“Now there are varieties of gifts but the same Spirit and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good…”
-1 Corinthians 12:4
In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes to the people showing them how each person has something to offer to the group. He reminds them that all of their gifts come from God and they are called to use their gifts in service to the community through God’s glory. Likewise, all of us have our strengths and differences. The qualities that make us unique are also what make us collectively strong. We are not meant to be everything all the time. We need each other and there is great joy in sharing God’s path.
This is our first Fall together. We are all adjusting and learning from each other along the way. The church is listening and hears the needs of the congregation and we are all working to meet those needs. On Sunday September 10th, we shifted to our Fall worship service time at 10am–10am on the 10th seemed to help all of us remember the change! Last Sunday, we commissioned and blessed all the volunteers, the staff and the kids for the Children and Youth ministries. We also joyfully installed our new Office Coordinator, Joan Krikau that Sunday.
Our Sunday school ministry is evolving in a different direction than it has in the past…an exciting time to be sure! The Sunday School concept is more of a one room schoolhouse with the children of different ages supporting each other with their strengths and differences. We are also setting aside time most Sundays for the children and youth to attend Children’s choir with Wendy Weigers. This means the children and youth will be able to join for the entirety of the worship service. In order to support their listening and learning in worship, there are picture Bibles for the littlest ones available for families. There have also been some other changes to the worship service recently, but rest assured, not everything is changing.
Our congregation is blessed to be filled with so many varied and unique individuals. While the goal of the church’s structure is to be a well oiled machine, the only true goal is to reach as many people as possible with Jesus’ gospel good news and meet the community’s needs as best we can.
To that end we are going to continue to reach out in as many ways as possible to the congregation. I think we all know, good communication leads to greater connection. We will continue to streamline our efforts with digital and electronic tools. The website is the ultimate resource for all things St. James. Our weekly Connections e-newsletter is where you will find the most immediate and pressing news. The narthex is going to have the visual reminders some of us still need. Paper mailings will still pop up occasionally in your mailbox and likely more frequently in this season of relaunching ministries for the fall and winter. Worship announcements are also a place to receive up to date information.
As we listen to one another and learn from each other, there may be more changes. We want to hear all your voices because we are the body of Christ together–each of us matters and all of the gifts God has given us are valued and vital for the ministry of St. James. Please reach out to me or the Council with your thoughts. God bless us all as we grow greater connections with each other through prayerful guidance from our Lord, the one who holds us all together in love.
God bless and keep you,