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 next baking date is May 2
. Place your order by April 29 and pick up your freshly baked bread just in time for Saturday night dinner.
May Bread Selections: Pain au Levain (a quiet sourdough with a lovely crunchy crust) and Potato Focaccia (a disk shaped loaf made with yellow potatoes and a touch of olive oil and garlic).
This month’s proceeds will go to support White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf.
To sign up click Here
. Indicate the number of loaves you would like.
Pay at pick up ($5 per loaf; donations accepted) on Saturday, May 2 from 3-5 PM or Sunday, May 3 from 10:30-11:15 AM (1851 Birch Street, White Bear Lake, MN 55110, 651.492.9026, www.wblumc.org)
Summer Pizza Nights
Mark your calendar now. Three summer nights of brick oven pizza and live music on the church lawn. Bring your own side dishes and beverage, we will bake the pizza. From 6 – 8 PM.
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.
To sign up click Here
- Saturday, April 11, 9 AM to 1 PM – Cost:$25
Weekend Treats: Grissini, Bialys, and Sourdough French
- Saturday, May 9th, 9 AM to 1 PM - Cost :$25
. A registration is confirmed with full payment for the class.
Bread Oven Events & Calendar
- Friday, March 27 – Catholic Charities
- Saturday, April 4 - Baking with a Purpose
- Saturday, May 2 - Baking with a Purpose
- Wednesday, May 6 – End of School Year Pizza Party
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: 16 loaves