20 City Rd, Southbank
The St Johns congregation was first established in Melbourne in 1861 and, on 31 July 2011, a special service was held celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Foundation of St Johns congregation.
The original St Johns church was built in 1927 and located off City Road not far from the present church. The foundation stone was laid on 18 November 1928 and the building was dedicated on 2 December 1928. The site was chosen because of its central location and access to public transport. In 1989 the church building was demolished to make way for the Southgate development.
The beautiful, modern church building was designed by David Cole, an architect from Buchan, Laird and Bawden, and was dedicated on 22 March 1992. The design of the church links architecturally with the Southgate complex.
St Johns is first and foremost a place of worship. However, St Johns was designed also to serve a range of purposes, and it is an ideal venue for concerts and a centre for meetings and functions.
For its many visitors the church provides a place for friendship and support.
The Lutheran church is one of the major Christian churches, and the largest Protestant church. There are more than sixty million Lutherans in the world, traditionally mainly within northern Europe and the USA. Currently, the fastest growing Lutheran population is in Africa, with more than 14 million members. Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi and Cameroon have substantial Lutheran memberships. In Australia and New Zealand 250,000 people call themselves Lutheran.
The Lutheran church is the oldest Protestant church. It dates back to the Reformation in the sixteenth century when Martin Luther challenged some of the teachings and practices of the church of his day, nailing 95 theses on the doors of the church at Wittenberg, Germany. Lutherans celebrate the Reformation as an event that signifies a freedom that is founded in Christ Alone.
The Lutheran church was established in Australia and New Zealand 180 years ago. In the 1830s small groups of the Lutherans emigrated to Australia in search of religious freedom, settling mainly in rural areas in various parts of the country. Today the Lutheran church comprises people from rural and urban areas and many different cultural backgrounds.
Lutherans believe in one true God
Lutherans share the belief of all other Christians that the one true God has made himself known as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Lutherans believe that God loves all people
Lutherans believe that God loves every human being, even though none of us deserve his love.
Lutherans believe in Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is God’s Son. Because he loves the world, God sent his Son Jesus to make things right between God and us. Jesus took the blame for the sins of all people. Jesus died for everybody. Jesus also broke the power of death by becoming alive again.
Lutherans believe God’s forgiveness is a free gift
Because of Jesus, God has forgiven all sins of all people. God offers his forgiveness to everyone as a free gift. We don’t have to earn God’s forgiveness or pay for it. It is ours when we believe in Jesus as our Saviour. God offers us his forgiveness in the good news about Jesus, and in baptism and holy communion.
Lutherans believe what the Bible says
The Bible is the word of God. So Lutherans accept the Bible as the authority that decides what they are to believe and how they should live. Lutherans believe that the good news about Jesus is the key to the whole Bible.
Bible-based preaching and the sacrament of holy communion are central in Lutheran church services. Lutherans use both traditional and modern worship styles.
The church provides Christian education for all age groups. The Lutheran school system has kindergartens, pre-schools, primary schools and secondary schools throughout Australia, with over 35,000 students. Congregations provide Sunday schools, confirmation courses, adult Bible study groups, and inquirers’ classes. Australian Lutheran College, Adelaide, offers theological education to clergy, teachers, parish workers, and laypersons.
Caring and Sharing
The church’s expanding program of care for the needs of the community includes childcare centres, family shelters and support agencies, welfare centres, singles ministry, youth ministry, retirement villages, infirmaries, and world relief.
The church reaches out to the community through the ministry of its congregations and schools, radio and television programs, and the distribution of Christian literature by Openbook Publishers. Lutheran missionaries have served among Australian Aborigines and in Papua New Guinea for over 100 years. The Lutheran church also supports the work of churches in SE Asia.
Further information may be accessed at http://www.lca.org.au
Thanks to the following for making their artwork available to St Johns for this website.
Theo Halacas (Loco Photography)