Here you will find information about the many ministries of our parish.

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Worship

Saturdays at 6:00 PM:
Informal worship with Holy Communion

Sundays at 10:00 AM:
Holy Communion

Mid-Week Prayers
The first Wednesday of each month, from September thru April, at 7:00 PM:

September/October/November/February/March/April: Taizé Prayers
December/January: Holden Evening Prayer

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Music

Jeffrey H. Gray has served this parish as its Organist and Director of Music and Liturgy since May of 1981. He is involved with the Carnegie Area Ministerial Association (CAMA), and has provided musical leadership at several of our Synod’s Pastor’s Convocations, held annually in Greensburg, PA.

He also is one of the organists who plays services held at Old St. Luke's Church in Scott Township – home of the oldest pipe organ west of the Alleghenies!

Jeff is a member of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Guild of Organists

Our Adult Choir sings at our 10:00 AM Sunday liturgies, from the Sunday after Labor Day thru Trinity Sunday, plus other special services throughout the year. This dedicated, fun-loving group of Christians do a wonderful job in leading our music week in and week out.

The Choristers, Saint John’s children’s choir, is for kids in grades 2 through 6. They sing at a few of our services from Reformation Sunday through Easter Sunday each year.

The Saint John Brass adds a festive air to our worship about six times each year.

The Saint John Ringers – our two-octave handbell choir – is our newest musical ensemble, and play for several services throughout the year.

The Organ

There had been just two pipe organs used at Saint John in our first 135-years of existence. And now there is a third!

The first was built in 1898 by the M. P. Moeller Pipe Organ Company of Hagerstown, Maryland, for a whopping sum of $1,000.00! It was installed in our first building, and moved to the present building in 1929. The two manual instrument was originally hand-pumped by boys of the church.This organ was rebuilt in 1957, and continued to serve the church for another quarter of a century. By the late 1970’s the Moeller organ had seen better days. And in 1978, fire damaged the church, and the organ was damaged by water.

When Jeff Gray became the Organist/Director of Music at Saint John in May of 1981, it was determined that the organ either needed a major rebuilding or had to be replaced. After consulting with several organ firms—both electronic and pipe— it was decided to replace the old organ with a new pipe instrument. A contract was signed with the Wicks Pipe Organ Company of Highland, Illinois to design and build a 2-manual, 6-rank organ. The old instrument was removed from the sanctuary in June of 1982, a group of dedicated volunteers prepared the new organ chamber, and the instrument was delivered at the end of June, 1982. It was first heard in worship on the first Sunday of July, 1982, and has never missed a beat! For this organ’s 10th “birthday” in 1992, a family from the church purchased a Zymblestern and had it installed on the organ. This set of small bells delighted all who heard them, and they were used frequently in worship.

As the Wicks organ passed 30 years of age, the console was becoming very un-reliable. The electronics that controlled the stop knobs and combination action and communicated to the pipe chamber were wearing out, and the parts were hard to come by. A member of our church had a vision for a new, larger instrument, and left Saint John a bequest in her will, with all funds designated to specific areas of ministry. A major component was a new organ. She had heard a new instrument at a local church and loved the sound. When she passed away, we contacted Patric Murphy & Associates Organbuilders (PJM) from Stowe, PA - the builder of the nearby organ. They presented a proposal, and in February of 2017, a contract was signed for the construction of a new 3-manual 16-rank instrument, which would incorporate much of the existing Wicks pipe work.

The Wicks was last played during our celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation - October 29, 2017. On Monday, October 30th, the folks from PJM arrived and began removing the pipework so it could be taken to their shop, cleaned and re-voiced. Shortly after the pipes were gone, a group of dedicated volunteers from the church removed the old casework and prepared the new organ chamber. (If this sounds familiar, it is! In fact, one of the men who helped with the prep for the 1982 Wicks also helped with the prep of the new chamber!) 

Following our worship service on December 4, 2017, two trucks arrived in our parking lot, carrying the parts and pieces of the new organ. A group from the church assisted in unloading the trucks and placing the components throughout the sanctuary. There was no room to sit in the pews!!! By the end of the week, the majority of the organ pipes were in the chambers, the facade was in place, and the new console was in position in the chancel. Over the next week, the organ was in and playable! The congregation first heard the organ as it accompanied the last hymn for the Fourth Sunday of Advent - December 24th: "Joy To the World!" Joy indeed!

The folks from PJM returned to the church on January 21st, and spent the next week doing tonal finishing of all 1,068 pipes. The official dedication of the organ will take place in October, 2018. Caroline Robinson, a Doctor of Musical Arts Candidate at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, will play the dedication recital.

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Christian Education

Rotation Sunday School

At Saint John, we have a great history of Christian Education.And Christian Education is not just Sunday School,
although that’s probably the most visible aspect of our education ministry.

What is "Rotation Sunday School?" Each week for about five weeks, the kids move to a different "station" to learn about the lesson in a new, exciting, interactive way. We produce Kitchen Kreations. We use computers. We view videos. We do crafts. We use drama. And we play games!

We also have an Adult Sunday School class - that doesn't rotate, but has some lively discussion!

In addition to Sunday School...

Our Fifth Graders prepare for their First Holy Communion in the spring of each year, and they receive
the Sacrament for the first time on the Third Sunday of Easter.

Confirmation Classes are held for all children in grades 7 and 8. Classes are held from September through May each year. Confirmation is held on Reformation Sunday for those ninth graders who have successfully completed the two-year course.

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The Saint John Women

The Saint John Women of the ELCA are active in many ways throughout the parish. Much of the behind-the-scenes work of the church happens thanks to this wonderful group. Among their many activities:

  • The women meet monthly for Bible Study and Fellowship.
  • They also chooses a service projects to concentrate on during the year.
  • The Altar Guild cares for the various communion vessels, prepares the altar for liturgies, 
    and clean up following communion.
  • The flowers that adorn the altar during our liturgies are distributed by members of Saint John to church members who are ill or homebound.

The Saint John Prayer Chain is a ministry of the Women, and over the years has changed from being a true “phone tree”  to requests for prayer being sent out to the church E-mail “Prayer Request” list.

The Comforters quilting group is sponsored by the Women, and the hundreds of blankets they make each year are shipped around the world to provide warmth—and even shelter—to people in need.

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Ministry to Those Outside of Our Walls

Accept the challenge to be transformed into a new people of God as we minister
in the diverse and changing population in our community.

Times change. And our parish and community have changed as well. Not that many years ago, we had no parking lot. Many people lived in close proximity to our church building. Today, less than half of our congregation even lives in the Carnegie Zip Code of 15106.

Since the pastorate of Oscar Jblanketsohnson in the 1970’s, Saint John has had a dedicated group of sewers known as The Comforters. Over the years, they have made thousands of quilts from donated fabric. In the spring of each year, these beautiful quilts are displayed in the church during Blanket Weekend. And each fall, the blankets produced by these loving hands are packed up and sent around the world through Lutheran World Relief.


Saint John is part of the Interfaith Hospitality Network, which is now a part of the Family Promise organization.We serve as a host to homeless families for about eight weeks each year. Our guests arrive at the church around 6:00 PM, and are fed a wonderful meal prepared by our members and members of other local congregations. They play games, talk about their day, and then adjourn for the night to our Sunday School rooms—which are transformed into their bedrooms. Up early the next morning, they are driven back to the IHN headquarters in nearby Crafton, where they leave to go to work and school.

God has richly blessed our parish, and we are overjoyed to give back to our friends in need!