A true church is not and never has been a building, but rather is made up of people redeemed by Jesus—people who gather frequently to worship, grow, serve and simply do life together in response to what He has done. A true church is a family community of people who care for one another in the face of tragedy and laugh with one another in celebration. A true church is made up of forgiven and growing people…not perfect people. And a true church has a passion to share that forgiveness with everyone.
We are so grateful that Jesus is having His way with us more and more and together we are becoming that kind of church and school community. It is a direct answer to Jesus’ prayer from John 17:20-23 that forms our mission together or as we like to say it, One in Jesus ... Reaching Many!
Tracing our roots back to 1st Century Christianity and the Lutheran Reformation of the 16th Century, we are a local church family of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) The term "synod" means "walking together."
With international headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, the LCMS is made up of more than 6,500 congregations “walking together” in the United States with mission partners throughout the world. Through our affiliation with the LCMS, we support mission work in over 35 foreign countries and train pastors, missionaries, church workers, and teachers to staff the largest Protestant system of parochial grade schools and high schools in the United States. For more information on the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, please visit their homepage.
What We Believe
There is one true God who reveals His identity in three distinct ways: as Father, as Son, and as Spirit. (Deuteronomy 6:4, Luke 3:21-22, Matthew 28:19-20)
This same loving God created all that is according to His divine wisdom, power, and purpose; and it was perfect. People are the crown of God's creation. We are His representatives in the world to manage it for him. (Genesis 1:27-31)
However, we have rebelled against our divine Maker and, instead of worshipping and serving him, have gone our own self-centered ways. (Psalm 53:1-3, Psalm 51:5, Romans 3:23)
Because of our rebellion, we are lost, incapable of living life to its fullest, destined to die in a world contaminated by our own evil. (Romans 5:12, Ephesians 2:1, Romans 6:23)
Yet, our Creator-God still cares so deeply for us that he himself came into this world as one of us in the person of Jesus Christ to seek us out and save us by taking our deserved punishment on himself. (John 3:16-17, Luke 19:10)
Jesus Christ, the God-man, did this by dying publicly on a Roman executioner's cross to pay the death penalty of our rebellion. Against all odds, He then bodily rose again from the grave to open the door to divine forgiveness and eternal life for us. (John 19:1-20:31, Luke 23:1-24:53, Mark 15:1-16:20, Matthew 28:1-20, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8)
Because Jesus Christ paid the full price for our rescue, God now gives forgiveness, peace and life eternal as a free gift of grace to all people. (Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8-9)
We receive this gift from God by simply trusting in Jesus as the true giver of it. (John 3:36, Mark 16:16, Acts 16:30-31)
By means of His inspired Word (2 Timothy 3:16) and the Sacraments of Baptism (Matthew 28:19, Acts 2:38-39) and the Lord's Supper (Luke 22:19-20, 1 Corinthians 10:23-28), the Spirit of God...
- Brings us to faith in Jesus Christ.
- Incorporates us into His family, the Church.
- Nurtures us to live our lives in service to Him and one another.
- Will at the end of time bring us to live forever in the heavenly home which God has prepared for those who believe in Jesus as their personal Savior.
Core Values and Strategic Direction
Our St. John Lutheran Church & School mission and ministry motto statement and logo proclaim this critical answer to Jesus’ prayer in a simple, memorable way: One in Jesus Reaching Many!
As a visual representation of our mission statement, the center of our St. John Lutheran Church & School logo is the central witness of our faith through the redeeming cross of our Savior Jesus. That witness is formed as an answer to Jesus' prayer as people of diversity are joyfully drawn together by God’s eternal love and forgiving grace to become ONE in Christ. The image is visibly in motion, drawing the focus both inward toward the cross but also outward and forward in thanksgiving as He leads us to walk together extending His eternal love to all.
The eight extending hands of the logo also visually connect as a reminder of our eight Core Values and Strategic Directions that follow. To learn more, please click or hover over each category on the graphic below.
Imagine a faith community where everyone immerses in the study of God’s inspired Word, setting aside time daily to read the Word, reflect on what it means, and applying it to their lives. These people are lifelong students of God’s Word, thoroughly grounded in the inspired truth God has revealed as upheld through the solid doctrine and confessions of our church body, the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. (John 6:68, Luke 8:11-15, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Isaiah 55:11, John 20:31)
Strategic Direction: In Jesus, our Church and School family is one and reaching many as we place God’s Word in as many hands as we can and together engage in the life transformation that comes by studying and reflecting on it.
Imagine a faith community where everyone gathers together often to joyfully celebrate Christ’s life-giving presence and forgiving grace through Word and Sacraments. They do so with a very clear sense of their repentant need for God. They are drawn to gather not because they feel obligated but because they know the relational welcome of Jesus’ love and the life-changing impact of His presence through worship. (Isaiah 29:13-14, 1 John 1:8-10, John 4:23-24, Acts 2:42-44, Hebrews 10:23-25)
Strategic Direction: In Jesus, our Church and School family is one and reaching many as we put our best energies into relevantly developing and celebrating our worship life in Christ.
Imagine a faith community where everyone walks together through life by caring, encouraging and holding one another accountable in passionate pursuit of relationally full life in Christ. It is a supportive community where no one—whatever their age, race, marital, economic or emotional status—is ever alone. These people gather together in homes and coffee houses, on our church and school campus or throughout the community, coming together to share life together in Christ. (John 10:10, Galatians 3:26-28, Acts 2:46-47, 1 Thessalonians 2:8, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, John 13:34-35)
Strategic Direction: In Jesus, our Church and School family is one and reaching many as we intentionally strive to connect every person to experience meaningful, authentic community-life and loving support in Jesus name.
Imagine a faith community where everyone rallies to strengthen the homes and lives of children, youth and families within our reach, helping them to grow into all God has created them to be. These people passionately invest their time, energy, and resources in marriages, children, youth and families because they recognize that the time we are given to shape them is irreplaceable. (Proverbs 22:6, Psalm 145:3-5, 2 Timothy 3:14-17, Luke 18:15-17, Ephesians 5:21-6:4, Ephesians 3:14-21)
Strategic Direction: In Jesus, our Church and School family is one and reaching many as we work purposefully to strengthen marriages, homes, and families to ensure that everyone becomes a spiritual champion in life.
Imagine a faith community where everyone gives thanks for every material blessing of the Lord in their lives. They recognize that everything they have belongs to God and is ultimately on loan from Him. In response to His loving provision they joyfully defy logic and intentionally give sacrificially by faith in Jesus’ name to faithfully provide for the needs of His kingdom work locally and globally. (Malachi 3:10, Luke 12:13-34, Luke 21:1-4, Matthew 25:14-30, 2 Corinthians 8:7, 9:6-15, Acts 4:32-35)
Strategic Direction: In Jesus, our Church and School family is one and reaching many, as we learn more and more to trust in the Lord as our provider and respond to His amazing grace generously as his people, knowing He willingly invites us to test Him in this.
Imagine a faith community where everyone uses their unique, God-given set of gifts, including time, talents, abilities, passions and experiences to joyfully go out and humbly serve others in their community, congregation and world with open hearts of compassionate mercy in Jesus’ name. These people are also committed to encouraging and equipping others to do the same. (Ephesians 4:11-13, Romans 12:1-8, Luke 10:30-37, Luke 22:24-27, John 12:25-26)
Strategic Direction: In Jesus, our Church and School family is one and reaching many as we continually prepare and unleash more and more people to serve humbly with compassion in meaningful ways in Jesus’ name.
Imagine a faith community where everyone openly lives out and speaks about the eternal love of Jesus as a natural expression of who they are as forgiven people in Christ. These people are aware and open to the Spirit’s leading and are willingly available and equipped to share the message of Jesus’ love with those who may think they are far from God. (Luke 19:10, Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 2:3-5, Acts 4:20, Colossians 4:5-6, 1 Peter 3:15, Philemon 1:6)
Strategic Direction: In Jesus, our Church and School family is one and reaching many as we are motivated by the love of Jesus to invest in relationally and intentionally leading others to Christ, urgently aware that eternity is on the line for those who don’t know Him.
Imagine a faith community where everyone unceasingly approaches the Lord in prayer individually, as families and as a church and school community. A community where people don’t just say they’ll pray, but actually do pray openly in complete faith and trust, confidently recognizing the incredible privilege and intimate opportunity we have to call upon the powerful presence of our Triune God in Jesus’ name. (John 17:20-23, Philippians 4:6-7, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Acts 12:1-19)
Strategic Direction: In Jesus, our Church and School family is one and reaching many as we grow more and more individually and corporately to rely on the Lord for all things, seeking Him passionately in prayer that His will would be done and accomplished among us.
By God’s grace, St. John Lutheran Church was established in 1920 with first worship services held in the home of one of the charter members. After several worship locations, St. John found its permanent home at the corner of University and Helen in the heart of Rochester. Abundantly blessed through 100 years, St. John has sought to be a beacon of Jesus’ love in the surrounding community. It is our joy to meet and welcome people of all ages and backgrounds. Our congregation has been strongly committed to providing high-quality Christian education to children in the area, with the establishment of St. John Lutheran School in 1943. As we continue to serve the Lord and others, we delight in shining Christ’s love in the community, in nearby urban ministry, around our nation and throughout the world.