This is the time of year that
we prepare to go back to school, or focus more seriously on work, or sign up for hockey or some other
sport. Some of us go back to the gym, or begin a hobby class offered at the community centre.
All of these have at least one
common trait: because they are important aspects of our lives, we put consistent, regular effort into participating so that we will benefit over time from the skills learned and the relationships developed.
I invite you to make the development of your spiritual self – whether as an individual, a couple, or a family – one of those endeavours in which you regularly participate.
At St James we offer opportunities for worship in large and small groups; learning for children and their parents; youth fellowship and spiritual exploration; adult learning and fellowship; and involvement in our local community.
Here is an early description of the practices of the first Christians: “They committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the life together, the common meal, and the prayers….and pooled their resources so that each person’s need was met.” (Acts 2:42, 45b – from ‘The Message’, a contemporary language version of the Bible)
No one ever became familiar with a new idea or was able to integrate a new skill with occasional exposure. Regular participation and practice makes it all more meaningful and useful.
Let us explore Christian practices together this fall.
* * *
Up and Coming…
September 4 – last 9:30 a.m. service
– Online Church School registration. Details will be posted to our website by September 5th.
September 11 –
Return to 8:15 a.m. & 10 a.m. services. “Kick off” for Church School classes at the 10 a.m. service. Confirmation Class participants and parents meet after 10 a.m. service.
September 21 –
“Welcome Back” Youth gathering
September 24 –
– Back to Church Sunday
October 2 –
Blessing of the Animals at 10 a.m service Fr. Ross and Rev. Nigel Shaw are putting together a plan for adult Christian education in the near future. Check the Sunday pew bulletins for further information.
* * *
Youth (ages 12 and over) and adult classes will start in September.
The confirmation service is on January 29, 2012. Please contact the office by Thursday, September 8th if you are interested in participating.
“Back to Church Sunday”
This year on September 25th, St. James the Apostle will be joining many other Churches in Canada and Worldwide to participate in “Back to Church Sunday”.
You might well ask “What is Back to Church Sunday anyway?”
“Back to Church Sunday” was founded in 2004 in England by a man who had serious concerns about declining Church attendance, and he wanted to do something about the issue. The idea is to encourage Church members to attend and invite others to worship with them. “Back to Church Sunday” has grown rapidly inter- denominationally on a Worldwide basis.
We know you will want to be with us on September 25 for worship and fellowship as we join churches around the World in celebration of our Christian faith. We will be providing a light lunch after the 10.00 a.m. service, and coffee and treats after the 8:15 a.m. service.
We look forward to seeing you on the 25th!
* * *
Opportunities to Give…
A new coffee sign-up sheet will be on the bulletin board on the right side facing the kitchen in Tomkins Hall downstairs. If you are new to the parish, why not consider signing up to help prepare coffee for fellowship after the 10 a.m. service? Just write “new” beside your name and someone will help you out on your first day.
School Supplies Needed (Outreach)
If you are able to donate any of the following to help out our family, please drop them off this Sunday, August 28th.
– (2) backpacks, (2) lunch bags & (2) thermos (for an 11 yr old girl and a 12 yr old boy)
Also, if you have gently used “back to school clothing” for girls (size 8 or 10) or boys (size 12, 14-16 or adult small) donations would be gratefully accepted.
(All items will be distributed early next week.)
* * *
To those who
what they are given,
even more will be given, and they
will have an abundance.
But from those
who do nothing,
even what little
will be taken
Matthew 25 v:29-30
* * *
Gifts to the
to those members
of the congregation
who have donated to
the drought relief
effort in Africa.
To date, over $2,200
has been collected
and sent to PWRDF (Primates World Relief and
It has been about five years since St James’ parish last engaged in a re-visioning/renewal process. That work has served us well, and continues to provide a structure for how we think about our life and ministry as a faith community.
The city approval of new housing developments and the arrival of our new priest last November have provided us a good opportunity to seriously consider what God is calling us to be and to do for the next few years.
After Father Ross had been here for 6 months plans were made for the Parish Council to spend a couple of days to work on a preliminary framework to guide Parish Renewal. Led by Father Ross, this was a time of facilitated conversations, prayer, reflection and laughter as we shared with each other ideas and dreams for St James. The discussions focused on four main topics:
Core Values of St James
Core Purpose of St James
Current Environment in which we function, and our associated Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats
Grand Vision for this parish, looking forward 10-15 years.
This was just a beginning. Since late June, when the Parish Council Retreat was held, a Steering Committee has been selected to help guide the process so that we are all involved in the discussions and decision-making. The members of the Steering Committee are Ron Brophy, Myra Conway, Janet Harris-Campbell, Spruce Riordon, and Roger Soler along with Father Ross.
The process so far looks like this:
Steering committee meets (Sept. 11) to prepare material for Parish Council
Parish Council meets (Sept. 20) to review preliminary statements of parish’s core values, core purpose and vision in preparation for sharing these with the parish for review and discussion
Draft statements of parish’s core values, core purpose, and vision shared with the parish as a whole through the newsletter (Sept. 22) in preparation for a parish-wide discussion at a Town Hall meeting; initial feedback solicited.
Steering committee meets (Oct 16) to prepare for Town Hall meeting.
Parish Town Hall Meeting (Oct 23) to discuss Core Statements.
Long-range process…. we will continue this process using the Steering Committee, Parish Council, solicited input/feedback from the parish, and Town Hall meetings to discern our vision and generate concrete action plans for realizing that vision. We expect to have a draft of our action plan ready for presentation at the Annual Vestry meeting, the end of February, 2012.
We invite you to be part of this exciting renewal process … and the living out of our vision in the years to come.