A Stewardship Message from Fr Ben

Do you choose easy or do you choose adventure?

I asked this question on my first Sunday at Saint James’ four years ago this winter. I talked about asking my daughter that question half way through a rather rigorous hike, I encouraged you to consider all the ways that Jesus asked his followers that same question, and whether God might be asking the people of Saint James’ Episcopal Church the same question.

Years later I am ever more convinced both of God’s call to us and our resounding answer, “ADVENTURE!!!”. Here is the rub. Adventure is not easy. Jesus certainly never said it would be.

One of my favorite prayers, attributed to 16th century explorer, Sir Francis Drake, asks the same question of us. Have we arrived safely because we sailed too close to shore… (have we) fallen in love with life and ceased to dream of eternity?

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Upcoming Green Team Programs

Oct. 4 is the Feast Day of St Francis. There is much to learn about this extraordinary man who lived in the 12th century and inspired others to honor God’s creation.  When Jorge Bergoglio (Pope Francis) was elected Pope by the Catholic Church in 2013, he chose to honor this man by using his name.

In honor of St Francis, please considering participating in one or more of the following:

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A Message From Our New Priest Associate

I am very glad to announce that we have hired The Rev. Randolph Charles to serve as our half time associate.  Randolph’s primary focus will be adult formation. He will be with us two weekdays a week and every other Sunday.  A particular grace to me is that Randolph has repeatedly expressed that his primary goal is to support me in my ministry.  Another grace, is that we both enter into this relationship with the clarity that this is a season of discernment for Saint James’ and for Randolph.  During this season, I am grateful for the gifts and spirit Randolph brings to Saint James’ and am confident you will find him to be a refreshing addition to our community. – Ben+

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Some Tweets from Social Media Sunday #SMS16

September 25 was Social Media Sunday, a concept developed by the Acts 8 Movement and since adopted across the entire Episcopal Church in America.

One of the great things about social media is that you can join a nationwide or worldwide conversation, and see that conversation develop in real time.

Social Media Sunday used the hashtag #SMS16 to organize the national conversation this year, and it was an amazing success! Especially since Episcopalians follow a common lectionary, Episcopalians across the country could share and follow the conversations happening on Sunday morning.

Here are a few examples of some tweets from around the country on Sunday. If you have a Twitter or Instagram, make sure to check out the hashtags #sms16, #episcopal and #chsocm — you can find us on Twitter @sjecwarrenton and on Instagram at @saintjameswarrenton.

Wherever and however and whenever, share God’s love with the world!

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“Social Media Sunday” Is This Week!

Especially in a place like Warrenton, many of us lead hectic lives – whether it’s taking one kid to soccer practice and another to dance while trying to plan dinner, or commuting an hour on 66 before your workday even starts, our busy lives can keep us with connecting with the people and things that are most important to us.

Those busy schedules certainly affect the life of a church as well. In fact, according to a recent study, one of the primary reasons Americans have a harder time connecting with their church community than they used to is that, quite simply, they don’t have time. (Families with children in travel sports know that Sundays are too often taken up by trips to the ballfield)

Post-choir-retreat dinner in Winchester, and of course the pre-meal prayer has to be sung! #choir #warrentonva #winchesterva #episcopal #churchchoir

A video posted by Saint James’ Episcopal Church (@saintjameswarrenton) on

Here’s where social media comes in. (“Social media,” by the way, just means anything on the Internet where people can interact with each other)

While everyone is out leading full lives in Warrenton and beyond, we do our best to keep our church community updated and connected as much as we can.


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Message from Laura Updyke, Interim Director of Family Ministries

Its rich and varied family programs drew us to Saint James’ originally, so when Fr. Ben approached me about filling John’s position on an interim basis, it was an easy yes. We’re sad to see John leave and I’m happy to help out in this time of transition and provide the church with the space needed to reflect on our needs and conduct a thorough search for his replacement.

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