes of music and musical tidbits from the St. John’s Sanctuary. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84863654470
The Page Turners: Our December selection is ‘The Mountains Sing,’ by Nguyen Phan Que Mai. This discussion will be on December 1st. All are welcome! Contact Lynn Dennison at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The 2020 Pledge Campaign ends… but please continue to send your pledges! Drop off your leaves and pledge form at the Rectory or mail them in and we’ll continue putting them on the tree. Using the theme of Faith the Size of a Mustard Seed, we’re focusing on how all of our giving – time, talent, treasure – is the seed that grows our St. John’s community. If you did not receive a letter, please contact Lynn Dennison from the Stewardship Committee.
Gathering in Gratitude – the annual Kingston Interfaith Council’s Thanksgiving celebration will be held online this year on Tuesday, November 17 at 7:00 pm. This year’s celebration will feature important teachings on home and homelessness as well as musical presentations and readings. Click here for more information: https://www.kingstoninterfaithcouncil.org/events-1/interfaith-thanksgiving-service
Children’s New Book Drive: Family of Woodstock is in need of books for children who are in or are leaving shelters. If you are coming to in-person church, please consider bringing a new children’s book (all ages). Or send a donation to the church (207 Albany Ave) and we will do the shopping. Questions? Contact Outreach Coordinator Elaine (845-532-6585) or Deacon Sue (845-331-5575).
People’s Place Project Santa Sock Drive! What did one new sock say to the other? “Great things are afoot!” It’s Project Santa time again and we’ve been asked by our friends at People’s Place to host a sock drive. All sizes and shapes of new socks will be needed. Plain socks, character socks, slipper socks, heavy winter socks, crew socks and knee socks are needed for infants all the way up to 14 year-old boys and girls. Your donations of new, quality socks will warm the toes and hearts of our young neighbors. Please be generous. You can drop off the socks in the box by the rectory or make a donation and we will shop for you. All donations must be dropped off no later than Sunday, December 6th. Thank you from Elaine Lawrence and Deacon Sue on behalf of the Outreach Committee.
Angel Food East Does Thanksgiving! Join the fun (it really is fun!) of preparing Thanksgiving for over 200 people – we’re looking for people to help cook and people to help pack the food into containers. Shifts are available throughout the day and evening on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, November 23-25. Speak with Rev. Michelle for more info!
Have an announcement for the bulletin?
Please send by Wednesday at noon to email@example.com.