by randolph charles
The way we pray shapes the way we believe is a core principle in Anglican worship. That’s why it’s so important to be intentional about our liturgical prayer. Is what we say and do in corporate worship encouraging our spiritual growth? Is it both challenging and nurturing us as disciples of Jesus? Is it building us up as a faith community and preparing us to be sent into the world to do God’s ministry? Let’s talk about it.
Continue reading “Worship Notes: Praying Shapes Believing”
Eager to love; Chapter five, “Contemplation: A Different Way of Knowing”
Quote from page 61-62
I believe the very foundation of what we mean by holiness or, in this case, mysticism, is that [Francis and Clare] knew and loved from a different source; they knew by participation in a Larger Knowing that many of us call God. Or, as Paul says, “They knew as fully as they were known” ( 1 Corinthians 13:12)
This kind of shared knowing, which is nothing but full consciousness is what many of us mean by contemplation. True contemplatives surrender some of their own ego boundaries and identity so that God can see through them, with them, and in them – with a larger pair of eyes. It is quite simply a higher level of seeing, and, if you do not like the religious language, you can just call it consciousness, or deep consciousness. But you still have to let go of your small, egoic self to get there (John 12:24). “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
- What could you let go of and how could you let go in order for you to experience a closer union with God?
Continue reading “Notes on Chapter 5: Learning More about St Francis and Creation”
Lectio divina is an ancient form of Christian contemplative prayer that focuses on the “holy reading” of Scripture as a means of moving deeper into the presence and love of God. Lectio divina with Creation follows the same prayer pattern but uses God’s Creation instead of God’s Word to experience the love of God.
Continue reading “Lectio Divina with Creation”
“The people stand or kneel.” – Book of Common Prayer, page 362
by Norma Thatcher
I began attending the Episcopal Church in 1986.
Having been raised as a Methodist, I didn’t quite get the standing, kneeling, genuflecting, crossing of oneself, etc. I simply followed the lead of those around me, just as visitors to Saint James’ do currently.
Continue reading “Personal Reflection: Why I Stand to Pray in Church”
“The people kneel or stand.” – Book of Common Prayer, page 334
by Ninie Laing
Everyone should feel comfortable doing what seems appropriate for her own spiritual growth. I am a visual person, easily distracted by the scene around me. If I stand to pray with my eyes open, I am tempted to focus on my surroundings and not my inner dialogue with God.
Continue reading “Personal Reflection: Why I Kneel for the Prayers”
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”
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”
Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. – Book of Common Prayer, page 221
Continue reading “Maundy Thursday: Collect & Scriptures”
Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. –Book of Common Prayer, page 220
Continue reading “Monday in Holy Week: Collect & Scriptures”
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”
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.
Continue reading “Holy Week Service Schedule & Notes”
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”
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”
“Learning More about Jesus and Holy Week”
March 5 – April 22
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate if you need a book.
Continue reading “Plan for Adult Formation in Lent”
It is a proven fact that we grow in our faith when we do three things:
- read and study the Bible daily, whether it is one verse, one chapter, or more,
- pray daily, whether it is ten minutes of being still and quiet with God, one hour of contemplation, or praying throughout the day,
- apply faith principles to our daily lives, whether it is occasionally or often.
I have attached the two latest Daily Meditations from Richard Rohr:
His topic is contemplative prayer. Granted, it’s counterintuitive and not the way most people pray, but anyone can learn a method of contemplative prayer. It may be the most important step we can take to grow spiritually in this age. I welcome your comments and questions at Randolph@saintjameswarrenton.org.
Things to pray for:
- Safety on the worksite
- For the YMO students, staff, and residents of the house(s) to discover or strengthen their relationship with God
- That the community would be able to see God’s presence in the work of the YMO students
- That the YMO students’ relationships with God would continue throughout their lives and not wear off after the trip
- That our work has a positive impact on the community and the residents of the house(s)
- That the parishioners of St. Paul’s and St. James will feel connected to what we are doing on the mission trip, especially for the prayer chain to be connected to the mission trip.
(suggestions from Susan Jeffries)
Continue reading “2016 Missions Trip Prayer Suggestions”