From the Rector: July 2023
“Where two or more of us are gathered,
O Lord, there you have promised to be.
And here we are. And so, here are you.”
Every Moment Holy, pg. 112
Dear Parish Family,
Happy summer! To be sure, the rhythms of our community are different during this season. With our worship taking place across two campuses, and so many families spending important time away, we don’t have a regular weekly opportunity to be together. That will come on Sunday, September 10th! Until then, members of our parish family continue to gather and create community in Christ’s name for wonderful and diverse reasons.
Our annual parish picnic at Mount Lebanon Chapel (June 4th) was a wonderful success. Some 225+ of our family came together for great food and fellowship, live bluegrass music and the ever-popular bouncy house. A special word of thanks to our Parish Life Commission leadership (Porter Young, Virginia Pierce and Web Cowden) for their extraordinary efforts in facilitating this terrific event. If you weren’t able to attend this year, we’ll do it again on Sunday, June 2, 2024!
In June our youth represented St. James so magnificently in the Madison County community at Glory Ridge. This was the 23rd year of sending young people and adults on this mission experience. There they spent a full week engaged in the physical work of solving immediate and critical home-related needs for local residents. The demonstrated legacy of leadership and service from St. James to Glory Ridge is now modeled by other churches across the southeast. Although many adults from our parish family have remained committed to this endeavor for these two decades, special thanks to Cookie and Richard Cantwell for stewarding our relationship with Glory Ridge and the sustainable and life-changing experiences it affords our young people.
Our Men on Mission (MoM) have been deeply engaged this summer in support of our local partner organization A Safe Place. In particular, MoM members have been present at the new Safe Place location in Castle Hayne, offering construction and grounds work to prepare and update the facility for incoming guests. As you will see elsewhere in this Grapevine, MoM was recognized on June 27th with a Community Impact award of thanksgiving by A Safe Place. Thanks to Brian McMerty and the MoM leadership team for great work deepening our relationship with A Safe Place.
Our 2023 St. James Parish Family Retreat will take place at Trinity Center (Pine Knoll Shores, NC) on Friday, September 29 - Sunday, October 1st, 2023. We are anticipating lots of creative activities and events for all ages over the weekend, and you are warmly invited to attend! Please look for our special announcement regarding the Parish Retreat, and come with us in September!
Our Gospel readings this summer are all about Jesus sending his followers out - in much smaller groups - to do his work, to seek and serve him in all persons. What a good message for all of us, to remember our call to do Christ’s work, and to remember that wherever we go, and whatever we do in his name, he will be with us.
Again, happy summer everyone.
The Rev. C. Phillip Craig, Jr.