We are a school for transformation, as we seek to become a more diverse community of people, a kaleidoscope of different life styles, ages, ethnic and religious backgrounds, sexual orientations, financial circumstances and more. We invite all who seek God and wish to explore being part of a Christian congregation to our table and into our fellowship. We welcome those seeking a safe place for the expression of personal spiritual practices, ideas, politics, questions, doubts--and faith. We also confess that as a community we are not perfected in love However we seek to become more fully loving and to accept all who wish to join this journey.
The History of St. John's
St. John's has been serving the spiritual needs of the local Episcopal community for more than a century. Beginning as St. Matthew's Mission in 1896, meetings were held at Hill's Hall on Sacramento Street, Lodi. Unfortunately, this endeavor met with small success and the mission disbanded in a few months.
In 1906, St. John's Mission was established and a plan was set to build a new church. The building was completed in 1910 and located on the corner of West Locust and North Lee Streets, was built of exterior redwood shingles and interior redwood paneling on the walls and vaulted ceiling.
In the early 1920's the guild hall was built, our Sunday school rooms were designed, and the Episcopal women's groups were extremely busy giving suppers, teas, card parties, men's club luncheons, bazaars, quilt sales, and monthly food sales. In 1928, these ladies began fund drives to purchase the stained glass window over the altar; by Easter Sunday, 1933, the window as complete.
In 1945, St. John's Hut was formed. This 'rummage sale' store was very popular in Lodi, and proceeds contributed to the purchase of church furniture, a home for the priest, and maintenance of church property. A most reliable outreach program, The Hut served the public for fifty years, and created fellowship and a means for continuous upgrading of church facilities.
St. John's Memorial Fund originated in 1946 and continues to this day.
As our congregation grew, there was no more room for expansion on West Locust Street, and so with community approval, the congregation's efforts, and the guidance of Fr. Rick Matters and others, a plan was developed to purchase property on South Lower Sacramento Road, build a new, larger church, and move the much-loved little redwood church from its old location. In 2002, the new sanctuary was completed, and now St. John's is on the edge of town with room for expansion.
The design of the new building incorporates contemporary interpretations of Gothic architectural elements such as buttresses, high-pitched roofs, and arches. Large windows and horizontal sunshades complete the 450-seat sanctuary. Adding to the interior beauty are six beautiful rood screens designed and woven by Andrea Matters. The wood for the interior redwood - beams come form the hundred year-old redwood tree which sheltered the little church on Locust Street for many years. The alms basins were turned out of this very wood as well.
The redwood church, moved to its new site, now stands proudly on "Mount Lodi" a little hill behind the new church. A cornerstone of St. John's faith and courage, it is now called "The Chapel".
The strength of St. John's is the love and warmth displayed by the parish. We care for one another, assist our members and friends during time of struggle, and rejoice with each other in times of joy. From generation to generation, we continue to follow our mission, "committed to living a faith journey that is sacred, intentional, compassionate and inclusive".