Matthew 6:1. Here we go. Jesus tells us to be careful about making our faith a show for others. This may be either a total challenge or no challenge at all. After all, we live in a society with freedom of religion but where it is also considered impolite to broach the subject of faith. If we believe that faith is an important aspect of our lives, how do we keep it to ourselves? If we don’t keep it to ourselves, aren’t we violating this very clear statement by Jesus? Sunday, we’ll wrestle with this passage a bit.
Saint James has the opportunity to help local children, teens and seniors for Christmas. Gift tags will be available starting next Sunday (11/22). Not going to be here? Contact Linda, Linda@sjumc.net and she’s get you a child, teen or senior! Gifts are due back by Sunday, December 13th.
John 6:26-40. We launch into the “Red Letter Series” with a look at Jesus as the bread of life. It doesn’t seem like that challenging of a saying but Jesus as bread for living? Let’s work this weekend to wrap our faith around this image.
Really, it is always a compelling time to pray, to be open to God’s movement in our lives and attune ourselves to God and ourselves. Prayer is about letting the walls fall down in our lives. What is it that is separating you from the divine love of Jesus? Let it go. Be present and open and aware and let your concerns, your real, everyday concerns be made known to God. In so doing, admit those same concerns to yourself. Let yourself fall into the arms of Jesus, trust that you will be caught by a Love larger than you imagine. The journey of faith is a journey to know and be known by Grace/Mercy/Love/Justice/Hope, by God.
So pray. Pray for the world. Pray for the nations. Pray for our community. Pray for Saint James. Pray for one another. Pray for yourself and the dreams God has for you. Pray and be open to the Spirit’s movement in your life and ours.
Okay, it was really not our first week. We’ve been together as a congregation since before our first worship on September 11, 1960. It was our first week in temporary space. It was our first attempt to put together compelling worship without “our” building as a backdrop. There are too many people to thank in this article but we are thankful for The Hermitage in Northern Virginia for providing the space and for all of our volunteer staff who made music, connected cables, pointed out parking, ran tech, set up tables, and generally made everything come together. Well done!
If you missed out on our first outing at The Hermitage, that’s okay because we are doing it every week! Don’t miss out on 11:00AM worship every week. In the coming week we begin a new series about the words of Jesus, called “The Red Letter Series.” (A phrase coined because there are versions of the Bible in which Jesus’ words are printed in red) It is important to know what Jesus said and is saying to us today.
- Yes, we have a new temporary place for weekly worship!
- Yes, it is only 500 feet from the original Saint James building.
- Yes, there’ll be lots of singing, preaching, thinking, “communioning,” praying, “popcorning,” and “coffeeing.”
- Yes, worship is still at 11:00AM.
- Yes, there is nursery.
- Yes, there is children’s church (Jesus And Me- JAM).
- Yes, there are learning opportunities for first-graders and up.
- YES, Jesus will be there among us!
What more could we ask? Come on out and join us.
We can make a difference in the lives of local families. Consider donating a grocery store gift card for $20 or $25. Cards will be given to families along with food baskets to help make their Thanksgiving blessed. There is also a volunteer opportunity to deliver Thanksgiving baskets on Sunday, November 22nd from 2-3:30pm. Can you help out? Contact Linda Patterson if you can be a part of this outreach! Linda@sjumc.net
John 15:1-5. The very first time that Saint James met for worship (9/11/1960), John 15 was the text preached. In its beginnings as a community at its first official gathering in a temporary space, these were the words of Jesus that were shared and the topic of the message. This Sunday, as we gather in a new, temporary space (the auditorium at The Hermitage in Northern Virginia), Pastor James will preach that very same text looking for connections to our history and to our daily lives as ones who seek after Jesus. Join us in worship!
Wednesday, November 4, 2015, AHC closed on the Saint James Church and adjacent district office. With that we move into a new phase in our lives together as Saint James. While many of us may remember very fondly events that have taken place in the 5000 Echols Avenue building, what made those event powerful was only partly location; what gave them the most power was the people and the presence of Jesus in our midst.
We are now a church, a community of faith, without walls. The “location” of Saint James will be in gatherings like our weekly worship time at The Hermitage in Northern Virginia (right next door to our previous site), in coffee shops and restaurants, around dinner and breakfast tables, even online. We will be gathering and Jesus will be right there in the middle of those gatherings. We will be the church in our homes and workplaces and play places and shopping places and learning places.
Saint James began with worship in the Bailey’s Crossroads Firehouse on September 11, 1960 with 12 folks. Saint James begins again now looking creatively at ways to bless our community, to bring healing and hope and reconciliation and courage wherever we are and to whomever we meet. Join us in this journey, in person, online, and in prayer that the Love of Jesus will guide us into a future by the power of the Spirit.
Isaiah 25:1-9. I love the images and poetry of Isaiah. Originally speaking to a people facing real challenges, he offers both hope and vision. Every moment hangs on the edge of a future that is yet unwritten. This Sunday we celebrate all that has laid the foundation for this moment in our story when we are poised for our next phase. Join us in worship and for our big, food-filled celebration afterward. Yes, this is our last Sunday in this building so don’t miss it!