Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Once again, we find ourselves on the precipice of a very full and active time in our life together at St. James, as Lent is just around the corner. I am writing today to encourage you to participate in any or all of the following events, as you are able. Remember, your participation matters! You are important to the life of St. James, and I hope St. James is important to your life in faith as well.
This year, Lent starts this Wednesday, March 6, two days from today. As you begin to contemplate how you will observe this Lenten season, here are a few resources and options to consider:
Commit to Come: Many of you will remember that, in my report at the Annual Meeting, I challenged the congregation to commit to come to church. Lent is the perfect time to step into this challenge. Special services of note:
Ash Wednesday, March 6: Services at 7:30 a.m. and noon are without music, while the 5:30 p.m. service will have music. If you are unable to join us due to travel or work, then find the closest Episcopal church to attend for this service.
First Sunday in Lent, March 10: Our guest preacher will be the Rev. Morgan Allen, one of my personal mentors, and we will observe the Great Litany at all services to mark the beginning of our Lenten journey together.
Third Sunday in Lent, March 24: Our guest preacher will be the Rev. Janet Vincent (see Lenten Quiet Day, below)
Holy Week & Easter: Please see future announcements for all Holy Week service times. However, please note that service times on Easter Sunday will be 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m. (with flowering of the cross), 11:00 a.m., and 5:00 p.m.
Daily Meditation & Reflection: Perhaps it has been your practice to follow the devotional booklet, Day By Day, always available for free pick-up from the church or church offices. Here is a list of online resources that might also interest you:
Fast: You can abstain wholly or partially from something for the purpose of spiritual growth. As a spiritual practice, fasting is an act of contrition, cleansing, and preparation. Part of fasting is to focus on God in those times you long for the thing from which you are fasting.
Acts of Piety: You can also take on an action that helps you grow spiritually, as we seek for actions to become habits and, in turn, habits to become virtues. For instance, you might Commit to Come, as mentioned above, attend Sunday School, do a daily devotional, join a Bible Study, or participate in acts of charity and outreach (e.g., Hearty Breakfast on Sunday, March 31, at 8:00 a.m. in Bishops Hall for our neighbors on the streets and in local shelters).
Lenten Quiet Day: Consider a morning to slow down and take in the message of Lent in a deeper way by meditating on the theme, "Light in the Darkness." Join us on Saturday, March 23 from 9:00 a.m. until noon for a silent retreat led by the Rev. Janet Vincent. Janet was a chaplain at the World Trade Center immediately after 9/11. She will use excerpts from her journal of that time as she explores questions of doubt, faith, hope, and companionship. You can register HERE.
Gumbo: Our Lenten Friday Gumbo lunches, started in 1951, have now been tradition for generations. They are truly an occasion for fellowship and hospitality, and, a great opportunity to invite a family member, neighbor, and/or friend to come to St. James. Join us every Friday for lunch, from March 8 through April 12, between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Volunteers are also always needed. See our weekly emails and bulletins for more details.
Bowling Night: Halfway through the Lenten season, the whole church family (all ages) is invited to an evening of bowling at All Star Lanes, from 6:00 'til 8:00 p.m. on Friday, March 29. Register for this fellowship event HERE.
Each Ash Wednesday, we are invited to observe a holy Lent as we prepare our hearts and souls for the coming Easter celebration. I invite you to be mindful and intentional in how you will observe Lent this year. Thank you for all that you do for St. James and may this next season in our life together be full of grace and love.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thank you to everyone who joined us yesterday for our 2019 Annual Meeting. There was a lot of good information shared and we want to ensure everyone has an opportunity to stay informed. Here are various materials from the meeting:
Please do not hesitate to call or email if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for all that you do for St. James.