Education for Ministry (EFM)
Education for Ministry (EFM) is a program of theological education for lay people developed by the School of Theology of the University of the South, one of the Episcopal Church’s accredited seminaries. Over the course of four years, EFM gives its participants a solid grounding in Old Testament, New Testament, church history, theology, ethics, liturgics, and spirituality. EFM develops the skills of theological reflection in a small group setting and helps participants to define their ministries in the church and the world. This group meets every Tuesday night from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm from September through June. The members of the group take turns leading worship and contributing topics for reflection.
The Absalom Jones Study Group
This Study Group is named after The Reverend Absalom Jones, who was born a slave in 1746 in Delaware, and who helped found the first Episcopal Church in the United States for African-Americans. He was also the first African-American to be ordained an Episcopal priest. His fight against racial oppression in the country at large and against racial discrimination in the Episcopal Church in particular is a testament of how persistent faith in God and in the Church can help us forge ahead as instruments of God.
This group's aim is to draw participants from the St. James' School, neighborhood communities, and all those within the Parish community who wish to engage in important discussions and study about race, culture and privilege with the goal of taking action within our communities.
Young Adult Prayer Group
Our once monthly gathering of young adults in their twenties and thirties for a light supper, conversation, and prayer. Check with the church office for time and place, as we meet in people's homes.
St. James Book Club was founded in 2004. We have always met on the fourth Sunday of the month, after the ten thirty service, sometimes in the library, or the meeting room upstairs, or in the evening, in a festive spirit, in people’s homes, combining our discussion with a delightful potluck dinner. Currently there are only three members, but we have had as many as twelve, and we consider suggestions for the next read from any one of our members. All are welcome to join us!
Centering Prayer Group
Centering Prayer is a method of silent prayer designed to help us to learn Contemplative Prayer. It is prayer in which we experience God's presence within us by preparing our minds and senses to receive this gift. Our group meets at 9:15 on Thursday mornings in the Chapel of the Resurrection. We begin with a brief reading from a text relating to Centering Prayer and its practice. Then we meditate silently for twenty minutes and conclude by offering a prayer aloud.
The Men’s Group is a loose-knit volunteer organization of men at Saint James’ who meet for monthly fellowship to explore their lives as Christians in this world. It welcomes the participation of each and every man in the parish. It provides a chance to get to know one another, and to engage with each other as members of this faith community. About fifty parishioners are on the mailing list. Each month about a dozen or so members from the Group gather at the home of one of the participants, for a social hour and dinner, followed by a general discussion. Conversation springs from a topic or brief reading contributed by a volunteer moderator, and often moves off in mysterious, sometimes hilarious, ways. In addition, each year has featured a weekend retreat.
As well as involvement in serveral of the parish ministries, each year the women of St. James’ embark on a local weekend spiritual retreat. A
Youth and Children
During the 10:30 service, our children meet in the parish hall for their own “Service of the Word,” which follows the readings heard in the “big church”. They engage in discussion, music or a craft related to the teaching. Afterward, they are reunited with their families in the church during Communion so that they can participate in and learn about traditional liturgy and worship.
Going with the premise that all children benefit when exposed to Christian formation, even our littlest ones get to participate. Childcare is offered in the Parish Hall during the 10:30 service alongside Sunday School. This not only affords parents easy accessibility to their children during the service if needed, but it also enables toddlers to mingle at their own leisure and participate in their own way with what is happening with Sunday School and the “bigger” kids.