2017 SC Youth Missions Trip Recap

Thank you for your prayers and all the ways you supported our mission team while down in Hollywood, South Carolina. Thank you also to all of the adult volunteers (and their families) who volunteered their time and talents, and to our youth who represented Saint James’ so wonderfully. The trip was a transformative experience.

Read blog posts from each day of the missions trip

Please take the time to watch the youth (and our Director of Family Ministries) reflect on their experience, and if you watch the whole service you will even hear them sing and play the ukulele!

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Update on Family Ministries: 2017 Summer Newsletter

by Laura Updyke, Interim Director of Family Ministries

Acolytes

Calling all acolytes! There will be an acolyte training session on August 27th immediately following the 10:15 service. It will last about an hour. Current acolytes wishing to take on a new role or those wishing to become an acolyte should plan to attend. Here are the roles your children can play in the service:

  • 3rd grade and up – Torch
  • 5th grade and up – Crucifer
  • 7th grade and up – Server
  • 9th grade and up – Chalicer

We do not have an age limit for Epistler, because we believe that is self-selecting. Whenever your child feels comfortable reading out loud, they are welcome to take it on.

If you have any questions, please contact Laura Updyke at laura.updyke@saintjameswarrenton.org.

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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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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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Parents’ Night Out on February 11!

Saturday, February 11 | 5:00 – 9:00 PM

Enjoy an early Valentine’s night out and support our Soroti students ministry!

  • The cost is $275 to support a younger student and $500 for older students, all money raised will go toward supporting this important church ministry!
  • Drop-off in Parish Hall. Separate rooms for younger kids and elementary age students.
  • Snacks provided (please feed your children dinner before arrival or send a lunch box). Games and movie provided.
  • Donations requested.
  • Learn more about Soroti Ministry here

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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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Bread Baking: Christmas Edition is This Friday, December 16!

Food for Friends – CHRISTMAS Bread Edition is Coming up THIS Friday, December 16, Starting at 3pm!

We had a very successful Thanksgiving Bread Baking project this year, baking over 700 loaves of bread in about nine hours a few weeks ago – thank you to the volunteers who partnered with us on that project.  We had so much fun that we’ve decided we couldn’t wait a whole year to do it again!  We are partnering with Fauquier FISH to provide loaves of bread for their Christmas food basket project later in December.

Mark your calendars for Friday afternoon / evening December 16. 

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Update on Family Ministries

Sunday School

Thanks again to all of the parishioners who have stepped up to teach this year. We are very grateful and there has been a smooth transition as our new teachers have taken over.

As we head into the Advent season, the Sunday School students will be preparing to welcome Jesus into the world. On the first Sunday of Advent, everyone will be making Advent wreaths to bring home and use. Our Table Talks will include the readings done in church and also in Sunday School, and each week as we light the candles there will be questions that you can use at home to discuss the meaning of the candles and how we can prepare ourselves to welcome the Lord.

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Advent & Christmas Worship Services

December 11 at 4pm – Christmas Concert

This year’s program will feature the Saint James’ Adult Choir, Handbells, Youth Chorale, as well as a guest string quartet. The music ranges from plainsong, a chorus from the Messiah, to newly composed music, and it is  supported by scripture readings that chronicle the story of Christ. A reception with seasonal treats will follow the concert.

Dec. 16 at 11am – K-5 Christmas Pageant

Join us for the annual Saint James’ Episcopal School Elementary Christmas Pageant.  Students will re-enact the nativity of Jesus Christ with costume, song, and prayer. It’s a beautiful program and you shouldn’t miss it! It will be streamed too.

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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The Next Firewood Ministry Split, Stack and Delivery Day is December 10

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10 | 9-11am | @ WARRENTON COLLECTION SITE

Thank you to Rick Miller, Jody Del Signore, Lynn Ward, and the Borgstrom boys for delivering much needed wood to five families throughout Fauquier County last Saturday!

The Wood Ministry has identified eight families thus far that are in dire need of wood for heating of their homes this winter. We’ve been working hard for several months to split and stack wood for these winter deliveries, and we have depleted the stored wood from the upper site.

We are planning our next big split / stack / delivery date on Saturday morning, December 10 from 9-11 at the Warrenton Collection site.

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Wood Ministry Delivery Day is Saturday, November 26!

Saturday, November 26 | 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

The cold weather is upon us (in case you haven’t been outside!)  We have been preparing for months by splitting and stacking mountains of wood at the Warrenton collection.  Now it’s time to deliver!

Directions to the Collection Site | Email Colin

We are looking for volunteers to help us deliver cords of wood to homes throughout Fauquier this Saturday morning.  We need pickup trucks or vehicles with sturdy trailers along with drivers and delivery volunteers.  Teams of two to three with load up at the Warrenton collection site behind Walmart and be assigned 1-2 dropoffs in the county.  Residents who will be receiving wood will be aware of the delivery, so it will not be a surprise when you arrive.

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Thanksgiving Bread Baking Is This Friday!

The clock is ticking!

Food for Friends: Thanksgiving Bread Edition is coming up this Friday, November 188am to ???

400 pounds of flour – CHECK.  Sugar, salt, yeast – CHECK.  Volunteers – ?????

We’re looking to make 800 loaves of bread in one day – are you up for the challenge?  Volunteers are needed for our NINTH annual Thanksgiving Bread project on Friday, November 18!  We’ll be starting at 8 am and going until the job is done (until at least the late afternoon).  There is a job for everyone from supply shopping, kitchen setup and preparation, mixing of the dough, bagging and boxing the bread, and clean up.  No task is too small, and everyone is welcome (even for just an hour).  We need shifts of workers, so if you prefer a date/time, please let us know.

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Volunteers Needed for Habitat Blitz this Sunday!

They have only filled 36 of the 100 slots for the Sunday 1-5 pm shift. If you are 16 or older and can help build, please sign up on Habitat’s website! (it’s important you register with them in advance)

A reminder that you don’t have to have any skills to be useful; lots of non-building activities require adult help.

Anyone 16 or older can help with construction!

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Wood Stacking Rescheduled to This Saturday

Wood Ministry Collection Date – This Saturday, October 15, 8:30a-12pm

Third time’s a charm!  The weather looks very promising for this Saturday so we’re planning to chop and stack (and maybe deliver) lots of wood for families in need in our area.  In conjunction with the local church outreach efforts mentioned in the newspaper this past week, we will have a few members from several churches also joining us at the site but there is a lot of work to do.

We have expanded the collection time to 8:30am to 12 noon on Saturday.  Please drop by if you are in town and willing to donate an hour or two to help chop, split, and stack wood.  If you have a pick-up truck or trailer, we may have some deliveries for you (in a team) as well – Lynn Ward will coordinate that onsite on Saturday morning.

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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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