Welcome to the Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist, located in downtown Elkhart, Indiana. St. John’s is a vibrant church community of all ages with a long and historic tradition of ministry in Elkhart County dating back to 1873. Our current church building is a beautiful example of gothic revival, dating from 1895.
St. John's has a rich history of ministry in the greater Elkhart community. Together with tradition and the future in mind we are excited to proclaim the Gospel to the world.
Worship - what to expect
Our main Sunday worship is the celebration of the Mass at 8 am in traditional language (Rite I) and at 10 am in contemporary language (Rite II) with hymns. Both services are Eucharistic with the Sacrament of Holy Communion. We believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ as found in our Communion celebration, the community of the faithful coming together as the Body of Christ. Just as the bread and wine are transformed, so are the faithful, sharing in Christ's death and resurrection. We say with great joy: Alleluia! Christ our passover is sacrificed for us! Therefore let us keep the feast! Alleluia!
At St. John's we celebrate worship with a sense of holiness and a living, time honored tradition that evokes the mystery of God entering our world. At every Mass we exclaim, "Holy, holy, holy!" This beautiful ceremony or liturgy (meaning, "the work of the people") isn't done for our sake or merit, but as celebration of God's presence. As the psalmist reminds us, "O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; let the whole earth stand in awe of him."
Our worship is also balanced with the reality that Jesus walked the earth with his disciples in all sorts and conditions, including difficult times. At every Mass we hear readings from Scripture, a sermon, and we bid our prayers and intercessions. The humanity of Jesus is also celebrated as we seek restoration from the sin and brokenness in ourselves, for others, and the world. Our worship does not neglect the Holy Spirit - that God is still with us, calling disciples today. Outside of Sundays there are other worship opportunities.
All are welcome.
Who we are and what we believe
St. John’s is a parish in the Diocese of Northern Indiana of the Episcopal Church and a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the third largest global Christian body.
From this Anglican tradition, St. John’s uses The Book of Common Prayer (more commonly referred to as the “Prayer Book” or the BCP) to express both our beliefs and worship based on Holy Scriptures. We affirm Holy Scriptures as “God inspired,” that “God still speaks to us through the Bible,” and that, “the Holy Spirit guides the Church in the true interpretation of Scriptures” (BCP p. 853-854).
We also confess that the Church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic - the community of the New Covenant charged to administer Word, Sacraments, and Christ’s mission to all people. We are the Body of Christ, called to build up God's Kingdom. We are joined in mission with neighboring Episcopal and community churches in this charge.
Discipleship - Renewal and Outreach
As such, discipleship at St. John's is essential. Being formed through the witness of God's love -- whether through renewal or outreach ministries -- is at the heart of discipleship. Leaders are deeply formed in faith to further future disciples in community.
Sunday renewal and formation is typically offered at 9 a.m. (September through May), including Sunday School, Adult Classes, and Choir rehearsal. There are additional renewal, catechetical, and worship opportunities - please see Special Events or our calendar.
St. John's offers several missionary outreach opportunities, including the St. John's Food Pantry and the Outreach Committee. The St. John's Food Pantry is the largest pantry in downtown Elkhart, typically serving 100+ families a week. The Outreach Committee engages in neighborhood support, including a back-to-school backpack supply drive and national to global support, including sponsoring children in our companion Diocese of Honduras. There are a variety of ways to be activity in your discipleship at St. John's.
St. John's ministers within the wider community. Downtown Elkhart is attractively located and offers many ministry, family, and community possibilities. To the west is urban South Bend with Notre Dame and beyond, the vast Chicago metroplex. To the east is rolling farmlands, including Amish communities like Shipshewana. To the north we are immediately bordered with the forested hills and lakes of Michigan and its environs, including St. Gregory’s Benedictine Abbey (Episcopal) at Three Rivers. To the South is the rest of Indiana to explore. Elkhart itself boasts a strong manufacturing tradition, including the RV industry and several musical instrument companies. Elkhart offers its own opportunities for higher education including the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary.
The City of Elkhart includes many parks, museums, family activities, and the world famous Elkhart Jazz Festival which occurs every June. With a beautiful adjoining river walk, the St. Joseph and Elkhart Rivers converge in the downtown. St. John’s ministry is at the center of all this and more, offering Christ to the world.
Let us together share in St. John’s mission of "Sharing faith - Joined in love - Christ-centered." Our church is named after the Gospel-writer John. It is in John's Gospel that Jesus speaks, "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another." This love of Christ is nurtured through our call in discipleship to our community and beyond.
This is an exciting time to be a member of St. John’s as we serve through faith in God to transform the world. Again, all are welcome, especially families as the future of the church is in its youth. We look forward to seeing you on Sunday.
A Visual Tour
Click on the image below to view our facilities at St. John's.