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

The Good News of St. John’s

  1. November 5, 2022

    This Week: All Saints Sunday

    This Sunday we celebrate All Saints Sunday with All Ages Worship, designed with elements for younger worshippers. We’ll begin our worship by honoring those who have died and continue with a celebration of the lives of all the saints, honoring their company in a renewal of our Baptismal Vows.After worship, you’ll have the opportunity to decorate a candle in honor of your loved ones who have died to light in your home.

    And don’t forget: It’s time to turn your clock back on Sunday!

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    Upcoming Events this Month

    November 11-12: Diocesan Convention
    Rev. Michelle and our parish delegate, Paula Wisneski, will travel to Tarrytown on November 11-12 to meet with all the other congregational delegates from the Episcopal Diocese of New York. Every year the larger diocese meets to discuss, discern, learn, and then vote on important aspects of our common life together. Please offer your prayers for their work this year and stay tuned for future newsletters for more information about how to view these proceedings online.

     

    November 13: Commitment Sunday and Stephen Blauweiss Form
    Stay after worship for brunch and our next St. John’s Forum. Local author and producer Stephen Blauweiss will come and talk about his latest work – The Story of Historic Kingston. Learn more about our amazing community and buy one of his books for a Christmas gift!

    Commitment Sunday marks the official end of our Pledge Campaign so we will gather pledges and offer a special blessing. The Stewardship Committee will continue to accept pledge cards at any time.

    November 15: Q&A with the Bishop Candidates
    The Diocese of New York is electing a new bishop this year on December 3. Come and meet the candidates in person at a Q&A Session at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Newburgh at 7:00 pm. Pay attention to your email for more details from Rev. Michelle.

     

    November 20: St. John’s Harvest Sale and Godly Play

    We give thanks for the members of our St. John’s Harvest Team – Jeannette Baggot, Sara Hutton, Kathy Burdick, Barbara Johnston, and Ana Hernandez. They have cooked up some amazing things that will be available for sale after worship on Sunday, Nov. 20 in the parish hall. All proceeds go to the operating fund of St. John’s. And don’t forget! Godly Play will be offered during worship for our younger members.

    November 21-23: Angel Food East Thanksgiving Meal Prep and Delivery
    The clients of Angel Food East are homebound due to ongoing illness of some kind. We want to make sure they have a good Thanksgiving meal so during this week, turkey and all the fixins will be prepared, packed, and delivered for our clients. Come and help! Stay tuned to your email to learn more about days/times when more help is needed.

     

    November 27: Advent I Guest Preacher and Advent Spirituality

    On the First Sunday of Advent, we welcome guest preacher and Deacon Dr. Meg Stapleton Smith as we celebrate the beginning of our new church year on Advent I.
    St. John’s Forum – Then, stay after worship for a special St. John’s Forum where we will make Advent Wreaths and discuss Advent spiritual practices.

    __________________________________________________________

    Vote This Tuesday!


    This coming Tuesday it’s time to vote. While I will not advise you on who to vote for, I will say that our responsibilities as disciples of Jesus the Christ do, in fact, lead us to take part in our public responsibilities to one another. One of these, as citizens of the United States, is to participate in elections. I hope you will vote and I hope that your Baptismal Vows and the lessons given to us in the ministry of Jesus Christ will inform your choice.

    If you cannot make it on Tuesday, early voting is available this weekend at the Midtown Neighborhood Center at 467 Broadway in Kingston. If you’re not in Kingston, you can find other Ulster County locations by clicking here.

    If you’ve voted in New York before, you don’t need to provide ID to vote. If you’re a first-time voter who registered by mail and didn’t provide a copy of your ID with your registration, you may need to show ID to vote. Acceptable forms include:

    • current and valid photo ID
    • copy of a current utility bill
    • bank statement
    • government check
    • paycheck
    • other government document that shows your name and address

    If you’re a first-time voter and unable to provide ID: You will be able to vote an affidavit ballot.

    Thank you for participating!

    In God’s love and mine,
    Rev. Michelle

    ___________________________________________________________________

    Announcements for All Saints Sunday
    November 6, 2022

    THIS SUNDAY! Pastoral Care Meeting  Join the Pastoral Care Committee after worship to discuss pastoral care needs for the congregation.

    Angel Food East Thanksgiving Meal:
    Sign up in the Vestibule on the bulletin board to help our feeding ministry with this year’s Thanksgiving meal. We need all kinds of help – chopping, cooking, prepping, packing, delivery. Sign up for a shift or two and help people in need this Thanksgiving!

    Stewardship Campaign: October 23 – November 13
    Recommitment, Renewal, and Reconciliation. These are the words on our Stewardship banner at the back of the Sanctuary. For the past year, we have been using these themes to look at our lives in the Gospel. Now, this coming year, we will be Continuing the Journey of Recommitment, Renewal, and Reconciliation by revisiting our Mission Statement and the Stewardship of our Mission. During these 4 weeks, we will listen to people talk about the Mission of St. John’s and their reasons for pledging to support it. If you’re new to St. John’s or would like information about pledging, pick up a Stewardship flyer along with your bulletin.

    Page Turners Book Club At their recent meeting the book club decided to move their meetings to the first Thursday of the month at 2 p.m., in the parish hall. Upcoming books: Dec 1-‘Horse’, by Geraldine Brooks.

    St. John’s Forum – Nov 13: The Story of Historic Kingston, with Stephen Blauweiss. Join us after worship for a presentation by local author and producer Stephen Blauweiss whose passion for telling the story of Kingston led him to publish his most recent book, The Story of Historic Kingston. Stephen will be selling books at this event too!

    St. John’s Harvest: Feeding people is our jam! The cooking is done so join us for our fundraising sale dates. All proceeds go to the St. John’s operating fund. Sale dates: Nov 20 and Dec 11

    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.

    Ulster Housing Coalition: Do you care about housing in Ulster Country and are you willing to work to make a difference? The various housing organizations in Ulster County are coming together to look at the problem and determine how we can work together. All are welcome. This month’s meeting is Wednesday, November 16 from 8:30-10 at St. John’s.

    Ulster Deanery Youth Event – Join us for a Rock Academy Concert on December 11 from 3-6. We will be raising awareness about homelessness in Ulster County. All are invited! More to come.

    Have an announcement for the bulletin?
    Please send by Wednesday at noon to
    stjohnskingston@aol.com.

  2. October 28, 2022

    November Calendar at St. John’s

    November is a busy month at St. John’s so please make note of these upcoming events!

    October 30: Outreach Committee Meeting
    The St. John’s Outreach Committee meets several times a year to discuss ways for us to support area organizations and how we can be engaged in loving our neighbors. All are welcome to Outreach Committee Meetings so come and participate in our common life by reaching out beyond our parish walls.

     

     

    November 6: All Saints Day Celebration
    All Saints Feast Day is Nov 1 but we always celebrate it on the first Sunday of November as a major feast day on our calendar. We begin by honoring those souls who have died and continue by celebrating the lives of all the saints by renewing our baptismal vows. Because it’s the First Sunday of the month, this will be an All Ages Worship.

     

     

    November 11-12: Diocesan Convention
    Rev. Michelle and our parish delegate, Paula Wisneski, will travel to Tarrytown on November 11-12 to meet with all the other congregational delegates from the Episcopal Diocese of New York. Every year the larger diocese meets to discuss, discern, learn, and then vote on important aspects of our common life together. Please offer your prayers for their work this year and stay tuned for future newsletters for more information about how to view these proceedings online.

    November 13: Commitment Sunday and Stephen Blauweiss Form
    Commitment Sunday marks the official end of our Pledge Campaign so we will gather pledges and offer a special blessing. The Stewardship Committee will continue to accept pledge cards at any time.
    St. John’s Forum: Stephen Blauweiss– Stay after worship for brunch and our next St. John’s Forum. Local author and producer Stephen Blauweiss will come and talk about his latest work – The Story of Historic Kingston. Learn more about our amazing community and buy one of his books for a Christmas gift!

     

    November 15: Q&A with the Bishop Candidates
    The Diocese of New York is electing a new bishop this year on December 3. Come and meet the candidates in person at a Q&A Session in Newburgh at St. George’s Episcopal Church beginning at 7:00 pm. Pay attention to your email for more details from Rev. Michelle.

     

     

     

    November 20: St. John’s Harvest Sale and Godly Play
    We give thanks for the members of our St. John’s Harvest Team – Jeannette Baggot, Sara Hutton, Kathy Burdick, Barbara Johnston, and Ana Hernandez. They have cooked up some amazing things that will be available for sale after worship on Sunday, Nov. 20 in the parish hall. All proceeds go to the operating fund of St. John’s. And don’t forget! Godly Play will be offered during worship for our younger members.

     

    November 21-23: Angel Food East Thanksgiving Meal Prep and Delivery
    The clients of Angel Food East are homebound due to ongoing illness of some kind. We want to make sure they have a good Thanksgiving meal so during this week, turkey and all the fixins will be prepared, packed, and delivered for our clients. Come and help! Stay tuned to your email to learn more about days/times when more help is needed.

     

     

     

    November 27: Advent I Guest Preacher and Advent Spirituality
    On the First Sunday of Advent, we welcome guest preacher and Deacon Dr. Meg Stapleton Smith as we celebrate the beginning of our new church year on Advent I.
    St. John’s Forum – Then, stay after worship for a special St. John’s Forum where we will make Advent Wreaths and discuss Advent spiritual practices.

    ______________________________________________________________

    All Souls and All Saints


    As we come to the end of October, most of our culture is caught up in Halloween – and for good reason! It’s fun to be someone else for a day – not to mention the parties and the pumpkin carving and the trick-or-treating and the decorations. As you might guess, this celebration has its roots in other traditions from other times and other places.

    The holiday we now know as Halloween has its origins a Celtic festival called Samhain. People in the British Isles would light bonfires and wear costumes as a way of keeping evil spirits and ghosts at bay. Then, when Pope Gregory IV designated November 1 as All Saints Day, the celebration of Samhain in the British Isles shifted so that the night before All Saints came to be known as All Hallows Eve, restricting their bonfires and costumes to this “eve.” It’s sometimes known as All Saints Eve, following the Christian tradition of celebrating the holiday with a vigil the night before (which, of course, arose from the Jewish calendar in which the day starts at sundown).

    In short, in Western Christianity, All Saints is a commemoration of all Christians, past and present. We lift up the names of those who have gone before as a way of naming honoring our ancestors. It began as a day of obligation in Europe, which means that “all the faithful” were required to attend worship, as they are on other days of obligation like Christmas and Easter. Today it is celebrated in various ways, depending on local tradition.

    This is easily confused with All Souls Day, celebrated on November 2, which is a commemoration of all the faithful departed. On this day, people participate in quiet vigils and prayer services, and visit cemeteries.

    Both All Saints and All Souls are, of course, tied to the celebration of Halloween because all of these commemoration and celebrations are ways of honoring the dead during the time of year when, in the Northern Hemisphere, we are also watching all the green life turn to brown. It is a season of remembrance and a season of letting go – practices that are very important for us as humans.

    At St. John’s, we ask for the names of those who have died so that they can be added to our All Saints Sunday bulletin. And, as we begin our celebration on November 6, we will name these people, light candles in their names, and recognize and give thanks for their lives as a part of our lives.

    So, I ask that you either email me directly at michelle.stjohnskingston@gmail.com OR use the form on the bulletin board in the vestibule to make sure the names of those you would like to have spoken are in our bulletin on November 6.

    And I hope you will come to celebrate with us on November 6. We will have a story and activities for all ages at worship that morning.

    In God’s love and mine,
    Rev. Michelle

    _____________________________________________________________

    Announcements for the Twenty-first Sunday After Pentecost
    October 30, 2022

    THIS SUNDAY! Outreach Meeting Join us after worship for our Outreach Committee meeting. All are welcome as we discuss ways for us to be engaged in and support the larger community of Kingston and Ulster County.

    NEXT WEEK! All Ages Worship  We celebrate the Feast of All Saints’ on November 6 with All Ages Worship, where many elements of the worship are designed for younger worshippers.

    Stewardship Campaign: October 23 – November 13
    Recommitment, Renewal, and Reconciliation. These are the words on our Stewardship banner at the back of the Sanctuary. For the past year, we have been using these themes to look at our lives in the Gospel. Now, this coming year, we will be Continuing the Journey of Recommitment, Renewal, and Reconciliation by revisiting our Mission Statement and the Stewardship of our Mission. During these 4 weeks, we will listen to people talk about the Mission of St. John’s and their reasons for pledging to support it. If you’re new to St. John’s or would like information about pledging, pick up a Stewardship flyer along with your bulletin.

    Page Turners Book Club At their recent meeting the book club decided to move their meetings to the first Thursday of the month at 2 p.m., in the parish hall. Upcoming books are: Nov 3-‘The Sweetness of Water’, by Nathan Harris; Dec 1-‘Horse’, by Geraldine Brooks.

    St. John’s Forum – Nov 13: The Story of Historic Kingston, with Stephen Blauweiss. Join us after worship for a presentation by local author and producer Stephen Blauweiss whose passion for telling the story of Kingston led him to publish his most recent book, The Story of Historic Kingston. Stephen will be selling books at this event too!

    St. John’s Harvest: Feeding people is our jam!
    The cooking is done so join us for our fundraising sale dates. All proceeds go to the St. John’s operating fund. Sale dates: Nov 20 and Dec 11

    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.

    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.

    Ulster Deanery Youth Event – Join us for a Rock Academy Concert on December 11 from 3-6. We will be raising awareness about homelessness in Ulster County. All are invited! More to come.

    Have an announcement for the bulletin?
    Please send by Wednesday at noon to
    stjohnskingston@aol.com

  3. October 14, 2022

    Searching for a Bishop

    As many of you know, Rev Michelle has been working on the Committee to Elect a Bishop this past year. Our current Diocesan Bishop, Andy Dietsche, is retiring. Last year, he called for the election of a Bishop Co-adjutor, someone who will walk alongside him in his final year. Then, in 2024, he will retire and we will have a new Diocesan Bishop.

    The Committee to Elect a Bishop (CEB) has been working since December of last year to get to a point where, at the end of September, they were able to announce the slate of candidates who are willing to stand for election to be our Bishop Co-adjutor on December 3.

    Please take the time to “meet” these incredibly talented candidates by following the link below. On this link you will be able to see a few photos, a video in which they introduce themselves to you, their responses to essay questions, their resumes, and links to other resources they have provided so far. Click here to learn more about the candidates.

    Before the election on December 3, the candidates will visit the diocese for a week – November 14-19. They will spend a day in each area of the diocese so they can talk to the lay people and clergy as well as visit some important ministries. At the end of each day, the candidates will engage in a Q&A session, to which, all are invited. Please take a look at the schedule below and note that the Q&A session for the Hudson Valley is at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Newburgh on Tuesday, November 15 at 7:00 pm.

    Monday, Nov 14: St. Mary’s, Castleton (Staten Island)
    Tuesday, Nov 15: St. Geroge’s, Newburgh (Hudson Valley)
    Wednesday, Nov 16: St. Andrew’s, Harlem (Manhattan)
    Thursday, Nov 17: Trinity/St. Paul, New Rochelle (Westchester/Rockland)
    Friday, Nov 18: St. Margaret’s, Longwood (The Bronx)

    The CEB hopes to have these sessions available via Zoom so that more people can participate. and Rev. Michelle will keep us all updated about both a trip to Newburgh on Nov 15 and access to these sessions via Zoom, if it’s available.

    Here are the candidates! And you can learn more about them by following this link.

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    SCHEDULE ANNOUNCEMENT!

    We will have Godly Play on the 4th Sunday this month – October 23 – as this is when Leah can be available to teach this month. We are sorry for the change this month and remain committed to ensuring the schedule for Godly Play is consistent. If you are interested in helping with this ministry to help us maintain a regular schedule, please reach out to Leah Siuta or Rev. Michelle.

    ________________________________________________________________________

    Continuing Education


    You may have noticed that I haven’t been in Kingston lately. Ana and I took a quick trip to Ocean Grove, NJ the first week of October to have vacation together and, aside from getting the tail end of the hurricane (constant rain for 2 days), it was a delightful trip.

    As a priest in the Episcopal Church, I am expected to do regular continuing education. And, this week, I have been training with a program called the College for Congregational Development. This program was developed around 10 years ago in the Diocese of Olympia and several dioceses have imported the program because it’s so effective including California, Northern California, Michigan, Spokane, Indianapolis, Chicago, and Maryland.

    As brief overview, this program trains congregational leaders (both lay and clergy) on how to facilitate and develop plans of action. As an example: If a congregation wanted to develop a ministry around the issue of the care of creation, they could utilize one of the tools we were given to develop a plan, so the members of that ministry know the focus and goals of their ministry. That’s a simple example, of course, because the possibilities for using these tools are literally endless.

    So often congregations face difficult decisions and leadership can easily get bogged down in trying to determine the best way forward. So, when Victor Conrado, our Canon for Congregational Development and Formation in the Diocese of New York, offered me a scholarship to attend this program in Chicago this past week, I jumped at the chance because we are facing some important decisions about the future of St. John’s.

    I’m so glad I went because this is really the best continuing education I have ever done – and I’ve been a priest for 12 years now! I learned so much and was given information and tools that I can easily and quickly use to help the leadership of St. John’s plan for our congregational present and future. I am hopeful that we will be able to import this program in our diocese so that more people in our congregation and our diocese can be empowered by this program.

    In God’s love and mine,
    Rev. Michelle

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Announcements for the Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost
    October 16, 2022

    NEXT SATUDAY! Final cooking day
    St. John’s Harvest: Feeding people is our jam!
    Join us in the kitchen to clean, chop, stir, and make cool stuff on the last Saturday of the month from 10-5. No experience necessary. Hands of all ages welcome. Show up for shifts of 2, 4, or 6 hours, and let’s have fun while we raise money for St. John’s! Clear your calendar and come to help on Saturday, Oct. 22. Sale dates: Nov 20 and Dec 11NEXT WEEK: Godly Play! All young people are invited upstairs to our Godly Play Room for the first part of worship where Leah Siuta will lead a lesson. Then, everyone comes down to the Sanctuary for Communion.

    Stewardship Campaign: October 23 – November 13
    Recommitment, Renewal, and Reconciliation. These are the words on our Stewardship banner at the back of the Sanctuary. For the past year, we have been using these themes to look at our lives in the Gospel. Now, this coming year, we will be Continuing the Journey of Recommitment, Renewal, and Reconciliation by revisiting our Mission Statement and the Stewardship of our Mission. During these 4 weeks, we will listen to people talk about the Mission of St. John’s and their reasons for pledging to support it. If you’re new to St. John’s or would like information about pledging, pick up a Stewardship flyer along with your bulletin.

    Page Turners Book Club At their recent meeting the book club decided to move their meetings to the first Thursday of the month at 2 p.m., in the parish hall. Upcoming books are: Nov 3-‘The Sweetness of Water’, by Nathan Harris; Dec 1-‘Horse’, by Geraldine Brooks.

    Safe Church Training: Many ministries in the church require this training. Please speak directly with Rev. Michelle today to register for in-person workshops on Saturday, Oct 22 at St. John’s.

    Outreach Meeting Join us on October 30 after worship for our Outreach Committee meeting. All are welcome as we discuss ways for us to be engaged in and support the larger community of Kingston and Ulster County.

    St. John’s Forum – Nov 13: The Story of Historic Kingston, with Stephen Blauweiss. Join us after worship for a presentation by local author and producer Stephen Blauweiss whose passion for telling the story of Kingston led him to publish his most recent book, The Story of Historic Kingston. Stephen will be selling books at this event too!

    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.

    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.

    Have an announcement for the bulletin?
    Please send by Wednesday at noon to
    stjohnskingston@aol.com

  4. September 29, 2022

    St. John’s Events This Week!

    We hope you will come out and for these community-building events at St. John’s. Service work, Christian learning, celebration, and reflection opportunities for people of all ages.
    Click here for a full list of upcoming St. John’s Events

    Sunday, Oct 2: Celebrating St. Francis
    We start the month of October off with All Ages Worship on Oct 2 at 10am – A specially designed worship service to help engage all parishioners, especially younger ones, through story and other activities during our 10:00 am worship. All parishioners are asked to bring your pet mementos, photos, and stuffed animals to church where we will ask God’s blessing on our beloved animals. Sorry, no live-pet blessings this year!

    Sunday, Oct 2: Parish-wide Workshop – The Impact of Gun Violence on Churches
    The increase of gun violence in our culture often results in a political discussion about gun rights. But how does this very real phenomenon impact our willingness to attend public activities and functions, like Christian worship? As people who follow Jesus, one who tells us to welcome the stranger in our midst, it is incredibly important for us to spend time discussing the specter of gun violence in our culture and the emotional toll it takes on us as churchgoers. Rev. Michelle and Sara Hutton will lead this special parish-wide workshop after worship on October 2.

    Click here to learn more about upcoming St. John’s Events so you can plan your time this fall.

    ________________________________________________

    All Ages Worship (AAW) – What is it and Why?


    Soon after I came to St. John’s, we decided to take a look at our Mission Statement so that we could approach our common life with a clear understanding of how we want to direct our resources. We came away with 5 active ways to do this. 1) Sharing our physical space and resources; 2) Being stewards of the arts; 3) Advocating for social justice; 4) Participating in inclusive and intergenerational worship; and 5) Affirming everyone has a place at God’s Table.

    I’d like to spend a little time discussing this 4th direction today. As we move into a new phase of the pandemic with the ability to return to a fuller sense of who we are as a worshipping community, we are reincorporating some very important aspects of our common life. Two of them are Godly Play and All Ages Worship. And I’m so excited for both of these to return!

    Godly Play is an amazing program that helps our younger people engage with the stories of scripture and of our Christian tradition in ways that they can take them more deeply into who they are becoming. It’s magical to watch kids participate in a lesson and continue to talk about it for days afterwards. And I’m incredibly grateful for the ministry of Leah Siuta who loves to help younger people learn about God through Godly Play. If you’re interested in helping with this ministry, by the way, talk to either Leah or myself.

    All Ages Worship (AAW) is another way to help our younger people engage but it’s more than that. It’s a way for all our people – young, old, middle years, and teens – to be together in worship. In this worship experience, we take our typical worship and use different forms to help us all hear things a little differently than we normally do. We may say a different confession or a different creed or a different set of prayers. We may have liturgical props to use during a part of the worship service. And we always have a story instead of a sermon.

    While it may be more familiar to us to have children in Sunday School while adults attend the full worship, I think it’s really important for all of us to know who we are as a worshipping community together. Children are not ancillary to the worshipping community. In fact, they are integral to who we are and, therefore, we are not a full worshipping community without their presence. Hopefully, AAW is a way for children to discover that worship is a joy-filled experience, where all can find ways to engage and all are fully welcome at God’s Table. And, as an adult, I also believe that we all learn more about the words and forms of our liturgy by hearing them or saying them a different way. You see, All Ages Worship is for all of us.

    Going forward, we will have AAW on the first Sunday of the month unless we announce otherwise. I hope you’ll come and bring the whole family as we all celebrate God’s Love together.

    In God’s love and mine,
    Rev. Michelle

    ___________________________________________

    Announcements for the Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost
    October 2, 2022

    THIS SUNDAY! Parish-wide Workshop: The Impact of Gun Violence on Churches This workshop is designed to help us all discuss the impact of gun violence on the culture and, especially, as it pertains to those of us who attend public worship. Join Rev. Michelle and Sara Hutton for this special parish-wide workshop after worship on October 2.

    Page Turners Book Club At their recent meeting the book club decided to move their meetings to the first Thursday of the month at 2 p.m., in the parish hall. For the October 8th meeting, the book selection is, ‘A Slow Fire Burning’, by Paula Hawkins. Upcoming books are: Nov 3-‘The Sweetness of Water’, by Nathan Harris; Dec 1-‘Horse’, by Geraldine Brooks.

    Safe Church Training: Many ministries in the church require this training. Please speak directly with Rev. Michelle today to register for in-person workshops on Saturday, Oct 22 at St. John’s.

    St. John’s Harvest: Feeding people is our jam!
    Join us in the kitchen to clean, chop, stir, and make cool stuff on the last Saturday of the month from 10-5. No experience necessary. Hands of all ages welcome. Show up for shifts of 2, 4, or 6 hours, and let’s have fun while we raise money for St. John’s! Clear your calendar and come to help on Saturday, Oct. 22. Sale dates: Nov 20 and Dec 11

    St. John’s Forum – Nov 13: The Story of Historic Kingston, with Stephen Blauweiss. Join us after worship for a presentation by local author and producer Stephen Blauweiss whose passion for telling the story of Kingston led him to publish his most recent book, The Story of Historic Kingston. Stephen will be selling books at this event too!

    Stewardship Campaign: October 23 – November 13
    Recommitment, Renewal, and Reconciliation. These are the words on our Stewardship banner at the back of the Sanctuary. For the past year, we have been using these themes to look at our lives in the Gospel. Now, this coming year, we will be Continuing the Journey of Recommitment, Renewal, and Reconciliation by revisiting our Mission Statement and the Stewardship of our Mission. During these 4 weeks, we will listen to people talk about the Mission of St. John’s and their reasons for pledging to support it. If you’re new to St. John’s or would like information about pledging, pick up a Stewardship flyer along with your bulletin.

    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.

    Calling all bakers! 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 Vestibule bulletin board and so is the recipe.

    Have an announcement for the bulletin?
    Please send by Wednesday at noon to
    stjohnskingston@aol.comAnchor.

  5. September 23, 2022

    St. John’s Events This Week and Next!

    We hope you will come out and for these community-building events at St. John’s. Service work, Christian learning, celebration, and reflection opportunities for people of all ages.
    Click here for a full list of upcoming St. John’s Events

    Saturday, Sept 24: St. John’s Harvest Cooking Day
    Last year, parishioners gathered in the St. John’s Kitchen during the fall to help prepare all kinds of canned goods as a way of having fun together and it turned into a successful fundraiser to help with our operating expenses Let’s do it again! All ages are welcome to help chop, stir, and peel, while we share in laughter and community. This Saturday in the St. John’s Kitchen between 10-5. Come for an hour or two, or the entire day. Rev. Michelle will make sure everyone has lunch.

    Sunday, Sept 25: St. John’s Forum: When the Saints Come Marching In!
    After worship on Sept 25, stay for our St. John’s Forum Series and learn more about how the saints of the Christian faith are celebrated in the Episcopal Church. Rev. Michelle will present history and offer insight into the lives of the saints, why we call them saints, what a saint’s feast day is, and how they can be a part of our spiritual lives. St. John’s Forum Series happens this fall on the last Sunday of the month.

    Sunday, Oct 2: Celebrating St. Francis

    We start the month of October off with All Ages Worship on Oct 2 at 10am – A specially designed worship service to help engage younger parishioners through story and other activities. All parishioners are asked to bring your pet mementos, photos, and stuffed animals to church where we will ask God’s blessing on our beloved animals. Sorry, no live-pet blessings this year!

    Sunday, Oct 2: Parish-wide Workshop – The Impact of Gun Violence on Churches
    The increase of gun violence in our culture often results in a political discussion about gun rights. But how does this very real phenomenon impact our willingness to attend public activities and functions, like Christian worship? As people who follow Jesus, one who tells us to welcome the stranger in our midst, it is incredibly important for us to spend time discussing the specter of gun violence in our culture and the emotional toll it takes on us as churchgoers. Rev. Michelle and Sara Hutton will lead this special parish-wide workshop after worship on October 2.

    Click here to learn more about upcoming St. John’s Events so you can plan your time this fall.

    ________________________________________________________________

    Silos – Security or Immobility?

    I attended a meeting this past week in which many talented, smart, and earnest people were invited to consider working together because all of them had the same essential goal. And I observed how difficult it was for each of them to see beyond their own program in order to envision something else.

    We call this being in a silo. Silos are those tall, round structures on farms where grain is stored. And they are good things. They keep food safe for long periods of time. But silos can also be places where we become stuck or stagnant. Immobile.

    There is a phenomenon called “grain entrapment” or “grain engulfment.” It most frequently occurs in grain silos when grain shifts beneath someone’s feet. Entrapment describes when someone is partially submerged and cannot get out without assistance, and engulfment describes when someone has been completely submerged. Engulfment has a very high mortality rate.

    Why am I talking about this? Because our tendency as humans is to confuse ourselves with the grain and stay within silos we have built. It makes some sense for us to do this. The world can be so overwhelming that, if we don’t focus ourselves and our own needs/wants/goals, we can get distracted, unfocused, and unable to effect any change or even maintain our own lives.

    But I hope the description of grain entrapment helps us understand that the silo can also be a very dangerous place to stay. Grain will shift. It always does. Our lives cannot stay the same because the world around us is in almost constant motion. And we will always need assistance from someone else to be freed from our own silos. We cannot do life alone.

    I think about the prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures – especially Jeremiah, of whom we have been reading lately on Sundays – and I know that so many people really didn’t think of them as bringers of good news. They often pointed out the ways in which human beings become trapped in our own ideas of progress so that we forget what really matters. And they all reported being persecuted because people didn’t like what they said.

    My point is that we can get so stuck in our own preferred habits that, not only do we refuse to accept help, but we even have the audacity to get angry when someone points out that we are stuck. And this extends to organizations, especially those who have missions to serve others. Places in which people have taken so much care in creating something which they believe will help others that they often cannot see beyond this “something” to see the ways in which God may be calling them to new life.

    The silo is there to store the grain and keep it safe. It was never designed to support the ever-changing, vibrant life God has given us to live.

    How is God calling you out of your silo?
    How is God calling us out of our collective silos?

    In God’s love and mine,
    Rev. Michelle

    ____________________________________________________________

    Announcements for the Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost
    September 25, 2022

    THIS SUNDAY: St. John’s Forum: When the Saints Come Marching In – Stay after worship for an exploration of how the saints are celebrated in the Episcopal Church with Rev. Michelle.

    NEXT WEEK: Parish-wide Workshop: The Impact of Gun Violence on Churches This workshop is designed to help us all discuss the impact of gun violence on the culture and, especially, as it pertains to those of us who attend public worship. Join Rev. Michelle and Sara Hutton for this special parish-wide workshop after worship on October 2.

    Celebrating St. Francis: On October 2, bring your stuffed animals or your pet mementos to church where we will perform a blessing on them. Sorry, no live-pet blessings this year!

    Safe Church Training: Many ministries in the church require this training. See Rev. Michelle for more information. In-person workshops will be held on Saturday, Oct 22 at St. John’s.

    St. John’s Harvest: Feeding people is our jam!
    Join us in the kitchen to clean, chop, stir, and make cool stuff on the last Saturday of the month from 10-5. No experience necessary. Hands of all ages welcome. Show up for shifts of 2, 4, or 6 hours, and let’s have fun while we raise money for St. John’s! Remaining Cooking Days: Oct. 29. Sale dates: Nov 20 and Dec 11

    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.

    Page Turners Book Club At their recent meeting the book club decided to move their meetings to the first Thursday of the month at 2 p.m., in the parish hall. For the October 8th meeting, the book selection is, ‘A Slow Fire Burning’, by Paula Hawkins. Upcoming books are: Nov 3-‘The Sweetness of Water’, by Nathan Harris; Dec 1-‘Horse’, by Geraldine Brooks.

    Have an announcement for the bulletin?
    Please send by Wednesday at noon to
    stjohnskingston@aol.com

  6. September 10, 2022

    Tomorrow! Ukraine Benefit

    Arts & Crafts Sale opens at 3:00 pm and the Concert begins at 4:00 pm.
    Join us in helping this amazing organization – Voices of Children. They offer psychological support for children in Ukraine.

    Click here to purchase tickets for tomorrow’s Ukraine Benefit!

    _________________________________________________

    Updating Our Masking Policy


    We have been through so much with the COVID pandemic, from online worship to hybrid worship to masking and distancing. We have done well, as a congregation, to honor one another’s safety all these many months. Thank you, all, for adhering to our policies. Caring for one another and helping one another to feel safe in worship is one of the most important things in Christian community.

    And now it’s time for us to take another step. Starting this Sunday, September 11, masks will be optional during worship at St. John’s. If you have any questions about this, please reach out to me. I’m happy to talk with you.

    I’ll see you tomorrow morning in the Sanctuary for worship and then at the Ukraine Benefit in the afternoon!

    In God’s love and mine,
    Rev. Michelle

    ________________________________________________________

    Announcements for the Fourteenth Sunday of Pentecost
    September 11, 2022

    This Sunday! Benefit Concert for Ukraine: Sunday, September 11
    Arts & Crafts Sale Opens at 3:00 pm and Concert begins at 4:00 pm. The Kingston Interfaith Council is hosting the event here at St. John’s.
    Get your tickets now at kingstoninterfaithcouncil.org/events

    NEXT WEEK: Godly Play returns to the St. John’s formation schedule and we are so excited! Every third Sunday, all kids are invited to join Leah Siuta in our Godly Play room upstairs above the Parish Hall. Then come back downstairs so we can all celebrate Eucharist together. Reach out to Leah for more information at jolejola4@msn.com

    Page Turners Book Club: The Page Turners book group will be meeting on September 13, at 7 pm, at Jeanette Baggot’s apartment. We’ll be discussing everyone’s favorite summer reads and selecting what to read for the next few months. New members are always welcome. Speak to Jeanette, Claudette Ford, or Barbara Johnston for more information about the September meeting, or the book club in general.

    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.
    St. John’s Harvest: Feeding people is our jam!
    Join us in the kitchen to clean, chop, stir, and make cool stuff on the last Saturday of the month from 10-5. Last year, we canned jams, chutney, and conserves; made Sara’s soap, hand sanitizer, and Jocelyn’s amazing Beeswax wraps! No experience necessary. Hands of all ages welcome. Show up for shifts of 2, 4, or 6 hours, and let’s have fun while we raise money for St. John’s!
    Cooking/Prep Days: Sept. 24, and Oct. 29
    Sale dates: Nov 20 and Dec 11

    Flower Ministry: Every week, members of St. John’s offer a memorial of thanksgiving or honor a loved one who has gone before by supporting the Flower Ministry at St. John’s with a monetary donation. You’ll see this memorial listed in the bulletin each week. This ministry ensures we have lovely fresh flowers every week on our altar. Please consider signing up for a Sunday. Contact Elaine Lawrence at eslawrenc@aol.com

    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.

    Have an announcement for the bulletin?
    Please send by Wednesday at noon to
    stjohnskingston@aol.com

  7. September 3, 2022

    St. John’s Fall Calendar

    We’re planning all kinds of activities and events for the fall and we’re especially looking forward to the return of Godly Play to our parish calendar. Read below and reach out to Rev. Michelle with any questions you have! Look for more information on all of these events in The Good News from St. John’s Kingston. Please note that more events may be added as we move through the year.

    ___________________________________________________________________

    Click here to purchase tickets to next week’s Ukraine Benefit!

    ________________________________________________

    Returning to the Sanctuary… with Gratitude

    This week (Sept 4) is our last week worshipping in the Parish Hall for summer worship. The weather has turned a bit, we can feel fall in the air, and our beloved sanctuary is awaiting us.

    So, on September 11 we will return to the sanctuary for Sunday worship and celebrate the official beginning of our fall events calendar. The choir will be together to lead us in song and we’ll worship with the beauty of our stained glass around us.

    Our Director of Music, Terry Earles, has been hard at work getting some repair done on our 100+ year-old Estey organ. Terry’s friend and our sometime supply organist, Dale Ziegenfelder, who is an expert in organ repair, has been working with Terry over the summer. They have worked on the pistons and the pedals. They have cleared and cleaned the pipes. They have reconnected the tremulant (a device that regulates the air flow through the pipes). And, last but not least, they moved the pedal board (the platform that Terry and the organ console sit on) and discovered that over the years people have dropped pencils and other small items. and tried reclaiming them by shoving brooms and other items under the pedal board causing damage the wiring that is there. So, they also fixed the wiring.

    They did all this during a very hot, humid summer with no air conditioning. Phew! What a gift of ministry! And Dale has done all of this work as a gift to us. Please join me in thanking Terry and Dale for all of their faithful work this summer to help us all praise God with our voices in song.

    I’ll see you tomorrow in the Parish Hall and next week in the Sanctuary.

    In God’s love and mine,
    Rev. Michelle

    _____________________________________________________

    Announcements for the Thirteenth Sunday of Pentecost
    September 4, 2022

    NEXT WEEK! Benefit Concert for Ukraine: Sunday, September 11
    Arts & Crafts Tent Opens at 3:00 pm and Concert begins at 4:00 pm. The Kingston Interfaith Council is hosting the event here at St. John’s. We’ll need many hands on deck to help that afternoon. If you can help with set-up on Saturday, Sept 10, please let Rev. Michelle know!
    Get your tickets now at kingstoninterfaithcouncil.org/events

    Page Turners Book Club: The Page Turners book group will be meeting on September 13, at 7 pm, at Jeanette Baggot’s apartment. We’ll be discussing everyone’s favorite summer reads and selecting what to read for the next few months. New members are always welcome. Speak to Jeanette, Claudette Ford, or Barbara Johnston for more information about the September meeting, or the book club in general.

    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.

    Feeding people is our jam! St. John’s Harvest is back! Join us in the kitchen to clean, chop, stir, and make cool stuff on the last Saturday of the month from 10-5. Last year, we canned jams, chutney, and conserves; made Sara’s soap, hand sanitizer, and Jocelyn’s amazing Beeswax wraps! No experience necessary. Hands of all ages welcome. Show up for shifts of 2, 4, or 6 hours, and let’s have fun while we raise money for St. John’s!  Mark your calendar: Sept. 24th, and Oct. 29th.

    Flower Ministry: Every week, members of St. John’s offer a memorial of thanksgiving or honor a loved one who has gone before by supporting the Flower Ministry at St. John’s with a monetary donation. You’ll see this memorial listed in the bulletin each week. This ministry ensures we have lovely fresh flowers every week on our altar. Please consider signing up for a Sunday. Contact Elaine Lawrence at eslawrenc@aol.com

    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.

    Have an announcement for the bulletin?
    Please send by Wednesday at noon to
    stjohnskingston@aol.comAnchor.

  8. August 26, 2022

    This Week at St. John’s

    Saturday, August 27: St. John’s Harvest Cooking Day – Come and help out the cooks. We need people to chop, stir, wash and prepare things in the kitchen for our fall fundraiser, St. John’s Harvest. The cooks will be in the kitchen from 10-5. Come for an hour or two or as long as you’d like. There are jobs for everyone so come, help with the fundraiser, and have some fun!

    Sunday, August 28: Conversation with Rev. Michelle – Stay after worship this coming Sunday for a conversation with Rev. Michelle where we will be talking about the Episcopal Church’s ministry in Kingston.

    Monday, August 29 6:00 pm: Kids and Family Night – We’re so excited to have the kids invite their families for this event – see below for more information. And don’t forget to RSVP by Monday afternoon so we have enough pizza! (but we’ll have extra, just in case)

    ______________________________________________

    A Short Reflection from a Special Retreat

    This week, the Committee to Elect a Bishop is hosting a retreat for the candidates for the Bishops of New York. As many of you know, I’m on this committee and we have been having some really incredible conversations with the people who have decided to offer themselves as candidates to be the next Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York.

    For those of you who don’t know, the Diocese of New York is all of the Episcopal churches in the boroughs of Staten Island, Manhattan, and the Bronx as well as all the counties along the Hudson from NYC up to Ulster and Dutchess. So, it’s quite a diverse area with so many opportunities for amazing ministry. Being the bishop in this place is quite the ministry.

    It’s been such a busy schedule that I haven’t had much time to do anything else for a couple of days. I certainly haven’t had the time to reflect on everything I’ve heard and seen. But what I do know is that this is a very exciting time to be a part of this diocese. These leaders are truly gifted and they are deeply faithful people. The Diocese of New York has much to look forward to.

    We finish up our work here tomorrow morning in time for me to prepare to worship with you on Sunday. Look for me to offer more reflections on the Bishop Search process in coming newsletters.

    In God’s love and mine,
    Rev. Michelle

    __________________________________________

    Announcements for the Twelfth Sunday of Pentecost
    August 28, 2022

    THIS SUNDAY: BACKPACKS! If you haven’t gone shopping yet, we’ll take your money to go shopping for you this afternoon. Then, we’ll get all the backpacks over to People’s Place where they will be distributed to kids who need a little help getting started for the school year.

    THIS WEEK! Kids & Family Night: Calling all young children! Bring your parents to Kids & Family Night at St. John’s on Monday, August 29 at 6:00 pm. We’ll have pizza, talk Sunday School programs for the upcoming year, and Leah Siuta will offer a Godly Play story. No need to bring anything except yourself. All families with kids are invited!

    Benefit Concert for Ukraine: Sunday, September 11! Arts & Crafts Tent Opens at 3:00 pm and Concert begins at 4:00 pm. The Kingston Interfaith Council is hosting the event here at St. John’s. Please save the date! We’ll need many hands on deck to help that afternoon.

    Page Turners Book Club: The Page Turners book group will be meeting on September 13, at 7 pm, at Jeanette Baggot’s apartment. We’ll be discussing everyone’s favorite summer reads and selecting what to read for the next few months. New members are always welcome. Speak to Jeanette, Claudette Ford, or Barbara Johnston for more information about the September meeting, or the book club in general.

    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. Feeding people is our jam! St. John’s Harvest is back! Join us in the kitchen to clean, chop, stir, and make cool stuff on the last Saturday of the month from 10-5. Last year, we canned jams, chutney, and conserves; made Sara’s soap, hand sanitizer, and Jocelyn’s amazing Beeswax wraps! No experience necessary. Hands of all ages welcome. Show up for shifts of 2, 4, or 6 hours, and let’s have fun while we raise money for St. John’s!  Mark your calendar: Sept. 24th, and Oct. 29th

    St. John’s Walkers: Let’s get moving! We do one walk a week, alternating morning and evening times, so pick the times that work for you and let’s get moving! We meet at the location. If you need a ride, contact Ana Hernandez at ana@anahernandez.org or 914-357-0365 and she will arrange a ride. We need people to lead walks and come up with ideas for walks, keeping in mind that we have people of all abilities. Summer Walking Schedule: Thurs, August 30, 7pm and Tues, Sept. 6, 9am

    Flower Ministry: Every week, members of St. John’s offer a memorial of thanksgiving or honor a loved one who has gone before by supporting the Flower Ministry at St. John’s with a monetary donation. You’ll see this memorial listed in the bulletin each week. This ministry ensures we have lovely fresh flowers every week on our altar. Please consider signing up for a Sunday. Contact Elaine Lawrence at eslawrenc@aol.com

    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.

    Have an announcement for the bulletin?
    Please send by Wednesday at noon to
    stjohnskingston@aol.comAnchor.

  9. August 21, 2022

    St. John’s Kids and Family Night:
    Christian Formation for Children and Families

    All who are interested may attend this event!
    Please be sure to RSVP so we have enough pizza.

    ___________________________________________

    Harvest of Joy

    The garden is such a good teacher for me.

    Last year, Ana and I were still recovering from very severe bouts of COVID so, when it came to the garden, we decided to go ahead with it because we felt like we needed to do it. But as the spring wore on, we could not seem to get little things done and opted for what we thought were easy solutions. We ended up with quite a mess – an overgrown, mosquito-ridden, gnat-filled space where all manner of pests took out most of our vegetables. We didn’t enjoy being in the garden at all. And I have to say, I took great pleasure in ripping out the plants at the end of the season.

    Lesson for me: When you’re sick, take care of yourself instead of taking on a large project.

    This year, we both feel a lot better. And we took the time to plan and do some research. Throughout the spring and summer, we’ve been able to do a little bit here and a little bit there so it doesn’t ever feel overwhelming. And, even though the summer has been anything but calm and we have had very little rain, we are the beneficiaries of quite an abundant harvest so far. We are truly enjoying our time this year as we learn about new vegetables (for us) and watch how everything grows.

    Lesson for me: Know what you have the energy and capacity to do. Then, listen to experts and make good plans. Enjoy the time you do spend and don’t give yourself any grief for past mistakes.

    Because I tend to take on too much, these lessons from the garden are about slowing myself down and finding pleasure in the things I do. I also know that two different people could take on the same task and would learn completely different things about themselves. My lessons wouldn’t necessarily be your lessons. And I think this is most of what life is for us humans – learning as we go. It’s not just that we learn how to do things, it’s that we learn more about ourselves, not just about limitations and gifts but about who we are in the process.

    So, in whatever you decide to do with your time for these remaining weeks of summer, I hope that you’ll take time for reflection too so that you can experience the joy God intends for us.

    In God’s love and mine,
    Rev. Michelle

    ___________________________________________

    Announcements for the Eleventh Sunday of Pentecost
    August 21, 2022

    BACKPACKS! A favorite event of ours every year is the backpack giveaway at People’s Place. Bring new backpacks every Sunday to St. John’s until August 28 and we’ll get them over to People’s Place where they will be distributed to kids who need a little help getting started for the school year. If you don’t want to shop, donate money to St. John’s… just make sure its earmarked for backpacks… and we’ll do the shopping for you.

    Kids & Family Night: Calling all young children! Bring your parents to Kids & Family Night at St. John’s on Monday, August 29 at 6:00 pm. We’ll have pizza, talk Sunday School programs for the upcoming year, and Leah Siuta will offer a Godly Play story. No need to bring anything except yourself. All families with kids are invited!

    Benefit Concert for Ukraine: Sunday, September 11! Arts & Crafts Tent Opens at 3:00 pm and Concert begins at 4:00 pm. The Kingston Interfaith Council is hosting the event here at St. John’s.
    Purchase tickets! $20 (suggested) kingstoninterfaithcouncil.org/events

    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.

    Feeding people is our jam! St. John’s Harvest is back!
    Join us in the kitchen to clean, chop, stir, and make cool stuff on the last Saturday of the month from 10-5. Last year, we canned jams, chutney, and conserves; made Sara’s soap, hand sanitizer, and Jocelyn’s amazing Beeswax wraps! No experience necessary. Hands of all ages welcome. Show up for shifts of 2, 4, or 6 hours, and let’s have fun while we raise money for St. John’s!  Mark your calendar: August 27thSept. 24th, and Oct. 29th

    St. John’s Walkers: Let’s get moving! We do one walk a week, alternating morning and evening times, so pick the times that work for you and let’s get moving! We meet at the location. If you need a ride, contact Ana Hernandez at ana@anahernandez.org or 914-357-0365 and she will arrange a ride. We need people to lead walks and come up with ideas for walks, keeping in mind that we have people of all abilities. Summer Walking Schedule: Tues, August 23, 9am; Thurs, August 30, 7pm; Tues, Sept. 6, 9am

    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.

    Page Turners Book Club: The Page Turners are returning to meeting in person. Details for coming meetings will be announced as soon. New members are always welcome. Please speak to Claudette, or Barbara Johnston for more information.

    Have an announcement for the bulletin?
    Please send by Wednesday at noon to
    stjohnskingston@aol.comAnchor.

  10. July 30, 2022

    Becoming Beloved Community

    In the coming weeks, look for a new bulletin board in the Parish Hall titled Becoming Beloved Community. This bulletin board, along with the Good News from St. John’s, will be our central gathering point as we focus on ongoing Christian formation work on this work. There you will find resources, messages, images, scripture and more.

    More specifically, the vision of Beloved Community rises from a commitment to following the Bible’s most important commandments: to Love God and love our neighbors, in whom we see the face of God. Beloved Community is the community that loves and God intends: where truth is told and hierarchies of human value are dismantled, where each person and culture is protected and honored as an equally beloved part of the human family of God, and where we counter human selfishness – the true root of sin and racism – with the selfless love of Jesus.

    We will share stories, look at scripture, unpack “isms,” and learn more about the history of St. John’s. And, in this process, we will use materials and resources developed by the Episcopal Church in recent years. Those who developed these programs recognized that every human being has a different journey with systemic racism and that each local church community will have specific community context and membership make-up. So our ways through this work are varied even as they all occur along a common path with the same goal.

    In using the metaphor of the labyrinth, we can organize our learning around the four quadrants. Each quadrant represents a commitment that is vital to lasting change within us, our churches, our communities and society at large.

    • Truth-telling: Telling the Truth about Our Churches and Race
    • Proclamation: Proclaiming the Dream of Beloved Community
    • Formation: Practicing Jesus’ Way of Healing Love
    • Justice: Repairing the Breach in Society and Institutions

    Please make it a point to join the larger community of St. John’s as we gather for this work together.

    ___________________________________________________________________

    Care Taking and Taking Care

    The month of July went by in a blur for me. Just as I was settling into a 3-day silent retreat at Holy Cross Monastery on July 5, I received a late-night phone call from my mom’s friend who told me that she was in the hospital. So, I packed everything back into my car, came home, and drove to Western PA the next morning. I won’t go into all the details of my mom’s illness, but physically, she is much, much better. Unfortunately, the issue was largely caused by her declining cognitive state, which her doctor and I have been monitoring for a couple of years. It’s clear from this that the time has come for a change in how my mom lives her life.

    Before I go further, I want to thank you all for your prayers and kind notes. I’m sorry if I wasn’t able to respond to you but I am very grateful and felt upheld in prayer.

    As you know, different people have different approaches to significant change. Some people are “let’s just rip off the band-aid” kind of people and like to jump into change. And on the other end of the spectrum are those who refuse to change at all. My mom is somewhere towards the latter, in that change is quite hard for her. She has always had her way of doing things and she’s always been incredibly independent. As her only surviving child, I’ll be the one helping her (with Ana’s help of course). And as we move through this change, I know it will be a step-by-step transition.

    In the meantime, I’m aware that I am way overdue for a break myself and in need of self-care. And the only way we can truly be there for others is to learn how to be there for ourselves first. There is a theological reason for this.

    If we do not feel cared for, we can begin to block experiences of gratitude, awe, and mercy. We stop seeing the beauty of the world as it is, and we start to see the people in our world as objects. We become critical and envious, always trying to find the person that will give me what I need. Addictions can arise and we focus on petty things. And it’s impossible to offer true hospitality when we are in that state because we have stopped believing we are a repository for God’s Love. We have stopped believing we have Love to offer and our own problems start to seem overwhelming.

    But when we do learn to care for ourselves, to love ourselves, and to be compassionate with ourselves, we create a situation in which we are actively nurturing the experience of God’s Love in our lives. Prayer, gratitude journals, eating healthy foods, connecting with others, moving our bodies any way we can to produce helpful hormones in our system… these are things that support and nourish us. Taking care, then, is just as important as care taking. I struggle with this balance, as many people do.

    So, Ana and I will be going on vacation starting Tuesday, August 2. I will return to work on Tuesday, August 16. The Rev. Janet Vincent will be with you on Sundays and she will be available for pastoral emergencies that arise while I’m gone. I know you’re in good hands.

    And over these two weeks, consider the balance of care taking and taking care. Perhaps helping another person is exactly what you need to do. Or it could be that nourishing yourself is what you need to do. I suspect it’s both.

    In God’s love and mine,
    Rev. Michelle

    _______________________________________________________

    Announcements for the Fifth Sunday of Pentecost
    July 30, 2022

    Benefit Concert for Ukraine: Sunday, September 11! Arts & Crafts Tent Opens at 3:00 pm and Concert begins at 4:00 pm. The Kingston Interfaith Council is hosting the event here at St. John’s. Please save the date! We’ll need many hands on deck to help that afternoon.

    Centering Prayer is on hiatus for the month of August. We return on Wednesday, September 7.

    Feeding people is our jam! St. John’s Harvest is back! Join us in the kitchen to clean, chop, stir, and make cool stuff on the last Saturday of the month from 10-5. Last year, we canned jams, chutney, and conserves; made Sara’s soap, hand sanitizer, and Jocelyn’s amazing Beeswax wraps! No experience necessary. Hands of all ages welcome. Show up for shifts of 2, 4, or 6 hours, and let’s have fun while we raise money for St. John’s! Mark your calendar: August 27thSept. 24th, and Oct. 29th

    St. John’s Walkers: Let’s get moving! We do one walk a week, alternating morning and evening times, so pick the times that work for you and let’s get moving! We meet at the location. If you need a ride, contact Ana Hernandez at ana@anahernandez.org or 914-357-0365 and she will arrange a ride. We need people to lead walks and come up with ideas for walks, keeping in mind that we have people of all abilities. If you’d like to lead, give Ana a call.

    Summer Walking Schedule

    There is no one to lead the walks on August 4 or 9 so they are canceled.
    Thurs, August 18, 7pm
    Tues, August 23, 9am
    Thurs, August 30, 7pm
    Tues, Sept. 6, 9am

    Flower Ministry: Every week, members of St. John’s offer a memorial of thanksgiving or honor a loved one who has gone before by supporting the Flower Ministry at St. John’s with a monetary donation. You’ll see this memorial listed in the bulletin each week. This ministry ensures we have lovely fresh flowers every week on our altar. Please consider signing up for a Sunday. Contact Elaine Lawrence at eslawrenc@aol.com

    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.

    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.

    Page Turners Book Club: The Page Turners are returning to meeting in person. We will skip August and meet in September. Details for that meeting will be announced as soon as possible. New members are always welcome. Please speak to Claudette, or Barbara Johnston for more information.

    Have an announcement for the bulletin?
    Please send by Wednesday at noon to
    stjohnskingston@aol.com