Helping our new Afghan Neighbors, Part 2

Friends – Here is an update on the Afghan Immigrant Family. Thank you for everyone who has expressed interest in participating in this ministry. The combined congregations have a family of 8 designated, and we are waiting for approval from Refugee Services from The Episcopal Church. The family has relatives in the metro, who immigrated[…]

Spotlight on Music, January 2022

What does safe music-making look like at St. John’s? When this whole pandemic thing hit us back in March 2020, I started down the rabbit hole of learning how to keep people safe and still have a productive music ministry, one that allowed people to share their voices in worship. One of the most helpful[…]

Rector’s Reflection 1.20.22

Beloved St. John’s community, This Sunday, January 23, we will have our second annual meeting entirely online (at 11am after the 10am morning service). Last January when I was preparing to write my report about the previous year, in a way it was easy. There were two giant and new things to talk about: the[…]

Racial Justice and Healing at St. John’s

Beloved St. John’s community, As you will recall, following the murder of George Floyd, St. John’s did extensive work exploring systemic racism and ultimately discerning the Spirit’s call to center the work of racial justice and healing in our parish. We found this work to be central to the gospel and Christian faith, not an[…]

Moving to online worship

COVID UPDATE UPDATE: Tuesday, January 11, 2022 Beloved St. John’s community, As you are no doubt aware, the omicron variant of COVID-19 is surging through Minnesota and Hennepin County in particular. For example, one way to measure severity is by counting the number of positive cases per 100,000 people: 25 / 100k is considered concerning.[…]

TRUST Inc. MLK Event

Live the Legacy Martin Luther King Jr “Day of Service” Cold Weather Kit Packing Event Join others in the community with a service event that honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Together, people of all ages, are invited to pack cold weather kits for our neighbors.  These kits will be[…]

Thursday Night Book Discussion

How the Word is Passed “The history of slavery is the history of the United States. It was not peripheral to our founding; it was central to it. It is not irrelevant to our contemporary society; it created it.” –Clint Smith. This is the “word” that must be passed down. Throughout the month of January[…]

Thanksgiving Baskets Follow-up

Thank you everyone who selected a family, shopped for household supplies, and decorated a Thanksgiving Basket earlier this month. This year had its unique challenges with the Urban Homeworks UHW) offices moving and of course COVID. As ever and to no one’s surprise, the generosity and creativity of St Johns members was more than up[…]

Christmas Reflection

Beloved St. John’s community, As I write this, it is almost precisely the moment of the Winter Solstice – Tuesday morning, December 21. This is the darkest day of the year; the sun rises long after my daughter Carly gets on the bus for school, and sets before the evening meal. This is truly the[…]

Spotlight on Youth

This year’s confirmation class is unique in many ways. They are a group of ten tenth and eleventh graders from seven different high schools who have been through three CYF ministers and are the only group in known St. John’s history to have their pilgrimage postponed due to a global pandemic. That’s a lot for[…]

Deacon’s Column 12.9.21

For centuries, Jesus was depicted in images taken from the dominant group that worshiped him. In Europe, images of Jesus presented a white Christ that bore the features of European Christians and their rulers. African American theologian James Cone presented his argument that Christ is black. His point was not that all Christians should shape[…]

Reflection 12.2.21

My friend Neil Elliott, priest and Pauline Scholar (you should read his books), wrote a Facebook post this past week.  I made a copy and meditate with it several times a day… All the Christian bluster about “waiting” for Christ to be born at Christmas is nonsensical. Waiting for the past means you missed your[…]

Helping our new Afghan Neighbors

Friends – The Afghan resettlement information meeting held on Wednesday night (referred to below) is tied to an invitation from Bishop Loya and others to all faith communities in ECMN to take part in an effort during Advent to raise awareness across the diocese for our Afghan allies that have made their way to safety[…]

Rector’s Reflection 11.25.21

Beloved St. John’s community, This coming Sunday our church begins its liturgical year all over again—the first Sunday of Advent, which is always a time of hopeful waiting and expectancy. It is no accident that this hopeful waiting is precisely timed when the year is darkest. As the days grow shorter, and the nights longer,[…]

Stewardship 2022 Update

November 18, 2021 Friends – As many of you know, we are in the process of setting St. John’s 2022 budget. As we consider the details of our potential revenue and expenses for the coming year, I am prompted to reflect on the tireless work of our beloved staff, to create new and safe opportunities[…]

2021 Thanksgiving Baskets

Thanksgiving Baskets for Affordable Housing Our annual partnership with Urban Homeworks to make Thanksgiving Baskets is on – just a little later than usual. Urban Homeworks is moving their offices so we are working around their construction and move schedules. Our goal is to provide 70 Baskets filled with household essentials to residents of Urban[…]

Christmas Pageant

Readers and Pageant Participants Still Needed for Christmas Eve 3pm Pageant  Join us at the 3pm Christmas Eve service for our spontaneous pageant! No rehearsals needed but please come @ 2:15pm on 12/24 to get your costume and prepare for your role! We will meet in the Library. Thank you to everyone who signed up[…]

ECMN Focus Area: Innovation

A number of years ago I did some door knocking to collect signatures from people in support of legislation that would ensure sick time off for all workers in Minnesota. As I knocked on doors and talked to people, an odd pattern began to emerge. People who had access to sick days were very likely[…]

Spotlight on Kids’ Music

What is happening on Wednesday nights at St. John’s? The short story is…there is a gathering of children and their families for the purpose of making music through singing and chiming. Children pre-school age up through adult meet for organized periods of time to learn music theory, the mechanics of singing and chiming, the importance[…]

Deacon’s Column

Verna Dozier, African-American Educator, and Episcopal Leader, spoke at a total ministry conference in 1985 and challenged the church with the following: Jesus called all of us to do greater things than he did, and then asked us why have we been so slow to be about it? She suggested that there were three stumbling[…]

Behind the Scenes 10.28.21

Every once in a while, it’s important to highlight the incredibly generous work of St. John’s members and volunteers. Since this is stewardship season, it seems especially appropriate to thank two people who have shepherded St. John’s finances in extraordinary ways: Michael Morrow and Kathy Schweikart. Michael Morrow was St. John’s Treasurer for years—much longer[…]

Pastor Kelly Chatman

Pastor Kelly Chatman will be preaching and presenting the 10:10am adult forum on the topic of “Bible and Liberation: Exodus” on November 7, All Saints Sunday. Pastor Kelly Chatman is the Executive Director of the Center for Leadership and Neighborhood Engagement, a North Minneapolis-based nonprofit whose vision is to mobilize congregations and leaders as powerful[…]

Sanctuary State Coalition Update

Friends – This past March, a group of churches, organizations and individuals – including Bishop Craig Loya – came together to form the Minnesota Sanctuary State Coalition. The goals of the coalition included creating greater awareness of the ways that Minnesota state and local government entities share information or collaborate with U.S. Immigration Customs and[…]

Rector’s Reflection 10.21.21

Beloved St. John’s community, Our Episcopal Church is the daughter of the Church of England, one of the many churches that was created during the British Empire’s vast colonial expansion. But the Christian church in England was much older than that. It was established in the early years after the life of Jesus, even before[…]

Guide My Feet, Lord, While I Run this Race:  Reflections on 2021 Justice and Service at St. Johns How many of you practice a sport that requires not just one burst of energy and strength, like weightlifting, but intense, sustained effort?  Perhaps you’re a middle-distance runner, a marathoner, a cross-country skier, or a cyclist.  I[…]

Online Worship Survey Results

St. John’s leadership recently conducted a short survey asking people about your experience of our online worship, and we are grateful that many people responded. Here is what we learned: A sizeable number of people do use and value our online worship service options About two thirds of the people responding said they thought our[…]

Spotlight on Kids

How are the children? Kasserian ingera? All the children are well! Sapati ingera! This traditional Masai greeting shows the priority placed by this tribe on the well-being and safety of the most vulnerable in society. If the children are well, there is peace and stability. By monitoring their children’s well-being, they can determine the health[…]

Faith Formation

Where and how did you learn about God? Jesus? The Bible? What has formed you as a person of faith? A Christian? An Episcopalian? What has transformed your beliefs and ideas as you’ve grown and changed? These are the kinds of questions a group of St. John’s members, staff, and clergy started with as we[…]

Candidate Forum

Election Day is right around the corner. Do you know who is running for Ward 13 City Council? Would you like to better understand their positions? Join us for a Ward 13 Candidate Forum on Monday, October 4 at 7:00 p.m.The forum will be held in-person at St. John’s Episcopal Church as well as recorded[…]

Deacon’s Column 9.23

One of my favorite contemporary poems is Shake the Dust, by Iranian-American Anis Mojgani. You can watch the entire poem on YouTube here. The poem which was introduced to me by Bishop Prior speaks I believe to the passages from the Gospel of being sent into the world, sharing your peace, and if your peace[…]

Behind the Scenes 9.16.21

This new occasional column is to highlight those fabulous St. John’s members who do SO MUCH behind the scenes to keep this place a vibrant, functioning community that follows Jesus’ Way of Love! To kick this off, although I could thank literally hundreds of you, I’d like to start with the following two: Mary Corlett[…]

Thursday Book Group

Join us for the first book group sessions of the fall. We are reading The Church Cracked Open, Disruption, Decline, and New Hope for Beloved Community. Written by The Reverend Stephanie Spellers. Stephanie Spellers is an Episcopal priest, author and speaker who serves as a Canon to The Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry. She[…]

Rector’s Reflection 9.9.21

Beloved St. John’s community, I can hardly believe another program year is beginning—the third since I joined you, as the world has utterly shifted around us with a pandemic, race crisis, and change in administration in Washington. Your relationship with church may also have shifted—perhaps you have found it difficult to be part of the[…]

“Pay attention. / Be astonished. / Tell about it.” These words by the poet Mary Oliver are one way to think about the art of spiritual listening. This fall at St. John’s, we invite you to consider three options for spiritual listening within our community.  The groups will be a place to hear each other[…]

Thursdays, September 9 and 16:  7:00 to 9:00pm (via Zoom, see our Thursday e-news for the link) Sundays, September 19 and 26: 10:10 to 11:05am (in-person TBD) Please read this in preparation for the conversation on September 26 We are offering a four-session series about how to have gracious conversations across lines of difference, called[…]

Fall Service Times

This fall, beginning Sunday, September 12, we will begin having two Sunday morning services: 9:00am Service of Holy Eucharist using innovative liturgies (contemporary style with piano) 11:15am Book of Common Prayer Rite II Service of Holy Eucharist (traditional style with organ) For the time being, we will not be having the 8:00am service, but may[…]

CYF Ministry Opportunities

Children, Youth and Families Ministry (CYF) has a number of very important roles it needs to fill for the coming school year. Please prayfully consider these opportunities and connect with Heather to sign up or ask questions– – and thank you!!! Sunday School Leaders/Assistants – Teach or assist with one of the following classes –[…]

Back to School in Haiti

2021 Classrooms September 2, 2021 My name is Ginny Jacobson and I have been involved with St. John’s Haiti Partnership for over a dozen years.  I have two remarks regarding our partnership.August 22, 2021 several of us from St. John’s attended St. Luke’s/St. James to listen to, and welcome, Louis Noncent, Principal of a partner[…]

Rector’s Reflection 4.8

Beloved St. John’s community, Happy Easter! It was so beautiful to see so many of you in person last Sunday – carefully, socially distanced, and celebrating with all our might that Easter always follows Lent. Spring always follows winter, and one day, this pandemic will be over. Each day, the sprouts of Beloved Community are[…]

Rector’s Reflection 4.1

Beloved St. John’s community, Today is Maundy Thursday—the first of the great three days before Easter. This is the time of descent with Jesus into his last supper with his disciples, his betrayal, time in Gethsemane, arrest, trial, and crucifixion. Since we all know the end of the story, it might be tempting to skip[…]

Rector’s Reflection 3.25

Beloved St. John’s community, Lent is drawing to a close. This coming Sunday is Palm Sunday, which inaugurates what we call Holy Week—the week when we journey through the whiplash of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when so many lauded and welcomed him, to the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday four days later, and then[…]

Rector’s Reflection 3.18

Beloved St. John’s community, According to people who know how to measure these things, this year the spring equinox in the Northern Hemisphere will occur at 2:37am on Saturday March 20 – two days from now! As of that time, there will be more light than dark each day. Because of that sunlight, the earth[…]

Rector’s Reflection 3.11

Beloved St. John’s community, The world is watching Minneapolis as Derek Chauvin’s trial begins this week. This trial seems to have become a referendum on the state of systemic racism in our country. Will anything like justice prevail? There is much that is at stake. There is the critical question of whether our country can[…]

Rector’s Reflection 3.4

Beloved St. John’s community, What place do anger and rage have, if any, in Jesus’ Way of Love? I’m asking because this coming Sunday’s gospel reading is about Jesus making a whip and driving the animals out of the Temple, and overturning the moneychangers’ tables, in what surely does look like a display of anger—even[…]

Church Service Update

Tuesday, March 2, 2021 Dear people of St John’s, As we approach the one year anniversary of our COVID-19 closing, we may be seeing a little light at the end of the tunnel. This update will provide some details of what’s to come, including our current Easter service plans – and what we have yet[…]

Rector’s Reflection 2.25

Beloved St. John’s community, It’s almost impossible to believe, but we have been in this pandemic for nearly one full year now. All initial imagination of what this would be, how long it would last, and what the impact would be have long since been shattered. It’s as if we are running an ultramarathon, in[…]

Rector’s Reflection 2.18

Beloved St. John’s community, We have now entered into Lent, that yearly season of the church year in which we take a courageous look at our lives, to see what might need adjusting. It’s a spiritual spring cleaning, if you will, or a church-wide fourth step (for those of you who are familiar with twelve[…]

Telling our Stories

During Lent, click below for a storytelling podcast from a member of St. John’s. Then come Sundays at 10am to talk more about what we heard. Click here for more. Week 5 conversation with Rie Gilsdorf Week 4 conversation with Tom Lutes Week 3 conversation with Susan Swann Week 2 conversation with Heidi Joos Week[…]

Rector’s Reflection 2.11

Beloved St. John’s community, As you know, “rest” is a spiritual practice—not just any practice, but one of the seven pillars of Christian faith and tradition. Even God had to rest after six days of creating the world! Since I’m away for ten days to tend to family medical needs, I’m taking this week as[…]

In art “sacra conversazione” (or sacred conversation) refers to depictions in paintings of the saints, Jesus and Mary, on the same picture plane as though they are in dialogue. There is something deep about this in the history of Christianity. Historians of our faith have argued that among the many factors the led to Christianity[…]