Dear St. James Parishioners,
We can't wait to see all of you together in church this weekend on Banner Sunday! We'll send out more details on that specifically later in the week (with info about the picnic, as well).
In the meantime, I'm excited to announce some changes to Sunday mornings, which parents will especially want to take note of. The staff has been listening to your feedback on the Sunday morning experience for well over a year, and we believe this is a schedule that better responds to the needs we're hearing from you: streamline Sundays, make the morning easier for parents, enhance and broaden our children's education, and give more opportunities for fellowship across all ages.
Sunday School Through 5th Grade During Church (10:05 - 10:40 am)
Sunday school through 5th grade will now take place during the first half of the service. Everyone begins together in the big church, with the kids and their teachers leaving after the opening prayer. They will re-join us for Communion. Sunday school starts this week. If you're really on the ball and want to go ahead and register your child(ren), the form is here.
Music & Arts for Children/Youth Through 12th Grade Sundays After Church (11:15 - 11:45 am)
Beginning September 16 and running every Sunday throughout the year, kids K-12th grade are invited to a 30-minute Music and Arts program in the church after the 10 am service. Dr. Lewis, Susie McNiff, and Cheryl Smith will jointly run the program, with parents and older kids helping out as able. Kids will sing, build props, learn drama, and rehearse as needed. This will become our time slot to rehearse the Christmas pageant and spring children's musical. And parents, note! This is your chance to grab a cup of coffee and relax in the parish hall!
First Sunday Junior and Senior High Monthly Eucharist & Dinner (5 pm, First Sunday)
The Junior High Youth (6-8) and Senior High Youth (9-12) now have their own monthly service and dinner on the first Sunday of every month. They will meet together for a very informal Eucharist in the Church (which by the way is open to all parishioners), then split up for dinner and fellowship, the junior high to the Parish Hall and Senior High to the rectory. On Sunday mornings, they will attend the full service (no morning Sunday school for these ages), but will be incorporated into the liturgy more fully.
Changes to Youth Sunday
Note that we will not be conducting a formal "Youth Sunday" as before. Susie, our Education Director and soon Deacon, will be preaching regular adult sermons now. The youth will be incorporated into every Sunday service with more intention. They will be on the regular rotation of readers, greeters, and of course acolytes.
Adult Forums/Conversations After Church (11:15 - 11:45 am)
As ever, adult forums (more like "conversations") will take place after church. This week we have a new series "Conversations that Matter," which will begin in October and run occasionally throughout the year, as well as a once-monthly series called "Our Common Life" where we'll review and discuss topics related to our parish (finances, programming, and whatever seems pressing at the time). We will also bring back our popular "Sunday and Monday" series on faith and work, starting in February. Notice that forums will not be every week this year, to give people a chance to socialize over coffee or check out what the kids are doing over in their Music and Arts program.
Absolutely No Changes to Coffee Hour :)
I mean, coffee is the eighth sacrament! Though we have recently added tables for our older folks to sit down more comfortably.
Got all that? Be assured that Sunday mornings will feel and look much like they always have, the former structure being largely intact.
As you can tell, the creative juices have been flowing around here, and we are looking forward to seeing everyone back together for Banner Sunday!
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St James The Less Episcopal Church - ALL ARE WELCOME!
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