Maybe it is just me, but it seems that this time of the year accentuates our need to prepare. Most of the year you have hit and miss moments – you prepare for a birthday or anniversary, you prepare for a vacation, you prepare for a new arrival, or you prepare to celebrate the death of a loved one. But during the Advent season you take that up a notch. You spend time planning holiday meals, your decorations, the presents you need to buy, the parties you will attend, and even the church services you will go to. Advent is called a season of preparation but do we actually take time to prepare for the one that this season focuses on? Advent is a wonderful time to prepare for the coming of the Christ child who is God’s savior of the world. It is a glorious time to celebrate God’s redemption through Christ. It is a beautiful season to proclaim God’s messenger of peace, hope, joy, and love. It is a significant opportunity for us to grasp what it means to be disciples of Jesus who are called to be good neighbors who share the good news. This Advent season our task will be to claim or re-claim this season of preparation as a spiritual journey, more than it is a physical journey. The goal will be a renewed heart and life filled with the vision of Jesus’ goodness lived out in our lives and in the lives of others. I invite you to join us this Advent season for our worship series titled “Preparing For the Christ Child.” I hope you will take time to be present with us for this time of preparation and renewal. - Rev. Dr. Jim Hoffman
All of us seek and want to find a place where we are welcomed and can belong. Some feel like they can belong anywhere; others question if they belong, even in a local church. We, the people of St. John’s, want you to know that all are welcome here! We want to emphasize that everyone ~ and we mean everyone ~ can come and belong here. St. John’s United Methodist church proclaims God’s unconditional love and grace that is for everyone. We celebrate and welcome the diversity of God’s family. Thus, we are open to all who are seeking after God and desire to be in unity with others. So, there it is. You are welcome here!
We strive to offer inspiring and excellent classical traditional worship. Our choir-led service is filled with stirring music, sermons, stories, and opportunities for spiritual growth all led by our laity and pastoral staff. We believe anyone attending worship will be stimulated emotionally, physically, and spiritually for the purpose of leading a holistic and faith-filled life.
Living Streams is our weekly worship
experience focusing on the practices of story sharing, centering prayer, and
As hard as it has been, I’m trying to take a thirty-thousand-foot view of the world around us, in particular in regards to the division we are experiencing today. Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky call this “going up on the balcony and viewing the dance floor.” When you find yourself in the middle of something, it is hard to discern what is creating the movement around us. From the “balcony” I’ve come to the conclusion that some (or maybe much) of what drives us is our tribalism. As much as we as American citizens admire and aspire to the idea of “becoming a more perfect union” it doesn’t appear that we are any closer to that objective because we aren’t all pursuing it in the same way. I would also suggest that the idea of being “one in Christ Jesus” is a lofty ideal for the church, but not necessarily one that all of its members are equally pursuing. Rather, we like our tribe – our earthly tribe. If we are in actuality “resident aliens” in this world, why aren’t we putting more effort into aligning with the tribe that is God’s kingdom that is coming? Over the course of this worship series we look at how we group ourselves by religion, culture, ethnicity, and socially. We view these in light of scripture and the ethics of Jesus that were passed on through the Apostles. Our aim is to test and see where our loyalties lie and to shift (if needed) to align with God’s kingdom tribe. - Rev. Dr. Jim Hoffman