I am privileged to share a bit about what my connection to St James has meant in my life. In doing so, I honor the generous spirit that thrives here.
In the fall of 2013, two friends invited me to come with them to an early Thursday morning service in the St James’ chapel. Environmental stewardship was among the topics to be addressed during the discussion that followed the sermon. Approximately twenty people were present. There was an easy give and take of ideas. The group seemed to be very inclusive with no rules of engagement or hidden agendas. The whole environment seemed to be one of mutual trust and caring. Ben invited us to come again.
At that point, Ed and I were trying to figure “where to from here?” Having lived forty minutes north near Fairfax for over thirty years, we had recently moved to Warrenton. We hadn’t been energetic about finding a new church family. Adjusting to being fully retired – away from old friends and familiar routines – was more challenging than we had imagined it would be.
Setting aside Thursday mornings as a peaceful time of quiet thought in the chapel has added a new dimension to our lives. It has also connected us with other programs at St. James. The breakfast discussions often raise thought-provoking questions that I mull over later. Sharing spiritual matters over a long period of time has led to friendships that I cherish. I love our Thursday morning group!
The folks we’ve met in this church are wonderful. The first time we attended a Sunday service, we were warmly greeted by a gracious couple who later took us to the Parish Hall for coffee. They also gave us information about church sponsored programs and activities. At a glance, we could readily see that St James’ outreach is substantial.
Our spiritual leaders are extraordinary people. Ben and Lyn are both very gifted communicators. Their complimentary strengths enhance Christian education for all.
We are fortunate to have talented members within our congregation who present programs and classes. We benefit from their expertise. Last week’s Evensong Service is a recent example. Jesse and the choirs obviously prepared extensively for that delightful evening. If you were not present, you missed a treat.
On a lighter note, we love the Cafe! It’s a delicious way to visit between services.
St James’ is a healthy, supportive and joyful community of searchers. Caring relationships serve those in need – both here and also beyond these walls. Treating others with the same level of respect, care and concern that we wish for ourselves is our intention.
St James’ has a rich 200-year-old tradition of interpreting God’s love in the world. I treasure my connection with this vibrant congregation and with the memory of those who preceded us.
During this season of gratitude, we do indeed have much for which to be thankful.