We are a church in Yonkers, New York, in the very center of the City, Getty Square. Loving God and Neighbor has been our purpose since we were founded in 1693.
Please do note that if you are looking for super clever and very holy people who have all the answers and who are total saints we must sadly refer you back to Google and wish you well on your search. However, if you would like ordinary real people who struggle with their faith as much as they love it, if you would like a place where you can honestly be yourself as you pursue God, and as God pursues you, then we encourage you to come check us out. We welcome all people.
You will meet all kinds of people at St. John's. We are liberal, conservative, rich, homeless, African, Caribbean, European, Hispanic, African American, Asian, young, old, gay, straight, proper, unconventional, traditional, iconoclast. Our priest sometimes says if only we had a penguin and a kangaroo we would have every continent represented. What unites us is our desire to worship and serve God together in this place.
Sunday is our main time together and there are many ways to get involved: the choir, readers, acolytes and servers, ushers, Sunday School. We have Adult Education on offer most weeks. Our worship is mission orientated preparing us to be a people who carry God's love into our community.
Our congregation has made a huge impact on this city of Yonkers over the centuries. Members from our parish founded St. John's Riverside Hospital, Cochran School of Nurses, The Sharing Community, and other organizations that continue to serve Yonkers. We are very active in service today. We gather food for the hungry each week, read in schools with children, and sponsor children for school in our companion diocese of Tanzanika in Tanzania in Africa. We run a market in the summer which provides fresh fruit and vegetables that can be purchased with state subsidized coupons bringing healthy food to low income people.
Our congregation was at one time a much more numerous community, but along with the changes in Getty Square our community has gone through many changes, and we are a smaller community than we were in the past. We are discerning ways to move forward to serve the community and its spiritual needs in new and effective ways. So, if you wish to join in that process, adding your ideas and energy to the mix in a collaborative way, you might find this an exciting place to be.
We are the local expression of the Episcopal Church, a church which embraces the best of Catholicism and Protestantism. The Episcopal Church follows Jesus Christ, and proclaims his life and resurrection to the world, but it does not have a long list of "thou shalts" or "you must believe this exactly this way". Rather we encourage people to engage the faith responsibly and authentically according to their individual conscience, sensibility and understanding. The Episcopal Church thinks that the divisions between the many churches are a shame, and it has been very active since the 1800's in promoting understanding and dialogue between all Christians. We are a modern church taking into account the insights of modern people, but we are also a traditional church trying to stay in honest committed conversation with the best of Christian thought in every age and place.
Our worship follows the Book of Common Prayer using time tested prayers and rituals to express ourselves to God, and to allow God to reach into our hearts. Our worship is Liturgical: it comes from a long process of experience and reflection. Our worship is also Biblical. Not only do we have substantial readings from the Bible in our worship, the words of our prayers are often drawn from Scripture. Our worship is sacramental, we celebrate the Holy Communion each Sunday. In the Sacraments God ministers to us to transform us into creatures who bring healing and love in imitation of Jesus.
We have a very interesting History. When the English gained control of the colony of New Amsterdam they found the need to found some churches in the vicinity of the city. In 1693 they founded a parish in Westchester County and we are part of that founding. We did not originally have a building until the Philipse family built us a church 1754. Part of that original structure forms some of the present edifice. George Washington worshiped in our church, and it was used as a hospital during the American Revolution treating both patriot and British troops. In the 1800's it was a center of local philanthropy and part of the legacy of that time is the Eva Smith Cochran Fountain. It was built to provide cool drinking water to the people of the city. Giving water is a symbol of the work of God in Christ. Jesus gives us living water that springs up in us to eternal life, not just life without end, but a depth of life that brings peace and joy. May God give us this water always!
Do you have questions? Pester the priest. He will love it. Call him at (914) 512-8156 or email him at email@example.com
Blessings, blessings to you, and to all you love.
The Priest and People of St. John's Church, Getty Square