» Faith Formation

Posted on: January 14, 2019

In 2019, St. John’s will offer a variety of faith formation programs intended to build community and to learn from one another while growing in knowledge and love of God.

Sunday Faith Formation

Adults and youth meet in the Fireside Room at 9am on Sundays. We’ll continue our discussion from Thursday evenings at Tillie’s about spiritual themes in contemporary film.  

February 10 – Jesus of Montreal. What does it mean to make a “true” image of God? This conversation will use the film Jesus of Montreal (1990) to think about modern-day interpretations and representations of the Gospels, and in the process suggests that the medium of film has a unique ability to communicate truths about the incarnation and divine encounter.

February 17 – Dr. Mark McInroy discusses Tree of Life. Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life (2011) has been celebrated as one of the best films of all time. And yet, Malick’s atmospheric, enigmatic work has bewildered and frustrated a number of viewers. This session will analyze key moments in the film and address topics such as grace, nature, salvation, and the theological significance of dinosaurs.

February 24 – Dr. Nate Van Yperen discusses The Apostle. Robert Duvall’s The Apostle (1997) explores brokenness and redemption through a multi-dimensional and deeply-flawed protagonist. The film is unique because it breaks from Hollywood’s typical stereotyping and condescension with regard to religion and spiritual experience. As the story unfolds, the film raises questions related to theological categories of sin, forgiveness, salvation, and the possibility of experiencing God’s presence.

March 3 – The Rev. Barbara Mraz discusses Dead Man Walking and the Issue of Forgiveness Most of us have been deeply hurt by another person. What are the spiritual implications if you cannot, in good conscience, forgive that person? Can forgiveness be bought with the price of a confession? Since this movie was made in 1995, the world has exploded with violent crimes. Individually and as a society, how do we who follow Jesus regard those who have committed unspeakable crimes against society as well as those who have hurt us beyond measure?

Watch the movie then come for discussion, exploration, and growth in a safe environment.

Unpacking the Sermon: Community Supper and Conversation

Oftentimes members of our faith community have no opportunity to respond to or discuss a Sermon they heard on Sunday. Gather in the Fireside room on the Wednesdays listed below at 6pm. This is an opportunity to “Unpack” the previous Sunday’s sermon with the Preacher in a casual conversation that engages the voices and perspectives of all ages. While we enjoy a simple supper, we will share our questions; What inspired you? What challenged you? What did you agree or not agree with, and why? What would the preacher have liked to say if they had more time?

February 6 – The Rev. Jered Weber-Johnson

February 27 – The Rev. Barbara Mraz

April 24 – Guest Preacher

May 29 – The Rev. Craig Lemming

Please RSVP for dinner, including any dietary restrictions, to Craig Lemming at craig.lemming@stjohnsstpaul.org.

Theology and Film

Join us Thursdays, 5-6:30pm, in February at Tillie’s Farmhouse (232 Cleveland Ave N.) for a conversation about spiritual themes in contemporary film. Enjoy food and beverages while we discuss a selected film with a guest speaker. The discussion will continue during Sunday morning faith formation at 9am in the Fireside Room.

February 7 & February 10 – Dr. Jennifer Awes-Freeman discusses Jesus of Montreal.

February 14 & February 17 – Dr. Mark McInroy discusses Tree of Life.

February 21 & February 24 – Dr. Nathaniel Van Yperen discusses The Apostle.

February 28 & March 3 – The Rev. Barbara Mraz discusses Dead Man Walking.

Watch the movie then come to one or both gatherings for discussion, exploration, and growth in a safe environment.


Spiritual Life Groups

St. John’s Spiritual Life Groups provide parishioners the opportunity to be spiritually nurtured in intentional communities. As you meet over time, you will deepen your faith and build connections with each other. St. John’s spiritual life groups currently include:

Prayer Shawl – Knitters and crocheters of all experience levels are welcome to meet the first and third Wednesday at 9:30am in the Gathering Space.

Book Group – new comers are always welcome to join the first and third Thursday of the month at 10am in the Fireside Room.

Women’s Group – for all women, this group meets the first Tuesday of the month at 6:30pm at St. John’s.

Men’s Group – for all men, this group meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:30pm in the Fireside Room.

OWLs – for anyone who identifies as Older, Wiser, Laity. This group meets three to four times per year for a special program and luncheon provided by clergy and staff.  

Young Adults – for anyone who identifies as a young adult. This group gathers for brunch the third Sunday of each month after the 10am worship as well as one time per month for an activity.


Small Groups

If you are interested in a more intimate setting, our small groups are a place to connect with other Saint John’s parishioners and with God. The groups are gatherings of 8-12 members who meet regularly for friendship and spiritual support; some rotate their meetings among members’ homes, others meet at Saint John’s or in a coffee shop. Some groups meet to study scripture or have a common interest, but all focus on our shared life of faith. Please contact Craig Lemming if you would like to learn more at 651-228-1172 x18 or craig.lemming@stjohnsstpaul.org.