St. John’s Mission – Annotated
Sections in italics are annotations.
St John’s is a worshiping community,
obedient to scripture,
growing as servants of Christ,
and sharing His love in word and deed.
First, we are a community. We recognize that as the body of Christ, we are bound to one another. When one rejoices, all rejoice. When one suffers all suffer. The church is not a club of individual people, but a living community bound together in Christ. The primary act of the community that binds and identifies us is worship. “Worship” means to grant worth to something other than ourselves. We offer our worship to God as understood in the Christian tradition, in the Creeds and in our Book of Common Prayer.
We are obedient to Scripture. This does not mean that we have all the answers, but we believe God has given us, in the Scriptures, all we need to know to live a life pleasing to Him and edifying to one another. Therefore, we “read, mark, learn and inwardly digest,” the Scriptures and seek to pattern our lives, both individually and corporately, in accord with what we learn there.
Ultimately, the only growth that truly matters is that we grow as servants of Christ. We do not seek big budgets or notoriety in the community but to serve Christ wherever and however He may send us. That call may be easy and near, or difficult and far, but that is the growth we seek.
We have nothing to offer the world but the love of Christ. We do not have our own wisdom or cleverness. We do not have easy answers to difficult questions. What we have dependably and what we share freely is the love that Jesus has poured out on us. And we share that love in both word and deed. To speak of the love of Christ without action is empty and cheapens His love. To act in love without speaking of Jesus robs others of the opportunity to know Him themselves and become part of that serving community.
We are Biblical Christians, acting in all matters with integrity, serving others before ourselves, and striving for excellence in all we do.
This emphasizes the theme that we are obedient to Scripture but says a bit more about how we seek to live out that obedience. We strive to do so with integrity, meaning that we integrate all aspects of our lives into our Christian life and service. Faith is not just for when we are at church, but for all arenas of our lives. Serving others takes priority over our own ease and comforts. We strive for excellence in our service to God as we serve one another. Excellence demonstrates the value we place on one another.
We are members of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.
The Anglican Communion is a global fellowship of Christians having its roots in the Christian Church in England. There are 38 ‘Provinces’ of the Anglican Communion around the world and St. John’s is part of the Province known as The Episcopal Church, comprising churches in the United States, plus Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Venezuela, the Virgin Islands and some English language churches throughout western Europe known as the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe.
We worship within the Anglican tradition.
Worship within the Anglican tradition means primarily that we have a liturgical style of worship in which the congregation is invited and encouraged to participate in the act of worship. Worship is not something done by the priest at the altar, but by the gathered community. We have forms and patters by which we do that so that even a newcomer can be a participant should they wish.
With God’s help,
We reach out to our community to meet human need and invite others to St. John’s.
This emphasizes again our commitment to sharing the love of Christ in both word and deed. We work to meet the needs that we find in our community and beyond and as we do so, we invite others into this community.
We endeavor to be disciples of Jesus Christ, providing our members opportunities for spiritual growth, learning and service.
To be a disciple is to give oneself over to the training and mentoring of another with the goal of becoming like that “master.” We identify our “master” as Jesus and we work to provide a variety of ways to grow in that discipleship.