“Pledge Day – April 2, 2017” is the day we will hand out the pledge cards to everyone and also the day we will collect the pledge cards.
Can I take my pledge card home on April 2nd and think about my gift?
Of course you can, but our hope and desire is that all pledge cards will be filled out and handed in on the same day – Pledge Day, April 2, 2017. The weeks leading up to April 2nd will highlight aspects of the capital campaign and allow time for individuals to consider their gift.
Saint James’ Episcopal School’s first fifth grade graduation in May, 2015 was a monumental achievement for our community. What in 2010 had been just a dream had become a reality. This dream made manifest was realized in no small part thanks to the unwavering support of the Church.
Our Church and School continue to remain extremely intentional in their interconnectedness and this is why both entities continue to thrive. As an Episcopal School, we are the Church’s largest, most vibrant, and most closely connected ministry.
Two hundred years ago our founding parishioners understood that their dreams could only grow from a church set on a solid foundation of support. Legacy donations to the Saint James’ Endowment serve to keep our beautiful, historic church alive and vital for future generations.
Our relatively new Endowment hopes to become like the older buildings on our campus—sustaining a myriad of ministries and increasing in value over time. And yet often the Endowment goes unnoticed, just as we take our buildings for granted at times– rushing about from the parking lot through the doors, from the nave into the Parish Hall, and from classrooms to the playground. The Endowment funds are invested to provide an annual stream of income to the church, but the principal is never touched.
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.
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.
Our beautiful, historic, welcoming church will be made even more hospitable with the addition of new handicap parking spaces in the parking lot, permanent ramps, a lift for Parish Hall access, a centrally-located elevator in the new building, and ADA-certified bathroom facilities.
Father Ben shared this remembrance which highlights just one example of how needed and how welcome the planned accessibility upgrades will be:
“The Director of Christian Education from my previous church in Louisville came to church one Sunday. Lauralee wanted to show Ms. Martha her classroom so she led her down the stairs. Ms. Martha has some mobility issues and I forgot how much she had depended upon the elevator in Louisville. As I watched her slowly go down each step backwards, clinging to the rail, and wincing the entire way, I realized that the most formative person in my children’s faith development would hardly be able to teach Sunday school at Saint James’ much less serve as Director of Christian Formation. It was a profound recognition of the need and the fact that it is not just those confined to wheelchairs whose ministries are limited by our space.”
Our exciting renovation plans will open up our spaces to everyone who wants to share in them!
The Endowment went over $1million and Capital Funds also increased. Pledge and plate offerings remain slightly below budget for the year. Expenses are also down and the year is expected to end in the black.
Buildings and Grounds:
Bill Turnure, Senior Warden, and Jody DelSignore, Property Manager, are planning for expected expenses 3-5 years in the future and creating a budget to ensure having the necessary funds available.
Father Ben noted the many activities taking place in and under the sponsorship of St. James’ in November and in preparation for the holidays. He singled out the Episcopal Church School conference in New Orleans where Stacey Irvin, Head of School, was recognized for her work to establish and maintain the vibrant dynamic between church and school at St. James’.
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.
A joint meeting of the School Board and the Vestry was held on May 12 at 6pm to hear a report by Brad Layland of The Focus Group and to decide whether or not to proceed with Phase 2 of the feasibility study for a Capital Campaign to renovate and expand the church/school facility.
Following Brad’s presentation and the questions and comments from the church/school leadership, the question of whether or not to proceed to Phase 2 of the Feasibility Study was presented. Both boards then approved proceeding with Phase 2 of the Feasibility Study and released the necessary funds from their respective development funds.
As we outgrow space in the Parish House, it is well to note that nearly 50 years ago the fourth – and last enlargement – at Saint James’ became a reality. In 2016, when we celebrate our bicentennial year, half a century will have passed since groundbreaking for that major expansion.
This essay focuses on the major addition of the Education Wing, designed to provide a large, functional multiple-purpose building, appended to the Parish House. With the growth of Saint James’ at that time, its purpose was to accommodate the Sunday School and to include a children’s chapel, choir rooms, meetings rooms, offices, a youth activities area, and to meet future needs.
In addition to church activities, Parish House facilities were being used by five Scout organizations, garden clubs, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, American Red Cross, the Fauquier Association for Retarded Children, meetings of ministers, committees of the Episcopal Diocese, and other service organizations.
The first step had been taken in 1961 during the ministry of the Rev. Paul D. Bowden when land to the rear owned by Hickman Chevrolet was acquired. Later, in 1964, the vestry established a planning committee and in 1965 a well-known architect was engaged to draw up plans. David Jay Greer was rector and William DeF. Doeller was general chairman and coordinator for the building program. Ground breaking ceremonies were held in May 1966 with the first shovel of earth turned by Bishop Frederick D. Goodwin.
Completion and Dedication
Two years later, with wide support, the addition was completed. On Sunday, October 27, 1968, Bishop Samuel Blackwell Chilton dedicated the structure in thanksgiving for the “long and faithful ministry” of Paul Bowden who served as rector from 1920 until 1963 and as rector emeritus from 1963 until his death in 1968.
Records show that the dedication service began in the church and concluded at the Beckham Street side where Senior Warden Beverly B. Sale and other members assisted with tours of the new facilities. A buffet luncheon was held in the original Parish House which had been renovated with a much improved kitchen.