The traditional symbol for St. John is the eagle. You will see the eagle in various forms throughout our web site. The lectern for reading in St. John’s sanctuary is cast in the form of an eagle.
Our Mission Statement
The Mission of St. John’s Lutheran Church is to
Worship the Lord,
Serve Faithfully and
God’s Call to St. John’s
We, the family of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Albany, New York, being called in our Baptism, gathered and nurtured by the Holy Spirit, are joined together as God’s people to be a reflection of God’s love as revealed to us primarily in the Holy Scriptures.
We, therefore, declare our purpose to be that of hearing, affirming, living and sharing both the expectations God has of us and the gifts God offers us.
To this end, we commit ourselves, as Christ’s disciples, to provide appropriate and regular opportunities for (1) worship, (2) personal and spiritual growth, (3) witnessing to our faith, and (4) serving the needs of our members, the Church at large, the local community and beyond, by (5) drawing upon the time, abilities, and resources of our members and our professional staff.
We’re Anchored in the Lord and Witnesses to the Community. Learning
We offer a Christian Education program for all ages on Sunday mornings, September to May. This program is open to members of St. John’s and the community.
Sunday School classes for nursery through eighth grade meet at 10:45 a.m.
The St. John’s Youth are part of the Albany Cluster Youth Group. It is open to young people from fourth to eighth grades regardless of whether or not they are members of St. John’s Lutheran Church or other cluster churches.
The Youth Group attempts to provide the young people with an opportunity to work together in activities both social and educational. The Youth Group meets most months on the Third Sunday. They regularly participate in the national Lutheran Youth Gatherings and the Junior High Youth Encounter gatherings.
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
St. John’s is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (E.L.C.A.). It is the purpose of the E.L.C.A. to engage as many persons as will share its confession of faith (beliefs) in a fellowship. The fellowship includes worship, learning, community, witness and service that the Word of God in Jesus Christ may become effective in human lives. This happens together and individually, and includes relationships with other Christian fellowships and social institutions in our nation and throughout the world. St. John’s church is part of the Upstate New York Synod of the E.L.C.A. and of its Hudson Mohawk Conference.
Albany Lutheran Cluster
A fellowship of five Albany area congregations — First Lutheran Church, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit, St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. We share in ministries for the cluster and within the larger community. The cluster provides a combined confirmation ministry program. Together the churches have supported the CROP Walk, AIDS Walk, Albany Maritime Ministry, Overflow Homeless Shelter, Albany Damien Center, Equinox, Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless and the regional Food Bank among other ministries.
St. John’s continues a long history of hosting twelve step groups and groups supporting people with mental health concerns. The church participates in other area ministries such as the CROP Walk for hunger, West Hills Ministerial Fellowship, SUNY Albany Campus Ministry, and the Capital Area Council of Churches Ecumenical Witnesses of Baptism. St. John’s supports the Sister Maureen Joyce Center for feeding the hungry, clothing the needful, and providing support.
Lutherans are the largest Protestant denomination.
We base our faith on God’s Word, the Scriptures, and confess (proclaim) that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior.
Our liturgical service is based on the tradition of Christian worship dating to the early centuries of the Christian Church as we praise God.
Our church regards its members as a fellowship of believers, a community of Christ, not merely another human organization.
St. John’s Funeral and Wedding Fees Schudule
Attached is a copy of St. John’s fees for funerals and weddings.
Messages from Pastor Jo Page
pastor-jo-page-sermon-november-13-2016 Click here to read the full text of the sermon. Here is an excerpt – “Let us be vigilant witnesses on the lookout for both justice that we might celebrate and injustice that we might not be idle in doing good works. Baptized, nourished, renewed, we will not grow weary in well-doing, remembering the words of Micah with which I began our sermon:
What does the Lord require of you
but to do justice
and to love kindness
and to walk humbly with your God?”
Pastor Jo Page Sermon September 4 2016 Click here to read the full text of the sermon. Here is an excerpt – “God is a potter… We are clay, not inanimate pieces. In other words, God is forming us and re-forming us. We are in the hands of a loving crafter. We do not need to be afraid. But more importantly, we do not need to resist. We are called forth to look at our lives and discern what meaning we can find, through scripture, through song, through our lives shared together.”
Pastor Jo Page Sermon August 7 2016 Click here to read the full text of the sermon. Here is an excerpt – “God will not leave us without the signs and the greetings of promise that have sustained us all our lives. We are beloved in the Lord, which means that we can dare to live in hope for the future, not fear of it. We are beloved in the Lord, which means that we can dare to embrace change, not try to hide from it. We are beloved in the Lord, which means that we can give the gift of God’s love in new ways, never doubting that it is our Father’s good pleasure to give us the kingdom.”
Pastor Jo Page Sermon May 15, 2016 Click here to read the full text of the sermon. “As the community of God gathered at St. John’s, we must be bold and trusting. We must not be afraid to be scattered—as those insecure clods of earth who tried to build the tower of Babel were afraid to be scattered. Because in our scattering, we carry the seed of the salvific and loving word of God. And so we also must not be afraid to listen to the voices that speak in various tongues as we discern a new way to be the faithful to God who has promised us that we will never, ever be left orphaned. We are claimed and named, God’s daughters and sons. That is our heritage, not a building, not a denomination, not an address nor a fund.”
Pastor Jo Page Sermon from April 24 2016 Click here to read the full text of the sermon. “Trust the Holy Spirit and be smartly creative and completely realistic” is our modus operandi. Well then, What are the people of St. John’s going to do that will most benefit the spread of the gospel of God’s love? needs to be our guiding premise. It’s the first and most important question to ask and to ask again and again and again and again.
Pastor Jo Page Sermon April 3 2016 Click here to read the full text of the sermon. “Thank God, thank God abundantly for the story of Thomas who gives us a chance to see for ourselves that those who don’t believe, those who can’t let themselves believe for fear of being somebody’s fool, may yet be made to be God’s disciple with a pure and strong faith. Thank God for Thomas who is not anybody’s fool, but God’s new creation: the disciple transformed by faith to see the still unseen Godhead in the rise Jesus Christ.
It is Easter, after all, and God calls non-being into being, doubt into faith, our despair into the richest joy. It is Easter, after all, and God is still speaking, turning each of us—right now!—into a new creation, a creation of faith.”
Pastor Jo Page Sermon March 6, 2016 Click here to read the full text of the sermon – the parable of the Prodigal Son…., or the Wise Father….. and more. Pastor Jo shares the story from different viewpoints, great parallels to our relationship with God.
Pastor Jo Page Sermon February 14 2016 Click here to read the full text of the sermon, here is an excerpt – Fierce, resilient hope is our access to grace. Hope that resurrects itself again and again from the bed of the grave, the despair of death, the airlessness of the tomb — that’s the mystery, isn’t it? Hope pulls us out of a mealy-mouthed sense that all is well with the world into the stark acknowledgement that we need hope precisely because the stakes are so high: this is a sinful and dangerous life we live. It is the same kind of life that drove the nails into the hands and feet of God. It is the same kind of life that drained the breath of God from Jesus’ lungs until all that was left was a shell of man, parched and dead, his lips still wrapped around the dying words, “It is finished.”
Pastor Jo Page Sermon January 24 2016 Click here to read the full text of the sermon, here is an excerpt – “I believe we are still being called to give legs to the word of God. That’s our job. It’s not to become Bible-minded by reading a snippet here or there sometime during the week and then just deciding that all the principles in the Bible are ones that we believe are accurate. That’s just sloppy and unreflective reading. Instead, our job is to study and probe and prod and pry at scripture so that we can give the word of God legs that it might dwell among us, full of grace and truth. Our call is not to be Bible-minded, it’s to be Bible partners, dancing with the word of God that it may provide us with the abundant life we are called to share with others.”
Baptism of Our Lord Sermon from Pastor Jo Page January 10 2016 Click here to read the full text of the sermon, here is an excerpt – “In our baptisms, we drowned into life. We drowned into the freedom to let go, to loosen our grip on our need to control the outcome. We drowned into the floods of grace that tell us nothing can separate us from the love of God. No rules that humans make. No government. No guilt or sorrow. No sickness that corrodes our bodies or ravages our souls. No death that stops our hearts and still our breaths.”
Pastor Jo Page January 3 2016 Sermon Click here to read the full text of the sermon, here is an excerpt – “The light that is in the darkness is the light that is best suited for us. It is the light that will illumine our lives without blinding our vision. It is the light we can follow to a destination. It is the light that warms and cheers us. It is the light that lets us know the unfathomable God is somehow–and fathomably–truly with us.”
Epiphany Message from Pastor Jo Page Click here to read the full text of the January 2016 Newsletter article from Pastor Jo Page. “The season of Epiphany calls us to faith. It calls us to look for that pinprick of brightness that illumines us as we walk in darkness. We are promised that the darkness will not overcome the brightness of the Word made flesh. And so we are continually called to hope, to faith, to work and to prayer, even as we find ourselves walking in a cloud of night.”
Christmas Eve 2015 Pastor Jo Page Sermon at St. John’s Church Click here for the full text of the sermon, here is an excerpt – “Till we die we are always both journeying toward God and journeying with one another. Along the way we have our little home-comings, our blessings of togetherness, our Christmases that promise that when we part from each other, we will never be without God along the way. And we have that lovely option: the choice to love is open to us till we die.
So let the mad shepherds and the wandering Wise Men inspire you. Let the mighty virgin wife, Mary and the befuddled husband, Joseph, inspire you. Let the little Baby Jesus with his wordless and insistent hunger inspire you. And with such a challenge and such a blessed choice before you, believe in the unimaginable wonder of the word made flesh.”
Pastor Jo Page Advent sermon Mary Click here for the full text of the sermon, here is an excerpt – Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word. So the story of the birth of Jesus cannot be separated from the story of Mary’s having born him, suckled him, loved him—these acts of desperate love and trust that show us how we should stand in relationship to God: responsive, willing, gentle and terrifically courageous. And that is what, to me, is the most profound thing about Christmas—that it’s so magnificently risky. God relying on human love. That’s thinking outside the box. That’s making a leap of faith. That is the tender-hearted God trusting that, amidst the hard-heartedness of so many people, there would still be some tender-hearted fools willing to risk their love and their trust, willing to say let it be with me according to your word.
Sermon from Pastor Jo Page December 6 2015 Click here for the full text of the sermon, here is an excerpt – “But week by week, as we approach Christmas, Jesus comes ever nearer to crowning into our lives. We must awaken from the slumber of shame and sin. We must shake off our sleepiness in preparation for this birth. For this new life in the baby Jesus is our new life in Jesus. With this birth comes the power to bear those fruits which John the Baptist calls us to bear—and not out of obligation and shame, but out of the freedom God gives to us.”
Pastor Jo Page sermon from November 29 2015 Click here for the full text of Pastor Jo Page’s sermon from November 29, 2015 – the first Sunday of Advent.
Pastor Jo Page Sermon from October 18 2015 Click here for the full text of Pastor Jo Page’s sermon from October 18, 2015. – “I know that I want to be like Bartimaeus, wise enough to know when I need renewal or healing, bold enough to ask for it, receptive enough to let God give me vision and visionary enough to trust my sight to God. I hope you want to be like that visionary Bartimaeus, too.”
October 11 Sermon Text from Pastor Jo Page Click here for the full text of Pastor Jo Page’s sermon on October 11, 2015 – based on the Gospel text from Mark 10. “…Go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me…..For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.”
Pastor Jo Page Sermon text Sept 27 2015 Click here for the full text of Pastor Jo Page’s sermon on September 27, 2015 at First Lutheran Church.
Sermon from Pastor Jo Page Aug 30 2015 Click here for the full text of Pastor Jo Page’s sermon from Aug. 30, 2015.
August 2 Sermon text from Pastor Jo Page – Click here for the full text of Pastor Jo Page’s sermon from Aug. 2, 2015. Here is a portion – When we come to the table of the Lord, we do not come as disciples with hearts about to burst from coming sadness. We come to the table as prodigals approaching the feast that celebrates our homecoming. And each time we receive the bread and wine into our hands and into our bodies, we are given exactly what it is we truly need: the promise of God’s abiding and eternal presence.
What is the right response to this gift of God’s love? Eager faces, outstretched arms, hunger, curiosity, gratitude. And a willingness to genuinely taste and see that the Lord is good.
July 19 sermon from Pastor Jo Page – Follow this link to the text of Pastor Jo Page’s sermon from July 19, 2015.
July 5 Sermon text from Pastor Jo Page – Follow this link to the text of Pastor Jo’s sermon from July 5, 2015
June 28 sermon text Jo Page Charleston.etc – Follow this link to the text of Pastor Jo Page’s sermon from June 28, 2015
Some brief excerpts from the above linked text – We are children of God… We are Christians in America. We will name racism…We will embrace diversity…We will work for peace… From Ephesians – “But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into the one who is the head, into Christ…” We are Christians in America. We have an opportunity. We are called to live into the grace that redeems us from that which would harm us.
An excerpt from Vicar Lauren Blatt’s sermon – I had written a whole sermon about the global food crisis and how we contribute to food shortages all over our planet, but then De’payne Middletown-Doctor, Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Clementa Pinckney, TyWanza Sanders, Daniel Simmons Sr., Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson were fatally shot in Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina while attending Bible studies and worship.
I really struggled to figure out what I was going to say in the wake of such tragedy. I feel led by God’s Spirit to call the church to repentance for the ongoing sin of racism and acknowledgment of the many ways in which we all benefit from this racist system. God’s grace makes us giant slayers and even when we think God is sleeping or not paying attention– God is with us. God is with us in our suffering. God is leading us home. God is giving us strength to look at the days ahead and to say this should not happen. Race is a construct that doesn’t matter to God because God loves all people.
Some excerpts from the June 14 sermon text – We are called to live as the body of Christ, called to do good works—as we are reminded in Ephesians, “For we are what God has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.” And in the doing of good works, we are scattering the seeds of God’s love, not caring as much about the outcome, over which we have no control.
So as with the sower casting seed to the ground; we are called to be faithful in our lives, but we are not called to be successful and the outcome doesn’t depend on us – This, in itself, is a kind of radical grace.
From Pastor Jo Page – Sermon text April 12 2015