In Person Church is Back!

We are happy to announce that as of Saturday, September 12, St. James Westminster will be open for in-person services.

There will be five opportunities to worship in person every week:

  • Tuesdays at 7 pm – no pre-registration required
  • Wednesdays at 10 am – no pre-registration required
  • Saturdays at 6 pm – pre-registration required
  • Sundays at 8:30 am – pre-registration required
  • Sundays at 10:30 am – pre-registration required

To register for an upcoming service on Saturday or Sunday,

use link on main page

Here is more information about how the week-end services will run:

  • For Saturday and Sunday services you MUST preregister. There are 40 available seats. You do not need to print your ticket; we will have a list of all registrants.
  • You must sit in an assigned seat.
  • There is limited availability for multi-person families/bubbles to sit together.
  • Face masks are compulsory. Please bring your own.
  • The church will not be open until 10 minutes prior to the service. In case of inclement weather, physically distanced gathering in the Great Hall is available.
  • Communion is offered at all services. The Bread only will be served.
  • Liturgy will be projected on a screen. No books will be available.
  • There will be music including cantors. Congregational singing is not permitted.
  • We will not physically greet each other during the Peace
  • Physically distancing is required at all times.
  • Please follow directions from the clergy, wardens and greeters to allow for a safe service for all.
  • Entrance and exit will be from Bruce Street only. The Askin Street entrance will be closed.

Re-Pitching the Tent – Excerpts for Reflection

In our January Vestry meeting, there was discussion of the book Re-Pitching the Tent by Richard Giles. One of our members put together the following excerpts of the book:

Re-Pitching the Tent: the definitive guide to re-ordering church buildings for worship and mission
By: Richard Giles
(Third Edition), 2004

  • “The house of the church is no longer a ‘week-end cottage’ for busy people to escape to on Sundays; it is a bustling centre of activity for a growing family who are in and out of the place all day, every day of the week. The Church’s building is now called upon to provide within its four walls a home, a worship workshop, a source of inspiration, an oasis of prayer, a community college, an advice centre, a typing pool, a soup kitchen and an operational HQ for a missionary organization. These multifarious and often conflicting functions require space and flexibility and a new emphasis on quality of provision, to encourage everything to happen that should be happening in our Church’s buildings, in terms of spiritual growth and social action.” (p. 5)
  • “As the story in Genesis edges from myth into history, the patriarchs are seen responding to God’s covenant and promise by erecting piles of stones in various places where God has made himself known to them and blessed them. Whether in the joy of thanksgiving, when Abram first receives God’s promise at Schechem, or in the darkness of blind obedience, when Abraham prepared to sacrifice his own son, encounters with God bestir in the patriarchs a desire to name and set apart these holy places, and to identify them by the building of an altar of sacrifice. Amidst the terrors of the wild and of the unknown, they carve out places of meaning and particularity where they can commune with the transcendent power of God. They show us what it means to create sacred space, ‘a place of regeneration, creativity and transformation’.” (p. 12)
  • “The word ‘GO’ is seared into the very flesh of Israel, a driving force in its religious consciousness to this very day. They are a people who have had to learn how to remain in the presence and under the blessing of God whilst always on the move, often amidst appalling hardship.” (p. 18)
  • Reflection: “Is there any way in which our local Christian community could express, in its worship and lifestyle, the insights of the semi-nomadic way of life?” (p. 21)
  • David’s son Solomon built the temple in about 922 and, “The result was a magnificent edifice, a wonder of the known world. At first the place, it very soon became the only place in which sacrifice could be made and to which pilgrimage could be undertaken. Furthermore, by its hierarchy of holy spaces symbolized by the series of courts approaching the holy of holies, the Temple reinforced the rigidly hierarchical system by which man was now to approach God. This hardening of the arteries in the relationship between God and his people was a disease which was to rear its head again in Christianity in its later periods of development, and deeply influence its own architectural understanding of sacred space. Only now is the patient beginning to return to normal.” (pp. 24-25).
  • “The synagogue (literally ‘gathering’) had been developed as an alternative means of maintaining religious identity during the years of the Exile when the Jews were deprived of access to the Temple.” (p. 26)
  • “So it was that Judaism turned catastrophe into long-term advantage, freeing itself from dependence on either a single sacred place (so vulnerable to attack), or an institutionalized sacrificing priesthood. Out of adversity evolved a radically redesigned religious system, no longer a hostage to fortune, but capable of being established anywhere and of mobilizing the whole people of God into a community of faith. Judaism was thus re-established as a religion of tent dwellers able to encounter God wherever they happened to find themselves. Furthermore Judaism as a ‘spectator sport’ was no more; all would be priests and all prophets.” (p. 28)
  • “It is not a place that is called ‘church’, or a house made of stones and earth…What then is the church? It is the holy assembly of those who live in righteousness.’ (Clement of Alexandria, Strom 7.5)” (p. 34).
  • “What building form would it be most appropriate for the Church to adopt? Were there any building around which the Church could, with minimal adaptation, use for its gatherings while it worked out a permanent solution? What kind of building did the Church feel most drawn to as a model for its own building programme in the future? The Church’s choice is highly significant, for it chose neither temple nor synagogue nor house as its model, but the basilica, or hall of the king. From the outset, the Church thereby aligned itself with secular authority in an extremely high profile manner. The basilica was an imposing civic building redolent with the power and the glory of the Roman Empire. The type of building previously associated in every town with the dispensation of law and order now became synonymous with Christian assembly. This was to have theological as well as liturgical repercussions. Traditionally, a rectangular building with an apse at both ends, the basilica was modified by the Christians who placed an apse at the east end only, in which was placed the bishop’s seat with benches at either side for his presbyters. The altar, at first a freestanding wooden structure, stood in front of the apse and not necessarily in a fixed position, enabling the people to gather around it. The ambo or reading desk, stood in the middle of the assembly, while the font was housed in a separate baptistery. Both the proclamation of the word and the initiation of new Christians were emphasized and dignified by being allocated distinctive liturgical spaces of their own…Thus did the Christians, adapting rapidly and skillfully to their new-found status in the world, take to themselves a structure familiar to them from their surrounding culture, and imbue it with theological significance.” (pp. 36-37)
  • Reflection: “If the Church today was deprived of all its existing buildings, what kind of secular building would it be most appropriate to adapt or to copy to provide places of Christian assembly?” (p. 37)
  • Quote: ‘Indifference to art is the most serious sign of decay in any institution’. Susan Langer, Feeling and Form, p. 403
  • “The American liturgist David Philippart reminds us that the poor need beauty as well as food, and points out that the church building is the last truly public place in which beauty may be appreciated. The Church has for most of its history proclaimed God through the expressive arts, and this is no time to be abdicating that role, allowing the city art gallery or the shopping mall to usurp its honoured place.” (p. 55)
  • “The number of people who stay outside our buildings vastly outnumber those who venture inside. Unless as a Christian Church we want to curl up and die, we need to re-present our buildings in such a way that people first of all are given cause to notice them and secondly are prompted to pop their heads inside.” (p. 58)
  • “Church buildings have ceased by and large to speak clearly of a present reality, and instead convey a mumbled message of a glorious, though faded past. ‘For the majority of people in this country, our churches are irrelevant, peripheral and seemingly only concerned with their own trivial pursuits’ (Robin Greenwood, Reclaiming the Church, p. 156). A building with grass growing from the gutters and with walls still damp from the last time it rained; last month’s porch notices flapping in the wind fixed by a single rusty drawing pin to a rotting notice board; a stack of battered books, spines missing, announcing that God is prayed to in language of the 17th century and sung to in language of the 19th; every inch of floor space taken up with an over-abundant supply of pews, and row upon row of choir stalls defended every Sunday by two blue-robed ladies with processional handbags; a liturgical focus stuck to a wall behind a fence in another room at the far eastern end of the building; brass plaques on everything that doesn’t move; no room to swing a cat let alone censer; all these things SPEAK. We should not underestimate their message announcing to the passer-by that this kind of building belongs to a group of people who have lost their way, who have forgotten why they meet in this place, who they come to encounter, and what they expect to happen.” (p. 59)
  • Robert Warren, in his book Building Missionary Congregations, says the layout and design of the congregation’s meeting place needs to demonstrate, “that we are called to participate (and therefore re-ordered buildings should demonstrate with clarity the exciting re-discovery that the congregation is no longer an audience but is together exercising a shared participatory priesthood), and that we are a Eucharistic, creative and celebratory community living by grace (and therefore our re-ordered buildings should demonstrate in every detail our celebration of life and creation in all its fullness)”. (p. 65)
  • “The re-ordered building will thereby help us in every way to tell our story. We need no longer be frightened of evangelism, for we shall find we have been busy doing it, using the building as a sharp and effective tool for our task”. (p. 67)
  • For the purposes of this book, one particular distinguishing mark may be taken as symptomatic of our contemporary culture; humanity’s rediscovery of itself as first and foremost a consumer. While the Christian community has in recent decades been slowly rediscovering its roots and its identity, Western society has not been idle; it has discovered shopping.” (p. 71)
  • Quote: ‘We no longer say “Cogito ergo sum” (I think therefore I am) but “Tesco ergo sum” (I shop, therefore I am)’
  • “Over the last few decades, supermarkets have come to dominate food shopping, managing to convert people from the habits of a lifetime and to persuade them to travel considerable distances and to sacrifice both proximity and personal attention for the sake of lower prices, greater choice and anonymity.” (p. 73)
  • “The diverse and less centralized nature of the Anglican Communion means that, rather than ripping of the sticking plaster of outdated usage, it has removed it slowly, inch by inch – a much more masochistic way of doing things. Whereas Rome has tackled all aspects of liturgy including the design of liturgical space, the Anglican Communion has restricted itself to the renewal of liturgical texts without mention of the setting in which they are to be used.” (p. 82)
  • “All that the New Testament tells us about priesthood can be summarized in two basic insights
    • 1. That Jesus himself replaces both the priesthood and the sacrifices of the Old Covenant; and
    • 2. That the community of faith, as a community not as individuals, shares in that priesthood by virtue of its common Baptism.” (p. 84)
  • “If as a community of faith we are taking a fresh look at our home in this process, if we now have an opportunity of considering a major refurbishment, we need to ask the basic question ‘What do we want our building to achieve for us? How can it more clearly express our priorities and our communal lifestyle?’” (p. 90)
  • “This gets us off to a good start because it reverses the usual set of assumptions in which we end up considering what we can do to better serve the building. We need to remember that it is the building which is the servant, and the assembly the master whose needs always must come first. The whole point of being a people living in tents is that we need never be afraid of God’s call to move on. We never lose our heart to a particular camp-site, remaining at the ready to pick up our tent and walk.” (p. 90)
  • “A paradigm of this unceasing process is the Benedictine Abbey Church of La Pierre-Qui-Vire in Burgundy, the ‘engine room’ of liturgical renewal in France. The Abbey is now onto its fourth re-ordering scheme in 20 years, fine-tuning the building to the community’s needs until it runs smoothly and sweetly. Re-ordering is a cyclical process, as experiment stimulates improved use, and regular use reveals the need for further experiment.” (p. 93)
  • Exercise to help clarify who is the boss around here: “Draw up a shopping list of all the activities which the faith community wishes to organize within this building. Not a list of all existing activities, but of those the community would wish to see in operation arising from its Mission Statement in the context of its Strategic Development Plan. Some activities will be entirely new – uses which the building in its old form has not allowed you to accommodate because of its unsuitability.” (p. 95)
  • “A useful first step would be to invite an informed group of Christians from some distance away to give an honest first impression of how it felt to walk into our building, and what message the building spoke to them.” (p. 107)
  • “When the community of St. Thomas’ Huddersfield removed the stone pulpit from its Victorian building in 1990, much fruitless effort was expended on trying to remove the resultant cement marks from the pier of the chancel arch before it was realized that to leave the discoloration would in fact help tell the story. So the discoloration remains as a kind of ‘high tide mark’ of Victorian clutter, a reminder of changed priorities in the Church over the last 100 years, and already a useful talking point for visitors when being shown around.” (p. 109)
  • “Art is particularly important in teaching the faith because it can stimulate our sense of devotion simply by reminding us of who we are and of how far we have travelled together; it keeps our collective memory fresh. For this reason art provides an irreplaceable means of giving character and color to liturgical space.” (p. 111).
  • “In fact, the creation of space as an essential element of re-ordering is of great significance and value. The horizontal emphasis of any sizeable floor area uninterrupted by furniture has a restful effect which recalls us to tranquility of spirit in a frantic world. It is an antidote to busy-ness, and at a time when every square metre of floor area has to justify its existence, the sheer extravagance of space can remind us of the extravagant love of God.” (p. 114)
  • “The problem of duplication lurks everywhere…the same will apply to the place for the reading and preaching of the Word of God. We have grown accustomed to having at least two points-lectern and pulpit – for this single liturgical purpose, and that is one too many. The community needs to take its time to consider where in the area of assembly is the best position for the reading and preaching of the Word, and construct there an ambo for the purpose. This may consist of either lectern or pulpit repositioned and adapted for the purpose, but it is more likely to require a new piece of furniture and the disposal of both our old favorites.” (p. 116).
  • “The creating of different spaces to enable the community to move from one part of the liturgy to another is primarily a liturgical rather than an architectural matter, and can even be done in one room. Therefore it does not necessarily cost money, indeed as we have noted, many traditional buildings already have the spaces if only they will clear them of clutter and open them up for use. What matters is the prior commitment of the community to ensure that every time they worship together, they move. Re-pitching the tent becomes thereby integral to worship.” (p. 126)
  • “In the English situation, it is important to remember that it is the element of community service in our re-ordering schemes that will unlock funding from secular as well as religious charitable trusts. We have a whole host of friends out there ready to assist us once they see that the Church itself means business. Experience shows that renewal of the building, and enlargement thereby of its capacity for hospitality and service, has led to the renewal of the worshipping community in that place, and to growth in numbers as well as in maturity of faith.” (p. 133).
  • “Anglican clergy in particular are haunted by the fear of ‘losing people’, whereas some selective early pruning is exactly what’s needed to promote vigorous growth.” (p. 136)
  • “No one has warned them just how vicious people can become when their precious church-museum is threatened with ‘desecration’, and all too often it takes only a poison-pen letter (with a copy to the bishop!) to ensure a sudden loss of enthusiasm by the clergy. There is little awareness of the basic fact of life that change, and therefore discipleship, is costly.” (p. 136)
  • Quote: “When Christ calls a person, he bids them come and die.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
  • “So it is good sense always to begin with a small working group. Ideas involving change usually begin with a ‘crazy dreamer’ and rarely have immediate appeal to a wider audience. Such ideas need careful nurture in the greenhouse before being exposed to the elements out in the allotment.” (p. 137)
  • “Certainly it seems to have been the method employed by Jesus to begin with an inner circle and to work outwards. Even within the Twelve, he confided first in the inner core of three, Peter, James and John, who alone were party to significant moments in their leader’s life e.g. the Transfiguration.” (p. 138)
  • “Secondly, we have been conditioned by post-Constantinian Christian thought into seeing the church building as a monument when what we need is a home. Drawing upon the Church’s invigorating experience in the domestic era of its development, we need to create in our buildings genuinely human space.” (p. 146)
  • Exercise: “Consider the building’s worst feature, or its main drawback as local centre for worship and mission. What ways can you think of to offset such disadvantages?” (Disguise? Camouflage? Diversion? Cleaning? Signing? Landscaping? Churchyard maintenance? Hard landscaping – is there any way in which your forecourt might be made part of the street?)
  • “In fact, the worshipping communities that shout loudest about lost seats are often those who long ago lost the people to sit in them. Where the church community is genuinely short of worship space, far better to hold a second service, or simply pack everyone tight for the special occasions (it does wonders for one’s image!).” (p. 164)
  • “…our gathering place should boast the best materials, a high degree of comfort, and superb lighting. Unless the community can commit itself to such an approach, it would be better to wait a little longer before attempting such a project. The breweries are the people to watch; they know exactly how (apart from their addiction to games machines!) to spend money wisely to create the right ambience which will encourage people to enter, to linger, to chat and (in their case) to spend money. We have a higher motivation, but should remember our Lord’s comment about learning a few tricks from the ‘sons of this world’ (Luke 16.8)”. (p. 164)
  • “One thing is certain; the font should never be in the sanctuary. To place a font in the sanctuary, lined up with the ambo and altar on a kind of liturgical stage, deprives it of dignity and reduces it to a mere object among many, instead of the central feature in a distinct area of liturgical activity. Increased visibility for an assembly too lazy to move around is no excuse. Such provision assumes fixed seating and an assembly that is static, spatially if not theologically.” (p. 168)
  • “Because nothing could be of greater importance in our preparation for worship than our renewed awareness of being the community of the baptized, we need to see the water, touch it and hear it. Water should well up in our assemblies, splashing and gurgling, reminding us constantly of Jesus’ promise of a ‘spring of water welling up to eternal life’ (John 4.14). It should not be mean and mealy-mouthed but joyous and extravagant. It is water itself (not its container) which is the primary symbol of baptism, and it should be readily available to every member of the community entering the assembly.” (pp. 168-69)
  • Reflection: “What importance does baptism hold for our community as on on-going experience? Does the siting and design of our baptistry help us to celebrate and proclaim the centrality of baptism? (p. 171)
  • “An assembly sitting in tidy rows facing the same way will expect to be instructed and entertained, whereas an assembly sitting in a semi-circle, or facing one another in choir formation, will expect to participate and to exercise ministry.” (p. 175)
  • “Flexible seating is therefore essential if a real process of liturgical formulation is going to be stimulated every time the assembly meets for worship. Not only do we need to break free from centuries of captivity in serried ranks of pews, but we need also to be frequently ringing the changes in our seating plan to denote different ‘moods’ of the assembly appropriate to different seasons of the Church’s Year, and to ensure that we never settle down for too long in any one place, but instead, as God’s pilgrim people, are constantly re-pitching the tent. For large parts of the year an antiphonal arrangement may be appropriate, at other times an arc of seating embracing the ambro, at other times a complete circle. For all these reasons, the removal of fixed pews is a non-negotiable top priority.” (pp. 175-76)
  • “This area which we traditionally (and most unhelpfully) call the ‘sanctuary’ is set apart only in so far as it is set apart for the altar-table. It must never be thought of as being set apart from the people, for it is the people – the whole of the priestly community – who are the sacred ministers gathered around the altar-table to make eucharist.” (p. 182)
  • Importance of altar being on the floor: “…the altar-table needs to be a strong simple structure of dignity and beauty of a size which will relate scale to the size of the area or room in which it stands. It should be square in shape (as indeed was the original altar of the Israelites: Ex. 27.1) and in that it is not a ‘counter’ across which the assembly is being ‘served a meal’ by a member of a priestly caste; all members of the priestly community participate in the offering and all have equal access. To spell out the same point about equal access, the altar should stand on the floor, not on a platform, in the middle of the space. This level approach is a feature of the first altar of Moses (Exodus 20.26), as mentioned in chapter 2.
  • “It will also have served some purpose if it makes us impatient to see the environment of worship transformed to reflect accurately our spirituality and theology, so that in liturgy what we do and say matches what we believe. As yet, this is not the case in most parish churches, and we live out a liturgical half-truth as, fearful of the future, we cling to familiar furniture and tired tunes. For the most part we are content to continue going to church as a means of avoiding becoming the Church.” (pp. 210-11)
  • “The renewal of our buildings to create sacred spaces which can speak of our renewed vision of God today is nothing less than a conversion experience, not only for others, but for ourselves. In rediscovering our communal need to re-pitch the tent in order to journey into God, we discover our true identity as a pilgrim people.” (pp. 211-12)

Project 2020 – Full Rector’s report

Rector’s Report to Vestry – January 2020

Well, I think I’ve managed to tickle a few people’s curiosity with “Project 2020 – Exercising Our Spiritual Vision.” Today, I plan to give you the details of what I believe to be an immense undertaking, that is absolutely critical to the future of this church.

The premise of this project is my belief that we have lost our ability to tell our story, because we have, without realizing it, let our story slip away. For many years now, people in the Anglican Church have not been challenged to read, learn and inwardly digest that which breathes life into the faith that we claim in Jesus. As now two, maybe three, generations of children raised in the Anglican Church have voted with their feet, we are faced, in bewilderment, with the constant question, “What went wrong?” I believe the answer to that question is that we quit teaching the faith, we accepted, for example, a participation rate of less than 10 per cent in study groups, and we seemingly didn’t have time to engage those who wanted, not pat answers, but serious answers to deep spiritual questions. A ten minute sermon and an occasional cursory glance at the Scriptures is not enough to stoke the flames of faith. God has never stopped teaching us, so we must never stop learning.

The good news, no the great news, is that in recent years there has been an explosion in the number of authors who are researching and writing cutting edge books that tackle the heart of the questions that many people have. There are no more platitudes, but rather fresh, virbrant works of serious scholarship that are written in a manner accessible to all who will pick up a book or turn on a tablet. Faith needs to be fed to remain ablaze and this project is designed to provide a diet for all appetites. This educational component, if we all buy in, will give us the needed tools to engage faith in a way that will shift our model of ministry to one that can interact with a society that has become indifferent to what we do.

But first, a second, and connected piece of the puzzle to unveil. We have heard much about new models of ministry, how our old structures are out of date. We have for many decades worked on a model of one priest, one parish; maybe two clergy in a larger parish. That model makes us insular, commands us to protect that which is ours and our success is to be measured by our numbers. There was a time that was a good model. That time has long passed. When I came here more than two years ago, I said we needed to build relationships and find partners. We are always better served when we expand our possibilities and use all the resources we can find. I am happy to tell you that following an impromptu lunch between Dean Paul Millward and I; St. Paul’s Cathedral has been invited to participate in Project 2020 and along the way we will explore other ways in which our two communities might strengthen our faith by sharing some of our resources. One of the first ways of doing that, will be a series of clergy exchanges. For the first two and last two Sunday’s of Lent, Paul and I will form a team; while Hana and Mike DeKay will form a team as well, as we share a Lenten series, along the same lines of our Advent series, taking a look at the Old Testament readings for each Sunday, and opening up their wider context and meaning. We have also begun discussion about sharing some Holy Week services, such as the Easter Vigil and the Easter Sun(Son)rise service. It would make sense that a second round of clergy exchanges in Advent would be in our future. This is, pure and simple, the first steps in a relationship. We have no idea where God might take this, but we are convinced that it’s an opportunity to open new doors to faith for us all.

On to the nuts and bolts of Project 2020, and it is multi-faceted in nature. However it all leads to one goal: the building of faith! Attached to this report is a list of 15 books. They have been selected by myself, Hana, Paul Millward and Mike DeKay. No restrictions were placed on what we could select, save that we wanted books that would inform, challenge and intrigue. Most of the books are contemporary. They cover the gamut from human sexuality, to social justice, to leadership, to bible study, to history, to ministry styles, to story telling and even an interfaith adventure and a book on Apps. We want you to read them. The genuis of this program is that you will make as much or as little of it as you wish as a collective group. If you buy in, we can and will find a new path. And we want you to discuss what you read, with a variety of other people. And we will make opportunties for you to do this. St. James Westminster will initially bring in three copies of each book and place them in our lending library. Each month, we will order copies for people who would like to have their own. On the first Monday of the month, Rebekah will place an order. You will be asked to pay for the books when you pick them up. All are welcome to access the books electronically from your favoured provider. The idea is NOT for you to read one book and say, “Whew, I’m glad that is over!” I’d personally like to see each of you read each book over time and then branch out to find other books that will inform your relationship with Jesus. There are many more books that each of us can recommend to you if you have a particular area you wish to concentrate on. Over the course of 2020 there will be at least one study session on each of the books. Everyone will be invited to come and share thoughts and ideas. The best case scenario would be that people would then branch into their own “mini discussion groups” and spend some serious time in discussing, debating and integrating the themes of each text.

But Project 2020 must go deeper if we are to find “our story” for today’s world. We want you to participate in the weekend homily process as well. There will be two ways to do this. Each Sunday morning, whoever is preaching, will be available from 9:30 to 10 am to interact with you about the homily you have just heard, or are about to hear. Maybe you want to talk about the reading that wasn’t touched on. Perhaps you’d like to talk about next weeks readings. The key is to get people into reading their own bibles! Side note – If the only Bible you own weighs 20 pounds, boldly proclaims to be the King James Version, and hasn’t been opened since the last baptism or wedding was written inside; you need to get a new bible. Our weekly Scripture readings are taken from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) and the Anglican Church also approves the New International Version (NIV) for use in liturgy. Long gone are the days when everyone reads the same version and they all say the same thing. With increased archeological finds and new scholarship on translation and interpretation; it is important that you have a bible you can read and understand. Either the NRSV or NIV would be a good choice, but there are other ideas as well. Perhaps you’d like to find a Study Bible which will give you increased access to notations about the Scriptures. Any of the clergy would be happy at any time to help you in choosing what is right for you. The Bible, freed from the traditional, power based interpretations foisted upon it through the ages by various agencies of church and state: is actually a fascinating read (well not Numbers, Numbers is never fascinating). People ask me questions about how I came to understand the differences within the four Gospels, where I came up with the thought that Isaiah has his own message, he wasn’t spewing gobbledegook just to allow that 800 years later Christians could repeat his words and that they were about Jesus. These and other insights, like applying Scripture to social justice, or climate change or human trafficking or any number of issues facing us today, will breath new life into tired faith, and summon up a new confidence to share faith in a new and interactive way with people who have deep questions they want you to hear and then help them answer.

In addition to the Sunday morning experience, we will be enhancing our midweek services to allow for more group discussion. Beginning this week there will be two midweek worship/study opportunities each week for the rest of the year (at least.) Hana will be offering a Tuesday night Eucharist at 7 pm, with a discussion session to follow and Keith will continue to offer a Wednesday morning Eucharist at 10 am. The homilies will increasingly be discussion oriented and the readings will be either the previous weeks or the coming weeks lectionary readings at the choice of the presider and/or the attenders. Those who now attend on Wednesday mornings will know that the homily is no holds barred and there is always a cutting edge to what we are doing. The Tuesday night service will be the same way, only developed by Hana and the community that builds around those services . These are not services that you should just show up for. These are not spectator events! You should be reading not only from the Bible but from online commentaries and other sources to prepare yourself to be a full participant in each service and discussion. From time to time there will be other study opportunities, stemming from what we are learning as we go along.

As you might guess, this will take an inordinant amount of Hana and I’s time for the next 11 months. We believe together that this project is imperative for us to reboot the model of church which is currently on life support. We can take strong lessons from our interfaith friends just by observing how much time and effort they put into their faith traditions. While this might seem terse, I believe this is accurate. “The days of just showing up is good enough, need to come to an end in the Anglican Church.” Faith is intrigal to our being. One of the books listed on our reading list, “God, A Human History” by Reza Aslan, proves conclusively that faith has been part of every human tradition since day one, perhaps as much as 30 thousand years ago. And he claims for the most part we have created God in our image generation after generation. Intrigued? Discombobbulated? Upset? Good!!

So yes, we are asking much, much more of you. We believe that faith in God is the single most important aspect of our lives. Our Creator wishes to be in relationship with us and we need to be much more diligent in the effort we put forward to learn about God. Perhaps it is a good thing that the Anglican Church in Canada is on life support. It will help us to understand just how hard we need to fight for life and faith and that like life, faith can never be taken for granted. There are no apologies for the scope of this project, but much encouragement to roll up your sleeves and dive in. Together we can find a vibrant and renewed understanding of faith in the Anglican way and in doing so, we believe we will revitalize our community from the inside out.

As our faith is challenged, expanded, strengthened and increasingly valued as being the the core of our being; we might just discover that God’s new plan is the same as the old plan: Love God and love your neighbour as yourself. That means that together we can work to achieve justice, inclusion, enviromental stability and much more in a viable and vital long term way to make this world the place God desires it to be. The first step is to strengthen the base of our own belief system. “Because” is never an acceptable answer to any spiritual question. We can never rest on our achievements because, and I believe we are seeing today, when we try to hold steady, we in fact are already going backwards. We must seek what God desires for us and in doing that we build relationships that can tear down the barricades that keep us from building a fair and just society with resources and care for all.

Romans 10:14-15 reads in part “And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim Him? And how are they to proclaim Him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.” For our feet to be beautiful we need to know our story; not just a little bit, we need to understand faith in a complex and complicated world that will tear at the fabric of that faith just as easily as promote it. We need to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest the good news that has come to us and we are required by God to take seriously how we learn about faith, how we constantly grow in and share the love of Jesus Christ.

Perhaps you encounter this often, perhaps you don’t. But I believe it to be true that a significant percentage of our population today knows next to nothing about God, spirituality, church or faith. They have been disenfranchised from religion, perhaps more than a generation ago and have never given a second thought to attending a church. They aren’t interested in our platitudes, but want to ask hard, difficult and complex questions about, for example, the relationship between science and faith. They won’t default to our knowledge, we will have to earn their interest. To do this, we must be much better versed in our own story, contemporary in our understanding of church and faith in the cultural context of today. We have some work to do to begin to re-engage those who have become distanced. Project 2020 will provide us the tools to put together a program that will exercise our faith, in a way not dissimilar to the way we exercise our bodies. It will take much impetus to get started. It will be difficult at first, and always be a challenge to maintain. But being well spirituality is as important in today’s world as being well physically. So let’s get started, let’s decide together that we should, can and will revitalize what has been so important to so many for so long at St. James Westminster. This will be as successful as you make it. Each of you has a decision to make about whether you will participate or not. Ultimately, I believe the participation level will have a direct impact on whether we go forward, or continue to stall out. By the nature of our baptism, Jesus has called us all to ministry; given us all strengths and skills to help revitalize the ministry of the church. The world around us will continue to change at a break neck pace. The world around us will continue to need the love and care that God wishes us to offer them. If we are to succeed, then we must be willing to meet the world head on, with honesty, integrity and deep wells of knowledge. As always, the choice is yours as to how we proceed.

And yes, there will be a Project 2021 and Project 2022 and …….

The Much Anticipated Book List

Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans
If the Bible isn’t a science book or an instruction manual, then what is it? What do people mean when they say the Bible is inspired? When Rachel Held Evans found herself asking these questions, she began a quest to better understand what the Bible is and how it is meant to be read. What she discovered changed her—and it will change you too. Drawing on the best in recent scholarship and using her well-honed literary expertise, Evans examines some of our favorite Bible stories and possible interpretations, retelling them through memoir, original poetry, short stories, soliloquies, and even a short screenplay. Undaunted by the Bible’s most difficult passages, Evans wrestles through the process of doubting, imagining, and debating Scripture’s mysteries. The Bible, she discovers, is not a static work but is a living, breathing, captivating, and confounding book that is able to equip us to join God’s loving and redemptive work in the world.

The Universal Christ by Fr. Richard Rohr
From one of the world’s most influential spiritual thinkers, a long-awaited book exploring what it means that Jesus was called “Christ,” and how this forgotten truth can restore hope and meaning to our lives. In his decades as a globally recognized teacher, Father Richard Rohr has helped millions realize what is at stake in matters of faith and spirituality. Yet Rohr has never written on the most perennially talked about topic in Christianity: Jesus. Most know who Jesus was, but who was Christ? Is the word simply Jesus’s last name? Too often, Rohr writes, our understandings have been limited by culture, religious debate, and the human tendency to put ourselves at the centre. Drawing on scripture, history, and spiritual practice, Rohr articulates a transformative view of Jesus Christ as a portrait of God’s constant, unfolding work in the world. “God loves things by becoming them,” he writes, and Jesus’s life was meant to declare that humanity has never been separate from God—except by its own negative choice. When we recover this fundamental truth, faith becomes less about proving Jesus was God, and more about learning to recognize the Creator’s presence all around us, and in everyone we meet. Thought-provoking, practical, and full of deep hope and vision, The Universal Christ is a landmark book from one of our most beloved spiritual writers, and an invitation to contemplate how God liberates and loves all that is.

What Happens When we Die?: A Little Book of Guidance by Thomas G. Long
A straightforward treatment of the only existential issue that matters from the Christian perspective. The author is a renowned preacher, esteemed homiletician, and well-published author. In What Happens When We Die? Tom Long provides information about the promises and convictions of the Christian gospel concerning death and life after death. He surveys in simple terms the major themes surrounding death, dying, and hope for an afterlife.

The App Generation: How Today’s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World by Howard Gardner and Katie Davis
No one has failed to notice that the current generation of youth is deeply – some would say totally – involved with digital media. Professors Howard Gardner and Katie Davis name today’s young people The App Generation, and in this fascinating and relevant book they explore what it means to be “app-dependent” versus “app-enabled” and how life for this generation differs from life before the digital era. Gardner and Davis are concerned with three vital areas of adolescent life: identity, intimacy, and imagination. Through innovative research, including interviews of young people, focus groups of those who work with them, and a unique comparison of youthful artistic productions before and after the digital revolution, the authors uncover the drawbacks of apps: they may foreclose a sense of identity, encourage superficial relations with others, and stunt creative imagination. On the other hand, the benefits of apps are equally striking: they can promote a strong sense of identity, allow deep relationships, and stimulate creativity. The challenge is to venture beyond the ways that apps are designed to be used, Gardner and Davis conclude, and they suggest how the power of apps can be a springboard to greater creativity and higher aspirations.

The Sin of Certainty: Why God Require Our Trust More Than Our “Correct” Beliefs by Peter Enns
Biblical scholar, Pete Enns, explains how Christians mistake “certainty” and “correct belief” for faith when what God really desires is trust and intimacy. With compelling and often humorous stories from his own life, Bible scholar Peter Enns offers a fresh look at how Christian life truly works, answering questions that cannot be addressed by the idealized traditional doctrine of “once for all delivered to the saints.” Enns offers a model of vibrant faith that views skepticism not as a loss of belief, but as an opportunity to deepen religious conviction with courage and confidence. This is not just an intellectual conviction, he contends, but a more profound kind of knowing that only true faith can provide. Combining Enns’ reflections of his own spiritual journey with an examination of Scripture, The Sin of Certainty models an acceptance of mystery and paradox that all believers can follow and why God prefers this path because it is only this way by which we can become mature disciples who truly trust God. It gives Christians who have known only the demand for certainty permission to view faith on their own flawed, uncertain, yet heartfelt, terms.

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
Based on the same topic as his viral TEDTalk, the second most viewed of all time, Simon Sinek discusses the concept of ‘why’, and how holding ‘why’ at the centre of your vision and mission creates the space for great success. More than just looking at business practices, Sinek’s Start With Why gets to the heart of how humans interact in communal ways, and how we build authenticity and purpose into our lives.

Letters to the Church by Francis Chan
The early Christian Church started out as a radical, spiritually intimate gathering of believers that ultimately changed the face of history. And yet, today, millions of churchgoers are content with being mere observers. In Letters to the Church Francis Chan invites readers to wrestle with the idea that the church has drifted away from God’s vision and challenges us to ask: What does God want for his church?

Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the US by Lenny Duncan
Shifting demographics and declining congregations are what we focus on, but Lenny Duncan sees something else at work: a direct correlation between the church’s lack of diversity and the church’s lack of vitality. Dear Church offers a bold vision for the future of the Evangelical Lutheran church and the broader mainline Christian community as it rejects the narrative of church decline and calls everyone, clergy and laity alike, to the front lines of the church’s renewal through racial equality and justice.

Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow by Carey Nieuwhof
There is no doubt that the church is in a time that few church leaders are prepared for. But there is no reason to think we are done, we just need to have the right conversation. Designed to facilitate the tough discussions needed to have an honest conversation around church growth Lasting Impact helps readers envision that the best days of the church could be ahead of them.

Mercy in the City: How to Feed the Hungry, Give Drink to the Thirsty, Visit the Imprisioned, and Keep Your Day Job by Kerry Weber
When Jesus asked us to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, and visit the imprisioned, he couldn’t possibly have meant it literally! In her book, Mercy in the City, author Kerry Weber, a modern young single woman in New York City, attempts to do just that as she works to practice the Corporal Works of Mercy in an authentic, personal manner while maintaining a regular life. Speaking with honesty and transparency, Weber explores the Works of Mercy in the contemporary world and how we connect as people of faith.

God: A Human History by Reza Aslan
Reza Aslan, who ruffled a few feathers with his book Zealot, about Jesus, will fascinate you with this look into how humans have understood God, as long as there has been humans

Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others by Barbara Brown
Barbara Brown Taylor is an Episcopal priest and an accomplished author. She spent a good portion of her professional life teaching a course in World Religions at a small college near Atlanta. In this book, she shares how she has been impacted by the faith of others.

Shameless: A Sexual Reformation by Nadia Bolz Weber
Nadia Bolz Weber, a Lutheran pastor, pulls no punches in her latest book (her other books are exactly the same.) This is a deep look into a Christian Theology around sexuality, and she advocates for a cutting edge rework. The book contains frank discussions about sex and some adult language, for which Nadia does not apologize

Jesus: A Pilgrimage by James Martin
This 500 plus page book moved me in ways I did not expect. James Martin is a Roman Catholic Priest and author. He recently made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and did his best to visit sites in the chronological order of the Jesus story in the Gospel of Luke. Vibrant discussions of the holiest of places, paired with a theological commentary around Luke’s version and some heart warming personal stories. This book was incredibly informative for me.

Faith: A Journey For All by Jimmy Carter
So, what if you are a humble farmer and Christian from Georgia and you suddenly find yourself in the most influential position in the world: President of the United States. In his usual humble style, Carter wends a tale of how his faith has guided him from simple beginnings to the spotlight of the world.

Project 2020 – Exercising our Spiritual Vision Summary

At our January Vestry meeting, Rev Keith unveiled Project 2020. With a goal of stoking our faith through a variety of learning opportunities, partnerships, and other opportunities for engagement, Keith invites us to dig in and deepen our faith, leading us to new paths.

There are three components to Project 2020:

  • Enhanced engagement with scripture and theology – Each Sunday morning, whoever is preaching, will be available from 9:30 to 10 am to interact with you about the homily you have just heard, or are about to hear. In addition to the Sunday morning experience, we will be enhancing our midweek services to allow for more group discussion. There will be two midweek worship/study opportunities each week for the rest of the year (at least.) Hana will be offering a Tuesday night Eucharist at 7 pm, with a discussion session to follow and Keith will continue to offer a Wednesday morning Eucharist at 10 am.
  • Partnership with St. Paul’s Cathedral – Through a series of clergy exchanges, we’ll be taking a look at the Old Testament readings for each Sunday, and opening up their wider context and meaning. We are exploring further shared services and exchanges to strengthen our faith and share our resources.
  • Reading, reflection, and discussion – Time to read! A list of 15 books have been chosen by our leaders from St. James and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Over the course of 2020 there will be at least one study session on each of the books. We invite you to discuss what you read with a variety of other people. St. James Westminster will initially bring in three copies of each book and place them in our lending library. Each month, we will order copies for people who would like to have their own. On the first Monday of the month, Rebekah will place an order. You will be asked to pay for the books when you pick them up. All are welcome to access the books electronically from your favoured provider.

Read Keith’s full call to action

The Book List

Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans
If the Bible isn’t a science book or an instruction manual, then what is it? What do people mean when they say the Bible is inspired? When Rachel Held Evans found herself asking these questions, she began a quest to better understand what the Bible is and how it is meant to be read. What she discovered changed her—and it will change you too. Drawing on the best in recent scholarship and using her well-honed literary expertise, Evans examines some of our favorite Bible stories and possible interpretations, retelling them through memoir, original poetry, short stories, soliloquies, and even a short screenplay. Undaunted by the Bible’s most difficult passages, Evans wrestles through the process of doubting, imagining, and debating Scripture’s mysteries. The Bible, she discovers, is not a static work but is a living, breathing, captivating, and confounding book that is able to equip us to join God’s loving and redemptive work in the world.

The Universal Christ by Fr. Richard Rohr
From one of the world’s most influential spiritual thinkers, a long-awaited book exploring what it means that Jesus was called “Christ,” and how this forgotten truth can restore hope and meaning to our lives. In his decades as a globally recognized teacher, Father Richard Rohr has helped millions realize what is at stake in matters of faith and spirituality. Yet Rohr has never written on the most perennially talked about topic in Christianity: Jesus. Most know who Jesus was, but who was Christ? Is the word simply Jesus’s last name? Too often, Rohr writes, our understandings have been limited by culture, religious debate, and the human tendency to put ourselves at the centre. Drawing on scripture, history, and spiritual practice, Rohr articulates a transformative view of Jesus Christ as a portrait of God’s constant, unfolding work in the world. “God loves things by becoming them,” he writes, and Jesus’s life was meant to declare that humanity has never been separate from God—except by its own negative choice. When we recover this fundamental truth, faith becomes less about proving Jesus was God, and more about learning to recognize the Creator’s presence all around us, and in everyone we meet. Thought-provoking, practical, and full of deep hope and vision, The Universal Christ is a landmark book from one of our most beloved spiritual writers, and an invitation to contemplate how God liberates and loves all that is.

What Happens When we Die?: A Little Book of Guidance by Thomas G. Long
A straightforward treatment of the only existential issue that matters from the Christian perspective. The author is a renowned preacher, esteemed homiletician, and well-published author. In What Happens When We Die? Tom Long provides information about the promises and convictions of the Christian gospel concerning death and life after death. He surveys in simple terms the major themes surrounding death, dying, and hope for an afterlife.

The App Generation: How Today’s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World by Howard Gardner and Katie Davis
No one has failed to notice that the current generation of youth is deeply – some would say totally – involved with digital media. Professors Howard Gardner and Katie Davis name today’s young people The App Generation, and in this fascinating and relevant book they explore what it means to be “app-dependent” versus “app-enabled” and how life for this generation differs from life before the digital era. Gardner and Davis are concerned with three vital areas of adolescent life: identity, intimacy, and imagination. Through innovative research, including interviews of young people, focus groups of those who work with them, and a unique comparison of youthful artistic productions before and after the digital revolution, the authors uncover the drawbacks of apps: they may foreclose a sense of identity, encourage superficial relations with others, and stunt creative imagination. On the other hand, the benefits of apps are equally striking: they can promote a strong sense of identity, allow deep relationships, and stimulate creativity. The challenge is to venture beyond the ways that apps are designed to be used, Gardner and Davis conclude, and they suggest how the power of apps can be a springboard to greater creativity and higher aspirations.

The Sin of Certainty: Why God Require Our Trust More Than Our “Correct” Beliefs by Peter Enns
Biblical scholar, Pete Enns, explains how Christians mistake “certainty” and “correct belief” for faith when what God really desires is trust and intimacy. With compelling and often humorous stories from his own life, Bible scholar Peter Enns offers a fresh look at how Christian life truly works, answering questions that cannot be addressed by the idealized traditional doctrine of “once for all delivered to the saints.” Enns offers a model of vibrant faith that views skepticism not as a loss of belief, but as an opportunity to deepen religious conviction with courage and confidence. This is not just an intellectual conviction, he contends, but a more profound kind of knowing that only true faith can provide. Combining Enns’ reflections of his own spiritual journey with an examination of Scripture, The Sin of Certainty models an acceptance of mystery and paradox that all believers can follow and why God prefers this path because it is only this way by which we can become mature disciples who truly trust God. It gives Christians who have known only the demand for certainty permission to view faith on their own flawed, uncertain, yet heartfelt, terms.

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
Based on the same topic as his viral TEDTalk, the second most viewed of all time, Simon Sinek discusses the concept of ‘why’, and how holding ‘why’ at the centre of your vision and mission creates the space for great success. More than just looking at business practices, Sinek’s Start With Why gets to the heart of how humans interact in communal ways, and how we build authenticity and purpose into our lives.

Letters to the Church by Francis Chan
The early Christian Church started out as a radical, spiritually intimate gathering of believers that ultimately changed the face of history. And yet, today, millions of churchgoers are content with being mere observers. In Letters to the Church Francis Chan invites readers to wrestle with the idea that the church has drifted away from God’s vision and challenges us to ask: What does God want for his church?

Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the US by Lenny Duncan
– Shifting demographics and declining congregations are what we focus on, but Lenny Duncan sees something else at work: a direct correlation between the church’s lack of diversity and the church’s lack of vitality. Dear Church offers a bold vision for the future of the Evangelical Lutheran church and the broader mainline Christian community as it rejects the narrative of church decline and calls everyone, clergy and laity alike, to the front lines of the church’s renewal through racial equality and justice.

Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow by Carey Nieuwhof
There is no doubt that the church is in a time that few church leaders are prepared for. But there is no reason to think we are done, we just need to have the right conversation. Designed to facilitate the tough discussions needed to have an honest conversation around church growth Lasting Impact helps readers envision that the best days of the church could be ahead of them.

Mercy in the City: How to Feed the Hungry, Give Drink to the Thirsty, Visit the Imprisioned, and Keep Your Day Job by Kerry Weber
When Jesus asked us to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, and visit the imprisioned, he couldn’t possibly have meant it literally! In her book, Mercy in the City, author Kerry Weber, a modern young single woman in New York City, attempts to do just that as she works to practice the Corporal Works of Mercy in an authentic, personal manner while maintaining a regular life. Speaking with honesty and transparency, Weber explores the Works of Mercy in the contemporary world and how we connect as people of faith.

God: A Human History by Reza Aslan
Reza Aslan, who ruffled a few feathers with his book Zealot, about Jesus, will fascinate you with this look into how humans have understood God, as long as there has been humans

Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others by Barbara Brown Taylor
Barbara Brown Taylor is an Episcopal priest and an accomplished author. She spent a good portion of her professional life teaching a course in World Religions at a small college near Atlanta. In this book, she shares how she has been impacted by the faith of others.

Shameless: A Sexual Reformation, by Nadia Bolz Weber
Nadia Bolz Weber, a Lutheran pastor, pulls no punches in her latest book (her other books are exactly the same.) This is a deep look into a Christian Theology around sexuality, and she advocates for a cutting edge rework. The book contains frank discussions about sex and some adult language, for which Nadia does not apologize

Jesus: A Pilgrimage by James Martin
This 500 plus page book moved me in ways I did not expect. James Martin is a Roman Catholic Priest and author. He recently made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and did his best to visit sites in the chronological order of the Jesus story in the Gospel of Luke. Vibrant discussions of the holiest of places, paired with a theological commentary around Luke’s version and some heart warming personal stories. This book was incredibly informative for me.

Faith: A Journey For All by Jimmy Carter
So, what if you are a humble farmer and Christian from Georgia and you suddenly find yourself in the most influential position in the world: President of the United States. In his usual humble style, Carter wends a tale of how his faith has guided him from simple beginnings to the spotlight of the world.

FundScrip supports youth

Do you buy groceries, gas, household items, shop at department or renovation stories, eat in restaurants, go to the movies, or need a gift? FundScrip isafundraising program that support our youth pilgrimage events.

By purchasing gift cards to the stores you are already shopping at, a percentage of your purchase will be donated to these youth events. Each week after the 10:30 service, find Judy and Elaine at the FundScrip table at the back of the hall. You can also special order cards.

Contact Judy at judyshendavid@msn.com if you’d like to inquire about ordering.

6th Interfaith Tree Planting Celebrates Stewardship

For the sixth year in a row, St. James joined a group of 10 faith groups to plant trees in a London park. On October 28, we joined with over 100 volunteers from Muslim, Jewish, and Christian organizations, along with community volunteers, to plant over 400 native trees and shrubs at Halls Mill Park, near Byron.

Over the past 6 years, this group has planted 2,500 trees and shrubs together in 6 London parks. The participating groups this year include:

Al Mahdi Islamic Centre
Christ the King University Parish/ King’s Campus Ministry
London Muslim Mosque
Mary Immaculate
Or Shalom
St. James Westminster Anglican Church
St. Jude’s Anglican Church
St. Luke the Evangelist – Broughdale
Temple Israel Synagogue
Trinity United Church Community Center

The event fell on the day after the mass shooting at the Pittsburgh synagogue, and as we remembered those killed in the anti-Semitic violence, we acknowledged the importance of building interfaith communities. Speakers at the event included Walter Zimmerman from Temple Israel, Mahmoud Haddara from the London Muslim Mosque, Sister Margo Richie from the Sisters of Saint Joseph, and Rabbi Debra Dressler from Temple Israel.

Undie Sunday Bonanza

St. James Parishioners held one Undie Sunday on Dec. 4, 2016 and filled 3 boxes with new underwear for residents of Mission Services London. Then, on December 13, we in turn gratefully received London’s Jockey Warehouse’s free gift of 190 boxes of surplus ladies’ briefs (and some men’s briefs), with between 20 and 140 items in each box – close to 25,000 items!

Over the following week, Mission Services London, The Salvation Army, and Church of the Epiphany Food Bank picked up about 50 boxes. Then, members of the SJW Outreach Committee, along with Norm Kelly, John Thorpe, and Mike Walgos, son of Outreach Member Joan Walgos, kindly picked up and delivered the rest to My Sister’s Place, Atlohsa Native Centre, N’Amerind Friendship Centre, Unity Place, Ark Aid Street Mission, Sanctuary Street Mission, Beth Emmanuel Church, Southdale Chaplaincy, five London schools, and our sister Churches in Wortley Village – Wesley Knox United, Elmwood Presbyterian, and Calvary United — with whom we share  weekly Community Breakfast responsibilities.

All items were happily welcomed to meet a basic need we seldom think about. Our immense thanks to the Jockey Warehouse Administrative and Loading staff for their gift!

Welcome to St. James Westminster!

Thanks for coming to our site to learn more about us. We welcome you to join us for services, and to discover the many ways you can become involved in the church.

Our Sunday services are at 8:30am and 10:30am (8:30am and 10:00am in July and August). Our Wednesday service is at 10:00am every Wednesday (September-June).  If you are not sure what to expect at an Anglican service, here is some information to help you feel more comfortable.

We have many ways for you to celebrate Christmas with us this year. Please view our events page for a list of all our services and musical events.

Our clergy and staff would be happy to answer any questions you have about St. James or visit with you.

Our church is located in Old South, and is a beautiful space to worship.

Here are a few ways you can become involved at St. James:

Want to learn more? Contact us by phone, email, or just stop by.  We welcome you to our family.

Summer Camp Fun at St. James

We had a terrific week of fun, singing, prayer and crafts at our summer day camps in July and August 2016.

Recipe for great summer fun:

  • 14 children
  • 4 teen counsellors
  • 8 adult volunteers
  • great church facilities and grounds
  • a nearby swimming pool
  • a hose, buckets, balloons, and a slip-and-slide
  • paints and craft materials
  • songs and stories galore.

Mix together and you have St. James Day Camp July 2016. Take a peek at our Camp St. James 2016 Photo Story (PDF file).