JustChurch:  is an open and affirming worshiping community rooted in ancient practices and focused on acts of justice.
JustChurch is the ministering community of Beloved Community Initiative

 
Join us in person for weekly worship on Saturdays at 5:00pm  
at Trinity Episcopal Church, 320 E. College St., Iowa City.

You are also welcome to join us on Zoom.  Click here to Contact us for the link.    

About Us


About JustChurch

Welcome to JustChurch. At JustChurch, we believe to know Jesus is to do justice.

We are committed to being an antiracist church in our understanding of systemic injustices and in fighting for inclusion and participation of all peoples.

In Jesus Christ, and therefore in this place, 
there are no outsiders or insiders. 
Be welcome in the fullness of who God created you to be. 
We endeavor to become people of every race and ethnicity, 
sexual orientation and gender identity, 
economic class and age, 
come in the fullness of your real life and receive the fullness of hope in Christ. 
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JustChurch is intentionally focused on worship steeped in ancient Christian tradition expressed in new, simple ways, without building ownership, standing committees, etc. JustChurch is a refuge to those who seek to express faith for good in a community of inclusion and who feel left out of current institutional religion. Since JustChurch wants money to do the most good it can do, it strives to be an 80/20 worshipping community (dedicating 80% of its income for maximal impact on justice while using 20% to cover intentionally low operating costs).

Rev. Cn. Meg Wagner (worship leader) 

Canon Meg Wagner serves as one of the worship leaders of JustChurch. Meg also serves as the Canon to the Ordinary in the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa and is the co-founder of Beloved Community Initiative—a racial justice, healing, and reconciliation ministry. Since it began in the spring of 2018, BCI has provided dismantling racism training, educational programing, Underground Railroad pilgrimages, youth retreats, and partnered with BIPOC-led groups for interfaith action and advocacy. Meg serves on denomination-wide groups that work on racial justice and healing. Meg is the mom of two incredible sons and and an incredible daughter-in-law and married to an amazing partner, friend, and canon's mate, Michael.

Rev. Nora Boerner (worship leader and deacon)


Rev. Nora Boerner is an Episcopal priest in The Episcopal Church and serves as the Interim Beloved Community Missioner. Nora is on the clergy staff at Trinity Episcopal Church in Iowa City. 
Through BCI Nora now works monthly with other Episcopal leaders in the state, interfaith leaders in Johnson County  and the BCI advisory groups. Originally from Minnesota, she holds a B.A. from St. Olaf College and is a certified yoga teacher. Nora, her spouse, Jeff, and their four children reside in Iowa City. 

Rev. Jan Schnell Rippentrop (founder) 

Rev. Dr. Jan Rippentrop Schnell is a liturgical and political theologian. Trained as a Lutheran pastor as well as practical theology and ethics professor, she is the Assistant Professor of Liturgics at Wartburg Theological Seminary, a place that practices into becoming beloved community. She also teaches in the DMin in Preaching Program of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools. Much of her academic writing works against oppression and toward liberation. She studies good anger--in particular, women's anger at violations of values along with the healthful and just paths by which people can work with their anger in order to calibrate it toward the communal level and bring about social transformation. She is also interested in how eschatology—God’s coming that breaks into the world—liberates people to hope in and work toward the justice that God creates. In her teaching, preaching and research, she is committed to interdisciplinarity, theories that have street cred, and pedagogies or methodologies that recognize the inherent value and wisdom that each participant brings. A conference speaker and preacher, she delights in God’s spirited movement in the fabric of our daily lives and on the streets of our public spaces. Schnell and her family live dependent on solar energy, where they steward and help restore a natural Iowa prairie. They share interests in music, reading, theater, and playing outside. Rev. Rippentrop and her family live on an acreage that is off the grid, where they are restoring a natural Iowa prairie. They share interest in music, reading, theater, and playing outside.


Rev. Sarah Goettsch (Founder)


Rev. Sarah Goettsch Rev. Sarah Goettsch is a native Iowan, having been born and raised in Marshalltown, Iowa. She attended the University of Tubingen in Germany and graduated from Valparaiso University in 1994. She graduated from Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, in 2001, with a Master’s of Divinity degree. Rev. Goettsch served a two-point rural parish in Calamus, Iowa, from 2001 till 2014. She now serves as campus pastor of Lutheran Campus Ministry at the University of Iowa and Pastor of Young Adults and Campus Ministries at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Iowa City. Rev. Goettsch’s husband, Doug, is managing partner of Big Grove Brewpub in Solon, as well as partner in Big Grove Taproom, Pullman Bar and Diner and St. Burch restaurants in Iowa City. They live in North Liberty with their three sons.


JustFriends 


These wonderful affiliates, organizations and individuals have been instrumental in the launching and continued growth of JustChurch. We are very thankful for them.

How does a weary world rejoice: Songs for Advent and Christmas

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