This Sunday: March 5
All Ages Worship
Begins at 10:00 am. We’ll be talking about the
gift of curiosity and Jesus’ friend Nicodemus.
Angel Food East Fundraiser
Come to Keegan Ales for an afternoon of food and fun
from 2-5 pm to support our feeding ministry, Angel Food East!
2023 Seasons of Lent and Easter at St. John’s
Angel Food East Mac-n-Cheese Bakeoff Returns! Come for food and fun in support of our feeding ministry. Begins at 2:00 pm at Keegan Ales.
Mar 12: How We Pray: Worship in the Episcopal Church. Inquirer’s Class is held from 1:00-3:30 pm.
Mar 19: Godly Play for kids, Healing Sunday
Mar 26: Purple Sunday! For our Rector’s Forum this month, the Alzheimer’s Association will make a presentation about Alzheimer’s and dementia. After Worship.
Who We Are: History / Structure of the Episcopal Church. Inquirer’s Class is held from 1:00-3:30 pm.
Apr 2: Palm Sunday All Ages Worship
What We Believe: The Creeds of the Church. Inquirer’s Class is held from 1:00-3:30 pm.
Apr 6: Maundy Thursday – soup supper, Eucharist, foot-washing, cleaning of the Altar. Begins at 6:00 pm
Apr7: Good Friday – Prayer service at 12:00 pm with the reading of the Passion. Stations of the Cross at 7:00 pm.
Apr 8: Holy Saturday – Reflection and prayers followed by Work Party at 9:00 am. Easter Vigil begins at 8:00 pm
Apr 9: Easter Sunday: Festive Choral Eucharist followed by Community Brunch and Egg Hunt for the kids
Apr 16: Godly Play for kids, Healing Sunday
Apr 23: How We Read Scripture I: The Hebrew Scriptures. Inquirer’s Class is held from 1:00-3:30 pm.
Apr 30: Rector’s Forum – Life at the Time of Jesus
May 7: All Ages Worship
How We Read Scripture II: The Greek Scriptures. Inquirer’s Class is held from 1:00-3:30 pm.
May 21: What We Do: Ministry and the Baptismal Covenant. Inquirer’s Class is held from 1:00-3:30 pm.
May 28: The Feast of Pentecost
St. John’s Inquirer’s Class
Sign up for one or more sessions in the Vestibule or email Rev. Michelle at michelle.stjohnskingston.org
Did you know?: St. John’s actively seeks ways to rent out our space. Of course this helps with our finances but, more importantly, this helps us to build relationships and community. When Mac Maier contacted me, I was so excited to talk with him and see what we could work out because developing humor and improv skills is a wonderful way for kids to learn how to express themselves.
If you know of kids in this age range, please pass the information along and let’s help Mac make this a successful venture. Take note: There are scholarships available! – Rev. Michelle
What Does It Mean to Practice?
Every Wednesday, as we begin our Centering Prayer time together, I remind the group that the reason we come together is so that we can practice, not so that we can perfect the prayer itself. I believe this is something we all need to remember when it comes to any kind of prayer or spiritual practice. The time we devote to it, is time that we have set aside to practice.
But what does that mean?
First, let’s remind ourselves that many things can be spiritual practices – prayer, reading, singing, gardening, hiking, advocating for others… the list is endless. But not everything on the list will work as a spiritual practice for everyone. God made us all different and we all go through many things in our lives. What worked for us at one point is not necessarily going to be useful when we are going through something else.
The biggest question we need to ask ourselves when we are determining whether something is a good spiritual practice for us is this: Is this something that challenges me enough to see myself more clearly and, thus, my relationship with others and with God?
I’ll use myself as an example.
I love watching movies – especially movies that have some kind of philosophical or psychological content to them. A movie like Inception or Blade Runner... something like that. I used to argue that watching these movies was a spiritual practice because storylines like this do inspire me to consider the nature of reality and our relationship with God. But when I really examined this, I realized that I loved these movies because they helped me to escape reality for a couple of hours. Now, escaping reality is not a spiritual practice. It isn’t a necessarily bad thing in moderation. It’s actually a form of self-care at times. But spiritual practice? No.
This means, it’s important to be honest with yourself. For example, maybe singing is a spiritual practice for you because you find that God sings through you in some way but if you like singing in church because you enjoy how special it makes you feel… then you might want to examine that. It’s not that you need to stop singing. It’s just that you need to be really honest with yourself.
Sometimes spiritual practices are difficult for us because sometimes this is what we need – a challenge of some kind to shake things up a bit. Other times, we may feel like a spiritual practice is boring or even annoying. Still, other times it may be quite enjoyable because we experience a state of bliss. As a matter of fact, people who maintain a consistent spiritual practice experience all of these things over time.
In short, here’s what it means to practice:
- Be honest with yourself. What is a good spiritual practice for you?
- Give yourself over to a practice for a long enough period of time so that you can experience the fruits it has to offer. If it’s a daily practice, I suggest 2-3 months at least.
- Let go of any expectation as to what those fruits will be. The important part is not the experience you have every time, but the fact that you showed up to practice. In other words: The day you really don’t want to do it, is the day you really need to do it.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for God’s help when you’re struggling.
If you’d like to talk more about spiritual practices, reach out to me.
In God’s love and mine,
Announcements for March 5
The Second Sunday in Lent
- All Ages Worship at 10:00 am. We’ll be talking about the gift of curiosity and Jesus’ friend Nicodemus.
- Mac-n-Cheese Bakeoff from 2-5 pm at Keegan Ales, a fundraiser for Angel Food East.
Social Hour Hosting: You are invited to sign up on the bulletin board in the Vestibule to be a social hour host! Talk with our Hospitality Coordinator, Barbara Johnston for more information.
Lenten Activity Book for Families with Kids: You can pick up a copy of “This Is My Body” from Illustrated Ministry next to the bulletins. Designed to help children understand how important it is to take care of the gift of our body, a wonderful Lenten practice.
Calling all bakers! Do you like to make things in the kitchen? Our Communion Bread recipe is easy and quick. You bake one batch, deliver the bread to the church, and we keep it in the freezer until we use it. Sign up to bake for a month (or two) this year. The sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board in the Vestibule and so is the recipe.
St. John’s Office Hours
Mondays from 12:00-4:00 pm and Thursdays from 1:00-3:00 pm
Please note: Rev. Michelle’s Sabbath Day is Friday.
Have an announcement for the bulletin?
Please send by Wednesday at noon to firstname.lastname@example.org.