Here are a couple of photos from Graduation Sunday which took place on June 15, 2014.
Welcome to St. James the Less
We welcome you to join with us for worship at any of our services.
|Sunday||8:00 am||Holy Eucharist|
|10:00 am||Holy Eucharist with Choir|
|10:00 am||Friendship Table & Nursery Care|
|Wednesday||9:00 am||Holy Eucharist|
|8:00 pm||Bible Study|
News and Events
By Fr. Tom Newcomb
At the end of April, twenty-three parishioners and friends left with Lee Ann and me from New York for a ten-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land — the land where Jesus lived. It was an amazing and wonderful journey.
It is always a challenge to share the significance of a pilgrimage like the one we took. Pilgrimages are a special kind of journey rooted deep in the fabric of the spiritual lives of those who seek God. They have been taking place from time immemorial – since Abraham, through the Exodus, down through Jesus, St. Helena, St. Francis, and countless others. As Christians, we hear the scriptures read, we study their meaning, and we look at paintings of the Old and New Testaments, but going to Israel and walking where the patriarchs, prophets, and Jesus himself walked brings the events of the Bible to life vividly. To see the same hills, rivers, and plains that Jesus saw and to hear his words read where he spoke them draws us closer to him. When pilgrims return and share what they have seen, it clarifies their experiences and gives others a vivid glimpse of the places they have heard about all their lives in the scriptures.
We stayed the first five nights in Jerusalem, then two nights in Nazareth, and then two more nights in Jerusalem. Jerusalem was amazing and wonderful — but also very intense. It is an active city that is home to Palestinian Arabs, secular and religious Jews, and Christians of various churches and denominations. From a political point of view, Jerusalem is complicated. Both its long history and its present day life are of monumental significance to three of the world’s religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. At the center is the old walled city which has Christian, Jewish, and Muslim quarters. East Jerusalem is mostly Arab, while the Western areas are mostly Jewish.
Important historical sites are everywhere. The most important site for the Jews is the Western Wall, the only portion of the great Temple left after centuries of conflict. For Christians, the focus is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher which is built over the traditional site of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. For Muslims, the Dome of the Rock, situated above the Western Wall, is the place where Mohamed is believed to have ascended on a night journey to heaven to bring back messages from God. It also contains the rock on which Jews and Christians believe Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac, and Muslims believe Abraham was willing to sacrifice Ishmael.
We were led by Canon Iyad Qumri, a Palestinian Christian from Jerusalem. We stayed at the guest house on the grounds of St. George’s Anglican Cathedral. Since it would be impossible to visit all the important sites and since we were Christian pilgrims, our time was focused on the sites associated with the life of Jesus. We visited the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and the Garden of Gethsemane, and we walked the route Jesus walked on Palm Sunday.
Outside Jerusalem, we went to the West Bank, which is the portion of Palestine that was captured and occupied by Israel in the 1967 War, and which is home to over two million Palestinians. Since the Second Intifada (the Palestinian uprising between 2000-2005), the State of Israel has built a series of walls and fences separating the occupied territories from Israel proper. It was sad to see those walls, and we felt the sorrow that they have brought. Although only seven miles from Jerusalem, Bethlehem, which has been Christian since before the fourth century, is in the Occupied Territories, and it was heart breaking to see the huge concrete walls surrounding it today – the same walls Pope Francis prayed at two weeks after our visit. There we prayed for peace and for a just resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In the evenings we heard guest speakers who spoke from contemporary Palestinian, Muslim, and Israeli perspectives.
When we visited Galilee in the north, the atmosphere was very different from Jerusalem, and we enjoyed the change. Galilee is beautiful, fertile, and compared to crowded Jerusalem, I found it exhilarating. In addition to seeing Nazareth and the other important biblical sights of Galilee, we visited Shefa Amre, and Arab-Israeli town, and met Father Faud Dagher, the rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. We saw the wonderful work he has done in establishing a center of reconciliation among Christians and Muslims, and the revitalization it has brought there. Our day at Sea of Galilee was delightful. Its highlight was our stop at the Jordan River where we renewed our baptismal vows. After dinner at Canon Iyad’s home in Jericho, we returned to Jerusalem. On our last day we rose early and, in the pouring rain, we walked and prayed the Stations of the Cross ending in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
I am grateful to God for the very special gift that our pilgrimage has been to me and to each of the pilgrims, and I pray that, as we share what we have experienced, others will be drawn closer to God in Jesus Christ.
Our June 21 Night Run has been cancelled. However, we will be adding two Breakfast Runs – July 13 and 27. See details below.
Annabelle Stanley requests your help and support for her Girl Scout Gold Star Award Project. All of our Midnight Runs (Night and Breakfast) provide food, clothing, and toiletries to the homeless in New York City from September through June each year.
Annabelle has undertaken planning and directing runs in the summer months when there are far fewer groups participating. In addition to the food, clothing, and toiletries usually provided, Annabelle has decided to add mental stimulation for the homeless by providing travel-sized games, playing cards, and paperback books (mysteries, adventure, detective, etc.). If you can donate these items, please place them in the bin marked for these items in the Parish Hall.
Other items needed are backpacks, tote bags, sneakers, shorts, short sleeve t-shirts, and golf shirts. These can also be left in the bins in the Parish Hall.
A sign up for food will be emailed as we get closer to the dates.
For the last 50 years, it’s hard to find an organization or mission at SJTL which Jim Stratton-Crooke has not aided. After joining the church in 1962, he joined the Usher Corps and the Men’s Group and never looked back. Cooking for the White Plains Kitchen, recruiting men to visit nursing homes to sing and bring desserts, initiating a “Dads and Lads” group to help at church events, making hot dogs for Rummage Sales and on Cleanup Saturday and serving for several years working with the Rummage/Book Sale, he was always there. He served as Superintendent of the Sunday School Program, assisting with teachers, finding volunteers, and helping where needed in classrooms. For the youth, he advised Fr. Mills Omaly, Assistant Priest, and chaperoned events and weekend ski trips. He help found the Mardi Gras, started a Fat Tuesday Pancake supper, and was actively involved with the very successful Easter Breakfast. Jim serves currently as a Lay Eucharistic Minister.
His generosity extends beyond the church and he was known, during his time at the UN, as the “mysterious angel of First Ave/42 Street” specifically the staircase in Tudor City leading down to where Jim worked. Jim left hot breakfast, money, and on very cold days, his winter coat, to the homeless population who lived there. None of his family knew of this until years later when his daughter, Susan, joined the UN.
He taught his grandchildren the value of service to others by taking them shopping and delivering gifts and food to an outreach program in Yonkers, joining in on their Midnight Runs/Breakfast Runs preparation, as well as volunteering with them at Habitat for Humanity.
We recognize Jim’s more than five decades of service to SJtL with the Wally Owens award given to an individual who, during his membership at St. James, has exemplified Wally Owens’ commitment to serving Christ and His church.
The Audrey Davies Award is presented to a woman of St. James the Less each year for long and varied service to the parish. This year, we thank Lisa Dodge for her contributions to St. James and for helping to make our parish a strong and welcoming community.
Lisa joined St. James in 1986 with her husband, Warren, and as time went along, her children — Jenna, Ryan, Chelsea, and Melanie. Lisa has given of her time and talent to our parish in many ways, serving: on the Nursery School Board (1988-1992); on the Stay and Play Board (1988-1991); on the Altar Guild (1988-2008); on the 1990 Nursery School Director Search Committee; as a Sunday School Teacher (1990-1991); on the 2000-2001 Director of Christian Education Search Committee; as Interim Co-Director of Christian Education at the same time (with two others); on the Mardi Gras Committee (2003-Present); on the 2009 Nursery School Director Search Committee; as Stewardship/Progressive Dinners Co-Chair (2008-2010); as a Vestry member (2008-2011); as Membership Newcomers Chair (2009-2011), and as a member of the Parish Retreat Committee (2011-2012).
A note about the Audrey Davies Award: As she visited homebound women for the Samaritans and the Women of St. James, Barbara McKinnon thought there should be some way to recognize the parish women for their many years of service while those women were still active. This idea coincided with the sudden death of Audrey Davies, former president of the Women of St. James, director of the Altar Guild, Vestry member, Sunday School teacher (among many other activities), and the award was named in her honor. The original plan was to select a woman who had not only given much to the parish but who might be thinking of easing up a bit — preretirement, perhaps. The problem is that the women of St. James the Less never seem to slow down! Therefore, while the criteria of long and varied service are still considered by previous honorees who form the selection committee, impending retirement is not.