» Dismantling Racism at St. John’s

Posted on: June 17, 2020

In our city and around the country, we are seeing the dismantling of the old to make way for the new, echoing Mary’s words in the Magnificat. At Saint John the Evangelist, we are beginning our work anew in the fight against institutional racism.

This will be uncomfortable work for many of us, particularly those of us who are white—to have the sin of systemic racism and white privilege exposed so clearly, and to hear how we have been at times complicit in our silence and beneficiaries of the systems our ancestors built. But, our discomfort is far less than the pain and grief, the death and loss being experienced by so many as a result of these systems. I urge you to join with us in one of the three ways below and help us be a part of what is being made new, in Jesus’ name.


Click here to read the Rector’s letter in full

  1. Through our parish Facebook page we will be offering a steady drip of opportunities for you, in your home and in your life, to do the work of becoming antiracist.
  2. The parish Thursday Book Group (See below) will be reading two books over the next few months – White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, and How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi.
  3. You are invited to one of two antiracism courses being offered concurrently over 6 weeks beginning on Juneteenth (June 19th) the day marking the formal end of slavery in every state in the union.

Dismantling Racism and Building Beloved Community

Fridays from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM; June 19 to July 31

In response to the call of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, the Diocese of Atlanta in collaboration with the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing created this six-week program designed to initiate white members of the church into the difficult work of “Dismantling Racism”. We will dive deep into this work, taking a hard look at the systems around us, our privilege and our need to repent and reconcile with our brothers and sisters. Jesus’s work on Earth was centered around challenging the structures that divide people and tending to those who had been pushed to the margins. The purpose of this program is to continue that work, but we must first understand the systems of injustice that divide us.

Register Here

Living Human Documents: Finding Hope, Courage, and Healing in Black Lives

Fridays from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM; June 19 to July 31

This six-week course is for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) at St. John’s. We will co-create safe and sacred space to heal spiritually. We will do this by witnessing the ways our own stories intersect with the life narratives of Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Bayard Rustin, Toni Morrison, and Howard Thurman. Structured around five acclaimed documentary films about these black saints, our conversations will be grounded in the spiritual discipline of discerning the presence of God in those holy places where our narratives intersect and the truths of our lives speak. We enter into this work as members of Christ’s Church whose mission is “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.”

Register Here

Anti-Racism Book Group

St. John’s Thursday Book Group will be studying Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist. Join us on the following Thursdays from 10:00-11:30 a.m. on Zoom to discuss this “essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society.”

June 25: Introduction, Chapters 1 through 4
July 9: Chapters 5 through 8
July 23: Chapters 9 through 12
August 6: Chapters 13 through 18

E-books are available through the Hennepin and Ramsey Public Libraries. Hard copies should become available at The Red Balloon Bookshop sometime next week. Join us! All are welcome.

These two books are in such high demand that printed copies are no longer readily available. We will decide on which title we will be studying based on the one that becomes available first at The Red Balloon. For those who use e-readers, both titles are available as e-books through Hennepin County Library and Ramsey County Library. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for an announcement of which book we will be reading first!

Join the Zoom Call Here

» Formation: June & July with Job

Posted on: May 28, 2020

St. John’s will be offering a formation series “June + July with Job” this summer. It will examine how the Book of Job helps us as followers of Jesus to make meaning of suffering, grief, loss, and unhelpful platitudes while trusting in God’s love. The series will consist of two sets of activities: one focusing on the theology of Job, the other exploring themes from Job as they show up in television and film.

Theology & the Book of Job

Sunday Faith Forums

9:00-9:50 a.m. Second and Fourth Sundays: June 14, June 28, July 12, July 26

A four-part video series on the Book of Job presented by Dr. Judy Stack, to be posted on YouTube and Facebook

Sunday Godly Play

Sunday, June 14 at 2:00 p.m.

Katie Madsen will post a pre-recorded Godly Play story of the Book of Job on Facebook

Thursday Bible Study

10:00-11:30 a.m. on June 18; July 2; July 16; July 30

Dr. Judy Stack will lead Bible Study sessions that explore other scriptural texts that echo the themes in the Book of Job that were discussed in Sunday’s Forum.

Session 1 (June 18): The idea that God will bless good, faithful people and will punish wicked, disobedient people is a common theme of many passages in the Old Testament. This session will focus on texts from Deuteronomy, Proverbs, and the Psalms.

Session 2 (July 2): What is the correlation between individual sin and individual suffering? We will look at the story of the man born blind (John 9) and the fall of the tower of Siloam (Luke 13) to explore Jesus’ response to those who would make such correlations.

Session 3 (July 16): Is anyone really innocent? In the Psalms and in the New Testament in Paul’s letters in the Gospel of John there are defenses of innocence similar to Job’s in the face of accusation.

Session 4 (July 30): In this session, we will look at a number of Psalms and parts of the letters of Paul where the author also suffers and questions, and like Job, though he receives no clear answer, moves to place of being reconciled to the mystery of suffering and finds ways to praise God.

The reading schedule

The two weeks between June 14th and 28th: Job 1-2
The two weeks between June 28th and July 12th: Job 3-37 or these selected passages: 3:1 – 5:17, 6:1 – 9:24, 11:1 – 12:4, 15:1-6, 16:1-5, 22:1 – 24:12, 27:1-6, 30:16 – 32:6, and 33:8-29
The two weeks between July 12th and 26th: Job 38-42

Join the Zoom Call Here

Film & the Book of Job

Films suited for adults

6:30-8:00 p.m. Second Wednesdays: June 17 and July 15

Please watch the films ahead of time and join facilitated Zoom webinar conversations.

June 17: “A Serious Man” with the Rev. Jered Weber-Johnson

A modern-day retelling of the story of Job set in the Minneapolis suburbs of the 1960s. Like the book of Job, this is a thoroughly Jewish story, set in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood, wrestling with issues of belief and faithfulness in the midst of tragedy and suffering through the lens of Jewish identity, culture, and religious practice. The story centers on Larry Gopnik, who, like Job, experiences a series of misfortunes and personal losses, and as he seeks to understand the perennial question of “why”. Larry, a rational and “serious man”, a scientist actually, is used to questions that can be solved and problems that can be answered. Here though, as his life unravels at home and at work, the questions linger and God remains silent. While “A Serious Man” is funny, the jokes it tells will make you wince, and like Job, wondering, if God is good, why faithful people suffer. This is a story that resists easy answers and simplistic responses to the problem of pain.

Click here to join the Zoom webinar discussion of “A Serious Man.”

July 15: “Philadelphia” with the Rev. Barbara Mraz

This award-winning film, the first to directly address the suffering of HIV/Aids, homosexuality and homophobia, will break your heart and lift you up. A good man, living a life of purpose (Tom Hanks) gets AIDS and is fired from his job as a lawyer. He sues and goes to court but only one lawyer will take his case (Denzel Washington). In the book of Job, the main character learns that only God knows the answer to the “why” of suffering; in “Philadelphia” the main character learns the same, but also that Love is the context in which all questions are asked – and answered.

Click here to join the Zoom webinar discussion of “Philadelphia.”

Films suited for All Ages

Wednesday afternoons: June 17, July 1, July 15, July 29
3:30-4:00 p.m. Children’s Conversation
4:00-4:30 p.m. All Ages’ Conversation

Discussions for parents, children, youth, and people of all ages about how these films engage themes of emotions, loss/suffering, true friendship, perseverance, and trust in God.

If you have concerns about the appropriateness of any of these movies for your children we suggest checking out www.commonsensemedia.org for family-friendly reviews.

June 17: “Inside Out”

A heartfelt story from Pixar about growing up and learning to handle your biggest emotions.

July 1: “Onward”

A Story about two elf brothers Ian and Barley, whose long-deceased father returns to life for a single day. But when only his bottom half appears, the brothers must go on a thrilling quest to complete the spell that brought him back.

July 15: “Toy Story 3”

The toys are mistakenly delivered to a day-care center instead of the attic right before Andy leaves for college, and it’s up to Woody to convince the other toys that they weren’t abandoned and to return home.

July 29: “Finding Nemo”

After his son is captured in the Great Barrier Reef and taken to Sydney, a timid clownfish sets out on a journey to bring him home.

Other Formation Offerings

Thursday Book Group will still meet at 10 am the first and third Thursdays of the month via Zoom. Click here to join the Zoom event. If you have any questions, please email the Rev. Craig Lemming at craig.lemming@stjohnsstpaul.org.

Click here to view Habits of Grace with Presiding Bishop Curry. As we learn how to adjust our lives given the reality of the coronavirus and the request to do our part to slow its spread by practicing social distancing, Presiding Bishop Curry invites you to join him each week to take a moment to cultivate a ‘habit of grace.’

Forward Movement and the Episcopal Church Foundation offer daily lectionary based readings and reflections, including faithful parenting. Click here to view the latest Faith-at-Home Readings.

The Rev. Canon Katie Churchwell serves as a priest at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter. Click here to view her Pop-up Prayer. She welcomes seekers and doubters, spiritual and religious as we make our community together.

Click here to hear Bible stories and short bedtime prayers from “Tucked In: Bedtime Stories and Prayers with Episcopalians and Others.”

(image credit: https://www.artic.edu/artworks/87515/job

» Bishop Loya’s Ordination & Consecration

Posted on: May 27, 2020

On Saturday, June 6th, at 10:00 AM, the Very Rev. Craig Loya will be ordained and consecrated as the 10th Bishop of Minnesota. When the Convention of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota called Bishop-Elect Loya to be our next diocesan bishop, the current pandemic was not on the horizon. We fully expected to celebrate this momentous occasion in person, gathering people from across the diocese to witness our new bishop’s ordination. Unfortunately, such a large in-person gathering is unfeasible now.

Although we cannot now gather physically, Bishop-Elect Loya will still be ordained, and you are invited to gather digitally with the rest of the diocese for this important moment. The livestreamed service will be available on the ECMN website as well as on the ECMN Facebook page.

The Rt. Rev. Brian Prior, our current diocesan bishop, will serve as the ordaining bishop, and our own deacon, the Rev. Margaret Thor, has been asked to serve as the deacon for the ordination and consecration liturgy. An in-person celebration of new ministry will be planned when larger gathering can be organized safely.

Please mark your calendar and consider tuning in for this momentous day in our common life as Minnesota Episcopalians. Further details will be posted on the ECMN website.

» Farmers’ Market Is Still On!

Posted on: May 20, 2020

To make your payment and support your farmer, please click here.

Thanks in large part to our Deacon Margaret Thor and the Faith In Action team, the St. John’s-Holy Apostles Farmers’ Market is still on for Summer 2020! Shopping at this fresh produce market supports our Hmong farmer partners while also providing fresh produce to our neighbors served by Hallie Q. Brown’s food shelf and First Nations Kitchen.

Starting on Sunday, June 7, farmers will be in the St. John’s parking lot every Sunday (weather permitting) selling their fresh produce from 8am until 1pm. Because of COVID-19, new safety guidelines will be introduced, so that we can ensure everyone’s safety while still providing the community with fresh food. You can find the guidelines for volunteers here and the protocols for customers here.

We still need volunteers to help make this happen! Volunteer Market Hosts will help the market run smoothly and make sure that everyone present adheres to the safety protocols. If you’re interested in serving a shift as a Market Host volunteer, please click here for the sign-up sheet.

» 5/17 Service Cancelled Due to Zoom Outage

Posted on: May 17, 2020

Due to nationwide Zoom outages, we have had to cancel our worship service for Sunday, May 17th. Lord willing, we will resume Sunday worship as usual next Sunday, May 24th. Apologies for the late notice and any inconvenience this has caused!