St. John’s is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America - we faithfully live in that tradition. We confess the Holy Scriptures, the Ecumenical Creeds, and the Lutheran Confessions collected in the Book of Concord.
So what does that mean? To sum it up in the briefest possible way (considering that the Kolb-Wengert translation of the Book of Concord is over 700 pages long): God is rescuing us through the Holy Spirit, and does not intend to fail. God’s chosen way of rescuing us is through Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection.
Rescued from what? Well - ultimately from sin. That means rescue our own messed up self-interest that looks a lot more like self-destruction and broken relationships. It means rescue from a world that seems bent on harming us, from those things that make us question our love and our worth, and from pasts we just can’t seem to escape.
Rescued to what? A life that is rooted ultimately in God’s love, which is given in Jesus. Jesus does not abandon his friends, and makes a space for all who need him. In Christ, we become part of that love. That’s what we call liberation and freedom. And because we have this great treasure of freedom and liberation, we share it with others in both word and deed.
We believe that God's love has an effect on the way we live our lives (life is a joy and a treasure - not a curse or a burden), how we treat other people (we love them, seek their well being, and trust that God is with them), the ministry we do (not for rewards, on the ground as opposed to "for heaven" as though it's out of God's hands and needs our help, day to day, and for the good of the world), and how we see the world (as beloved).
If you want a slightly more thorough, but still accessible version of our basic theological convictions - check out this webpage: http://www.elca.org/Faith or call Pastor Kaegler and schedule a conversation. You can also call him if you want a denser and less accessible version. He’s good at that, too!
There’s no doubt that our world is complicated, and has a lot of controversies. Our denomination spends a lot of time thinking, praying, and acting according to its faith. We don't necessarily march to the beat of other drummers among the Christian churches - and can come to fairly distinct conclusions through the Holy Spirit's work in Word and Sacrament. If you want insights about what we our denomination believes about current events and controversies and how we come to our conclusions - check out our denomination’s social statements and messages at: http://www.elca.org/Faith/Faith-and-Society