St. John in the Wilderness

White Bear Lake, MN

If it’s not about love, it’s not about God

The Most Reverend Michael B. Curry

Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church

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Sunday, May 21

  • 8 am Holy Eucharist (Church)
  • 9 am Connection & Coffee Hour (Parish Hall)
  • 10 am Holy Eucharist - Celebration of First Communion (Church & on Boxcast)
  • 11:15 am Vestry Meeting (Parlor)

Monday, May 22

  • 9:30 am Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance (Parish Hall)
  • 8:30 pm Compline (Google Meet)

Tuesday, May 23

Wednesday, May 24

  • 9:30 am Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance (Parish Hall)
  • 6:45 pm Transformed by the Word Bible Study (Parlor & Google Meet)
  • 7:15 pm Chancel Choir (St. Cecelia Room)

Thursday, May 25

  • 8 am Morning Prayer (Google Meet)
  • 9 am The Gathering (Parish Hall)

Friday, May 26

Saturday, May 27

Sunday, May 28 - Pentecost Sunday! Wear Red!

  • 8 am Holy Eucharist (Church)
  • 9 am Connection & Coffee Hour (Parish Hall)
  • 10 am Holy Eucharist (Church & on Boxcast)
St. John's Full Public Calendar

Deep Knowledge

The other day, I was at my local Aldi store. If you aren’t familiar with Aldi, it is a grocery store with a different business model than your run-of-the-mill American grocery store. Typically, Aldi stores are relatively small with fewer options, lots of organic items, and cheap prices. For all of these reasons, I like Aldi alot.

Because I do most of my grocery shopping there, I know the store pretty well. For example, I know precisely where to go if and when I run out of Italian seasoning. I certainly, however, do not know the store as well as the Aldi employees. They are the masters of the Aldi universe. Want to know where to find fire-roasted red peppers? The Aldi employee will know precisely where to go. Sometimes, just for kicks, I ask the Aldi employees for the location of some obscure item just to watch them squirm for half a moment before they smile and tell me exactly where to find it. The pride exhibited by Aldi employees in knowing their store so fully is visibly evident.

Living well often entails deeply knowing some place or some person or some animal or some activity. An Aldi employee will know their store very well, and it seems to bring them great satisfaction in sharing their knowledge. Likewise, I know many people who choose to spend time in places that they know extremely well. I have a friend who lives on the side of a mountain in Colorado, and she spends part of each day walking to the top of the mountain and back down again. She has come to know that mountain so well, and she speaks in terms of having a love affair with the mountain. I have another friend who, each spring and summer weekend of his life, spends hours paddling the same stretch of river and has an undeniable relationship with that river. I have yet another friend who loves to garden. She has that same sense of relationship with the flowers and vegetables that she tends, and she feels a deep respect and responsibility for the dirt that has been entrusted to her. I have another friend who is a scholar of the Bible. She spends at least two hours each day reading and studying Scripture, asking for God’s guidance as she seeks God’s truth. She has come to know, deeply know, the Bible, and it brings her a profound sense of joy.

Perhaps love may be defined as deep knowledge. One loves another person or animal or place or activity by spending time with that person or animal or place or engaged in that activity. While being well traveled or well read or knowing lots of people may be commendable, I think that deep knowledge happens only when extensive and attentive time is expended getting to know a place or person or animal or event. Deep knowledge or love only happen when one is willing to sacrifice a substantial portion of one’s life to extend the relationship.

Now, knowing your local Aldi store may not be worthy of a substantial portion of your life, but there are certainly people, animals, places and activities that are. Find them and commit yourself to come to know them deeply. And by the way, as we invest our lives in deeply knowing, we may just discover that we have come also into a much deeper knowledge and love of the living God who has created all and blesses all loving relationships.

~Father Art  

Read past  blogs "Thoughts About Our Faith" from Fr. Art here

Celebration of First Communion

This Sunday, we will welcome the children of St. John’s to Christ’s Table for a celebration of first Communion. Our cohort has spent the previous weeks exploring the stories of The Feeding of the 5000 and The Good Shepherd and World Communion. They've spent time interpreting these stories through play, created their own people of God to sit at the table, raised their voices in songs of praise, and tended to our Giving Garden in hopes of feeding the hungry. These wonderful young people are ready to join us at Christ’s Table. Let us welcome them gladly.


 St. John's Ladies Who Lunch will take place on Friday, May 19, at Keys' Restaurant, 2208 4th St, WBL, beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Please call Janet Kelber (651-484-7193) or Helen Gehrenbeck (429-246=5832) to reserve your place.

Music & Fellowship!

Join fellow St. John in the Wilderness parishioners, their families, and friends on a night out on the town with dinner at Rudy’s Red Eye Grill and an evening performance of the Tony Award winning musical, “Into the Woods” on Wednesday, July 19 at the Guthrie Theater! Transportation will be available for those who need a ride to dinner and the show. Main Floor, center stage tickets are $35-55 each (student/senior/adult).

Tickets MUST be pre-ordered and pre-paid by Monday, May 22. Complete details, RSVP and payment information can be found here.  Direct questions to Chantell Knauss at or 651.387.8288.


Save the Dates - Future Fellowship Events

·            Saturday, October 7, 2023 at 2pm - "Come From Away" at the Ordway

·            November 2023 (exact date TBD) - "Jersey Boys" at Chanhassen Dinner Theater

·            December 2023 (exact date TBD) - "She Loves Me, the Holiday Musical” at Lakeshore Players

·            Tuesday, July 16, 2024 at 7:30pm - "SIX" at the Ordway

We hope you can join us for "Into the Woods" and our other upcoming events!

Congratulations Graduates!

This last Sunday we recognized and blessed our high school graduates!

Loving God, we thank you for all who graduate from grade school, high school and college this time of the year.

You have blessed them during their years in school with wisdom, friendships, and skills. You continue to challenge them to make this world a better place because of their education.

Help them to look forward to their next steps: continuing in their education or entering the work world. Particularly help those who are seeking employment to find a job suitable to their education.

Give them faith and a sense of purpose in their next steps.

Show them how to serve others in effective ways.

And may they be always be aware in everything they do that they will find fulfillment in doing your will, that you will be with them always, and that you will bring to completion the good work you have begun in them.


Belle Carpenter

This spring I will be graduating from Mahtomedi High School. After high school I plan on attending the California State University- Long Beach, where I will major in elementary education. I have gone to St.John in the Wilderness my entire life. This congregation feels like my family and I have so much love for our community. Thank you for all of the support throughout the years. And so I go into college with this bible verse in mind, Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Ethan Herrera

Next fall I plan on going to Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I intend to study business and art with an emphasis on film-making.

I chose Coe because I liked the feel of the campus and was drawn to their art department. Thank you to all of our church community members for supporting me in my faith all these years. Some of my fondest memories at St. John’s are the special dinners for Easter and Thanksgiving. I also have enjoyed the mentorship of Dr. Lovett and the other youth leaders, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sara McBride

After high school I plan to attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities to study Environmental Science. I hope to continue playing in an orchestra in college. Over the summer I plan to volunteer as a counselor for the White Bear Lake Orchestra summer program


It's Spring - Help fill our worship space with flowers!!

There are opportunities to give flowers for the Sundays of Eastertide in April and May. There is a sign up chart on the wall near the Parish Hall. You can also order and pay online here.

What better way to share St. John's with our community. We are looking for a small group of people to both help plan our presence and be present during MarketFest.

4,000 to 5,000 people attend MarketFest every week. This is an incredible opportunity to meet and visit and be visible!

The commitment would be one planning session, and then one or two Thursday evenings, depending on how many people volunteer! Contact Carrie for more info or to offer up your time and ideas.

Starting June 5th!

Mark Your Summer Dates Now!!

Trinity Sunday. w/Outdoor Worship &

End of Program Year Picnic

Sunday, June 4

Third Annual Parish Camping Weekend

William O'Brien State Park August 11-13, 2023

White Bear MarketFest!

Thursdays, June 15 - July 27th

Outside Holy Eucharist/Readings & Songs in Celebration of Independence Day

Manitou Days Pet Parade & Blessing

Sunday, July 2nd

BWCA Canoe Trip

August 3 - 6

Wild John Club, Food, Boating, and Prayers at the Lake!

Mondays in June, July, & August, 6 - 8:15pm

We Need to Know!

Dear People of St John’s,

You may have heard about or come to the Listening Groups that were offered in January. The groups were to listen to what you had to say about Adult Formation. I heard that you all have much to say about formation at St John’s. I’m inviting you to tell us more about what interests you at St John’s.

We have put together a short survey that I hope all of you will fill out over the next three weeks. It can be accessed online here:

There will also be paper surveys at church at the greeter’s table as you come into the church from the parking lot. You can fill them out and leave them on the table in the library or in my cubby near the office. The surveys are anonymous, though you can choose to add your name for us to contact you about the survey. 

I hope each of you will do the survey so we can plan better for next year. Your voice counts. Thanks!

Kate Maxwell OSB

St. John's Emergency Food Shelf

Nearly 30% of children enrolled in the White Bear Lake Area School District qualify for free or reduced lunch. Some WBL

schools are as high as 70% eligible.

If Minnesota food shelves were open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, more than seven people would visit a food shelf every minute.

Our tiny food shelf in the north entry is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Help us keep it stocked. We need items that can be used by people with possibly no stove, or microwave, or even a refrigerator.

  • protein bars and drinks
  • prepared ready to eat meals such as tuna & crackers or lunchables
  • Peanut butter & other nut butters
  • Crackers
  • Canned fruit in 100% juice and shelf-stable fruit cups
  • Unsweetened applesauce cups
  • Dried fruits, vegetables with no added sugar or salt
  • Nuts

What we don't need:

× Food in glass jars. × Expired cans and boxed food items.

× Damaged, already opened food items. × Rusty or unmarked cans of food.

× Homemade food items. × Soda and sweetened drinks

× Sweets: cookies, cakes, candy. × Ramen noodles

× Any food you would NOT eat or feed your family.

Items can be dropped off in the entryway, next to the food shelf. Please leave them in a bag next to the shelf and thank you so much.

Our Library Neighbor!

We are privileged to share our parking lot and our community with the White Bear Branch of the Ramsey County Library.

When is the last time you went to the library? They have so much more then books. Check out their new Library of Things. Cooking utensils, tools, things you might need once!

Stop by anytime and check out the Library of Things at the library in White Bear Lake! Come see what they have for you to borrow.

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Discipleship, Small Groups and Sharing Scripture.

We invite you and your faith community to continue begin meetings and gatherings by Dwelling in Scripture together. Please find instructions for Dwelling in the Word and Gospel-Based Discipleship here. This year, we will dwell together in the lectionary Gospel text for the coming week, which can be found here." Go here for instructions.


Second Thursdays, 12pm

Register here..

Find recordings of past gatherings here..

All Minnesota Episcopalians are invited to join PercoLAYte. We'll continue to meet monthly to "steep" ourselves in the lay order of ministry.

  • Thursday, June 8, 12pm

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

Charlie R, David G, Diane R, Greg B, Holly, Jan G-T, Janet K, Janni K, Jeffrey C, Kathy S, Kimberly, Kurt N, Larry K, Lorna C, Marcella S, Marilyn K, Mark K, Michael M, Melissa S, Nancy H, Pat P, Rick S, Tom H, and all who care for them. We also pray for Members of the Armed Forces.

For those who are mourning.

Click the button or email prayer@stjohnwilderness to request prayers and to be added to the parish prayer list. The list is renewed monthly.

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

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 May 21

Verger: Gregory Hafner


Eucharistic Ministers: Susan Blake, Carna Brandt

Lector: Gretchen Brunner




Eucharistic Ministers: Susie Mahoney, Andrew McClaren

Lector: Anne White

Usher: Brent & Joanna Torgerson

Greeter: Megan Jahnke

Sunday May 28

Verger: Bryan Desmet


Eucharistic Ministers: Janet Waller, Harvey Caldwell

Lector: Mark Sears




Eucharistic Ministers: Tony & Tracy Angelo

Lector: Gary Wilson

Usher: John & Nell Allen


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, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Seventh Sunday of Easter

Click on Rejoice to give and pledge.


Financial Coordinator: Maureen Vruno | 651-429-5351 ext 12

Rising Generations Coordinator: Maggie DeSmet |

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 as soon as possible.
  • 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. For those who are unvaccinated and for your own protection, we recommend that you worship with us online or that you continue to wear your mask while inside our buildings. If conditions change and we experience another surge of Covid-19, we may have to alter our protocols and ask our members and guests to wear masks once again.
  • While seated in the Church or in the Parish Hall, we recommend that all maintain an appropriate physical distance from those outside of your household.
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St. John In The Wilderness

Episcopal Church

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

White Bear Lake, MN 55110-3462

1 (651) 429-5351