Journey Groups and a superstar Lutheran pastor are among the new things at St. John’s this season, marking our 125th year on the corner of Jefferson and Elm. We launch the season on September 10, Celebration Sunday!
From small group to big picture, this fall at St. John’s explores personal faith journeys, spiritual pilgrimages and global revolutions, not to mention a Dodson lecturer who has turned over plenty of 20th- and 21st-century conventions with her strong language, her tattoos and her own resurrection story.
Sunday is the heart of the week at St. John’s, and adult classes between our 8:00 and 10:00 services will range in topic from travelogues to the history of St. John’s, as we mark a geographical anniversary in late fall. We’ll have three three-part series, beginning with three Sundays on end of life issues (Sept. 24, Oct. 1 and 8), led by Dr. Tommy Morel and the Reverend Mary Mackin.
In October, we mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation with a three-part series on its history, developed by the Reverend David Olson.
“For me, the Reformation is very important, and not just because of the events that took place,” says Olson. “It was about how Luther and the other reformers brought about a fundamental change in how we see our relationship with God and the Church’s role in helping to facilitate that relationship.
“The reformation would go on not only to shape Lutherans, but ultimately to shape the faith and life of the entire Protestant church. It as a key turning point in history, and literally turned the Church and the world upside down.”
November’s Dodson Lecture (Nov. 16) will be by the Reverend Nadia Bolz-Weber, a sometimes controversial and always profoundly theological pastor who founded the House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado. Three classes will center on her talk and books, including one on responding in the church to the challenges of addiction, led by Jeff and Jeanie Wilson and their son Alex (Nov. 5), one on “accidental saints” – bridging social and spiritual gaps as we find God in each other (Nov. 12) and a debrief on Bolz-Weber’s talk on Nov. 19.
In the evenings, come back for the Gathering at 5:00, Sunday Supper at 5:45 and stay for Journey Groups (or just come for supper and Journey, if you’re a morning worshipper). The idea is to spend time with a group of parishioners over the course of the semester, exploring faith through one of a number of interests, including Bible study, knitting, centering prayer, writing and conversations. Two of those groups will meet on Wednesday evenings.
Be sure to take a home a fall flyer after church on Celebration Sunday, September 10!