Looking ahead to Epiphany and Lent (January 7th through March 24th, 2018), the Adult Formation Ministry Team wants to have your input on what kinds of learning groups would best suit your situation and schedule.
We have been using learning groups at Saint James’ as a way to provide a structured and supportive environment in which meaningful conversations about our faith can take place.
Continue reading “(Brief!) Adult Formation Survey”
NOVEMBER 2017 MINISTRY OF THE MONTH
On Saturday, November 18, the third-annual Gobble, Gobble, Run or Wobble 5k & Kids’ Fun Run will wind through the streets of Old Town Warrenton. You can register for the race here.
While the event is an absolute blast, complete with a turkey mascot on a bicycle, it also serves a much more profound purpose: funding efforts to increase access to preschool in Fauquier County through a Saint James’ initiative called Learning Starts Early.
Learning Starts Early (LSE) is an outreach ministry with a simple vision: that each child is a beloved child of God, and that each child should enter kindergarten ready to thrive and grow academically, socially and emotionally.
Continue reading “Ministry of the Month: Learning Starts Early + Gobble, Gobble, Run or Wobble 5k”
Dear Saint James’ family,
As your senior and junior wardens, we are writing this year’s annual pledge campaign letter. Newcomers and visitors reinforce what we all feel when they observe that we are a church that radiates meaning, purpose and vitality. The vestry bears the responsibility for the finances of the church, and as their officers, we can state with confidence that our budget is designed to support what makes Saint James’ exceptional.
Continue reading “2017 Stewardship Letter from the Senior Warden”
Eager to love; Chapter five, “Contemplation: A Different Way of Knowing”
Quote from page 61-62
I believe the very foundation of what we mean by holiness or, in this case, mysticism, is that [Francis and Clare] knew and loved from a different source; they knew by participation in a Larger Knowing that many of us call God. Or, as Paul says, “They knew as fully as they were known” ( 1 Corinthians 13:12)
This kind of shared knowing, which is nothing but full consciousness is what many of us mean by contemplation. True contemplatives surrender some of their own ego boundaries and identity so that God can see through them, with them, and in them – with a larger pair of eyes. It is quite simply a higher level of seeing, and, if you do not like the religious language, you can just call it consciousness, or deep consciousness. But you still have to let go of your small, egoic self to get there (John 12:24). “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
- What could you let go of and how could you let go in order for you to experience a closer union with God?
Continue reading “Notes on Chapter 5: Learning More about St Francis and Creation”
Eager to love; Chapter four, “Home Base: Nature and the Road”
Quote from page 47
Creation itself – not ritual or spaces constructed by human hands – was Francis’s primary cathedral, which then drove him back into the needs of the city, very similar to Jesus’s own movement between desert solitude and small-town healing ministry. The Gospel transforms us by putting us in touch with that which is much more constant and satisfying, literally the “ground of our being,” and has much more “reality” to it, rather than theological concepts or the mere ritualization of reality. Daily cosmic events in the sky and or the earth are the Reality above our heads and beneath our feet every minute of our lives: a continuous sacrament.
- How might the cathedral of God’s Creation be an environment in which you can be transformed by the Gospel?
Continue reading “Notes on Chapter 4: Learning More about St Francis and Creation”
Eager to love; Chapter THREE, “Living on the Edge of the Inside: Simplicity and Justice”
Quote from page 33-34
Francis and Clare were not so much prophets by what they said as in the radical, system-critiquing way that they lived their lives. They found both their inner and outer freedom by structurally living on the edge of the inside of both church and society. …
Francis and Clare’s agenda for justice was the most foundational and undercutting of all others: a very simple lifestyle outside the system of production and consumption (the real meaning of the vow of poverty), plus a conscious identification with the marginalized of society (the communion of saints pushed to its outer edge). In this position you do not “do acts of peace and justice as much as your life is itself peace and justice. You take your small and sufficient place in the great and grand scheme of God. By “living on the edge of the inside” I mean building on the Tradition (“from the inside”) but doing it from a new and creative stance where you cannot be coopted for purposes of security, possession, or the illusions of power (“on the edge”).
- How does Francis and Clare’s life of simplicity and justice connect with your lifestyle?
Continue reading “Notes on Chapter 3: Learning More about St Francis and Creation”
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.
In Sunday School this week, your children learned the Parable of the Sower. In it, the Sower spreads their seeds on many different soils. Those seeds that landed on rocks, or among thorns, or were eaten by birds, did not grow. Only those seeds sown in the good earth were able to push their roots into the ground and grow to be harvested.
Continue reading “Table Talk: Week of September 24, 2017”
Eager to love; Chapter Two, “A Happy Run Downward: The Inner Authority of Those Who Have Suffered”
Quote from page 20
I believe both Francis and Clare had this kind of inner authority, and it is still part of their essential message for the world. They lost and let go of all fear of suffering, all need for power, prestige, and possession, and all need for their small self to be important, and they came out the other side knowing something essential – who they really were in God and thus who they really were.
- How does letting go of power, prestige, and possessions enable you to know who you really are “in Christ”?
Continue reading “Notes on Chapter 2: Learning More about St Francis and Creation”
It is that time of year again, we are looking for a dedicated few to take up the role of Sunday School teacher for our church.
We are still looking for 1 teacher in our Pre-K/K classroom, 2 teachers for our 1st and 2nd grade Godly Play program and 1 teacher for our 3rd-5th classroom.
Continue reading “We still need Sunday School teachers!”
Sunday School start time is changing! Beginning this Sunday, September 10, we will no longer be asking parents to drop off their children for Sunday School children before the service. Instead, you should bring your children into church with you and they will all process out together at 10:15 am, when Father Ben starts the announcements. Thank you in advance for helping us make this transition!
Please reach out to Laura Updyke at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Sunday, September 10 marks the start of several Saint James’ ministries and programs for the fall, and we hope you’ll jump on board!
Continue reading “Sunday, September 10: A Day You Should Be At Church!”
Adult Formation at Saint James’
Adult formation is learning about the faith and being formed by the triune God through
- study of religious sources [Bible, Prayer Book, books, etc.]
- contemplative prayer [lectio divina, contemplation, centering prayer, examen, etc.]
- meaningful conversation [honest, open, focused, non-judgmental, helpful, respectful, etc.]
- and participation in the life of a faith community. [learning groups, Saint James’, The Episcopal Church]
Learning More About St. Francis and Creation
Course Book: Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi ($10 paperback/$10 Kindle)
Continue reading “Syllabus: Learning More About St. Francis and Creation”
Conversation Chapters: Chapters 22, 23, & 24
Chapter 22, “Grace May Abound”
Paul has great confidence in his understanding of God’s activity in his life and in the world around him. Is this inspiring or challenging for you? Why?
Continue reading “Focus on the Path: Session 10”