Love, Joy, Peace...
Our Pastor

Rev. John Pawloski is pastor of St. John’s United Church of Christ in Brighton, Illinois. After practicing law for over thirty years, Pastor Pawloski decided to devote the majority of his working days towards ministry. Pawloski entered Eden Theological Seminary in Webster Groves, Missouri, in September of 2015. He could tell right away that this was something he would really enjoy doing. 

Pastor Pawloski feels a call to do something different than what has usually been tried: to offer a counter-narrative to the Evangelical message of fire and damnation and its alignment with Christian Nationalism; and to make church fun (again)! 

“It is disheartening to see the number of people who have been driven away from the church because they are divorced, or LGBTQIA, disabled, or mixed-race, etc. These people have not been made to feel welcome in the American Christian Church, and we openly welcome everyone at St. John’s UCC. Whether you are gay, straight, White, Black, etc., we have a spot for you in our church. And not just as an oddity, but welcome in every way. Come give us a shot to prove it to you.” 

Pastor Pawloski believes very strongly that if you are using the Bible as a weapon, and not as a shield, you are following Jesus wrong. “My job is to encourage and grow the faith of people, not to convince them that they are a whisker away from burning in hell for all eternity.” 

Pastor John says worship should be fun. Worship should be a joyful celebration of the Good News. 

“At St. John’s we love to laugh. And sing. And sometimes cry. We are a small church family that enjoys each other’s company and is thrilled to meet new visitors or welcome back old friends. We sing old, familiar hymns, but tackle contemporary issues ripped from today’s headlines. Once a month, we have conversations in lieu of sermons. We make time to meditate and pray. We support our community and missions around the world.”

If you would like to contact Pastor John directly, this is his email:

St. John's United Church of Christ
216 North Street, Brighton, Illinois 62012
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