Read the Bible in 91 Days!

“Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” – Book of Common Prayer, Proper 28

The adult formation ministry team is challenging all parishioners to read the Bible in 91 days! Can you do it? Will you do it?

Here’s the plan:

The summer program to read the Bible begins on Trinity Sunday (June 11) and ends on the Sunday after Labor Day (September 10). That’s 91 days.

— The book we will be using is The Path: A Journey Through the Bible. It includes all the primary passages of the Bible, using the New Revised Standard Version, which is the same translation you hear in church. In addition to actual Bible passages, there is connecting text to covers the sense of the omitted portions in order for readers to experience the complete Bible story.

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Table Talk: Week of May 7, 2017

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. 

The Good Shepherd

This week in Sunday School your children heard about how God, and Jesus with him, cares for us like a shepherd, bringing us to good grass and still waters and protecting us from danger.  We can see how he was there in the past and he will be there in our future, supporting us in good and hard times. The 23rd Psalm affirms that God is always with us, with Jesus caring for us as a Good Shepherd.

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Adult Formation in the Season of Easter

Mission Statement for Adult Formation

Adult formation is learning about the faith and being formed by the Triune God through study of religious sources, contemplative prayer, meaningful conversation, and participation in the life of a faith community. 

Learning Group Course: Episcopal Identity

Dates

– Four sessions, offered twice, beginning Sunday, May 7

Primary Book

The Episcopal Way: Church’s Teaching for a Changing World ($10, 100 pages; $10 Kindle)

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Holy Week Service Schedule & Notes

The church invites all Christians to worship soon and often during Holy Week and through Easter Day. This is when we remember and embrace in a dramatic way the journey, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Palm Sunday: Jesus enters Jerusalem and confronts the domination powers of the Roman Empire and the temple authorities.

Maundy Thursday: Jesus shares the his last meal with the Twelve and washes their feet.

Good Friday: Jesus is crucified and dies.

Easter Eve: A new fire is kindled in the darkness, the Paschal Candle is lit, people are baptized, and we celebrate the first Eucharist of Easter. Christ is risen!

Easter Day: Christ is risen indeed! We joyfully celebrate the Resurrection of our Savior.

God is calling us all to gather for worship this Holy Week through Easter Day.

I invite your comments and questions.

Fr Randolph


We encourage you to commit to attending as many of our Holy Week worship 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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Table Talk: Week of April 2, 2017

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.

Miracles and Mysteries

This week in Sunday School your children focused on the miracles Jesus performed and the mystery of Easter they led towards.

Our youngest and oldest students learned about the raising of Lazarus. When Mary and Martha’s brother died, Jesus came to comfort them and raised Lazarus from the dead. This both showed Jesus’ humanity, as he grieved with the sisters, and pointed towards the greatest mystery of all, Jesus rising from the dead.

To illustrate the burial of Lazarus, each child wrapped a stuffed animal in paper and “buried” them in a “tomb.” (under a desk)

Students in Godly Play heard about this great mystery. Lent is leading us through a time of preparation for this mystery. Just as Mary and Martha experienced sorrow and then joy as their brother was raised from the dead, so we are preparing for our time of sorrow and rejoicing. Sorrow at the death of Jesus on Good Friday and joy following his resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Table Talk Questions

  1. When friends or people in your family look like they’re really sad, what do you usually say or do?
  2. How do you think Mary and Martha felt when their brother, Lazarus, died?
  3. What did Jesus do to comfort and care for Martha and Mary?
  4. What might you do, as Jesus’ followers, to offer God’s love and care to people who are sad?
  5. How are we impacted by Jesus’ death on the cross? How does this make you feel? How do we share that time and those feelings with others?
  6. What is different about Easter morning? How do we feel then? How do we share those feelings?
  7. How can we support those in our lives who are suffering? How can we share in their joy?
After rolling away the “stone” (chair), the stuffed animals were “resurrected” from the grave.

Table Talk: Week of March 26, 2017

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.

This week Sunday School focused on the reading from Samuel, hearing how God called on Samuel to select a new king and led him to David. Samuel went to Jesse’s house in Bethlehem and there he met all of Jesse’s sons that were brought before him, but God chose none of them. Instead, Samuel had Jesse bring in his youngest son, who was watching their sheep, and he, David, was the one chosen, despite his age.

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SJES Family Fun Night @ The WARF

Friday, March 31 | 5:00 – 8:00 pm

Join us at the WARF for a family fun night of swimming benefiting the SJPA!

Pizza, snacks and drinks will be sold onsite for $1.

ALL children must be supervised (6 and under must have a swimming adult) and attendees must comply with WARF rules listed on the the back of the form below.

When signing up, please keep in mind:

  • Children 2 years and younger are free and do not need a wristband.
  • Children under the age of 6 must have a swimming adult with them in the water. The swimming adult needs a wristband.

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Table Talk: Week of March 19, 2017

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 summaries, 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. 

God Provides

This week Sunday School focused on the reading from Exodus, learning how God always provides for us. Moses was leading his people to a new home, a journey of many miles across a desert.  This was a scary time for the people, often they were hungry and thirsty and doubted they would get there. Moses asked them to have faith that God would provide, but it was hard. God did provide for them, though. When they were thirsty, he gave them water.

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Family Ministries Update: March 2017

Laura Updyke is the interim director of family ministries – you can contact Laura here

Sunday School

If you see one of our Sunday School teachers, please take a minute to say thanks for the great job they’ve been doing this year! We are especially grateful to Haifleigh Pritchard, who is giving her time every Sunday to work with our 3rd-5th graders, helping them manage the crucial shift from Sunday School to confirmation preparation.

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Table Talk: Week of March 12, 2017

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.

God Calls

This week Sunday School focused on the reading from Genesis, God calling Abraham. Our 3rd-5th graders encountered it for the first time, while our younger children had read this story earlier and revisited it.

The focus this week was on God’s directions to Abraham. God chose Abraham and Sarah to start his family. God’s call to Abraham directed him to leave his home, and everything familiar, and travel to a new land, with no assurance other than God’s word that all would be well. Abraham followed God’s directions, even though it wasn’t easy for him to do this. He trusted in God and his love for them.

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By The Numbers: Saint James’ Church & School

As we look ahead with great hope and optimism to Pledge Day, April 2, 2017, it is fitting that we take a moment to look more closely at our largest ministry, largest donor, and continuing success story, Saint James’ Episcopal School. The numbers below leave no doubt that education is a central passion and gift of our parish. 


Saint James’ Episcopal Church & School by the Numbers

50

50 years ago the education wing was built onto our church. At that time there was no school and the parish consisted of 309 members.

898

898 adults and children call Saint James’ their home today

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Table Talk: Week of February 19, 2017

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 summaries, 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.

Following God’s Laws

All of our children read about the laws that God gave Moses to share with his people. The central laws, the Ten Commandments, are still the basic rules Christians are expected to follow in their interactions with God and all people.

God did not say that these would be easy rules to follow, he knew that they would be hard, but he challenged his people to act always through love and to show that love through their actions.

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Table Talk: Week of February 5, 2017

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 summaries, 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.

Teaching God’s Word

The Gospel of Matthew formed the basis of our 3rd-5th graders lesson this week. Jesus calls on us all to be the Salt and the Light and to show others the power of God’s Word through our actions. The church was just beginning and followers were often in hiding to avoid persecution. Matthew is calling on the members of the church not to hide their beliefs, but to be a beacon of light and help to lead others to God’s teachings and the Salt that prevents the world from going bad.

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Parents’ Night Out on February 11!

Saturday, February 11 | 5:00 – 9:00 PM

Enjoy an early Valentine’s night out and support our Soroti students ministry!

  • The cost is $275 to support a younger student and $500 for older students, all money raised will go toward supporting this important church ministry!
  • Drop-off in Parish Hall. Separate rooms for younger kids and elementary age students.
  • Snacks provided (please feed your children dinner before arrival or send a lunch box). Games and movie provided.
  • Donations requested.
  • Learn more about Soroti Ministry here

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Table Talk: Week of January 22, 2017

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.

All God’s Family

Our 3rd-5th graders continued engaging Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians. In today’s Epistle, Paul addressed the divisions that were occurring in the early church, reminding church members that we are all to work together.  The members should “be united in the same mind and the same purpose.” The children talked about what it means to argue with family or friends and explored the challenges in being part of a community and how they can work together as part of God’s family.

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Table Talk: Week of January 15, 2017

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.

God Is Faithful

Our 3rd-5th graders engaged the text of the Epistle, Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, in which Paul tells of God’s faithfulness, and explored what it means to be called to be God’s people. God’s faithfulness is what ensures that we will be able to grow in his love and what strengthens us and prepares us to be full members of his church. Paul notes that God has enriched his people in speech and knowledge to prepare them for their role and that the testimony of Christ is strengthened among them. They have been given all of the gifts they need to help spread his word and act in accordance with his teachings.

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Table Talk: Week of January 8, 2017

For the next few weeks, we will be experimenting with our Sunday School organization. Godly Play will encompass 1st-5th grade. Godly Play is designed to be used for all age levels and we have wanted to expand the experience. This desire, combined with the struggle to recruit teachers for this oldest group, persuaded us to try something new. In the lead up to Lent, we will see how having the groups together works and then evaluate how to proceed from there. We’d love to hear feedback from parents and children as the process unfolds.

Holy Baptism

The First Sunday after Epiphany is also known as the Baptism of our Lord. Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into the Church.

We baptize people in the name of the Father…the Son…and the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we call the Father the Creator. We call the Son the Redeemer. We call the Holy Spirit the Sustainer. People are baptized at all ages, from babies through the very old. We ask the person about to be baptized questions, or the parents or godparents if they are babies. We say prayers for them.

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Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Worship Services

On Christmas Eve we will celebrate the birth of the Christ child with three festive services.

Dec. 24 at 3pm – Christmas Eve Pageant

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!

Dec. 24 at 5:30pm – Family Service

At 5:30 we will have a festive yet more informal and abridged (than our late service) Christmas celebration as we incorporate our youth into the worship service.   This service is intended for individuals and families whose children have aged out of the pageant (upper elementary and up) but find the hour of the late service…. well…just a bit too late. The service will also include Holy Eucharist and the singing of familiar carols.

Dec. 24 at 10:15 – Carols & Vigil

This service is one of, if not the, most beautiful and holy services of the church year as our choir leads us in carols as we sing out that Christ is born! Carols begin at 10:15, followed by the service at 10:30.

Dec. 25 at 9:30am – Christmas Day Eucharist

Let’s rejoice together on Christmas Day with an informal service as we remember the reason we celebrate Christmas. This service is a great way to celebrate Christmas Day with your parish family.

Christmas Week Worship Services

Dec. 21 at 7pm – Blue Christmas Service

A Blue Christmas Service or a Longest Night service acknowledges that Christmas is not always met with joy and celebration. Sometimes it can be difficult to participate in the glad carols and merriment of our Christmas services. This service provides an opportunity to light candles acknowledging the people we miss, the pain or emptiness we may feel. In lighting the candles we proclaim Christ’s presence and that foundational truth from that first chapter of John that “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it”. We sing carols more reflective of Christmas hope than joy, we offer prayers for healing, we break bread together and (of course) we support one another.

Following the service there will be opportunity for continued prayer in the chapel and coffee and dessert in the parish hall.

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Table Talk: Week of December 18, 2016

As your children learn about Advent and the story of Jesus’ birth in Sunday School this season, we encourage you to continue the conversation at home. Each week, we will provide you with the reading done in church for the lighting of our Advent Candles and questions that can be used to discuss them. You can use them as you light your own candles or simply as a conversation-starter.

Reading for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

We have lit three candles ─ for hope, for peace, and for joy. Today we add the fourth candle ─ the candle of love. With this flame we signify the love of God that surrounds and fills us at all times, but that we recognize in a special way in the Christmas story. There is no greater power than love. It is stronger than rulers and empires, stronger than grief or despair, stronger even than death. We love, because he loves us.

(All four candles are lit.)

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