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
Register for Bread Classes
- Saturday, December 6th, 12 noon to 2 PM - Holiday Breads and Crackers - Cost :$15
Email to Bread Oven Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Register for Community Bread Bake
Bread Oven Events & Calendar
- Community bake days are scheduled each month throughout the year. (See event listing)
- Bakers are requested to reserve a spot ahead of time from the church website
- The oven has space for 16 loaves each hour; each baker can reserve up to 2 loaves per/day
- Specifics on transporting and the baking of your bread are found here.
- Note that we are planning to bake throughout the winter; updates will be posted on the site.
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