» Coming up fall 2020…

Posted on: September 9, 2020

The clergy and staff of Saint John’s have been hard at work planning a wide range of programming for the coming year. Things will continue to be a bit different because of the pandemic, but that won’t stop us from gathering to worship, nourish our faith, and serve God and the world in new and creative ways.

Mark your calendar and get ready for these fall programs:

Adult formation launched on Wednesday with our series “A Wonder-Full Life: Integrating Money and Meaning.” We’ll meet Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings via Zoom. Click here for full details.

We’ll celebrate a Blessing of the School Year on Saturday, September 12 from 2-4pm in the lower parking lot. Please wear a mask. Students, families, and teachers are asked to bring whatever it is you are using for school this year (computer, backpack, etc.) to be blessed. We will recognize and pray for God’s grace as we head into challenging and uncharted territory this school year. Reach out to Katie Madsen with any questions.

Godly Play children’s formation (grades K-5) meets Sundays beginning September 20 at 9am. Gather on Zoom for a story and conversation each week. The week of September 20, youth programming (grades 6-12) begins via Zoom. Contact Katie Madsen for questions or more information.

All God’s creatures, great and small (and their humans) are welcome to join us for our annual Blessing of the Animals on Sunday, October 4, at 4pm in the parking lot. We will follow the same Covid-19 safety protocols as we do for our Farmers’ Market.

Our Basics Classes offer a brief introduction to the Christian faith, the Episcopal Church, and life at St. John’s. This discussion series meets weekly over Zoom after 10am Sunday Worship, starting Sunday, October 18. Contact Jayan Koshy with questions or to RSVP.


Watch for details on these favorite events later this year:

  • OWLs gathering
  • Chili Cook-off
  • Advent Parish Read
  • Hanging of the Greens

And continue to gather in worship!

Worship: Sundays at 10am on Zoom and YouTube.

Sung Compline: Every Thursday at 7pm on Facebook.

Morning Prayer: Monday through Saturday at 8am on Facebook followed by Coffee Hour on Zoom.

» Send-off Details for Margaret Thor

Posted on: August 26, 2020

This Sunday we will say farewell to our dear friend and colleague, the Rev. Margaret Thor. As we announced on Friday, this Sunday (August 30th) will be Margaret’s last Sunday with us before starting her new post as deacon at St. John in the Wilderness in White bear Lake.

At the 10 AM Worship (via Zoom and Youtube), Margaret will preach her final sermon at St. John’s on the morning’s texts: Moses & the Burning Bush and Jesus bidding the disciples to pick up their crosses to follow him.

After the service, Margaret will join me on the steps of the church for a “Drive-Bye” celebration. Hop in your car and swing past the entrance on Portland and Kent to say goodbye to Margaret from a distance. The whole thing will be streamed, and we’ll be there until noon. We’ll give gifts and let her dismiss us one last time with her trademark dismissal: “Our worship here is ended. Now our service begins. Go in peace to love and serve the Lord!”

Finally, if you want to support this next chapter of Margaret’s ministry financially, please consider donating to her discretionary fund. Checks can be made out to “St. John in the Wilderness” with “Deacon’s Discretionary Fund” in the memo line. Send them to 2175 1st St., White Bear Lake, MN 55110-3462.

Hope to see you Sunday.

» It’s a Wonderful Life

Posted on: August 15, 2020

As a community of faith, caring for our minds, bodies, and spirits in this time of pandemic is essential to partnering with God in living the abundant life that is promised to us in Christ. This pandemic has created significant anxiety and uncertainty for our country’s economic stability, and indeed, some of us are facing financial challenges due to this global catastrophe. Caring for our financial health as faithful individuals and as a Christian community is an important aspect of being trustworthy stewards of the gifts God has placed in our care. St. John’s Faith Formation Commission has curated a vibrant series – “A Wonder-Full Life: Integrating Money and Meaning” – to equip us with theological, spiritual, and practical resources to help us to care for our financial health and wellbeing.

Stories are the bedrock of our faith lives and this series engages us in the spiritual practice of Narrative Theology. Join us as we delve into the Holy Wisdom we find at the intersections of Holy Scripture, the classic film It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), and our own spiritual autobiographies. To get the most out of this series, we ask that you:

  1. Read the book, Integrating Money and Meaning: Practices of a Heart-Centered Life, copies of which will be available to pick up safely in St. John’s Little Free Library at the 60 Kent Street entrance.
  2. Watch the film, It’s a Wonderful Life (1946).
  3. Show up on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings for small and large group conversations on Zoom.

Wednesday Sacred Conversations: Reflecting on Our Money Narratives

6:00-7:30pm on Zoom (Register here)

  • September 2: Narrative Theology in Film — It’s a Wonderful Life with the Rev. Barbara Mraz, Writer in Residence
  • September 9: Introduction — Why reflecting on our Money Narratives is essential to living meaningful, whole, and compassionate lives.
  • September 16: Looking Back — Money Memories and Our Emotional Relationship with Finances.
  • September 23: Looking In — Our Incarnational Faith and the Presence of Money in Our Christian Lives.
  • September 30: Looking Out — Practicing Gratitude, Wholehearted Wonder, and Generosity.

Sunday Faith Forum: Memories, Money, and Meaning

9:00-9:50am on Zoom (Register here)

On Sundays in September, join the authors of St. John’s Finance First Friday blogposts as they reflect on the theological significance of sharing their money narratives with our community of faith. What aspects of the authors’ stories intersect with your own money narrative and faith life? How do these intersecting narratives ground you in living a more wonder-full life?

  • September 6: Erin Weber-Johnson
  • September 13: Alice Lightner Johnson
  • September 20: Suzanne McInroy
  • September 27: Mary E. Johnson
» COVID-19 Preparedness at St. John’s

Posted on: July 30, 2020

St. John’s Preparedness & Reopening Plan

Since its announcement in May, the Preparedness & Reopening Taskforce has prepared a plan outlining benchmarks and best practices as St. John’s seeks to gradually resume various aspects of our common life as possible. This plan was proposed to the Vestry and approved at their July meeting.

We take seriously the call in the collect for St. John’s to “welcome all people into this community of faith.” All means all. As such, two guiding values shaped our Taskforce’s work:

  • radical inclusivity
  • deep solidarity with and care for the vulnerable

The plan will continue to be reassessed periodically by the Taskforce and the Vestry, and any appropriate updates to the plan will be announced to the parish.

View the Plan

Communications from the Rector

“Prayers, Crumbs, and Real Presence” – Blog from the Rector (August 10)

“Preparedness Plan Announcement” – Letter from the Rector (July 30)

“Reopening Plans, Part 2” – Letter from the Rector (July 14)

“We’re still here!” – Letter from the Rector (July 10)

“Reopening Task Force Announcement” – Letter from the Rector (May 15)

Stewardship during COVID

“Giving During COVID-19” – A page with information about supporting St. John’s financially during this pandemic as well as providing aid to others

Resources from the Diocese

ECMN Phases of Re-Gathering – This document outlines the phases Bishop Loya has laid out to guide parishes in the diocese in reopening as the pandemic unfolds. It includes appendices addressing various ministry topics. (Version 2, released June 23)

ECMN COVID-19 Response Page – This page gathers together all the resources, recommendations, and communications from the Episcopal Church in Minnesota about the COVID-19 pandemic.

» School Tools in August

Posted on: July 30, 2020

St. John the Evangelist will be collecting new backpacks, calculators, and other school essentials to benefit school children from low-income families being served by Interfaith Action through ten different programs throughout Greater Saint Paul.

In 2019, 23 faith communities, eight businesses, and dozens of individual donors collected more than $23,000 of school supplies to fill 550 backpacks! St. John the Evangelist is an important source of supplies and monetary donations.

If you wish to make a monetary donation instead of donating supplies, our August Mustard Seed offerings will all go to support the school tools drive. To donate, click here and choose “Mustard Seed” in Fund.

Or bring supplies to the Farmers’ Market any Sunday through August 16.

Suggested Supply List (all items should be new):

  • Backpacks
  • 3-ring binders, loose-leaf paper and folders
  • Calculators
  • Spiral and composition notebooks
  • Pencils, pens, markers, colored pencils, crayons, erasers, highlighters, pencil sharpeners
  • Glue sticks & bottles
  • Scissors & rulers
  • Facial tissue
  • School boxes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Reusable masks

If you have any questions or if you need help delivering your donations to the farmers market, please email the Rev. Margaret Thor, Deacon, at margaret.thor@stjohnsstpaul.org.