“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 all your heart.”
Beloved St. John’s community,
Normally my “Rector’s Reflection” on Thursdays centers on a particular spiritual theme. But today, I’m taking the opportunity to make sure you know about #allthethings that are happening in the St. John’s community! Even though we’re not in our building, we are bursting at our metaphorical seams with activity. Here is what I hope you are paying special attention to:
1. Fall Launch Sunday, September 13. This Sunday is our normal “fall launch” day. I am asking each person at St. John’s to attend the Zoom service at 9am on Sunday (Zoom link available in our service email) – even if you are sick of zoom, even if that isn’t normally your thing, I am asking you, for this one week, to please attend anyway and come together as an entire body. We need to see each other, all together again! And, we are welcoming our new CYF Minister Heather Miller. If you are able, stay after the service to hear Heather introduce herself, and to share a photo or artifact about your summer – perhaps, some way you encountered God this summer.
2. 100 Days of Prayer. Did you know that the entire St John’s community is invited to engage in “100 days of prayer” from September 1 – December 8, the season to and through the election? We will contemplate scripture, pray for our community and our nation together, for 8 minutes and 46 seconds per day. You can subscribe to a daily email by emailing Rachel here, or see the daily reflections on our public and private Facebook pages.
3. Next Steps Dismantling Racism. Our dismantling racism team (myself, Rex McKee, Rie Gilsdorf, Steve Schewe, Peter Stebinger and Elizabeth Lienesch) has consolidated the feedback from our dismantling racism survey (please complete it if you haven’t already) and from the six week series we did this summer, and has come up with a proposal about what we think God is inviting St. John’s to do next to dismantle racism. We are seeking the entire community’s feedback about this. You have three options for providing feedback: you can attend either or both of two zoom meetings in which we present our findings; or you can review our findings and present written feedback here.
4. ECMN-wide service September 27: On Sunday September 27, St. John’s will not produce its normal Sunday service. Instead, our new Bishop Craig Loya is inviting all of St. John’s and all of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota to attend a digital service from St. Mark’s Cathedral. This weekend is the ECMN Convention, and our Bishop will be unveiling the primary focus areas of ECMN for this year, for the first time.
5. St. John’s special outdoor Sunday Service October 4 at 9:00am at Beard’s Plaisance: On Sunday October 4, all of St. John’s is invited to attend an outdoor service at Beard’s Plaisance near the southwest shore of Lake Harriet. We hope everyone will come, wearing masks, safely distanced. Since it’s also the feast of St. Francis, we will do a blessing of the animals after the service, and we will focus on creation care. Please attend!
As you can see, there is a LOT going on! I pray God’s richest blessings and hope for each one of you. Even in the most challenging of times, God has a future with hope for us. Let us faithfully receive that hope, and the joy and love that come from following the Way of Jesus, which transcends all that is hateful and negative in this world. We are here, and we are in this together, friends. God bless you!