A Stewardship Message from Fr Ben

Do you choose easy or do you choose adventure?

I asked this question on my first Sunday at Saint James’ four years ago this winter. I talked about asking my daughter that question half way through a rather rigorous hike, I encouraged you to consider all the ways that Jesus asked his followers that same question, and whether God might be asking the people of Saint James’ Episcopal Church the same question.

Years later I am ever more convinced both of God’s call to us and our resounding answer, “ADVENTURE!!!”. Here is the rub. Adventure is not easy. Jesus certainly never said it would be.

One of my favorite prayers, attributed to 16th century explorer, Sir Francis Drake, asks the same question of us. Have we arrived safely because we sailed too close to shore… (have we) fallen in love with life and ceased to dream of eternity?

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Upcoming Green Team Programs

Oct. 4 is the Feast Day of St Francis. There is much to learn about this extraordinary man who lived in the 12th century and inspired others to honor God’s creation.  When Jorge Bergoglio (Pope Francis) was elected Pope by the Catholic Church in 2013, he chose to honor this man by using his name.

In honor of St Francis, please considering participating in one or more of the following:

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Wood Ministry POSTPONED

Due to the rain already received and the forecast for this weekend, the Wood Ministry event for this Saturday, October 1, is being postponed.

A new date will be announced shortly – keep watching the weekly announcements and our social media channels for future updates!

For more information or to help with this ministry, please contact Colin Borgstrom at 540-270-3285 or theborg20115@verizon.net.

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.

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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 allimanb@msn.com.


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: bonnie@saintjameswarrenton.org

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.