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
A dear friend of mine has been talking to me about his dear bride, who is pregnant with their second child. They’re atheists, you see, and they dwell in a land where atheism is expected and fostered, but that land does not have the infrastructure, shall we say, for understanding what a second child does to the psyche of a woman, which affects her husband’s psyche, which, in turn, changes the marriage. We here in lowly “Middle America” call that sort of thing “Wisdom,” and we still possess the remnants of wisdom to help our marriages proceed through the various changes that are constant in marriage. As for my friend, he is discovering wisdom, and it is painful, but, after all, growth is painful.
Orson Bean is still alive and kicking, you know, giving interviews to the youngsters. He likewise was raised atheist, until somewhere along the way, he discovered that God was caring for him all along the way, and that God finds us lovable, ready and willing to care for everyone whether they believe in him or not. He also remarked that God caused him and his wife to grow by forcing them to pound it out, the marriage that is, which is a metaphor related to pounding out gold into something fine. I found this to be a remarkable thing to say, coming from a man ensconced in the fantasy lands of Hollywood and NYC. However, when pressed about who God is, he eschews religion altogether, saying that all religions are made by man, and therefore corrupted and ruined. Well, then.
God does reveal himself in many ways, at the very least in our relationships and in nature, especially in what works and what doesn’t work–and look, don’t worry, the kids have always skewed atheist. That’s what a kid is, basically, the lord over his own domain, up until some other lord bumps into his domain and takes it as his own and all of a sudden they’ve encountered God. You know the feeling. In any case, God does reveal himself in these ways, but he refuses to reveal himself as who he is.
It is remarkable that Orson Bean would discover a loving God in pain and marriage, but it is not remarkable at all that his God would remain nameless, as does the source of wisdom for my atheist friend. God is undiscoverable apart from Christ Jesus, who brings with him the offense of the cross. As for you, you have his name on you through baptism, which is a cap, so-to-speak, on all your wisdom, and you have his name on your lips, which is a trumpet of joy. What is the love of God? That his Son Jesus died for our sins. What is the wisdom of God? That he would make the foolish wise in Christ and the weak strong in Him, a very real, a very personal God.
For our friends and beloved family members who are only now discovering God, it is best that we share the joy of that discovery, living a wise life with them, as constant witnesses of who God is.
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.