by randolph charles
The way we pray shapes the way we believe is a core principle in Anglican worship. That’s why it’s so important to be intentional about our liturgical prayer. Is what we say and do in corporate worship encouraging our spiritual growth? Is it both challenging and nurturing us as disciples of Jesus? Is it building us up as a faith community and preparing us to be sent into the world to do God’s ministry? Let’s talk about it.
Continue reading “Worship Notes: Praying Shapes Believing”
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”
The Episcopal Church is a “wide tent” denomination. We welcome people with different social views, different theological views, different political views, different biblical views, different lifestyle views, and yet all of us are connected to a strong faith center, and through that center we are bound to each other.
When it comes to corporate worship, we have lots of options because we honor the diversity of parishioners and the validity of the many ways to praise God in the Episcopal tradition.
Continue reading “Corporate Worship at Saint James’”
“The people stand or kneel.” – Book of Common Prayer, page 362
by Norma Thatcher
I began attending the Episcopal Church in 1986.
Having been raised as a Methodist, I didn’t quite get the standing, kneeling, genuflecting, crossing of oneself, etc. I simply followed the lead of those around me, just as visitors to Saint James’ do currently.
Continue reading “Personal Reflection: Why I Stand to Pray in Church”
“The people kneel or stand.” – Book of Common Prayer, page 334
by Ninie Laing
Everyone should feel comfortable doing what seems appropriate for her own spiritual growth. I am a visual person, easily distracted by the scene around me. If I stand to pray with my eyes open, I am tempted to focus on my surroundings and not my inner dialogue with God.
Continue reading “Personal Reflection: Why I Kneel for the Prayers”
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!”
A Brief History of the Pipe Organ and Church, by Jesse Ratcliff
The most attention-grabbing object in the church, aside from stained glass windows is the pipe organ. With its commanding appearance and rapturous tone, it’s difficult to ignore. In worship, its primary job is to lead hymns and accompany the choir. The prelude, on the other hand, though not integral to the service, is sometimes the most overlooked role of the organ.
The history of the prelude is extensive, but has always held an important role in regards to worship. In the Baroque era, (1600-1750) Bach utilized the prelude as a means of conveying a chorale/hymn melody to the congregation. He utilized numerous compositional tools to enhance the chorale text.
Continue reading “Message from the Choirmaster: 2017 Summer Newsletter”
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
– Four sessions, offered twice, beginning Sunday, May 7
– The Episcopal Way: Church’s Teaching for a Changing World ($10, 100 pages; $10 Kindle)
Continue reading “Adult Formation in the Season of Easter”
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.
Continue reading “Holy Week 2017 Recap: Photos, Video & Scripture Readings”
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
Continue reading “Tuesday 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
Continue reading “Monday in Holy Week: Collect & Scriptures”
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
Continue reading “Palm Sunday: Sermon & Scripture Readings”
The church invites all Christians to worship soon and often during Holy Week and through Easter Day. This is when we remember and embrace in a dramatic way the journey, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
Palm Sunday: Jesus enters Jerusalem and confronts the domination powers of the Roman Empire and the temple authorities.
Maundy Thursday: Jesus shares the his last meal with the Twelve and washes their feet.
Good Friday: Jesus is crucified and dies.
Easter Eve: A new fire is kindled in the darkness, the Paschal Candle is lit, people are baptized, and we celebrate the first Eucharist of Easter. Christ is risen!
Easter Day: Christ is risen indeed! We joyfully celebrate the Resurrection of our Savior.
God is calling us all to gather for worship this Holy Week through Easter Day.
I invite your comments and questions.
– Fr Randolph
We encourage you to commit to attending as many of our Holy Week worship services as you are able. They dramatically walk us through Jesus’ last days and allow us to more fully enter the story and receive the love poured out for us. The experience of Holy Week also adds to the richness, joy, and bounding hope of Easter.
Continue reading “Holy Week Service Schedule & Notes”
This week, we will be learning more about Holy Saturday, the day the body of the crucified Jesus lay in the tomb. On Saturday night, Easter Eve, the beginning of the next day for the Jews, Christians celebrate The Great Vigil of Easter, which includes The Lighting of the Paschal Candle, Holy Baptism, and the first Eucharist of Easter. The journey from Crucifixion to Resurrection is made.
Continue reading “Adult Formation Journal: Holy Saturday”
During Lent at Saint James’, we are experimenting with a few modifications of the 10:15 Eucharist, such as the use of silence. After Easter Sunday, there will be an opportunity for discussion and feedback with the clergy, Jesse, and worship ministry team. In the meantime, I welcome your comments and questions.
Silence gives us emotional space to consider the ways we have not put our whole trust in God as we prepare for the Confession of Sin. Silence allows us to reflect on the meanings and message for us in the readings, Gospel, and sermon. Holy silence creates God moments throughout the liturgy.
Continue reading “Worship and the Power of Silence”
Jesse Ratcliffe is Saint James’ director of music. He can be reached here.
Easter Vigil is one of the most beautiful services of the church year as we segue from the reflective and somber atmosphere of Lent into the joy of Easter. The choral anthem for this service, Alleluia, composed by Randall Thompson conveys all the emotions of this holy day.
Thompson, born in 1899 and died in 1984, was an American composer who taught at many prestigious schools, including the University of Virginia (1941-1945), whose compositional style is regarded as “distinctly American”. Alleluia was composed in five days with the text being two words: “Alleluia, Amen”-with the latter being sung once at the final chord which spreads the choir into seven parts. This composition was a reaction to the war, especially the fall of France.
Continue reading “Message from the Choirmaster: March 2017”
Laura Updyke is the interim director of family ministries – you can contact Laura here
If you see one of our Sunday School teachers, please take a minute to say thanks for the great job they’ve been doing this year! We are especially grateful to Haifleigh Pritchard, who is giving her time every Sunday to work with our 3rd-5th graders, helping them manage the crucial shift from Sunday School to confirmation preparation.
Continue reading “Family Ministries Update: March 2017”