Vestry Corner ~ February 2023
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” -Lamentations 3:22-24
Gathering together for the vestry retreat started with words of wisdom (One in song form!) from the departing vestry members and followed with thoughtful, prayerful time considering where St. James is now and going in the future. The Vestry is passionate, excited and ready to make 2023 a great year and continue the positive energy we have become known for as a parish family.
Business wise, we are excited to announce we have passed a balanced budget for 2023. We are so grateful for all who have pledged this year. Your generosity has allowed us to fund a new position, the Executive Assistant to the Clergy. It is important to support the incredible work our clergy does by providing ways to enable their days to become more efficient and pastoral. Your stewardship has also allowed for a cost of living increase to all administrative staff and the clergy.
We reflected on recent events surrounding Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We appreciated recognizing clergy and parishioners from St. James walking and watching the parade downtown. Thanks to all who participated in the St. Stephens AME MLK Day Blood drive! Several folks noted how meaningful the ecumenical service was and hope others will mark their calendars to attend next year.
Another joyful update was hearing about the huge success of the St. James Day School. In one week, the school filled registration for the 2023-2024 school year with a healthy waiting pool of applicants. The enthusiasm and spirit of the teachers and the director, Ansley Trask was noted with the ways they not only are serving children during the hours they are at school but their care extends beyond the school hours in so many ways. We are very blessed to have this ministry at St. James.
Be on the lookout for a Tri-centennial Committee to be established over the next year in preparation for our 300th anniversary in 2029! This is such a significant event in the life of our parish and one we are fortunate to be able to celebrate. We plan to start kicking off events in 2024 as we lead up to 300 years of St. James Parish! Did you know - St. James Parish was established in 1729 as an official establishment of the Church of England within the New Hanover Precinct. Services were originally held in the courthouse at the intersection of Front and Market Streets. (See stjamesp.org/history for more!)
Over the next year we look forward to having visitors from several committees and each commission to our vestry meetings so we can continue learning how best to support and lift up the great work they are doing. In February we will be hearing from the Speakers Series and we hope you will join their upcoming offering with the Rev. Dr. Scott Black Johnston.
On February 12th, our combined faith formation will be a This Is Us -Vestry Edition. You will get the chance to ask questions and get to know the current members of the Vestry. We hope you’ll take the time to offer up any suggestions or thoughts! Please also know we are available anytime, we are here to represent you. All members of the vestry have name tags with “Vestry” underneath it, so seek us out if you have any questions or comments!
-Leslie Jarrett (Senior Warden) & Alex Murchison (Junior Warden)