From the Rector:September 2022
Hello St James Parish!
I trust that you have enjoyed this summer - that you’ve created space for memories to be cherished, and fun to be had. For our part, the parish has celebrated lives well lived, new marriages, new life, and everyday wonders here on the campuses downtown and at Mt Lebanon Chapel. I want to look at some of those happenings with you while also sharing the hope of a spectacular season ahead.
Our summer highlights included welcoming the Reverend Gray Hodsdon and his wife Catie in July. As an Associate Rector, Gray brings all of his gifts of service and spirit to bear, ministering to all, including our music and day school programs. And speaking of our wonderful day school, we were thrilled to have Ansley Trask accept the helm as our new director. Her deep well of faith, wisdom, and service to this parish is really exciting.
Along with new leaders, our beautiful and sacred campuses have undergone physical changes.
Out at Mt Lebanon Chapel, we completed the installation of our beautiful labyrinth, as well as updated welcome and information signs. We also relocated our legacy for Lebanon bricks to the front of the chapel and improved the landscaping with plantings and grass.
Downtown, we embarked on a facility-wide cleaning project which has included a clean fresh coat of paint and a furniture refresh of our Children’s Chapel and many classrooms.
Our open doors and hearts have hosted a successful Vacation Bible School, service projects, and of course a robust worship schedule every day.
The Vestry retreat in early August allowed for prayerful, powerful work to be accomplished. Our mission, physical structure, ministry commissions, and committees will all benefit from the time we spent - and we count on each one of you for the good things in store to happen. More on all of that in the weeks to come!
Our summer season at Mt. Lebanon Chapel concludes on September 4th, and I encourage all of us to attend and participate in our downtown welcome Sunday on September 11th. We will gather as a whole community once again that day at 10:30, so mark your calendars now!
That service will include a traditional blessing of the backpacks, as we offer thanks for and invite God’s blessings on the children we are raising. Following worship, we have a celebration - including food and drink, music, and even a bouncy house for the young and young at heart.
Our worship together is as important as our faith formation time between services. We have many offerings, all centered around the theme “Who is my Neighbor?” to explore together in the context of Christ’s love. Look for a booklet soon with all the details, and plan to attend as part of our Sundays together this fall through the end of the year.
Jennifer and I, together with Sam and LucyWest in residence and EllaKathryn in Albuquerque, love the life we continue to build with you in this wonderful city. Thank you all for your kind friendship and support.
I’m grateful to be your Rector, and I’m grateful for the ministries to which Jesus is calling us together.
Please know that my door is open and you are warmly invited.
Blessings for the year to come.
The Rev. C. Phillip Craig, Jr.