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Outreach is not so much a particular activity of the church or even a collection of activities and initiatives. Outreach is more intrinsic than that. We are the body of Christ and like Christ who “stretched out (his) arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of (his) saving embrace” (BCP, 101) we are called to reach out in love. God created us out of love in order that we might respond as instruments of God’s love and co-creators in God’s ultimate vision for the world.

The ministry of Jesus and in his teaching and parables we are reminded that God’s investment and care for all of creation is profound. The incarnation itself, is a reminder of how much this life and how we care for one another in the time we have on this earth matters deeply to God.

In our baptism we vow to ”seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving (our) neighbor as (our) self” as well as to “strive for jus-tice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being” (BCP, 305). These are not just the prom-ises we make but the identity we claim in our initiation into the body of Christ.

In addition, our patron saint, Saint James, stirred up the church by declaring the mission of church is to be “doers of the word and not merely hearers” (James 1:22) and that “I by my works will show you my faith” (James 2:18). That is a legacy and responsibility we carry as members of Saint James’ Episcopal Church.

At Saint James’, our reach extends from Uganda to South Caro-lina and throughout Fauquier County. While our work and our generosity are substantial, I hope to see our emphasis on out-reach grow considerably. In partnership with Saint James’ School and filled with the Spirit our potential is staggering. I pray that in the years to come, people not only see outreach as something Saint James’ does well, but who we are.

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