This Sunday: March 26
Rector’s Forum: Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Who We Are: History and Structure of the Episcopal Church
Rector’s Forum: Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
After worship in the Parish Hall.
The Alzheimer’s Association, Hudson Valley Chapter, is coming this Sunday to talk about the impact of these diseases along with risk factors, stages, research, and treatments. This is good information for everyone to know so we can care for ourselves and our loved ones.
WEAR PURPLE! To show your support of the work of the Alzheimer’s Association, please wear purple to church. Plus, it’s Lent, so purple is the perfect color for a Lenten Sunday.
Who We are: History and Structure of the Episcopal Church
Parish Hall from 1:00-3:30
It’s a part of our human nature that our history shapes who we are. This is true of faith communities too. In this session, we spend time discussing many of the people and events that gave form to the Episcopal Church and how all of that shaped the ways in which we engaged the Christian faith then…. and continue our journey in Christ today.
All are welcome to join in our Inquirer’s Class. Come to the whole series or come to the topics that interest you the most. Learn more or register, here.
What is “Inquirer’s Class?
Whether you are new to the Episcopal Church or you have been here for years and want to learn more, this class is for you! We take a deeper dive into our Christian faith and how that is expressed as Episcopalians through 6 class sessions. Come to all of them or just come to the sessions where the topics interest you the most.
This class also serves as preparation for adult baptism, confirmation, or reception into the Episcopal Church. Speak with Rev. Michelle to learn more.
Vestry Meeting Notes
The St. John’s Vestry meets on the third Monday every month at 6:00 pm in the Parish Hall.
Update on Discernment
Please keep the Vestry in your prayers as we continue to discern how our current financial reality can be used to renew the ministry of St. John’s. The adjustment of the Rector’s salary, hours, and responsibilities is central to this discernment so we are taking the time that is needed to pray and deliberate with the Holy Spirit. Please continue your individual exploration of the gifts that you have to offer and employ in our common ministry. And please bring your prayerful insights and comments to any one of the Vestry members. Thank you!
Holy Week Schedule
During the Week at St. John’s
We have recently been blessed with 2 people who are offering classes for kids. Let’s help our new Community Partners have successful ventures by signing up or passing along the information to friends, co-workers, and family members.
Apology: An Acknowledgment of the Breach
Today I want to share a few words from the Rev. Richard Witt.
Richard has been with us at St. John’s before as a supply priest and guest preacher. He will return in June to preach for us.
Richard is the Executive Director of Rural and Migrant Ministries (RMM). RMM is a statewide organization who works to support migrant farmworkers across the state and its office is outside of Newburgh. As a priest in our diocese – the Diocese of New York (Hudson Valley and NYC), Richard is a member of the Reparations Commission, engaged in reparations work in this diocese for 17 years. Here is what he has to say about tomorrow’s Service of Apology (shared with permission):
I heard many in the early years exclaim: “This was a southern issue, not a northern issue.” and “our congregation is too new to have participated” and “I wasn’t around.” The more we have explored the more we have realized that the North bankrolled and benefitted from enslavement, that New York had the second largest slave market in the United States, that the Hudson Valley agricultural system got its start with slaves, that our banking system (read Wall Street) rested on enslavement. In turn, we have come to realize through our exploration that this legacy led to New Deal decisions that excluded farmworkers from a day of rest until 2019; that zoning and banking regulations shepherded, and continue to shepherd, people away from many of the suburbs that support our parishes; and the maintenance of a criminal justice system that somehow continues the ongoing oppression of people of color. In other words, many more of us have benefitted, and continue to benefit, even though “we weren’t there”.
There clearly is much to be done to repair this harm. There is much to be done to change the direction of this legacy. Our call is on-going. And, somewhere in this call is the simple act of apologizing – apologizing publicly and breaking our cycle of silence as a Diocese. We have never apologized.
The Bishop, as the leader of the Diocese, and in the name of the Diocese has called us to join him in apologizing. He has done this in part because of the work we all have done over these past two decades. We will never agree on the specifics of apology, our apology will never be enough. There are those who will be confused by it, or even angered by it. We will have different opinions of our own complicity. I would say that our work and prayer over these years gives us enough to know that we need to apologize. Perhaps we could take another seventeen years to debate the exact apology and come to an agreement – and I would say good, I do hope that the debate will continue. Though I know we will never come to a complete agreement. But, we know enough now to apologize. It is a start.
Please forgive me as I say one more thing. During these years, both as a part of the Reparations process, and in my role at Rural & Migrant Ministry, I have heard countless Black brothers and sisters yearn for an apology, for an acknowledgement of the breach, yearn for an ownership of complicity, yearn for humility. I have come to realize that this apology is a step toward removing the walls that divide us and in turn an opportunity for all of us to witness God’s love more fully. – The Rev. Richard Witt
Beloved Ones, so often, we are very mindful of our busy schedule, taking care of the big list of little things, and we miss the significant, most important things. I believe this to be a significant, important thing. Here’s a story from Religion News Service: NY Episcopalians to apologize for slavery & aftermath at Manhattan service (religionnews.com)
The diocese is paying for a bus to take people from the Hudson Valley to the Cathedral and there is room on this bus. We will be leaving New Paltz at 8:00 am and return in the late afternoon. As I told you in my last letter to you, I am going as a vested member of the clergy and Ana is going as one of the musicians. So often, we are more mindful of our busy schedule, taking care of the little things and we miss the significant, most important things. I believe this to be a significant, important thing. Here’s a story from Religion News Service: NY Episcopalians to apologize for slavery & aftermath at Manhattan service (religionnews.com)
If you would like to join us on the bus, email me as soon as possible at email@example.com. You can also view the service at home: Calendar – Cathedral of Saint John the Divine (stjohndivine.org)
Whatever your decision, I hope that you will consider seriously your engagement with the work of Anti-Racism both in your own life and in our common life as the community of St. John’s.
In God’s love and mine,
Announcements for March 26
The Fifth Sunday in Lent
THIS SUNDAY is Purple Sunday! Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia The Alzheimer’s Association is coming on Sunday, March 26 to talk about the impact of these diseases along with risk factors, stages, research, and treatments. Please wear purple to church to show your support of the work of the Alzheimer’s Association.
THIS SUNDAY! Who We Are: History and Structure of the Episcopal Church A part of the ongoing Inquirer’s Class series at St. John’s. We meet from 1:00-3:30 in the Parish Hall on Sunday afternoon. It’s a part of our human nature that our history shapes who we are. This is true of faith communities too. In this session, we spend time discussing many of the people and events that gave form to the Episcopal Church and how all of that shaped the ways in which we engaged the Christian faith then…. and continue our journey in Christ today.
NEXT SUNDAY! April 2
What We Believe: The Creeds of the Church… And Beyond! A part of the ongoing Inquirer’s Class series at St. John’s. We meet from 1:00-3:30 in the Parish Hall on Sunday afternoon. Christianity in America is many-faceted. So much so that 2 different communities that both call themselves Christian can have two completely opposing beliefs. How do we make sense of that? And where is the Episcopal Church in all of this? We’ll discuss the catechism, the Nicene Creed, the Resurrection, the Virgin Mary, the Trinity, what we believe about the Eucharist, and more. We’ll also talk about the difference between faith and belief.
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 Meetings are on the first Thursday of the month at 2 p.m., in the parish hall. Here’s what we selected for the next few months: April 6 – Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus; May 4 – If on A Winter’s Night A Traveler by Italo Calvino. All are welcome! Interested? Talk with Lynn Dennison.
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 and she is unavailable.
Have an announcement for the bulletin?
Please send by Wednesday at noon to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2023 Holy Week and Easter Season at St. John’s
Who We Are: History / Structure of the Episcopal Church. Inquirer’s Class is held from 1:00-3:30 pm.
Apr 2: Palm Sunday – young people’s lesson with Leah Siuta.
What We Believe: The Creeds of the Church. Inquirer’s Class is held from 1:00-3:30 pm.
FOR DETAILED SCHEDULE OF HOLY WEEK SERVICES, PLEASE SEE ABOVE.
Apr 9: Easter Sunday: Festive Choral Eucharist with Godly Play provided, followed by Community Brunch and Egg Hunt for the kids.
Apr 16: Healing Sunday, no Godly Play
Apr 23: Outreach Meeting after worship.
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. After worship.
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 20: Consecration of Matthew Heyd as Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of New York, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in NYC.
May 21: Godly Play for kids, Healing Sunday
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