Every day The Almighty gives you an opportunity to grow deeper in your relationship with God and to discern how The Spirit wants you to spread the word through the kingdom. At St. James', we offer many opportunities for you to discern this and show you are Living God's Love.
St. James’ offers a variety of scripture based programs that nourish, inspire and enlighten the congregation’s hunger for the Word of God and celebrate God’s love for us.
In our Sunday Church School program, grades K-5, children gather in a one-room schoolhouse setting. Since fall 2017, we have used a program called Godly Play to enable the children to see the Bible as the living Word of God. Each Sunday lesson starts with the Church calendar/season and the Church School lesson is topical for that season. Typically, the teacher reads a parable and then uses materials of various textures, colors, shapes and sizes to create a visual picture of each biblical topic or story, with lively discussion, questions and answers. The group is encouraged to recreate the story using hands-on methods such as drawing, play doh, and role-playing.
Our Church School students are also welcomed to participate in the Choristers Youth Choir and the Youth Hand Bell Ringers. These musical groups often perform during the 10 AM service. The participation of parents and mentors is encouraged and is vital in the continued enhancement of the children’s spiritual growth.
The Youth Program, grades 6 through 12, encourages young people to put their faith into action through service to the Church as acolytes, ushers, lectors, working in the community at large, and in going on Appalachian Service Project mission trips.
In addition to Sunday worship services, there are several opportunities for adult members of St. James’ to grow in their walk with God. For example, our Growing in Faith Ministry has hosted in-depth studies on the Lord’s Prayer, the Baptismal Covenant, and the Nicene Creed. These studies have enriched our faith and brought us in tune with Episcopal traditions. Bible Study is held weekly. Currently, attendees are delving into the scriptures from the Sunday services and various Bible translations, reading each lesson twice while choosing phrases or words that stand out to each person. Discussions are often profound and reinforce the realization of how much God loves us, as Jesus commands in His Word, “…love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34).
Our Bible studies draw us into deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. Occasional whole-church book studies, such as “Waking Up White” by Debby Irving, give us the opportunity to engage in the Episcopal Church’s current national conversation of racial divides and opportunities for reconciliation. “The Cost of Discipleship”, and “Life Together” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer reveal the strength of the Christian faith. Finally, our Growing in Faith Ministry has committed to having several movie fellowship nights each year, which have so far included ‘Bonhoeffer: Agent of Grace’, ‘All Saints’, and ‘Greenbook’.
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. 2Peter 3:18