Holy Week 2018: Schedule of Services

Saint James’ you to attend as many of our Holy Week services as you are able. They dramatically walk us through Jesus’ last days and allow us to more fully enter the story and receive the love poured out for us. The experience of Holy Week also adds to the richness, joy, and bounding hope of Easter.

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March 25 | Palm Sunday

8:00 AM and 10:15am

This service begins our journey toward the cross with Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. His entry is celebrated with the waving of palms in procession (at 8am from the back of the church, at 10:15 from in front of the church).

This Sunday is also called Passion Sunday because of the church’s tendency to read the passion and prepare those who will not be able to attend the weekday Holy Week services between this day and Easter Sunday.

However, this year we will again invite you to stay in the moment of Jesus’ triumphant entry and the zealous ministry that challenged the religious leadership then and challenges us today.

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Update on Family Ministries: 2018 Winter Newsletter

by Jen Taylor, Director of Family Ministries

Sunday School

Wow! We are well into 2018 and just 3 months left of our Sunday school curriculum for the year.

Don’t let that mislead you, we still have lots to do!

A very special thank you to all our Sunday school teachers! We have over 25 volunteers for Sunday school. Every Sunday there are dedicated teachers to tell our youngest parishioners a relevant story, read bible verses with, and facilitate a conversation about what they learned.

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Syllabus: Learning More about the Acts of the Apostles and Contemplative Prayer

Adult Formation at St. James’

Adult formation is learning about the faith and being formed by the triune God through the following:

  1. study of religious sources [Bible, Prayer Book, tradition, etc.]
  2. prayer [contemplation, lectio divina, centering prayer, examen, etc.]
  3. meaningful conversation [honest, open, focused, non-judgmental, shared, helpful, respectful, etc.]
  4. participation in the life of a faith community [learning groups, St. James’, The Episcopal Church, etc.]

Learning Groups

The purpose of this 7- week course is to learn more about The Acts of the Apostles and the Early Church and to practice contemplative prayer. Consider this goal: 15 minutes of Bible and prayer daily.

  • Sunday Learning Groups, 9:15 and 11:45 in Reception Room (Childcare for 5 years and younger)
  • Tuesday Learning Group, 10:30 in Reception Room
  • Home Learning Group Form your own group of two or more; meet in your own space.

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Message from the Rector: 2018 Winter Newsletter

by Fr Ben Maas

Despite the fact that I have not turned a shovel of dirt or driven a nail, there is something remarkably satisfying about watching the expansion take place. I make it a regular part of my day to see the progress. Even before the first sign of construction, I reveled in the enormous hole that provided a glimpse of what would eventually fill the space. I have had a childlike enthusiasm on those big days when walls or floors are poured. Now with the basement formed and the foundation of what will be the new school entrance in place, I can practically envision the completed wing. I find myself looking over the construction sign with the completed rendering and then at the site, attaching finished walls, windows, a roof, etc. Even on the occasions where weather interrupts work or those days that just don’t show remarkable progress, I still find myself looking out the window and appreciating how far we have come.

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Table Talk: Week of March 11, 2018

Whether or not your children were able to make it to Sunday school, you can still engage them in this week’s story. Please read the summary, look up the story online, in your bible, or a children’s bible, and begin the discussion. Increasing your child’s biblical knowledge will be foundational in their faith development. What a gift to provide a child! Adults also reap the benefit of digging in deeper to these stories.

Amazing Grace & The Fourth Sunday in Lent

In our 3rd – 5th grade classroom, the children talked about what it is like to earn things. (rewards for good grades, places on teams, money for doing chores)

Unfortunately, children already tie their sense of self-worth to what they have earned and they observe this in the adult world too. It is a challenge for Christians of all ages to accept God’s grace as an unearned, unmerited gift of enduring acceptance, love and mercy. Grace is God’s loving mercy for us, no matter what.

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Notes on Chapter 7: The Heart of Christianity

Learning More about Christianity

The Quotes and Questions for Chapter 7 of The Heart of Christianity are attached. I hope that you will check them out. This is a very important chapter, “The Kingdom of God: The Heart of Justice.” You don’t have to read the book. Just come and participate in the conversation. All are welcome.

Sundays at 9:15 and 11:45  and Tuesdays at 10:30 in the Reception Room

– Fr Randolph


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Firewood Ministry Event Update and Drivers Wanted

Due to the rain and forecast for more rain this weekend, we are cancelling the planned split/stack event for this Saturday (Feb 24). Please plan to join us at our next planned event on Saturday, March 10!

In the meantime, winter is still hanging around (even if it doesn’t feel like it at the moment!) and we have weekly requests for delivery of wood to homes in central/southern Fauquier. If you have a pickup truck or trailer and can spare an hour or more once a week, please contact Wood Ministry Team Leader Colin Borgstrom at 540-270-3285 or via email at theborginva@gmail.com to be added to the delivery email list. Thank you in advance for your help with this vital ministry!

To learn more about Firewood Ministry and the impact it has on Fauquier County, click here.

Table Talk: Week of February 18, 2018

Whether or not your children were able to make it to Sunday school, you can still engage them in this week’s story. Please read the summary, look up the story online, in your bible, or a children’s bible, and begin the discussion. Increasing your child’s biblical knowledge will be foundational in their faith development. What a gift to provide a child! Adults also reap the benefit of digging in deeper to these stories.

Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat by Simon de Myle
Noah’s Ark on Mount Ararat by Simon de Myle, 1570

A Fresh Start

This Sunday, was the first Sunday of Lent. Sunday’s Sunday School lesson focused on a reading in Genesis (Genesis 6:5-9:17) – the children will embrace how God’s covenant with Noah gives all people hope for second chances.

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Lenten Family Nights & Other Programs in Lent 2018

“I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.” (BCP p. 265)

Saint James’ Warrenton is offering three activities during Lent 2018 to support your spiritual journey in this season of reflection, and you’re invited!

Lenten Family Nights

The adult formation and family ministries leaders have planned a program of Lenten Family Nights for the people of Saint James’. It will be held on the first four Sunday evenings in Lent: February 18, February 25, March 4, March 11.

Whether it’s just you or you have a whole family in tow, you’re invited to this new program that will deepen our relationships with each other and our faith.

  • 6:00 Supper
  • 6:45 Worship
  • 7:00 Program: Adults, High School, Middle School, Childcare
  • 8:00 Good Night

We will begin with everyone gathering for a shared meal at 6:00. Click here to sign up to bring part of the meal. Then we will worship 6:45 with an informal evening liturgy. At 7:00, the High School and Middle School Youth Groups will follow their usual program on the scheduled Sundays. Childcare will be available for all four nights.

The program for adults is based on Brian McLaren‘s new book, The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World’s Largest Religion Is Seeking A Better Way to Be Christian. We will begin with a 15-minute video of Brian speaking and talking with others about the basic points of the book. There is no reading or preparation needed for this program; just come and participate. There will be a facilitator at each table to guide the conversations. We will end the night with a brief gathering and sending forth.

The following is a description of the program we are using, which is called Way of Life.

“Participants learn how shifting away from an outdated system of beliefs to a new way of life based on love can lead to new, more redemptive communities and practices. McLaren challenges participants to focus less on doctrine, more on new ways of reading Scripture, and ultimately on love as manifested in the life of Jesus.”

Adult Formation Learning Groups

Learning groups meet in the reception room every Sunday at 9:15am and 11:45am and on Tuesdays at 10:30am.

These are meaningful conversations about having and living an honest and passionate faith in God.

Currently, we are focusing on the book The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith by Marcus Borg.

To see the syllabus of this learning group, click here. And to see the latest news about adult formation, including discussion questions for each chapter, click here.

Self-Guided Devotion

The book Saint James’ is offering for a self-guided journey through Lent is Ashes and the Phoenix: Meditations for the Season of Lentwhich is published by Forward Movement.

“Threaded throughout with the stunningly visual and visceral poems of Len Freeman and guided by the collects for Lent and Holy Week, Ashes and the Phoenix seeks to lead us through the emotions, symbols, sights, sounds, and scents of Lent. Featuring original woodcuts by artist Jason Sierra, this book is a feast for hungry hearts and weary eyes. If you are seeking a way to answer the Church’s invitation to observe a holy Lent, Ashes and the Phoenix is an excellent companion for your journey to Easter.”

Books available at the rear of the church for $5.00.

Photos: Ash Wednesday 2018

“Dear People of God: The first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church to prepare for them by a season of penitence and fasting. This season of Lent provided a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism.

“It was also a time when those who, because of notorious sins, had been separated from the body of the faithful were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to the fellowship of the Church. Thereby, the whole congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith.

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Notes on Chapter 4: The Heart of Christianity

Learning More about Christianity

We are currently using The Heart of Christianity, by Marcus Borg, in our adult formation learning groups. I am very excited about this book and the meaningful faith conversations that it invites!


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Upcoming Firewood Ministry Split & Stack Events

Our wood ministry is in full force during these cold winter months!  This Saturday, please join us for a Split/Stack event at the collection site in Warrenton.  The weather looks really good after the past two weeks, and we have two log splitters on site ready for volunteers.  We’ll plan to meet at 9am and be completed around 11am so you can enjoy the remainder of your day.

Working in conjunction with the Fauquier Community Coalition, our volunteers donated more than 70 hours of labor at the wood collection site in Warrenton.  From this site, donations of firewood were made to more than 60 families in Fauquier and Rappahannock counties that would not have had wood for heating or cooking without this ministry.

The upcoming months will allow us to organize and get a jump on preparations for the next season; we plan to have split and stack events on the second and fourth Saturdays each month in February, March and April.

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Worship Notes: The Liturgy Explained

The Worship Ministry Team has been studying The Liturgy Explained, by James Farwell, Professor of Liturgics at Virginia Theological Seminary. The following is a quote from the book.

“In the liturgy, the people who call themselves followers of God… praise the source of beauty and truth, listen to the proclamation of love and laws of human flourishing in the kingdom of God, lament that which is broken in the world, focus their energy on help for those broken, acknowledge their failings and commit to begin again to seek God and the good, make peace with one another, and welcome one another to a shared table.”

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Notes on Chapter 2: The Heart of Christianity

Learning More about Christianity

For the seasons of Epiphany and Lent, we are using The Heart of Christianity, by Marcus Borg. I am very excited about this book and the meaningful conversations about our faith that it invites! There is a spirit moving within Christianity (and also in other faiths) that is calling us into a more honest and passionate experience of God, and a commitment to be more intentional about letting that sacred experience shape our daily living. “Learning More about Christianity” is an opportunity for us at Saint James’ to walk that path into a deeper faith together.

Fr Randolph

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Ministry of the Month: Saint James’ Breakfast Sandwich Ministry

“…I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me…” Matthew 25:35

“The neat part about Warrenton is that it’s a real community,” says Bob Meceda, who usually delivers the breakfast sandwiches made every third Sunday in the Saint James’ kitchen. People begin lining up a half hour before doors open at Warrenton UMC, where volunteers there have made coffee. The origin of the sandwiches is anonymous. They are there for anyone who needs a healthy breakfast no one is turned away. 

Greg Arthaud got himself through college by working the morning shift at McDonalds, so he knows a thing or two about cracking eggs. For the past seven years, Greg has spent his time in the Saint James’ kitchen most months on the third Saturday, prepping breakfast sandwiches for local residents who might not otherwise have a healthy meal on a Saturday morning. 

facts and needs

  • The next sandwich-making day is Saturday, January 21st at 7:00am.
  • This ministry operates year-round on the third Saturday of each month.
  • Volunteers prepare ten-dozen breakfast sandwiches.
  • We always need volunteers!
  • This is a great ministry for the whole family to get involved.
  • The sandwiches are distributed at Warrenton United Methodist Church via Fauquier County Food Distribution Coalition.
  • If you are interested in helping prepare sandwiches, contact Greg Arthaud.

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Christmas Eve Services at Saint James’

On Christmas Eve, we will celebrate the birth of the Christ child with three festive services. We will also have one morning service, at 9:30am, to celebrate the fourth Sunday of Advent.

Sunday, December 24 |  Christmas Eve Pageant with Eucharist

— 3:00 PM

Bring the family and enjoy the reenactment of the Birth of Jesus. All children are encouraged to participate. Please arrive 15 minutes early for your child to be fitted for a costume. No prior rehearsal needed. The pageant includes the singing of familiar Christmas carols and is woven into the celebration of Holy Eucharist. This service is especially geared toward preschool and elementary age children but a joy to all! >>> Photos from last year

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Advent Message from the Choirmaster

by Jesse Ratcliffe, Director of Music

Hymn Writing: the marriage of text and melody

This Advent season, two hymns of sturdy composition and poetic beauty will bookend the season: Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending and Come Thou Long Expected Jesus.

Of the thousands of hymn-writers known in Christendom, the works of brothers John and Charles Wesley (1703-91 & 1707-1788) have proved to be timeless. Both were ordained as Anglican clergymen and served as missionaries, which exposed them to various types of music across Europe.

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