Haiti Advent Fundraiser

First, thank you to everyone who has contributed so generously in August and September to our partner school, St Philippe et St Jacques in Gressier, Haiti. Due to your generosity, we have sent enough funds to cover teacher salaries through the end of December. As we have experienced here, schools have been disrupted in Haiti,[…]

Offerings comes to a close

“Veni Sancte Spiritus, et emitte caelitus lucis tuae radium. Come, Holy Spirit, send forth the heavenly radiance of your light.” (Veni Sancte Spiritus, probably composed in the thirteenth century, is a sequence prescribed in the Roman Liturgy for the Masses of Pentecost.) Back in June at the beginning of Pentecost, we began publishing “Offerings From[…]

Support our Partner

St. Nicholas, an Episcopal Church in Richfield with whom we partner, has reached out for help. They have a Spanish speaking service, and the economic fallout from the pandemic has left many of their Spanish speaking members in need of support. These members need food, toiletries, and other essential items for themselves and their families.[…]

Rector’s Reflection 11.26

Beloved St. John’s community, On this Thanksgiving Day, which is unlike any other most of us have experienced in our lifetimes, what is the root of true gratitude? In the end, gratitude is experiencing people, blessings, life itself—as a gift. Not as something owed to you, to which you are entitled, or the way things[…]

Hope

HOPE In the shadow of a divisive election, a surging pandemic, and the searing video of George Floyd’s death, how are we to discern our way as a faith community? As St. Paul wrote in his second letter to the Corinthians (4: 8-9), “We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not[…]

Financial Update

Continued thanks to all who have pledged to this year’s stewardship campaign, Strengthening Our Connections! We have currently received $452,866 in pledges. At this time last year we had received $507,881 in pledges of a total of about $550,000—so we have a way to go. Please make your pledge today! Of course we understand that[…]

Rector’s Reflection 11.19

Beloved St. John’s community, When we were teenagers, my brother and I sometimes accused my mom of giving us “guilt trips.” And she would always say: “If the guilt fits, wear it.” The guilt probably did fit! But still, she never convinced us from the heart to change our behavior in this way. In the[…]

Thanksgiving Baskets 2020

This year the St. Johns/Urban Homeworks Thanksgiving Basket event is like everything else in 2020 – digital. Like many other traditions this year, the selection of just the right family and then generously overfilling a festively decorated laundry basket with household supplies will take a pause. For everyone’s safety, UHW has launched the Urban Homeworks[…]

There are two opportunities approaching for small group learning, prayer and practice: (1) Lisa’s “Spiritual Bootcamp in the Wilderness” and (2) Sacred Ground: A Film-Based Dialog Circle on Race. The first, a 10-week “Spiritual Bootcamp in the Wilderness: Walking Jesus’ Way of Love,” will be a weekly early morning session with Lisa in which we[…]

An Update from St. John’s

An Update about St. John’s Finances and Stewardship Campaign Thanks so much to those who have made their 2021 pledges! These have totaled $407,958 thus far. Our pledge base for 2020 was about $550,000, so we still have a long way to go. Please make your pledge here! If you prefer, you can email your[…]

Meditation Lessons

Heather Miller (our new Minister of Children, Youth & Familes) shares some thoughts on meditation as a practice About one year ago I started meditating. My sessions last exactly ten minutes and are not as frequent as I would like them to be. I wiggle and scratch my nose. I let my thoughts wander way[…]

Rector’s Reflection 11.12

Beloved St. John’s community, Most of you know that I live in an interfaith household. My husband Jeff was born, baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran church, but never felt connected to Christian culture, theology or practice, so he left the church and eventually adopted traditional yoga as his spiritual path. He now experiences much[…]

Rector’s Reflection 11.5

Beloved St. John’s community, As I write this on Thursday morning, the election is close, but not certain, and could still go either way. Perhaps by the time you read this this afternoon, things will have shifted again. While we are waiting, what is it that God’s Spirit is whispering to us even now? What[…]

Garden Harvest

One of the reasons we started Offerings in Exile was to provide St. Johns’ members with an opportunity share their creativity in this time apart.  Lois Neve has with great love and discipline cultivated a garden this year.  In “Garden Harvest 2020,” she shares the fruits (and vegetables!) of her labors, including elegant presentations at[…]

COVID-19 Update on building use

October 29, 2020 Beloved St. John’s community, I know it’s been a long time since I’ve updated you on St. John’s COVID-19 building use guidelines and plans. Because of this, I wanted to remind you what we are currently doing and when that might shift. Occasionally some of you have asked whether a group might[…]

Pledge Thank You

Dear St. John’s community, On behalf of the Stewardship Committee, I want to give you heartfelt thanks for your generous outpouring of support for the St. John’s community through your pledges, and our efforts to Strengthen Our Connections despite all that divides us in today’s world. Many of you were able to maintain or even[…]

Rector’s Reflection 10.29

Beloved St. John’s community, In these very challenging times, on the eve of the national election, I have said I believe with all my heart that we are called to “throw ourselves into the arms of God.” We cannot become people of healing for the world unless we ourselves are healed. There is tremendous hope[…]

Wreath Sales

The Annual Christmas Wreath Fundraiser for the Pilgrim’s trip is now taking pre orders!  You can order your wreath and/or greens before 11/2. After 11/2 we will change the sign up genius to reflect what options we have for purchase and you can order wreaths as long as they are in stock via the[…]

Rector’s Reflection 10.22

Beloved St. John’s community, As our nation approaches the national election in less than two weeks, we are living through times that may be looked back upon as truly significant in history. In the middle of these momentous times, as you read this, you may be standing in line at the grocery store checking email[…]

Rector’s Reflection 10.15

Beloved St. John’s community, Sunday, October 18 is the Feast of St. Luke, the healer. St. Luke is said to have written the Gospel of Luke, in which Jesus states his mission is “to bring good news to the poor, release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go[…]

Home Altars

During this extended time of pandemic, we know we need time for quiet, for prayer, and for connection with God. And we know that it’s more important than ever to be experiencing and sharing the transformation God offers us in our Monday – Saturday lives. With that in mind, we’re offering a “worship box” —[…]

Rector’s Reflection 10.8

Beloved St. John’s community, This past Sunday was such an incredibly beautiful, moving, and meaningful time together at Beard’s Plaisance! One hundred and twenty-five people came to celebrate Holy Eucharist and four baptisms. We took many, many extra precautions to minimize risk, the most important of which were that everyone wore masks at all times,[…]

Rector’s Reflection 10.1

Beloved St. John’s community, My parents grew up very poor. Both of my grandfathers were preachers. At one point my mother’s family was living in a small town in New Mexico, quite literally in an adobe home with no running water or electricity. When my mother went to college she did not have enough money[…]

Outdoor Service

Outdoor Service of Holy Eucharist and Baptism 9:00am at Beard’s Plaisance on Sunday, October 4th All of St. John’s is invited to celebrate the Feast of St. Francis by attending an outdoor Service of Holy Eucharist and Baptism at Beard’s Plaisance near the Southwest shore of Lake Harriet. For those who cannot attend physically, you[…]

Blessing of the Animals

Blessing of the Animals On Sunday October 4 from 2-3pm, our Rector Lisa will be sitting on the front steps of the St. John’s sanctuary below the red doors, available to provide blessings for any of your animal friends. This will not be the traditional service, but a joyful and informal way to visit with[…]

Autumn Reflection

Autumn Reflection (Front page article, St. John‘s Newsletter, October 2010) In a “Peanuts” cartoon, Snoopy is sitting by a tree, watching leaves fall to the ground. The perpetually crabby Lucy walks up to him and says, “Anyone who would sit and watch leaves fall off a tree must be pretty stupid.” Snoopy watches her walk away, then turns back[…]

Rector’s Reflection 9.24

Beloved St. John’s community, It’s hard to know what metaphor to use about where we are at these days. Are we at a crossroads, or just plain bushwacking in the wilderness without a map? Are we in a temporary hiatus until things can “get back to normal,” or are we experiencing the first months in[…]

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[…]