St John’s gathers in prayer and fellowship to worship God in central Wellington. Through the power of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, we seek to care for and strengthen our members and help them to a growing relationship with God. In this way, just as God cares for us, we seek to empower our members to share their talents, to meet the needs of those who come to us and those who we can reach out to in the community.
Excellence in liturgy and music is important to us, as is our strong preaching tradition. We believe that the traditional Presbyterian service is built upon principles of worship that are of enduring character and worth. At the same time, we recognise that styles of music and worship change over time and that not everyone worships God in the same way. This means that the traditional morning service at St John’s is supplemented by alternative forms of worship that draw upon a wide range of musical sources and encourage more interaction and congregational participation. This is especially so in relation to youth-oriented worship, but not exclusively so. Therefore we encourage variety and creativity whilst maintaining the integrity and principles of Christian worship and we maintain high standards in worship, learning from our mistakes along the way.
The primary goal of our educational programme is to equip our community as Christian disciples. This is an inter-generational activity as well as a continuing life-long exercise. There will be learning processes that shape Christian character, a commitment to regular worship, a growth in love and understanding of Scripture, a nurturing of faith, a fostering of healthy relationships and the provision of good role models.
Our programmes offer a wide range of educational models, including one-off lecture and training events. Activities that are focussed on children and young people are supplemented by adult group educational experiences, including a network of home-groups. There will be special attention to training in the variety of leadership skills needed to develop our activities. These processes begin at a very early age through our crèche and pre-school programmes, gather momentum in our Sunday School, Youth Group, and Girls Brigade programmes, and continue through to our adult education programme, which consists mainly of a handful of house groups and occasional public lecture series. Links with the wider community are also maintained through our relationship with the Boys and Girls Institute (BGI).
We undertake our outreach not in isolation but in partnership with other churches and related organisations. This happens in a number of ways. We have representation on the Boards of Downtown Community Ministry (DCM), BGI, the Ecumenical Chaplaincy Board of Victoria University, Victoria House and Everton Hall, and in the case of DCM we also provide substantial financial support. A number of parishioners are involved with the Immigration and Refugee Service. The parish’s Outreach Fund distributes financial grants totalling tens of thousands of dollars to scores of community groups each year. On a local level, therefore, St John’s plays a significant and varied role enhancing the life of the city and helping people in need. On a wider level, St John’s financially supports the work of the PCANZ and Wellington Presbytery, and releases several of its members to take an active part in the affairs of the national Church.
Pastoral care is the name given to the means by which those who associate themselves with St John’s in the City care for and support one another, thereby building up the body of Christ. It recognises the importance of prayer, parish visiting, and social events. We seek to build quality relationships on a shared foundation of Christian faith.