Update on Sunday School: 2018 Fall Newsletter

By Jennifer Taylor, Director of Family Ministries

What a fun, laid back summer we’ve had for Sunday School!

Although our program year ended in May, we got right back in the swing of things with a “one-room-schoolhouse” style summer program.

The stories have ranged from Joshua & Moses to crossing the Jordan River with the Ark of the Covenant and even David & Goliath.

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Table Talk: Week of September 16, 2018

Who is Jesus?

In Sunday School today we focused on a bible reading from Mark. (Mark 8:27-38)

The kids heard Peter’s declaration and discussed the joys and challenges of following Jesus, the Messiah. We also talked about all the different names for Jesus and what each of them might tell us about him.

Even though there are many names for Jesus, there is only one Jesus to follow. (Jesus, the Messiah, Christ, Lord, Savior, Teacher, King…)

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Table Talk: Week of September 9, 2018

“All are welcome here”

What an appropriate lesson for our Homecoming Sunday!

God commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves. God calls us to view anyone who needs help as our neighbor. We don’t have to look hard to find a “wounded” person. They surround us in our family, our neighborhood, our
church, our country, our world.

There are many ways to share God’s love. Ask your children what some of their ideas are.

Continue reading “Table Talk: Week of September 9, 2018”

Mark Your Calendars: Homecoming Sunday is September 9th

By Randolph Charles

On Homecoming Sunday on September 9th, we come home as the full parish community regathers after summer activities. We begin the program year. There is an excitement about seeing each other more often and participating in a fuller offering of activities.

A special treat this year is seeing the progress on our building and renovation project. The new restrooms are open!

On Homecoming Sunday, the schedule for the 10:15 Eucharist will be a little different. Early arrivals for worship are free to greet and talk with others. At 10:05 the bell will ring and the presider will ask for silence, which will provide time for personal prayers and listening to the prelude. The announcements will follow, then worship.

Finally, Homecoming Sunday will mark our commitment to the program year’s theme, “Come and See.” More about this later.

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Message from the Rector: 2018 Spring Newsletter

by fr. ben maas

I have been struck recently by how small my world can become, and it troubles me. Why do the relatively insignificant disappointments and tribulations of my children preoccupy my waking hours and even interrupt my sleeping ones? Why can I not recall tossing and turning in my bed over the child who has known nothing but a refugee camp, war, hunger, illness, homelessness, drugs, or violence? Obviously, I know I have the capacity to ache, and not just ache, but to be willing to move mountains for someone. How can I harness that love, that relentless desire to fix, console, and remove obstacles, or better yet, equip to ascend?

I think much of the power of Bishop Curry’s sermon at the royal wedding is that it got outside of the smallness of the moment. Despite the billion who tuned in worldwide, the attention and careful choreography, the considerable pomp, it was simply a moment between two people and their families. Two people found each other, fell in love, and decided to commit themselves to one another. Most of us have known the specific power that love has had on us, the magnetic pull that drew us to our beloved, that made every other person in the room fade away, that seemed to limit our ability to focus on anything but that one person. Curry invited us to think about the nature of that love, its power, its source. He then opened our imagination to think about what could be possible if we could channel that love beyond the smallness of our world.

Continue reading “Message from the Rector: 2018 Spring Newsletter”

Table Talk: Week of May 20, 2018

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.

A Spirit-Filled Pentecost

Pentecost is the Christian festival celebrating the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus after his Ascension, held of the seventh Sunday after Easter. Theologically, the Christian church begins to take shape when the Holy Spirit fills those who believe in Jesus as the Messiah.

Continue reading “Table Talk: Week of May 20, 2018”

Table Talk: Week of May 13, 2018

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.

Praying and Deciding

In Sunday School your children heard the story of Jesus and the Twelve and how the remaining 11 had to make an important decision in the selection of the new apostle, Mattheius to replace Judas when he betrayed Jesus.

Continue reading “Table Talk: Week of May 13, 2018”

Adult Formation Journal: May 10, 2018

Becoming Easter People: Session Six

In the course “Becoming Easter People,” we will learn how the first Christians lived into a way and a community that was grounded in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and how deep prayer can be just as important for us as it was for those first believers.

Learning groups meet on Sundays at 9:15 and 11:45 and on Tuesdays at 10:30 in the Reception Room.

All are welcome.

Readings for Session Six

  • May 13 & 15 Acts 16:1-18:21
  • Conversations with Scripture: The Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 6 (Optional)
  • Armchair Mystic: Easing into Contemplative Prayer, Chapter 14 (Optional)

Outline of Acts 16:1-18:21

  • Acts 16:1-10 | Timothy recruited by Paul, directed by the Spirit through Asia Minor to Troas.
  • Acts 16:11-40 | Paul and Silas in Philippi.
  • Acts 17:1-15 | From Thessalonica to Athens.
  • Acts 17:16-34 | Paul at Athens.
  • Acts 18:1-17 | Paul in Corinth.
  • Acts 18:18-21 | End of the second missionary journey.

Conversation Guides for Session Six

  • Understanding the Text
  • Was Luke ever a companion of Paul? Explain.
  • How did Paul decide to go to Macedonia instead of Asia?
  • Who were some women that participated in Paul’s mission?
  • Who were the Epicureans and the Stoics?
  • Connecting the Text to Our Daily Life and Church
  • What are the gods of our world in the 21st century that Paul would have addressed?
  • What are some ideas of how our parish does and could proclaim the good news of Jesus?
  • How do you react when faced with hatred and hostility about something you believe in? Can you learn anything from Paul’s example?

Letting God Guide Us through Prayer

“In a way, I, as a pray-er am like an astronomer trying to understand the entire universe I call ‘me’ by visiting that ‘place’ where the Big Bang first banged. Once I do understand it, it is here in this place that my universe must be re-centered. My worlds must be put back on their axes, orbiting around the true Son. For what happens here at this micro-cosmos – this epicenter of my creation – ripples through all my existence. This re-centering is actually a re-perceiving, for God was, is, and always will be God. What is in need of repair, then, is the blindness that keeps me from understanding my divine origins and from experiencing God as the universe wherein my star shines.”

Learning Group Conversation Norms

Honest, open, focused, non-judgmental, shared, helpful, respectful, speak to the group

Learning Group Creed

I am beloved of God. I am on a faith journey with Jesus Christ that touches my heart, and I am grateful to be walking in faith with companions along the way. I don’t need to be right; I do want to be faithful.

Education for Ministry at Saint James’

What is EfM?

Every baptized person is called to ministry, and the four year Education for Ministry (EfM) program is preparation for that ministry. Lay persons face the difficult and often subtle task of interpreting the richness of the church’s faith in a complex and confusing world. We benefit from a theological education that supports our faith and also teaches us to express it in our day-to-day lives. With the knowledge and skills developed during EfM, we are better equipped to live out the vocation for which we pray at the end of the Eucharist: “And now, Father, send us out to do the work you have given us to do, to love and serve you as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord.”

How is EfM structured at Saint James’

A seminar group of 8 people is presently completing Year One of the EfM program, and we meet Wednesdays, from 9:00-11:30 a.m. We will finish in mid-June, and then in September we will have 4 spots for new people to join in Year One, as the other 8 move into Year Two. EfM is designed so that multiple “Years” learn together. (Please don’t be discouraged from finding out more about EfM if Wednesday mornings don’t fit your schedule. See below for a list of other EfM groups in the area which meet at different times; there’s also an online option.)

Continue reading “Education for Ministry at Saint James’”

Talk Talk: Week of April 29, 2018

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.

Philip and the Ethiopian

Today in Sunday School our 3 classes came together to hear the story about Philip and the Ethiopian. This story is found in the book of Acts 8:26-40.

Philip loved Jesus and tried to act like Jesus. One day God sent an angel to Philip and told him to travel on a hot, dry road and share God’s love along the way.

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Adult Formation Journal: April 27, 2018

Becoming Easter People: Session Four

In the course “Becoming Easter People,” we will learn how the first Christians lived into a way and a community that was grounded in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and how deep prayer can be just as important for us as it was for those first believers.

Learning groups meet on Sundays at 9:15 and 11:45 and on Tuesdays at 10:30 in the Reception Room.

All are welcome.

Readings for Session Four

Apr 29 & May 1

  • Acts 9:1-12:25
  • Conversations with Scripture: The Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 4 (Optional)
  • Armchair Mystic: Easing into Contemplative Prayer, Chapters 8-10 (Optional)

Continue reading “Adult Formation Journal: April 27, 2018”

Adult Formation Journal: April 19, 2018

by Randolph Charles

Becoming Easter People: Session Three

In the course “Becoming Easter People,” we will learn how the first Christians lived into a way and a community that was grounded in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and how deep prayer can be just as important for us as it was for those first believers.

Learning groups meet on Sundays at 9:15 and 10:45 and on Tuesdays at 10:30 in the Reception Room. All are welcome.

Continue reading “Adult Formation Journal: April 19, 2018”

Adult Formation Journal: April 11, 2018

By Randolph Charles

BECOMING EASTER PEOPLE

During the season of Easter, the Sunday and Tuesday learning groups will be learning more about The Acts of the Apostles and the Early Church and will be “easing into contemplative prayer.” We will be focusing on the ways that the first believers experienced the risen Christ and formed church, and we will practice contemplative prayer as a way for us to access that same spiritual excitement of those early Christians.

The only required readings are from the book in the Bible called “The Acts of the Apostles”; however, there are two optional books which I recommend and will be using.

Conversations with Scripture: The Acts of the Apostles, by C. K. Robertson

“The Acts of the Apostles is a bridge between the four gospels and Paul’s epistles, revealing the missionary roots of the Christian story. Here we follow Jesus’ first disciples from their call to be witnesses ‘to the ends of the earth,’ through their initial days of harmony and numerical success, to the challenges they faced as God’s mission imperative unfolded. We discover the leadership changes that resulted from these challenges and the emergence of Paul, the champion who, against all odds, became the church’s chief interpreter to the world of his time.”

Armchair Mystic: Easing into Contemplative Prayer, by Mark E. Thibodeaux, S.J.

“This user-friendly book blends theory and practice, gently and concretely taking the reader through the first steps of contemplative prayer. Armchair Mystic begins with the necessary details of time and place to pray, then presents the maturation of the prayer life in four stages. Step-by-step exercises throughout the book provide concrete examples of how to use the concepts discussed. Armchair Mystic will prove invaluable to individuals and small groups who are new to contemplative prayer.”

Click here for the course syllabus.

To sign up for this course, you can email me at randolph@saintjameswarrenton.org or put your name on the registration sheet on the parish house bulletin board. You can also let me know if you want one or both of the books. They each cost $10.

Syllabus: Becoming Easter People

Adult Formation at Saint James’

Adult formation is learning about the faith and being formed by the triune God through the following:

  1. study of religious sources [Bible, Prayer Book, tradition, etc.]
  2. prayer [contemplation, lectio divina, centering prayer, examen, etc.]
  3. meaningful conversation [honest, open, focused, non-judgmental, shared, helpful, respectful, etc.]
  4. participation in the life of a faith community [learning groups, St. James’, The Episcopal Church, etc.]

Learning Groups

The purpose of this 7-week course is to learn more about The Acts of the Apostles and the Early Church and to practice contemplative prayer.

Consider this goal:  15 minutes of Bible and prayer daily.

  • Sunday Learning Groups |  9:15am and 11:45am in Reception Room (Childcare for 5 years and younger)
  • Tuesday Learning Group |  10:30am in Reception Room
  • Home Learning Group | Form your own group of two or more; meet in your own space.

Resource Books

  • Conversations with Scripture: The Acts of the Apostles, by C. K. Robertson
  • Armchair Mystic: Easing into Contemplative Prayer, by Mark E. Thibodeaux, S.J.

Continue reading “Syllabus: Becoming Easter People”

Table Talk: Week of March 18, 2018

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.

Muscle Memory & The 5th Sunday in Lent

In our 3rd – 5th grade classroom, the children talked about the book of Jeremiah, chapter 31, verses 31-34.

We are constantly learning. There is a need to practice what we learn to become better. The more we practice, the easier a skill becomes. We also know what it’s like to memorize something and know it “by heart”. Sometimes we teach our bodies to do an action without even thinking about it – such as clapping. Sometimes we practice something over and over (such as the Lord’s Prayer) – soon, we know it by heart.

Continue reading “Table Talk: Week of March 18, 2018”

Update on Family Ministries: 2018 Winter Newsletter

by Jen Taylor, Director of Family Ministries

Sunday School

Wow! We are well into 2018 and just 3 months left of our Sunday school curriculum for the year.

Don’t let that mislead you, we still have lots to do!

A very special thank you to all our Sunday school teachers! We have over 25 volunteers for Sunday school. Every Sunday there are dedicated teachers to tell our youngest parishioners a relevant story, read bible verses with, and facilitate a conversation about what they learned.

Continue reading “Update on Family Ministries: 2018 Winter Newsletter”

Syllabus: Learning More about the Acts of the Apostles and Contemplative Prayer

Adult Formation at St. James’

Adult formation is learning about the faith and being formed by the triune God through the following:

  1. study of religious sources [Bible, Prayer Book, tradition, etc.]
  2. prayer [contemplation, lectio divina, centering prayer, examen, etc.]
  3. meaningful conversation [honest, open, focused, non-judgmental, shared, helpful, respectful, etc.]
  4. participation in the life of a faith community [learning groups, St. James’, The Episcopal Church, etc.]

Learning Groups

The purpose of this 7- week course is to learn more about The Acts of the Apostles and the Early Church and to practice contemplative prayer. Consider this goal: 15 minutes of Bible and prayer daily.

  • Sunday Learning Groups, 9:15 and 11:45 in Reception Room (Childcare for 5 years and younger)
  • Tuesday Learning Group, 10:30 in Reception Room
  • Home Learning Group Form your own group of two or more; meet in your own space.

Continue reading “Syllabus: Learning More about the Acts of the Apostles and Contemplative Prayer”