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[…]

Spotlight on Pilgrims

Ireland’s ancient history, Celtic Christianity and stunning landscapes were just a few of the reasons the 2022 Pilgrims chose to visit this destination for their St. John’s Pilgrimage. The country did not disappoint! We hiked a section of St. Kevin’s Way in Glendalough, studied Celtic Christianity in Armagh with expert Gracie Clunie and learned about[…]

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[…]

Deacon’s Column 6.16.22

All three of the synoptic gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke share instructions for the journey into mission field…. Matthew and Mark tend to focus on healing, Luke on evangelizing… they all wrote of both of Jesus directives. The gospels are wrapped in the stories of calling, forming, and sending… we use those terms often ….[…]

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[…]

Friends – Happy summer to you!  In addition to seasonal salutations, we write to share with you important doings of the Vestry.  For the first time in over two years, the Vestry was able to meet face to face for its annual retreat.  The retreat is a natural time for the group to get to[…]

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[…]

Reflection 6.2.22

Beloved St. John’s community, Sunday is Pentecost, which some call the “Church’s Birthday.” At Pentecost, we celebrate the story of the Holy Spirit descending upon a group of grieving, terrified disciples and causing them to express in different languages what they had seen of “God’s deeds of power.” They were not “speaking in tongues” as[…]

Letter from Elizabeth Lienesch

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 family. (Our toddler[…]

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[…]

Spotlight on Kids 5.12.22

I love to plan for summer in January and February! The thoughts of all the possibilities, trips and camps are fun to ponder in the frigid winter months. However, with the onset of warm (finally) weather and as I stare down the end of the 2021-2022 school year, summer seems too close to handle. I[…]

Deacon’s Column 5.12.22

Linda and I just returned from a vacation to the west coast to visit good friends, visit Portland, and unplug. We in fact did take the train, along with an unplanned stop stuck on the tracks in Western North Dakota for about 7 hours…. I intentionally listened repeatedly to poet Bob Dylan’s Dream…. While riding[…]

Reflection 5.5.22

One of my favorite poets, whose work I often turn to in moments of both joy and sorrow, is Hafiz. A Persian poet who lived in the 1300s, Hafiz was a Sufi writer and mystic. Though not much is known about his life, his work has endured and is now the source of inspiration for[…]

Update on Afghan Family Support

St. John’s, St. Luke’s/St. James, and St. Paul’s have partnered since early February to assist the Minnesota Council of Churches (MCC) in resettling an Afghan family of eight (six children ages 7-19) in NE Minneapolis.  MCC is funding the family through July for rent/utilities and groceries.  The family’s case worker has been working very hard[…]

Rector’s Reflection 4.21.22

Beloved St. John’s community, Every spiritual path has its unique genius, and Jesus’ Way of Love Is no exception. At the heart of our faith is what we call the “paschal mystery”—that insistence that in the death and resurrection of Jesus, hope, new life, love and connection will ultimately triumph over despair, death, violence and[…]

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,[…]

Holy Week

Beloved people of St. John’s: Welcome to Holy Week, the days when we retell, remember, and make meaning of the final days of Jesus’ life and his resurrection. I’m struck this year by how full this time feels, and what an expansive range of stories and emotions we are invited into over the course of just a few short days. On[…]

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[…]

Spotlight on Pilgrims 3.24.22

St. John’s is so blessed to have a congregation that greatly values its children and youth. The Pilgrimage is a huge undertaking for the entire church. From the parents who commit to keeping their children engaged to the volunteers who connect with the pilgrims for two plus years, to the church members who cheer the[…]

Deacon’s Column 3.17.22

Poetic Musings, riding on the bus, and Christian Warning Signs…. Rex McKee, Deacon Some of you have watched with me the video of ‘Shake the Dust’ by contemporary poet Anis Mojgani, 44-year-old Poet Laureate of Oregon. Anis is one of the most significant poets of our time, in my humble opinion. You can watch it[…]

Rector’s Reflection 3.10.22

Beloved St. John’s community, In last week’s Rector’s Reflection and in my Sunday sermon, I invited us to use this lent to focus on joy and gratitude, even though that might seem counterintuitive, tone-deaf or plain wrong given all that is hurt and sick in the world. But in this introspective time that is lent,[…]

Rector’s Reflection 3.3.22

Beloved St. John’s community, This lent, which began yesterday, we at St. John’s are going to focus on joy and gratitude. What?! You may be thinking. Isn’t that—counterintuitive, tone-deaf, completely not.getting.the.memo.about.lent, wrong in face of all the urgent things that need doing in our world, or just denial? No, dear ones. In essence, this is[…]

ECMN Priority: Vitality

Beloved St. John’s community, Today I want to share with you about how St. John’s is exploring one of the four priorities in our statewide Episcopal Church community: vitality. When our no-longer-quite-new Bishop Craig Loya first joined us in June 2020, he arrived saying that he had heard Minnesota Episcopalians express four consistent longings and[…]

Spotlight on Kids

In my world and I believe many parents’ worlds, February is a planning season for what lies ahead. Summer activities for the kids need to be booked and time off planned. What will we do with the kids during spring break? Sports seasons are switching and calendars need to be rearranged. The end of the[…]

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,[…]

Deacon’s Column 2.10.22

Fragments… Once again, we are struck with irrational violence in our community. Gun violence in our schools, murder by police, and an undeclared civil war in our country. I am reminded of a Daniel Berrigan quote, “We cry peace and cry peace, and there is no peace. There is no peace because there are no[…]

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[…]

Outside Our Walls

As you know, under Rex McKee’s leadership, St. John’s has made the decision to partner with other Episcopal churches and the Minnesota Council of Churches (“MCC”) to help resettle families fleeing Afghanistan. Tim and I decided to volunteer to be the point people in St. John’s work on refugee resettlement with Sts. Luke and James and[…]

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[…]

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[…]

COVID-19 UPDATES UPDATE: Thursday, March 31, 2022 Beloved St. John’s community, As our city and nation continues to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic becoming endemic, we are seeking to honor the important spiritual, social and emotional needs that have been hard to meet as we prioritized physical safety for ourselves and our neighbors. As we[…]

Deacon’s Column 1.6.22

Last week, we mourned the death and celebrated the life of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Undoubtedly, he will, in good time, be added to our calendar of Holy Women and Holy Men and given a feast day in the Anglican / Episcopal tradition (at the very least). I have taken time to reread Tutu’s books, particularly[…]

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[…]