- St. James Episcopal Church
S t. J a m e s pa r i s h
Rector’s Report 2015 on the Second Sunday after Epiphany
The Rev. Vanessa E. B. Clark
1 Sam 3:10 Now the LORD came and stood there, calling as before, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’
And Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’
St. James Episcopal Church after 191 years is a Spirit-filled gathering of friends of Jesus Christ. Maybe that’s an odd way of describing a traditional Episcopal parish. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary a parish is, “1. the ecclesiastical unit of an
area committed to one pastor…2. a local church community composed of the members
or constituents of a Protestant church.”
We are so much more than a parish. The addresses in our directory are broader than a
narrow unit of geography. We extend past our constituents, beyond members-in-goodstanding. St. James intentionally folds in members, volunteers, diners, scouts, Psalms
to Praise parish and other groups.
In this issue:
For many decades, parish vitality was discerned by average Sunday attendance (ASA)
and the number of giving households. These were fairly accurate for a time. The common thinking was: more people on Sunday morning meant better worship and more
mission; more giving households meant financial stability. When either decreases,
even a little, these numbers can incite panic and despair in clergy and lay leaders.
St. James has had a dip in both. Is our vitality draining? Let’s look at the evidence.
We create community sharing the love of Christ: nurturing mind, body and soul.
Parishioner focused activities:
• Choir of over 20 people
Acolyte/Lector/Eucharistic Minister Corps of 36, 11 Ushers, 11 Al- •
tar Guild workers
and 6 Eucharistic Visitors*
Five classes of Sunday School for
ages 3 – 93
Education for Ministry 9-month
course 8 participants and 2 coleaders
Advent Contemplative Prayer
Study of 11 people
Youth Group with 10 active members
Lunch program team every 3rd
Monday dinner team every week
Lunch Program Volunteer Appreciation Event
Christmas Lessons and Carols
Sunday School Easter Pageant
New community relationship:
• Newly a morning emergency warming center on
legal holidays and Sundays
Beatlemania Dinner and Show
St. James Day Concert
Charter Cub Scout Pack #3150 and Boy Scout
Celebration for the ministry of The Rev. Pete Nielsen: 10 years as [our] deacon, just in time to be ordained to the priesthood
Hosted a Cleveland Food Bank Food Safety Certification Training
Gingerbread-house Sunday School Fundraiser:
15 children made 5 houses earning $180 for Forbes
House Domestic Violence Shelter
Host Tuesday dinners every week
3 weeks with St. Gabriel Catholic Community and
1 with Painesville Rotary Club
On top of these, we maintain the 30-year Lunch Program feeding thousands of our hungry neighbors with dedicated
partners in 14 parishes and 4 other groups. We pulled off our typically packed calendar of Fellowship events. Finally, we made payroll every month and kept the lights and heat on without knocking on doors asking for extra cash.
Sounds like we’re vibrant.
Dips in attendance and committed giving are troubling. We are primarily a community for the praise of God, not a
social service agency and we’re in this together: the space and music and events and staff are paid for by you and
me, not mystical pots of gold. Making it to worship and giving to St. James’ finances help sustain all these vibrant
things we do. That isn’t why your priest is asking you to recommit.
Every member’s attendance at worship is vitally important – for every member’s soul. Worship isn’t for you or me
or personal fulfillment. Worship is for God. Our Common Prayer knits our souls together asking for Divine inspiration and protection. Your prayers may lift up a member whose soul is despairing and your pain might be healed
through the worship of another. Invoking the Holy Spirit over these elements is a sacred duty transforming the
world to the Kingdom of God.
Every member’s pledge and contribution is vitally important – for every member’s soul. Giving materially to God
through your faith community is an opportunity to offer tangible gratitude for life. It aids us in reorienting our
heart’s relationship with money: nothing we have we gained alone, all gifts -- money and abilities -- flow through
God. Sustaining that amazing list of ministry and events with contributions and volunteering changes the world,
changes us and preserves us from sin.
Shifting our treasure – time, money, abilities – to our community of faith brings our heart closer to the Holy Spirit.
When you are more present to the Holy Spirit, the Spirit’s presence is closer to you.
Let us keep room in our prayers for God’s direction and let us offer our lives to respond: Speak, for your servant is
"Parish." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2015. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/parish>.
February Birthdays and Anniversaries
February Wedding Anniversaries
02/14 Jim & Linda Krizek
02/23 Mark & Vanessa Clark
Coffee Hour Hosts for February
Marge Rutherford & Jeff Mace
Nancy Bennett & Phyllis Cooper
Dave Webster & Loretta Ferguson
Scott & Sally Hewis
Jim & Doris Oberg
Bill & Kathy Dobda
Derick & Irene Riley
Steve & Jennifer Webster
Dave Webster & Loretta Ferguson
Patty Norman & Rose Lonser
Dear St. James family,
I was deeply touched at how many of you were able to be at my Ordination. I was also
honored to be invited by Mother Vanessa to celebrate, and to preach, with you at my
first Eucharist. As if that was not enough, the dinner put on in my honor on Sunday
evening was a wonderful time of sharing. I recently received a monetary gift from all
of you that I will use to defray the expenses of my Vestments. Using your gift in this
way helps me to remember you all in prayer each time that I put them on to serve at he
Altar. This makes sense to me as you have all contributed to my discernment and new
calling in some way and I am truly grateful for your continued friendship. Please continue to keep me in your prayers as I move forward. It is official now that I will be the
full time Priest-in-Charge at St. Peter Church in Ashtabula and, in the short-term, I will
be working with the diocese, as I am needed, to help in the transition of the camp and
retreat ministry to the new site in Wakeman, Ohio.
Thank you all for your gifts, your prayers and your love over the past twenty-two
years. I am very grateful to all of you and you will remain in my prayer.
Fr. Peter Nielsen
A grateful thank you to the Eucharistic Ministers who visit Dick and me and give us
Communion. Not only do we receive the
Body and Blood of Christ, but also the heart
and soul of St. James.
What a blessing we receive!
Barbara and Dick Denner
"I like not only to be loved, but also to be told I am loved."
15 St. James s— 16
12:15 & 7:00
St. James in Partnership with Painesville Rotary
Shrove Tuesday Community Pancake Dinner
February 17, 2015
The community dining hour will be from
5:00—6:00, with additional dining from
6:15-7:30 for those who cannot attend
Stay tuned for more details!
Mission and Outreach Committee to Meet
The Mission and Outreach Committee will be meeting on Sunday, February 15, 2015 after the 10:30
a.m. service in the Guild Room to discuss projects and to approve funding allocations for
2015. Even if you have never been involved with the Outreach Committee, please prayerfully consider joining us for this important meeting.
We will begin planning a number of outreach mission projects for 2015 that we will take on as a Parish in the coming months. Your contributions to this important sharing of ideas and discernment
process is most welcome!
Each year the committee also receives funding allocations from two sources: the St. James Foundation, earmarked and restricted to local mission and outreach projects - and through quarterly giving
envelope donations, which are unrestricted. The committee will discuss the local and global mission
projects we will recommend to Vestry to fund with these donations in 2015.
Please join us on February 15th!
A Website Request
The administrators of the St. James website would like to hear from
you! Our goal is to have a website that attracts newcomers and is
also useful for members of St. James. If you haven't visited the site,
please take a moment to check it out. The link is http://
www.stjamesoh.org/. We welcome your feedback and ideas as we
continue to develop the site and add content. Are there features
you'd like to see? Content you would like to have published? Did you
find something that needs to be fixed? Please contact Linda
McConnell ([email protected]) or Phyllis Harbor
Women's Fellowship Guild to Meet
Please join us in the Guild Room on Sunday, February 8th after
the 10:30am service
for our next meeting. We will be continuing our discussion of
various upcoming events.
Looking forward to seeing you on February 8th!
Alice Griffith & Patty Norman
Gingerbread House a Huge Success!
During the Christmas season Deb Remington and Margie
Ladd offered their time, talent and treasure to the children of St. James and hosted a cookie decorating and ginger bread house making party in the church undercroft. It
was a joy to see the children working together in groups,
thoughtfully planning and discussing how to design and
decorate their gingerbread house.
The goal of the cookie design party...apart from having
fun…was to raise funds for a charity of the children’s
choosing. The children in a very democratic way casted
their vote on one of three possible charities and Forbes House received the majority vote.
Four beautiful gingerbread houses were put up for auction after the December 20th
10:30am service and four lucky winners walked away with some very pricey but beautiful gingerbread houses and the children raised $180 for Forbes House. On January 25th, the Director of Forbes House will visit the Sunday school class to receive the donation. Kudos to
the children of St. James…you rock!
Heartfelt thanks to Deb and Margie for your kindness,
generosity and the time put into making this a tremendous success!
Lastly, we must thank all the parents who volunteered
at the event and the Sunday school teachers who
helped to keep the children on task.
God is good—all the time.
All the time—God is good.
EARLY (9:00 am) Volunteers
are NEEDED to help on the St.
James team the third Sunday of
Next scheduled services,
Dawn Dish Detergent
February 15 and March 15
Leadership positions in various capacities
within the Lunch Program are available.
Please contact Nancy Walsh
to explore opportunities. [email protected] or 440.488.9094
The members of the Lunch Program teams thank you
for your generous financial and pantry support.
Worship Schedule February-March
February 1 Epiphany 4 Green 8 AM Holy Eucharist Rite I; 10:30 AM Holy Eucharist Rite II
February 8 Epiphany 5 Green 8 AM Holy Eucharist Rite I; 10:30 AM Holy Eucharist Rite II
February 15 Epiphany 6 Green 8 AM Holy Eucharist Rite I; 10:30 AM Holy Eucharist Rite II
February 18 Ash Wednesday Purple 12:15 PM and 7:00 PM
Holy Eucharist Rite II with Imposition of Ashes
February 22 Lent 1 Purple 8 AM Holy Eucharist Rite I; 10:30 AM Holy Eucharist Rite II
Lent 2 Purple 8 AM Holy Eucharist Rite I; 10:30 AM Holy Eucharist Rite II
Lent 3 Purple 8 AM Holy Eucharist Rite I; 10:30 AM Holy Eucharist Rite II
March 15 Lent 4 Purple 8 AM Holy Eucharist Rite I; 10:30 AM Holy Eucharist Rite II
March 22 Lent 5 Purple 8 AM Holy Eucharist Rite I; 10:30 AM Holy Eucharist Rite II
March 29 Palm Sunday/Passion of Our Lord Red
8 AM Holy Eucharist Rite I Blessing of the Palms
10:30 AM Holy Eucharist Rite II Procession of the Palms
Congratulations to the following parishioners who were elected by the Parish at the
Annual Meeting, held on January 18th!
Jeff Mace (1 year)
Life Guide Adult Study –
“How long, Oh God, how long?”
The Life Guide Adult Study Group is connuing to meet in the Chapel.
Beginning February 1 we start exploring Waing for God. We spend
much of our life waing. For healing for ourselves or a friend. For a
wayward daughter to return to God. For a new job. For marriage, and
children and grandchildren. Somemes the waing can cause us to feel
stuck, or forgo'en by God. But waing me is not wasted me. This study will help us
draw near to God as we wait, inving us to rest in God’s ming, God’s work and God’s
love for us.
Please come join us in the Chapel, Sundays at 9:30am for some free ﬂowing, though/ul
discussion. Remember, you do not need to commit to the enre 8 week series; feel free
to join us when you can.
Lenten Evening Program –
The Great Divorce: Feb 23 – March 30 (6 weeks)
Join us on a bus ride to Heaven as we meet some inhabitants of Hell who
are being given the opportunity to view Heaven and decide if they want to
You will be surprised at some of the choices they make and why. C. S. Lewis wrote The Great Divorce as a serial piece for The Guardian, during 1944 and 45. It is a theological fantasy focused on
the conception of Heaven and Hell. We will meet on Monday evenings at 7PM in the Guild Room.
Our first session (February 23rd) will be an introduction to the book and an overview of the schedule.
The Great Divorce is available through Amazon (Used $3.46 and up, new $11.65), Barnes & Noble
(Used $4.53 and up, new $11.53), AbeBooks.com (Used $3.48 and up), Nook ($9.99), Kindle
(through Amazon $3.99). Also, there will be a reserve copy (or two) in St. James Library if you prefer not to purchase the book. You can spend a few minutes after church or during the week reading
the chapter(s) for the weekly session.
Please let me know if you plan on attending. There will be a sign-up sheet just outside the Undercroft as you come down from church or you can email me at [email protected] so I will know how
many to expect.
The Fellowship Planning Group met on January 25th to begin planning a
number of events for 2015.
Some of the highlights:
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