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Worship and Liturgy at St. John's

Sundays and Seasons

Sundays at 9:30 a.m. + Worship with Holy Communion
This is our primary weekly liturgy. We invite your presence with us in-person (303 Sand Creek Road, Albany) or on YouTube. Past recordings of worship services are also available on our YouTube channel.

During the program year (September through May) and on most holy days throughout the year, we are joined by Saint John’s Collegium, our choir of professional singers.

Festival and Special Liturgies
During Advent, Christmas, Lent, Holy Week, and Easter, we gather for special liturgies in observance of the church’s calendar. The days and times for these special services are always announced in our weekly bulletin and e-news, as well as our events calendar.

What to Expect

Worship is at the heart of all we do. Our liturgical life forms the basis of our life together, as we are continually being gathered together around word and sacrament and continually being sent into the world. In a way, we are always on our way to and from the Sunday assembly.

Our worship is both traditional and contemporary. We use ancient texts and prayers in our liturgy, while also connecting those texts to contemporary issues in our own time in order to understand how the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ continues to act and inspire our faith. In this way, our worship is both reverent and relevant.

We value the embodied connection of worshiping in community. In the gathered assembly, we are reminded that we are not alone but have the communion of saints around us to support us in our life of faith.

Above all, reflective of our theology, our worship is grace-filled. We seek to be hospitable to all, regardless of where you are on your faith journey. We welcome you to participate as fully as you are comfortable in our worship. Our printed worship materials are designed in such a way to include many helpful explanatory notes to guide you through the liturgy. Still, if anything is new or unfamiliar for you, we encourage you to ask questions. Our community strives to be a safe and nonjudgmental place to learn and grow in faith and practice together.

Our liturgy follows a four-fold pattern (“ordo”) every week – Gathering, Word, Meal, Sending.

This basic pattern would be familiar to anyone who grew up in a more traditional church environment. Our liturgy might be compared to a Roman Catholic Mass or an Episcopal/Anglican Eucharist, and indeed it is similar in many ways. The pattern of our worship is ecumenical, bridging across denominational divides, while also retaining a distinctive Lutheran flavor in our theology and language.


In worship, the Holy Spirit calls us together as the people of God. Our liturgy often begins with a rite of confession and forgiveness, in which we are honest about our failures and shortcomings and assured of God’s abundant grace for us. As we gather, we also sing, greet one another, and pray.


We hear the word of God proclaimed in scripture, preaching, and song. Like many mainline Protestant churches, we follow the Revised Common Lectionary, a three-year cycle of weekly readings, typically including a selection from the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), a psalm, a selection from the epistles (letters) of the New Testament, and a gospel reading. There is almost always a preaching moment (typically referred to as the “sermon”) in every service.


We also celebrate the Eucharist (Holy Communion) weekly. At St. John’s, we practice open communion, meaning that all are invited and encouraged to participate in this central ritual of our faith, regardless of religious background or identity. After all, this is not our table. This is Christ’s table, and Christ invites us here.


From the Word and Meal, we are then sent into the world to bear witness to God’s creative and redeeming love for all the world, as we strive for justice and peace in all the earth.

303 Sand Creek Road (street)
P.O. Box 5085 (mailing)
Albany, New York 12205

Copyright © 2024 St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. All Rights Reserved.

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