SJLCY is resuming in-house worship on Sunday, June 21, 2020 (Father’s Day).
We urge anyone who does not feel comfortable or who has health concerns to stay home. Pastor Duke will continue conducting on-line services accessible through our church website YouTube link.
For questions or concerns, you may call Joe Pardee at (716)791-3544 (day or evening) or Bart Klette at (716)754-7565 (evening).
As always, we all should continue to pray for God’s continuing guidance and comfort!
The congregation of St. John Lutheran Church is close knit (approximately 225 members), welcoming, friendly, and actively involved in the life of the church.
Visitors are always encouraged and welcomed.
The congregation of St. John Lutheran Church is a community of diverse talents and backgrounds, gathered around the Word of God and what He gives in Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
From the Pastor
When God smacks the world, like he does sometimes, it does well to watch how the pieces settle. A global pandemic is a fireworks show for culture and politics, on the largest stage possible. The range of opinions worldwide is hard to take in, from the outright crazy, to the conspiratorial, to the skeptic, to the cynic, all the way to those who want to perpetuate the pandemic mongering to the end of time. The cynic knows these last ones have motives involving power and money. The skeptic wonders how much truth is at the kernel of the show. The frustrated shout that “the people are such sheep!” Perhaps people are sheep, but who is their shepherd? Very few sheep are following any shepherd other than themselves. Instead of one flock, one shepherd, we see for every sheep no shepherd but himself.
I imagine that the frustration, the cynicism, the skepticism, and the waywardness has tired many sheep, making them weary, making them seek a shepherd. I’ve seen it in a few others, and I must say I’ve experienced it myself. The world is too much to govern all by myself, no matter how small I try to make it. God is too much to govern; he’d rather shepherd me. After a while of fighting him, I suppose I’ll let him shepherd me, and I suppose I like it.
The world has not yet settled from this intrusion from God, and it’s impossible to say how things will shake out. I will venture to offer a few opinions: we’ll try very hard to fall into our old patterns. A few of them will be ready for us, but some will be gone. Believe it or not, a few more patterns have already developed. There are things we are doing that we’ve been doing for over a year now that we will continue to do after the cause of these new patterns is long-forgotten.
God’s love is good like that. He smacks us, messes us up, and to borrow another of his metaphors, he prunes us. The purpose is love, not punishment. Discipline for our good, not exacting retribution. We will grow from this. We are growing from this. Pruning, burning, destroying: when God does these things, he does it for our growth. Even death: when God kills, he makes alive.
Conjure into your own mind the list of unlikable things this past year has brought you: can you see God working these things out for the good?
Our Mission Statement
We, the members of St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, Youngstown, New York, are dedicated to the worship of the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe the Bible was written by the inspiration of God and are committed to spreading this Word throughout the community and the world. With the help of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we will continue to grow in our efforts to bring others to know of His unfailing love for His people.