You can read or listen to the sermons below, or you can download the .pdf format to your computer.

1.16.22 Rev. Bellaimey

In the name of God, who speaks to us even now. This morning, we honor the memory of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior, whose birthday is a national holiday. He was a brilliant writer and orator, and a formidable organizer. He could simultaneously radiate hope and urgency.

1.9.22 “We are Meant to Embody Divine Light” Rev. Wiens Heinsohn

Perhaps some of you remember a beautiful little book, published about 25 years ago, called The Four Agreements. This book conveys four primary teachings of the ancient Toltec peoples of Mexico, of which the first and most important is to “be impeccable with your word.”

1.2.22 Rev. Joos

I am an enthusiastic listener to MPR classical public radio.  Through most of Advent they played Christmas music.  We hadn’t started singing carols here in church, since that is not our time for it.  Now, however, we are in the season of Christmastide, robustly singing its noels here.  But MPR has abandoned me.  They, like the rest of the world, think that the season is over, and have turned their attention to the coming New Year’s Eve, and a stream of Strauss Waltzes. 

12.26.21 Rev. McKee

Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives.

12.24.21 “Made in Goodness for Joy” Rev. Wiens Heinsohn

Merry Christmas! I’m so glad to see your shining faces—well, at least your eyes. Each of us has come here from different places and for different reasons. Whether you live alone or are celebrating with family and friends; whether you love Christmas or are too busy to notice; and especially for those of us who are grieving the absence of loved ones to celebrate with, regardless, here WE are, together, in person and online. Let’s all say Merry Christmas to the people who are joining us remotely.

12.19.21 Rev. Bellaimey

Every Sunday, we hear evidence that God speaks to people. Or that God did so, once upon a time. The Bible readings always say so, even if God’s off-stage, in an advisory role. And Christmas is my favorite example of God speaking with very few words. Gabriel invites Mary to give birth to a divine child. She says yes and composes a song. Luke made sure to include the lyrics in his Gospel. You could call it the Gospel According to Mary. We just heard Elizabeth’s dust-jacket blurb, “Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what the Lord spoken to her.”

12.12.21 “Let’s begin Again” Rev. Wiens Heinsohn

I’m curious, did you like the translation of Luke’s gospel that Rex just read? It’s called The Message which is a paraphrase, not a direct word for word translation. Let’s start with a little exercise. Do me a favor and read the Gospel reading in the bulletin which is the more traditional translation.

12.5.21 Loss & Remembrance “Not Forgotten” Rev. Wiens Heinsohn

We are all here for many reasons. In the world outside our doors, many people are getting ready for Christmas and Hanukkah and the other holidays – getting trees, buying presents, making guest lists and planning big meals. In our tradition, these four weeks leading up to Christmas are not just a time of joyful preparation. This is Advent which is a time of longing and hopeful expectation, a season in which as the scriptures say “the people who sat in darkness and the shadow of death have seen a great light.” And I know that for many of us, this time is especially poignant. Some of us have lost our beloveds recently. Some lost loved ones long ago, but that ache never really goes away.

12.5.21 Rev. McKee

John is a troublemaker. He is loud, confident, and based on history had huge followings, people who were daily repressed by the economic systems of Jerusalem, Herod, and the Empire. His criticisms of government and the economy are devastating…he warns that God’s Axe is laid at the root of the tree, Jerusalem, that we can all be replaced; God can raise up children from these stones.

11.28.21 E. Lienesch

“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world.” And with those words, happy Advent, everyone! Now, I must admit that I was feeling slightly grumpy about having to deal with this reading from Luke today – this apocalyptic message, these words about fear, foreboding, and distress. I felt like I had pulled the short straw.

11.21.21 “The Truth that Sets us Free” Rev. Wiens Heinsohn

In today’s gospel reading we have one of the most famous dramas in history. Pontius Pilate, the Roman Prefect of Judea, has Jesus on trial for supposedly claiming to be a king, which would not be tolerated by the Roman Empire. But when Pontius Pilate asks him if he is a king, Jesus won’t answer the question. The closest he gets to an answer is to say that his kingdom is not from his world otherwise his followers would be fighting to protect him.

11.14.21 Rev. McKee

Linda and I were married on January 5, 1970, at Saint Michael’s Episcopal Church in Riverside California. A Monday Evening at 7pm, in the midst of a significant Santa Ana wind storm, powerful wind storms in Southern California that blow from east to west off of the dry desert, it is said that the winds can make you crazy. You might ask how we scheduled a Monday Night wedding, so close after the holidays.  I was on winter break from graduate school in Northern California. I had to be back to teach a graduate course in Bob Dylan, prophet, and poet. And, we were sort of sneaking home to get married.

11.7.21 Pastor Kelly Chatman

Grace, peace, and mercy from God Our lord and Savior Jesus Christ, amen. Good morning. It is a pleasure and honor to be with this morning to preach on this All-saints Sunday. I have had the pleasure of knowing a number of people who have been members at St Johns over the years. In my earliest days in Minnesota, I met St John members like, Mariann Budde, Michelle Dibblee and others who provided leadership in Isaiah faith-based community organizing.

10.31.21 “Love is all there is” Rev. Wiens Heinsohn

Some of you know may know that our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry occasionally preaches from a text that is not in the lectionary readings at all.  I figure if he can do it, I can do it. So I’d like to read to you from the gospel of John, a section that our Minnesota Bishop Craig Loya has asked the entire Episcopal Church in Minnesota to reflect on throughout this fall. Here is part of that reading:

10.24.21 Rev. Joos

The Gospel of Mark is both the earliest and shortest of the four Gospels that have come down to the church. Because of its structure, it is sometimes referred to by scholars as a Passion Narrative with a brief introduction. After all, today we are at the end of the 10th chapter out of a 16 chapter book. The healing of the blind man, Bartimaeus, is the climax of the first half of the story, and is the last miracle in this Gospel. 

10.17.21 E. Lienesch

About a dozen years ago, I was at a conference in Washington, D.C., and I had a free afternoon. I stepped out of my hotel with my destination in sight — the National Cathedral.

10.10.21 “Pull up the Anchor, Hoist the Sail” Rev. Wiens Heinsohn

The gospel story for today is well known in church. It’s the story of the man who comes with great deference to ask Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus answers him by reminding him of what we now call the Ten Commandments: Don’t steal. Don’t commit adultery. Don’t covet. If you are willing to zoom way in to this story and enter it imaginatively with your mind’s eye, you can see this man. He is a good man. He says, “I have kept all these commandments since I was young.” Now we know no one is perfect.

10.3.21 “Becoming Christ’s New Creation” Rev. Wiens Heinsohn

Two weeks ago I was very blessed to be able to attend what was called a “Planetary Healing Retreat” at Liberty Community Church. Liberty is a predominantly African American church in North Minneapolis whose primary ministries revolve around healing from various kinds of trauma, including racism and sex trafficking. Recently, one of their co-pastors, Alika Galloway, felt the Spirit leading her to begin to expand their vision to include planetary healing.

9.26.21 Rev. McKee

At the recent House of Bishops Meeting Presiding Bishop Curry spoke of the Time of Covid, of the complicated emotions of loss and lament, anger and fear, pain and frustration. “We are living in a narthex moment, he said between the world we knew and whatever is being born,” 

9.19.21 Rev. Joos

One of the most interesting things I learned at seminary in Hebrew class was the meaning of the word דֶ֣רל which translates ‘way, manner, road.’  But this is not ‘road’ in the sense of saying, “take 35W north.”  It refers at a deeper level to following in the ways or path set forth by God.  So then, after the death of Solomon, Israel split into a northern kingdom of Israel and a southern kingdom of Judah.

9.12.21 Rev. Wiens Heinsohn

How many of you know what an “intervention” is? We are going to do something completely untraditional—I actually would love it if someone would answer the question. Out loud. Introverts, don’t worry, no one has to say anything if you don’t want to. So OK, what’s an intervention? What’s the goal of an intervention?

9.5.21 E. Lienesch

Several years ago, I was driving on the east coast. I had been in Washington, D.C., and was headed to North Carolina to visit my parents. I was on Interstate 95 in Virginia, a road surrounded on both sides by lush green trees and little farms. Along the way, I passed a caravan of five or six cars that grabbed my attention.

8.29.21 “Seeing with the Mind of Christ” Rev. Wiens Heinsohn

Some of you know that before I became a priest I was a spiritual director, and I should give you fair warning, this homily is almost entirely from that perspective—because as I studied the gospel reading from today, I felt so strongly invited in this direction. So let’s go.

8.22.21 Rev. Joos

The entire sixth chapter of John’s Gospel is about the bread which can feed God’s people.  It starts off with the feeding of 5,000 hungry people (5,000 men, that is) who have come to hear Jesus teach them.  The next day, when the crowd tracks him down, Jesus says that they are there not so much for to hear him, but to receive more miraculous bread.  The word for this day is that they should believe in Jesus, free lunch or not.  The crowds point out that they need some kind of sign from him in order to believe. What sort of sign are they looking for?  Possibly more manna, such as Israel received in the wilderness?  Or another one-off feeding of multitudes from someone’s lunch?  Jesus says that the bread in the wilderness, and the bread the day before, are gifts from God.  But the true gift from God, for this day, and for eternity, is Jesus himself.  He will give his flesh for them to eat and his blood for them to drink, and they will never be hungry again. This proclamation creates a fire-storm of criticism.  For Jews grounded in Torah this violates a fundamental law whichRead more

8.15.21 “Eternal Life, Here and Now” Rev. Wiens Heinsohn

When Carly was in preschool, I had a friend in the neighborhood who had kids the same age, and so we’d sometimes get together for playdates when on days we were both at home with the kids. One day during a playdate I used the phrase “life-giving” to refer to something. And she told me that phrase really bugged her. She said “what do you mean life-giving? I’m already alive. I can’t be more alive. You’re either alive, or you’re dead.” And I had to laugh. I understood where she was coming from. In a certain way she is right.

7.25.21 Rev. McKee

This past week was the anniversary of my ordination, on the feast day of Saint Mary Magdalen. Although my ordination date was probably a factor of scheduling, for me it was Holy intervention; the experience that I have had these 17 years to meditate each year with Mary Magdalen has been a blessing.  Mary’s narrative history in both approved scripture and non-canonical, as we heard a portion of this morning, opens a door for us to reimagine our theological and spiritual history from a feminist point of view.

7.18.21 Pentecost 8 Rev. Joos

Is there any person you can think of with whom you would like to spend some time – time and quiet just to be with them?    Perhaps they could teach you important things or connect with the places in you that are hurting or lonely.  Or you might want to be known and recognized by someone important, whose presence would make you feel worthwhile. 

7.11.21 “There Is Always a Choice” Rev. Wiens Heinsohn

My brother Steve and I are both preachers. I remember talking with him about today’s particularly strange and even gruesome gospel story, when John the Baptist is beheaded by King Herod at a dinner party. My brother said to me that as long as we all understand the Bible as just the ancient equivalent of Game of Thrones, we’ll be fine.

7.4.21 “Love Is the Truth that Sets Us Free” Rev. Wiens Heinsohn

In his address to the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council two weeks ago, our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry announced that we are preparing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in our church, in all the countries where we are located—in the United States and sixteen other nations in Europe and the Caribbean—to do “what we must do to save our souls from the evils of racism [and] the evils of supremacy of anybody over anybody else.” [1]

6.27.21 Rev. McKee

How many of you assemble those large picture puzzles, puzzles that come in the boxes with hundreds of pieces? You could spend hours trying to put them together. Raise your hand if you enjoy putting picture puzzles together. I see there are many of you. I don’t like picture puzzles. I don’t like being limited by this overall shape of the puzzle or having to fit the pieces into only one spot.

6.20.21 “Heaven and Earth Come Together” Rev. Wiens Heinsohn

I’d like to begin today with a question for you. And by “you” I mean both all of you here in this room and all of you joining us via livestream or the recording later. In fact who is operating the camera? Can you spin it to the congregation and have everyone wave? We see you! We are glad you are with us! OK, now for the question. Look back over your life. Can you remember a time when even just for a moment, things were as they should be? Where something happened that really, at last, was truly right?

6.13.21 Rev. Bellaimey

Enmegahbowh: a biographical sketch Slide 1 What surprised me most in reading the new biography of today’s hero is that he, too, was an immigrant. Enmegabowh was an Odawa, from north of Toronto. Like James Lloyd Breck and Henry Whipple, the great missionaries of Minnesota Territory, Enmegabowh was raised Christian. The Odawa made a life by trading widely in the great forests north of the St. Lawrence and west around the Great Lakes. They lived in rectangular houses made of lumber or logs, not the rounded-top wigwams or the cone-shaped tipis.

6.6.21 “A New Normal” Rev. Wiens Heinsohn

Today is the beginning of the longest liturgical season of the church year. We call it Ordinary Time. It begins after Pentecost and Trinity Sunday officially conclude Eastertide, and it goes until Advent begins again four weeks before Christmas. In a certain sense I guess Ordinary Time isn’t really a season at all—it’s the absence of a special season. It’s not Lent, or Advent, or Easter, or Epiphany. It’s business as usual.

5.30.21 Trinity Sunday Rev. Joos

Today is Trinity Sunday, the only church festival I can think of that celebrates a theological doctrine rather than an event in the life of Jesus and his disciples. And I might add it’s about the somewhat confusing, mysterious doctrine of our Christian belief that God is three persons in one being – not three gods, as it often seems to Jews and Muslims, but a single God of three persons, Creator, Christ and Holy Spirit.

5.23.21 “Holy Spirit the Defender” Rev. Wiens Heinsohn

Many of you have probably seen the musical Les Miserables, adapted from Victor Hugo’s classic novel. At the heart of the story is a man named Jean Valjean in France, who was convicted for stealing bread when he was hungry, and served many years in prison. He finally escapes when an earthquake shatters the prison.

5.16.21 Ascension Day E. Lienesch

Starting very early in the pandemic, I began to FaceTime or Zoom call with my parents every day. We talked fairly often before March of last year, but to connect every day over video was a substantial increase in how much we saw them. We have maintained this practice throughout the last 14 months, and it’s become a part of our daily routine. We chat and compare supper recipes, and our toddler often demands a grandparent performance of the Itsy-Bitsy Spider.

5.9.21 “An Overflowing Joy” Rev. Wiens Heinsohn

The other day I was surfing Facebook, which I occasionally do, and I came across this lovely video of a horse basically petting her human with her lips. This woman said she had gone out to the pasture just to spend some time with the horse, and the woman had been petting the horse’s chest, and all of a sudden, the horse used its big horsey lips to groom and rub the woman’s head and face, in a totally clear expression of love and mutual affection. It made me smile the hugest smile, and I put the video on my Facebook wall so you can go find it if you want to.

5.2.21 “A Vast Goodness” Rev. Wiens Heinsohn

It seems to me that we are living at an inflection point in history. It is a kind of cosmic crossroads, a juncture where things could go in many different directions. It is a time when much that had been hidden has been made known, and stories that had been told and not believed are now being believed, and there has been a collective listening and yearning and waking up that makes things possible that had not previously been possible.

4.25.21 Rev. Bellaimey

After the Chauvin verdict, can we have good shepherds? The story was powerful enough that 5,000 men signed up. Probably some women and children, too. Powerful enough that the police were called and Peter and John were arrested. They got a hearing the next morning, with another big crowd, and the charges were read: you two were telling lies yesterday, about somebody actually coming back from the dead. And you used some kind of black magic to heal this poor man’s legs.

4.18.21 “Arrogant Eye, Loving Eye” Rev. Wiens Heinsohn

Happy Third Sunday of Easter! Happy Earth Day! Happy gathering together in person! Today is the Third Sunday of the great 50 days of Eastertide. Did you know that Easter is a whole season and not just not a day? This is true for lots of reasons, but it’s mostly because the resurrection of Jesus turned so much upside down that it’s not possible to see it all in a day. As Mariann Budde said in her Easter sermon, “Resurrection is a process, not an event.”

4.11.21 Rev. McKee

Please listen to the audio file. Link can be found to the right.

4.4.21 “Seeing with Easter Eyes” Rev. Wiens Heinsohn

Alleluia! Christ is risen! Today is a good day.  It’s a good day for so many reasons. First and for us most important, this is the day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the tomb. This is the day that we celebrate that death is not ultimate. Violence and the crushing powers of empire do not have the last word. The love of God creates new life, always, every time. Today is about resurrection.

4.1.21 Maundy Thursday E. Lienesch

Greetings on this Maundy Thursday. I hope you have found a way to celebrate our agape meal this evening. Maybe you are with your family, maybe you are connecting virtually with others, or maybe you are physically on your own. But know, no matter where you are on this holy night, you are loved by and part of the body of Christ.

3.21.21 “Go Ahead and Fall” Rev. Wiens Heinsohn

In today’s gospel reading from John, Jesus gives one of his most famous, and most difficult, teachings. He says: “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” This is a challenging teaching, but it shows up in different versions six different times in the four gospels, always as part of Jesus preparing his disciples for what is coming—which is his pending arrest, trial, and death.

3.14.21 Rev. Bellaimey

Once upon a time, a man named Moses told an Egyptian Pharaoh, my God says to tell you, let my people go. A cheeky thing to do, really. Pharaoh was a god. And all around him were statues of the other gods. Who is your god? Pharaoh asked, playing along with this fellow who had long ago been a member of the royal household. Moses’ answer was to turn his staff into a snake, a cool piece of magic. The Emperor nodded to his own magicians, who knew a similar trick. They did it, too.

3.7.21 “God dwells in you” Rev. Wiens Heinsohn

If I were to ask you what kind of person you think Jesus of Nazareth was, I think most of us would say something about love. We know he was a healer. We know his primary teaching was about loving God, loving our neighbors. In fact in the Episcopal Church we distill millennia of Christian faith into seven spiritual practices that refer to in total as Jesus’ Way of Love. But the Jesus portrayed in today’s gospel may not appear that loving. In fact he kind of raises our eyebrows.

2.28.21 E. Lienesch

“This isn’t what I signed up for.” In today’s Gospel reading, this is basically what we hear Peter saying to Jesus. In this passage, Jesus tells his disciples of the fate that awaits him on the cross. Jesus informs them that he will have to go through great suffering. He describes the rejection he will face by some of the most respected and powerful people of the day. He predicts his death.

2.21.21 “The Lenten Wilderness, The Crucible of Change” Rev. Wiens Heinsohn

Today as I begin this homily, I’d like to invite you for a moment to become truly present. Whatever you are doing—whether you are sitting in your living room watching this with your family, or listening to this in podcast form while you are out walking your dog or driving somewhere, or reading this on the web, please do take a moment to stop, pause this video, if you are driving and you can spare just two extra minutes, find a place to pull over, and close your eyes, and breathe.

2.17.21 Ash Wednesday Rev. Joos

Today we enter into the church season of Lent, 40 days, until Easter, not counting Sundays.  In the earliest church, it was a special time of preparation for those who wished to join the church by baptism.  Before their baptism on a Holy Saturday, these catechumens could be present at worship services, but had to leave before the celebration of the Eucharist.

2.14.21 Rev. McKee

Excerpts From the last speech of The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, 3rd of April 1968. If I were standing at the beginning of time, with the possibility of taking a panoramic view of the whole of human history up to now, and the Almighty said to me, “Martin Luther King, which age would you like to live in?” I would turn to the Almighty, and say, “If you allow me to live just a few years in the second half of the 20th century, I will be happy.” Now that’s a strange statement to make, because the world is all messed up. The nation is sick. Trouble is in the land; confusion all around. But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars. And I see God working in this period of the twentieth century in a way that men, in some strange way, are responding. Something is happening in our world. The masses of people are rising up. And wherever they are assembled today, the cry is always the same: “We want to be free.” for years now, have been talking about war and peace. But now, no longer can theyRead more

Sundays at St. John’s
Sundays at St. John’s

Quiet and reflective? Traditional or contemporary? Geared toward adults, or children? The answer is yes, we hope, to all of the above.

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Worship Events
January 25, 2022
  • Noonday Eucharist

    January 25, 2022  12:15 pm - 12:50 pm
    Online only for the time being

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January 30, 2022