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!
Our St. John family is an affiliated ministry of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS). The LCMS is a mission-oriented and Bible-based denomination that confesses the historic, orthodox Christian faith in the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. A faith built on “the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone” (Eph. 2:20). With the universal Christian Church, the LCMS teaches and responds to the love of the Triune God, who created all that exists; became man to suffer, die, and rise again for the world’s redemption; and brings people to faith and new life through His Word and Sacraments. The three persons of the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – are coequal and coeternal, one God.
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
Our mission “One in Jesus...Reaching Many” means that we seek and find unity in Jesus and in turn desire to bring others into the same relationship of love, peace, and forgiveness in Him.
All of our beliefs are drawn from the Bible which is God’s eternal Word. Please read on so that you may know those beliefs as God’s Word teaches us. (We’ve included references for passages in the Bible of those teachings.)
All people are created in the image of God and are intended by God to be in an eternal relationship with Him and to be like Him in character. But sin, disobedience to God, separates people from God. All people are sinners in need of God’s forgiveness. (Genesis 1:27-31, Psalm 53:1-3, Psalm 51:5, Romans 3:23)
Jesus Christ is true God and true Man at the same time. He lived a sinless life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice and ransom for our sins by dying on the cross. He rose from the dead on the third day, victorious over sin, death and the devil. He ascended into heaven where He reigns as Lord of all. He will return in glory to judge the living and the dead. (John 3:16-17, Luke 19:10, John 19:1-20:31, John 19:31, Luke 23:1-24:53, Mark 15:1-16:20, Matthew 28:1-20, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8)
The Good News
The Good News is that God has reconciled the world to Himself through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Sin, death, and the devil have been defeated. Forgiveness, eternal life, and peace with God are freely offered by God and received through faith in Jesus Christ. (Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:36, Mark 16:16, Acts 16:30-31)
The Christian Life
Jesus calls those us to follow Him in a life of faith, service, witness and obedience. The strength to follow Jesus in this way is a gift of the Holy Spirit. We are not perfect; we stumble and fall in our daily walk with God. But our forgiveness has been won and paid for by Jesus Christ, who calls us to repent, to receive forgiveness from Him, and to continue following Him. The Ten Commandments serve as a guide to God’s will for our lives. (1 Timothy 6:18, Galatians 5:13, Galatians 6:9-10)
The Mission of God
God’s mission is to reconcile all people to Himself through faith in Jesus Christ. All believers in Christ are called as God’s partners in this mission. We seek to grow as disciples so that we grow as witnesses and models to others, that they might come to know and follow Jesus as well. (John 3:16, Matthew 28: 18-19)
The Bible is the Word of God. God was at work in the lives of the human writers so that the final product is exactly what God wants it to be for us. It is true in all of that it says. The purpose of the Bible is to reveal Jesus Christ to us as our Savior, so that we might believe in Him and follow Him. We use words like “Inspired” (the Holy Spirit led those who wrote), “Inerrant” (because the Bible is God’s Word to us – all it says is true and without error) to describe the very words written. (John 17:17, 2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21, 1 Corinthians 2:13, Psalm 119:160, John 10:35)
Worship is the meeting place of God and His people. God gathers us into His presence that we might celebrate His goodness to us in Jesus, and receive from God gifts of His grace. We make use of historical forms of worship that have benefited Christians throughout the ages, as well as worship forms as new as today. (Acts 2:42)
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are gifts from God to the Church, through which God is present and actively at work. God gives His grace in the Water of Baptism (Matthew 28: 18-19). Jesus gives us Himself, His body and blood, in the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion). (Matthew 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-24, Luke 22:19 -20, 1 Corinthians 11: 23-26)
Our faith statement, consistent with Scripture, is that marriage is a covenant relationship designed and ordained by God from the very beginning of creation as a union between one man and one woman (biologically born male and female gender) (Genesis 2:24-25; Matthew 19:4-6; Ephesians 5:22-33). God instituted monogamous marriage between male and female as the foundation of the family.
The Bible teaches that we are created by God only as male and female (Genesis 1:27, Matthew 19:4) and upholds that definition. As follower of Jesus and the Word of God (the Bible) we believe, teach, and confess that biblical truth. We acknowledge no distinction between biological sex and gender. Therefore, especially in our school ministry we use pronouns, dress codes and restrooms that only correspond with the biological sex of each person.
Sanctity of Life
All human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life. (Psalm 139)
What is “Lutheran”?
Lutherans take their name from Martin Luther. He was a German priest who was expelled from the Roman Catholic Church in the early 1500s. Luther’s writing and teaching sparked the Protestant Reformation. Through his study of the Bible, Luther helped the Christian Church rediscover the truth that God is loving and that He offers forgiveness and eternal life as a free gift because of Jesus Christ. Luther taught that people – no matter how hard they try – cannot earn God’s forgiveness or a place in heaven. It is a gift that people receive through faith in Jesus Christ. St. John Lutheran Church & School is a member of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod church body (www.lcms.org)
Core Values and Strategic Direction
The gospel of St. John alone records Jesus' prayer for future believers who would become His church and extension of hope to the world:
"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, so that all of them nay be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the works may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one - I in them and you in me - so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." John 17-20-23
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 are a visual reminder to us of our eight Core Values and Strategic Directions. Click a category below to learn more.
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.