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Open & Affirming

Capsule Statement

St. John’s is an Open and Affirming congregation. In faithfulness to Jesus and His commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves, we invite everyone to celebrate with us in the full life and ministry of the Church.


St. John’s Episcopal Church welcomes LGBTQIA+ individuals into the full life and ministry of the Church. This includes invitation to Baptism, Holy Communion, the sacrament of Marriage, and all other sacraments. At St. John’s, LGBTQIA+ individuals serve and have served in all capacities, clergy to vestry, choir to lectors, youth ministries to congregants over many years.

We affirm that every person is a beloved Child of God and invite you to come as you are. We strive to listen with open hearts and to embrace each person’s sacred story. Our history as the “First Free Church in Pennsylvania” defines our commitment to social justice, removing barriers between people.

We do not have all the answers, nor are we perfect representations of God’s love; however, we are committed to learning and open to growing. We are committed to building relationships with our neighbors in Lancaster City through groups such as: Embrace Lancaster and Reconciling Ministries, Lancaster Interfaith Coalition, Citizens Climate Action, Church World Services, POWER, local schools, and others.

At St. John’s “Love your neighbor” takes shape through active ministries including: Refugee Welcome Teams, Eagles’ Nest Afterschool Program, college partnerships, Food & Clothing ministries, Martin Luther King, Jr Day Events, Prison Ministries, the AIDS Memorial Garden, and partnerships with other communities of faith for crisis response.

Our Baptismal Covenant asks us: Will you seek and serve God in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself? Will you strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being? St. John’s answers: We will, with God’s help.

We invite people of every age, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, economic standing, physical and mental ability. Wherever you are on your faith journey: come celebrate with us in our worship, our activities, our ministries.


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