• Peace in the New Year

    Dear Family of Faith at St. James,

    Now, in the midst of the twelve days of Christmas, we turn our calendars to a New Year—2016!! We are drawn to celebrate the light that has come into this world! It is the light no darkness can extinguish. Christmas continues to impact the world holding Good News for all humanity! Just as the shepherds and Magi were draw to this One who comes as the Prince of Peace, so it is that our Lord does not see cultures or people of various religious background or economic status as excluded from this Good News. We are drawn to worship this living God who weeps with those who suffer in violent circumstances, with those who have lost much in natural disasters, those who are ill or grieving, homeless or alone. This God brings joy, lifting our thoughts and hearts to a vision that goes beyond the fatalistic concerns of “the way things are’. We have hope as we are drawn to the One who is the Prince of Peace this New Year, 2016!

    And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, . . . . .this One, born among us, full of grace and truth.

    A peace-filled New Year be with each one!

    - with Christ’s love,
    Pr. Suzanne Morelli

  • A light that no darkness can overcome

    Dear Family of Faith at St. James,

    It is at this darkest time of the year within the northern hemisphere that we gather to celebrate the true light that has come into the world. This is a light that no darkness can overcome. As difficult as it is to hear of so much senseless violence taking place across the globe; there is still reason to be filled with hope by the One who entered even the most violent of places within our worlds and brings true light and depth of love. This is life changing!

    Advent, is the hopeful and wonder-filled season, marking a new year! The themes center on the presence of Christ—Christ has come, is now come and will come again!! You may notice that the lessons of this first two weeks of Advent bring to bear the promise of Christ’s coming again. Often these words of Scripture need to be unwrapped to get at the meaning of courage, strength and hope for the days in which we live.

    This perspective is a gift to us. Advent helps us to be patient for the promises of God to be fulfilled, and to be busy sharing the presence of Christ already active. Take some moments to look up these verses and hold on to these promises through this early part of Advent and for the days that unfold - Jeremiah 33: 14-15, Isaiah 11: 1-16, Zechariah 3: 8-10, 6: 9-15. Let us hold Christ’s hope, peace, joy and love for one another and the world around us this Advent. We lift those who suffer, and endure hardship; for one another as we grow in faith and Christ’s love in our life together; for various arenas in our communities, our nation and our world.

    We are amidst sharing the Advent/Christmas events and programs planned at St. James and within our wider community. Take a look inside this newsletter for details on the various events as The True Meaning of Christmas—Display, Breakfast with St. Nick; Christmas Caroling; leading to Christmas Eve, Thursday, December 24th:

    7 pm—family oriented service with special music, communion and candle-light (All children are welcome to take part in the nativity with costumes available in the parlor. See more details in the newsletter).

    11 pm—leading to the midnight hour, special music communion and candle-light.

    Come Let Us Adore Him—We worship the Light of the World who has come among us!

    The true peace of Advent and deep love of Christmas fill your hearts and give you strength,
    Pr. Suzanne

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    A month of commitment and strengthening

    Dear Family of Faith at St. James,

    October, a month of commitment and strengthening of spirit amidst the beauty of our afghan blanketed hills and valleys, is coming to a close. We shared in a great time together at the Fall Family Fishing Picnic on October 4th with many catching fish, enjoying games as pumpkin bocce, engaging together in an appropriate devotion with tackle box in hand— “thanks Hayden”, and lots of delicious dishes for all to enjoy!! “We so appreciate your time and energy bringing this together, Sandy and Carrie!!” The month included baptism and wedding celebrations, and the preparation for Confirmation Celebration on Reformation Sunday. They all did well on their written ’tests’ the week before Confirmation Celebration. Many shared in their own words the meaning of their faith and relationship to God in Christ, relationship with others, including their faith community, friends, creation and the world around them. “Thank you” to James Saints encouraging our youth as they grow through the years, and as they have much to share with us! The reception was a joyous occasion honoring the Confirmands and their families!! “Thank you Wendy, Bev and all who helped bring this reception together!” We are still hearing the comments about the incredible cupcakes!!

    We give thanks for God’s renewing Spirit active in our day and all generations! Martin Luther learned the power of God’s living word, and clearly it impacted his life and the world through him, for the sake of the Gospel. We were able to hear the scripture in the words of the Confirmands on Reformation Sunday at St. James. The promises of God are enduring and alive for our day! The commitments of faith, friendship and love in action continue to impact our lives and our world for the sake of the Gospel!

    The coming Sunday, All Saints, is a time to remember all who have influenced our faith and life, expressing gratitude for those who have reflected Christ through their living. This includes remembering those who have gone before us especially within this past year at St. James. They are: Kay Swivel, Norma Corle, Gladys Grubb, Rose Henderson and Judy Hefright. A white rose in memory of each one will be present on the altar during worship. All Saints also includes those present among us who encourage the light and love of Christ to make a difference through the gift of God’s grace given to each one, - - thus, the name—”James Saints”!

    Remembering Confirmands and All Saints through this time, we hold this portion of scripture, together as a family of faith . . .

    “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens together with the saints and members of the household of God.” Ephesian 2:19

    Blessings of remembrance, thanksgiving and renewing love in Christ.

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