The hard work of spiritual growth

Almost daily emails and other ads come before our eyes declaring a new health or weight-loss program in only a month or six weeks. Even if we follow these plans rigorously, fitness and wellness experts tell us there's no magic bullet. Even if we get the desired goal it’s hard to maintain our gains and we quickly lose heart. We sometimes think of Lent as a "40 days to a new spiritual you" program. That's not what it’s about, and like most diet and fitness quick-fixes, after we go through Lent, we tend to go right back to business as usual. At the same time, if we want long term results for practices resulting in spiritual growth and health, we have to make a start, and it often requires engag

The grit and persistence of Absalom Jones

February is National Black History Month, and in the past several years we at St. John's have chosen a date around the feast of Absalom Jones as the focus of our celebration. You may know that Absalom Jones was the first African American priest off the Episcopal Church, but his resilience in the face of oppression is central to his story. Jones was born a slave and his mother and six siblings were sold when his master sold his plantation and moved to Philadelphia with young Absalom. Eventually he was able to buy freedom for his wife, but his master was not eager to allow him to buy his own freedom, though eventually he was freed. He still experienced segregation when the Methodist church of

Remembering who we are.

The stories in the beginning of the Book of Genesis tell us we're formed in the image of God, but we also know that the image is not what it used to be. We go off on our own way, like Adam, like Eve. We need to be re-formed, to become again who God originally hoped we would be. Re-membering, re-forming who we are is really the goal of our life as Christians. God seeks us out and invites us to remember we are divine image bearers, meant to reform the world and ourselves in the process. Every year at St. John's we engage in an intentional time of rediscovery for anyone who feels the need to take some time and re-evaluate. We call it the Basic Christian Formation Program. For ten weeks we go on

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