Since the founding of the congregation in 1775, the people of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church have been led by one guiding principle-to witness the love of God in all we do and say. In the constitution of the church we call ourselves a “confessing church,” a church that exist to confess our Lord Jesus Christ in word and deed. That principle was at work in our midst in 1997 when we first began considering new ways to witness to our faith in the Lord in our community. For some time, we were aware that dramatic changes involving families were taking place in our society. Because of economic pressures and a desire for a better life, more and more parents were finding it necessary that both seek full time employment. This, in turn, increased the needs for families with young children to find quality programs of childcare and educational experiences. It became obvious that this was an opportunity for our congregation to extend our understanding of God’s love and also to assist in our community in this area of special need. As our Lord discouraged his disciples from “hindering the little children to come unto Him,” so it seemed appropriate for the church to carry on in our ministry His care for the young.
We chose to name our center The Mustard Seed out of respect for the scripture passage found in the Bible in the Book of St. Matthew, at 13:31-32: “Another parable he put before them, saying “Kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field; it is smallest of all seeds but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make a nests in its branches.” This passage wonderfully describes the hopes and dreams of the people of St. John’s for the Mustard Seed Early Learning Center.
The Congregation is committed to providing a safe, well-equipped facility for the education of our community’s children. It is the Church’s intent to do everything possible to provide a well-trained staff of caring individuals to lead the Center’s educational program and to provide an atmosphere that fosters learning and self-motivation. The Congregation is also committed to providing the opportunity for children to grow in spiritual awareness. Through the great biblical stories, the ten Commandments, and the teachings of our Lord, the Center will seek to assist children in developing an understanding of, and an appreciation of the fact that we are all part of God’s great creation. The Church wants them to learn through interaction with other children and adults that God loves his people and seeks the best for all of them.
A weekly chapel service is held in the main Nave of the church. The service centers around biblical teachings, such as the Ten Commandments or our Lord’s command to “love one another.” However, the Center does not attempt to indoctrinate children into the theology of the church. The goal is strictly to help children understand that they are “special” and that God has created them to live in peace and harmony with one another. It is our belief that God has given our Congregation this tiny seed, and has called upon us to plant it and care for it diligently believing that one day it will grow into something great in our community.