FAQs  for  Visitors


If you are visiting St. John’s and desire to know more information about the church, we hope this page is helpful in answering some of your questions.  You might also want to see some of the links to the left of the page, which will give you more information about our ministry, and about the beliefs of the Lutheran Church.  Don’t forget to check our Newsletter to see what’s going on, and our Worship page to see our schedules of services.  If you want to talk to the Pastor, he’s glad just to have someone to talk to!  Just be sure to call ahead, to make sure he’s going to be around.  He’ll also be glad to give you a tour of our building!


Here are a few more FAQs:


Location:  St. John’s is in the heart of downtown Lewistown, at the corner of North Main Street and Third Avenue, just a block up the hill from the town square.  Look for the big red brick spire, or listen for our carillons, which play every fifteen minutes, and follow the sound!  Be aware that Third Avenue is a one-way street.  There is street parking by the church; there is also a parking lot across from the church on Third Street, and one just beyond the church on North Main Street.  The lot on North Main is free; the one on Third Street has parking meters, as does street parking on Third Street.


Worship Services:  Look on our Worship Page for worship times.  If you like liturgical worship and good music, St. John’s is a great place to experience both.  We like a variety of services, which change with the mood of the year and of the congregation.  We use a variety of services, according to the season, from the Evangelical Lutheran Worship Hymnal (ELW)  In the summer, we take it a bit lighter with with something that is both contemporary and yet liturgical for communion Sundays (every other week in the summer). 


We have some great musicians, and often draw musicians from the community to kick our worship up a notch.  Several times each year we welcome a number of them for special recitals or programs – usually one in the spring and another on Reformation Sunday.    Our choirs are pretty good, too, and generally do two Cantatas each year – one on the Third Sunday of Advent, and another right after Easter.  If you like Bell Choir music, you’ll have to go a long way before you hear a Bell Choir as good as St. Johns’. 


All are welcome to receive communion, which involves real bread, and wine or grape juice.  We usually do communion by “stations,” which involves following a line of folks up the aisle to where the pastor is standing, to receive the bread, then to an attendant to receive a cup and, finally, to another attendant with a “pouring chalice,” who will pour you some wine.  You can put the empty cup in a receptacle – or you can keep it.  We’ve been trying to figure out what we can make of them, but we came up empty (bad joke)!  As to what to wear to church, the best advice is: clothes.  Do that, you’re o.k.  We’re not too formal.


Child Care:  We have a nursery for the little tots during the 10:15 am service.  Ask an usher for directions to the nursery (ushers are usually well-marked – they’re the ones with all the bulletins).  We also have Children’s Church during that service, except during the summer.  If you’re coming to a Special Service (Ash Wednesday, Holy Week, Christmas, etc.) call the office.  If we know you’re coming, we’ll make sure there’s someone there to watch your children.  We have a Youth Protection Policy in place, to make sure your children are kept safe.


Accessibility:  The church sanctuary is handicap accessible through the Main Street entrance, half way up the Main Street side of the building.  The entrance to the Office is also on Main Street, toward the rear of the building.  Look for the portico.  The second story of the Educational Building and the Fellowship Hall are also handicap accessible through that entrance.  It’s a straight shot from the Third Street entrance (glass doors) into the lower level of the Education Building. 


Hours of Operation:  The church office is open from 8:30 am until noon; then again from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Our Pastor is in his office Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings until noon, unless he has an emergency or meeting elsewhere.  It’s best to check before you come in to see him.


Whether you are “just visiting,” looking for a place to worship on a Penn State weekend, or looking for a permanent “church home,” there’s a place for you here.  If you want vibrant worship, well-done, with good music, you won’t find any “medium-rare” here.  If you want to do some serious ministry, we are heavily involved in our community, reaching out with the love of Christ.  We hope you will stop by, to see the sanctuary, to chat, to worship, or to stay and engage with us in ministry!


If there’s anything we haven’t covered here, please feel free to call our Secretary, Deb Montgomery, at (717)248-8780, or our Pastor, at that same number; or e-mail us at elcalwtnpa@verizon.net.