Message from the Choirmaster: 2017 Summer Newsletter

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.

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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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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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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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Holy Week Service Schedule & Notes

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.

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Adult Formation Journal: Holy Saturday

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.

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Worship and the Power of Silence

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.

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Message from the Choirmaster: March 2017

Jesse Ratcliffe is Saint James’ director of music. He can be reached here

The Great Vigil of Easter (April 15)

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.

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Family Ministries Update: March 2017

Laura Updyke is the interim director of family ministries – you can contact Laura here

Sunday School

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.

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CONNECTED Capital Campaign: Music

We are CONNECTED by music.

February 19, 2017

Corporate worship lies at the heart of Saint James’ spiritual life, and music plays an important role in almost all of the worship services that we offer. It is the mission of Saint James’ music ministry to aid the congregation in offering up praises to God.

Members of the Saint James’ Youth Chorale rehearse in the music room before a performance in February 2016.

As Episcopalians, we have a musical heritage that is one of the world’s richest and most deeply spiritual. For over 500 years, Anglican church music has sought to tell the Christian faith with authenticity and truth. Our music is an extremely diverse and multi-layered art form that celebrates and encompasses many different traditions. You might be interested, when singing hymns, to read the small print below each one and note the many and varied sources of the poetry and the music.

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Table Talk: Week of January 8, 2017

For the next few weeks, we will be experimenting with our Sunday School organization. Godly Play will encompass 1st-5th grade. Godly Play is designed to be used for all age levels and we have wanted to expand the experience. This desire, combined with the struggle to recruit teachers for this oldest group, persuaded us to try something new. In the lead up to Lent, we will see how having the groups together works and then evaluate how to proceed from there. We’d love to hear feedback from parents and children as the process unfolds.

Holy Baptism

The First Sunday after Epiphany is also known as the Baptism of our Lord. Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into the Church.

We baptize people in the name of the Father…the Son…and the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we call the Father the Creator. We call the Son the Redeemer. We call the Holy Spirit the Sustainer. People are baptized at all ages, from babies through the very old. We ask the person about to be baptized questions, or the parents or godparents if they are babies. We say prayers for them.

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Adult Formation in Epiphany: You’re Invited!

Adult Formation for the Season of Epiphany

January 6-February 28, 2017

We want EVERYONE to join our 2017 focus on learning more about the Bible!


BIBLE STUDY COURSE: “New Testament Stuff I Need to Know”

This book is both scholarly and basic and will be ordered for everyone that registers for the course. The cost is $6. Weekly reading assignments are about fifteen pages. Group discussion is important! Register for learning groups at main bulletin board OR email Fr. Randolph.

9:15 Learning Group

– Sundays, 9:15-10:00, Jan 8-Feb 26, Reception Room (childcare for 5 and younger in the nursery)

11:45 Learning Group

– Sundays, 11:45-12:30, Jan 8-Feb 26, Reception Room

Women’s Study Group

– Tuesdays, 10:30-11:30, Jan 8-Feb 28, Reception Room

Online Learning Group

– On Facebook … just join the Facebook group Saint James’ Warrenton | Adult Formation and add your voice to the conversation!

Self-select Learning Group

– Conversations with family and friends, Jan 8-Feb 28

Register for learning groups at main bulletin board OR randolph@saintjameswarrenton.org


PERSONAL BIBLE READING

Read the Bible in 24 weeks. You can order the book online OR email Fr Randolph

Read Bible stories with your children for 24 weeks. You can order the book online OR email Fr Randolph

Read the Gospel of Matthew with daily reflections in 50 days. You can order the book online OR email Fr Randolph


ONGOING FORMATION OFFERINGS

Men’s Spiritual Formation Group

– Mondays, 8:00-9:00, Reception Room

Holy Eucharist

– Wednesdays, 12:00-12:45

Chapel with the Bishop, followed by discussion

– Thursdays, 7:15-9:00

Book Study Group

– First Thursdays, 9:30-11:00


We want EVERYONE to join our 2017 focus on learning more about the Bible!

Feel free to contact Fr. Randolph at randolph@saintjameswarrenton.org with questions or comments.

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Worship Services

On Christmas Eve we will celebrate the birth of the Christ child with three festive services.

Dec. 24 at 3pm – Christmas Eve Pageant

Bring the family and enjoy the reenactment of the Birth of Jesus. All children are encouraged to participate. Please arrive 15 minutes early for your child to be fitted for a costume. No prior rehearsal needed. The pageant includes the singing of familiar Christmas carols and is woven into the celebration of Holy Eucharist. This service is especially geared toward preschool and elementary age children but a joy to all!

Dec. 24 at 5:30pm – Family Service

At 5:30 we will have a festive yet more informal and abridged (than our late service) Christmas celebration as we incorporate our youth into the worship service.   This service is intended for individuals and families whose children have aged out of the pageant (upper elementary and up) but find the hour of the late service…. well…just a bit too late. The service will also include Holy Eucharist and the singing of familiar carols.

Dec. 24 at 10:15 – Carols & Vigil

This service is one of, if not the, most beautiful and holy services of the church year as our choir leads us in carols as we sing out that Christ is born! Carols begin at 10:15, followed by the service at 10:30.

Dec. 25 at 9:30am – Christmas Day Eucharist

Let’s rejoice together on Christmas Day with an informal service as we remember the reason we celebrate Christmas. This service is a great way to celebrate Christmas Day with your parish family.

Christmas Week Worship Services

Dec. 21 at 7pm – Blue Christmas Service

A Blue Christmas Service or a Longest Night service acknowledges that Christmas is not always met with joy and celebration. Sometimes it can be difficult to participate in the glad carols and merriment of our Christmas services. This service provides an opportunity to light candles acknowledging the people we miss, the pain or emptiness we may feel. In lighting the candles we proclaim Christ’s presence and that foundational truth from that first chapter of John that “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it”. We sing carols more reflective of Christmas hope than joy, we offer prayers for healing, we break bread together and (of course) we support one another.

Following the service there will be opportunity for continued prayer in the chapel and coffee and dessert in the parish hall.

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Plan for Adult Formation in Epiphany

A Report to the Parishioners of Saint James’ from the Adult Formation Discernment Team

Dear Parishioners,

The mission of the Adult Formation Discernment Team was to determine and launch new adult formation programs at Saint James’. Christian formation is Christian education with the added dimension of cultivating an openness to being formed and shaped by God.

The purpose of creating new adult formation offerings is threefold:

  • to serve more parishioners, especially those who have not been regular participants in formation programs before,
  • to choose one area of learning which could be a shared experience for the entire parish during a liturgical season or a period of time, and
  • to provide both scholarly content and practical application to daily living.

The team gathered data through conversations with parishioners and a parish survey. More than a hundred parishioners participated in the survey. We also looked at resources and methods of learning.

Based on our discussions and discernment, here are the plans for the Season of Epiphany, January 6 to February 28:

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