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Welcome

 

Welcome, and thank you for visiting St. James Church online. We hope that our website highlights the wide variety of worship, fellowship and service opportunities available. Please feel free to read more about our church on this site, or come in for a visit. We would love to greet you and share with you our love for Jesus Christ and for you, our neighbor.

St. James Welcomes you !
10:30 AM, Holy Communion

Online tithing and giving.

Weddings & Baptisms

Our church offers a traditional setting for your most sacred celebrations.

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Our Mission & Vision

Mission statement:

Serving & Trusting Jesus by Abiding, Ministering, Embracing & sharing.  Vision: 

St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church is a congregation of believers in Jesus Christ - a people set apart by God for His purposes!

Click "read more" to view our Vision statement.

Food Pantry 12/21/2023

10:00 am-11:00 am

Community Food Pantry is held in the fellowship hall.

Please park on the side with the ramp.

If you are coming in for assistance,
masks are optional.

Mid Week Reflection

Last Thursday, we gave thanks for all that was in our lives: for family, friends, employment, house, possession, freedoms that we enjoy in our nation, and all that God has done for us in Christ Jesus our Lord. I, myself, enjoyed a wonderful day of relaxation and thanksgiving; only lamenting that church is a weekly celebration better than this yearly secular holiday. Don’t misunderstand me, I appreciate sabbath, time with family, and giving thanks; yet, in a worship service I always feel nourished and empowered to re-enter the world with a mission of engagement.

“The next day John saw Jesus coming towards and proclaimed, ‘Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world’” (John 1:29). This bold proclamation is the foundation of our celebration of the Lord’s Supper. In John’s (the gospel writer and the baptizer) proclaim a liken Jesus to the paschal (Passover) lamb of Exodus that was first sacrificed for the passing over of God’s people by the Spirit of God as a final sign of the LORD’s might over all things (Exodus 12). After the sacrifice, the blood of the lambs sacrificed was painted/spread over along the doorposts of the Israelite households as a sign of their trust that God would spare them from the judgment that Pharaoh had brought upon the land. Both John’s pick this up when the Baptizer proclaims Jesus to be ‘the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.’ It’s reinforced then by John (the gospel writer) when he has Jesus die on the day of preparation at the time that the lambs would be sacrificed in the Temple. It is this that we celebrate when we partake of the Lord’s Supper. This is what the early church called the Eucharist (eucharistos in the Greek, which translates to thanksgiving).

So, what’s the difference between Thanksgiving and Eucharist? What we do after. Or more precisely, what it empowers us to do. We are fed by God with God, “Body of Christ broken for you… Blood of Christ shed for you,” in order that we might both celebrate what God has done for us to display love, grace, and embrace beyond our understanding; and, that we might be nourished with that display to strengthen us for sharing that message to the world! “Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” in order that we might be empowered by God for others. After the Eucharist, one of the last things in our liturgy is a Benediction (blessing). This is typically in the words of what is called the Aaronic Blessing,
           “The LORD bless you and keep you;
            the Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
           (and) the LORD lift his countenance upon you, and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

This is a promise and reminder proclaimed to the assembly that God is and will be with you as you return to the world. As we each return to the world at large, the Lord almighty is with us. Wherever you go, God is with you; thanks be to God. Whatever you do, God is with you; thanks be to God. Whomever you interact with, God is there; thanks be to God! And even more. We are for the world, living the promise that the LORD almighty is in the world, and active; and I/we are living proof of that! That’s the difference. ‘Secular’ thanksgiving only asks to recognize that we are not the source of all that we have and give thanks that we even have it. Which is an important act. However, it only fulfills half of the writer of Ephesians promised, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God - not the result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) Which is fine; however, if that’s all that we leave it at, then we forget that God also works through us!  “Fore we are what God has med us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.” (Ephesians 2:10). When we hear the words of the benediction, we hear God inviting us to take all that we have experienced out into the world. The blessing which we are given is ours to take out into the world to share with others. Consider saying to others you know, especially those in tough times:
           “The LORD bless you and keep you;
            the Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
           (and) the LORD lift his countenance upon you, and give you peace,
                       In the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”

That’s a powerful message we carry out into the world, into our daily lives, that we give thanks for the God who gave of God ‘self and that same God is with us always! We have the presence of God with us; and thanks be to God for that. Yet, what is that if we do not share it with others? So, as we conclude this venture through our liturgy, may you embrace that God is bringing that wonderful blessing into the world through you! Thanks be to God! Amen.

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Weekly Reading

"For by grace y'all have been saved by grace, and this is not y'all's doing; it is the gift of God - not the result of works so that no one many boast. Because we are what God has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared to be our way of life." (Ephesians 2:8-10)

Woman with Bible
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