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

The Good News of St. John’s

November 5, 2020

Keeping Us Healthy: A Change in Our Worship Pattern

The pandemic has taught us many things this year, especially the importance of community.  And we’ve known for a while that we would see an uptick in cases over the fall/winter months.  Of course, we were hoping this increase would come a little later, but Ulster County has begun to see a rise in COVID cases.  Therefore, to keep the St. John’s community healthy, we are shifting our worship pattern.

Beginning this Sunday on November 8, we will follow this pattern for Sunday worship:

  • 10:00 am: The Liturgy of the Word will be broadcast from the Sanctuary through Zoom.  Our Music Director and Cantor will be the only people in the Sanctuary along with the clergy.  Readings, hymns, prayers, and announcements will all take place during this part of the service which will end at approximately 11:00 am., similar to how we worshipped over the spring and summer months.  This will also be available via Facebook Live.
  • 11:45 am: The Liturgy of the Table will take place in the Sanctuary and will not be broadcast over Zoom.  As a continuation of what we begin at 10:00 am, for those who would like to come and receive Communion, Rev. Michelle will bless and offer this sacrament (in bread only) every Sunday.  There will be no hymns or readings so this part of the service will take no longer than 15-20 minutes.

In addition to keeping us safe, this pattern will enable us to worship as a fuller community online and still participate in the sacrament of Eucharist through the winter.  Please note: The funeral for Doreen Goodwin will still take place as an in-person Eucharist (and broadcast over Zoom) on Saturday, November 14 at 11:00 am.

As was announced via email last week, we are also looking into improving the online experience, primarily through better audio/video equipment.  So, if you’d like to contribute to this, please email Rev. Michelle at


Tending Our Light

This coming Sunday the gospel lesson is the parable of the bridesmaids, where there are 5 “foolish” and 5 “wise” bridesmaids.  And the parable teaches us through the seemingly simple question of whether they have enough oil for their oil lamps.  In other words, are they tending well to their own lights?  And, I have to say, I couldn’t have planned a better parable to continue the conversation about how to take care of ourselves in the coming months.

So we’ll have a spot in the Weekly Good News called, Tending Our Light.  Every week, I’ll offer something to help keep our spirits buoyed and our mental health on track.

This week we’ll begin with a movie that’s available on Netflix and Disney channels called, My Octopus Teacher (thank you to the Rev. Susan Auchincloss for the recommendation!).  Yes, it’s a bit of a clunky title.  It’s a documentary about a man who has hit a low point in his life and finds a way to rekindle his own light.  It’s an inspiring story of interconnectedness, life, and healing and is told with absolutely stunning underwater photography.

Now, if you don’t have Netflix or Disney (or even if you do), I invite you to joins me as I re-watch it via Zoom on Thursday, November 12 at 7:00 pm.  So order your pizza or pop your popcorn and then click here to join the watch party.   Rev. Michelle

A Christian Response

Dear Ones:  While we are in the midst of election returns during one of the most divisive and important elections, at least, in my own lifetime, I invite us to reflect on our faith.  What does our Christian faith tell us?  What can we learn from the witness of Jesus the Christ that is applicable to what’s currently happening?

Before I could gather my own thoughts on Wednesday morning, I was offered this beautiful post, written by one of my friends, Brother Aiden, who is a monk right down the road at Holy Cross Monastery in West Park.  I realized upon reading it that it was exactly what I needed to hear and I could not have said it any better myself.  So, I ask that you take the time to read this insightful and grounding reflection from Brother Aiden to help see this election from the perspective of the gospel witness.  Click here to read.

May you receive peace and hope from his words.  I know I have.

In God’s love and mine, Rev. Michelle


Announcements for November 8, 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. Click here to join:

The Page Turners: Will meet by Zoom on November 10th to discuss ‘Caste,’ by Isabel Wilkerson (date changed because of Election Day).  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: for more information.

The 2020 Pledge Campaign Continues!  By now, you’ve received a letter from our Stewardship Committee to announce this year’s campaign.  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.  Look for your letter and your opportunity to pledge! And then, drop off your leaves at the Rectory or mail them in.  We’ll make sure they get placed on the tree so that by November 15, when the Pledge Campaign is over, we’ll have the tree full of color.

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:

A gentle reminder that the Funeral Eucharist for our dear friend and longtime parishioner, Doreen Goodwin, will take place this coming Saturday, November 14 at 11:00 am.  This is an in-person worship.  Look for a link to watch online via Zoom on the St. John’s website.

Ministry Opportunities

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.

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