Visiting a church isn't always easy. Given that, we wanted you to know a few things about us that may make your visit easier.
What’s the “dress code’ at your church?
You'll see it all, whether you come on Sunday morning or for a weekend or weekday event. Many of us love jeans and we wear them whenever we can, others of us wear clothes we wear to our job while some of us look for an excuse to dress up. This is all to say, no matter what you chose to wear from the list above, you will not feel out of place at St. James.
What kind of vibe is there at St.James?
The words most often used when people come to our church are peaceful, and loving. Now, we're not bragging (though we are proud of being identified in this way), this is what others (though we would agree this holds true for us too) say about St. James Church.
Many people long for an environment where they can get the peace they need - many have found that peace here. Others look for a place where love comes without “ifs” and “buts” - many have found that love here.
How do you react to visitors?
Some worry when they get to a church they will be mobbed by people and made to feel conspicuous and that can be awkward. We want you to know that we feel enriched when others join us, and that we want you to feel comfortable. Our desire is to make you feel welcome and so don't be surprised if one or two people stop you to say, "Hi," and say they are glad you are here.
Do you have rules about who can take Communion?
We believe the Communion Table is the Lord's, not ours. Which means, we do not say who can and can't come to and receive Communion. Rather, we welcome as Jesus did, anyone who wants to draw closer to God, anyone who needs love, peace, strength, and comfort. Which given that list, means all of us - right!
Holy Communion is the first Sunday of every month during our 10:30 AM service of worship, Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday. Sometimes we pass the tray of bread and cups to you in the pew (outside ring of cups are grape juice (no alcohol), all other cups are wine). Other times we come down the center aisle to the front to get a piece of bread and dip it in the cup with grape juice (no alcohol). Our Communion always has four parts to it: Invitation to the Table, Prayer of Preparation, Sharing of the Bread and Cup, and the Prayer of Thanksgiving. We hope that you will come to the Table, and receive God's love for you, when you are with us on a Communion Sunday.
What kind of people go to your church?
We work at various type of jobs from white color to blue collar to pink collar and some are retired or unemployed.
Some of us are in recovery, and others of us pray for this for our family members.
We range in age from a few months to 100 years old.
We come from this country and other countries.
Our skin tones are not all the same hue or color.
We love to laugh and we are not afraid to cry.
We are passionate about eliminating hunger and homelessness, making peace, and advocating for abused and neglected animals.
We are single, married or partnered. We have various sexual orientations.
We grew up Jewish, Roman Catholic, Protestant, or never being affiliated with an organized religion.
We have been raised in church, been hurt by other churches, have no idea what church is about and have no church history, but consider ourselves spiritual.
We want you to know that the people of St. James believe in and seek to practice the inclusive love shown in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. We know and serve a God who has wide enough arms to include all and we do the same. At St James we realize that there is great richness in diversity and that we are a stronger, more vital and effective community of faith because of it. Please know that “Wherever you are in your journey, you are welcome here.”
St. James United Church of Christ