February 28, 2020


February 28, 2020

Dear All:

The season of Lent began this week with Ash Wednesday as many Christians throughout the world received ashes, fasted and reflected on scripture.  At the heart of this service is the Litany of Penitence and I invite you to make this litany a part of your daily reflection during lent.  It can be a powerful tool as we journey together through our Lenten wilderness.

Mary Grace+

Litany of Penitence

Most holy and merciful Father:
We confess to you and to one another,
and to the whole communion of saints
in heaven and on earth,
that we have sinned by our own fault
in thought, word, and deed;
by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and
strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We
have not forgiven others, as we have been forgiven.
Have mercy on us, Lord.

We have been deaf to your call to serve, as Christ served us.
We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have grieved
your Holy Spirit.
Have mercy on us, Lord.

We confess to you, Lord, all our past unfaithfulness: the
pride, hypocrisy, and impatience of our lives,
We confess to you, Lord.

Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation
of other people,
We confess to you, Lord.

Our anger at our own frustration, and our envy of those
more fortunate than ourselves,
We confess to you, Lord.

Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts, and
our dishonesty in daily life and work,
We confess to you, Lord.

Our negligence in prayer and worship, and our failure to
commend the faith that is in us,
We confess to you, Lord.

Accept our repentance, Lord, for the wrongs we have done:
for our blindness to human need and suffering, and our
indifference to injustice and cruelty,
Accept our repentance, Lord.

For all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward our
neighbors, and for our prejudice and contempt toward those
who differ from us,
Accept our repentance, Lord.

For our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack of
concern for those who come after us,
Accept our repentance, Lord.

Restore us, good Lord, and let your anger depart from us;
Favorably hear us, for your mercy is great.

Accomplish in us the work of your salvation,
That we may show forth your glory in the world. 

By the cross and passion of your Son our Lord,
Bring us with all your saints to the joy of his resurrection.

THIS SUNDAY: First Sunday of Lent

Readings: Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7; Psalm 32; Romans 5:12-19;

Matthew 4:1-11




Pancake Supper at St. John’s, February 25, 2020

 (All photos are found on our website under Parish Photos)


   Paulina Swierczek is now an instructor at the Rhinebeck School of Music and is offering lessons in voice, beginner piano, theory and music history, as well as diction in various languages.   She is also working on some plans for workshops.  If anyone has been thinking about music lessons, or knows anyone who is looking, please contact Paulina at  


  A Journey through Lent using the Wisdom of the Enneagram – The Enneagram of Personality is an ancient typology that maps out the nine fundamental types of human nature and their complex strategies for navigating in the world.   The symbol comes from the Greek for “ nine” (ennea) and “ figure” (grammy). Thus, it is a nine-pointed figure. This is a condensation of universal wisdom used by Christians (the Desert Fathers and Mothers and Mystics ), Jews, Buddhists and Sufis.  We will be using the Christian model. The understanding of these teachings offers a pathway to transformation and liberation. The beginning of transformation occurs when each of us comes to a discovery of his (her) personality type that is a combination of inborn temperament and conditioning. We can, then, begin to let go of our “false selves” and open to whom we truly are “ in God “.

This course will be taught by Melissa Sweet who has studied, intensively, with Russ Hudson and Don Riso at The Enneagram Institute. Our Text will be: The Enneagram, a Christian Perspective by Richard Rohr

Location: St Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Woodstock ( Rt 212 )

Dates: Saturday afternoons: 1:00-3:00

2/29- 3/7- 3/14- 3/21- 3/28- 4/4

To register and find out more contact Melissa Sweet

email: or phone: 845-246-6195


 Donations for the Bard Pantry – We are looking to help some of our Bard students who are facing food insecurities, a growing problem in many of our colleges.  St. John’s has been asked to help collect the following items: pasta, cereals, granola/protein bars, pudding cups, microwaveable or instant rice, mac and cheese, canned fruit, applesauce, variety of red sauce, pancake mix, cake mix, gluten free items, crackers, chips, pop tarts, canned peaches, peanut or almond butter and jelly. Any of these items in quantities of 6-12-24 would be great in small boxes with dorm living in mind.  You can drop off the items at the church on Sundays or at Mary Grace’s office in Sottery Hall at Bard.

Update:  We have already donated several bags full of groceries and a generous donation of several gift cards for Hannafords.  Let’s continue our generosity to help the students. Here is a note from Annia Reyes, Director of Health and Wellness Education:

 Dear People of St. John’s:

Thank you so much. Wellness and the students it serves is very appreciative of this generous gift. It will be put to good use at the Bard food pantry!  




Happy Birthday:   Clement Hathaway and Robert Gratzel 

Please remember to fill in the Anniversary/Birthday Book located on the table next to the kitchen in Aspinwall Hall. We want to remember everyone’s special occasions during our Sunday worship.

Stewardship Season – Each year we are asked to prayerfully consider how we can support our church financially in order to do the important ministry of the church.  Over the next few weeks, we will hear from the members of the Board of Trustees as to why they give back to St. John’s.

    Sign-up Sheets for Sunday ministriesThere are new sign up sheets located on the table next to the kitchen in Aspinwall Hall.  Please sign up to read a lesson, lead Prayers of the People, host Coffee Hour, provide treats for Coffee Hour and/or arrange flowers for worship.  All are welcome to be part of these important ministries that make our Sunday morning worship a spiritual experience for all.




Sundays @ 10:00 a.m.                      Holy Eucharist/Morning Prayer  and Coffee Hour

Mondays @ 8:00 p.m.                       Men’s AA meeting in  Aspinwall Hall

Wednesdays @ 8:00 p.m.                Open AA meeting in Aspinwall Hall



The Rev. Mary Grace Williams, Vicar,, (203) 858 – 8800

The Rev. Virginia Grab, Associate to the Vicar                                               

Mr. Peter Sipperley, Director of Music

Paulina Swierczek, Soloist

Frankie Sitler-Elbel, Student Intern

Max Toth, Student Intern



President                   Sara Takacs            2021      

Vice President        Mike Kelley            2020                                                                  

Treasurer                 John Ferguson        2020

Clerk                           Sarah McDonald    2022   



Tom Cathcart             2022                           Evie Chanler              2021

John Ferguson           2020                           Mike Kelley                2020

Isabel Livingston       2021                           Sarah McDonald        2022

Fran Sharpless          2022                           Peter Sipperley            2020  

Sara Takacs                2021

Nan Eliot, ex officio

Wayne Baden, Trustee Emeritus & Advisor to the Board