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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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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Table Talk: Week of February 5, 2017

Whether or not your children were able to make it to Sunday school, you can still engage them in this week’s story.  Please read the summaries, look up the story online, in your bible, or a children’s bible, and begin the discussion.  Increasing your child’s biblical knowledge will be foundational in their faith development.  What a gift to provide a child!  Adults also reap the benefit of digging in deeper to these stories.

Teaching God’s Word

The Gospel of Matthew formed the basis of our 3rd-5th graders lesson this week. Jesus calls on us all to be the Salt and the Light and to show others the power of God’s Word through our actions. The church was just beginning and followers were often in hiding to avoid persecution. Matthew is calling on the members of the church not to hide their beliefs, but to be a beacon of light and help to lead others to God’s teachings and the Salt that prevents the world from going bad.

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Advent Reflections: December 16th

advent reflections (2)“Who then is the faithful and wise slave, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give the other slaves their allowance of food at the proper time?” – Matthew 24:45-51 

We are all servants of God and while we wait for his return, we must do his work here on Earth. God wants us to be faithful and wise servants who share Christ’s love with others. We should feed others with Christ’s word.

If Jesus were to come today, would we be found doing what he has called us to do? He tells us he will return and we should be prepared every day by spreading the word of Jesus and sharing Christ’s love with others.

– Ella Irvin, member of the middle school youth group, & her mother Stacey Irvin, S.J.E.S. Head of School

Advent Reflections: December 9th

advent reflections (2)All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted. – Matthew 23:12

By definition, “exalt” means to hold someone or something in very high regard. On the other hand, humble means to lower someone in dignity or importance.

But being humble does not have to be used in such a negative connotation like the definition implies. Being humble ultimately means recognizing our talents and achievements for what they truly are: things given to us by God out of sheer goodness. These achievements and accomplishments we can take little or no credit in, they are all rewarded to us by God.

In this passage we are invited to open our eyes to all the graces God has given us, and to be humble. Those who exalt or carry themselves in a high manor will be humbled. All their successes are owed to God and they must learn to give everything back to him.

But those who already honor God because of all the blessings he has given to them will be exalted. In the end, humility never means pretending we are less than we are. Humility means recognizing that even our greatest achievements are an insignificant and inadequate return for all that God has given us.

– Katie Crofford, member of the high school youth group

Advent Reflections: December 11th

advent reflections (2)‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth. – Matthew 23:27

How many times have you heard “It’s what’s on the inside that counts”? Was this a saying in Jesus’ time too? It may have been, albeit, most would have to say that through this scripture that saying had life breathed into it.

Our society tells us to be pretty and buy expensive things to make us look good on the outside, but what does that do for our insides? There are people who have so many possession on the outside but on the inside are sick, troubled, saddened, and angry. Where’s the “good” in that? Almost hypocritical?

The good news comes with the thought that God sent Jesus to us and for us because he sees us from the inside out. He sees through the cover stories and the walls we put up.

This Advent, what will you choose to fill yourself up with?