Reaching Out

The church building is usually bursting with life in September, as kids go back to school, the Fall church programming begins, and we check in with our St. John’s friends and neighbors. Even though St. John’s is indeed bursting with life, worship and programs for children & adults, we know that since these are not happening[…]

Early Voting

Early voting and mail-in voting starts tomorrow Last week, St. John’s announced a “souls to the polls” initiative.  Because of COVID-19, election night will look and feel different – it will be more of an election “season.”  The Minnesota legislature and courts literally designed the process to not have immediate results so Minnesotans could have[…]

Rector’s Reflection 9.17

Beloved St. John’s community, Amid the noise in our internal and external worlds, it is sometimes helpful to step back and really ask ourselves, why are we here? Stripped of everything else, what is the one thing the church does that no one else does? There are so many good things that can be done[…]

Getting Souls to the Polls

“We are blessed as a nation to vote. As citizens of this country this is a right, an obligation, and a duty. Go vote. Vote your conscience. Your conscience informed by what it means to love your neighbor, to participate in the process of seeking the common good, to participate in the process of making[…]

100 Days of Prayer

100 DAYS OF PRAYER thoughts from Jay Hornbacher In a recorded speech on July 24, 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt coined the term “the first 100 days” in reference to the first 100 days of his Presidency. Ever since, the term has been applied to any number of politicians, especially Presidents, as a measurement of[…]

Rector’s Reflection 9.10

“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with[…]

Rector’s Reflection 9.3

Beloved St. John’s community, Recently I had an interaction with a relative that was a profound learning experience for me. This relative and I profoundly disagree about many things – politics, racism, Black Lives Matter. He and I and a number of others got into a conversation about these things that quickly got heated. Afterward,[…]

What I am doing now

What I am doing now Jil Evans The Lord has filled them with spirit, intelligence, and knowledge of every kind of craft to devise artistic designs. He has filled then with skill to do every kind of work done by an artisan or designer. (words of Moses in Exodus, speaking of those whom God has[…]

I have been selling peanuts

I have been selling peanuts by Lisa Wiens Heinsohn I have been selling peanuts at a little tourist stand   my whole life with my back to the Grand Canyon, and until yesterday never once had I turned around.   Yesterday someone passed me with a mirror and I split wide open. Trembling, trembling with my eyes shut, almost[…]

Rector’s Reflection 8.27

Beloved St. John’s community, As you read this, I will be at the tail end of a sabbath time with my family in the north woods. I am writing this before I leave, so this is anticipatory: imagining where St. John’s will be in ten days or so. Ten days isn’t normally a lot of[…]

Transition for the Care Circles

We established the Care Circles this past March to connect and support all St. John’s members as we closed the St. John’s building due to the pandemic. In March, we were entering an unprecedented situation, and we knew we would need to adjust as we go. Now, almost six months into the shut downs, we[…]

Cardinal Quilt

Cardinal Quilt by Sarah Parker This week’s Offering is a photograph of Sarah Parker’s beautiful cardinal quilt. The cardinal symbolizes many things in various cultures, among them Christian symbolism, in which the cardinal is thought to represent the sacrificial blood of Christ. Sacrifices can be of many kinds, and in our church life we are[…]

Blessing & Farewell to Amy McGrew

Beloved St. John’s community, It is time to convey our warmest gratitude, blessing and farewell to Amy McGrew, Interim Minister of Children, Youth & Families. Her last day with St. John’s will be Friday September 4 (last Sunday is August 30), before she accepts her next call. Amy has spent the last nine months helping[…]

Rector’s Reflection 8.20

Dwelling in the Word, Dwelling in the World Beloved St. John’s community, As the wheel of the year turns from summer to fall, we are used to a certain rhythm: school starts up for families with children & youth; the adult forum and choirs begin again at church; we would traditionally go back to the[…]

The Pink Crown

The Pink Crown Gayle Bintliff On August 2, police in Aurora, Colorado pulled a family of black women from their car and detained them, wrongly, as has been admitted by the Aurora Police Department. The following is a response to that incident, written by ELCA pastor Gayle Bintliff, wife of St. John’s member Jay Hornbacher.[…]

Farewell Blessing

Farewell Blessing to Jane Gilgun Sunday, August 16th at 9am St. John’s beloved and long-time member Jane Gilgun is moving to Rhode Island, and this Sunday, August 16, is her last Sunday with us (of course we hope she will be back to visit many times). Please join us during the Live Zoom Service at[…]

Rector’s Reflection 8.13

100 Days of Prayer Beloved St. John’s community, What does it mean to be a Christian? That name has been used in such powerfully different ways by such a vast array of people across time and space, including within our own country in 2020, that it can be hard to answer that question. Being a[…]

Nature walks

Nature Walk Photos Denice Jasper These are words from the poet William Blake: “To see the world in a grain of sand, and heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour.” These are words from the Gospel of Luke, spoken by Jesus: “Consider the lilies,[…]

Rector’s Reflection 8.6

Beloved St. John’s community, I am sitting in my living room, with my laptop on my lap, looking through the windows at the ash tree in my backyard that has ropes, ladders, swings, and hammocks hanging from its branches (well, the hammocks are normally there but we took them down before the latest rain). It’s[…]

Earth Matters Resources

Resources for Environmentally-Sustainable Living We at St. John’s are aware of the devastating impact that climate change is having on our planet. Many of us are advocating for state, national, and global policies that will reduce pollution and better protect “this fragile earth, our island home,” as we read in the Book of Common Prayer.[…]

Dream, Pray, Act

    Don Samuels is CEO of MicroGrants.  He was previously a member of the Board of Minneapolis Public Schools (2015-2019) and on the Minneapolis City Council (2013-2015).  Don is an honorary member of the St. John’s Episcopals!  This month, he and his wife Sondra organized 30 Days of Silent Prayer: Healing the Heart of[…]

Support Our Partners in Haiti

On my first trip to Haiti, I was visiting a school that our volunteers had built in Northern Haiti. We were there at lunch time, and the people in charge gave me a large basket with sandwiches made on buns with some kind of filling. I was told to pass them out to the students[…]

Rector’s Reflection 7.30

Beloved St. John’s community, Last night we held the last Wednesday night discussion of our “Six Week Introduction to a Lifelong Journey: Dismantling Racism through Jesus’ Way of Love.”  (Incidentally, whether or not you participated in this journey, I’d be extremely grateful if you would take the time to provide your feedback about it using this[…]


Beloved St. John’s community, We have reached the final week of our “Six Week Introduction to a Lifelong Journey: Dismantling Racism through Jesus’ Way of Love.” This week, our theme is Discern: What does God call us to do next, as individuals and as a community? There are a hundred million things we as individuals and[…]

Justice and Service Committee Update

Justice and Service Committee Update Justice and Service identified three emergency needs among our neighbors: A growing number of people without homes are encamped in public parks. Violence has increased dramatically, particularly on the Northside. There are “food deserts” where grocery stores have either been closed or damaged. In response, we voted to provide St.[…]

What has sustained me?

What has sustained me during the pandemic? The wisdom of Alcoholics Anonymous. Same as before. The uncertainty of how the virus spreads, its impact on the economy, and the threat of death have amped my anxiety. I’ve been saddened to see loved ones unable to be with their elderly parents afflicted with Covid-19. I’ve felt[…]

Sondra Samuels Preaching

This Sunday July 26, Sondra Samuels, longtime friend of St. John’s, will preach for us and will be present for our zoom sermon discussion and coffee hour 9:30 – 11:30. Sondra is the President & CEO of the Northside Achievement Zone in North Minneapolis, which exists to “permanently close the achievement gap and generational poverty”[…]

Tenacity Suited to a Pandemic

Tenacity Suited to a Pandemic by Richard Burbach   Barbara Brown Taylor and the dean of the National Cathedral shared a conversation last evening. I love everything BBT has to say as well as those all too familiar ribes from church-types she deftly sidesteps. Two things really rocked me… She shared a favorite quote from[…]


Beloved St. John’s community, We have listened, learned, lamented, and repented about the sin of white supremacy and systemic racism. Of course, these actions are not “one and done”; these are lifelong stances to which we are invited, as followers of Jesus. Last night during the Wednesday Zoom discussion, folks said they were both overwhelmed[…]

An Invitation to Community Rev. Alika Galloway, Liberty Community Church Our community is currently living in a tsunami of trauma and terror. It reminds me of the words of the Black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing”: God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, Thou who has brought us thus far[…]


Beloved St. John’s community, This week in our deep dive into dismantling racism through Jesus’ Way of Love, we—especially those of us who are white, but all of us in different ways—choose to repent. This week of all weeks, I most mourn being unable to be physically present with one another, sharing hearts and faces[…]

The World I Thought I Knew

The World I Thought I Knew:  Reconciling Minnesota’s Competing Narratives by Mark Lindberg In 2003, as a senior program officer for the (then) Otto Bremer Foundation, I reviewed a funding proposal from a local nonprofit that contained incomprehensible information.  According to a joint study by the Council on Crime and Justice (CCJ) and the Institute[…]


Beloved St. John’s community, We are in week three of a six week deep dive introduction to a lifelong journey: Dismantling Systemic Racism through Jesus’ Way of Love. This week, our focus is the ancient Judeo-Christian practice of lament. The world seems caught in a frenzy of trying to fix systemic racism. It can seem[…]

Flowers On My Doorstep

Flowers On My Doorstep by Jo Bolles   


Beloved St. John’s community, We are continuing our six week introduction to a lifelong journey: Dismantling Racism through Jesus’ Way of Love. Our focus this week is “learn”: which means, to discover and share stories that uncover how we formed assumptions about race; and to connect those assumptions with sin, brokenness, and sickness. “Learn” also means[…]

Beloved St. John’s community, I am writing to you today to ask you to join me on a journey—a journey about finally, irrevocably, connecting Jesus’ Way of Love with dismantling racism in ourselves and our country. There isn’t a person among us who isn’t anguished about what happened to George Floyd, and to the countless[…]


MaryPsalm by Susan Swann If I cry, I declare “I’ve lost my faith. I am without hope, which means I am without the one who is hope.” So how can I cry, when my only child is alone in a hospital bed, his body betraying him? How can I cry? How can I not? You who[…]

Note from Haiti

Greetings to the parishioners of St John’s, I am very happy that you continue to proclaim your faith in God while all of the churches are celebrating the Holy Trinity day. By my,  I had a very nice celebration at St Philippe and St Jacques parish at Greasier with 21 people. Because of Corona Virus,[…]

Welcome our new Intern

Elizabeth Lienesch is a new intern at St. John’s who will be part of our parish for the next two years. She is a student at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, pursuing a Masters of Divinity and is in formation to become an Episcopal priest. Elizabeth grew up in North Carolina and moved to Minnesota[…]

Outdoor Worship Option

Backyard Watch Parties beginning August 2 Our Bishop has recently announced that we may begin to have small outdoor worship services. After reviewing many options, the planning team has decided the safest, most inclusive and satisfying option would be to organize outdoor backyard “watch parties” for limited groups of parishioners. Because we want to remain[…]

Beloved St. John’s community, We have all been anguished by the killing of George Floyd and the tremendous racial injustices this has illuminated in our country. As followers of Jesus’ Way of Love, I believe we are called to pray, lament, repent, and commit to address the sins of racial injustice and white supremacy in[…]

Give and Do

We ask all Minnesota Episcopalians to join us, as a start, in taking the following actions: Call elected officials to demand justice for George Floyd If you can, donate to organizations working on the front line of these issues: Black Visions Collective, Reclaim the Block, CTUL, COPAL, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, NAACP Minneapolis, Voices for Racial Justice Donate to the family of George Floyd[…]


Three books Lisa is currently inviting St. John’s folks to read: James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, which is a poignant and shattering account of his experience as a black man in the United States in the twentieth century White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin Diangelo. This is[…]

Arriving at 38th and Chicago

Arriving at 38th and Chicago – May 31, 2020 by Jessie Johnson  A makeshift memorial fills the block– A slow caravan of pilgrims walk the way of the cross to our new Golgotha. Cardboard signs hastily scribbled with the Gospel truth that Black Lives Matter– Scripture for our times. A circle of flowers where George[…]

Resources for Family Conversations For Parents of CHILDREN:  How young is too young to talk about race? (click the image below to enlarge) “How to talk to your children and teens about protests and racism in age-appropriate ways” Children are cultural sponges who absorb what surrounds them. These are two lists of resources, children’s books, toys,[…]

Continuing the Work In this moment of agony for our communities, we find strength in the truth that we are all beloved children of God, knit together by the sacrificial, life-giving love of Jesus. However, we know that racism is a deep wound dividing the body of Christ. Our call to practice the Way of[…]

The Way of Love in Racial Justice: Unlearning Speed, Distance, and Innocence A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children, and refuses to be comforted, because they are no more. Jer. 31:15 Beloved St. John’s community, As I have watched and participated in the events of the[…]

Deliverance Denied

DELIVERANCE DENIED by Jay Hornbacher Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble and he delivered them from their distress.                                                                     -Psalm 107 A man wakes up, not breathing, terrified, until his barely conscious mind reminds him that it was just a dream, just the terrors of the night. Then[…]

Honoring Our Confirmation Class

Beloved St. John’s community, If the pandemic had not happened, this coming Sunday on Pentecost our Bishop would have been confirming youths from our confirmation class – a significant milestone in the journey of following Jesus’ Way of Love. Since in-person gatherings, including the laying on of hands that accompanies confirmation, cannot safely happen right[…]

Our Saviour’s Food Ministry Update

For more than ten years, a cadre of volunteers from St. John’s has prepared and served meals for homeless guests at Our Saviour’s Shelter on the second Fridays of even months. In April, a number of you very kindly prepared salads and baked goods to supplement pizzas and beverages delivered to the Chicago Avenue facility.[…]