When on sabbatical in Tuscany attending a bread School, Pastor Bryce Johnson baked bread in a one-hundred –year-old, wood-fired brick oven. In Europe during the 1800 and early 1900s, brick ovens were the centerpiece of village life. Once or twice a week the community oven was fired, and villagers brought their homemade bread dough to the center of the village to bake. As they waited for the bread, villagers conversed with each other and politics debated. The bread was essential for building strong bodies; the oven vital to building strong community.
Pastor Bryce Johnson delivers a Ted Talk about the WBLUMC Bread Oven
Before departing on this 2009 sabbatical a church member said , "When you come back, we ought to build a brick oven on the church grounds." And, we did.
Today, White Bear Lake United Methodist Church has a very unique pathway to build connections in the church and with the community, making this oven of brick, mortar and fire a centerpiece for strengthening body and soul.
In his TEDxMahtomedi talk, Bryce explores how bread making and baking in a wood-fired oven gives us the opportunity to slow down, discover the sacred in the ordinary, and connect with community.
The Link to Pastor Bryce Johnson's Ted Talk can be found here
Baking With a Purpose
Once a month, you can address hunger by ordering homemade bread from the Community Bread Oven.
“Baking With a Purpose” takes place the first Saturday of the month.
The featured breads in October are Whole Wheat with Raisins and Country White.
Place your order by Thursday, October 1. Pick up is from 3:00 - 5:00 pm October 3. To sign up click here
Proceeds this month go to the White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf.
Register for Bread Classes
You will learn to make several varieties of bread, bake in the brick oven, and take home at least 2 loaves.
- October 10, 9 AM - 12:30 PM
OCTOBERFEST (sorry just bread, not beer) - We will make rye bread and pretzels. Lunch will be served: soup and our brick oven bread.
To sign up click here
Upcoming Pizza Events
- September 30, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. - Wednesday Night Kickoff
- October 14, 1-4 p.m. - Catholic Charities Bread Class
White Bear Lake Magazine - Feature Article (Life of Pie, July 2014)
Click the following links to read the articles:
Solveig Tofte Class
Community Bake Day
Rest-Full-Work Bread Class
Bread Oven Fun Facts
- Project ideation: April 25, 2010
- Start of Building: June 28, 2010
- Total weeks to build: 12
- Total hours estimated: 1,080
- Average number of work days/week: 6
- Average number of people/day: 3
- Volunteers had no major construction background
- No accidents occurred
- Cost to build: $6,200
- Baking capacity: 20 loaves