WHAT WE BELIEVE


Our Mission

Live God's Love in the World

Our Vision

A vibrant, urban church centered in enthusiastic and inspirational worship, grace-filled service and rich opportunities for spiritual growth.

Our Core Values

We are attentive to God's word, prayerfully discerning God's will to do God's work with grace, in trust, by faith, through action.

Our Mission, Vision & Values in Action

When we commit to the mission and vision of St. John's Lutheran Church and are guided in our work by our core values, we become Live Stones, God's building materials.

Commitment

We are St. John's Lutheran Church, a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and part of the Sierra Pacific Synod. As Lutherans, our faith is built around a strong belief in God made known to us in Jesus Christ. We practice our faith through worship, service and education. And we embrace the mission of the ELCA: "God's Work. Our Hands."

  • We will continue to be a church with a committment to benevolence at home and abroad, courageous and resourceful and involved, with a dedicated staff and lay leaders and diverse talents among our volunteers.
  • We will always be a church where healing is high on the agenda and reconciliation can be found; a place where actions on behalf of the homeless and the hungry are priorities, and where we are involved in solutions; a church where poverty, the violation of human rights, and domestic abuse will be confronted.

Community

We understand that growing as disciples of Jesus Christ and helping all in their walk of faith is a team effort; that sharing the Good News and being an inviting, welcoming, gracious community of faith is integral to our health and vitality.


  • We will maintain a team supportive to one another - staff, lay leaders and members - setting aside any personal issue that would interfere with this goal.
  • We will create a transparent communication system, fully recognizing and respecting the needs of the multiple generations represented in our congregation.
  • Through the dedicated work of our nurses and our ever-growing corps of Stephen Ministers, we will faithfully care for the wellbeing of members in body and mind. As an authentic congregation in Christ, we will hold each other accountable for speech and actions that foster respect, patience and kindness for all.
  • We will affirm that the partnership between the paid and unpaid servants among us is based on a united, dedicated and devoted commitment to our shared vision.
  • We also believe that lots of laughter and humility should mark our life together.

Hospitality

We exist for God's purposes for the world, not for ourselves, and believe that, with God, all things are possible. We are a congregation willing to take risks to fulfill God's mission and vision for us. All our efforts will be marked with hospitality and compassion and care.


  • We will grow our average weekly worship attendance and our active membership every year, responding as a priesthood of believers to the growing and changing population in our community.
  • We believe we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves, and that everyone is welcome to share God's table, that openness and affirmation is a covenant we hold dearly.

Worship

Our worship, which is the centerpeice of our life as a congregation, shapes and grounds our identity and calling and shall always receive our highest attention.


  • We will be intentional in our spiritual growth, a church where God's people of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds can connect their faith and their gifts in common communion with each other.
  • We will continue a variety of worship services and strengthen our evangelism outreach in the community. We will add to our rich musical history, build our musical depth and reman a leader in liturgical music.

Change

We believe that God is in the change business, and we celebrate change, growth and transformation. We do not fear change, but we always ask how it will help us to better accomplish our vision and how we can grow individually and collectively in a changing congregation.


  • We will direct the ideas of change into the realities of service in our congregation and in our community, but never allow the conflicts of change to paralyze our actions.
  • We will work to ensure that as we go through whatever change that lies ahead, we will not lose the vitality and enthusiasm and spirit we are experiencing at St. John's.

Leadership

Our congregation is a movement in Christ whose mission and ministry are shared and owned by everyone. The accountability and responsibility for the succces of that mission lies with us all.


  • We will always endeavor to be a joyful, creative and fun-filled place, maintaing a willingness to try new things and new ways to do old things; and we will celebrate our successes and learn from our failures.
  • We will continue to recruit a core of new leaders to join the current leadership in an environment of imagination and excitement and accomplishment.
  • We will diligently search for the ways and means to provide ongoing training for our lay and staff leaders.

Discipleship

Apart from regular participation in worship, we believe the primary and most effective medium for faith development is the home. It is our responsibility to equip parents and all who care for youth and children to fulfill their privilege of faith formation. We strive to raise all our children, adolescents and young adults to become healthy, hopeful, giving and faith-filled servant-leaders.


  • We will pass on a clear blueprint for ministry and an understanding of God's word and of discipleship in this world to our children and young people, reinforcing our obligation to create home-based faith development activities for all our families.
  • We will seek to build on our educational programs so that we will reach more and more children and young people each year. Through education available for all ages, we will raise our relationship with God.
  • We will place additional emphasis on Bible study and prayer groups for all ages, assisting in making the Word a living document and not just words on paper.

Generosity

Our goals are large, but they are not larger than our hearts, or as deep as our appreciation for all the blessings and gifts that we have received from God. We must never forget that faithful stewardship is at the center of our identity as Christians, both as a congregation and as individuals.


  • We recognize that the true meaning of stewardship is what one does after one says, "I believe."
  • We will seek to expand both our benevolence and our endowment.
  • We will remind ourselves that we are the keepers of the dream of those who came before us, the stewards of their vision, and the inheritors of their mission; and that we owe nothing less than our best to those who will come after us.

Service

We stand with the poor, the powerless, the aging, the voiceless, the dying and the disenfranchised with the compassion of Christ that has no limits or boundaries.


  • We will actively recognize our duty to reach out to and participate in the larger community, embracing God's mission in the world, supporting the involvement of every member in some form of service, and contributing generously to the missions and ministries beyond our walls. Our reach is as far away as Rwanda, a genocide-torn country that is restoring its soul, and as close as the Central Downtown Food Basket in Goethe Hall. Our partners include: St. John's Program for Real Change, Habitat for Humanity, Family Promise, Loaves and Fishes, ELCA Disaster Relief, Lutheran Social Services, and The Pilgrimage. And men and women taking their next steps on their road to recovery and rehabilitation are and will remain among the many causes we support through the generosity of our members.
  • We will answer the call to help those in need whenever and wherever a disaster strikes and leaves a path of destruction and devastation in its wake.