St John the Evangelist Anglican Church Oakmont PA.



Welcome!

If you are exploring this site for the first time, I hope and pray that St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church might appeal to you and that you might stop by and give us a try! We serve the greater Oakmont and Allegheny Valley areas and are presently worshipping in the local community center known as the Riverview Community Action Corporation or “RCAC.” While we know that a church is all about people and relationships, it is nevertheless our intention, if it be the will of God, to occupy our own church building one day. We simply wait on the Lord and in the fullness of time he will provide.

Our congregation worships in a traditional, dignified and yet relaxed manner, reflecting largely the Anglo-Catholic ethos within the Anglican tradition. We believe that excellence in liturgy, music and preaching is a part of our call, yet everything we offer is from and by the people and stems from their own modest gifts and talents. The heart of our worship is the Holy Eucharist or the “mass,” the Thanksgiving meal which informs and enfleshes our lives as Christians. We acknowledge Seven Sacraments (with two “Gospel” Sacraments) and offer our parishioners “full catholic privileges”. Sacraments are not only an outward sign of an inward reality, they are a form of in-breaking of timeless into chronological time and are an opportunity for mutual gift-giving and spiritual communication. In the sacramental life, life’s passages are shared together in joyous celebration.

Anglicanism, an important, historical branch of the church catholic is often times thought of as a Christian ‘bridge’ between the Catholic and Reformation traditions. While that is true to some degree a better way of thinking of us is that we are attempting to capture the spirit and passion of the undivided church which existed for the first 1000 years of Christianity, whether as the underground church worshipping in the catacombs or as the sanctioned church evangelizing the Western World.

We are one of approximately sixty congregations which comprise the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh, which is in turn a diocese of the Anglican Church in North America (“ACNA”). While lamentable, the ACNA was necessarily formed in 2009 after many years of attempting to try to find a place to stand for orthodox believers within the American Episcopal Church (“TEC”). We have legal, historical and fraternal ties to the Anglican Communion but are not yet for several reasons “officially” a part of it. God will ultimately determine the relative significance of our inclusion into or exclusion from that body. We stand however linked either directly or spiritually with a number of other Anglican bodies in and out of TEC and in and out of the Anglican Communion who believe in the full deposit of the Faith.

Contrary to what you may have heard, we are not self-righteous bigots who spend our time condemning others! All have fallen short of the glory of God! While we may identify practices and behaviors that do not conform to the norms of Scripture or Tradition, only God is the Judge who pronounces the sentence. Even more encouraging, there is NO ONE who is too sinful to be accepted and welcomed home by God! He has done the work--we need only to turn around. On the other hand, we believe that God’s revelation to us is true and complete and is not subject to historical or cultural “contexts” or other forms of revision. We do not conform to the cheap grace that comes from sanctioning every form of worldview, lifestyle or behavior merely because it feels “natural” or because it would not be “loving” to speak out against such innovations. Our church at its finest will not leave you where you are but rather will challenge you to be transformed in the renewal or your mind. “True” love is radical because it is not afraid to gently rebuke and reproof. Otherwise, the Church offers nothing against our permissive culture in which values such as guilt and shame are increasingly unknown. Similarly, we will not offer fanciful or pious outward appearances as a replacement for true substance.

At our Church, Jesus Christ is known and adored as the Lord of our Lives. As important as the Church hierarchy may be, it is secondary to the development of an intimate, accountable relationship with the True Vine. We understand that God has revealed himself to his people in Creation, in his Covenants, in the person and work of Jesus Christ and through his bride the Church as illumined divinely by Holy Scriptures. We believe that the Scriptures are true and contain all things necessary for the salvation of souls. We know that we are saved by God’s grace and our simple faith and not by our own actions or merit.

We foster that relationship in a variety of ways—ways which enable us to grow in our understanding and discipleship. We periodically sponsor dinners for the homeless and others less fortunate than ourselves both in Pittsburgh and in the Valley. We collect clothes and food and support local community activities. Bible study is offered weekly. The pastoral care of souls is taken seriously and the clergy is always available for pastoral care, spiritual direction, confessions, etc. We proactively and purposefully pray with and for one another. Outreach to both the local and wider international community is extensive and is a part of our core commitment. A variety of guilds and associations offer opportunities to serve liturgically or administratively.

At St. John, we know how to have fun. We enjoy one another’s company and we work hard to include others. If “serious” or morose is your idea of Church, you’ve come to the wrong place! We engage in a lively coffee hour after Mass each week. An extensive array of intergenerational fellowship events, far more than one would expect from a family-sized congregation, await you. In recent months the congregation has participated in events as varied as bowling parties, wine tastings, movie brunches and holiday botanical shows.

Does this sound like you? …who you wish to be? Are you hurting? …confused?….overwhelmed? Come and See!

May God Bless You!
Fr. Larry Deihle