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The Rev. Astrid Storm, September 27 2020

Weekly email

Dear Parishioners,

It's so good to see many of you back, but you know what I still miss (in addition to singing hymns)? Having fun as a parish. Going through our church budget today, I spied the barely-touched line item for "parish life," slightly happy to see such frugality until I remembered why the money was unspent. No cakes, no coffee hours, no Banner Sunday cookouts. 

THIS SAID, we have two upcoming events to help restore some of that good cheer we all miss. Sunday October 4 is the St. Francis Day Blessing of the Animals, and animals are welcome at ALL four services, inside the church and outside. 

The other is our Online Halloween Graveyard Tour, which, though virtual this year, will be a fun chance to see each other acting out various familiar roles: William Popham, Scarsdale Jack, and Julia Chester Emery (both pictured above). Sign up here or below. Take on a role and get creative! All ages welcome. If we fill up the slots, we have a lot of colorful people out there we can add to our tour.  

I hope you are all staying safe, that our parents especially are staying sane, and that all of us can find a little bit of peace in these times we're in. -Mother Storm

Covid Accommodations for Sunday Services

Be assured we are observing strict guidelines, exceeding the bishop's demands. Precautions include:

Mask wearing

Contact tracing

Social distancing

Doors and windows open (or outside)

Limited seating

No congregational singing

Cleaning of church between services

No chalice at Communion

Communion brought to your seat; no movement in church

Separate entrances and exits

 What Happens if it Rains?

This weekend's forecast looks great, but if it ever rains on a Sunday, services WILL take place at all the same times. Capacity inside the church, even with significant amounts of distance and less ventilated areas excluded, is enough for us to move our outdoor services inside safely. You are welcome to stop by any weekday to look at the space and see the adjustments we've made.

 Virtual Graveyard Tour Sign-up

This Halloween we are going virtual. Sign up for your favorite St. James real-life character here, and film a video for our graveyard tour. You may do your own research on the character or come and learn about one of our ghosts in the upstairs library at church. We have many books and records that may help your search and a few staff members who would be more than excited to share their own knowledge.

 Lunches Needed for October 1st Midnight Mini Run

Our next run will be next Thursday. We are looking for four volunteers to prepare 15 food bags each with a sandwich, preferably meatloaf, turkey, ham, or roast beef, (No Peanut Butter and Jelly), a piece of fruit, a cookie or sweet treat, and a bottle of water. Optional: One Hard-Boiled Egg or Bag of Chips. Sandwich bags and Brown Lunch Bags can be found in the back of the Church. If you would like to help, please contact Dakota or call the Church Office: 914-723-6100.

Racial Justice and Reconciliation Task Force October 4, 12 - 2 pm

Everyone is welcome to join the Racial Justice and Reconciliation Task Force, which meets every other month for two hours for discussion about how we at St. James can better address systemic racism in our community and country. We're currently working our way through a multi-part discussion series by the National Episcopal Church called "Becoming the Beloved Community." Sign up here and we'll send you the link and password for the materials. 

Streaming from Home: Being Ever-Improved

If you feel safer live-streaming the service from home, please continue to do that, and remember the live-stream now begins at 11 am. Tune in via the link on our website as before, but just remember the time change to 11, rather than 10. And note: Do bear with us as we learn how to accommodate people in person and online at the same time. If you have suggestions or feedback, please do pass it along to Mother Storm.

St. James of the Future: Discuss!

Please sign up here if you'd like to be part of an online discussion about St. James' future. We'll discuss everything from church and technology to endowments and building management, to how churches can be sustainable in an increasingly secular and digitized world, to whatever else comes up in these fast-moving times. Speakers/facilitators from the diocese will join us on occasion, so expect both lively and substantial talks with far-reaching effects for St. James. Dates will be determined once the group is formed.

Ushers Needed for 9 am, 11 am & 5 pm Services 

We're very much in need of ushers for the above services. You would be on a rotation, and could choose dates that work for you. Ushers will be instructed thoroughly in their responsibilities, which include checking people in and taking temperatures. Please sign up here if you can help out, and thank you!

Lectors Needed for All Services

We are also in need of additional lectors (that is, readers) for all services. You may specify which service you'd like. Readers are assigned approximately every 5-6 weeks and are given readings in advance. Sign up here, and thank you!

 Blessing of Animals Sunday October 4

To bring a little cheer in these difficult times, we are going to forge ahead with our annual Blessing of the Animals on October 4, the Feast of St. Francis. ALL FOUR services will be outdoors that day. Please be sure to leash your pets and prepare to practice social distancing. Pets do not need to wear masks! :)

Online Daily Morning Prayer & Wednesday Bible Study

are back in session. Links to these online events can be found on our home page. Morning Prayer from the Book of Common Prayer is M-F at 9:30 am and lasts about 15 minutes. Bible Study starts at 10 am and lasts about an hour, but you can sign on for as little or as much as you can. 

Thank You

As ever, a big thank you to those who continue, in whatever form, to faithfully pay your pledge. Your commitment continues to amaze and inspire. Remember that all the links to online giving platforms are on our homepage. You can also send checks into the parish office if you prefer.   

Prayer Requests may be sent to Mother Storm (at this email) or Deacon Susie.

Ask a Warden Have a question about the church? Want to help but don't know what's needed? Ask a warden! They're here for you! You can contact Douglass Hatcher or Bill Haffner any time and they'd be happy to answer your questions.

Written by

The Rev. Astrid Storm

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