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)

Continue reading “Adult Formation in the Season of Easter”

Education for Ministry (EfM) at Saint James’

What is EfM?

Every baptized person is called to ministry, and the four year Education for Ministry (EfM) program is preparation for that ministry.  Lay persons face the difficult and often subtle task of interpreting the richness of the church’s faith in a complex and confusing world. We benefit from a theological education that supports our faith and also teaches us to express it in our day-to-day lives. With the knowledge and skills developed during EfM, we are better equipped to live out the vocation for which we pray at the end of the eucharist: “And now, Father, send us out to do the work you have given us to do, to love and serve you as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord.”

Continue reading “Education for Ministry (EfM) at Saint James’”

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.

Continue reading “Holy Week 2017 Recap: Photos, Video & Scripture Readings”

Easter Sunday: Collect & Scriptures

Collect

Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Continue reading “Easter Sunday: Collect & Scriptures”

Holy Saturday: Collect & Scriptures

Below are the collect and scripture readings for Holy Saturday. You can also read the lectionary for the Great Vigil of Easter, which spans the creation of the universe to the resurrection, here.

collect

O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Continue reading “Holy Saturday: Collect & Scriptures”

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

Continue reading “Palm Sunday: Sermon & Scripture Readings”

Table Talk: Week of April 2, 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 summary, 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.

Miracles and Mysteries

This week in Sunday School your children focused on the miracles Jesus performed and the mystery of Easter they led towards.

Our youngest and oldest students learned about the raising of Lazarus. When Mary and Martha’s brother died, Jesus came to comfort them and raised Lazarus from the dead. This both showed Jesus’ humanity, as he grieved with the sisters, and pointed towards the greatest mystery of all, Jesus rising from the dead.

To illustrate the burial of Lazarus, each child wrapped a stuffed animal in paper and “buried” them in a “tomb.” (under a desk)

Students in Godly Play heard about this great mystery. Lent is leading us through a time of preparation for this mystery. Just as Mary and Martha experienced sorrow and then joy as their brother was raised from the dead, so we are preparing for our time of sorrow and rejoicing. Sorrow at the death of Jesus on Good Friday and joy following his resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Table Talk Questions

  1. When friends or people in your family look like they’re really sad, what do you usually say or do?
  2. How do you think Mary and Martha felt when their brother, Lazarus, died?
  3. What did Jesus do to comfort and care for Martha and Mary?
  4. What might you do, as Jesus’ followers, to offer God’s love and care to people who are sad?
  5. How are we impacted by Jesus’ death on the cross? How does this make you feel? How do we share that time and those feelings with others?
  6. What is different about Easter morning? How do we feel then? How do we share those feelings?
  7. How can we support those in our lives who are suffering? How can we share in their joy?
After rolling away the “stone” (chair), the stuffed animals were “resurrected” from the grave.

Table Talk: Week of March 26, 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 summary, 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.

This week Sunday School focused on the reading from Samuel, hearing how God called on Samuel to select a new king and led him to David. Samuel went to Jesse’s house in Bethlehem and there he met all of Jesse’s sons that were brought before him, but God chose none of them. Instead, Samuel had Jesse bring in his youngest son, who was watching their sheep, and he, David, was the one chosen, despite his age.

Continue reading “Table Talk: Week of March 26, 2017”

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.

Continue reading “Adult Formation Journal: Holy Saturday”

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.

Continue reading “Family Ministries Update: March 2017”

Message from Fr Randolph: Adult Formation in Lent

The Season of Lent is a time for us to examine our commitment to Jesus Christ and take steps to be more intentional in our faith as we prepare for Holy Week, when we remember with our hearts the last week of Jesus in Jerusalem.

Our worship on Ash Wednesday asks us to do three things:

  1. examine the quality of our relationships with God and with the people in our lives, and ask God to lead us into reconciliation,
  2. practice activities that can move us deeper into our faith journeys, such as contemplative prayer, meaningful fasting, and releasing whatever stands in the way of a fuller faith in God, and
  3. study and pray God’s Word.

Continue reading “Message from Fr Randolph: Adult Formation in Lent”

Message from the Rector: March 2017

A Saturday or so ago, we gathered for a family movie night. We settled upon the movie, October Sky, based upon the book Rocket Boys. An interesting aside, the exact same letters that form “October Sky” also make up “Rocket Boys” (Try it and see).

The movie is about Homer H. Hickman, Jr. and his friends’ interest in building rockets, but it is about much more than that. In Coalwood, West Virginia life was pretty much tracked for you at a young age. If you were a boy growing up there, you attended school long enough to test your football acumen or settle for life working in the depleted coal mines.

Homer quickly established that football was not going to be his route out of Coalwood, but he was equally certain that life in the coal mine was not for him. As trapped as Homer felt in Coalwood, his friends’ tracks seemed even narrower, as their family systems were wrought with instability, alcoholism and abuse, or profound poverty.

Continue reading “Message from the Rector: March 2017”

Table Talk: Week of March 12, 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 summary, 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.

God Calls

This week Sunday School focused on the reading from Genesis, God calling Abraham. Our 3rd-5th graders encountered it for the first time, while our younger children had read this story earlier and revisited it.

The focus this week was on God’s directions to Abraham. God chose Abraham and Sarah to start his family. God’s call to Abraham directed him to leave his home, and everything familiar, and travel to a new land, with no assurance other than God’s word that all would be well. Abraham followed God’s directions, even though it wasn’t easy for him to do this. He trusted in God and his love for them.

Continue reading “Table Talk: Week of March 12, 2017”

UPDATE: Plan for Adult Formation in Lent

Dear Saint James’ Learners,

54 of you have already registered for our Lenten adult formation course, “Learning More about Jesus and Holy Week,” and we’ve got room for more.

Please scroll down to see the summary of what we plan to explore this season, or click here to download the syllabus

The course book, The Last Week, is fascinating; it explores the last week of Jesus using the Gospel according to Mark and other historical sources.

One possibility for you is to buy the book and study it, but a better option is to join a learning group for meaningful and facilitated conversation about Jesus’ last week and the ways we revisit that week through our Holy Week liturgies.

Continue reading “UPDATE: Plan for Adult Formation in Lent”

Plan for Adult Formation in Lent

“Learning More about Jesus and Holy Week”

March 5 – April 22


Study Book

The Last Week: A Day-by-Day Account of Jesus’ Final Week in Jerusalem by Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan

  • Using the Gospel according to Mark, the authors examine every day from Palm Sunday through Easter Day. The study book is available from Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats for less than $10. The parish is also placing a bulk order. Register for the course at the main bulletin board OR randolph@saintjameswarrenton.org and indicate if you need a book.

Continue reading “Plan for Adult Formation in Lent”

Adult Formation Journal: February 23

Dear Saint James’ Learners,

The next session is our last one for the season of Epiphany. I hope that all of you can attend one of the Sunday learning groups or the Tuesday learning group. Not only will we talk about the final two chapters (only 11 pages!) of our study book, but we will also look forward to the Lent course, “Learning More about Jesus and Holy Week.”

Scroll down to read the outline and study questions for our last discussion group.

Faithfully,

Randolph

Continue reading “Adult Formation Journal: February 23”

Table Talk: Week of February 19, 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.

Following God’s Laws

All of our children read about the laws that God gave Moses to share with his people. The central laws, the Ten Commandments, are still the basic rules Christians are expected to follow in their interactions with God and all people.

God did not say that these would be easy rules to follow, he knew that they would be hard, but he challenged his people to act always through love and to show that love through their actions.

Continue reading “Table Talk: Week of February 19, 2017”

Adult Formation Journal: February 18

Dear Saint James’ Learners,

If you haven’t read the assignment for tomorrow, fear not. If you haven’t attended the sessions lately, fear not. If you feel guilty, have lost interest, or don’t want to be singled out, fear not!

I hope that all of the 80 parishioners who registered for “Learning More about the New Testament” will attend at least one of the two remaining sessions, if not both. The focus of adult formation at St James’ is to know that God is always with us, to be in community, and to continue our journey of learning more about God and how to be more faithful disciples of Jesus. So, please, come to one of the learning groups this week and next week.

I will be covering the book material and facilitating meaningful conversation, and I will do my best to make each session an event in which you will move deeper in your faith and closer to your fellow parishioners.

Attached is the outline for tomorrow and information about adult formation in the season of Lent and Holy Week.

(scroll down for an outline of The New Testament chapter 9 study guide)

Faithfully,

Randolph

Continue reading “Adult Formation Journal: February 18”

CONNECTED Capital Campaign | February 12, 2017

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!

Continue reading “CONNECTED Capital Campaign | February 12, 2017”