Linden Hills youth and family minister fired

St. John’s Episcopal Church
St. John’s Episcopal Church at 42nd & Sheridan in Linden Hills. Photo by Nate Gotlieb

A Linden Hills church’s youth and family minister has been fired for not maintaining “good boundaries, judgment and candor,” according to a Nov. 11 email sent to parishioners.

St. John’s Episcopal Church’s rector, the Rev. Lisa Wiens Heinsohn, wrote in the email that there were instances in which Shane Sanders Marcus did not “observe Safe Church practices and standards.” She assured the church’s community that no children were harmed. 

Heinsohn declined to elaborate on the nature of Marcus’ offenses. She said the church has no reason to believe there would be police reports or lawsuits.

Marcus declined to comment when reached by phone.

The Safe Church standards, determined by the Episcopal Church in Minnesota, dictate how adults in the church should behave with children and youth and outline best practices for out-of-church activities and trips.

Marcus’ job responsibilities included overseeing confirmation classes, Sunday school and youth groups, among other activities.

“We take the safety of children and youth very seriously,” Heinsohn wrote in her email to the St. John’s community.  “I realize that this may be a cause of grief for many of you. Shane has brought many gifts to his ministry at St. John’s and has formed deep relationships with us. We pray blessing, healing and growth for him as he discerns his future.”

Marcus joined the St. John’s staff in summer 2016, according to the church website. He has a bachelor’s degree in religion from Houghton College and a master’s degree in divinity from Yale Divinity School. He has worked and volunteered in youth ministry since 2006.

St. John’s Episcopal, founded in 1903, served about 300 households as of February 2018. It’s part of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota and one of three Episcopal churches in Southwest Minneapolis.

Marcus’ last day at St. John’s was Nov. 11. Heinsohn wrote that the church would hire an interim replacement for him through InterServe Ministries while staff conducts a search for a permanent youth and family minister.