Advent & Christmas Calendar 2017

Sunday, December 10  |  Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

— 4:00 PM

Lessons and Carols, a tradition beginning in 1878 at Truro Cathedral in Cornwall, England, utilizes nine scripture readings to chronicle the story of Christ from beginning of creation through the pen of John the Apostle.

The adult choir and handbells will offer beautiful reflections to each reading as well as lead the congregation in several familiar carols during the service.

A reception of seasonal treats will follow.

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Photos from Haiti: October 2017

In late October 2017, a small group from Saint James’ visited North-East Haiti. This was not a mission trip; rather, we traveled there to learn about how Saint James’ could be a long-term partner in the work that Haitians are already doing to improve the educational lives of children.

Our goal was twofold.

First, we went learn about primary education in northern, rural Haiti and to connect with Haitians improving the educational opportunities of children there, especially in an Episcopal context. We were able to board for a week at St Barthelemy Episcopal School in Terrier Rouge, where we gained insight into the potential of an Episcopal school in this region and what a transformative impact it can have on a small town.

Second, we went to seek out and connect with an Episcopal primary school in the area, with the goal of providing long-term financial support and establishing a lasting relationship. We found this in St Luc Episcopal Church & School in Trou du Nord.

Because the largest ministry of Saint James’ is our school, and because Haiti is the largest diocese in the American Episcopal Church, it seems a natural fit that we use our material resources and intimate knowledge of the challenges facing an Episcopal school to do what we can to support a similarly-sized school in Haiti, where the effects of quality education can be absolutely transformative to individuals and to a community. 

These are images from our trip.

PHOTOS BY HAITIAN BOYS

“Each of the following photos was taken by a Haitian boy in Terrier Rouge. Three boys took an especially keen interest in my camera: Jeff, Dervilien and Hermetz. All three are students at Ecole St Barthelemy, and each boy is either nine or ten years old. At various points during the week, I was able to hand my camera to them and they took it from there. I think these are the most valuable images from our trip, because they show what Haiti looks like to Haitian children themselves.” -Coy

Daily Life in Terrier Rouge

Though only about 20 miles from Cap-Haïtian, the second-largest city in Haiti, Terrier Rouge is a quintessentially rural town of 10,000-15,000 residents. We got the distinct sense that everyone in the town knows everyone else. Almost no one lives on the outskirts of the town; to live in an isolated house would mean unacceptable isolation from the life of the community. Most structures in town are made with cinderblock and concrete, the ideal building materials in a place where air-conditioning is almost non-existent and where, despite the rarity of any rain at all, flooding is an ever-present risk from those storms that do make it over the mountains.

Ecole St Barthelemy

Ecole St Barthelemy was founded in 2001 as a preschool with just 30 students. Since then, it has grown into a student body of 1,100 students ranging from preschool all the way through the upper secondary-school grades. From the two graduating classes so far, each of the 40 students has gone on to university, an astonishing feat in a country where only 32% of the population has even some secondary-school education, much less university experience. The school is run by Pere Jean Bruno, a retired Episcopal priest. He also chairs the board of Esperance et Vie, a nonprofit which funds the school, a local medical clinic and community improvement projects. Almost all students at St Barthelemy cannot afford the <$100-per-year tuition and attend through scholarships, funding for which stems mostly from donations by individuals and churches in the United States.

Ecole St Luc

St Luc’s school was founded in the early 2000’s in Trou du Nord, a town somewhat larger than Terrier Rouge and about five miles away. Unlike St Barthelemy, St Luc has not had the blessing of such steady funding or a singular driving force like Pere Bruno to push it forward. Ecole St Luc currently enrolls about 250 students from preschool through the first year of secondary school. This number will greatly reduce by the end of the school year; many families cannot afford the tuition for the entire year, and must pull their kids out early. Of its $40,000 yearly budget, about $15,000 has been funded by an Episcopal Church in Maine, though this source of funding will drop to about $5,000 next year. The priest of Eglise St Luc, Pere Sadoni Leon, has put special focus on improving the quality of education at Ecole St Luc in the two years since he arrived in Trou du Nord. All new teachers graduated at least from secondary school in Cap-Haïtian, where the quality of education is generally much higher than in towns further east.

Eglise St Luc

On Sunday morning, we attended church at Eglise St Luc, the Episcopal church that runs the school. Pere Sadoni invited Fr Ben to give the sermon. Although the service is in Haitian Kreyòl, the primary spoken language in the country, the order of the service is almost identical to an Episcopal service conducted in English – a testament to the multilingual reach of the Book of Common Prayer. There were some marked differences from a typical American Episcopal service; drums formed a musical backdrop for many of the prayers and liturgies. The Prayers of the People, especially, were a vibrant expression of reverence and fervor. While only 20-30 parishioners attended on this particular morning because of some confusion about the time of the service, Pere Sadoni says about 70 people count themselves members of St Luc, most of whom attend every Sunday.

 

Photos of Haiti, by Haitians

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.

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Meet Randolph Charles

[This is the complete and unedited version of an article that Connie wrote for the Fall Issue of inFauquier. I am grateful to Connie for writing it and I share it with you, the people of St James’, because I want you to know more about my life. RCC]

by Connie Lyons

Sixteen years old, and as teenaged boys will, Randolph Charles and a friend are cruising around a lake, soaking up the South Carolina sunshine and scents of summer. And as teenaged boys will, they are discussing what they’re going to do when they grow up. “You know, Randy,” says the friend, “Somehow I’ve always seen you in the priesthood. Or as some kind of clergy type person.” Charles is surprised, intrigued; his interest is piqued. Nevertheless, the idea seems alien, and he tucks it away for future reference in the deep quiet underwaters of his subconscious.

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Personal Reflection: Why I Stand to Pray in Church

“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.

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Personal Reflection: Why I Kneel for the Prayers

“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.

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Directory Photos: Help Us Connect!

The Stewardship Committee’s motto is “Forming Relationships, Making Connections, Offering our Gifts.” And it all starts with knowing each other!  Please respond with your photograph and directory information so we can build community. Thanks, The Membership Team. 

And we would like two things from every household:

#1- A PHOTOGRAPH

If you already have a photograph in the directory, and you want a new one, OR if you’ve never submitted one, you now have 2 options:

  1. Click here to sign up for a “photo shoot” with Coy between the two Sunday-morning services on October 1, 8, 15, or 22.
  2. Already have a photo you’d like to use? Send a new photo in an email to Nancy at nancy@saintjameswarrenton.org 

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2017 SC Youth Missions Trip Recap

Thank you for your prayers and all the ways you supported our mission team while down in Hollywood, South Carolina. Thank you also to all of the adult volunteers (and their families) who volunteered their time and talents, and to our youth who represented Saint James’ so wonderfully. The trip was a transformative experience.

Read blog posts from each day of the missions trip

Please take the time to watch the youth (and our Director of Family Ministries) reflect on their experience, and if you watch the whole service you will even hear them sing and play the ukulele!

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Update on Family Ministries: 2017 Summer Newsletter

by Laura Updyke, Interim Director of Family Ministries

Acolytes

Calling all acolytes! There will be an acolyte training session on August 27th immediately following the 10:15 service. It will last about an hour. Current acolytes wishing to take on a new role or those wishing to become an acolyte should plan to attend. Here are the roles your children can play in the service:

  • 3rd grade and up – Torch
  • 5th grade and up – Crucifer
  • 7th grade and up – Server
  • 9th grade and up – Chalicer

We do not have an age limit for Epistler, because we believe that is self-selecting. Whenever your child feels comfortable reading out loud, they are welcome to take it on.

If you have any questions, please contact Laura Updyke at laura.updyke@saintjameswarrenton.org.

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Message from the Rector: 2017 Summer Newsletter

by fr. ben maas

Nearing the end of our Shrine Mont retreat, I grabbed a cup of coffee early Sunday morning and headed into the woods to walk a bit and gather my thoughts for the impending service in the shrine. I passed the labyrinth and the stations of the cross and decided that I had enough time to reach the cross (located atop a tower on the mountain’s peak). It’s not a long hike, but you get high enough to look over the tree line at the valley below. Reaching the summit, I enjoyed a gentle breeze and the last sip of now barely lukewarm coffee, looked over the valley, and was struck by juxtaposing revelations.

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From The Ashes: Environmental Film Night is Thursday, June 15

Thursday, June 15 @ 7:00 PM in the Parish Hall

FROM THE ASHES is being shown in small venues all over the U.S. before it premiers on the National Geographic Channel later in June.  The Interfaith Power and Light network is distributing advance copies of the film with the intention of raising awareness that will potentially result in both thought-provoking conversation and constructive action.                      

FROM THE ASHES captures Americans in communities across the country as they wrestle with the legacy of the coal industry and what its future should be.

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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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Message from the Rector: March 2017

A Saturday or so ago, we gathered for a family movie night. We settled upon the movie, October Sky, based upon the book Rocket Boys. An interesting aside, the exact same letters that form “October Sky” also make up “Rocket Boys” (Try it and see).

The movie is about Homer H. Hickman, Jr. and his friends’ interest in building rockets, but it is about much more than that. In Coalwood, West Virginia life was pretty much tracked for you at a young age. If you were a boy growing up there, you attended school long enough to test your football acumen or settle for life working in the depleted coal mines.

Homer quickly established that football was not going to be his route out of Coalwood, but he was equally certain that life in the coal mine was not for him. As trapped as Homer felt in Coalwood, his friends’ tracks seemed even narrower, as their family systems were wrought with instability, alcoholism and abuse, or profound poverty.

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