Acorn and the Search for Partners

Meeting August 24, Acorn 2020 reviewed three reports from ongoing partnership explorations, looked forward to the St. James priest, when named, joining Acorn’s work, and briefly considered whether
traditional elements of Episcopal worship space might be problematic for possible partners mentioned in discussion so far.

As a team, Ruth Anne Olson, Max Aldrich and Monica Herrera are looking at examples of Christian-Muslim-Jewish cooperation and talking with local leaders to envision a multifaith center located on St. James property. Clearly, they report, there is widespread interest in ways members of the three faiths can work with each other while strengthening, not diluting, their distinctive faith traditions.

Tony Morley and Louis Hoffman will seriously explore stronger partnership ideas with counterpart lay people appointed by the pastors or boards of neighborhood Lutheran and Methodist congregations. The Acorn intent is to make the exploration truly mutual from the start, with a six-person three-parish work group.

Anne Scheible has talked with Fr. Wilson at Holy Trinity Episcopal, St.Paul, and in September will follow up with Fr. Two-Bulls at All Saints Indian Mission, Minneapolis. Further conversations, or approaches to other Episcopal parishes, will depend on interest and the participants’ sense of emerging opportunity.

In lively discussion Acorn members compared personal notes as to what makes a place of worship Episcopal rather than something else. Whatever it is, members agreed it is important to our parish. But since all Acorn scenarios assume a space for continuing St. James worship and none proposes a worship merger with any other denomination, there’s no threat of a “deal-breaker,” the members present felt.

In the mid-summer lull, no new activity was reported from the two other partnership explorations, children’s education and an arts-oriented neighborhood center. In five interet areas Acorn seeks potential partners whose mission is compatible with St. James history and values and with ability to help address the building and budget realities here.

Acorn strongly invites parishioners with interest and ideas in any of these areas to join in the work. The five explorations and Acorn contacts for each are as follows:

Children’s Education — Rosemary Caspar (


Partner Neighborhood Congregations — Tony Morley ( and Louis Hoffman (

Partner Episcopal Congregations — Anne Scheible ( and Victor Gonzales (

Multifaith Center — Anne Scheible ( and Ruth Anne Olson (

Arts-oriented Neighborhood Center — Joe Ordos (

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