2017 Vestry Nominee: Jen Taylor

To read about other 2017 vestry nominees, click here

My husband, Mike & I have lived in Northern Virginia for 13 years. After growing up in a small upstate New York town, Warrenton quickly felt like home. We currently live in town with our 3 children, Amelia (7), Zachary (5) and Eleanor (2). We are in the process of building a new home just a couple miles away and hope to be moving in the spring! I keep busy being a stay a home mom, volunteering at each of our kids’ 3 schools, traveling to see family & friends (mainly over the summer) to my family’s cottage on Keuka Lake and one of my favorite things to do right now is to run! 

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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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Update on Family Ministries

Sunday School

Thanks again to all of the parishioners who have stepped up to teach this year. We are very grateful and there has been a smooth transition as our new teachers have taken over.

As we head into the Advent season, the Sunday School students will be preparing to welcome Jesus into the world. On the first Sunday of Advent, everyone will be making Advent wreaths to bring home and use. Our Table Talks will include the readings done in church and also in Sunday School, and each week as we light the candles there will be questions that you can use at home to discuss the meaning of the candles and how we can prepare ourselves to welcome the Lord.

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Advent & Christmas Worship Services

December 11 at 4pm – Christmas Concert

This year’s program will feature the Saint James’ Adult Choir, Handbells, Youth Chorale, as well as a guest string quartet. The music ranges from plainsong, a chorus from the Messiah, to newly composed music, and it is  supported by scripture readings that chronicle the story of Christ. A reception with seasonal treats will follow the concert.

Dec. 16 at 11am – K-5 Christmas Pageant

Join us for the annual Saint James’ Episcopal School Elementary Christmas Pageant.  Students will re-enact the nativity of Jesus Christ with costume, song, and prayer. It’s a beautiful program and you shouldn’t miss it! It will be streamed too.

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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Fr Ben’s Year-End Message

As we enter the last month of our bicentennial year, I find myself quite reflective. One particular thought has occupied my time, especially as we step back and participate in liturgies from the 1789 Book of Common Prayer. In a world so different than the one of our church founders how is our role in the community, our mission changing?

When Saint James’ first opened her doors, James Madison was president, we had only 18 states, and Edison’s light bulb was still over 60 years from conception as was the invention of the phonograph. Imagine the role the church played in that community. What happened each Sunday at Saint James’ was in all likelihood the most significant cultural and social event of the week. The church had little competition on Sunday morning (or any other day of the week for that matter). Imagine the transcendent beauty of listening to the organ and raising your voice in harmony with the gathered faithful prior to radio, records, tapes, cd’s, much less iPods and streaming music…. Contemplate the power of a well-crafted and delivered sermon in an age without film, television, or the internet. The church truly was the center of a community’s life.

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The Next Firewood Ministry Split, Stack and Delivery Day is December 10

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10 | 9-11am | @ WARRENTON COLLECTION SITE

Thank you to Rick Miller, Jody Del Signore, Lynn Ward, and the Borgstrom boys for delivering much needed wood to five families throughout Fauquier County last Saturday!

The Wood Ministry has identified eight families thus far that are in dire need of wood for heating of their homes this winter. We’ve been working hard for several months to split and stack wood for these winter deliveries, and we have depleted the stored wood from the upper site.

We are planning our next big split / stack / delivery date on Saturday morning, December 10 from 9-11 at the Warrenton Collection site.

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Gingerbread House Making & Spaghetti Dinner on December 7

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7th @ 5:00 PM

Join us for this annual event of family fun!

The cost will be $10 per gingerbread house, and $5 per person for dinner (no more than $20 per family for dinner).

Let us know how many houses your family will need so we can be sure to have it available for you.

Fill out the form below to sign up; there is also a sign-up sheet outside the parish hall.

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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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