Opportunities for Service and Growth
We take to heart the fact that Christ “came not to be served but to serve” and we believe that each of us, acting out of love, is called to minister to the needs of others. Click on the links below to learn more about the following opportunities. For details please contact the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. James has something for everyone!
The Saints of James…Using the gifts God has given us, to do the work God is calling us to do.
You make a difference at St. James when you:
Acolytes and Crucifers
Youth and young men and women of St. James can express their dedication to God and participate in the liturgy as acolytes, crucifers, and servers at the altar. Crucifers bear the cross, acolytes light and extinguish the chancel candles and carry the torches, and altar servers assist the priest during church services.
Members of the Altar Guild take charge of dressing the altar for all church services. Guild members seek to express their reverence for the altar by making it as beautiful as possible. They arrange the altar flowers, prepare the Eucharistic wine and wafers, polish the brass and silver, and wash and iron the linens. Following the service, they send the altar flowers to those who are sick and hospitalized.
The Christian Caregivers group provides visits to those who are hospitalized and homebound. Their visits help maintain a sick parishioner’s connection to the church and its member’s loving concern for them. Lay Eucharistic visitors bring the Eucharist to the sick. If you or someone you know would like a visit, please contact the Christian Caregivers Group through the Rector at email@example.com.
The St. James Adult Choir and Junior Choir are open to any adult or child who wishes to join. The Adult Choir practices at 7:30 PM on Wednesday nights and the Junior Choir practices after Sunday School on Sunday mornings from September through early June.
Daughters of the King
Daughters of the King are women and girls between the ages of seven and one hundred and seven who desire a closer walk with God. They are Christian girls & women, both lay and ordained, who are strengthened through the discipline of a Rule of Life, and are supported through the companionship of sisters in faith, both in the United States and internationally. The Daughters take vows of daily prayer, service to others, and sharing God’s love so others may experience God’s love. If you wish more information about becoming a Daughter of the King and joining the Shepherdesses of St. James, contact our DOK President Pat Ball.
> Diocese information on Daughters of the King
Education and Nursery
Adult Education classes take place at 9:00 AM between the 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM services.
Religious education classes for young members ages three-years-old through high school meet at 11:30 AM during coffee hour.
Nursery service is available for crib babies and toddlers during the 10 AM Sunday services and special services. New volunteers are always welcome!
Episcopal Church Women
Bazaars, Episcopal Rosaries, cookbooks, memorial window cards, parish luncheons, and special celebrations make up some of the many activities of the Episcopal Church Women. Members of this church group gather together for fun, worship, and service on behalf of others.
Lay Readers and Chalicists
Lay reading and serving the chalice are two liturgical activities which involve members of the congregation in the liturgy in special ways. Lay readers have the responsibility of reading the Old Testament and Epistle scripture lessons, and leading the prayers and psalms in the service. Chalicists help the Priest at the altar during the services of Holy Eucharist by administering the consecrated wine to members of the congregation. The Rector coordinates these participants.
Little Church Social Club
The Little Church Social Club (LCSC) is a longstanding and innovative outreach program for adults in the community who are challenged by mental health disabilities. Together with our parish volunteers, LCSC members meet for socializing, games, music, and fellowship. One of our strongest projects, it is supported by a number of members, but always welcomes new volunteers. The LCSC meets on the second and fourth Wednesdays of most months at 6:45 p.m.
The parish newsletter, The St. James Connection, is mailed to all members each month containing news items about members, special programs and events, vestry notes, a message from the rector, and church schedules. A lively “Mailing Crew” is an important part of the production process and welcomes new volunteers.
Williamson Road Ministerial Emergency Relief Fund: St. James partners with neighborhood churches in the Williamson Road area to provide emergency financial assistance and referral services to individuals and families in financial distress. Each of the participating churches is asked to make a financial commitment to this outreach program.
Benevolence Sunday Offerings: Offerings are received for many worthwhile causes, local and global. Weekly gifts from Saints of James support such places as our local elementary school, Round Hill, as well as RAM House, the West End Center, Boys Home of Virginia, and many more local organizations. These offerings also support such worthwhile groups as the United Thank Offering (addressing the Episcopal Church’s Millennium Development Goals to alleviate human suffering), Southwestern Virginia Second Harvest Food Bank, and the Pastoral Counseling Center of the Roanoke Valley.
South Sudanese Christian Fellowship: St. James has opened its doors to the South Sudanese community in Roanoke. South Sudanese Christians in the Roanoke valley enjoy a Sunday evening prayer service.
Fair Trade Olive Oil: St. James continues a partnership with Canaan Palestine selling their fair trade, organic olive oil, to earn some additional funds which support our Episcopal Church Women (ECW) many benevolences. Canaan Palestine is a for-profit Palestinian owned company that buys high-quality products, primarily olive oil, from farmers who are members of the Palestine Fair Trade Association. Canaan Palestine and the PFTA work together to improve conditions for farmers and to build the future. Joint ventures have included everything from specialized training in pruning for olive growers to micro-loans for women producers, to university scholarships for children of farmers, to the creation of the Canaan Center for Organic Research and Extension. Each month, Art Tatman will coordinate the sale of Canaan’s olive oil, in the large bottles, as well as the smaller flavor infused olive oils. If you wish to purchase any oil at other times, contact Art via the church office.
Ushers & Coffee Hour
The ushers at St. James welcome you as you enter the church, hand out bulletins, help newcomers find seats, and gather and present the offerings.
Every Sunday after the 10:00 a.m. service, the adults gather in the parish hall to enjoy coffee, light refreshments, and great fellowship. Many members of St. James join together as teams and take turns hosting coffee hour. It is a time of conversation, fellowship, and relaxation while the children are in Sunday School and Junior Choir.
Other Ways to Serve Our Neighbors and Our Church
Little Free Pantry
Donations to our pantry of non-perishable foods, personal care items, and paper goods are welcomed; you can come at your convenience and stock the pantry. Any extra food will go in the shopping cart in the Narthex. Our pantry is meant to help people supplement their groceries for a day or two; it is not intended to be their shopping market for the week. So add a few items to the pantry and the rest to the St. James grocery cart.
>>>> In addition, our friends at our local school, Round Hill Elementary, are in need of our support through supplies. Donations of small bottles of water are requested along with school supplies of pencils, lined notebook paper, glue sticks, crayons etc. If you wish to donate to help our neighborhood school, items can be dropped off in the kitchen of St. James. Each of the Churches in the Williamson Road Congregations in Action Churches (6 of us) are asked to donate 200 bottles a week.
Little Free Library
Borrow a book, or donate gently used books to our free library!
Grow and Learn
Our Episcopal diocese of Southwestern Virginia has been offering opportunities for us to “Become Beloved Communities” for over five years, to make real this vision:
- As the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement, we dream and work to foster Beloved Communities where all people may experience dignity and abundant life and see themselves and others as beloved children of God.
- The Becoming Beloved Community Vision Document and accompanying resources help us to understand and take up the long-term commitments necessary to form loving, liberating, and life-giving relationships with each other.
- Together, we are growing as reconcilers, justice-makers, and healers in the name of Christ.
At the end of August 2020, eleven St. James parishioners finished a 9 week book study of “Waking up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race,” by Debby Irving. In sharing her own story, the author engaged us in a deepening conversation about race and systemic racism in our country, and invited us into our own self-reflection of family histories, norms, values, perceptions, attitudes and cultural experiences. Many new understandings, and awarenesses were shared in our discussions as the group sought to see more clearly how to image each human being as a beloved child of God, and work to support systems in our culture that affirm everyone equally. Three books have been suggested for our next book study as we continue to discern how to be the Beloved Community. Let the Rector know if you are interested in participating in this book study (discussion by Zoom web video chat) by contacting the church office.
Our Building is More Than a Church
Did you know that St. James opens its doors to our neighbors in many ways, including:
A Tutoring Space: During the COVID-19 restrictions, St. James opened our parish hall as a safe place for tutoring. To assist their children with their online school work, the local Sudanese community arranged tutoring opportunities on Wednesday and Friday afternoons. Peter Alier, who has a Masters degree and knows the parents, students, and the culture of the Sudanese community is one of the adults present, and Sabrina Mattox, a seasoned Spanish and French teacher, who is currently teaching at Woodrow Wilson Middle School, and knows the computer platforms the students are using, is assisting students who come for help with their assignments.
A Meeting Space: St. James opens our parish hall for weekly meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and weekly meetings of Narcotics Anonymous. Our parish hall has been an especially important place of solace and support during the time of social distancing.