(re)launching St. John’s
WE ARE LOOKING FOR A CHURCH PLANTER
For ten years, Saint John’s has been an ACNA presence in the San Francisco East Bay region. Despite headwinds, we’re still here—and we are looking for a leader to provide vision and structure for relaunching on a new mission. We are a small but committed group, with about a dozen regular worshippers each Sunday. We have been led by four ordained leaders, and have kept things going with volunteer lay leadership in interim periods. We’ve touched the lives of more than 100 people since our founding, but we eagerly seek new growth and new people to minister to. The opportunity is immense—we serve two vast counties, and there are many directions we could pursue. Are you the person God is calling to help us?
A snapshot of St. John’s today
Our members come from various backgrounds, and include people with full-time ministry experience, and who have attended both contemporary and traditional churches. We are united by our commitment to Anglican theology and ways of worshiping. We love singing—our Eucharistic services typically feature plainsong and SATB hymns, entirely a cappella. We love liturgy—we have been using the new ACNA Texts for Common Prayer, and revel in the contours of the church year. We embrace the arts—four of our members work in creative disciplines; others are leaders in scientific, educational, and technical domains.
The opportunity in the East Bay
Historically perceived as the sleepy suburbs of San Francisco, the East Bay is a vibrant, sprawling landscape of nearly 3 million people. St. John’s Anglican has served this region for ten years, drawing our members from Oakland and Alameda to the west, Orinda and Moraga, Concord and Antioch. Pick a demographic, and you can find it in the East Bay—from enclaves of wealth and privilege (economic, educational, and cultural), to neighborhoods where chronic underemployment, racial injustice, and violence have been increasing. The ethnic diversity of the East Bay is striking: Oakland has been called the “most diverse large city in the US,” and recent films about life in Oakland tell a troubling story of the African-American experience here. While some who live in the region trace their roots back multiple generations, others have arrived more recently—perhaps pushed out of San Francisco and Silicon Valley by high housing prices, or are simply newcomers to the area, seeking opportunity in this tech and cultural hub. There is great energy here—as well as great hunger for truth, beauty, and meaning.
Barna Research Group has called the Bay Area the “least church-going region of the US,” with 48% described as “de-churched”—people who have been exposed to church but have opted not to go anymore. St. John’s hasn’t figured out how to minister to the de-churched, but we believe our Anglican heritage offers a compelling point of view and a framework for a rich life together that could speak to hungry people on multiple levels.
What we are looking for in a leader
We’re open. Yes, we have ways of doing church that have taken shape over the past ten years, but we’re willing to explore new approaches—while offering our existing rhythms as a strong starting place. We need help identifying the best ways to connect with the community around us, and how to apply our gifts in ways that lead people to know Christ. We seek a pastor and shepherd, a visionary and an entrepreneur.
What we can offer
Prayer. Hands willing to work. A modest stipend and basic benefits—but not a salary at this point. We don’t have much to offer in the way of housing support, though we can help you get creative in looking for a place that will work. We have some savings and can keep operating at current levels for at least a year, if not more. We’ve got a great place to worship right now—the beautiful chapel at Santa Maria Catholic Church in Orinda—but we’re willing to move.
Think and pray about it. Then drop us a note at email@example.com—we’d love to tell you more.
St. John’s is part of the Anglican Church in North America, within the C4SO Diocese led by Bishop Todd Hunter. To serve as church planter / pastor at St. John’s, a candidate will eventually need to be ordained to the priesthood and serve under Bishop Hunter.