Luminaries and Chrismons 2020

As August turned to September, our thoughts turn to . . . CHRISTMAS!

 

It is not too early to consider joining the tradition of lighting a luminary to honor a loved one and welcome Jesus.  We are promoting the sale of luminaries now, well in advance of Advent and Christmas, to have them in place on time for December 24 when the church grounds and walkways will be filled with the light of the luminaries. 

 

Besides the luminary illumination on December 24, folks can come to the church and walk through a Chrismon Garden.  A Chrismon, which means “Christ monograms,” traditionally are white and gold designs made from Christian symbols that signify Christ.  They will be placed in the space behind the parking lot—the grassy area across from Wilkerson’s along 5th Street.  Each Chrismon will be illuminated by a garden light and its symbolism will be explained in a short message on a sign.

 

Please purchase a luminary or luminaries by sending in a check for $10 per luminary to the church.  Write “Luminaries” in the memo line.  Please click the button below to complete the attached form and return it to the church or  indicate in a note if you are making the purchase in honor or in memory of someone.

 

For more information, please contact Tommy Shaw at tommy@stjconnect.org
 
 


TGIW 2020 for Children and Youth: Devotions for the Entire Family

This fall for TGIW, children’s and youth ministry will offer family devotions based on The Beatitudes found in the Gospel of Matthew.  Participants will have a chance to learn about Jesus’ vision of God’s kingdom for all people, how Jesus turned expectations and traditional beliefs about being blessed upside down, and how to live into the promises of Jesus’ Beatitudes.

Here is how it will work.
 

Watch our Wednesday night worship service together as a family.  The service will launch your family into reflection questions and an activity for you to do together.  

The worship service will be live at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays beginning August 26, but the video will remain available beyond that night.  We encourage you to pick the night and time that works best for your family.  

Please register your family for these devotions through Realm so we can send you the reflection questions and activities prior to each service.

For more information, contact Laura or Daewon Goldenbaum-Yang at 


Fall 2020 Classes

TGIW – Wednesday Evening Classes

Registration is open for all TGIW classes and GriefShare, Covenant Bible Study, Lectio Divina, and Truth Seekers.  Visit the website at stjconnect.org.  Choose the Resources pull-down menu, then click on Registrations.

Practicing Compassion

In a world damaged by polarization, hate, and fear, followers of Christ are meant to be a light showing another way of life.  We can be a part of God’s work in the world by practicing compassion toward others—family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and even our enemies.  This group will discuss the book Practicing Compassion by Frank Rogers, Jr., and will learn techniques, including guided meditation, to grow the seeds of compassion God has planted in us all.  Wednesdays, 6:00-7:00 p.m., from September 2 to October 7.  For more information, contact Joyce Day at joyce@stjconnect.org CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

   

Hymn Studies

Hymn Studies will take a look at traditional Methodist hymns, uncovering stories and scriptural background. In cooperation with the Worship Planning group, we will look at hymns scheduled for upcoming traditional services to add depth to your worship experience. (Singing is encouraged but not required.)  Sessions will run from 6 to 6:40 p.m., beginning August 26.  For more information, contact Lizabeth Collins at elizabeth.b.collins@gmail.com  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

   

Faith and Fear

In this class, participants will explore the dynamics between the fears we face and how our faith can be a resource to overcome them.  Pastor Ben will use Following Jesus In a Culture of Fear by Scott Bader-Saye as a primary text but make ties to the Bible and draw on other resources, ancient and modern.  Classes will run from 6 to 7 p.m., beginning August 26 and ending by October 28. For more information, contact Ben Alexander at ben@stjconnect.org  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

The Write Stuff

This is a writing workshop with the focus on your journey. The main thing each individual will do is write and each may share what they have written if they choose to. The main purpose is to explore this simple question: how does writing bring me closer to God? We will not do a literary critique of each other’s work, but rather focus on how the writing helps us on our individual journeys.   The Write Stuff is an ongoing class that can be joined at any time.  The platform for sharing writing is a private group on Facebook.  For more information contact Harvey Estes at rainman1950@gmail.com  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

The Cross and the Lynching Tree

“They put him to death by hanging him on a tree.” (Acts 10:39)

In his powerful book, The Cross and the Lynching Tree, the Rev. Dr. James Cone—a Black theologian and an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal church—asks the question: Where is the gospel of Jesus’ cross revealed today?  Cone makes the case that modern Christians in America cannot understand the horror and the saving power of Jesus’ cross without understanding the horrors of lynching in America. By guiding the reader to face the painful history and ongoing legacy of lynching in America, Cone opens up the possibility of a more faithful Christianity.  Join Pastor Garrett for a challenging and transforming conversation about race and faith.  Because Cone’s book covers such weighty topics, Pastor Garrett will offer two group options. This will allow groups to stay somewhat small in order to facilitate fruitful conversation: Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m., beginning October 14 and Sunday afternoons at 4:00 p.m., beginning, October 18.  Participants are asked to purchase the guidebook, which will be ordered by the church and left there for pickup.  For more information, contact Pastor Garrett at garrett@stjconnect.org    REGISTER WEDNESDAY SESSIONREGISTER SUNDAY SESSION.

 

Other Fall 2020 Offerings

GriefShare

Monday nights, 7-9 p.m.

Losing a loved one to death takes a toll on us emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  This 13-week video-based program will help you get through this difficult time guiding you through mourning back to joy in Christ.  You can join this group at any time and attend as many or as few sessions as you want.  This fall the group will meet online via Zoom.  If you are interested in participating but need help getting set up with this service, please contact Joyce Day at joyce@stjconnect.org or (252) 752-6154.  The group will meet Mondays, 7-9 p.m., beginning on September 14.  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Covenant Bible Study

Tuesday nights, 6:30-8 p.m.

We are called to be in a covenantal relationship with God.  How amazing is that?!  But what does that mean?  How do we do it?  Join us for this Bible study to learn the answers to these questions.  This is the second part of a three-part Bible study, but even if you weren’t in this summer’s group that studied the first part (Creating the Covenant), you can join us now.  Sessions run from September 1 to October 20.  For more information, contact Joyce Day at joyce@stjconnect.org  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Lectio Divina

Who is My Neighbor? The Gospel of Luke

Wednesdays, Noon to 1 p.m.

 

Do we really want to encounter the living Lord Jesus Christ?  If the answer is “yes,” we must be prepared to seek him among the people we are not likely to consider as our neighbors.  It will be there that he will reveal himself and the Father.  Join Marianne Leventry at noon on Wednesdays as we follow Jesus through the Gospel of Luke and move among the people He encountered.  Lectio Divina means “sacred reading,” in which Scripture becomes a conversation between God and the reader.  By devoting time and space to the Gospel of Luke we can hear and learn what God is saying to us through that Scripture. This 30-week study will begin on September 9, 2020 via Zoom.  For more information, contact Marianne Leventry at marianne@stjconnect.org  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Truth Seekers
Exodus: The Book
of Redemption

Fridays, 10-11:30 a.m.

In Covenant and Conversation: A Weekly Reading of the Jewish Bible, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks presents a series on the first five books of the Torah.  In our 12-week study, we will read and discuss his second book, Exodus: The Book of Redemption.  With unique insight from the Jewish tradition, we discover the birth of the nation God promised to Abraham, with teachings about justice, freedom, the rule of law, and about the sanctity of life and human dignity.  The sessions begin on September 11.  For more information, contact Lynne Garrison at lynnegarrison@gmail.com  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

St. James Book Club

Monthly on Sunday afternoons, 5-6 p.m.

Come join us on Zoom for some lively discussion of great books:

October 18: Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the beloved children’s classic written in 1865 that turned logic on its head and changed children’s literature.

November 15Plant Life, by Pamela Duncan, the story of a North Carolina town and a group of women who cope as the focus of their lives and income for generations, the local textile plant, falters.   Winner of the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction.
January 17: Educated, a memoir by Tara Westover of overcoming her isolated survivalist family living in the hills of rural Idaho and going on to Brigham Young and Cambridge University.  

For more information, contact June Parker at jdparker48@hotmail.com

Caregiver Support Group

Monthly on the Second Tuesday of the month, 1 p.m.

The St. James Caregiver Support Group continues to meet once a month. If you have a loved one who depends on you for care–either at home or in a nursing facility—you may find great benefit from this group whose purpose is to provide encouragement and support and to share ideas for dealing with the challenges of caregiving.  If you are interested in participating, please contact Kathy Dosser at kdosser@suddenlink.net or (252) 916-2374.



New Studies Now Online (& Some Old Standbys, too!)

To keep us connected and growing in faith, several new studies are available online.
 
NOTE:THIS IS A WORKING LIST; PLEASE KEEP CHECKING THIS SPACE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
 
Sunday School Classes
 
Sunday School classes meet online on Sundays, usually at 9 a.m., unless otherwise noted.
 
The Seekers class is reading “The Reason for God” by Timothy Keller.  Class members also keep connected with weekly devotions and discussions and prayer requests online.  To join, email Lora Joyner at lcjoyner90@gmail.com
 
The Faith Followers class is meeting online.  For more information, email Cam Evans at camevans1@gmail.com
 
The Faith Foundations class is studying the Book of Daniel, Spiritual Living in a Secular World.  To join them, email Artie Rogers at jartierogers@gmail.com
 
The Life Enrichment class also meets on Zoom, studying “Help My Unbelief: Why Doubt is Not the Enemy of Faith,” by Barnabas Piper..  To join them, email Jerry Mills at jerrym218@gmail.com
 
The Women on the Way (WOW) class is studying Max Lucado’s “You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times.”  They meet at 10:00 a.m.  Members of the class share prayer concerns and praise reports.  They take turns leading a meditation at the beginning of each class For more information, email Laura Smith at lauralsmith@suddenlink.net
 
The Bible Study class is now meeting online through Zoom, continuing their study of Paul’s letters.  They are currently examining Titus.  To join them, email Aaron Sampson at aaronroxy@gmail.com
 
The Growing Together class members are examining the book “If Christians were Really Christian,” by John Killinger.  For more information, email Spencer Letchworth at spencerletchworth@hotmail.com
 
The Story class is studying the stories of the Book of Genesis: God’s creation, Adam and Eve in the Garden, Cain and Abel, Noah and the Ark, God’s promise, the tower.  To join the class, email Joyce Day at joyce@stjconnect.org
 


Kairos Prison Ministry

Kairos

Kairos Maury Prison Ministry

 
“… I was in prison and you visited me … just as you did it to one of the least of these … you did it to me.”    ~Matthew 25:36, 40

There is an exciting ministry in eastern North Carolina that helps us fulfill Jesus’ teaching.  It is the Kairos Maury Prison Ministry.  This is a volunteer driven, not for profit ministry that is striving to build a church behind the walls of Maury prison.  Their mission is “to share the transforming Love of Jesus Christ to impact the hearts and lives of incarcerated men, women, and youth as well as their families, to become loving and productive citizens of their communities.”

You know, a person does not have to travel to Africa, India, or any third world nation in order to do mission work; there is mission work right here in eastern North Carolina.  There are a number of St. James members that would be happy to share their experiences with the Kairos Maury Prison Ministry.  If God is leading you to serve him in a new way this year, please contact us at kairosmaury@gmail.com.