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

The Good News of St. John’s

  1. June 14

    The Good News from St. John’s Kingston

    This Sunday!

    Join us for Morning Prayer on Sunday June 16th.

    Next Month: July 21

    Join the Rev. Canon Alissa Newton to celebrate Holy Eucharist with us!
     

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________

    A Note from Leah Siuta, St. John’s Warden

    Dear Friends,

    This time of transition is a time to reflect on the ministry of Rev. Michelle as she has left for sabbatical and also ended her time at St. John’s. We will all grieve her departure and also to begin to look toward the future. I am sure you have many questions of what that might look like. To be very honest, I do not know. We will be using the summer to explore many options while remaining committed to continuing our worship together. This summer we will be celebrating Eucharist in the air-conditioned parish hall with several different Priests, enjoy using Morning Prayer at times, and also uniting with Holy Cross/Santa Cruz- our sister parish in Kingston. It is important that we continue to build our sense of community. Remember, that God is with us here, now and always. He is within our church family as well as within our relationships with each other. In addition to your wonderful summer plans, please be sure to worship with us as often as you can.

    The Vestry and the Congregation is being supported by the Diocese of New York, especially The Rev. Canon Alyssa Newton. She will be joining us for Worship and a parish forum on July 21st. Please plan to attend. I have had several opportunities to meet with her and I am sure that she will help us listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit. There are many options to explore going forward. This is a time of reflection, renewal, and discernment. It is a time of for prayer, open hearts and open minds. I invite you to speak to any vestry members if you have questions, concerns, or ideas. We want to hear your voice!

    I am sending this note with love to each of you!

    In Christ’s Love,
    Leah Siuta, Warden
    (845) 380-8413
    Leah.StJohnsKingston@gmail.com

  2. May 30th

    The Good News from St. John’s Kingston

    This Sunday!

    Help us celebrate Rev. Michelle’s ministry with us! Join us for All Ages Worship on Sunday, June 2 and a potluck party afterwards. Let’s have a festive brunch – sign-up sheets are in the vestibule.

    Next Week: June 9

    Join Rev. Tyler Jones for church service. Godly Play will be offered for young people upstairs during the first part of our service.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________

    A Note from Leah Siuta, St. John’s Warden

    Saying good byes are always difficult as they mark the end of a chapter in our community life. Saying good bye to Michelle is particularly difficult because she has been with us for 8 years and has brought us inspiration, wisdom, guidance, and love. We give thanks for her Ministry and her devotion to St. John’s. We will cherish the memories we have created along the way. Please join us on June 2nd as we celebrate her ministry with us. We will be having a special reception after the 10:00 service. Michelle, we wish you and Ana, much joy as you start this next chapter of your lives. Know that you will be missed!

    With love,
    Leah Siuta, Warden
    (845) 380-8413
    Leah.StJohnsKingston@gmail.com

    ________________________________________________________________________________________

    From Rev. Michelle

    Dear Ones,

    This is my last missive to you as your priest. And I want to spend this space and your time on where I see hope in you – the community of St. John’s.

    Over these 8 years as your priest, I must have talked/preached/written about change more than just about any other topic. The church is
    definitely changing. The Gospel itself never changes but how we “do” church and what church looks like – these are the specific ways we see this change manifesting. And this, I believe, is a most hopeful thing. We may engage in nostalgia on occasion, but it does none of us any good to live in how things used to be or try to make it like it was. Because where we are called to be, and where God always is, is forever going to be here and now with the people of God, serving one another to our best ability.

    I offer this because I am so proud that St. John’s has become a community that embraces change – a community in which God’s Holy Spirit can truly speak herself into being. There are so many signs of this: in how we listen to one another and notice acts of kindness; in how we speak with reverence about God and the myriad ways in which God is made real to us; in how we not only welcome but expect our younger members in worship (we don’t feel complete without them!); in how we boldly pronounce to everyone who drives down Albany Ave that we are open and affirming of LGBTQ people; in how when we say “All are welcome at God’s Table,” we truly mean ALL; and in how we are asking the hard questions about our financial future with courageous hearts.

    I have never found God’s hope in comfort and ease (although, admittedly, that’s nice from time to time). God’s hope, I think, is found in the compassionate and earnest response to what is happening right now.

    And equipping ourselves to be able to do that, is our only true responsibility as Christians.

    • How are you feeding your minds? (news, movies and TV, stories we tell ourselves about ourselves or others)
    • How are you practicing open-heartedness? (assuming kindness in others, being touched by the beauty of God’s creation, gratitude)
    • How are you maturing in your behavior, truly caring for yourself so that you can actually be compassionate, Gospel-centered people who have the capacity to respond to the needs of the world? (practicing forgiveness for others and yourself and actively participating in life)

    My deep wish for you, my beloved friends, is that you continue on this journey of becoming who God is calling you to be. Don’t get lost in stories of comparison. Don’t get mired in wishing that circumstances were different. And don’t lose one another in temporary disappointments. These are the twisted paths down which you will find that character named Satan from our baptismal examination. That one is always up to no good.

    Instead, I invite you to believe – believe in yourself, in one another, in this community, and in God. Believe that, if you bring your courageous hearts to this time of transition, you will be amazed at the possibilities. So, invite one another. Show up for one another. Pay attention to and discern what God’s Holy Spirit is saying with one another. Because this… this is how we know God is with us, when we are with each other becoming what God is calling us to be.

    In God’s love and mine – always,
    Rev. Michelle

  3. May 24, 2024

    This Sunday!

    This Sunday, Godly Play will be offered for young people upstairs during the first part of our Eucharistic service.

    Next Week: June 2

    Help us celebrate Rev. Michelle’s ministry with us! Join us for All Ages Worship on Sunday, June 2 and a potluck party afterwards. Let’s have a festive brunch – sign-up sheets are in the vestibule.

    ____________________

    A Note from Leah Siuta, St. John’s Warden

    It is with a heavy heart that we say our good byes to Rev. Michelle. She has been with us for 8 years now and has brought us inspiration, wisdom, guidance, and love. We give thanks for her Ministry and her devotion to St. John’s. Please join us on June 2nd as we celebrate her ministry with us. We will be having a special reception after the 10:00 service. Thank you Michelle for all you have done, and all you are!

    We have made arrangements for Supply Priests over the summer as well as time to worship with Holy Cross/Santa Cruz. I hope  you  can join us! This is an opportunity for us to continue worshipping as the community of St. Johns , building relationships and cohesiveness. It also allows us to connect with the larger community of Episcopalians in our area. Our vestry will be meeting throughout the summer. We will be working closely with the Diocese of NY and specifically with the Rev. Canon Alissa Newton to explore all options ahead and to help us listen carefully to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Please share your thoughts, concerns, and visions with me or any members of the Vestry.

    Our schedule for the month of June includes all Sundays at St. Johns

    With love,
    Leah Siuta, Warden
    (845) 380-8413
    Leah.StJohnsKingston@gmail.com

    __________________________

    Announcements for May 26:
    The First Sunday after Pentecost

    St. John’s Office Hours
    Wednesdays 10:00-12:00 noon
    Phone: 845-331-2252
    Email: stjohnskingston@aol.com

    • Celebration of the Ministry of the Rev. Michelle Meech: Sunday, June 2 after worship. Join us for a Special Brunch and time for fellowship with Rev. Michelle and your friends of St. John’s. We hope you can come to celebrate the 8 years of service and love that Michelle has given our parish! Have time to share your goodbyes while surrounded by the love of St. John’s.
    • St. John’s Book Club The Book Club will meet at 2:00pm on June 6th to discuss “The Only Woman in the Room” by Marie Benedict in the Parish Hall. The Book Club will not be meeting in July and August and will reconvene in September. Enjoy your summer reading!
    • St. John’s Prayer Chain The St. John’s Prayer Chain offers pastoral support to all the members of St. John’s. Please contact us if you need prayers or support: stjohnsprayerchain9@gmail.com
    • Ulster Deanery Meeting The next meeting of the Ulster Deanery is Saturday, June 22 from 9-12 at Christ the King in Stone Ridge. Please be in touch with Leah Siuta if you would like to attend. All members of St. John’s are welcome.
    • South African Music Workshop: Monday, July 1 from 10-2:30, join Episcopal Parishes from all over the diocese for a South African Music Workshop at Redeemer Lutheran Church in New Paltz. Guest presenter Bongani Magatyana. Email Rev. Allison Moore to register: standrewsrev@gmail.com Donation requested but not required.
    • Sunday School Assistance: Our Godly Play program is an integral part of life at St. John’s. Here’s how you can help: Volunteer to be the assistant. You don’t have to prepare, just be present for the first half of worship with the children and our Godly Play Storyteller. Please talk to Leah for more information.
    • Did you know we have an Anglican Rosary? If you are interested in learning about it, you are invited to join Rita Carver, an Education for Ministry mentor, on Saturday mornings at 9:00 to learn to pray our Rosary. To sign up or learn more contact Rita at rita.k.carver@gmail.com
    • Page Turners Book Club meets the first Thursday of the month, at 2 pm, in the parish hall. New members are always welcome! Speak to Lynn Dennison, Barbara Johnston, or Claudette Ford for more info.
    • Online Morning Prayer: Join hundreds of others from across the Episcopal Diocese of New York every weekday morning at 8:00 am. Start your day with prayer, connection, and peace. Go to dioceseny.org/online-morning-prayer.
    • Choir Rehearsal takes place on the third Sunday every month. Please speak with Terry Earles to learn more about the choir.
    • Social Hour Sign-up: If you enjoy staying after worship for snacks and socializing, please sign up to host! The sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board in the vestibule. Talk to Barbara Johnston at 845-594-2181.

    St. John’s Upcoming Schedule
    See stjohnskingston.org/welcome/event-calendar for more info.

    June 2        All Ages Worship and Celebration of Rev. Michelle’s Ministry
    June 9        The Rev. Heidi Neumark (priest), Godly Play for children
    June 16     The Rev. Dcn. Sue Bonsteel preaching for Morning Prayer
    June 22     Ulster Deanery 9-12, Christ the King in Stone Ridge
    June 23     The Rev. Janet Vincent (priest), Pastoral Care Meeting after worship
    June 30     The Rev. Janet Vincent (priest)
    July 7         The Rev. Janet Vincent (priest), Summer Worship in Parish Hall begins
    July 14       The Rev. Janet Vincent (priest)
    July 20       Vestry Retreat
    July 21       The Rev. Canon Alissa Newton, Canon to the Ordinary, Episcopal Diocese of New York. Special Forum: Join Canon Alissa after worship for a conversation about the St. John’s Transition.
    July 28       The Rev. Janet Vincent (priest)
    Aug 4         The Rev. Janet Vincent (priest)
    Aug 11       Worship with Holy Cross/Santa Cruz, 30 Pine Grove Ave
    Aug 18       Worship with Holy Cross/Santa Cruz, 30 Pine Grove Ave
    Aug 25       Worship with Holy Cross/Santa Cruz, 30 Pine Grove Ave
    Sep 1         Worship with Holy Cross/Santa Cruz, 30 Pine Grove Ave

  4. May 17, 2024

    This Sunday: Celebrating the Feast of Pentecost with Baptisms!

    This Sunday, May 19, join us as we baptize three young people – Ameila, Alberto, and Joniel – into the Body of Christ together and celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. We will renew our Baptismal Vows and receive a reminder of our own baptism.

    Save the Date: June 2

    Help us celebrate Rev. Michelle’s ministry with us! Join us for All Ages Worship on Sunday, June 2 and a potluck party afterwards. Let’s have a festive brunch – sign-up sheets are in the vestibule.

     

    ______________

    Pentecost: God’s Holy Spirit


    Dear Ones,

    I think “Pentecost” is one of those words in the Christian vernacular that takes a little unpacking, especially given the landscape of American Christianity. The word “pentecostal,” when describing a church community, refers to a spirit-filled congregation.

    For some, this is combined with a more fundamentalist understanding of theology and followers come to know themselves as so unusually spirit-filled that they are safe from harm (doing dangerous things to prove their faith) or they express themselves in worship through speaking in tongues or involuntary dancing.

    For others, like those of us in the Episcopal Church, we use the word “pentecostal” to evoke an understanding of our willingness to lean in to the wisdom of the Holy Spirit so much so that we are called to action. Not actions that purposefully demonstrate our holiness, but actions that seem to come upon us, provoked by something beyond ourselves – provoked by God’s Holy Spirit. In this way, it is like being let loose.

    But what are we let loose from? How about being let loose from our fear about being accepted or liked… or our sense of decorum about what’s proper or not proper… or our resignation about the brokenness of the world. We could be let loose to offer of ourselves in a new way. Or we could be let loose to finally say the thing that needs to be said.

    A pentecostal moment then, is when we have left behind our need to control, and stepped into a new life – one in which we are accepting of and grateful for what God is already providing for us. And, in so doing, becoming ever more present to and ready for whatever life brings to us as we deepen our faith that God’s Holy Spirit will guide us.

    For a time of transition, such as the one St. John’s is beginning, this knowledge that the Holy Spirit will guide us, is so important. It becomes a bedrock of our faith if we allow ourselves to step into God’s unfolding, knowing that when we show up prayerfully and faithfully, we can discern how God is calling us forward. “Your will, not mine, be done.”

    So, I hope you will join us this coming Sunday for the Feast of Pentecost and join us all as we are let loose by God’s Holy Spirit.

    In God’s love and mine,
    Rev. Michelle

     

    _________________

     

    Announcements for May 19:
    The Feast of Pentecost

    St. John’s Office Hours
    Wednesdays 10:00-12:00 noon
    Phone: 845-331-2252
    Email: stjohnskingston@aol.com

    • Celebration of the Ministry of the Rev. Michelle Meech: Sunday, June 2 after worship. Join us for a Special Brunch and time for fellowship with Rev. Michelle and your friends of St. John’s. We hope you can come to celebrate the 8 years of service and love that Michelle has given our parish! Have time to share your goodbyes while surrounded by the love of St. John’s.
    • St. John’s Prayer Chain The St. John’s Prayer Chain offers pastoral support to all the members of St. John’s. Please contact us if you need prayers or support: stjohnsprayerchain9@gmail.com
    • Ulster Deanery Meeting The next meeting of the Ulster Deanery is Saturday, June 22 from 9-12 at Christ the King in Stone Ridge. Please be in touch with Leah Siuta if you would like to attend. All members of St. John’s are welcome.
    • South African Music Workshop: Monday, July 1 from 10-2:30, join Episcopal Parishes from all over the diocese for a South African Music Workshop at Redeemer Lutheran Church in New Paltz. Guest presenter Bongani Magatyana. Email Rev. Allison Moore to register: standrewsrev@gmail.com Donation requested but not required.
    • Sunday School Assistance: Our Godly Play program is an integral part of life at St. John’s. Here’s how you can help: Volunteer to be the assistant. You don’t have to prepare, just be present for the first half of worship with the children and our Godly Play Storyteller. Please talk to Leah for more information.
    • Did you know we have an Anglican Rosary? If you are interested in learning about it, you are invited to join Rita Carver, an Education for Ministry mentor, on Saturday mornings at 9:00 to learn to pray our Rosary. To sign up or learn more contact Rita at rita.k.carver@gmail.com
    • Page Turners Book Club meets the first Thursday of the month, at 2 pm, in the parish hall. New members are always welcome! Speak to Lynn Dennison, Barbara Johnston, or Claudette Ford for more info.
    • Online Morning Prayer: Join hundreds of others from across the Episcopal Diocese of New York every weekday morning at 8:00 am. Start your day with prayer, connection, and peace. Go to dioceseny.org/online-morning-prayer.
    • Choir Rehearsal takes place on the third Sunday every month. Please speak with Terry Earles to learn more about the choir.
    • Social Hour Sign-up: If you enjoy staying after worship for snacks and socializing, please sign up to host! The sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board in the vestibule. Talk to Barbara Johnston at 845-594-2181.

    St. John’s Upcoming Schedule
    See stjohnskingston.org/welcome/event-calendar for more info.

    May 19           Feast of Pentecost and Baptisms! Vestry meeting and choir rehearsal after worship
    June 2             All Ages Worship and Celebration of Rev. Michelle’s Ministry
    June 22          Ulster Deanery 9-12, Christ the King in Stone Ridge
    June 23          Pastoral Care Meeting after worship
    July 20            Vestry Retreat
    July 21            Guest Priest – The Rev. Canon Alissa Newton, Canon to the Ordinary, Episcopal Diocese of New York. Special Forum: Join Canon Alissa after worship for a conversation about the St. John’s Transition.

  5. May 10, 2024

    What’s happening this Sunday?

    This Sunday we have Godly Play for our younger members so, parents, please bring your kids upstairs before worship begins. We will also be offering a special Prayer for Mothering at the beginning of worship.

    Next Sunday: Baptisms!

    Next Sunday, May 19, join us as we baptize several people into the Body of Christ together on the Feast of Pentecost. We will renew our Baptismal Vows and receive a reminder of our own baptism.

    Save the Date: June 2

    Help us celebrate Rev. Michelle’s ministry with us! Join us for All Ages Worship on Sunday, June 2 and a potluck party afterwards. Let’s have a festive brunch – sign-up sheets are in the vestibule.

    A Prayer for This Time of Transition

    God of love, we pray for our parish family during this time of transition. Guide us and grant us wisdom that we may be courageous and forthright in our self-reflection and willing to face the challenges before us.  Help us come together as a beloved community that we may grow in faith and service to one another and the world in which we live. And, as we begin this journey, we pray that your light will illumine our way and your love will fill our hearts with peace and hope this day and for the days to come. Amen.

    _______________

    Announcements for May 12
    The Seventh Sunday of Easter

    St. John’s Office Hours
    Phone: 845-331-2252
    Email: stjohnskingston@aol.com

    • Celebration of the Ministry of the Rev. Michelle Meech: Sunday, June 2 after worship. Join us for a Special Brunch and time for fellowship with Rev. Michelle and your friends of St. John’s. We hope you can come to celebrate the 8 years of service and love that Michelle has given our parish! Have time to share your goodbyes while surrounded by the love of St. John’s.
    • St. John’s Prayer Chain The St. John’s Prayer Chain offers pastoral support to all the members of St. John’s. Please contact us if you need prayers or support: stjohnsprayerchain9@gmail.com
    • Ulster Deanery Meeting The next meeting of the Ulster Deanery is Saturday, June 22 from 9-12 at Christ the King in Stone Ridge. Please be in touch with Leah Siuta if you would like to attend. All members of St. John’s are welcome.
    • South African Music Workshop: Monday, July 1 from 10-2:30, join Episcopal Parishes from all over the diocese for a South African Music Workshop at Redeemer Lutheran Church in New Paltz. Guest presenter Bongani Magatyana. Email Rev. Allison Moore to register: standrewsrev@gmail.com Donation requested but not required.
    • Sunday School Assistance: Our Godly Play program is an integral part of life at St. John’s. Here’s how you can help: Volunteer to be the assistant. You don’t have to prepare, just be present for the first half of worship with the children and our Godly Play Storyteller. Please talk to Leah for more information.
    • Did you know we have an Anglican Rosary? If you are interested in learning about it, you are invited to join Rita Carver, an Education for Ministry mentor, on Saturday mornings at 9:00 to learn to pray our Rosary. To sign up or learn more contact Rita at rita.k.carver@gmail.com
    • Page Turners Book Club meets the first Thursday of the month, at 2 pm, in the parish hall. New members are always welcome! Speak to Lynn Dennison, Barbara Johnston, or Claudette Ford for more info.
    • Online Morning Prayer: Join hundreds of others from across the Episcopal Diocese of New York every weekday morning at 8:00 am. Start your day with prayer, connection, and peace. Go to dioceseny.org/online-morning-prayer.
    • Choir Rehearsal takes place on the third Sunday every month. Please speak with Terry Earles to learn more about the choir.
    • Social Hour Sign-up: If you enjoy staying after worship for snacks and socializing, please sign up to host! The sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board in the vestibule. Talk to Barbara Johnston at 845-594-2181.

    St. John’s Upcoming Schedule
    See stjohnskingston.org/welcome/event-calendar for a full listing.

    May 12                  Godly Play for kids
    May 19                  Feast of Pentecost and Baptisms! Vestry meeting and choir rehearsal after worship
    June 2                    All Ages Worship and Celebration of Rev. Michelle’s Ministry
    June 16                  Vestry meeting and choir after worship
    June 22                  Ulster Deanery 9-12, Christ the King in Stone Ridge
    June 23                  Pastoral Care Meeting after worship
    July 20                    Vestry Retreat
    July 21                    Guest Priest – The Rev. Canon Alissa Newton

  6. May 2, 2024

    What’s happening this Sunday?

    • All Ages Worship! This Sunday we’re talking about the 2 great commandments of Jesus and what they mean to us: Love God and love your neighbor as yourself..
    • After worship, stay join the Pastoral Care Committee Meeting and learn more about the pastoral fabric of St. John’s.

    ___________________________

    Parish Life Committee


    Dear Ones,

    Thank you to those who were able to stay for our discussion on the purpose of a Parish Life Committee this past Sunday. I’ll offer, briefly, what we discussed as the role of this committee and then talk about importance of this work as St. John’s moves forward into transition.

    Very simply, the ministry of this group is focused on communal life of the congregation – potluck dinners and BBQs, fundraisers, Feast Day celebrations, community events. In other words, the calendar of St. John’s life will be overseen by this group of people. Once a decision is made about what needs to happen, then the planning can begin. When? What equipment is needed? What food/beverage is needed? How do we communicate this? What activities need to be planned? There don’t need to be a lot of events planned and they don’t need to be huge. But St. John’s will need ways to be together in community.

    This is an important ministry that cannot be led by the Vestry itself because the Vestry will be focused on many decisions as they lead the congregation through the transition. Of course, members of the Vestry can be on the Parish Life Committee, and should be. But this needs to be a wider effort by the larger membership of St. John’s.

    So, I hope you will step into helping. As I said in my letter to you, your Vestry needs your support. This is a real way that you can offer that support.

    In God’s love and mine,
    Rev. Michelle

     

    ____________________________________________

     

    Announcements for May 5:
    The Sixth Sunday of Easter

    St. John’s Office Hours
    Wednesdays 10:00-12:00 noon
    Phone: 845-331-2252
    Email: stjohnskingston@aol.com

    • THIS SUNDAY: Pastoral Care Meeting: Sunday, May 5 after worship. Come and be a part of the compassion and care fabric of St. John’s. Pastoral Care is about finding ways to reach out to anyone who needs a little extra care as we learn to care for one another more deeply in Christ’s love. Talk to Laura Ricci for more information.
    • Sunday School Assistance: Our Godly Play program is an integral part of life at St. John’s. Here’s how you can help: Volunteer to be the assistant. You don’t have to prepare anything, you just have to be present for the first half of worship with the children and our Godly Play Storyteller. Please talk to Leah for more information.
    • Did you know we have an Anglican Rosary? If you are interested in learning about it, you are invited to join Rita Carver, an Education for Ministry mentor, on Saturday mornings at 9:00 to learn to pray our Rosary. To sign up or learn more contact Rita at rita.k.carver@gmail.com
    • 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: May 2: North Woods by Daniel Mason. Speak to Lynn Dennison, Barbara Johnston, or Claudette Ford for more info.
    • Online Morning Prayer: Join hundreds of others from across the Episcopal Diocese of New York every weekday morning at 8:00 am. Start your day with prayer, connection, and peace. Go to dioceseny.org/online-morning-prayer to join.
    • Choir Rehearsal takes place on the third Sunday every month. Please speak with Terry Earles to learn more about the choir.
    • Social Hour Sign-up: If you enjoy staying after worship for snacks and socializing, please sign up to host! The sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board in the vestibule. Talk to Barbara Johnston at 845-594-2181.

     

  7. April 26th

    The Good News from St. John’s Kingston

    What’s happening this Sunday?

    • Deacon Sue Bonsteel will preach for us this Sunday. Don’t miss it!
    • Parents, please bring your young ones upstairs for the beginning of worship. We have a Sunday School activity planned for the children.
    • After worship, stay for a conversation about the Parish Life Committee. See the description below.

    Parish Life Committee 

    What is a Parish Life Committee? There are congregations of all sizes across the Episcopal Church who have a Parish Life Committee. This group is basically about food and parties. While the Vestry makes decisions about the temporal assets of a church (building, money, etc.), the Parish Life Committee brings the fun!

    Things like: game nights, special Sunday receptions, Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper… or even fundraisers or community events.

    And the Parish Life Committee needs YOU! No one wants to have the responsibility of running an event all on their shoulders, so this group ensures that doesn’t happen. If you’re already bringing things for potlucks and brunches, you’ve got the stuff to be involved in this vital ministry.

    Join us this Sunday after worship to talk more about it!

    ________________________________________________________________________________________

    From Our Warden

    Dear Friends,

    I wanted to reassure you of the Vestry’s commitment to you during the upcoming months. With Michelle’s departure, it is important that the community of St. John’s continues to works together for our mission to be a bridge of God’s love to each other and to the community. We all care deeply about St. John’s and one another. Although we do not know the path that the Holy Spirit may take us, we do know that with love and prayer that we will be guided to make the best decisions possible, Please reach out to me or any members of the vestry about your concerns, questions and suggestions. Deacon Sue continues to be a wonderful pastoral support for all of us.

    Currently, we are working on a plan for having a wonderful brunch to celebrate Michelle on her last Sunday with us, June 2 after worship. Join us for this special celebration of the time we have had together.

    We are also working to formalize a plan for the months of June, July, and August. This will include several opportunities for worship with supply priests, celebrating with Holy Cross/Santa Cruz, Morning Prayer, and other options. We are also working with our new Canon to the Ordinary, the Rev. Canon Alissa Newton to explore many options for the future life of St. Johns. We will be sharing more information as it unfolds. But most importantly, let us hold each other in prayer and support.

    Our community is strong and the future holds possibilities yet unknown. This is a sign of faith.

    Be well, my friends,
    Leah
    (845) 380-8413

    ________________________________________________________________________________________

    The Fabric of Church Life


    Dear Ones,

    As I prepare to leave my role as your rector on June 2, I have been “walking down memory lane,” as the old adage goes. Remembering so many meals with parishioners and chats over coffee. Thinking about tender moments in the lives of so many of you as well as our collective life as a community.  And all the Sundays and Easters and Christmases. Eight years holds so many memories that will forever be etched on my heart. I’m a grateful woman.

    In all of these memories, the pieces that come strongest to my attention are like threads of a fabric – communication and care.

    Communication is how we know we are in relationship with another person. I recall a bishop talking about this and she said that, when we stop to think about it, our entire relationship with a person is built on the interactions we’ve had with them. I, for one, know that I am always incredibly grateful when someone takes the time to communicate something to me – whether that be appreciation/gratitude or even fears/concerns when they help to communicate a deeper desire. We humans need to communicate because we need to know who we are for each other.

    Caring, like love, is an active verb. I think we best demonstrate our care by showing up – participating in worship, social hour, planning, helping with projects. These are all ways we demonstrate our care for one another. And, of course, offering a caring word or just listening when someone is having a difficult time or celebrating something that’s meaningful.

    Communication and care are the weft and warp of the fabric that is our common life as Church. Without them both, community falls apart. With them, community can never be broken.

    As the community of St. John’s begins to move through this transition, I ask that you keep both of these as a focus. And please stay tuned to this Newsletter as the primary tool of communication from the Vestry.

    In God’s love and mine,
    Rev. Michelle

  8. April 21st

    The Good News from St. John’s Kingston

    Coming Up at St. John’s

    What’s happening this Sunday?

    • It’s the third Sunday of the month and that means it’s Healing Sunday so we will have someone offering healing prayers during Communion.
    • After worship, there is Choir Rehearsal. Please reach out to our Director of Music, Terry Earles, if you’re interested in becoming a part of the choir.
    • The regular St. John’s Vestry Meeting will be at 11:45. If you’d like to reach out to a member of vestry for any reason, you will find their names listed in the bulletin each Sunday. And, you’ll find copies of the current parish directory available in the Sacristy.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________

    The Fabric of Church Life


    Dear Ones,

    As we announced last week, my final Sunday with St. John’s will be June 2. As I prepare to leave this loving community, the Vestry has begun to make plans to guide the community of St. John’s in this transition.

    And I just want to reiterate what I said in my letter to you last week. This is when the Vestry will need your commitment and support. More specifically: What does that look like?

    • Assume the best intentions of everyone.
    • Communicate your questions to the members of vestry.
    • Respond to requests for assistance – more hands make light work. Remember, the Vestry has a lot on their shoulders right now.
    • Respond to requests for input – there will be times when the Vestry needs to hear from you so please take the time and don’t assume your voice doesn’t matter. It does!
    • Come to worship together.
    • Pray for one another.
    • Remember that God is in this with you.

    All of this is the fabric of our common life together as Christ’s body.

    More information is coming as the Vestry makes plans. Please stay tuned to this Newsletter as the primary tool of communication from the Vestry.

    In God’s love and mine,
    Rev. Michelle

    ________________________________________________________________________________________

    Announcements for April 21:
    The Fourth Sunday of Easter

    St. John’s Office Hours
    Wednesdays 10:00-12:00 noon
    Thursdays 1:00-4:00 pm
    Phone: 845-331-2252
    Email: stjohnskingston@aol.com

    • Pastoral Care Meeting: Sunday, May 5 after worship. Come and be a part of the compassion and care fabric of St. John’s. Pastoral Care is about finding ways to reach out to anyone who needs a little extra care as we learn to care for one another more deeply in Christ’s love. Talk to Laura Ricci for more information.
    • Parish Life Committee: St. John’s is forming a new group who will oversee the church calendar and organize events like fundraisers, dinners, and celebrations. We’re all about food and parties! Come and learn more at the introductory forum on April 28 after worship.
    • Sunday School Assistance: Our Godly Play program is an integral part of life at St. John’s. Here’s how you can help: Volunteer to be the assistant. You don’t have to prepare anything, you just have to be present for the first half of worship with the children and our Godly Play Storyteller. Please talk to Leah for more information.
    • Did you know we have an Anglican Rosary? If you are interested in learning about it, you are invited to join Rita Carver, an Education for Ministry mentor, on Saturday mornings at 9:00 to learn to pray our Rosary. To sign up or learn more contact Rita at rita.k.carver@gmail.com
    • 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: May 2: North Woods by Daniel Mason. Speak to Lynn Dennison, Barbara Johnston, or Claudette Ford for more info.
    • Online Morning Prayer: Join hundreds of others from across the Episcopal Diocese of New York every weekday morning at 8:00 am. Start your day with prayer, connection, and peace. Go to dioceseny.org/online-morning-prayer to join.
    • Choir Rehearsal takes place on the third Sunday every month. Please speak with Terry Earles to learn more about the choir.
    • Social Hour Sign-up: If you enjoy staying after worship for snacks and socializing, please sign up to host! The sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board in the vestibule. Talk to Barbara Johnston at 845-594-2181.
  9. April 13, 2024 – Special Announcement

    A message from Rev. Michelle and a message from Deacon Sue Bonsteel and Warden Leah Siuta.

     

    Dear Ones,

    It is with a mixture of sadness and hope that I share with you my decision to leave St. John’s. In some ways, this was not an easy decision and in other ways it was a very simple one.

    When I came to St. John’s after being on a bishop’s staff, it was because I wanted to pastor a parish community – to be a part of and learn more about the fabric of parish life. And now, after 8 years of walking with you as your Rector, it’s time for me to explore another call/position in the Church. I don’t yet know what that will look like or where that will be.

    And the time has come for St. John’s to discern how God is calling you to continue living into your common life in Christ. The financial concerns that St. John’s is facing, while difficult, are certainly not insurmountable. You have resources and options. You also have a new Bishop and his staff who care very deeply about our congregations. It’s clear to me that St. John’s is being called to new life and I don’t know what that will look like. But I do know that, in order for it to happen, you must continue without me as your Rector.

    The reason that this has been a simple decision for me is because of the clarity I have received in prayer and in conversation with trusted advisors. And, honestly, that clarity comes because of my love for you. Which is also the reason that this has not been an easy decision – it’s never easy to leave people you love.

    In 2016-17, soon after my arrival, we discerned a new mission statement – to be a bridge of God’s Love. As I reflect, I recall the times of celebration and great joy as well as the moments in which we supported one another though difficultly. Throughout, we remained committed to one another and to Christ. There is no question that St. John’s is an open and affirming community and we have grown because of that commitment to being a bridge of God’s love. Those of you who joined St. John’s after the start of the pandemic, I hope you know how much the community is deepened by your presence and your commitment. Today, St. John’s is a bridge of God’s Love, a community that witnesses to the truth that all are welcome at God’s Table.

    Your Vestry will need your commitment and support as they move forward in discernment. Deacon Sue Bonsteel and your Warden Leah Siuta will be your wise guides. My final worship service with you will be Sunday, June 2. After that, I will be spending the months of June, July, and August on sabbatical and in discernment. During this time, Ana and I will continue to live in the Rectory.

    It has been my privilege to be your Rector. I have learned much and have grown as a priest during this time. My faith in Christ has deepened because of you and Ana and I are both grateful for the love you have shown to us these past years. I feel a kinship with you as a community and genuine love for each of you. So, as your priest and your friend, I will miss you. My comfort lies in the teaching of our Savior Jesus Christ, who tells us that this love will not be broken because love itself never dies.

    In God’s love and mine,
    Rev. Michelle

         ___________________________________________________

     

    Dear Friends,

    We imagine that after reading Michelle’s letter you are experiencing a range of emotions. We want you to know that whatever you are feeling is understandable and that you are not alone. We invite you talk with us, to share your concerns and to offer your support to one another. Many of us have gone through several transitions here at St. John’s and we know that this time can offer unique challenges. However, it may also offer opportunities to deepen our relationships and surprise us with unexpected blessings. It is important to remember that God is always with us.

    We want to express our love, appreciation, and best wishes to Michelle and Ana as they discern what’s next for them. They have both shared their gifts of ministry with St. John’s and have built strong relationships. Yet we also acknowledge that this will be a challenging time for them as well. Our prayer for them is that their future may be filled with many new opportunities to share God’s love with others as they have shared God’s love with us.

    Please be reassured that our Vestry will also be using these upcoming months to discern the possibilities for St. John’s. While we at this moment are unsure of what lies ahead, we are filled with the knowledge that we are still a strong, caring community of love for one other. We are committed to our mission that we are a Bridge of God’s Love to the World. There are many avenues to consider going forward. And we ask for your thoughts, concerns, ideas, and prayers as we do this work together.

    We will be working closely with the Rev. Alissa Newton, who is the Canon to the Ordinary, and with the support of the Diocese of New York. Please join us in prayer for our church family that we will continue to live fully into all that God is calling us to be. May we embrace this journey with a sense of gratitude and hope.

    Sue   The Rev. Deacon Susan Bonsteel (retired)

    Leah  Leah Siuta, Warden

  10. April 4, 2024

    Coming Up at St. John’s

    This Sunday: All Ages Worship

    This Sunday is All Ages Worship and Rev. Michelle will tell the story of Doubting Thomas. Well, she will tell a story about him and how important questions are in our faith lives. See you Sunday morning at 10:00 am!

    ____________________

    New Life in the Season of Easter


    Dear Ones,

    Alleluia! Christ is risen!

    Although this week may have been a little on the cold and wet side, I know we can all see evidence of springtime coming up alongside us. Bushes and trees are leafing. Daffodils are all over the place. Forsythia are flaming into bloom. It’s early spring in New York.

    As I reflect on this during the first week of Easter, I am reminded of how important it is for us to pay attention. Especially as we grow older, I think it’s easy for us to grow disenchanted with life. In something as amazing as early spring – with all that happens in this season – we can so easily stop paying attention to it because… we see it every spring.

    But I hope for you that you stop awhile, in the busyness of your lives, and offer your attention. Offer your attention to the new life as it arises from the earth, how delicate and how powerful this new life is. Consider all the factors and conditions that have gone into producing a simple bud on a tree. Why a daffodil is shaped the way it is. What it means that life goes through cycles instead of just continuing to produce and produce and produce all the time.

    It’s when we stop all of the task work and just rest in the glory of God that we find we experience new life. So, rest in this glory. Let it spark your imagination. Allow it to wash over you and take root in your soul.

    This is Easter. Alleluia!

    In God’s love and mine,
    Rev. Michelle

    ____________________________

     

    Announcements for April 7: The Second Sunday of Easter

    St. John’s Office Hours
    Wednesdays 10:00-12:00 noon
    Thursdays 1:00-4:00 pm
    Phone: 845-331-2252
    Email: stjohnskingston@aol.com

    • Baptisms! May 19: Rev. Michelle will be baptizing people on May 19, the Feast of Pentecost – that’s just a few weeks away! If you are interested in baptism for either yourself or your child, please reach out ASAP to Rev. Michelle so that she can provide preparation. Email her at michelle.stjohnskingston@gmail.com
    • Sunday School Assistance: Our Godly Play program is an integral part of life at St. John’s. Here’s how you can help: Volunteer to be the assistant. You don’t have to prepare anything, you just have to be present for the first half of worship with the children and our Godly Play Storyteller. Please talk to Leah for more information.
    • Did you know we have an Anglican Rosary? If you are interested in learning about it, you are invited to join Rita Carver, an Education for Ministry mentor, on Saturday mornings at 9:00 to learn to pray our Rosary. To sign up or learn more contact Rita at rita.k.carver@gmail.com
    • 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: May 2: North Woods by Daniel Mason. Speak to Lynn Dennison, Barbara Johnston, or Claudette Ford for more info.
    • Pastoral Care Meeting May 5: Come and be a part of the compassion and care fabric of St. John’s. Pastoral Care is about finding ways to reach out to anyone who needs a little extra care as we learn to care for one another more deeply in Christ’s love. Talk to Laura Ricci for more information.
    • Online Morning Prayer: Join hundreds of others from across the Episcopal Diocese of New York every weekday morning at 8:00 am. Start your day with prayer, connection, and peace. Go to dioceseny.org/online-morning-prayer to join.
    • Choir Rehearsal takes place on the third Sunday every month. Please speak with Terry Earles to learn more about the choir.
    • Social Hour Sign-up: If you enjoy staying after worship for snacks and socializing, please sign up to host! The sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board in the vestibule. Talk to Barbara Johnston at 845-594-2181.

    St. John’s Upcoming Schedule
    See stjohnskingston.org/welcome/event-calendar for more info.

    April 7                   All Ages Worship
    April 13                 Vestry Retreat at Holy Cross Monastery
    April 14                 Godly Play for kids
    April 21                 Healing Sunday; Choir rehearsal; Vestry Meeting
    April 28                 After Worship Forum – St. John’s Parish Life Committee
    May 19                  Feast of Pentecost