Spring Study Groups: The Great Spiritual Migration

Our Spring Study Group will focus on Brian McLaren’s book, “The Great Spiritual Migration.” McLaren started his life of faith in the Quaker community and has since launched himself through a significant spiritual journey. He spends much time in speaking engagements and writing his blog and has authored many books. In “The Great Spiritual Migration”, McLaren looks at the change taking place in the Christian Church and suggests it is time to take this several more steps forward.

McLaren advocates for much greater co-operation in the faith community, both on a Christian level, but also on an interfaith basis. At the heart of this book is a call to community building and recognizing that all are beloved of God and therefore we must draw our circle wider.

To participate in the study you will need a copy of the book. It is available through the public library system.  We will be placing an order for copies of the book on April 2nd. We want everyone to be able to participate, so there is no charge for the book, but we would welcome any donation of up to 20 dollars to help cover costs. Please contact the church office by April 2nd if you would like to order a copy.

As there is never one specific day or time that works for everyone, we are going to give two separate opportunities.  Tuesday evening sessions will begin at 7 pm on April 23rd and Thursday morning sessions will begin on April 25th at 10 am.

At this point, we expect to finish the study in early to mid June. Both Keith and Hana will be involved in leadership of the group.

Holy Week Services – All Welcome!

Holy Week is a journey. As with all journeys, you will find the most meaning when you make all the steps. We begin on Sunday, April 14th with a tease of the range of emotions we will experience. We begin that day parading around with Palm branches and shouting Hosanna as Jesus arrives in Jerusalem. Before the morning is out, we will feel the pain of Jesus’ passion.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday provide us with the stories of the week in Jerusalem. These stories invite us to contemplate who Jesus is for us. Friendship, betrayal, faith and hopelessness all find their way into this mix of liturgies.

Maundy Thursday marks the Last Supper, the roots of what we call Communion or Eucharist today. An intimate gathering with Jesus’ closest friends. But this too will turn dark as at the end of the evening, we strip away all element of celebration. Death awaits!

Good Friday we resist the temptation to jump ahead, to skip the pain to enjoy resurrection. We sit in quiet contemplation, sadness and sorrow as we feel the nails, the whips, the humiliation. It is necessary to understand the depths of sorrow to understand the thrill of resurrection.

On Sunday, the tomb breaks open, the cry is “He is Alive!!” The hope that had been squandered, is somehow restored in God’s tender act of salvation. Come early to greet the dawn at 7:00, immerse yourself in traditional liturgy at 8:30 and it’s just a full on celebration at 10:30.

Bring your faith, your questions, your curiosity, your love for the entire week. You are welcome as you are, who you are, where you are. Come, draw near to God in a week of real life drama, unequalled in human history.

Passion Sunday with the Liturgy of the Palms – Sunday, April 14 – 8:30 and 10:30

Holy Week – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday April 15, 16, 17 – Eucharist at 7 pm

Maunday Thursday – Eucharist and Stripping of the Altar – 7 pm

Good Friday – Meditation on the Cross, the Passion Gospel and Communion from Reserved Sacrament – 11:00 am

The Sunday of the Resurrection – Sunday, April 21, 2019

  • 7:00 am – Easter Sun(Son)rise Eucharist
  • 8:30 am – Traditional Eucharist from the Book of Common Prayer
  • 10:30 – Choral Easter Eucharist

Loaves and Fishes Collecting Food

You are invited to bring a bag or two of food to church during all the Sundays of February for our annual Loaves and Fishes food drive. All donations of food or cash will be donated to Church of the Epiphany in the Manor Park neighbourhood of London.

You can also bring perishable foods, as long as they will last for a week.

Thank you!

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.

Christmas Services and Events

Christmas is a time of joy and wonder at St. James. We welcome you to join us to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and the message of hope and belonging his story tell us. We have a number of services and events throughout the Christmas season – you and your family are welcome to all of them!

Christmas Lessons and Carols
Sunday, December, 16 at 4:00pm
A special service with candle lighting, symbolizing the journey from Advent to Christmas, from darkness to light.

Family Night!
Dec. 22
2:30-4:30pm – Pageant rehearsal with actors. All children, including those who are not members of the church are welcome to participate. Parents are welcome to stay or leave for shopping or relaxing time.
4:30-7pm – Parishioners join for dinner, crafts, and The Star movie
RSVP by Dec. 16th to Judy Jones judyshendavid@msn.ca. If you would like to join the pageant, please send Judy a note with your child’s name and age.

Children’s Christmas Pageant and Holy Communion
December 24 at 4:00pm

What better way to start the Christmas Eve agenda than with a little organized chaos! The children and youth of St. James Westminster will be front and center as we present our annual Christmas Pageant and Eucharist. All children are invited to the Altar at the time of the Eucharist for an up close view of the celebration!

Christmas Jazz Mass
December 24 at 7:00 p.m.

Jazz is the word for the 7 pm family service. The Jazz Mass is talked about across the city and routinely the pews are full well before the opening carol. Our Music Director Steve Holowitz brings in some of the finest jazz musicans in the area and they inspire our already inspired St. James Westminster Choir in a musical feast of all that is Christmas. Our Rector – Canon Keith Nethery promises to make you think in a Christmas Homily about just what it is that we celebrate. The Holy Eucharist is the spotlight of this wonderful marking of Christ’s arrival on earth.

Solemn Choral Eucharist
December 24 at 10:00 p.m.

A little later in the evening, the lights are dimmed and the true spirit of Christmas comes through in majestic singing and liturgy, with the feel of a silent night that changes all that we know. You are invited to draw closer to the Babe of Bethlehem in the receiving of the bread and wine of Communion.

Book of Alternative Services Holy Communion with Hymns
December 25 at 10:00 a.m.

And don’t forget Christmas morning! At 10 am we gather in joyous praise to mark the day of Jesus’ birth. A carol or too, the Rector and family have been known to wear their Christmas sweaters, the Gospel of Christ’s birth and the celebration of the Eucharist is a fitting finish to our Christmas liturgies.

Christmas I
December 30 at 8:30 and 10:30
Regular Sunday schedule with Guest Soloist Denise Pelley

Volunteers sought to set new directions

At the Special Vestry meeting on October 21, 2018, a number of task forces and special committees were established through motions approved by the congregation.

Members of St. James are invited to join one of these new groups. If you have questions about any of the groups, please contact Rev. Keith Nethery or Wardens Rob Vass or Jennifer Meister. If you would like to join the worship or education committees, please send a note to Rev. Nethery stating what you can bring to the group and why your are interested in being part of this committee.

These groups have been proposed in response to the 2018 Mission and Ministry Task Force Report.

Renovation Task Force
This group will document a comprehensive plan and accurate costing for renovations required for St. James Westminster Church as documented and presented in the Architectural and Mechanical Engineering Report submitted by Terry Marklevitz of Markelevitz Architects and Pow Petermen of PPA Consulting Engineers in January 2017. This report will be presented at the 2019 Annual Vestry and will include recommendations for a fully contracted and fully vetted cost of the proposed project and will offer insight to both proposed immediate work to be done as well as a frame work for work to be done in the future in order to secure both immediate and long term building code compliance and safety.

The Renovation Task Force as part of their comprehensive plan for renovations required for St. James Westminster Church as documented in the Marklevitz report also take into consideration any other Structural, Mechanical, Electrical or Building Code concerns that require immediate attention. As an example the building Heating System has been identified as a potential risk. These findings will also be presented at 2019 Annual Vestry or earlier as required.

The Renovation Task Force will include the four current Wardens (Rob Vass, Jennifer Meister, Tim Fewster, Vaughan Minor) and other members as approved by the Wardens. Rob Vass is to act as Chair of this Task Force, given his familiarity with the various reports and contacts.

Liturgical Development and Worship Space Reform Task Force
The terms of reference for the LDWSR Task Force will be further specified at the 2019 Vestry meeting. Rationale: the possibility for reforming liturgical practices at the parish should be coordinated with the renovations of the church proper building, and advance our capacity to attract young people and families, and be more accessible to all ages and abilities.

Parish Partnerships and Relationships Task Force
The terms of reference for the NPPR Task Force will be further specified at the 2019 Vestry meeting. Rationale: the parish confronts an urgent and sustained need for substantial membership growth and a renewal of stewardship from the grassroots.

Parish Worship Committee
This group will plan and coordinate liturgical seasons and events, and embrace liturgy as the work of the people. Committee membership could include representatives from Altar Guild, Server Guild, Hospitality Group, Director of Music, Church School leaders, and Outreach committee and members at large. The goal of the committee is annual planning to allow for improved communication, parishioner involvement, coordination of use of space and other parish and community events. Rationale: the parish should seek ways to improve internal coordination and communication and to act collectively to attract new members and increase our community relevance.

Parish Education Committee
This group will plan and coordinate educational events and programs within the parish, deanery, diocese and local community. The events could encompass a range of topics and approaches (Bible Study, Book Study, Life Issues) and could be led by both clergy and lay people. In order to ensure maximum participation, we should address transportation, child care and accessibility needs. Rationale: the parish should seek ways to improve our attractiveness to families, children, and youth – as well as to nurture learning and fellowship across the life-cycle.

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.

Aces High Bridge and Euchre

Aces High is a social group that meets on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Monday (excluding statutory holidays) of each month in the Westminster Room to play bridge and euchre. All are welcome!

Aces High is a social group that meets on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Monday (excluding statutory holidays) of each month in the Westminster Room to play bridge and euchre.

You do not need a partner, but please bring along any interested friends. We are a group of varying skills of play from beginner to expert.

So feel free to join us for an enjoyable afternoon of fun. We arrive at 12:45 p.m. to begin play at 1 p.m. Coffee Tea and Refreshments are served. There is a nominal cover charge of $2.00. All are welcome to join. Questions? Contact Chairperson, Dorothy, at 519-473-4598

Fall Studies

We are excited to let you know about a number of Study Opportunities coming this fall at St. James Westminster.

We are excited to let you know about Study Opportunities coming this fall at St. James Westminster. For one study, we will join with three United Churches for a book study on a work by Sheila McGregor, a United Church minister, about spirituality in the “second half” of life. The books will be available in early September and the study will run from September 25 to November 27.

Peggy Roffey will be leading a study on the Parables and Canon Keith will host a discussion group on “Your questions about the Bible.” Dates and times are still to be determined.

Our Wednesday morning will move into a more informal, discussion oriented service and we would welcome your participation.

On towards Advent, Canon Keith is putting together a panel discussion on the issue of Medical Assistance In Dying. This issue is drawing considerable attention in the Church and in society and we hope to look at it from a variety of perspectives.