Word from the Senior Warden

Judy Whitbeck, Sr. Warden

I learned early on that there is no “I” in TEAM, yet if I’m to introduce myself to all of you, as this year’s (2023) Senior Warden of St. John in the Wilderness, I’ll just have to make an exception. I was born and raised in Copake on a dairy farm, the boundaries of which abut the Bash Bish Brook, the same brook that winds down off Mount Washington where I now live, and tumbles over BashBish Falls before running close to St John in the Wilderness. I lived in Florida during winters for many years and was a member of the congregation of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Bonita Springs, Florida. I’ve been a congregant of St. John in the Wilderness for over 30 years. I was a Vestry member and a member of the St John in the Wilderness search committee when Reverend Barbara Morgan was tapped to become Rector of St John in the Wilderness. It is an honor to be asked to be first Jr, then Sr. Warden of St John.

I wish first to thank Fr. John Thompson who in a positive and encouraging way asked if I’d consider being a Warden of St. John in the Wilderness. I agreed. I also wish to thank Brian Boom for his guidance, patience, understanding and with wise counsel helped guide a new Jr.Warden through the process of becoming a Sr. Warden. Thank you too to Mibs Zelley and Ginny Johnson whose term on the Vestry ended in 2022. The Vestry voted for 2023, 2 new Vestry members, Karen Wimmer and Rachele Grieco and Wendy Langlois as Jr Warden. Our present Vestry members are Jay Corcoran, Charley Musselmen, Arthur Eppler, Jim Wann, Karen Wimmer and Rachele Grieco with a special thank you to Wendy Langlois, Clerk of the Vestry and Karen Flynn our treasurer. The Vestry voted in March to change the meeting date from the 2nd Friday of each month at 7:30pm to the second Tuesday of each month at 6pm. Most meetings are still on Zoom but Sunday church services at 10am are in person along with masking for communion. Coffee hour in Burke Hall after Sunday church services offers up a great way to share and catch up on upcoming events like the Annual Easter Egg Hunt on April 8 at 11:00 am at St John in the Wilderness. Stay tuned for more updates and in particular Lenten Services plus upcoming spring and summer events.

To capture much of what St John in the Wilderness is about, including Buildings and Grounds and Capital Campaign updates, please take a tour around our website, stjohnw.org, created by Vestry member Jay Corcoran, and while you’re at it, stop on the newly updated donation page. You may donate online to the Capital Campaign and or make your Pledge to St. John. When you’re considering donations, please remember Ukraine Crisis Response.

Being I’m somewhat of a historian, I’d like to express my appreciation to all of the Capital Campaign committee members, new and old, and in particular, Brian Boom and Lucy Eldridge (Co-Chairs of Capital Campaign). “Capital Campaign for St John in the Wilderness: Sustaining People, Places and Peace 2019-2022.” There is a quote in a section of the report entitled “History of Church and Rectory” that describes our Upjohn designed St John in the Wilderness and I quote architectural historian William Pierson Jr. as follows:

“As a work of architecture, the building is a masterpiece of distilled grace.”

And finally: A nugget of wisdom

GRATITUDE: Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more… it turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home and a stranger into a friend. Author, Melody Beattie.

Judy Whitbeck, Sr. Warden

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