Message from Laura Updyke, Interim Director of Family Ministries

Its rich and varied family programs drew us to Saint James’ originally, so when Fr. Ben approached me about filling John’s position on an interim basis, it was an easy yes. We’re sad to see John leave and I’m happy to help out in this time of transition and provide the church with the space needed to reflect on our needs and conduct a thorough search for his replacement.

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CONNECTED Capital Campaign Update

Project update

The new architecture firm, Kerns Group Architects, is swiftly refining our drawings and integrating their new ideas into the project. We have been very impressed with their careful listening and quick turn around. I think a few of the most impressive changes include the addition of a distinct school entrance and a richer incorporation of our existing architectural details, most notably highlighting the ascension window and pitch of the church, and a more cost effective and accessible location for the elevator to serve both church and school.   We continue to grow more excited with each revision and cannot wait to share the final schematics with all of you later this fall.

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We need YOU to help with Sunday School!

St. James Episcopal Church still needs to fill 13 Sunday School teacher slots across all grade levels by September 11. Is this the year you can help out?

Teaching only requires 45 minutes of your time,  once a month. You will work with a partner and be provided with the curriculum, no planning required.

If you have children in Sunday School, it’s a great way to give back or, if your children are long gone, it’s a great way to connect to the younger generation.

Continue reading “We need YOU to help with Sunday School!”

Flooding in Baton Rouge

A portion of the Outreach money that comes from the special collections at Easter and Christmas is allocated for disaster relief.

The floods in and around the Baton Rouge area of Louisiana have affected over 40,000 homes, according to a statement by the governor of Louisiana.

At the time of writing this the death toll is only at ten, due to the fast evacuation and the available shelters, though assuredly this number will rise. A tremendous number of people are currently displaced and in extreme need. Many have lost just about everything they own. A donation from our Outreach fund will go towards the purchase of gift cards to help those in need.

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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.

Ministry of the Month | Fauquier Free Clinic

Fauquier Free Clinic

For nearly 20 years, Saint James’ Church has been providing dinners to medical and administrative volunteers at the Fauquier Free Clinic.  The Free Clinic makes it possible for uninsured, hardworking people of our community to have access to health care services.  By providing meals for the volunteers, we are linking hearts and hands in support of others at all levels.

Participating in this program is easy.  Simply sign up to be a hostess or to provide a casserole, salad, rolls, dessert or sodas.  Drop your dish off at the kitchen firstThursday of the month, and a delicious hot meal will be delivered to the awaiting clinic volunteers.  To learn more about the Fauquier Free Clinic Meals Ministry, please contact Babs Alliman at 540-364-1863 or


Operation Second Chance | Service Project

Operation Second Chance

My name is Warren Emmell and I am currently in 5th grade at Saint James’ Episcopal School. This year I am working on my service project and have been given the amazing opportunity to work with Operation Second Chance.

Operation Second Chance (OSC) is an organization that specializes in helping returning combat veterans that have been injured, wounded or are ill. Coming home can be hard for those who have been deployed, especially for those whose lives’ have been forever changed due to complications. Some of the things OSC does for the returning veterans is help them with medical costs, provide home renovations to meet the needs of their handicap, and provide opportunities to participate in outdoor adventures such as hiking, biking, boating and hunting.

For part of my service project I will be collecting donations for care packages to be sent overseas to those who are a part of our active duty military. Click here for a list a care package items

I will be collecting these items in a bin at SJES throughout the month of February. Thank you in advance for your help in caring for our military members, both those who are home recovering and those currently serving overseas.


Warren Emmell

Saint James’ Flower Guild


The Flower Guild is an offshoot of the Altar Guild. Many members serve both ministries. The job of the flower Guild members is to provide flowers for both altars and sometimes for decorations in the Parish Hall. Members enjoy arranging flowers for the various Church events, working in teams or individually. New members are always welcome and will be paired with a current member to learn the procedures of the Guild and where to access supplies. Normally we buy the flowers which have been requested by parishioners who have given flowers for a particular Sunday. We then turn in our receipts to the Church Bookkeeper for reimbursement.

If you are interested in serving on this committee please contact Bonnie Zacherle at:

Altar Guild

Saint James’ Altar Guild is a very active ministry devoted to preparing the Lord’s Table every week. Teams of two or three set up the altar for all services on Sundays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and whenever there is a wedding, funeral or special service. We also take care of the maintenance of all of the linens, silver, and brass items used in those services. We have one annual luncheon/meeting during the year. New members are more than welcome. New members will be trained by veteran members with whom they will serve.

Please contact Penny Dart if you are interested in this vital ministry.

Outreach Corner

Food for Friends Monthly Breakfast sandwich ministry: On the 3rd Saturday of the month sandwiches are cooked and distributed to those in need. Let us know if you want to help.

Meals for Free Clinic Volunteers – 1st Thursday of each month: For the past nineteen years, members of Saint James’ Church have been providing dinners to the physicians, dentists, nurses, pharma-cists and administrative personnel who volunteer their services to the Fauquier Free Clinic. The clinic provides free medical and den-tal care to residents of Fauquier and Rappahannock counties who have no health insurance, Medicaid or Medicare. Any child, re-gardless of a family’s financial circumstances, is treated.
Participating in this program is easy. Simply sign up to be a host-ess or to provide a casserole, salad, rolls, dessert or sodas. Drop your dish off at the church kitchen on the first Thursday of the month, and a delicious hot meal will be delivered to the awaiting volunteers at the clinic. Call the church office if you would like more information.

From Our New Senior Warden, Bill Turnure

We know we are fully entrenched in the new year when the Vestry retreat is behind us and the remainder of the year lies ahead of us. This year’s Vestry, Parish Register and Treasurer along with Fr. Ben and Rev. Lyn had a fulfilling and productive retreat during which we deepened our relationships, oriented the new vestry members, reviewed our efforts from last year and established goals for the upcoming year and beyond.

One important goal we established was to be in better communication with you. One way we are attempting to do that is a commitment to be interactive with as many ministries as possible. The hope is for all of us to truly feel in community. Please note the list of Vestry Liaisons below. These liaisons will be the point of contact for the numerous ministries available here at St. James’. These liaisons will report back to the Vestry on a regular basis so that we can address any needs or concerns of those ministries.

Secondly, we want feedback from you personally. The Vestry asked themselves this question while we were on our retreat, “What do people seek from St. James’? “ Are we providing you with what you are seeking? Can we improve in any areas so that you are getting what you need? Our goal is to be here for you and support you on your spiritual journey. Please reach out to us when you see us in church (we will be getting name tags so you can find us!), email us if you need anything from us or just leave a message with Nancy in the parish office.

As Fr. Ben has detailed for us, there is a lot going on at St. James’ (it is truly an exhaustive list…whew!). Don’t be humble, everyone has a talent to share and we are looking to best utilize your and your families’ gifts to their fullest while we share our faith in God together. Let us hear from you.

God bless you all,


Outreach: Dorothy Smith, Nancy Duggan, and Bob Dart

Parish Life/Hospitality: Patti Reid and Nancy Duggan

Communication/Evangelism: Susan Jefferies

Children and Youth Ministries: Chris Working, Ryan Wilvert, and Kathleen Nevill

Adult Formation: Nancy Duggan

School Board: Kathleen Nevill

Stewardship: George Burgwyn

Audit Committee: Susan Jeffries, George Burgwyn, Bob Dart, and Ann-Rodman Shook

Liturgy/Sunday Ministers: Karla MacKimmie and Bill Turnure

Ministry of the Month

Food for Friends
This ministry focuses on serving the nutritional needs of people in our community. Two projects that are presently in need of volunteers assist the Fauquier Community Food Bank. It opens early on the third Saturday of each month and St. James’ has volunteers that cook and wrap a couple of hundred ham, egg and cheese sandwiches for delivery to the Food Bank. Please contact Greg Arthaud if interested in helping at In addition, St James’ has offered to fill the volunteer needs on Wednesdays to assist the client with shopping or stocking the shelves. The goal is to have enough people on the list that an individual only needs to volunteer every 4 to 6 weeks. Please contact Susan Jeffries or Sonia Douty if you interested: or

Upcoming Classes:

Upcoming Classes:
New to Saint James’ and want to learn about the Episcopal Church? 

Want to join the Episcopal Church (be received or confirmed)?  

Looking to brush up on your Episcopal knowledge or renew your commitment?

We will begin our Episcopalianism (sure it’s a word) 101 Class on Wednesday, April 15th at 7pm.  The classes will last six weeks (until Wednesday May 20th).

The Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia, The Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston will make his pastoral visit to Saint James’ Episcopal Church on May, 31st.    Bishop Johnston will be on sabbatical in the fall when he would normally visit and has asked for this spring date.

Bishop Gulick will visit sometime in the Fall to confirm our middle schoolers who have been integrating their confirmation instruction into their youth group meetings.  Those unable to make the May 31st date may also be confirmed or received in the fall.

Please let our parish administrator, Nancy  know before April 15th if you are interested in taking the class, being received or confirmed or renew your baptismal covenant on May 31st (or learning more about confirmation and reception).

Outreach Corner

School & Church March Community Service Project: Fauquier Health Pediatric Rehabilitation Services Adults aren’t the only ones who need rehabilitation therapy to maximize their physical, mental and social abilities. Some children and adolescents also need specialized services to build strength, achieve their functional potential, and develop the skills they need at home, at school and within their communities. . Fauquier Health Pediatric Rehabilitation Services is in need of the following items for its two locations: New paper, markers, crayons, bubbles, balls, board games, puzzles, books, toys and dolls (no stuffed animals please.) Items can be left in the marked box in the Parish Hall stage.

Saint James’ Builds is a group of dedicated volunteers from our parish
who get together to help fix the homes of needy people. The group has a new project that
they hope to be working on March 1st. For more information email Dorothy Smith at:

Blood Drive: Thanks to over 30 some Saint James’ Parishioners and members of the School Community who helped with the drive and who gave blood!

The Fauquier Food Coalition needs our help!  Because of the extreme cold weather, volunteers cannot collect food donations outside of the Giant grocery store.  They are asking us to bring food to the Warrenton Methodist Church by Friday, February 20, at 2pm.  Besides food
they are also asking for winter clothes, paper towels, tissues and toilet paper as well. Tell a neighbor or friend, too!  Together we can help!  Thank you.

Soroti Sponsors Members of Saint James’ have taken on the responsibility of supporting the educational goals of young girl students in Uganda. The financial commitment is usually for a few years, but some share that responsibility within a group of additional parishioners. Sponsors correspond with their students and often achieve a life-long connection. This is a wonderful global Outreach endeavor! For more information contact Wayne or Caren Eastham at:540-253-5633or email them at: