Rector’s Reflection 12.3

Now to the one who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to God be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. – Ephesians 3:20-21 Beloved St. John’s community, Many of you are[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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,[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

Discern

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[…]

Commit

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[…]

Repent

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[…]

Lament

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[…]

Learn

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

Beloved St. John’s community, This week, I watched the video of George Floyd, an African American beloved child of God, being callously killed by a white police officer kneeling on his neck. The police officers utterly ignored George’s minutes-long repeated statement, “I can’t breathe,” and ignored watchers who asked them to just put George in[…]

Rector’s Reflection 5.21

Beloved St. John’s community, I believe with all my heart that this pandemic, while never something we would have chosen, is offering us the chance to re-envision nearly everything about the way we live. In my personal life I am reviewing much of what I have found important or essential and questioning some of the[…]

Rector’s Reflection 5.14

Beloved St. John’s community, During the sermon discussion, noonday prayer and coffee hour, those who attend have been doing a short check in every day about how we actually are. Not how we wish we were. Not how we think others expect us to be. But how we actually are. Here are some of the[…]

Rector’s Reflection 5.7

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.  John 14:1 Beloved St. John’s community, What do you trust these days — really? This question is on my heart as I walk with you into uncharted territory. On the one hand, I have people asking me every day: when can[…]

Rector’s Reflection 4.30

The Holy Spirit is Inviting us to Transformation Beloved St. John’s community, Last week I was speaking with our vestry about what church does that no other organization does. What is unique about who we are and what we do? We began speaking about the sense of peace, magic, inspiration, and spiritual nourishment we feel[…]

Rector’s Reflection 4.23

Where is God inviting us to new things? Beloved St. John’s Community, During a recent zoom call with our new Bishop-elect Craig Loya, and clergy and lay leaders from the Central Metro area of the Twin Cities, we were talking about how we were all dealing with this pandemic in the various faith communities we[…]

Rector’s Reflection 4.16

Resurrection: Not the Same Old Same Old “[Jesus] has become a priest… through the power of an indestructible life.” – Hebrews 7:16 Beloved St. John’s community, How was Easter for you? Regardless of whether you sang the hymns with Chad or Washington National Cathedral, or whether your kids hunted Easter eggs—some things were really different; and[…]

Rector’s Reflection 4.9

Death and Resurrection: Business as Usual Beloved St. John’s Community, Every year, during Holy Week, all of the deacons and priests in the Episcopal Church in Minnesota gather with our Bishop to reaffirm our ordination vows. Perhaps not all of you realize that in the Episcopal Church, when a person is ordained, she or he[…]

Rector’s Reflection 4.2

Beloved St. John’s Community, During times of crisis, people often seek meaning, comfort, strength and wisdom from spirituality and faith. Many of us at St. John’s have embraced what Presiding Bishop Curry calls “the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement” because it is so open, inclusive, and non-dogmatic. We would not want ever to condemn[…]

Rector’s Reflection 3.26

Beloved St. John’s community, At times, the whirlwind of the past several weeks, with no end in sight, makes me feel that we are being asked to live through a much longer Lent. We are in the wilderness with no map, living with a global pandemic and real fear. We are being asked in every[…]

Rector’s Reflection 3.19

Beloved St. John’s community, I can hardly believe the whirlwind that has existed in the last seven days. The world as we know it is greatly changed, at least for the short term. In the weekly e-newsletter, I will be contributing a short article about how we can stay connected with each other and Jesus’[…]