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

The Good News of St. John’s

September 4, 2021

Does Lightning Strike Twice?  Let’s Hope Not!

It was a dark and stormy night… which, so many of our nights have been this summer here in Kingston.  But July 17 was particularly eventful.  In the early evening that Saturday, St. John’s sustained a surge due to a lightning strike – either the building was hit or something nearby was. 

Immediately, the bell started peeling endlessly and, because the crack was so loud, a nearby neighbor called the fire department.  Rev. Michelle was out of town so her wife Ana ran though the pouring rain to meet the fire trucks at the church building.  The fire fighters shut off one of the breakers to stop the bells and, along with Ana, confirmed that there was no immediate danger in the building.

Thankfully, the building itself is just fine.  We have a lightning rod so, if the building had been hit, the current was grounded rather than create a lot of damage.  But the surge that went through the cables and wires in our building created quite a mess.

When Rev. Michelle returned from vacation in late July, we discovered just how messy this was.  Here’s what was affected: the bell controller (that automatically rings the bell at certain times) needs to be replaced, the fire alarm controller was repaired, the sound system has shorts all through it and is currently not usable, both internet modems – the sanctuary and the office – had to be replaced, and one of the computers in the office also had to be replaced.  Whew!

It’s taken a few weeks but we have most things working again, except a few that are expensive and need to be discussed by the vestry (the bell controller and the sound system).  Thanks to George Mine for the help with the bell!  We’ve begun an insurance claim to (hopefully!) get some help covering the costs of getting everything back in order.

The responsibilities of managing a building require quite a bit of expertise and time.  Of course monetary resources are an important part of the equation too.  As a result, it’s easy to get distracted and think that the building is the only thing that’s important.  But the truth is, when lightning strikes, it often does become a priority on everyone’s list.  So, let’s hope that the adage “lightning never strikes twice in the same place” is true.


Sundays This Fall (and some Saturdays)

We like to be together.  For 111 years we have been worshipping and learning and serving the community – together as the congregation of St. John’s.  And it continues to be important to us, as community, to see one another and share space with one another and to praise God with one voice.  I look forward to seeing each one of you at worship and I love teaching and serving Christ in our community with you all.

I’ve been seeing these kinds of memes on Facebook recently – something that depicts how our hope to make some exciting fall plans is met with the reality and disappointment of yet another year of trying to figure out how to deal with the pandemic.  This is certainly not to make light of the danger that this new variant of the coronavirus brings, but it functions more as a reminder that we are all in this together and, for everyone’s safety, we have to remain vigilant and flexible with the plans we do make.

With that in mind, I think it’s important to make plans for this fall – to have things we can look forward to doing together.  On this list below, I hope you’ll see your invitation to many things: a parish book read, a new fundraiser (see this week’s announcements), a workshop on healing, and, on October 31, our bishop Andy Dietsche is coming to visit which will be followed by a fun event in our parking lot – Trunk-n-Treat!  Plus, I’ll be re-starting Online Bible Study – check out this week’s announcements for more information.

Please put these items on your calendar and join your community of St. John’s as we celebrate life in Christ together.

Fall Schedule at St. John’s
More items are being scheduled… stay tuned!
September 12: Parish Read: Church Cracked Open, parish hall after worship
September 19: Pastoral Care Team Meeting, parish hall after worship
September 23: Choir Dinner – more information coming soon!
September 26: Parish Read: Church Cracked Open, parish hall after worship
October 3: Blessing of the Animals, Memorial Garden after worship
October 9 (Sat): Harvest Team Cooking Day, begins at 10:00 am
October 16 (Sat): Christian Healing Workshop, parish hall, 10-12:30
October 24: Parish Read: Church Cracked Open, parish hall after worship
October 31: The Rt. Rev. Andy Dietsche receives new members into the Episcopal Church AND Trunk-or-Treat with prizes for costumes and car decorations!
November 7: Celebration of All Saints’ Day and Commitment Sunday
November 28: Advent begins

In God’s love and mine, Rev. Michelle


Announcements for
September 5, 2021

Fall Parish-wide Book Read!  Books are now available! This summer, the St. John’s Vestry has been reading The Church Cracked Open by Stephanie Spellers in preparation for our Fall Parish-wide Book Read.  Pick up your book at church or purchase one online.  We will discuss in the parish hall (with masks) on the following Sundays so please read ahead!
September 12: Intro and chapters 1, 2  |  September 26: chapters 3, 4, 5  |  October 24: chapters 6, 7, 8

Zoom Bible Study is back!  Join Rev. Michelle for online Bible study every week.  To discern the best time for as many people as possible, please go to the St. John’s website and fill out the online form on or before September 15.  Click here: Fall 2021 Online Bible Study  The day/time will be announced so we can begin later in September.

St. John’s Kitchen Harvest: “Feeding people is our jam!”  We’re starting up a new fundraiser for St. John’s and we can use lots of help.  Do you have a favorite canning recipe?  Do you like to chop things up into little pieces?  Do you love to stir hot pots of sweet things?  This is your chance!  Join the new Harvest Team as they have fun and cook up recipes in the St. John’s Kitchen.  We’ll sell everything we make during the month of December.  First cooking day: Saturday, October 9.  Talk to Ana Hernandez or Sara Hutton for details.

The Page Turners book club will meet on September 7th to discuss ‘Outlawed’ by Anna North. It has been described as a feminist western, and a fun read.  This discussion will be on Zoom.  For October 5th, the selection is ‘The Book of Longings’ by Sue Monk Kidd. All are welcome. Speak to Claudette Ford or Barbara Johnston in church, or contact Lynn Dennison at, for more information.

St. John’s Prayer Chain – The St. John’s Prayer Chain is a small group of parishioners dedicated to ongoing prayer for the world and for the needs and concerns of people in our community.  If you need prayers or if someone you love is in need, please email Leave as much information as you feel comfortable with, and you or your loved one will be prayed for.

Have an announcement?
Please send by Wednesday at noon to