HISTORY

Deutsch

Our History

St. John’s Church is one of two German-speaking German Lutheran churches in Melbourne. Our sister congregation is the Trinity Church in East Melbourne.

St. John’s Church was founded in 1960 by immigrants from German-speaking countries who settled in the South-East of Melbourne (Springvale, Oakleigh and Greater Dandenong) because they were employed by two large German factories in Clayton. Most of them came from the East-European and German regions. Because the war left them without a homeland, they decided to migrate to Australia to begin a new life here.

The name of our church refers to John the Baptist. The waves in our emblem symbolise the waters of Jordan, in which Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist (Matthew 3, 13-17). The fish was a symbol of recognition among the early Christians. The letters of the Greek word for fish “ICHTHYS” form, in the Greek language, an acronym for a creed that is still relevant to us today. Translated into English it means Jesus Christ God’s Son (our) Saviour.

We believe in the triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We believe that God created the world and sustains life.

We believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and can liberate us from the power of sin and death because he conquered the power of death through his death on the cross and his resurrection. Through our personal belief in Jesus Christ, we can share in his victory over death.

We believe that God’s mercy supports us and keeps us with him.

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a comforter, strengthener and guide in the spiritual life of our congregation and every Christian.

The foundation of our faith is the Bible, the living word of God. Dr Martin Luther (1483-1546) translated the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into the German language, thereby making God’s word accessible to the entire German people. He also explained many bible passages. There is still much of great value to our lives to be discovered in his contributions. That’s why we belong to the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) and also maintain an altar and pulpit fellowship with the Lutheran Church of Australia. The rose that Luther designed is the symbol of the Lutheran movement and conveys an important truth of the Christian faith: If Jesus Christ is in your heart (red heart), you are purified from sin (white rose), you have access to heaven (blue background) and life eternal (gold ring).

About our congregation:

The majority of our members come from European (German-speaking) countries. We welcome anyone who wishes to engage with the Christian faith and is seeking a spiritual homeland in Melbourne, regardless of their nationality or language. Springvale is a multicultural suburb, and Melbourne is considered THE melting pot of the world. We won’t turn away anyone who wishes to join our church congregation.

Springvale (Valley of Springs) received its name in the 18th Century because there were many freshwater sources in this area that provided adequate drinking water on the trip from Melbourne to Dandenong, and served as a reservoir for the city. We believe that our church can point the way to the source of living water. While speaking with a woman at a well, Jesus said: but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life. (John 4, 14-15)

We maintain a close and cooperative relationship with the Trinity Church in East Melbourne (our sister congregation), and other Christian churches and congregations in Springvale. We respect other religious communities and keep in touch with the Interfaith Group of the City of Greater Dandenong.

Our services are mostly held in German. We do however provide English translations of the main content, as well as celebrate an English service twice a month.

As it has been our experience that the second and third generation of most migrant families here in Australia has adopted the English language as their mother tongue, our Next Generation activities are mainly conducted in English.