Finance First Friday: Decolonial Stewardship of God’s Resources

by Sarah Dull The first faith forum series this fall is Decolonial Stewardship of God’s Resources. In preparation, I thought it may be helpful for us to look at how we got away from the early teachings of stewardship and some ideas for practicing decolonial stewardship of God’s resources. Before we start, a quick reminder: […]

No Escape

by the Rev. Barbara Mraz Abortion rights, the abomination of gun laws, or my three favorite movies of all time — much as I would like to hold forth on these topics from the pulpit, the implicit expectation is that the preacher will address at least one of the lessons for the day. It can […]

Finance First Friday: Dealing with Money Avoidance

by Sarah Dull A recent blog post called out the continuing anxiety most of us are still living with. Over the past few years, we have developed a public narrative that the world is scarier than ever, we are hopelessly divided into political factions, we are powerless to create institutional change, and we’re on a […]

Finance First Friday: Philanthropic Redlining

We have been reading, learning, engaging with, and growing in our understanding of Racial Justice over the past two and a half years. One of our parish priorities, adopted from the same Diocesan priorities introduced in 2021 by Bishop Loya, is Justice: Becoming Beloved Community. In prior Finance First Friday posts we have looked at […]

Summer “Light” 

by the Rev. Barbara Mraz Everyone in lighter clothes due to the heat (well except for Cameron, Jayan and me who aren’t about to abandon our black!); hymns that are easier to sing (more “Amazing Grace” and less “Hail Thee Festival Day”), sermons with more jokes and lighter theology (more “Jesus loves everyone” and less […]

Finance First Friday: Money, Politics and Religion.

As we head into summer holidays, St. John’s Director for Children, Youth, and Families, Katie Madsen, encourages us, as disciples of Christ, to talk about hard topics.  Money, Politics, and Religion. For most families these are no-go topics of conversation—things that should not be brought up around the Thanksgiving dinner table. You never know how […]

Jesus as a “Brand”?

by The Rev. Barbara Mraz One pundit says that Americans are almost promiscuous in their overuse of the word love.   We “love” our dog, our dinner, a season, a song, a place. Oh, and also our friends and family. Yet how do you love when you are exhausted? When Covid is out there still menacing? […]

Finance First Friday: Surrender

I often feel like I’ve won the jackpot -Bette Ashcroft In January, Bette Ashcroft was elected as St. John’s new Junior Warden. Knowing Bette as someone who lives their faith, I invited her to share a post about her financial story. I got an immediate response, accepting the invitation and letting me know it “would […]


By The Rev. Barbara Mraz As outrageous as this “illustration” is, it makes an excellent point: Some things are pretty hard to reduce to a zoom call. In other ways, it reflects the first sentence of Craig’s sermon last Sunday: Come to church. It is wonderful to have the option of zooming into services when […]

Finance First Friday: Mortality and Money

I had the pleasure of working with parishioner and Episcopal Priest, Ernie Ashcroft, for several years when he was Chair of St. John’s Stewardship Committee. Not only is Ernie a fellow Brit but a warm and wise soul. When Ernie’s wife, Bette, told me they had been talking a lot recently about mortality and legacy, […]