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
I warn my seminary students to be careful preaching on Christmas Eve. The temptation is great, you see, to make Christmas Eve about something that is not about, and we are, as preachers, pre-possessed with a command from none other than the Apostle to the Gentiles himself: “Preach the whole counsel of God.” And so, seeing the crowds on Christmas Eve, we want to preach the whole couple of God in one sermon.
“You have more than one sermon,“ I say. “And you can’t blow up Christmas Eve for the sake of those who don’t hear your other sermons.”
It’s a qualitative issue, you see, not a quantitative one.
Young preachers (and some recalcitrant old ones, you know who you are) attempted to make the celebration of the Incarnation into a meditation on the Crucifixion. The church has not set aside the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ for the purpose of leaping straight to Good Friday; instead, it is a reminder of the great mystery of the incarnation of God in created flesh. How do you work out that math? Well, it’s really hard. In fact, it’s impossible, and that’s why we spend a few weeks leading up to it and then tire blowout celebration when we get to it, trying to wrap our minds around a simple phrase: for maternity, Jesus took his flesh from the Virgin Mary. (I’ll pause for a minute while you memorize that; it’s the only way to do it without committing heresy). Jesus is eternal with the Father, he was a baby in the first century, and he was born in a stable, and he was wrapped in swaddling clothes, and angels came out of nowhere, and shepherds got them selves roused from the campfire, Magi mounted up on dromedaries out east somewhere, and the whole world flipped over at his birth.
During Pentecost, the green season, I harp on you to throw off your religion: “Watch out for your religion. Watch out for your tradition. Watch out for anything the covers up your faith. Watch out for anything to corrodes The Faith. Let your good works till everyone about Jesus, not your religiosity.” But now, during Advent and Christmas and Epiphany – – now be religious, as religious as you can, as religious as you want to be, to tell the world that from eternity, just took his flesh from the Virgin Mary. And that’s enough for now. The Crucifixion is inevitable for the baby, but right now it’s time for the baby, who came to us to save us from our sins.
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.