I am a fan of Robin Myers books, The Underground Church, and Saving Jesus from the Church Myers powerfully challenges the church…. a prophetic call to return to a faith tradition before Christianity sold out to the Empire in the high drama of Constantine’s conversion. The church has lost its voice. It no longer has[…]

Nourishing the Beloved Community

Nourishing the Beloved Community: Our Pledge Drive and Year-long Stewardship Project Theme. Isaiah 58 (RSV) 6 “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your[…]

Welcome Colleen Connolly Swope

Colleen Connolly Swope is a second-year postulant toward Holy Orders/Diaconate.  She will be married to husband Charles for 20 years this coming October. They’ve been members of St John the Evangelist (St Paul) since Lent of 2012.   Colleen loves being a ‘cat mom’ to two rescue kitties:  Henry, a five-year-old grey domestic short-hair and Bertram,[…]

A Chance to Reconnect

Good Courage Farm – a Chance to Reconnect with Our Food Systems…and Each Other Last Saturday, 15 folks affiliated with St. John’s visited Good Courage Farm in Hutchinson, MN.  On its webpage (https://www.goodcourage.farm/), the farm describes itself as follows: Good Courage Farm is the faith-filled response of the Rev. Kerri Meyer and Dr. Jen Blecha[…]

Beloved St. John’s community, In this past Sunday’s reading from the book of Hebrews, following Jesus is compared to running a race—with a “great cloud of witnesses,” our spiritual ancestors in faith, cheering like spectators at a marathon they themselves have already finished. As a runner myself, I know how much it means to have[…]

Back to School in Haiti 2022

Supporting Our Partners in Haiti Dear St John’s Community, With all the bad news in the world to digest, you may or may not be aware of the news from Haiti. If you are interested, the New York Times has had an excellent series, outlining the past and current challenges in this island nation, just[…]

Pentecost Poem God’s presence is an invitation to see what’s beyond to be curious to observe the flight of the bird, the reaction of my ego, the message of pain God’s presence is a call to know God’s truth, not human truth to always live in wonder to never think I know God’s presence is[…]

When I was being confirmed in the Lutheran Church, the hymn sung was George Croly’s “Spirit of God:” Spirit of God, descend upon my heart; Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move. Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou Art, And make me love Thee as I ought to love. The hymn goes[…]

Friday July 22, is the anniversary of my ordination on the feast day of Saint Mary Magdalen. My ordination date was a factor of scheduling, and probably without divine intervention, the experience that I have had these 18 years to meditate with Mary Magdalen has been a blessing.  Mary’s narrative in both scripture and legend,[…]

Northside Healing Space Gardening

Greetings!  You (and your friends or communities :)) are invited to join us Mondays from 10am-12pm at the Northside Healing Space, 2100 Emerson Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55411.  We will meet every Monday throughout the summer except on July 4th; you are welcome to come once or every week! Please feel free to bring your[…]

Good Courage Farm, located 68 miles from the Twin Cities, is a fully-functional farm in partnership with the Episcopal Church. The farmers use organic and increasingly regenerative methods to grow lots of perennial food crops. The 18-acre farmstead is home to cats, dogs, ducks, goats and a few stray peafowl, as well as a myriad[…]

Donate Here Friends, You may recall that St. John’s has been working with the Minnesota Council of Churches, Sts. Luke and James, and Saint Paul’s to help the Mirzada family transition to their new life in Minnesota after arriving via airlift from Afghanistan last year. The Mirzadas will be moving to the Ostego area at[…]

My entrée to knowing God was through my best friend, Jesus. Earliest toddler memories consist of sitting in a circle in Sunday School singing What a Friend We Have in Jesus and This Little Light of Mine. In the sanctuary, I would gaze at the arched stained- glass tableaus that graced the sanctuary windows of[…]

Beloved St. John’s community, As some of you are aware, I went to London in June for a ten-day class called “Learning From London” about church innovation. This class is run by Bexley Seabury, an Episcopal Seminary, and has been brought to ECMN by Blair Pogue, our new Missioner for Innovation and Vitality. Along with[…]

I spent the earliest years of my young adulthood in Collegeville, Minnesota. While I was there, I wandered through the woods of the St. John’s campus and monastery often. On one of those wandering afternoons, in a springtime much like this year’s, I stumbled across a building that seemed to appear like a magical work[…]

It’s the Little Things When I was a child, I was an acolyte at my church. I remember going to the robing room and putting on my robes. Mostly I remember selecting a cross. That was my favorite part, for my childhood church – which was St. Luke’s Episcopal on the other side of Lake[…]

Need Help: Member Profile Articles

We’re looking for YOUR help creating a “member profile” article in our weekly e-news. Once a month, we’d love to include an article featuring a St. John’s member. Who are they? How long have they been at St. John’s? What do they do when they aren’t here? What’s most important to them about their experience[…]

At some point in my childhood, I was given a Good News Bible. It’s gold and black, hard covered, with an embossed sketch of Jesus on the cover. Try as I did through childhood and adolescence, I never quite understood… what was the good news? What was the news at all? Grown-ups were awfully clear[…]

Good Courage Farm

Save the date! St. John’s invites you to visit Good Courage Farm, the agrarian ministry of the Episcopal Church of Minnesota!  We plan to carpool, departing at 7:15 am Saturday, August 20th to arrive for a 9 am “Pie + Prayer” service in the silo chapel or big barn. Prayer will be followed by farm-made[…]

St. John’s Book Discussion Group

We are taking the summer off from our delightful book group conversations. Through the past year we have read books on theology, dismantling racism, the environment-ecology, Celtic Spirituality, and spiritual nurturing. A big thanks to Caron Stebinger, Mike Walters, and Lisa for sharing the leadership of these robust conversations. We will commence our fall series on[…]

Twin Cities Pride March

If you’re at all thinking you might want to join us on Sunday, please read this whole update – as they say at the beginning of gigantic voice mail systems, “some details have changed.” The March begins at 11am on Sunday, June 26. While there will be no bus from St. Mark’s to the jumping-off[…]

Sometimes when I hear or read certain stories from the Gospel, I find myself feeling slightly sorry for Jesus. Was he ever lonely or frustrated that even his closest friends, the disciples, were so often unable to grasp the meaning of what he was telling them? Did he ever yearn for companions who could just[…]

Welcome our new Building Caretaker!

Beloved St. John’s community, Please join me in welcoming our new staff Building Caretaker, John McKee! John comes with a wealth of experience in building care and management, and never met a problem he didn’t like to solve. He is already a gift to St. John’s and to our daycare and will help us address[…]

St. John’s and St. Luke/James have been active cosponsors for the Mirzada Afghani family now for 4 ½ months. Our team now has members providing essential items for the family not covered by SNAP benefits, providing transportation for large grocery trips and school food pick-ups, troubleshooting phone and computer services, acting as intermediaries to assist[…]

When Lisa asked me to write about a time when I’ve felt the presence of God, I originally thought the assignment was going to be easier than it turned out to be. Not so much because I’m in the habit of regular kaffeklatches in and with the Presence, but because almost all of my most[…]

I have had a number of encounters with the Spirit of our loving God which I describe as the “thin places” where the portals of God’s love pours through into our existence. One such experience was when my father was dying of cancer, in hospice, at his home. I would be up with him late[…]

Letter from Elizabeth Lienesch

May 20, 2022 Dear people of St. John’s,  After being with you all for two years, last Sunday was my last day as an intern in this community. It was lovely to see and celebrate with so many of you last week – thank you for the blessings and send-off you gave to my whole[…]

Farewell to Elizabeth Lienesch

Beloved St. John’s community, I am full of both immense gratitude and also poignant sadness to bid a warm farewell and blessing for our Seminary Intern, Elizabeth Lienesch. She will preach on Sunday May 22, her final Sunday with St. John’s, when we will honor and bless her in the service and in a coffee hour[…]

Eastertide Book Group

Please join Lisa and Rex for a discussion of John Philip Newell’s Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul, which explores the Celtic thread within Christian tradition. This is about the sacredness and interrelatedness between all things, and is an important corrective to the ways Empire has distorted Jesus’ original message. In particular, Newell explores the sacred feminine,[…]

Quilts in the Parish Hall

About those quilts in the parish hall… What do you remember about the weather in Minneapolis 40 years ago? Were the winters colder or warmer? Was there more snow or less snow? Were the summers cooler or warmer? Drier or wetter? It can be hard to experience the weather on a cold winter day and[…]

Racial Justice & Healing Update

After many months of discernment, including conversations internal to St. John’s and with others from the broader community, St. John’s Racial Justice & Healing team has unanimously voted to approve a “Champion level” partnership between St. John’s and the Center for Leadership and Neighborhood Engagement (CLNE). CLNE is an organization committed to working with North[…]

CYF Summer Opportunities

Children entering grades 1st – 5th Peace Frogs Camp half day – August 22nd – 25th  from 9:00am – 12:00pm. Sign up here Youth entering grades 5th – 12th   Camping Trip to Jay Cooke State Park July 10th – 13th for youth entering 5th – 8th grades in the fall. More info will be sent[…]

Hi St. John’s families, We are soooooo excited to announce the return of family meals during our Wednesday night children’s choir practices! Our first dinner is scheduled for April 20th, beginning at 5:30pm. Because it has been a while since we have been able to offer this option, we would like to get an idea[…]

Support of St. Nicholas Food Shelf

Since February, St. John’s has been supporting the Food Shelf at St. Nicholas Episcopal Church in South Minneapolis. On a recent typical Saturday, their rector, the Rev. Julie Luna, reports that this ministry shared food and personal care products with 59 families from 9 cities in the Twin Cities metro area. According to Megan Palmer,[…]

Interfaith Action of Greater Saint Paul is convening faith leaders statewide for a series of compelling conversations with Minnesota Commissioner of Public Safety John Harrington about creating a better system of public safety and policing in Minnesota. A small group from our congregation is attending the series of conversations on Zoom. They will walk through[…]

Solar Power Co-op Memberships

Our friends at Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light (MNIPL) are partnering with a non-profit cooperative, Solar United Neighbors (SUN), to promote residential roof-top solar panels. The SUN co-op educates members on the financing of solar power, helps negotiate competitive pricing, and guides members through the process of solar-panel installation. Membership in the co-op is currently[…]

New Small Group: Centered

You are invited to join Lisa in a small group, 9-week pilot curriculum called “Centered”—becoming centered in love for God and one another as we grow to look, act and love more like Jesus.  In these weekly early morning zoom sessions, which will begin in mid-February (exact date TBD), we will read scripture, watch a[…]

Afghan resettlement program

St. John’s, St. Luke’s-St. James and St. Paul’s are all working together to welcome a family as part of the Afghan resettlement program to Minneapolis! The family recently arrived in the North Metro and will be moving very soon into their new apartment in Uptown, near St. Paul’s. They have six kids and came to[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]