Who We Are At St. John's
We are a people of Compassion.
We are a community of friends, hoping to live in the loving fashion of Jesus. Not claiming perfection, merely forgiveness. We don’t think we’ve arrived, merely that we are sharing the journey. We do not think we have completed our task, merely that we are learning to work, live, and play together as a family embracing the full spectrum of ethnicity, age, gender, family status, sexual orientation and identification, heritage, physical ability, economic status, and religious background. We are all here to worship in peace and fellowship, to build an inclusive community that expressed love for humankind.
We are a people of Judeo-Christian lineage.
We profess to be followers and disciples of the 1st century Jewish rabbi, teacher, and friend, Jesus of Nazareth. We fully embrace the traditions and teachings of our Hebrew ancestors and incorporate their stories, lessons, and values in our worship, teaching, and practice.
Yet, we also follow a course that branched off from Judaism, creating its own traditions, theological understandings, testimonies, and God-experiences. We recognize the importance of the Christian writers and theologians throughout our history who have continued to develop our faith practices and rituals.
We are a people of Jesus.
St John’s affirms that Jesus is, and should remain, the central figure of Christian faith. However, we also have seen that Christianity began with a variety of perspectives on Jesus and we do not feel threatened by experiencing (both outside of and within our congregation) a similar variety of perspectives today. To us, Jesus was the ultimate liberal, who resisted the status quo of oppression and showed us the way to the abundant life God intends for all people.
We claim Jesus as our guide, teacher, healer, savior, and companion in life. We find the stories of incarnation and resurrection as invitations to abundant life. We embrace an understanding of God as embodied, loving the world enough to suffer with it and transform the world through loving companionship, and who saves the world by bringing forth life out of death each moment and at the end of our earthly days.
Being followers of Jesus opens us to truth, wisdom, and healing everywhere. And wherever we find truth and healing, we see it shaped by the life and teaching of Jesus the Christ. The God revealed in Jesus of Nazareth loves us into life, constantly awakens us to new possibilities, and invites us to experience life in the midst of death. In the God revealed in Christ, we experience this world as holy, and embrace the possibility of discovering divinity in every moment of experience. Yet we also see more value in questioning than in absolutes.
We are a people of Hope.
We are people filled with joy and unrelenting optimism because we know God as always good. With God, we see all things as possible. We are committed to allowing God to use us to transform the world.
We believe that God’s will for us is health, wholeness, and holiness; and growing to fulfill that will is our responsibility as disciples, and helping others to grow towards wholeness is an expression of Christian caring. For us, salvation is a Divine expression of redeeming love for every part of our lives, and of all Creation.
We are a people who see Christianity as a faith with a future (albeit not looking exactly like it does in many parts of our country) and as such, feel a commitment to be producers, not just consumers, of “church.”
We are a people of Inclusion.
We see inclusiveness as a value Jesus held and taught. We believe Jesus came to include, not to exclude, and therefore ALL are welcome around God’s table.
We seek to create a community that reflects the diversity of all people, including, but not limited to:
- Conventional Christians and questioning skeptics,
- Believers and agnostics,
- Women, men, and those with conflicting gender identities,
- Those of all sexual orientations, all classes, and all abilities.
We are a people of Liberation.
We seek to challenge oppression in all its forms; within our culture, our government, within the world, and even (or especially) within the institutions of the Church. We strive to create beloved community, as imagined by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, by being vigilant in all our activities, with respect to those forces that create wedges between us, with particular attention to homophobia, racism, and the history of empire and colonialism.
We know that the way we behave towards “the other” is the fullest expression of what we value—and so we continually strive for peace and justice among all people, and to protect and restore the integrity of our Earth and all the Created order.