Editor’s Note

Red orange and yellow flowers growing in a field

Patricia and Jim are back in Columbia County and couldn’t be happier! It feels like we’re in tune with this issue’s theme, Renewal, wonderfully exemplified by Brian Boom’s photo of the benches for the new prayer circle, freshly displayed in the snow in Brian and Lucy Eldridge’s Capital Campaign Report; Fr. John’s essay on being in the present–a moment to moment renewal; and Judy Whitbeck’s report on returning to the Vestry as our new Sr. Warden. (Congratulations Judy!) The feature by Dale Peterson on the stone quarry outing is all … Read more

Thoughts from the Wilderness

Father John with Cleo

Gregory Boyle, a Jesuit priest in Los Angeles is inspiring. I’ve talked about him before, and now he’s just been celebrated for 50 years as a Jesuit with accolades from President Biden, Governor Gavin Newsom, labor movement icon Dolores Huerta and others. He works with gang members in Los Angeles. He doesn’t judge them; rather together he and the gang members/former gang members are bearing wonderful fruit. We might initially think, well God bless him, but I’m not inspired by that; gangs are too hard and too dangerous for me … Read more

Word from the Senior Warden

Judy Whitbeck, Senior Warden at St John in the Wilderness

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 … Read more

Capital Campaign Update

New wooden benches at St John in the Wilderness

In this article, we would like to review the origin and evolution of St. John’s current Capital Campaign, what it has accomplished and what remains to be done. The Capital Campaign for St. John in the Wilderness: Sustaining People, Place, and Peace was formally launched in 2019, but the groundwork for it began to be laid two years earlier, when an ad hoc Capital Campaign Committee was formed in 2017 to chart an initial course of action, consisting of four steps: On July 14, 2018, the Capital Campaign was announced … Read more

Visit to the Quarry

Ludy Eldridge, Jane Peck and Dale Peterson at the Keystone Arches

On October 20, 2022 we stopped off after a hiking expedition to the Keystone Arches, a series of bridges erected in 1839-40 to build a railway connection from Boston to Albany. Impressive terrain and extraordinary bridges. On our return trip we made a quick stopover at the Chester Granite Company where the granite for our new entrance was extracted from the earth and finished into the stone pieces you’ll now see at our church entrance. (Here’s a map showing the location of the quarry.) Louise took the picture. Lucy Eldridge … Read more

Church Bulletin


Editors’ Note

Give Thanks

Giving thanks so close to Thanksgiving seems natural, and the theme has brought out the best in our contributors to this issue of the Voice. Fr. John Thompson, Brian Boom, and Wendy Langlois have given us warm and articulate reports well worth reading. Check out Jane Peck’s Hike Report and the video interview of the late Dorothy Baker, too. We are thankful the Community Harvest Festival went so well! Everyone enjoyed the music, the food and drink, and the company, and thanks to stellar efforts by a host of parishioners … Read more

Harvest Festival Auction Hike

For one of the Harvest Fest auction items I offered to lead a hike. Louise Peterson won the hike. I made several suggestions and Louise and Dale decided they would like to hike the Keystone Arch Bridge Trail in Chester, MA. It is a beautiful trail along the West Branch of the Westfield River. Spanning the river over the course of 2.5 miles are 5 keystone arch bridges built in the 1830s without mortar or reinforcing. On a beautiful day in September we did the hike along with a picnic … Read more

Word from the Senior Warden

We all probably have a favorite season of the year. For me, it’s autumn. In our part of the world, there’s of course the beautiful foliage, but I also like the feel of the natural world slowing down – plants are becoming dormant, animals that don’t migrate are going into hibernation, storing food, or otherwise hunkering down for the coming cold weather. I feel the vibe of this slowing of nature and it puts me into a contemplative, introspective mood that evokes a feeling of gratitude for all the good … Read more

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