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Sunday, Feb 11

  • 8am Holy Eucharist
  • 9am Connection & Coffee Hour
  • 9:15am Godly Play & Youth Group
  • 10am Holy Eucharist (Church & on Boxcast)
  • 11:15am Second Sunday: MICAH (the Metropolitan Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing (Parlor)
  • 2pm ArDale Dancers (Parish Hall)

Monday, Feb 12

  • 6pm Liturgical Planning Team (Parlor)
  • 8:30pm Compline (Google Meet)

Tuesday, Feb 13 Shrove Tuesday

  • 8am Morning Prayer (Google Meet)
  • 5:30pm Mardi Gras Party -- Feast, Burning of the Palms, Contra Dancing

Wednesday, Feb 14 Ash Wednesday

  • 12pm Holy Eucharist & Imposition of Ashes (Church & on Boxcast)
  • 7pm Holy Eucharist & Imposition of Ashes (Church)

Thursday, Feb 15

  • 8am Morning Prayer (Google Meet)
  • 9am The Gathering Respite Program (Parish Hall & Parlor)
  • 1pm Contemplative Knitting Connect Group
  • 6pm The Church Cracked Open Book Study (Parlor)
  • 7pm Liturgy & Worship Committee

Friday, Feb 16

  • 11:30am Women Who Lunch (Jimmy's Food & Drink, Vadnais Heights)
  • 8:30pm Compline (Google Meet)

Saturday, Feb 17

Sunday, Feb 18

  • 8am Holy Eucharist
  • 9am Connection & Coffee Hour
  • 9:15am Godly Play & Youth Group
  • 10am Holy Eucharist (Church & on Boxcast)
  • 11:15am Vestry Meeting (Emmaus Room & Google Meet)
St. John's Full Public Calendar

The World for a Mitten!

Darn, I did it again! Twice in this same winter season, I did it.  I lost one of my mittens.  That is to say, I’ve lost two mittens this winter; each time, the left hand one! I’m not quite sure how this is happening as one would think that I would notice it missing in a relatively short period of time and recover it quickly.  Alas, lost mittens, like lost socks, are one of the great mysteries of human existence!  

Goodness, though, how I miss my mitten!  You see, I do have several sets of warm gloves in my bin, but quite honestly, gloves just don’t cut it, even in a mild Minnesota winter.  I realize that I don’t have to explain the difference between mittens and gloves to those who live in the north, but for those in warmer climes who may not know the “felt” difference between the two, there really is a significant difference. 

Gloves, obviously, separate each finger from the others and insulate each digit against the cold. Mittens, on the other hand (catch the pun?), allow all the fingers to buddy up next to each other, insulating the whole hand, with the exception of the lonely, bold, black sheep thumb. Indeed, invariably when it is very cold, I allow my thumb to slip out of its protective sleeve and cozy up next to its digital siblings. Long story short: if you don’t want cold fingers (and thumbs), wear mittens, not gloves. And now I have two right hand mittens, residing forlornly in my mitten basket, destined forever to lives of desperate yearning for their respective partners! Oh, the world for a mitten!

Now, I really must get to the point! Most of us human beings are like fingers (or thumbs). We do best when we have some protection against the sometimes cold, hard world in which we live. So, like fingers in a glove, we insulate our lives with homes and jobs and bank accounts and countless other things that protect us from the harshest realities of the world. We claim these sources of protection as good, even as blessings in our lives.  And, indeed, they are. Truth be told, yes, gloves do provide a certain level of protection. 

But what if these same sources of protection separate us from others? What if, in our best efforts to stave off the harshness of the world, we become separated from those who don’t have any protection? And what effect does insulating our lives from those of others cause our own lives to be less “warm,” less joyful, less meaningful? And if we are, indeed, living our lives like fingers in a glove, is there a better way?

The mitten! Three cheers for the mitten! Instead of insulating our lives from all others, we may instead come alongside others for both protection and fellowship. Most of our lives, like fingers in a mitten, are best lived alongside others who may provide support, accountability and love. Not only may we receive the warmth of others, but we are given the opportunity to share our warmth with others. For the vast majority of us, life together is vastly more joyful than life apart.

The Church is like a big mitten, and we are all fingers in the mitten, doing our best to stay warm and share our warmth with others.  The mitten may be old and worn.  It most certainly has holes and snags that require us to patch and darn. It may look ridiculous to others who don’t understand. But never doubt the power of the mitten. For many of us, we can’t live without it.

~Father Art

Click here for past reflections from Fr Art

It's Time For a Party!

Tuesday, February 13th

Mardi Gras Feast/Shrove Tuesday Pancakes/Burning of the Palms/Contra Dancing

5:30pm A Mardi Gras Feast - Parish Hall

6:15pm A Liturgy for the Burning of the Palms - Front Church Yard

6:30 - 8pm Contra Dance! - Parish Hall

Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday. Many names for the day before Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent). A day for feasting before the fasting season of Lent, using up the fats. It is when we burn the palms from last years Palm Sunday to make ashes for Ash Wednesday.

And a final day for dancing before Lent!

Join us for a feast, a fire, and a Contra Dance led by a caller from the Tapestry Folkdance Center. In a Contra dance, a leader, known as a caller, teaches basic dance steps during an introductory “walk-through” of the dance. Dancers learn by walking through the steps and formations, following the caller’s instructions. The dance figures are similar to those of old-time square dancing except the figures are usually danced in a line, with leaders and followers facing each other. ​These dances are lively, social, easy to learn, and aerobic. Although you will dance with a partner, it isn't necessary to come with one.

Don't forget to bring in your palms from last year, put them in the basket on the Resource Table, where you can pick up your Lenten Meditation Booklet!

Second Sundays

On Second Sunday, February 11th at 11:15 (following the 10:00 service), we will have a presentation by MICAH (the Metropolitan Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing). We’ll meet in the parlor and coffee and treats will be available there. We’ll hear from three amazing leaders; Candy Bakion, Natividad Seefeld, and Amanda Leathers, with Linda Soderstrom, MICAH’s speaker’s bureau coordinator. They will tell their stories of homelessness, trauma, subsidized and manufactured homes, with living in reliance on vouchers and converting to self governing ownership cooperatives. St. John’s members will hear the unique and powerful sharing of stories of lived experiences. Questions will be welcomed as part of this panel discussion. Come learn how solutions can be found when people directly impacted are at decision making tables and help implement, evaluate, redesign and consult.

Starting in February - New Connect Groups

Look for the brochures with all the information or click the image or here to download a pdf.

Sign up has started - look for the sign up sheets in the hallway!

Contemplative Knitting

Are you a knitter? Maybe you crochet, needlepoint or do cross stitch? Whatever your portable and quiet hobby, let’s meet together to explore how to transform our already calming and meditative activity into a spiritual practice. We will use the book “Contemplative Knitting” by Julie Cicora as our guide. Don’t be put off by the title as the reflections and questions are open to all who use yarn and thread in a creative way. 

Awakening the Dreamer; Becoming Beloved Community

During our 6 weeks together we will discuss the state of the world and what role we may have in changing things. Each week we will begin with prayer, a scripture reading and then we will watch a video for 10 minutes. We will then have time for thoughtful discussion.  

Cookbook Club

Want to try out new recipes? Join the Cookbook Club! Cookbook Club is comprised of 6 members where each member will select a cookbook, six recipes, & the chance to host at their home.We will rotate hosts every other month.

Episcopal 101 Class

A formation series for adults - Lent (mid February - mid March)

On April 14, our Bishop, Craig Loya, will be coming to St John in the Wilderness for a parish visitation. He will meet with various groups and preside and preach at the Eucharists that day. It is usual for the Bishop to baptize, confirm and receive individuals as members of the Episcopal Church when he is here. Current members may also reaffirm their baptismal vows at this time.

This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in being received into the Episcopal Church or in being confirmed if you haven’t already been. A formation series for adults interested in reception or confirmation or just learning more about the Episcopal Church is being offered in Lent (mid February - mid March) on Sundays at the 9:00 formation time. Please connect with Art or Kate if you are curious.

Ladies Who Lunch

Friday, February 16 at 11:30am

Ladies Who Lunch will be going to Jimmy’s Food and Drink restaurant on Friday, February 16 at 11:30 am. The restaurant is located at 1132 County Rd. E Vadnais Heights MN 55110. Please contact Barbara Maloney at 414-940-4100 by Wednesday, February 14 for a reservation.

Lent Madness

Click the picture to check it out!

Have you checked out the lineup and made your choices? Watch for the poster in the hall!

The format is straightforward: 32 saints are placed into a tournament-like single elimination bracket. Each pairing remains open for a set period of time and people vote for their favorite saint. 16 saints make it to the Round of the Saintly Sixteen; eight advance to the Round of the Elate Eight; four make it to the Faithful Four; two to the Championship; and the winner is awarded the coveted Golden Halo. The first round consists of basic biographical information about each of the 32 saints. Things get a bit more interesting in the subsequent rounds as we offer quotes and quirks, explore legends, and even move ino the area of saintly kitsch.

Advanced Health Care Directive Workshop

On Sunday February 25 at 11:30, after the 10:00 service, St John’s will offer a 2 hour workshop on Advanced Care Directives. Lunch will be served right after the service.

Presented by Sara Croymans from the University of Minnesota Extension sevices.

Thinking about and planning for end of life care is a profoundly spiritual experience. It isn’t easy to consider our mortality. Doing so in a spiritual setting can make it easier.

In the first hour of this workshop you will learn the basics about planning for future health care decisions by creating a health care directive. 

  • Decision making rights in times of incapacity.
  • Key terms and language involved in advance care planning.
  • The difference between a “living will” and a “health care directive.”
  • Information other individuals need to know when someone can’t communicate for themselves.
  • Minnesota health care directive policies and practices.
  • How to complete a suggested “Health Care Directive” form.
  • Common myths and facts about health care directives.
  • Strategies for starting conversations about end-of-life issues.

You will receive a packet of information and forms that we will use in the second part of the workshop to begin the actual planning. This is a time for conversation about the spiritual aspects of thinking about Advance Care as well.

By the end of the workshop you will have tools to:

  • Talk with family and health care providers about incapacity and advance care planning.
  • Choose and name appropriate health care agent(s).
  • Identify and leave instructions and preferences for health care decisions.
  • Complete a suggested Minnesota health care directive form.
  • Review and update existing plans, decisions, and written documents.

Please sign up on the sheet on the GROW bulletin board in the hallway on the way to the parking lot!

Contact Maggie Howe here for event information and to get on her mailing list!

Table in the Wilderness

Tuesdays 2.27, 4.16, 5.21

Come and gather to celebrate the Eucharist in the context of a relaxed meal and fellowship. 

We will meet from 6-7:30 pm about every six weeks on Tuesday evenings in the Parlor. Open to all parishioners and the wider community. Please sign up if you are planning on coming so we know how much food we’ll need!

The name of our gathering comes from Psalm 78, where the wandering, hungry Hebrew people asked if God could set a table in the wilderness. If you would like to be part of the planning for Table in the Wilderness, please contact Kate Maxwell

Transformed by the Word:

Join us in person or online here.

A regular bible study on Wednesday nights.

Connect with Kathy Smith or Sylvia Lovett to find out more about this great group!

Wilderness Wednesdays!

From 5:30-6pm, we will share in a light supper, and then from 6-8pm, we will offer a variety of ongoing program options. Some of our offerings will include Heartbeat band practices (for all ages), a maker's space, game nights, Bible studies, CONNECT group gatherings, and more. Childcare will be available in our downstairs nursery throughout the evening.

Hospitality Help Needed! 

Each Sunday, an amazing group of dedicated people, led by Nichole Korth, provide food and drink for our fellowship time together. The Hospitality Crew is always looking for people to join the team to prepare food or to help clean up. If you are willing to help, please contact Nichole Korth here.

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Weekly News and a Weekly Message from Bishop Loya

The Episcopal Church in Minnesota also has a weekly e-news, where you can read a message from Bishop Craig Loya, (or sometimes a special guest author), and read about what is happening in the Episcopal Church in MN and beyond! A great way to stay connected and learn about our church outside the walls of St. John's. 

To receive the ECMN news go here, scroll to the very bottom right and sign up.

Read this weeks stories from ECMN
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Parish Family Prayer List

We are in the process of updating our prayer list. Please use the link below to request prayers as we rebuild the list. Please let us know if you would like the request to be publicly listed or private. Unless specifically requested, prayer requests will be kept on the list for a month.

We ask your prayers for:

Angie Gordon, Cindy Kallstrom, Pat Petersen, Jean Tews,  David Gadbois, Larry Koutek

Click the button below to fill out the web form, or email prayer@stjohnwilderness to request prayers and to be added to the parish prayer list.

How can we pray for you? Click here to let us know.

For the Parish

Almighty and everliving God, ruler of all things in heaven

and earth, hear our prayers for this parish family. Strengthen

the faithful, arouse the careless, and restore the penitent.

Grant us all things necessary for our common life, and bring

us all to be of one heart and mind within your holy Church;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCP p. 817

Morning Prayer & Compline

Join us on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 8 AM for morning prayer and

Monday and Friday evenings at 8:30 PM for Compline.

Both prayer services are held via Google Meet. All are welcome.

Go here to find the Google Meet info for Morning Prayer & Compline

Sunday, February 11

Verger: Jason Knauss

Hospitality: Debra & Tom Sturm


Eucharistic Ministers: Susan Blake, Janet Walller

Lector: Tom Hove

Usher: Dennis Thoemke



Eucharistic Ministers: Harvey & Judy Caldwell, Rosa Sears

Lector: Wendy Muscanto

Usher: Brent & Joanna Torgerson

Greeters: Virginia Johnston

Livestream: John Pasch

Sunday, February 18

Verger: Gregory Hafner

Hospitality: Sarah Chilton, Laurie Otte


Eucharistic Ministers: Susan Blake, Tom Hove

Lector: Sylvia Lovett




Eucharistic Ministers: Sara Harker-Olson, Pris Campbell, Janet Waller

Lector: Jacqueline Danda

Usher: Mark & Rosa Sears



The word liturgy comes from a Greek term meaning “public work or work done on behalf of the people.” Liturgy always referred to an organized community. A work, then, done by an individual or a group was a liturgy on behalf of the larger community.

If you would like to become part of the many ministries that help make our work, our worship, our liturgies, our community, please talk to one of our clergy.

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The Collect

O God, who before the passion of your only-begotten Son revealed his glory upon the holy mountain: Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Last Sunday after the Epiphany


Our parish office is open Monday - Thursday, 9 am - 3 pm. Stop by and say hi!

Financial Coordinator: Maureen Vruno | Office hours M,T, Th, 7:30am - 2:30pm 651-429-5351 ext 12

Rising Generations Coordinator: Maggie Howe |

Parish Coordinator: Carrie Thomas | 651-429-5351

Deacon: The Rev. Margaret Thor |

Associate Priest: The Rev. Kate Maxwell, OSB | 651-263-3840

Rector: The Rev. Arthur Hancock | 651-350-8425

Our current Health & Safety Protocols

  • St. John’s encourages all of its members to get vaccinated and boosted.
  • If you feel sick or have the typical symptoms of Covid-19, we ask you to worship with us online.
  • Masks are optional while inside all parish buildings for those who are boosted and vaccinated. If conditions change and we experience another surge of Covid-19, we may alter our protocols.
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St. John In The Wilderness Episcopal Church

2175 1st St. (Clark Ave. at 1st St.)

WBL, MN 55110-3462 1 (651) 429-5351