Message from the Rector: 2017 Summer Newsletter

by fr. ben maas

Nearing the end of our Shrine Mont retreat, I grabbed a cup of coffee early Sunday morning and headed into the woods to walk a bit and gather my thoughts for the impending service in the shrine. I passed the labyrinth and the stations of the cross and decided that I had enough time to reach the cross (located atop a tower on the mountain’s peak). It’s not a long hike, but you get high enough to look over the tree line at the valley below. Reaching the summit, I enjoyed a gentle breeze and the last sip of now barely lukewarm coffee, looked over the valley, and was struck by juxtaposing revelations.

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Syllabus for The Path: A Journey through the Bible

Adult Formation at Saint James’

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

1) study of religious sources [Bible, Prayer Book, books, etc.]

2) contemplative prayer [lectio divina, contemplation, centering prayer, examen, etc.]

3) meaningful conversation [honest, open, focused, non-judgmental, helpful, respectful, etc.]

4) and participation in the life of a faith community. [learning groups, Saint James’, The Episcopal Church]

The Path: A Journey through the Bible

Course Book: The Path: A Journey through the Bible ($10 paperback/334 pages; $10 Kindle)

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Adult Formation Update: Summer Plans

The Final Sessions of “Learning More about Today’s Episcopal Church

Sunday, June 18, 9:15 and 11:45 and Tuesday, June 20, 10:30

The Episcopal Way

  • Chapter 12, “Falling in Love with God Again”
  • Conclusion, “Walking the Episcopal Way”

People of the Way

  • Chapter 7, “Living as Disciples”
  • Chapter 8, “Organized for Mission”

All are welcome, whether you have read the assignments or not! Seriously!!

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Read the Bible in 91 Days!

“Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” – Book of Common Prayer, Proper 28

The adult formation ministry team is challenging all parishioners to read the Bible in 91 days! Can you do it? Will you do it?

Here’s the plan:

The summer program to read the Bible begins on Trinity Sunday (June 11) and ends on the Sunday after Labor Day (September 10). That’s 91 days.

— The book we will be using is The Path: A Journey Through the Bible. It includes all the primary passages of the Bible, using the New Revised Standard Version, which is the same translation you hear in church. In addition to actual Bible passages, there is connecting text to covers the sense of the omitted portions in order for readers to experience the complete Bible story.

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From The Ashes: Environmental Film Night is Thursday, June 15

Thursday, June 15 @ 7:00 PM in the Parish Hall

FROM THE ASHES is being shown in small venues all over the U.S. before it premiers on the National Geographic Channel later in June.  The Interfaith Power and Light network is distributing advance copies of the film with the intention of raising awareness that will potentially result in both thought-provoking conversation and constructive action.                      

FROM THE ASHES captures Americans in communities across the country as they wrestle with the legacy of the coal industry and what its future should be.

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Adult Formation in Easter & Pentecost 2017

Learning More about Today’s Episcopal Church: Challenges and Opportunities

Adult Formation at Saint James’ Warrenton

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

1) study of religious sources [Bible, Prayer Book, books, etc.]

2) contemplative prayer [lectio divina, contemplation, centering prayer, examen, etc.]

3) meaningful conversation [honest, open, focused, non-judgmental, helpful, respectful, etc.]

4) and participation in the life of a faith community. [learning groups, St. James’, The Episcopal Church]

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Adult Formation Update: May 25, 2017

Worship: Prayers of the People

by Randolph Charles

In the Prayers of the People, there are spaces for us to add, either aloud or silently, our own prayers of concerns and thanksgivings. This brief naming of a specific person, need, or blessing in the context of a general prayer is one way to make our common worship more personal.

If you have questions or comments, contact Randolph at randolph@saintjameswarrenton.org

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Table Talk: Week of May 7, 2017

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. 

The Good Shepherd

This week in Sunday School your children heard about how God, and Jesus with him, cares for us like a shepherd, bringing us to good grass and still waters and protecting us from danger.  We can see how he was there in the past and he will be there in our future, supporting us in good and hard times. The 23rd Psalm affirms that God is always with us, with Jesus caring for us as a Good Shepherd.

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Adult Formation in the Season of Easter

Mission Statement for Adult Formation

Adult formation is learning about the faith and being formed by the Triune God through study of religious sources, contemplative prayer, meaningful conversation, and participation in the life of a faith community. 

Learning Group Course: Episcopal Identity

Dates

– Four sessions, offered twice, beginning Sunday, May 7

Primary Book

The Episcopal Way: Church’s Teaching for a Changing World ($10, 100 pages; $10 Kindle)

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Education for Ministry (EfM) 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.”

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Holy Week 2017 Recap: Photos, Video & Scripture Readings

Thank you to everyone who made this year’s Holy Week so special! So many hands go into every service and every church activity – you can learn more about our clergy, music programs, children’s ministry, ushers, acolytes, altar guild, flower guild and so many other parts of the Saint James’ community throughout our website.

Below you will find photos and video of each service in Holy Week, and Scripture readings for each day of the week. We know that Holy Week can be an overwhelming time, with so many services and so many stories packed into such a short time. We hope that you will reflect on each day, and the power of each moment, at your own pace.

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Easter Sunday: Collect & Scriptures

Collect

Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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Holy Saturday: Collect & Scriptures

Below are the collect and scripture readings for Holy Saturday. You can also read the lectionary for the Great Vigil of Easter, which spans the creation of the universe to the resurrection, here.

collect

O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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Maundy Thursday: Collect & Scriptures

Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. – Book of Common Prayer, page 221

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Wednesday in Holy Week: Collect & Scriptures

Lord God, whose blessed Son our Savior gave his body to be whipped and his face to be spit upon: Give us grace to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. – Book of Common Prayer, page 220

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Tuesday in Holy Week: Collect & Scriptures

O God, by the passion of your blessed Son you made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life: Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. –Book of Common Prayer, page 220

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Monday in Holy Week: Collect & Scriptures

Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. Book of Common Prayer, page 220

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Palm Sunday: Sermon & Scripture Readings

It is right to praise you, Almighty God, for the acts of love by which you have redeemed us through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. On this day he entered the holy city of Jerusalem in triumph, and was proclaimed as King of kings by those who spread their garments and branches of palm along his way. Let these branches be for us signs of his victory, and grant that we who bear them in his name may ever hail him as our King, and follow him in the way that leads to eternal life; who lives and reigns in glory with you and the Holy Spirit, now and  for ever. Amen. – Book of Common Prayer, Page 271

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Table Talk: Week of April 2, 2017

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.

Miracles and Mysteries

This week in Sunday School your children focused on the miracles Jesus performed and the mystery of Easter they led towards.

Our youngest and oldest students learned about the raising of Lazarus. When Mary and Martha’s brother died, Jesus came to comfort them and raised Lazarus from the dead. This both showed Jesus’ humanity, as he grieved with the sisters, and pointed towards the greatest mystery of all, Jesus rising from the dead.

To illustrate the burial of Lazarus, each child wrapped a stuffed animal in paper and “buried” them in a “tomb.” (under a desk)

Students in Godly Play heard about this great mystery. Lent is leading us through a time of preparation for this mystery. Just as Mary and Martha experienced sorrow and then joy as their brother was raised from the dead, so we are preparing for our time of sorrow and rejoicing. Sorrow at the death of Jesus on Good Friday and joy following his resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Table Talk Questions

  1. When friends or people in your family look like they’re really sad, what do you usually say or do?
  2. How do you think Mary and Martha felt when their brother, Lazarus, died?
  3. What did Jesus do to comfort and care for Martha and Mary?
  4. What might you do, as Jesus’ followers, to offer God’s love and care to people who are sad?
  5. How are we impacted by Jesus’ death on the cross? How does this make you feel? How do we share that time and those feelings with others?
  6. What is different about Easter morning? How do we feel then? How do we share those feelings?
  7. How can we support those in our lives who are suffering? How can we share in their joy?
After rolling away the “stone” (chair), the stuffed animals were “resurrected” from the grave.