Welcome to St. John’s
Introduction to St. John's
St. John’s is an Episcopal parish with a peaceful and authentic spirit – one that’s refreshingly free of inflated piety or undercurrents of manipulation. There are about 260 active members who are truly diverse in terms of age, wealth, theological and political persuasions, gender identity and sexual orientation. But we recognize that we still have much to learn in becoming a racially diverse community or knowing how to honor the Puyallup heritage of this region.
But what stands out most when we gather is a common spirit that wants to know God and to worship God. Together.
Our mission is just three words: Be Like Jesus. We don’t claim to be more like Jesus than we actually are, but this is our goal and this is our standard.
In this age of division, outrage, and fear, our desire to be like Jesus gives us purpose and hope. Everything Jesus lived and taught – compassion, generosity, forgiveness, unity with God and one another – lies at the heart of why the church exists. It’s what we want, and certainly what the world needs.
But the call to be like Jesus is also uncomfortable, costly, and easily resisted – especially when it means changing our lifestyles and priorities in order to foster stability and justice for our most vulnerable neighbors.
But this is our call, and this is our hope. And we hope – most sincerely – you would join us in such a journey.
About the Episcopal Church
St. John’s is a part of the Episcopal Church, a Christian denomination that is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, comprised of more than 80 million members in 160 countries.
A distinctive feature of the Episcopal Church is that we don’t fit neatly into the definitions of protestant or catholic. We’re often described as the “Big Tent” that spans a wide spectrum of theological understandings. Historically this meant that both protestant and catholic understandings of worship and theology were carefully interwoven in our prayers. In our generation and context, this means there is room for persons of every race and background, liberal and conservative, old and young, gay and straight. We like it that way. Jesus told his disciples that the world would know the love of God through the unity of the church (John 17:20-24). We have come to learn that unity is not so much a thing of absolute uniformity on every topic as it is about a shared life and worship, guided by the love of God and neighbor.
Our worship is rooted in a tradition we call, “Common Prayer,” a set of liturgies and services anchored in the most ancient worship practices known to the church. Especially in times of confusion and anxiety, many find this reliable form of worship to be an invitation into a deeper current of faith that has maintained its rhythm and stability through the centuries.
We are bound together through grace and a common commitment to our “baptismal covenant” which affirms a Trinitarian understanding of God that has been handed down to us through the words of the Apostles’ Creed. The covenant also commits us to live our faith with integrity, “to seek and serve Christ in all persons…. and to strive for justice and peace among all people, respecting the dignity of every human being.”
So, come and worship with us. If you find you can meaningfully participate in our distinctive pattern of common prayer, then you will fit in – wherever you’re coming from.
Episcopalians recognize the authority of scripture and Church tradition, but also make ample room for individual reason. We encourage honest inquiry with the expectation that the gospel message must meaningfully address the important questions being asked of our day, including such issues of gender identity, sexual orientation, racial justice, and climate change. We also observe that a maturing faith typically involves seasons of uncertainty and questioning.
To learn more about the Episcopal Church, its history, governing structure, sacraments, beliefs, development in the United States, or just to see if the Episcopal Church would be a good fit for you, take a look at the Diocese of Olympia website or the Episcopal Church’s general site.