Coming up at St. John’s
Interfaith Gathering of Gratitude
This year, more than ever, interfaith community is deeply important. Please join us for our yearly interfaith gathering at Congregation Emanuel of the Hudson Valley. Park at St. John’s and walk over.
Advent Learning Series: Becoming Beloved Community
Holy Cross/Santa Cruz and St. John’s Episcopal Churches
Advent as we gather on Thursdaynights to reflect on scripture, pray, and learn more about what it means to Become the Beloved Community. We begin with a potluck dinner at St. John’s at 6:00 pm on November 30 and continue each week through the season. Not only is this a wonderful opportunity to learn but it’s also a beautiful way for us to continue deepening the community amongst both congregations.
November 30 at 6:00 pm, St. John’s – potluck dinner kick-off!
December 7 at 6:00 pm, Holy Cross Santa/Cruz
December 14 at 6:00 pm, St. John’s
December 21 at 6:00 pm, Holy Cross/Santa Cruz
The Waters of Baptism: Reflecting On Baptism Together
What does Baptism mean? How does it impact our personal life and our common life as a baptismal community?
At St. John’s, we are blessed with a wide variety of experience with Baptism. Some of us were baptized when we were young, some of us were baptized as older children or even adults, and some haven’t been baptized yet.
What does this event mean to us? Has its meaning changed as we’ve gotten older? What can we learn about Baptism that we hadn’t considered before?
Bishop Mary Glasspool will be with us on December 10 when she will baptize a number of our members, receive some members who are coming to the Episcopal Church from other traditions, and we will all renew our Baptismal Vows.
The season of Advent is a wonderful time to reflect on Baptism as a beginning and a renewal. Join Rev. Michelle on December 3 after worship for a lively conversation and reflection.
247th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of New York
“For all that has been, Thanks! For all that will be, Yes!
This Saturday, November 11 Rev. Michelle and Paula Wisneski will be driving down to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City for the 247th Diocesan Convention to represent St. John’s as the clergy and lay delegates. Rev. Michelle’s wife Ana Hernandez has also been asked to offer her song leadership for Eucharist. The delegates will spend the day reviewing aspects of diocesan life and voting to choose those who will take up offices for the common work of the diocese.
Please offer your prayers for safe travel and for a fruitful and meaningful day serving St. John’s. If you’re interested in viewing the proceedings or learning more about what will be discussed, please visit the website of the Episcopal Diocese of New York.
2023 Stewardship Campaign Continues
Looking for pledge cards? They are available beside the bulletins as you enter for worship.
It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green;
In the year of drought it is not anxious and it does not cease to bear fruit.
As our annual stewardship campaign for St. John’s gets underway, you will be hearing about the theme: Rooted in Abundance, and its reminder to us that we are inspired to give because so much has been given to us. This is not transactional – we do not give in proportion to how we feel we have benefitted or suffered – rather we give because of the love we have experienced in the life of our faith.This past year, so much has happened. We joined with the congregation of Ascension Episcopal Church in West Park for our Holy Week services. The St. John’s Vestry has taken faithful action to resolve our ongoing budget deficit in two significant ways: 1) Supporting our Kitchen Rental program by hiring Brian Silver and 2) adjusting the Rev. Michelle Meech’s schedule to part time. In September, we opened our doors to our neighborhood, throwing a wildly successful Neighborhood Block Party. Our family ministry is growing, as is our music ministry. Yet to come is our visit from Bishop Mary Glasspool on December 10 as she baptizes and receives new members into the Body of Christ here at St. John’s.We kicked off the stewardship campaign with a special coffee hour on November 5th. Pledge statements and stewardship letters were handed out to everyone who came, and they were mailed out to those who weren’t able to be with us.We invite you to consider your financial pledge for 2024 and the ways that we are called to express the love we have experienced in our life at St. John’s. We know that it has been a demanding year, but we hope that you will prayerfully consider increasing your pledge. Your pledge is a commitment to nurture our parish life and will help us determine our budget for the coming year.Pledge cards will be collected December 4, 2023, as we begin the Season of Advent. Please be sure to join us that day and place your pledge card in the basket.In Gratitude,Kathy Burdick
St. John’s 2023 Stewardship Chair
Being of Service to Others
The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service. – Rev. Billy Graham
I suspect that you never thought you’d hear me quote Billy Graham and, to be honest, I’m a little surprised myself. Billy and I do not have much in common when it comes to how our theology is expressed. But there is a basic, undeniable Christian imperative that its hard for anyone to ignore when it comes to following Jesus. And that is our common call to Christian service.
The Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) is never-ceasing in the mandate to serve others, which is exactly why Jesus tells us that there are only 2 commandments: First, love God. Second (which is like the first), love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus tells us, “On these two, hang all the law and the prophets.”
But this “love” that Jesus and all the other authors of scripture talk about… is not about having a warm, fuzzy feeling for other people. Nor is it “not being judgmental” either. The Love that Jesus talks about is one that calls us out of our own worlds into a life that is in relationship with others. We’re not called to like other people. We are called to serve other people. To be of service is the ultimate worship that God calls us to. All the other things we do as church, are meant to prepare us for this service.
I will also say this: Being of service is also really good for our mental and emotional health. When we commit to serving others, we start to realize just how much other people share the ups and downs of life. Soon, our own difficulties seem to hold less power over us and we feel less alone – more connected to others because we are more connected to ourselves.
So, if you’ve been waiting for an invitation to service, here you go: I am hereby inviting each one of you to come out during the week of Thanksgiving and help the Angel Food East Ministry Team be of service. We have shifts on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday when you can cut/peel vegetables, stir pots, wash dishes, and pack food. Come for an hour or two… or a whole day. All of this food will be delivered to our 70+ Angel Food East clients across Ulster County on Thanksgiving morning.
The sign-up sheet is in the vestibule outside the parish hall. So, what are you waiting for?
In God’s love and mine,
Announcements for November 12
Twenty-Fourth 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.
Prepping, Cooking, Packing, Driving… oh my! Check the bulletin board in the Vestibule and sign up for shifts to help with the Angel Food East Thanksgiving Meal this year. Our feeding ministry, Angel Food East, serves approximately 70 clients throughout Ulster County who are chronically homebound and face the risk of food insecurity. Help AFE make this a bountiful Thanksgiving for them. Many hands make light work and this is fun work and a meaningful way to be of service to our community during the holidays. Questions? Ask Rev. Michelle or Lynn Dennison.
Special Forum: The Water of Baptism Some of us were baptized when we were really young, some of us were a little older, and some haven’t been baptized yet. Join Rev. Michelle for a special forum on December 3 after worship where all of us have an opportunity to talk about and reflect on the meaning of Baptism in our lives and in the life of the Church. All are welcome!
Interfaith Gathering of Gratitude: Every year the Kingston Interfaith Council brings our congregations together in November so that we can share prayers, songs, food, and fellowship. Tuesday, Nov 14 at 7:00 pm at Congregation Emanuel of the Hudson Valley (3 doors down). This year, more than ever, joining in our interfaith gathering is important. Please make sure to put it on your calendar and join other people of faith from across our city of Kingston.
Page Turners Book Club meets the first Thursday of the month, at 2 pm, in the parish hall. New members are always welcome! Upcoming selections: Dec 7: Black Cake, by Charmaine Wilkerson. (A series on Hulu!); Jan 11: The Soul of an Octopus, by Sy Montgomery. Feb 8: The Covenant of Water, by Abraham Verghese (Long book, start early!); Mar 7: The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store, by James McBride. Speak to Lynn Dennison, Barbara Johnston, or Claudette Ford for more info.
Outreach Project: People’s Place Project Santa – This year People’s Place needs blankets for kids up to age 16 for their Project Santa. We have a collection box next to the Baptismal Font near our ongoing People’s Place Food Pantry Donation Basket. Please contribute! And we’re always collecting non-perishable food items for People’s Place food pantry (tuna, soup, pasta, sauce, etc.). Bring them to church and place them in the appropriate basket near the Font.
New (or new-ish) to the Episcopal Church? If you or your child has not been baptized, we have 2 more opportunities for baptism coming up. And, if you have been baptized before but would like to be formally received into the church from another tradition, Bishop Mary Glasspool will be here on December 10 to do just that. Please speak with Rev. Michelle about either baptisms or receptions before November 26.
Social Hour Sign-up! If you enjoy staying after worship for snacks and socializing, please sign up to host for a week. The sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board in the vestibule. Talk to Barbara Johnston if you have any questions.