John Knouse

John Knouse, our Director of Family Ministry, has tendered his letter of resignation citing the need to address personal issues and dedicate time to prioritize his family.

In his short time with us John made an enormous impact.   I am personally, very grateful for his tireless work, his willingness to wear countless hats, his affable way, and the connections he made, especially with our young people. John expressed similar appreciation for the people of Saint James’ Episcopal Church and School.

We thank John for all he has brought to Saint James’ and will keep him, Amanda, Ruthie, and Caleb in our prayers and in our hearts.

As a church and school, we have always been very deliberate in the formation of our young people-it is a hallmark of who we are as a community. With the fall program year fast approaching, rest assured that this will continue and that the leadership will work together to optimize staffing to ensure successful and substantive formation for the children and youth of Saint James’. We look forward to updating you soon.

Saint James’ Softball Cup is Tuesday, August 9!

Thank you to those who came out last week to play against the Fauquier Community Child Care team.  We won 18-1 in seven innings, which allowed us extra time at Fosters afterwards!

All of the past weeks have been leading up to this week’s game versus the Saint James’ Episcopal School parents, teachers, and alumni!  We hear through the grapevine that the school team is getting packed with players, so we need our best out on the field this Tuesday.

I have already heard from a few of you who have confirmed for this week – if you haven’t contacted Debbi or me, please reach out to us via email, cell, or text so we can get a proper headcount.

Invite your friends, family, and neighbors to pack the stands and cheer us on – this game will be EPIC!

Continue reading “Saint James’ Softball Cup is Tuesday, August 9!”

Softball Updates: August 2nd

Two weeks of games left (6:15pm start at Taylor Middle School)

  1. Tuesday night, August 2 versus the counselors of Fauquier Community Child Care
  2. And the grand finale for the soon-to-be-minted:  SAINT JAMES’ CUP

Forget Batman versus Superman…It’s not Captain America versus Iron Man…It’s the REAL SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER (softball style)!

Saint James’ Episcopal Church versus Saint James’ Episcopal School!

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Scott Christian’s Reflections on his Holy Land Pilgrimage


April 20- May 1, 2016 // Personal Reflections by Scott Christian, member of Saint James’ Episcopal Church, Warrenton, VA & the Fellowship of St. John, Cambridge, MA

Scott in the Garden of Gethsemane

Two students asked a rabbi, “Why does God command us to put the word of God on our hearts. Why did God not say to put God’s word in our hearts?” The rabbi responded, “We are commanded to place the word of God on our hearts because our hearts are closed and the word of God cannot get in. So God commands us to place the word of God on our hearts. And there it sits and waits for the day when our hearts will be broken. When they are broken, then the word of God will fall gently inside.” This parable was shared early on by one of our leaders, and this pilgrimage indeed broke open my heart. We talk of God-moments in our lives; these were God-days.

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Fr. Ben and Scott Christian Discuss their Holy Land Experiences | June 8

An opportunity to hear about Scott Christian and Father Ben’s trips to the Holy Land.

Please Join us Wednesday, June 8th from 7-8:30pm for fellowship, refreshment and the chance to view images and hear stories from Scott and Fr. Ben’s trip to Jerusalem, Nazareth, the Galilee, Bethlehem, and more. Continue reading “Fr. Ben and Scott Christian Discuss their Holy Land Experiences | June 8”

History of Saint James’: El Camino de Santiago

Saint James, aka Saint James the Greater, Saint James the Elder, and James, son of Zebedee

Fellow parishioner Jim Timberlake is now on a walking pilgrimage – the route is called “El Camino de Santiago,” or “The Way of Saint James” as its often called in English – to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain, believed to be the burial place of Saint James.  One of the Twelve Apostles, James was distinguished as being in Jesus’ innermost circle and the only apostle whose martyrdom is recorded in the New Testament (Acts 12:2).  Born in Galilee, Palestine, he died 44 CE in Jerusalem by order of King Herod Agrippa I of Judea

Medieval Christian legends tell us that Saint James had traveled widely on the Iberian Peninsula, bringing Christianity to the Celtic peoples.  Following his martyrdom, his relics were supposedly taken back to Spain and enshrined. During Roman persecution, however, the early Spanish Christians were forced to abandon the shrine and with the depopulation of the area following the fall of the Roman Empire, the location of the shrine was forgotten.  In 813 CE, so the legend goes, a hermit led by a beckoning star and celestial music discovered the location of the buried relics.

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Hospitality at Saint James’

Above all, Saint James’ is a welcoming church filled with goodwill and the desire to live as Jesus taught. Every Sunday, members of the greeting committee, along-side our great ushers, smile, greet and open doors for those coming to worship. For some, their first impression of “the church” will come from this greeting. Extending God’s love and warmth is forever and always the goal we all share.

On Sunday, February 7th, Father Ben & Anna welcomed many families and individuals into their lovely home for a “Newcomer’s Luncheon.” The sign on the door read “Welcome” and each handshake conveyed amity and joy. Between bites of potato salad and pimiento cheese sandwiches new friendships were formed.

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A Note from John Knouse

Dear Friends,

I must begin by telling you, facetiously of course, a piece of my upbringing.

As many of you already know it was in a very rural area of Central Pennsylvania, and because of such, I’ve come to loathe the “legendary fur-ball” of Gobbler’s Knob; Punxsutawney Phil. It is this year however, with his measly 39% accuracy rating engraved in the back of my mind that I am hoping, more than ever, that he is right and an early spring is on the horizon.

This is not necessarily because spring is my favorite season, which is just so happens to be, but more so because all we have on the horizon here at Saint James’ in the next several months, including the spring season.

We will soon gather to celebrate the glorious resurrection of our Savior, and in doing so will be moving ever so quickly toward the new season, the bloom of daffodils and the smell of fresh cut grass. That’s when our opportunities to be involved in various events and activities expands enormously.

Focusing first for a moment on the new: we are very blessed and excited to welcome Mrs. April Walker to the staff at Saint James’ as our Assistant to the Director of Family Ministries. April will be assisting me, on a part-time basis, with various Christian Education and Family Ministry opportunities. When you see her on Sundays, please take a moment to welcome her aboard!

Then as we move deeper into spring and toward early summer, the children, youth and adults of the parish will have wonderful opportunities to visit my absolute favorite place in The Diocese of Virginia – outside of Saint James’ of course – Shrine Mont. Please see the dates and brief info below, feel free to call or email me with any questions, and contact us to sign up today. Registration forms for youth events at Shrine Mont are available here.

SJEC kids play at the swimming pool at Shrine Mont during 2015 Parish Retreat.

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Final Lenten Supper

Wednesday, March 16

Supper at 5:30 | Discussion at 6:00

Our last Wednesday Lenten discussion will address our responsibility for our planet.  

The church (especially the Episcopal Church) has long understood their responsibility for the created world, but has come to that place by very different means.  We will look at different biblical perspectives, different theological understandings, and what we at Saint James’ are doing and should do in the future to be better stewards of the fragile earth, our home

We will also participate in bible study and experience the richness and layers of meaning that come from careful informed study.  We will enter into discussion and participate in practical examples of ministries as we ask “what does scripture have to say about it? Why do we do it? Does it help build up the kingdom of God? Is it part of our core identity as the body of Christ?”

Men of Saint James’ Monthly Hike

Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 19 at 9am if you would like to join a group for a day hike in the Blue Ridge. This photo was taken on our February hike when three inches of snow fell the night before! We don’t expect snow this month.

Specific details forthcoming in an email to the men of the church. If you have not been receiving email information about the hikes, please give Nancy in the office your address.

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What Your Children Learned | February 21


Godly Play | 1st & 2nd Grade | “The Faces of Easter I & II

This week, the children in this class will continue their journey through Lent by exploring the Faces of the Easter Season. The first lesson’s focus is on Jesus as a newborn baby. The plaque, with the faces of Mary and Joseph is our first look at the life of Jesus. From birth, Jesus had an incredible mission and purpose ahead of him. This picture of baby Jesus marks the beginning of his journey toward the cross. The second “Face of Easter” plaque takes the class through Jesus’ boyhood and some of the unusual things that happened as he grew up. One time when Jesus was about 12 years old, he disappeared and it worried his mother and father very much. Later they found him in the Temple, a place where he was closer to God, a place he called “His Father’s House”. Over the next four weeks, the faces will change, and the stories will be different as we continue with Jesus as he journeys toward the cross.

Gospel | Pre K-K 3rd-5th | Luke 13: 22-35 | “Jesus’ Sorrow for Jerusalem”

The lesson from today’s Gospel, being a very short two verses, is tough to gather everything we need for this lesson. So for the children, we will take a look in the verses both before and after the specified reading from Luke. In the verses leading up to this, Jesus is traveling on his way to the city of Jerusalem. He is still a few days away. He went through the “towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem”. At one point on his trip, a group of Pharisees came up to Jesus and encouraged him to leave. They indicated his life was in danger! “Leave this place and go somewhere else,” they said. “Herod wants to kill you”. Jesus wasn’t too concerned about Herod. Jesus was determined to get to Jerusalem, and the Pharisees’ threat about Herod wasn’t going to alter any of Jesus’ plans. It was clear neither Herod nor the Pharisees were going to keep Jesus from getting to Jerusalem. As Jesus thought upon the magnificent city, he realized that the city was not living up to the expectations God desired for it.

Rev. Lyn & Women’s Study Group


Lyn and Alice

We bid a fond fair well and God Speed to Rev. Lyn. We thank her for all of her hard work and spiritual leadership. The Celtic service will never be the same without her authentic Celtic voice! The Women’s Study Group and Women’s Retreats will greatly miss her direction and thoughtful insights.

The Women’s Study Group intends to continue throughout the year, exploring various topics, with different facilitators. Our first sessions will be a discussion of the book: The Handwriting on the Wall, The secrets from the prophecies of Daniel. The group will take a break for Christmas and will return again Tuesday, January 5 at our regular time, 10:30AM. All women are encouraged to participate. The book will be available in the office at a price of $13. Please join us.


Welcome back to Saint James’ Softball!

Thank you to everyone who has tracked us down asking about summer coed softball. We are working to have a short series of ‘exhibition’ games against local opponents later this summer.

First up will be a double header against the Church of Latter Day Saints on Tuesday night, July 14, starting at 6:15pm.  We’ll play two games that night – one hour each.  If your schedule does not allow for the 6:15start time, come out for the second game and we’ll work you into the lineup.

We’ve also set a double header with our cross-town rivals, Oak View National Bank, on Tuesday night, July 21, starting at 6:15pm.

After the second game each week, we will adjourn to Foster’s Grille in Warrenton for fun and fellowship (and ice and ibuprofen!)

We are working to secure a few other games, possibly some on Sunday afternoons for those who cannot make a weeknight game.  More information to follow when those dates are announced.

Games will be played at Taylor Middle School in Warrenton – close to the church with plenty of parking and a playground for the kids.

As in previous years, we have an age-limit of 14 and up for safety reasons.  Even though it’s slow pitch, the balls come off the bat pretty hard and we don’t want any injuries.  There’s no upper age limit though, so let’s find the all of the octogenarian players hiding in our pews – No experience necessary!

Make sure to pass this along to anyone from the church or school who you think would be interested in playing.

Please let either Debbi or I know if you are able to play on these dates so we can get a head count.  

Find your gloves, cleats, and bats and plan to join us at the fields – PLAY BALL! 

— Colin and Debbi Borgstrom  

540.270.3285 (Colin’s Cell), 540.270.4249 (Debbi’s Cell)  

540.351.0113 (Home)

SIGN UP NOW! – Parish Retreat June 12-14th!

Shrine Mont

We will head to Shrine Mont, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia’s Conference Center, nestled in the mountains roughly 90 minutes from Warrenton in historic Orkney Springs. Please mark your calendar and plan on attending.Arrive in time for dinner on Friday, June 12th, and depart following lunch on Sunday. We will stay in beautiful cottages with spacious porches, enjoy delicious food and beverage, and participate in the myriad of activities from swimming, volleyball, tennis, great hiking, a labyrinth, and planned group activities. Sit back and relax with new and old friendships. We will worship Sunday morning in our diocesan cathedral, the beautiful outdoor Shrine of the Transfiguration. For more about Shrine Mont visit their website: rates for the weekend are as follows and include 6 delicious meals starting with dinner on Friday night and concluding with lunch on Sunday. SCHOLARSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE. We do not want cost to preclude anyone from attending. Please contact Father Ben for assistance, DIOCESAN RATE (per person/night): Double Occupancy $75.00 Single Occupancy $90.00 YOUTH RATE (per person/night): Ages 0 – 3 FREE Ages 4 – 12 $25.00

Directory quarterly supplements

Directory quarterly supplements are now available on the table outside of the parish hall. Please take a sheet and add it to your current directory. If you would like to have your families information added or corrected, please contact Nancy in the church office to give her the information or pictures. Next update will come out in July.   

Lenten Women’s Retreat 

Saturday, March 14th 10am-2pm
Join us for an opportunity to spend time together: in quiet, in prayer, in conversation. We will be ordering sandwiches and wraps. Please indicate your choice of sandwich and sweet when you register with Nancy and/or on the registration board. The menu is on the registration board outside the parish hall. Cost: $10 per person, includes lunch. Location: 256 Hinson’s Ford Rd, Amissville, VA 20186