Looking ahead to Epiphany and Lent (January 7th through March 24th, 2018), the Adult Formation Ministry Team wants to have your input on what kinds of learning groups would best suit your situation and schedule.
We have been using learning groups at Saint James’ as a way to provide a structured and supportive environment in which meaningful conversations about our faith can take place.
Continue reading “(Brief!) Adult Formation Survey”
Late last month, a group from Saint James’ spent a week in northern Haiti, mostly in two rural towns.
We went especially to explore the possibility of partnering with an Episcopal school in the area, but the most fulfilling upshot of our trip was that we experienced the love and hospitality of our Episcopalian brothers and sisters, and gained a richer, deeper and more personal understanding of a country so often defined in the minds of foreigners simply by its material poverty.
We will share our experiences on Sunday, December 3rd at 9:00am in the Parish Hall.
Continue reading “Photos of Haiti, by Haitians”
NOVEMBER 2017 MINISTRY OF THE MONTH
On Saturday, November 18, the third-annual Gobble, Gobble, Run or Wobble 5k & Kids’ Fun Run will wind through the streets of Old Town Warrenton. You can register for the race here.
While the event is an absolute blast, complete with a turkey mascot on a bicycle, it also serves a much more profound purpose: funding efforts to increase access to preschool in Fauquier County through a Saint James’ initiative called Learning Starts Early.
Learning Starts Early (LSE) is an outreach ministry with a simple vision: that each child is a beloved child of God, and that each child should enter kindergarten ready to thrive and grow academically, socially and emotionally.
Continue reading “Ministry of the Month: Learning Starts Early + Gobble, Gobble, Run or Wobble 5k”
by randolph charles
The way we pray shapes the way we believe is a core principle in Anglican worship. That’s why it’s so important to be intentional about our liturgical prayer. Is what we say and do in corporate worship encouraging our spiritual growth? Is it both challenging and nurturing us as disciples of Jesus? Is it building us up as a faith community and preparing us to be sent into the world to do God’s ministry? Let’s talk about it.
Continue reading “Worship Notes: Praying Shapes Believing”
- commits us to building God’s kingdom on earth through the mission and ministry of Saint James’
- allows the vestry to budget responsibly
- helps determine our priorities in life when we first pledge a proportion of our income to the Church and then create our household budget
- can be an act of sacrificial love
Continue reading “2017 Pledged Giving FAQ”
Dear Saint James’ family,
As your senior and junior wardens, we are writing this year’s annual pledge campaign letter. Newcomers and visitors reinforce what we all feel when they observe that we are a church that radiates meaning, purpose and vitality. The vestry bears the responsibility for the finances of the church, and as their officers, we can state with confidence that our budget is designed to support what makes Saint James’ exceptional.
Continue reading “2017 Stewardship Letter from the Senior Warden”
“Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.” – Romans 12:13
Fauquier County is one of the materially wealthiest places in the United States. But that’s not true for everyone who lives here.
Roughly 4,000 people in Fauquier live below the poverty level. And in an area where land prices are high and affordable housing scarce, even more people struggle to make ends meet and to afford those basic needs like decent housing and heat during the winter.
Colin Borgstrom, who heads up the Saint James’ Wood Ministry, emphasizes that the need is everywhere, not just in areas of the county that have been especially left behind in economic development.
Continue reading “Ministry of the Month: Saint James’ Firewood Ministry”
Dear Saint James’ Family,
As a child, a significant rite of passage during our summers in Vermont, was that leap from the top rock of the cliffs above Lake Champlain. We would prepare for that harrowing moment by years of jumping from the various lower outcroppings. As thrilling as any of the lower jumps might have been, there was nothing quite like that moment when through deep breaths and wobbly knees, we gathered up just enough will, courage, and encouragement to raise our front foot off the rock, close our eyes, kick off with that back foot and just fly through the air. At that moment the fear meets exhilaration and pride and then after what seems like an eternity, our feet would break the water’s surface and the coolness of the lake would consume us.
Continue reading “2017 Stewardship Letter from the Rector”
Eager to love; Chapter five, “Contemplation: A Different Way of Knowing”
Quote from page 61-62
I believe the very foundation of what we mean by holiness or, in this case, mysticism, is that [Francis and Clare] knew and loved from a different source; they knew by participation in a Larger Knowing that many of us call God. Or, as Paul says, “They knew as fully as they were known” ( 1 Corinthians 13:12)
This kind of shared knowing, which is nothing but full consciousness is what many of us mean by contemplation. True contemplatives surrender some of their own ego boundaries and identity so that God can see through them, with them, and in them – with a larger pair of eyes. It is quite simply a higher level of seeing, and, if you do not like the religious language, you can just call it consciousness, or deep consciousness. But you still have to let go of your small, egoic self to get there (John 12:24). “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
- What could you let go of and how could you let go in order for you to experience a closer union with God?
Continue reading “Notes on Chapter 5: Learning More about St Francis and Creation”
Vitamins and Medications needed
As Fr. Ben preached on Sunday, a team of eight, including six members of Saint James’ Episcopal Church and School (Lee and Terry Owsley, Marianne Lynch, Cammie Fuller, Coy Ferrell, and Fr. Ben), are heading to Terrier Rouge, Haiti from Monday October, 23rd – Sunday, October 29th. They’ll be staying at Saint Barthélémy Episcopal School, part of the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti.
Continue reading “Trip to Haiti & How You Can Help!”
Eager to love; Chapter four, “Home Base: Nature and the Road”
Quote from page 47
Creation itself – not ritual or spaces constructed by human hands – was Francis’s primary cathedral, which then drove him back into the needs of the city, very similar to Jesus’s own movement between desert solitude and small-town healing ministry. The Gospel transforms us by putting us in touch with that which is much more constant and satisfying, literally the “ground of our being,” and has much more “reality” to it, rather than theological concepts or the mere ritualization of reality. Daily cosmic events in the sky and or the earth are the Reality above our heads and beneath our feet every minute of our lives: a continuous sacrament.
- How might the cathedral of God’s Creation be an environment in which you can be transformed by the Gospel?
Continue reading “Notes on Chapter 4: Learning More about St Francis and Creation”
Lectio divina is an ancient form of Christian contemplative prayer that focuses on the “holy reading” of Scripture as a means of moving deeper into the presence and love of God. Lectio divina with Creation follows the same prayer pattern but uses God’s Creation instead of God’s Word to experience the love of God.
Continue reading “Lectio Divina with Creation”
Eager to love; Chapter THREE, “Living on the Edge of the Inside: Simplicity and Justice”
Quote from page 33-34
Francis and Clare were not so much prophets by what they said as in the radical, system-critiquing way that they lived their lives. They found both their inner and outer freedom by structurally living on the edge of the inside of both church and society. …
Francis and Clare’s agenda for justice was the most foundational and undercutting of all others: a very simple lifestyle outside the system of production and consumption (the real meaning of the vow of poverty), plus a conscious identification with the marginalized of society (the communion of saints pushed to its outer edge). In this position you do not “do acts of peace and justice as much as your life is itself peace and justice. You take your small and sufficient place in the great and grand scheme of God. By “living on the edge of the inside” I mean building on the Tradition (“from the inside”) but doing it from a new and creative stance where you cannot be coopted for purposes of security, possession, or the illusions of power (“on the edge”).
- How does Francis and Clare’s life of simplicity and justice connect with your lifestyle?
Continue reading “Notes on Chapter 3: Learning More about St Francis and Creation”
The Episcopal Church is a “wide tent” denomination. We welcome people with different social views, different theological views, different political views, different biblical views, different lifestyle views, and yet all of us are connected to a strong faith center, and through that center we are bound to each other.
When it comes to corporate worship, we have lots of options because we honor the diversity of parishioners and the validity of the many ways to praise God in the Episcopal tradition.
Continue reading “Corporate Worship at Saint James’”
“The people stand or kneel.” – Book of Common Prayer, page 362
by Norma Thatcher
I began attending the Episcopal Church in 1986.
Having been raised as a Methodist, I didn’t quite get the standing, kneeling, genuflecting, crossing of oneself, etc. I simply followed the lead of those around me, just as visitors to Saint James’ do currently.
Continue reading “Personal Reflection: Why I Stand to Pray in Church”
“The people kneel or stand.” – Book of Common Prayer, page 334
by Ninie Laing
Everyone should feel comfortable doing what seems appropriate for her own spiritual growth. I am a visual person, easily distracted by the scene around me. If I stand to pray with my eyes open, I am tempted to focus on my surroundings and not my inner dialogue with God.
Continue reading “Personal Reflection: Why I Kneel for the Prayers”