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, Sept 17

  • 8 am Holy Eucharist (Church)
  • 8:45 am Godly Play & Youth Group (Contact Maggie Desmet)
  • 9 am Connection & Coffee Hour (Parish Hall)
  • 10 am Holy Eucharist(Church & on Boxcast)
  • 11:15 am Vestry Meeting (Parlor & Google Meet)
  • 6 pm Rector's Book Study (Contact Fr. Art)

Monday, Sept 18

Tuesday, Sept 19

Wednesday, Sept 20

  • 5:30 pm Wilderness Wednesday (Parish Hall)
  • 6:15 pm Transformed by the Word Bible Study (Parlor & Google Meet)

Thursday, Sept 21

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

Friday, Sept 22

Saturday, Sept 23

  • 1 pm Jan Gibson Talbot Visitation
  • 2:30 pm Celebration of Life for Jan Gibson Talbot

Sunday, Sept 24

  • 8 am Holy Eucharist (Church)
  • 8:45 am Godly Play & Youth Group (Contact Maggie Desmet)
  • 9 am Connection & Coffee Hour (Parish Hall)
  • 10 am Holy Eucharist(Church & on Boxcast)
  • 6 pm Rector's Book Study (Contact Fr. Art)
St. John's Full Public Calendar

All Shall Be Well

One week ago, a horrific earthquake shook the nation of Morocco, killing almost 3000 people. As we were celebrating our Parish Homecoming this past Sunday, massive flooding caused two dams to rupture in Libya, killing probably over 20,000. Human deaths caused by the fires on the Hawaiian island of Maui in August have risen to 115. In the first 8 months of 2023, the United States has experienced 23 separate billion dollar climate and weather related disasters, the largest number ever recorded. The toll on human life has been immense; the toll on non-human life has been incalculable. All of this threatens to overwhelm us and cause us to become calloused and paralyzed.

While living in such difficult times, we, as God’s people, would do well to attend to the state of our hearts and minds. Regular prayer focused on remembering God’s promises of abundant life and generous love may help us keep our hearts supple and compassionate. Prayer often also serves to bring to mind conviction to act on behalf of those who have been affected by catastrophic events and helps us to imagine concrete ways that we may be the answer to our own prayers. So, God’s people pray.

For most of us, however, prayer will not be enough. As God’s people who are attuned to the ways and will of God as they have been revealed to us in Scripture and through the Voice of God’s Spirit within us, we must speak truth as we understand it. This can often be very difficult work as what we must say will make others uncomfortable or even angry. A faithful response to catastrophic events often entails courageous truth-telling. So, God’s people speak.

Words, however, are most powerful when they are backed up by action. Who isn’t convinced and compelled and convicted by those who walk the talk? The one who not only speaks truth but who actually does something about a catastrophic event is the one who is often most effective. Raising money, picking up a hammer, bringing bottled water, praying with a victim, advocating for survivors, challenging the systems that have contributed to the catastrophe… all of these are among the many ways that God’s people are called to respond. So, God’s people act.

All of this praying and speaking and acting can be so exhausting and unending. It is far too easy to become dispirited by the enormity of the work. And so, it is important to know, however, that this is God’s work and ultimately God’s responsibility. It is critical to realize that, at the end of the day, as Julian of Norwich famously said, all shall be well. So, when confronted with catastrophic events and our efforts to be God’s hands and heart in response, we do not lose heart. So, God’s people remain joyful.

Most climate scientists postulate that these natural disasters will become more regular and more severe. In response, we as God’s people,will not only persevere, we will be people of prayer, speech, action and joy. And all shall be, and all shall be well, and all matter of things shall be made well.

~Father Art 

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

New Music Minister at St. John's! 

The Rector and Vestry of St. John's is pleased to announce that a new Music Minister has been called to join the ministry at St. John in the Wilderness. David Lim will be playing his first service with us on Sunday, September 17th. David has family roots in Minnesota, but has served most recently at Episcopal churches in Oklahoma and Texas. There will be a reception for David following the 10am service on October 8th in the Parish Hall.

Have you ever made a blanket?

Sunday, September 24 – Fleece blanket tying in the Parish Hall – for all ages – from 9 a.m. until noon.

 If you can tie a knot, you can help tie a blanket! The blankets will be donated to Bridging. We will have fleece material cut and ready to be tied. You can also bring your own fleece material for cutting and tying. Many hands, working together, will help those in need!!!

Help fill our worship space with flowers!!

Sing the praises of the LORD, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done

Altar flowers can be and are more than mere ornaments. They are the expression of our love for God as well as a means of glorifying God's name in all the earth (Psalm 9:11).

Check out the new sign up on the PRAY board in the You can also order and pay online here.

Wilderness Wednesdays!

We have resumed Wednesday night programming. 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.

Transformed by the Word: Bible Study

The Gospel of Luke

Join us in person or online here.

Join us on Wednesday evenings at 6:15 pm in the Parlor for a study of the Gospel of Luke. There will be an Advent study beginning in December. Facilitators: Kathy Smith and Sylvia Lovett.Books for each participant are $12.99 or whatever donation you can make. Checks may be made out to St John in the Wilderness with ‘Transformed’ in the memo line.

Ladies Who Lunch

Friday September 15th, at 11:30am at the Bella Ciao Ristorante located at 3156 Century Ave., North, Mahtomedi, MN 55110.

There is plenty of surface parking available. Call Barb Maloney at 414-940-4100 prior to Wednesday, September 13th to book a reservation.

Click anywhere below to find out more and sign up for our new

CONNECT groups!

Fall Book Groups

Orthodox Heretic and Other Impossible Tales, by Peter Rollins

6-8pm Sundays, September 10, 17, 24 and October 1. 

Join Father Art for four Sunday evenings in September and October as we discuss Peter Rollins’ book, The Orthodox Heretic and Other Impossible Tales

For so many, the Christian faith is viewed as little more than a way to escape the harsh realities of a difficult world. As such, Christians are inspired to be little more than nice people, ultimately passive and ineffectual in dealing with the real challenges of the world. In contrast, Peter Rollins has crafted a series of short stories that shatter this popular perception. His parables demonstrate how the radical faith that Jesus taught and lived has never been concerned with escaping the world but rather with engaging the world more fully. Rollins’ book invites us into a different way of living. 

We will enjoy a potluck supper from 6-7pm followed by the book discussion from 7-8pm. All of this will be at Father Art’s home in White Bear Lake To sign up, you may either send a short email to Father Art or use the signup sheet on the Grow Bulletin Board soon to be in the hallway. You may purchase your book by going to the following link: Orthodox Heretic. We do have a few copies to lend in the parish office.

The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully, Joan Chittister

11 am Wednesdays, October 25, November 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, in the Parlor

Join in reading and reflecting on Joan Chittister’s book about not only accepting but celebrating getting older. This inspirational and illuminating work looks at the many facets of the aging process, from purposes and challenges to struggles and surprises. Facilitated by Kate Maxwell OSB. Email Kate for more info and to rsvp.

Our Fall Second Sunday series, from October through December, will focus on food - the process of producing, cooking, and sharing it with others.Our first one, Sunday, October 1st, we are welcoming the Rev. Kerri Meyer from Good Courage Farm to join us for a forum on Good Courage and as our guest preacher. You can find the Good Courage website here.

Good Courage is nonprofit agrarian ministry in central Minnesota, connected to the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement, and located on the ancestral homelands of our Wahpekute and Mdewakanton neighbors. Good Courage Farm is a place where neighbors of all faiths and none gather to work for food justice and to witness God’s renewing love for all of Creation. If you would enjoy an opportunity to be on the farm at harvest time, please join them this Labor Day weekend for their September “Come + See” Saturday. They'll offer a walking tour of the farm, share biscuits and jam, join together in some farmwork, and sing midday prayer together in the Silo chapel. Come on out on September 2, from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon. Kids and church groups are welcome (let us know if you’ll be coming with 6 or more people). Wear sturdy shoes and bring a water bottle. Our next and final 2023 “Come + See” will be Saturday, October 7.

Jersey Boys!

Join fellow St. John in the Wilderness parishioners, their families, and friends on a night out on the town with dinner and an evening performance of the Tony Award winning musical, “Jersey Boys” at Chanhassen Dinner Theater (CDT) on Saturday, November 4. Transportation is available for those who need a ride to CDT. Main Floor, center stage tickets are $119 each. Tickets MUST be pre-ordered and pre-paid by Sunday, September 24. Complete details, RSVP and payment information can be found at this link:

Direct questions to Chantell Knauss at or 651.387.8288.

Future Fellowship Events:

  • Sunday, November 12, 2023 at 2pm – “Mean Girls” musical at Mahtomedi High School
  • Thursday, December 7, 2023 at 7:30pm - "She Loves Me, the Holiday Musical” at Lakeshore Players
  • Sunday, February 4, 2024 at 2pm – “Clue” play at Mahtomedi High School
  • Sunday, April 28, 2024 at 2pm - “The Addams Family” musical at Mahtomedi High School
  • Thursday, June 13, 2024 at 7:30pm - "Come From Away" at the Ordway
  • Tuesday, July 16, 2024 at 7:30pm - "SIX" at the Ordway

We hope you can join us!

Clean Out Your Basement!

Beginning Sunday, September 17, please place your no longer needed but sellable treasures and paper grocery sacks in the Northeast corner of the parish hall on the left side behind the big movable dividers. NOTE: NO TVs, microwaves, computers mattresses, furniture or other large items as they don't sell and the church must pay to get them hauled away.

Organizing and marking work will begin Sunday, October 1, after the last service and continue Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.

Sale times and dates:

  • Wednesday, October 4, Parishioners and workers only, 6-8pm
  • Thursday is a rest day.
  • Friday, October 6, 9am to 3pm, sale for public
  • Saturday, October 7, Public $2.00 bag sale 9am to noon when clean-up begins.

Please also consider helping to clean up. It goes surprisingly quickly with a little help.

Lunch will be provided Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Fri, and Saturday.

Questions please call Lynn Gadbois 651-270-8934.

Christian Community at College

Is someone in your family, parish or community at college in the Twin Cities this fall? If so, you can give them the gift of connection to a ready-made community. We wish it wasn’t true, but loneliness and social isolation are “epidemic”, in the words of the US Surgeon General in May of this year.

The University Episcopal Community (UEC) offers Christian fellowship through Sunday evening dinner, worship and learning and now a drop-in center at Riverside Lounge. Other special events are scheduled and all are welcome to show up and belong. The most important thing for us at UEC is how we welcome everyone–with unconditional love. We hope that this can be a space for students to grow closer to themselves, each other, and God.

Let us know who your young people are and how to get in touch by emailing Steve Mullaney, Executive Director at the UEC at Thank you!

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. × Anything beyond its printed Expiration date.

× 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.

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Be Part of Our Larger Church!

All Episcopalians living and worshipping in the diocese are invited and encouraged to attend your fall mission area gathering! Twice-annual mission area gatherings offer us the opportunity to meet our fellow Episcopalians living in our area of the diocese. Mission area gatherings strengthen our familial ties and offer us the opportunity to celebrate the diverse church ecology we are blessed with here in Minnesota. Fall mission area gatherings focus on reviewing the diocesan budget that will be voted on at diocesan Convention. If you'd like to be a part of how we, as a community, faithfully discern the best way to steward the resources God has given us, this is your opportunity to see the budget, ask questions, and offer feedback. Clergy and lay delegates are particularly invited and encouraged to attend.

Council members are also elected at Mission Area Gatherings. Council acts as the governing board of convention throughout the year, providing oversight for the organization, assisting in the development and approval of the financial statement of mission and helping to set and align the vision for ECMN.

Find your mission area here.

Apply to become a Council candidate Apply to become a Council candidate .

East Metro Mission Area Gathering

Thursday, October 12, 6pm | Zoom

Four Council representatives to be elected.

ECMN Convention 2023 Registration is OPEN!

The 166th Convention of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota

November 10-11, 2023

St. Andrew Lutheran Church, Eden Prairie

Special Guest: Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

Learn more and register here.

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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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

Parish Family Prayer List

Angie, Jill, 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, September 17

Verger: Gregory Hafner

Hospitality: Sarah Chilton, Laurie Otte


Eucharistic Ministers: Pris Campbell

Lector: Gretchen Brunner




Eucharistic Ministers: Harvey Caldwell, Andrew McClaren

Lector: Gary Wilson

Usher: Tony & Tracy Angelo


Livestream:Carrie Thomas

Sunday, September 24

Verger: Bryan Desmet

Hospitality: Jennifer Kobinski


Eucharistic Ministers: Carna Brandt, Susan Blake

Lector: Sylvia Lovett




Eucharistic Ministers: Susie Mahoney, Tony & Tracy Angelo

Lector: Larry Mahoney

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, because without you we are not able to please you, mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Proper 19

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.
  • 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