White Supremacy: A Culture of Disconnection
by Pastor Allison

This past Sunday, we began our Lenten journey of confronting white supremacy culture.  Over the course of the season, we will be identifying and examining 12 characteristics of this culture that we are swimming in, often without even realizing it.  By making these characteristics visible, we will be able to mindfully choose alternative pathways and practices for being in community together.

The list of characteristics of white supremacy culture we will be using come from the work of Tema Okun, a racial justice trainer and facilitator who has been working in the field for over 30 years.  Her original article, "White Supremacy Culture," published in 1999, has been utilized by organizations across the country for the last two decades.  A revised version of the article, "White Supremacy Culture - Still Here," was published in 2021.  

As an introduction to the season, I invite you to read two small sections of Tema Okun's article below:

About White Supremacy
"The term white supremacy refers to the ways in which the ruling class elite or the power elite in the colonies of what was to become the United States used the pseudo-scientific concept of race to create whiteness and a hierarchy of racialized value in order to
  • disconnect and divide white people from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC);
  • disconnect and divide Black, Indigenous, and People of Color from each other;
  • disconnect and divide white people from other white people;
  • disconnect and divide each and all of us from the earth, the sun, the wind, the water, the stars, the animals that roam(ed) the earth;
  • disconnect and divide each of us from ourselves and from source.
The power elite constructed white supremacy (and construct it still) to define who is fully human and who is not." - Tema Okun
Engaging the Characteristics
"The to investigate how each and all characteristics and qualities [of white supremacy culture] lead to disconnection (from each other, ourselves, and all living things) and how the antidotes can support us to reconnect. If you read these characteristics and qualities as blaming or shaming, perhaps they are particularly alive for you. If you find yourself becoming defensive as you read them, lean into the gift of defensiveness and ask yourself what you are defending. The description of these characteristics are meant to help us see our culture so that we can transgress and transform and build culture that truly supports us individually and collectively. Breathe into that intention if you can." - Tema Okun

For a full description of all the characteristics and their antidotes, see Tema Okun's article
Don't forget to set your clocks ahead on Saturday night so you don't miss church!
Happy Birthday to those born 3/11-3/17
  • Trey Pollock, 3/13
  • Ann Wagner, 3/17
Additions to the Prayer List:
  • Craig Gonder, hernia surgery 3/23/22
We apologize for any omissions. If your birthday, anniversary, or new intention on the prayer list is not included, please contact to be added. Please also let us know of any personal or family milestones, including happy occasions or serious lifecycle events that you would like to share with the St. John's community.
Mission & Vision Small Group Discussions
For four weeks during Lent, our Mission & Vision Team is hosting small group discussions after worship from 10:45 to 11:45 am.  The purpose of these conversations will be to receive input from the congregation (both members and non-members) on our draft Strategic Plan, which includes a new vision statement, mission statement, core values, and goals.  The dates of these meetings will be March 13, 20, 27, and April 3.  The meetings will take place in the conference room off the Fellowship Hall (or via Zoom if needed), and you are encouraged to bring your coffee hour treats!  Each member of the congregation is invited to attend one of these small group discussions.  If you have not received one already, you will soon receive a call or email from a member of our team inviting you to a small group discussion on your assigned Sunday.  If that Sunday doesn't work for you, please let us know which Sunday you would prefer.  We are very interested in your perspective and feedback!
Wednesdays in Lent
Our journey to the cross continues each Wednesday during Lent with Holden Evening Prayer at 6:00 pm in the sanctuary, followed by a soup supper in the Fellowship Hall.  The Wednesday evening services will also be streamed online for those who would like to participate on Zoom.
Visitors for Sarah
Sarah Rink, a regular participant the Saturday service and now a participant in Sunday morning services, is looking for folks who would be willing to visit her in her home (1900 Wilmette Ave. #2F).  She is experiencing chronic pain, and having visitors would be a great blessing in her life.  She is open to hosting visitors at 4:00 or 5:00 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.  Sarah is fully vaccinated and happy to wear a mask if that is preferred.  Please give her a call at 847-251-2758 to let her know when you can stop by!
Sesquicentennial Interfaith Prayer Service
In Unity and Faith: A Community Prayer Gathering to Celebrate the Sesquicentennial of the Village of Wilmette
     +  Monday, March 28, 2022, 7:00-8:15 pm
     +  St. Joseph’s Catholic Church (1747 Lake Ave. Wilmette, IL)
Join members of more than ten of Wilmette’s faith communities to celebrate where we have been and offer prayers for what Wilmette may become in the next 150 years. The program will include greetings from Wilmette President Plunkett, an interfaith choir, offerings from five different religions, and the religious history of Wilmette.  The program will focus on the unity in our diversity and our call to become more welcoming to all. We invite people of all religious, secular, and spiritual identities to participate in person at St. Joseph Catholic Church or to view the program live on St. Joseph’s YouTube channel.
Sunday, March 13
9:30 am  In-Person/Zoom Worship with In-Person/Zoom Children’s Church
10:30 am  Coffee Hour
10:45 am  Mission & Vision Small Group Discussion

Tuesday, March 15
11:00 am  Zoom-only Bible Study

Wednesday, March 16
6:00 pm  In-person/Zoom Lenten Worship
6:30 pm  Soup Supper
6:30 pm  Confirmation Class

Thursday, March 17
12:00 pm  Zoom-only Men’s Lunch

Friday, March 18
2:00 pm  Handbell Choir Rehearsal

Sunday, March 20
9:30 am  In-Person/Zoom Worship with In-Person/Zoom Children’s Church
10:30 am  Coffee Hour
10:45 am  Mission & Vision Small Group Discussion
Sunday Sermon & Video

If you missed last Sunday's service or want to watch it again, you can view it here.
First Sunday in Lent
Midweek Service: Holden Evening Prayer
Second Wednesday in Lent
Preaching & Presiding Minister:  The Rev. Allison Bengfort
Assisting Minister:  Chris Maglocci
Interim Music Director & Organist:  Christine Kraemer
Cantor:  Ashley Brewer
Carillon Ringer:  Susan Crist
Minister of the Word:  Nick Danielsen
Children's Church: Student Pastor Derek Stienmetz
Ushers:  Tom Morrison,  Jordan Leinberger
Altar Guild: Susan Crist
Livestream Camera Operator:  Jason Shutters
Zoom Host:  Luke Rasmussen
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St John's Lutheran Church
1235 Wilmette Ave. Wilmette, IL 60091

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