“The beauty of being an anti-racist is that you don’t have to pretend to be free of racism to be an anti-racist. Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including in yourself. And it’s the only way forward.” – author Iljeoma Uluo

Dismantling Racism through the Way of Love
A Six Week Introduction to a Lifelong Journey

 

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 act to address the sin of racial injustice and white supremacy in our country. In fact, I believe this is one of the most primary callings of the church in the United States, which has for far too long been actively supportive, complicit or silent in face of racism and violence toward communities of color in this nation. This is particularly true for predominantly white congregations like St. John’s.

This page contains resources and information about how St. John’s is seeking to do that. More deeply, however, we are called to be true disciples of Jesus’ Way of Love. With God’s help, we must do our own inner work to repent for racism in ourselves, our church, and our immediate neighborhoods, in order to advocate with integrity for change in our systems. We must marry short term immediate response with long term commitment to address the specific sins of our nation, and the ways those sins—a culture of white supremacy, racism and dominance—has impacted every part of our common life and awareness.

I am inviting St. John’s to learn more deeply about racism. Of course, reading books will not by itself change anything. But it will be helpful for St. John’s to have some common language and understanding as a starting place for prayerfully discerning the intersections between discipleship to Jesus’ Way and needed anti-racism work in the United States and ourselves.

Meanwhile, please stay tuned for more from me in the days and weeks to come. Jesus is with us, even to the end of the age; and it is God alone who achieves true healing. May it be so!
Faithfully,
Lisa

St. John’s History

For decades, members of St. John’s have been deeply engaged in the community around us. Our members have a passion for direct personal service and relationships, broader systemic change, and the pursuit of justice for individuals and whole communities. Guided by the Baptismal Covenant, we aim “to strive for justice and peace among all people, and to respect the dignity of every human being.”

Our members demonstrated for Civil Rights and nuclear disarmament in the 1960s, created a chemical dependency recovery program in the 1970s and became a resource for AIDS ministry in the 1980s. In the 2000’s and 2010’s, members played important leadership and organizing roles related to public policy advocacy on a variety of issues including affordable housing, immigration, anti-racism and same-sex marriage.

Today, work on those issues continues, with a greater focus on building partnerships and personal relationships that help us bridge differences of race, class, culture, and opportunity. Our Centennial Fund for Social Justice is a great example of this. The members of the Justice and Service Committee, some of whose “day jobs” are in the field, bring extraordinary knowledge and passion to this ministry.

Justice & Service Committee

The Justice & Service Committee meets bi-monthly. These meetings serve as valuable touch points for the leaders of the various ministries, time to reflect on new initiatives and strengthen existing ones, as well as manage the fiduciary responsibilities of St. John’s social justice funds.  Contact the office to be connected with this group.

4th Sunday Offering

Every fourth Sunday of the month we pass a second offering basket during the services to collect donations that are dedicated to local food and housing ministries.  Each year we donate $2200 each to the following ministries: TRUST, Urban HomeWorks, Our Saviour’s Shelter, First Nations Kitchen, and Joyce Food Shelf. Your generosity is very much appreciated!

Justice & Service at St. John’s
Justice & Service at St. John’s

They say a mind once stretched will never return to its original dimensions. We believe the same to be true for the heart.

Our members have passion for direct personal service and relationships, broader systemic change, and the pursuit of justice for individuals and whole communities.

Actions to Combat Racism
Justice & Service Events
July 8, 2020
  • Wednesday night discussion

    July 8, 2020  7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
    via Zoom. Link available in our subscribed emails.

    Dismantling Racism through the Way of Love:
    A Six Week Introduction to a Lifelong Journey

    Week Three, Lament: Wrestle with the emotions of facing the great harm racismhas caused; follow Jesus to the places of the world’s pain until we realize it is our own.  

    See more details

July 10, 2020
  • Response to police violence initative

    July 10, 2020  1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

    See more details

July 11, 2020
  • Affordable Housing workday

    July 11, 2020  8:30 am - 3:00 pm

    St. John’s work crews work the second Saturday every month. The tasks range from demolition, carpentry, painting, cleaning, and yard work, so there is work available for every skill level. The typical work day starts at 8:30 and ends around 3 pm (lunch is provided). New volunteers are always welcome for either site construction work or the lunch crew. For more details and to sign up, please contact John Corlett.

    See more details

July 12, 2020
  • First Nations Kitchen

    July 12, 2020  1:30 pm - 6:30 pm
    First Nations Kitchen

    Every Sunday, First Nations Kitchen offers a free meal to the community. The church relies on volunteers to prepare the food, serve, and cleanup. We will have a sign up in the Gathering Space a few weeks prior to the weekend. For more information, contact JoAnn Blatchley or 952-922-0308. For more information about First Nations Kitchen, check out their website.

    See more details

July 15, 2020
  • Wednesday night discussion

    July 15, 2020  7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
    via Zoom. Link available in our subscribed emails.

    Dismantling Racism through the Way of Love:
    A Six Week Introduction to a Lifelong Journey

    Week Four, Repent: After experiencing deeply that systemic racism dehumanizesand harms everyone, including those in power, decide to confess and turn from ourcomplicity in it.   

    See more details