Wednesday, December 22, 2010

O, Come Let Us Adore Him

Friends and Family,

Join us for Christmas events this Friday, December 24:

Tamale Supper - 5:30pm in the Fellowship hall, for everyone
A Children's Lessons and Carols - 6:00pm in the church
Candlelit Holy Eucharist - 7:00pm

Nursery care will be available from 7pm, but children are invited to be a part of the whole service, particularly as we close with handheld candles and sing Silent Night.

We welcome you to St. James' Church this Christmas.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways my ways, says the Lord." - Isaiah 55.  

The photographer in Taylor, Andy Sharp, who did our lovely photos for the Austin paper's article on the Blessing of the Animals, caught St. James' in the gorgeous sunset a few nights ago.  Thank you for sending, Andy.

A busy day coming up, Saturday, Dec. 11
- all day, one hour shifts - Salvation Army bell-ringing at the Taylor Walmart.  If it's warm, don't forget your church T-shirt.
- 10:00am: pew-polishing at St. James'.  If you need a good stretch, come to the church, and John Edwards will provide you with a bottle of wood polish and a rag.  Then, let your joints and muscles feel the goodness.
- 10:00am: cooking for Meals on Wheels in the kitchen, which leads to...

Meals on Wheels will be going out this Sunday, Dec. 12, shortly after worship.  Deliverers always needed.

Donate a poinsettia for Christmas Eve - help brighten our sanctuary, and give thanks or remember someone dear in the process.  Just memo a check, flowers, and let us know how you would like people remembered by attaching their names, or emailing Kelly.

Other things coming up:
12/18  - Food Pantry at old middle school across the street - St. James' turn to distribute, beginning at 9am.
12/19 - Christmas Eve rehearsal for acolytes, 9am
12/24  - 5:30pm Tamale supper (Kelly has list of ingredients needed, will publish soon)
- 6:00pm A Children's Lessons and Carols
- 7:00pm Candlelit Holy Eucharist, with soloists, Don & Crystal Edwards

Here are some photos from our Advent Event...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

All Saints' Day

Join us Monday, Nov. 1, at 7:00pm for Holy Eucharist in the church. One of our seven principal feasts of the church year.  We will be remembering those members of our church family who have died and, we pray, have gone on to join the cloud of witnesses, the Communion of Saints.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Blessing of the Animals, Sat. Oct. 2

Dear Friends,
What did St. Francis really say to the birds (and to his friars listening in)?  Come find out!  
Bring your pet, and join us for St. James' first annual Blessing of the Animals, on Saturday, October 2, 10-noon.  
We'll share a brief liturgy amid the barks and meows, and then do individual blessings of each animal and owner.  
Look for us in the courtyard...

Click here for the Taylor Daily's recap of the day.  And click here for the article in the Austin Statesman.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Our Brothers in Pakistan

Father Nazir surveys damage to St. Peter's Church
St. Peter's Church, Abbottabad

Dear Family in Christ,

The devastating floods in NW Pakistan (Peshawar) hit very close to home.  Both priests who have visited St. James' in the past, Father Riaz and Father Nazir, have recently communicated with me about the dire situation their respective towns and communities are currently in.  It is hard to imagine.

I will be sending some financial assistance to them from my discretionary.  I hope that you will pray about adding whatever gift the Holy Spirit directs you, toward assisting their parishes with recovery work.  Please make the checks out to St. James' Church, and memo them "Pakistan flood."

Additionally, a woman has contacted me about needing help with buying school supplies for her children.  If you would like to help in any way, please let me know.

Finally, don't forget National Night Out this Tuesday, Aug. 3, 6:30pm at 10th St. Methodist Church (bring covered dish), 

...and it's St. James' Church's turn to serve at the Food Pantry this Sat., Aug. 7, 8:30am.

Let us pray:

For the Poor and the Neglected

Almighty and most merciful God, we remember before you
all poor and neglected persons whom it would be easy for us
to forget: the homeless and the destitute, the old and the sick,
and all who have none to care for them. Help us to heal those
who are broken in body or spirit, and to turn their sorrow
into joy. Grant this, Father, for the love of your Son, who for
our sake became poor, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Father's Gifts

Dear Friends,

We have a very special offer from some of our members: freshly-made chicken salad in the Meals on Wheels boxes this Sunday! 

So come, be bearers of a summer gift to our neighbors.  Join us for worship at 10am; fellowship and meal prep following; drivers at NOON.

For our early birds, there is plenty of abundance to be had in God's Word: 8:30am Bible study in the library.  Come see what immediately follows Jesus' teaching of the Lord's might surprise you.

By His grace,

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Dear Friends,

This coming Sunday, July 4, start your holiday with prayer, Morning Prayer, at 10:00am.  

It is rare to find this beautiful service held on a Sunday.  Mr. Rob Franks will lead, the Rev. Jerry Sneary will preach.  

There will be nursery care available.

Here is the collect for Independence Day.  The Lord be with you...Let us pray:

Lord God Almighty, in whose Name the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us, and lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant we beseech thee, that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Festival of Bric-a-Brac and Brisket

Dear Friends,

You are invited to St. James' Church's 8th annual Rummage Sale, taking place this Saturday, June 12, 7:30am - 2:00pm.  New this year: delicious brisket plates with all the sides, coffee and donuts earlier in the morning; and additional vendors.  

We hope you'll join in the fun of just mingling with neighbors and maybe finding a treasure or two.  Our donations are so plenteous, that this year we've opened up several rooms in the back of the fellowship hall, one just for holiday items.  

For our church members: please consider coming and staying for as long as you are able.  We will need all the volunteer help we can get.  (Don't forget your T-shirt and name tag).  Thank you to those who have already put in many hours this week, cleaning and sorting.

Then, see you for another Meal the next day, Sunday, at 10am: Holy Eucharist.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Happy Reunion

Dear Friends in Christ,

Here is the video I referred to in the Pentecost Sunday sermon (get kleenex ready):

Pentecost is indeed about a reunion with our Loved One, the Lord God, who says at our baptism: you are my beloved son/daughter, with you I am well pleased.

What an uplifting Sunday that was last week.  We welcomed 7 of 11 new church family members, and had red "Happy Birthday Church" balloons for the children (thank you, Cheryl Cotton).

Bishop's Committee meeting tonight, at 7pm - all invited.

This coming Sunday is another principal feast, Trinity Sunday.  We will be premiering service music by our very own organist, Alvez, so all "choir members" are encouraged to come early and learn beautiful, original settings to the Sanctus, etc.

Upcoming event: Sat. June 12 (starting 7:30am) our 8th Annual Rummage Sale.
You are invited to bring gently used, clean items to the church fellowship hall (we are not taking adult clothes; but most everything else!).  Philip and LuAnn Jones have offered to provide brisket for sold lunches that day, and there is a sign up for further contributions to the lunch plates.
Please consider this a spiritual exercise, and ask God to help you give away things you might be clinging to, but don't really need.  

Finally, congratulations to new grandparents, the Rev. Jerry and Martha Sneary. 

Yours in Christ,

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

God's Wedding Day

Dear Friends,

You are cordially invited to join us this Sunday, May 16, as witnesses to a renewal of marriage vows.  Lou and Curtis Brown, church family members, are celebrating 35 years of marriage.  What a joy to share in this celebration with them, and with their friends and family members who will also attend.

The brief liturgy will be held in the context of our regular Eucharist service, beginning at 10am.  Please stay for the reception too.

Ascension Day is Thursday, May 13 - we will be hosting a joint service of Holy Eucharist, with St. Thomas', Rockdale, at 7:00pm (at St. James').

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

God's Last Word

Friends, this Eastertide, come worship with us--10am on Sundays. And in the context of worship, come learn more about God's last word to us in the Bible, the Book of Revelation.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Walk With Jesus

Dear Guest,

Please check out the left margin for our Holy Week schedule, and join with our St. James' family as we walk with Jesus toward the cross, and on to Easter Sunday.

If able, come serve Him with us this Saturday, March 27, at the Taylor Resource Center's Food Pantry. Meet at the old Middle School (7th and Davis, across from our church), at 8:30am.

In Him,

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Baptism at St James'

Baptism is full initiation into the body of Christ, invitation to the table of the Lord, the washing away of sin, burial in Christ and a share in his resurrection.

Contact the Pastoral Leader - Terry Pierce at (512) 826-6278 for information about preparation for baptism.

Weddings at St James'

St James' sanctuary provides a beautiful location for Christian marriage.

A Christian wedding is a ceremony whereby the church blesses legal marriages on behalf of the local civil authority and whereby the church celebrates the mystery of the union of Christ with his bride on earth, the holy Church.

Because of this, the church cannot bless any union that is not legal according to local laws; which, for us here at St James' means the laws of the state of Texas.

Those seeking marriage at St. James' must therefore be legally old enough to marry, or granted legal consent by guardians, they must obtain and show proof of legal marriage certificates issues by an authority of the State of Texas, and one of the two must be a baptized Christian.

Four pre-marital counseling sessions with the pastoral leader are mandatory. Two legal witnesses are required at the final ceremony.

It is customary to give $100 to $200 as a gift to the church, in addition to any rental fees for the parish hall for receptions following.

Please contact the pastoral leader for more information about getting married at St James'.

Burials at St James'

The burial of the dead is one of the chief corporal acts of mercy within the Christian tradition.

The service of burial is an Easter and Baptismal service where we remember that Christ is the first fruits of all those who shall be raised from the dead on the last day. We bury our dead in the clear and certain hope of everlasting life in the coming kingdom. Nevertheless, burial is a time of loss for those who mourn and we acknowledge the need for, and appropriateness of sorrow.

The church urges all her members to prepare responsibly for death by setting up clear and legal wills, advanced directives, and bequests to the church. The church also urges her members to plan their own funerals in advance, so that their final wishes may be observed by those they leave behind.

It is particularly appropriate for the Christian dead to be buried "out of the church," which is to say, to have a burial service conducted in the church building, with remains if possible, before they are committed to the elements.

All members are invited to plan their burial out of St James' with the pastoral leader at their earliest convenience. Any Christian may request burial for themselves or on behalf of a loved one. We also have rites for the burial of those who do not profess Christian faith or for those for whom their faith is known to God alone.

Renting Facilities at St James'

St James has great facilities for wedding receptions, recovery groups and the like.

Please contact the priest-in-charge for more rental information and estimating fair cost for your event or group.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Be Reconciled to God

Dear Family in Christ,

Lent - a "lengthening" of days is the origin of the word. In the life of the church, the 40 day season is about allowing the Lord to stretch our own spirits. As we draw closer to Him in worship and prayer, and in meditation on His Word, we are saying to worldly things that they are less important than God in our lives. And we come clean with the Lord and with others, and admit where we have fallen short.

So we approach Lent like runners getting ready for the Austin marathon this weekend: it's gonna be hard, but it's gonna feel meet and right to do. And Easter Day is our finish line. We will know reconciliation with the Lord and with others, as we give thanks at that finish line for what Jesus did for us: He died so that we might live.

Join us for:

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, Feb. 16, 6:00pm cooking, 6:30pm eating

Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17, 7:00pm Holy Eucharist with Imposition of Ashes

Wednesday night Lenten suppers with Bible study: 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Feb. 24, Mar. 3, Mar. 10, Mar. 17, Mar. 24

Holy Week schedule to come.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

An Episcopal Visitation

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. John 10:11

Dear Friends,

Please put February 7 on your calendar - Bishop Don Wimberly, recently retired diocesan bishop, will visit us on that Sunday. He is helping Bishop Harrison with visitations this month.

The main course will be provided, but please consider bringing a potluck dish for our luncheon following worship. Worship at 10am as usual.

Please also pray for the Holy Spirit to guide His church as the Diocese of Texas meets for its annual council on Feb. 12-13. Pray for Kelly and your lay delegate, Chip Cotton, who will participate as voting members on behalf of St. James' mission church.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Grappling with Haiti

Dear Church Family,

Like many of you, I imagine, I have been searching for how the Church would speak to the disaster in Haiti. Here are some resources, which, I pray, may help in your own prayer life; and in your relationship with the Lord as well as with a world that suffers so greatly.

An Episcopal priest in Indiana's post: Where was God in the earthquake?

Click here for further articles.

Peace to you, through the One who defeated evil and death on the cross, our Lord Jesus.


The eyes of all were fixed on Him

Dear Friends,

I encourage you to check out this youtube video of the Bishop of Haiti speaking about the church there. It was filmed in 2007. Please continue praying for him and the long road of recovery ahead; and continue giving through the Episcopal Relief and Development ministry, as Haiti's enormous crisis only compounds.

May Haiti's people see and know, through relief efforts underway, that the Lord walks among them, offering them "shelter in His wings" (Psalm 61).

If able, please come worship with us at St. James' this Sunday, then stick around, even if it's your first time with us, to help us distribute God's abundance to the people of Taylor. It's Meals on Wheels this Sunday - following worship, anyone can help put food into containers, and deliver the meals to the needy.

May you too know the presence of the Lord in your journey this week.

Pastor Kelly

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Making the Ordinary Extraordinary

Dear Church Family,

Thank you, on behalf of my family, for the love you showed us through your presence and presents, on the occasion of our daughter, Maria's baptism last Sunday. What a bright, memorable day it was.

This coming Sunday, immediately after worship, is our annual All Mission Meeting.

Luncheon to follow - please bring a dish to share if you are able. But come along anyway even if you are empty-handed and be filled nonetheless.

Consider that this meeting is unlike any other you may be a part of in the secular world. This coming together is about the Stuff, the Gifts of God's Kingdom--both those gifts we have within ourselves and use in our ministries; and also, the gifts we receive in money form for His sake.

So come pray with us for the future of St. James' Mission Church, give thanks for the year that is past, and hear about plans for the year to come. Together as the Body of Christ, we are responsible for how we proceed with the gifts He gives us. Help us to make good decisions about how we use those gifts.

In His peace,

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Shepherd's Heart Food Pantry - 2010 - Join us!

Who and when? St. James' Episcopal Church volunteers (all welcome) will serve on the following Saturday mornings in 2010:

March 27
August 7
December 18

Plan to be at the location by 8:30am.

The Food Pantry's entrance is around the back of the old Middle School, directly across the street from our church (behind the community gardens), on Davis and 7th St.

You will be a part of distributing around 350 bags of groceries to the needy in the Taylor-area community. Things finish up by 11am.

Pray for:
The regular organizers of this ministry (Shepherd's Heart Ministry is sponsored by Christ Fellowship in Taylor), as they reach so many people every Saturday; for the poor and hungry who wait in line to be served every week; for the Taylor High volunteers who sack the groceries every Friday; and for St. James' continued contributions, esp. of canned meats, to this ministry.

Friday, January 1, 2010

There Came Wise Men

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,

Wondering when to take down your tree and lights? January 6 is a good day. Though the world around us may not show it, Christmastide, as the church recognizes the 12-day season, continues on until that day, the Feast of the Epiphany. We will have an evening, candlelit service that night, Wednesday, Jan. 6, at 7:00pm.

On Sunday, January 10, it is the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord, the day we remember Jesus’ baptism, and a big baptism day in the church. We will baptize Maria Jennings that day, with the Rev. Dr. Alan Gregory preaching and presiding.

The following Sunday, January 17, we will have our All Mission Meeting immediately after the service. That’s the time when we pray over our goals and strengths together; and for our active members to review and approve our stewardship plan, and elect our new bishop’s committee members and lay delegate for council.

Who said January was a boring month?

Together may we press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Your vicar,