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, July 31

  • 8 am Holy Eucharist (In-person)
  • 9:15 am Fellowship
  • 10:30 am Holy Eucharist (on Boxcast here)
  • 12:15 Music on the Steps with the Jeffrey Merrill Quartet

Monday, August 1

  • 5 pm Wild John Club at Matoska Park
  • 8:30 pm Compline (Google Meet)

Tuesday, August 2

Wednesday, August 3

Thursday, August 4

  • 8 am Morning Prayer (Google Meet)
  • 9 am The Gathering Respite Program
  • 7 pm Liturgy & Worship Team Meeting (Google Meet)

Friday, August 5

St. John's Full Public Calendar


The Jeffrey Merrill Quartet


Come hear the musical stylings of our very own Jeffrey Merrill and his Jazz Quartet. Jeffrey studied Jazz performance at Temple university for 2 years studying with faculty like Bruce Barth, Mike Boone, and Tim Warfield and is playing at some of the top jazz spots around the Twin Cities with his quartet. We are excited to welcome Jeffrey home to the front steps of his home church. Bring a chair, bring a blanket, enjoy some great music.

A Guest Reflection from Deacon Margaret

The 80th General Convention of the Episcopal Church is in the books. It was a busy 3 ½ days of elections, business, and worship for the good of the whole Episcopal Church. I was a first-time deputy although I had attended General Conventions in the past as a volunteer and a visitor. However, nothing can really prepare you for the excitement (and sometimes boredom) of the actual time on the floor as a deputy. I came prepared with my book of Constitutions and Canons of TEC and knitting. We were issued an iPad which we used to follow the resolutions and vote in the elections. And I suspect most of us had our phones with us to take pictures and surf the web in down time.

There were 431 resolutions considered by General Convention. You may see all the resolutions at this website. Most of the resolutions were place on the Consent Calendar and at the start of each day, the House of Deputies voted to accept the Consent Calendar therefore agreeing to the decisions made in committees. Occasionally we voted to take resolutions off the calendar for further discussion but very rarely. One resolution of note that was approved by the Consent Calendar is a Uniform Paid Family Leave Policy, A003, that the Rev. Devon Anderson of ECMN worked on for several years. Another resolution, C072, that passed on the Consent Calendar urges each diocese and church to be in conversation with the Indigenous peoples of the land where our church stands and to begin a process to implement land acknowledgement liturgies and prayers.

I tracked with interest a resolution, C047, that would require each parish with a deacon in active service to pay the deacon $25 a month and that the parish also make the required contribution to the Church Pension Fund for the benefit of the deacon. This resolution was passed by the House of Deputies on the Consent Calendar however the House of Bishops referred it to an interim body to discuss further. I wonder what the Bishops’ thoughts were on this especially as this has been added to several dioceses canons already.

Resolution A059 from the House of Deputies Committee report on Prayer Book, Liturgy & Music garnered a great deal of discussion. It is an amendment to the Constitution of TEC regarding the Book of Common Prayer. It is my understanding that we will not be overhauling the Book of Common Prayer in the near (or even far) future, but will have additions to the BCP in the form of additional and alternative liturgies which will be found on one website

Enough of the dry stuff. My experience was a reminder of what I truly love about The Episcopal Church. We are one people, one body, one Church worshiping God. When the House of Deputies voted to approve the move of the Diocese of Puerto Rico to Province II, a member of the Puerto Rico deputation stood up to thank the House of Deputies. He spoke in Spanish and his words were translated to us. I was moved to tears at this small reminder of the vastness of The Episcopal Church. The next morning this same young man - a priest (I was surprised to see as I was sure he was about 18 years old), led us in Morning Prayer, again in Spanish. It was wonderful to hear. I served communion side-by-side with a woman from the Dominican Republic who spoke only Spanish. This same woman was elected to the Court of Review. I spoke with priests from Navajoland and a deputy from Fairbanks, Alaska. We sat next to the deputation from Massachusetts. We cried with the deputation from Alabama as they mourned the people killed in one of their churches. We rejoiced with the election of the new President of the House of Deputies, Julia Ayala Harris of Oklahoma, and said our goodbyes to the outgoing President, the Rev. Gay Jennings. And we cheered the work of our own Sally Johnson from ECMN who has been the Chancellor to the President of the House of Deputies for at least 10 years and worked with the prior President as well.

People of all ages spoke for and against resolutions. Some spoke eloquently, others were so nervous, one gentleman in particular, that the President of the House of Deputies gave them additional time to speak. Some spoke passionately, others timidly. People were from all ages, sexuality, and cultures. Everyone who was a deputy was there to ensure TEC continues to be the best it can be.

It was a terrific experience and a great taste of how the work of TEC is done. I plan to run for election again with hopes of going to the 81st General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Louisville, KY in July 2024.


Rev. Margaret Thor

Read 'Thoughts about our Faith', Fr. Art's blog here.


Our Second Annual All Parish Camping Trip at William O'Brien State Park

Mark your calendars now for August 11th - 14th.

Click here to register.

We ask for registration so we know who to expect for meals, and space, and so we can send release forms for any youth or children coming.

We highly suggest if you want an RV site or your own tent site to reserve as soon as possible. It fills up quickly.

Yes, we will start on Thursday night, come for all or one or two nights, or just join us for the day!

Great fellowship, games, swimming, boating, and fantastic food! Last year a group took a field trip to Taylor's Falls for a great afternoon of rock climbing. And an incredible Eucharist together in God's cathedral to end the weekend. 

We have two of the group sites, right next to each other. There is plenty of space, with a fire pit and picnic tables. There is no electric, it is a "pit toilet" and of course water available right next to the site!

Go here to register for the All Parish Camping Weekend

Time to update your contact list!

Over the next month or so St. John's will be updating our email naming protocols. /staff will have email using their first names. We will still have the "old" emails, that can then 'move' from staff to staff as needed. The change over will be slow, and the old emails will transition to those staff that need to respond as people 'outside' change their contacts! for example:

You can now reach Maureen Vruno, our Finance person, at Her old email,, is still going to her, but will eventually go to the Parish Coordinator. Also, if you email it will go to Maureen.

Not too soon to mark your calendars for the Fall

  • We will kick off the fall at St. John's with Rally Sunday- September 11. Join us for a picnic following the 10 am Worship
  • And yes, 10 am! Our Sunday morning schedule will be:
  • 8 am Holy Eucharist
  • 8:45 Fellowship - Coffee & Treats
  • 9:00 Formation Time
  • 10 am Holy Eucharist
  • 11 am Coffee & Treats


Not a lot of time left for the Wild John Club

Every Monday during the summer @ 5pm!

Come and join your St. John's friends for a paddle on White Bear Lake every Monday at 5pm. We meet at the sailboat rigging area, just to the left of the boat launch, at Matoska Park. Canoes, kayaks, paddle boards are all suitable vessels. If you want to join us, and need equipment, no problem! Just contact Father Art at, and he will bring an extra boat and other equipment.

A Big Thank You! and more ways to help!

Hi, this is Xavier Knauss, a lifetime member of St. John's in the Wilderness Church and a Scout with Troop 89 in Mahtomedi. Thank you to everyone for supporting my Lemonade Stand fundraiser at the Pentecost Picnic! With your purchases of lemonade and generous donations, I am that much closer to reaching my goal of funding my trip to the World Scout Jamboree (WSJ) in Saemanguem, South Korea in July 2023.

The WSJ is an international Scouting jamboree typically attended by Scouts, ages 14 to 17, and adult leaders from around the world. The last WSJ in 2019 had over 45,000 attendees. The first WSJ was held in London, England in 1920 and has been held every 4 years since, in different locations around the world (with two exceptions: from 1937-1947 during WWII years and 1979 which was to be held in Iran, during the Iranian Revolution). The WSJ is a gathering of Scouts and Guides from all over the world for an exciting program of global development, peace, cultural understanding, adventure, fun and friendship. 

I will have many different upcoming fundraisers to help me with costs for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity:

  • Pop-up Lemonade Stands (Summer 2022 & 2023 at MarketFest and other locations)
  • Mowing & Weeding jobs (Summer 2022 & 2023); please contact me if you would like to set up an estimate (651-387-8288) 
  • Gerten's Fall Mum Sales Fundraiser (ordering window July/August 2022)
  • Charleston Wrapping Paper Sales Fundraiser (Sept/Oct 2022) 
  • Gerten’s Poinsettia Sales Fundraiser (ordering window Oct 2022) 
  • Holiday Wreath and Evergreen Sales Fundraiser (ordering window Oct 2022) 
  • Reduced Price Nickelodeon Universe Unlimited Ride Wristbands (ordering window Nov 2022) 

If you have any questions or would like to be contacted to make sure you are notified of any of these upcoming fundraisers, please email Again, thank you for your support in helping me attend the World Scout Jamboree next year!


Sunday Worship this Summer

This Summer, we will continue to have two Sunday services at St. John's. Our 8:00am service will be a traditional, Rite II service of Holy Eucharist. The only change for the summer for our 8:00am service is that we will be worshipping completely without use of a bulletin (like the good ole days for those of you who may remember!). Those who would like to read along as the lector reads from the Bible, may do so using the Bibles found in the pews. It is our hope that a season of dependence on the BCP will help us all gain our familiarity back with this cherished resource.

Our 10:30am service will be using more contemporary language. For the first half of the summer, the eucharistic prayer will be taken from the Anglican Church of South Africa while the second half of the summer will be spent using the prayer from the Anglican Church of Canada. We hope that these seasonal changes will be helpful to you as you connect with God and each other in prayer and worship.

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View & download the school supply list here.

Rummage Sale -- October 5th

Beginning Sunday September 18th, but NOT before, please put your no-longer needed but sellable items and treasures in the northeast corner of the parish hall behind the left-hand, big movable divider. 

NOTE:No TVs, computers and/or computer parts, microwaves, mattresses, furniture or other large items as they don't sell and we must pay to have them hauled away.

Work organizing, pricing, and marking will begin after the 10:30 service Sunday, October 2nd and continue through Wednesday, October 5th.


Lunch for workers will be provided Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Rest on Thursday.

Clean-up Saturday at Noon 'til about 1PM.

Sale dates and times are as follows:

Parishioners only, Wednesday, Oct 5th, 6-8PM,

Closed on Thursday, Oct 6,

Public sale, Friday, October 7th, 9AM-3PM,

Public $2.00/bag sale Saturday, October 8th, 9AM-Noon.

Any questions, please call Lynn Gadbois cell 651-270-8934, or leave a message at 651-260-5529.

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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.

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Lambeth Conference 2022

"Six hundred-fifty bishops, from over 165 different countries, on retreat in Canterbury Cathedral today. Praying, singing, learning together. A powerful experience of the extraordinary breadth and diversity of our church."

Lambeth Conference is a gathering of all the bishops of the Anglican Communion, invited to come together by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The picture and quote are from our own Bishop Craig Loya. Just google Lambeth, and you will find many ways to learn more, follow the news out of Lambeth, and pray along with this incredible gathering.

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Parish Family Prayer List

Moses H., Bill N, Charlie R, David G, Diane R, Greg B, Holly, Jan G-T, Janet K, Janni K, Jeff W, Jeffrey C, Karla C, Kathy S, Kimberly, Kevin O, Larry K, Lorna C, Marcella S, Marilyn K, Mark K, Melissa S, Nancy H, Pat P, Rick S, and Members of the Armed Forces.

For those who are mourning, and for Marge (Sadie) Polanek, Greg Kliner and their families.

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
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The Collect

Let your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend your Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without your help, protect and govern it always by your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Readings for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 13

Our current Health & Safety Protocols

  • St. John’s encourages all of its members to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible.
  • If one feels sick or has 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.
Visit our Website

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

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