St. James Church

The parish office or Canon John is always a good initial contact to learn more about our various church ministries and how you can get involved. Below are brief descriptions of ministries within our parish.

Each week, youth in grades five through twelve faithfully serve as acolytes, assisting clergy and Lay Eucharistic Ministers during the service, most notably and visibly during communion. Acolytes were first mentioned as crucifers, banner-bearers, and assistants to the pope and other clergy in a letter of Pope Cornelius to Fabius of Antioch in 252.

This volunteer group's ministry is to care for the altar, vestments, vessels, and altar linens that are used for Eucharist or communion. Altar Guild members, along with vergers, prepare the Nave (main church) for services, and clean up afterwards.They are invaluable with helping clergy prepare for worship services and, on occasion, they assist the Flower Guild.

Music has long been an essential way to praise and worship God for centuries. For instance, the Hebrew scriptures (Old Testament) record that David danced before the LORD (2 Samuel 6.14-22), and the psalms (or psaltry) that we pray each week in service, or on a daily basis,  were originally used as a poetic or music book, if you will, of prayers addressed to God. 
A few other examples of the importance of singing in scripture include 
Psalm 95Psalm 96Psalm 98Psalm 146Psalm 149; and Psalm 150

Our dedicated choir, under the direction of Michael Sterneand accompanied by Eileen DeBoer, offers a full range of music for congregational worship, from ancient chanted psalms, to Anglican music, to spirituals, to well-known hymns.

This group does an outstanding job of making the Nave or Chapel look beautiful for weekly services, and especially for major seasons of the church year such as Advent, Christmas, or Easter.  They also assist with flowers for weddings or funerals.Their work really brings focus to the altar, and they often work closely with the Altar Guild to assist the clergy.

A host of parishioners rotate duty as lay readers for each of our services, with the responsibility to read scripture assigned for a particular Sunday. This is a wonderful ministry to declare God's word.

Fellowship is quite important when it comes to living together as Jesus' disciples, and our band of hosts, cooks, and party planners make it all come together - be it Wednesday night parish meals, receptions for diocesan events, or other parish-wide events such as Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper & Races, to Oktoberfest!

Eucharistic Ministers are trained to serve with clergy in administering the chalice at communion or in other parts of the service. Trained Eucharistic Visitors may be authorized and empowered by clergy to take consecrated bread and wine from a service to share these same elements with those who are homebound, in hospitals, or other care centers. This ministry is not designed to take over the role of the priest, but simply to provide assistance where they are able.  

The vestry is the elected leadership body of the parish. The Constitutions and Canons of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Western Louisiana provide that each parish shall have an annual congregational meeting at which the election of vestry members shall take place. 

Vestry members are legal representatives of the church, charged with specific responsibilities by canons (church organizing laws) of the Episcopal Church to be fiduciary agents for the temporal affairs of a congregation, specifically church finances and property managment. The traditional view used to be that the vestry took care of money and property, while the rector took care of people and souls.

The truth, however, is that clergy and vestry are joint stewards of a congregation, and over the years vestries and rectors have forged the understanding that people, finances, and buildings is one of a shared ministry and vision to which God calls us.

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