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  • May 29, 2020

COVID-19 Updates

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Rector's Pastoral Letters

May 29 Updates

Earlier today, eleven of our finest graduated from kindergarten. Our school graduation ceremony was held via Zoom with proud families present to honor the graduates. Our children, dressed in cap and gown, and proudly marched in their homes to the music of Pomp and Circumstance.

As with any event, there were a few complications that needed to be overcome. The graduates needed to exercise a degree of concentration to carefully open the envelop that held their St. James' School Diploma without tearing it. This was followed by the need for some help with moving the tassel on their mortar boards from one side to the other. As the ceremony concluded, one delighted graduate could hardly wait to proudly demonstrate to his teacher (and everyone else in attendance) how two of his teeth “now wiggle!” Most likely this will not be an issue at his next graduation.

It was a delightful ceremony filled with great joy and much needed hope. We are grateful for the excellent leadership of Kim Goodrich-Chicca as Director of School and for each of our dedicated teachers. The education of young children is an important ministry of St. James'. This past year we educated 118 students. One of my favorite moments is to listen to the children sing, “I want to Walk, Walk Like Jesus” on their way to chapel.

Someday they will draw upon the early foundation that has been provided for them over their years at St. James'. As a church we are in the business of changing the trajectory of lives. I wonder what the future might hold for the Class of 2032?

There have been two deaths in the parish. Please join me in offering condolences to Rev. Gethin whose father, Douglas Wied, entered eternal life in the early hours of this morning and to the Frias family for the death of Stella’s daughter Cyndi.

  • A celebration life will be held for Gethin’s father when his parish church is allowed to open, friends and family are allowed to gather and when the community is allowed to sing.
  • The Frias family mourns the death of Cyndi who valiantly fought cancer over the years. A Go Fund Me page to assist Cyndi’s family with funeral expenses has been set up for anyone who would like to help.

SERVICE UPDATES

Many are asking about opening the church for services. We are not sure how we will do this yet or when the bishop will allow this. The California regulations make it difficult for a liturgical worship service. California churches and houses of worship are allowed to open with the following restrictions:

  • There is to be NO communion, singing, communal praying or recitation (such as the Lord’s Prayer, Creeds, Intercessory prayer responses), sharing of the peace, passing offering plates, lighting of votive candles, nursery care or Sunday School, coffee fellowship or food service of any kind.
  • Reservations are required to attend worship, public gathering areas are to be closed including bathrooms. Entry doors must be propped open for ventilation and masks are required.
  • Churches can be filled to 25% capacity while maintaining 6 foot social distancing between family groups. Worshipers are to be ushered out. Gathering spaces must be deep-cleaned following each service and all vestments must be cleaned following each service.

For now, we will continue with our online services while we obtain the equipment needed for live streaming services from within the church.

UPCOMING EVENTS

We will celebrate the Feast of Pentecost this coming Sunday. Tune in to our service when it is posted at 8:00 am on our website or join us later in the day. Julie Beals has prepared a special Sunday School Pentecost Class that is also posted online here. Be sure to watch! Her presentation will delight the entire family!

With the death of Rev. Gethin’s father, it is necessary to move Graduation Sunday from June 7th to June 14th to allow Gethin to participate in honoring graduates in the SJ Youth Group. There will be a Zoom service on June 14th at 10:15 and an earlier meditation posted at 8:00 am for the early service parishioners.

A NEW 4 week class is forming entitled: Understanding Our Anglican Heritage. Beginning Wednesday June 3rd through June 24th, we will explore the Roots of our Faith, our Anglican Identity, Episcopal Heritage, and Why We Worship The Way We Do. This class will be taught by Rev. Michelle assisted by other clergy. Each class will be held from 7:00 until 8:00 pm.

May you and your loved ones be blessed as we continue through these days together. Join us for night prayer on Zoom at 8:00 pm (Zoom link here).

May 22 Updates

Yesterday we celebrated the Feast of the Ascension of Jesus. We thank Tim Morton for being our soloist for our Ascension Day Compline service last evening. There was a Facebook post that circulated among clergy groups yesterday regarding the Feast of the Ascension. The definition of Ascension? “Ascension is the day when Jesus started to work from home!” While not quite theologically accurate, it is funny.

To learn more about the significance of the Ascension of Jesus, tune in to our service on Sunday with a moving visual meditation prepared by Lisa Cerrina, music from members of our choir, a reflection and prayers at 8:00 am. If you prefer to attend a later service, the service will await you online! As always, virtual coffee hour follows at 11:30 (Zoom link here).

SERVICE UPDATES

As of yesterday, Bishop Taylor has decided to allow clergy to begin live streaming a Sunday service from within the church with one priest at the altar, no singing, with only a few socially distant and masked people assisting. Until a vaccine is widely available, I anticipate that our services will involve “spiritual communion” and be much different than what most would prefer. Bishop Taylor has convened a diocesan study group to consider how Eucharist  with the distribution of communion can safely take when the community is allowed back into church.

I anticipate that we will need to hold multiple socially distant, small group and masked services each Sunday. For now, we will continue our current style of service until we have our live streaming equipment in place.

PENTECOST AND SPECIAL REQUEST

Pentecost Sunday is May 31st. As you may recall, this service usually concludes with the congregation carrying a candle out of the church to symbolize the birth of the Church and our Spirit filled mandate to bring the Gospel beyond our walls out into the world. This year, we will do this virtually.

We are asking you to video yourself holding a lit candle and then passing it off screen to virtually hand to another. We would like to incorporate this into our service. Indeed these are challenging yet creative times for church services! If you would like to be in the service and participate in this way, please see directions here.

LOOKING AHEAD

The  Thursday night Archeology of the New Testament Class with Rev. Gethin is currently on hold. Please remember Gethin’s father and family in your prayers. Gethin’s father is very ill. Gethin and Meredith have gone to be with him. When able, Gethin will reconvene his fascinating class.

Graduation Sunday will be held on June 7th. On this Sunday we will honor those who have earned a Graduate degree, Bachelor degree, or a High School diploma. We will also honor those receiving a certificate of completion for their four year course of study in the Education for Ministry program (EfM) from the University of the South School of Theology and others from our local diocesan seminary at Bloy House. Please honor your family member by emailing the church office with a digital picture and a brief write up about your students’ achievement and future plans.

A NEW 4 week class is forming entitled: Understanding Our Anglican Heritage. Beginning Wednesday June 3rd through June 24th, we will explore the Roots of our Faith, our Anglican Identity, our Episcopal Heritage, and Why We Worship The Way We Do. This class will be taught by the clergy. Each class will be held from 7:00 until 8:00 pm.

Please continue to join us for Night Prayer at 8:00 every night (Zoom link here).

I look forward to a time when we can be together once again. Until then, may God’s blessing rest on you and please join us online!

May 15 Updates

I came across a quote the other day that resonates…

The Pessimist complains about the wind.
The Optimist expects it to change.
The Realist simply adjusts the sails.

As this pandemic continues we find ourselves in all three categories.

Yes, we have much to complain about. Since March we have experienced upset, disruption, fear, frustration, impatience, struggles with confinement, ongoing economic challenges and the emotional and physical exhaustion that this global pandemic entails. Some of us have lost loved ones to this virus and to other health issues. We grieve with close friends and struggle with our inability to be with them to offer comfort. Please hold in prayer Dan, Kim and Danielle Besen. Dan’s mother Jeanette Besen passed away on May 10, 2020 from the corona virus complicated by other health issues. We offer our heartfelt condolences to the Besen family.

Given all of what we are experiencing, Easter still teaches us that HOPE is at the very heart and core of our faith. As a community in the midst of this painful pandemic, we steadfastly refuse to squander our hope to despair and continue to support, love and care for one another. This is who we are as a church. It is the nature of hope to seek a way forward. We are grateful to the scientific, medical, and service communities working tirelessly on behalf of others. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,” said Jesus that night at table (John 15:13). Each night we remember all of the above in prayer at our 8:00 pm Compline Service (join Zoom here). I will not leave you comfortless, Jesus promised (John 14:18). We rest in this promise.

In the meanwhile, we will continue to adjust our sails to the wind of the Spirit and move ahead as best we can. For us hope is not static; it strains ahead seeking a way forward even through difficult and uncharted waters. If you would like to share a story of hope or a kindness you have witnessed, please let us know.

STORIES OF HOPE-SHARED

Nursing Home Week was celebrated at Prospect Manor this past week. St. James' Prospect Manor Ministry volunteer musician Kristine Kwong thoughtfully provided a “Take Out Banquet” for the hard working nurses caring for the needs of the elderly. Thank Albert Malafronte, chair of this ministry, for sharing this with us.

Please join me in thanking the Food Locker volunteers who continue to collect, package it and safely distribute bags of food to those in need every Friday afternoon. Truly this is a labor of conviction and care. Thank you Lisa Markus for coordinating this ministry, Jan and Stan Hirtle for your prayer support for this ministry that you dedicated yourself to many years ago. We especially thank Dylan Bowes, Patrick Brandt, Lisa Cerrina, Edward Martinez, Suzanne Wright-Nava, Caitlyn Ferrence-Saunders, Daniel Saunders and Rev. Gethin Wied for their ongoing work.

Hear music in the air? Our senior warden, Lucy Jones periodically hosts a few Los Angeles Baroque Musicians in her driveway to share music in the neighborhood. Of course, this is held at a safe distance with necessary health precautions.

Need to rest in music? Check out our Sacramentum music composed by Rev. Michelle on our website.

Need to relax and laugh? Thank you Lance Davis and Mary Chalon for your podcast, “The Wind in the Willows” from Parson's Nose Theater. We look forward to more online productions. The best of theater continues...

Thinking about scripture? Join either Reflectionary with Rev. Michelle (join Zoom here) or Anthropology of the New Testament with Rev. Gethin (join Zoom here) on Thursdays.

Looking for a little Support from friends? Dr. Joanne Als welcomes new members to the SJ Support Group on Wednesday nights (ava100@mac.com).

Need the larger perspective of the Universe? Check out the Introduction to the Carnegie Observatories by John Mulchaey. You can watch this, explore the universe and then turn in scripture to Psalm 8!

LOOKING AHEAD

Join us for Night Prayer at 8:00 pm on Ascension Thursday, May 21st (join Zoom here).

Pentecost Sunday is May 31st. Join us online for a very special service. Details to follow…

On Sunday, June 7th, we will be celebrating the achievements of our graduates. Please send a digital picture and a paragraph honoring your graduate to the church office: office@sjcsp.org by June 1st.

Blessings to you as we enter another week of this pandemic together. Remember, HOPE is not is not quarantined! Together, let us exercise hope as hold one another in care and prayer…

May 8 Updates

Resilience is important. As the weeks pass, I hope you are finding spiritual strength and comfort from the services and classes that we are offering online. If you have missed a service, check our website. If you want to join a group or take a class, it is not too late. These are unprecedented times that none of us ever thought we would ever experience. The number of cases of those diagnosed with the virus, those who have died, the businesses that have closed their doors for good, and the number of unemployed staggers the imagination. We are learning how much we need one another. Please continue to support the Workers of Mercy who are on the front lines serving others throughout this pandemic. As we “Shelter in Place,” may we also “Shelter in Faith.” Please hold in prayer those who continue to risk their own health to care for the needs of others.

Join us this coming Sunday, Mother's Day. Join us online (on our website or Facebook) for our church service. Lisa Cerrina has prayerfully prepared a visual meditation revolving around the theme of the “Mother Heart of God.” The Gospel of the day addresses how to live through trying and challenging times. Sarah Gonzales has planned beautiful music with soloists. We understand how important church remains during this challenging time and many hands go into preparing a service each week. Special thanks to Daniel Saunders, our resident film maker and webmaster!

The Sunday service will be posted online at our website and Facebook at 8:00 am for early risers. Of course, it will remain online for those who prefer church at 10:15 am. Coffee hour begins at 11:30 (join here). This Sunday, bring a favorite “mother story” to share. It could begin with: I cannot believe that she__________ OR, I can not believe that I_____________ or .... Mothers come in a variety of sizes, shapes, ages, life styles and experiences. Who is it who cared for you?

We continue with Zoom Night Prayer at 8:00 pm each night (join here); Monday evening Centering Prayer (join here); Thursday morning Reflectionary Bible Study (join here); and our Thursday evening Archeology of the New Testament class (join here). If you would like to join our weekly Support Group email Dr. Joanne Als at ava100@mac.com. Consult our website for further information!

A special thank you for all who are continuing to financially support the church. Needless to say, we continue to have bills to pay! It is now easier for you to honor your pledge. For your convenience we are now using the Tithe.ly platform. Thank you for your continued care. As we walk together through these days, please let us know how we can be of help.

May 1 Updates

This coming Sunday is Good Shepherd Sunday. Join us via Zoom for a special treat at 10:15 am. We will be honoring our children at this LIVE service on a Sunday that in past years would have been Day School Sunday. Our service will include interviews with some of our youngest members as we unpack the theme of Jesus, the Good Shepherd. We will continue to enjoy the beautiful music offered by members of our choir and the soulful contemplative meditations prepared by Lisa Cerrina. Join us for Sunday worship here:

We received GOOD NEWS this past week. We were informed by Citizens Business Bank that our application for the Pay Check Protection Program loan has been processed and approved. We have Kim Besen our Treasurer, and Komal Tolani in the Church Finance Office to thank for their long hours, accurate accounting, and hard work. Many churches in the diocese have not been as fortunate. According to Kim, our loan application was one of ninety-five successfully submitted to Small Business Administration on the first day of the second round just before the SBA portal crashed! In the near future, we will be sending a “State of the Church” letter to you outlining our current financial situation, a report of ministries and our future hopes and plans.

Many are wondering when we will be able to return to our church building for services. Bishop Taylor has informed us that the Diocese will be following the four-stage plan recently outlined by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Churches will be allowed to open for public services during the Third Phase which may be as late as September… We will see how this unfolds.

This week, I would like to thank our Pastoral Callers who have been diligent in calling to check in with fellow parishioners. Staying connected over such a long period of time is not easy. Please join me in thanking Kevin Baaske, Lisa Cerrina, Mary Chalon, Nancy Duncan, Anita Espinoza, Joy Fridey, Aline Gram, Stan Hirtle, Judy Humphrey, Lucy Jones, Deno Kidde, Albert Malafronte, Ed Martinez, Jack McConaghy, Susanne Nava, Allison Rector, Greg Richardson, Caitlyn Ference-Saunders, Barbara Sinclair, Carol Timiraos, Deb Vogel, Diane Webb and Edmond Yee for their care and thoughtful calls. While our doors may be still be closed, our church is not!

OPPORTUNITIES

If you are stressed, tired of COVID 19 and want company, join our Support Group chaired by Dr. Joanne Als. For more information email Joanne at ava100@mac.com All are welcome! The group meets every Wednesday night from 6:45 - 7:45 pm.

If you would like individual prayer for any need or concern, a member of the clergy would be happy to return your call or email.

Compline, Night Prayer of the Church, continues every night at 8:00 pm. You are welcome to join the group via computer or phone here:

An exciting new class launched this past week. Join us for Rev. Gethin’s Archeology of the New Testament on Thursday nights at 7:00 pm via Zoom :

Thinking ahead to Sunday? Join Rev. Michelle for a thoughtful consideration of the Biblical text for each upcoming Sunday at Reflectionary, held via Zoom each Thursday morning at 10:30 am here:

Our Food Locker ministry remains active. If you need food or would like to volunteer, please email the church office.

PRAYERS FROM THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND

Prayers about the Outbreak
Keep us, good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy in this time of uncertainty and distress. Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low; that we may rejoice in your comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ, you taught us to love our neighbor, and to care for those in need as if we were caring for you. In this time of anxiety, give us strength to comfort the fearful, to tend the sick, and to assure the isolated of our love, and your love, for your name’s sake. Amen.

God of compassion, be close to those who are ill, afraid or in isolation. In their loneliness, be their consolation; in their anxiety, be their hope; in their darkness, be their light; through him who suffered alone on the cross, but reigns with you in glory, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For those who are ill
Merciful God, we entrust to your tender care those who are ill or in pain, knowing that whenever danger threatens your everlasting arms are there to hold them safe. Comfort and heal them, and restore them to health and strength; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For hospital staff and Medical Researchers
Gracious God, give skill, sympathy and resilience to all who are caring for the sick, and your wisdom to those searching for a cure. Strengthen them with your Spirit, that through their work many will be restored to health; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Christian community
We are not people of fear: we are people of courage. We are not people who protect our own safety: we are people who protect our neighbors’ safety. We are not people of greed: we are people of generosity. We are your people God, giving and loving, wherever we are, whatever it costs For as long as it takes wherever you call us. Amen.

April 24 Updates

As we experience Week 6 of sheltering in place, I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones safe and well.

When we were given the order to “shelter in place,” I never expected that we would be called upon for many of the online services we have been asked to perform. Indeed, this is a new world for the Church and for many of us to experience. We began with an online wedding, and rejoiced with Stan Hirtle and Jan Arenz as they exchanged their heart-felt vows. We hope to honor them with a joyous reception when we return to church!

This past Sunday, Little Cora Joan Wilkinson was baptized online with Clay, her proud father, pouring water over her head as the prayers of the Church were prayed and the community rejoiced. We welcomed the newest member of our church and look forward to her chrismation when we return to church. Cora’s proud mother Liz is a member of our choir.

And then, yesterday, we were sadly called upon to pray the Prayers for the Dying for a beloved, long time member of our community, Bobbie Lloyd. Bobbie will soon be with her Lord. Her son propped his phone next to Bobbie as we talked about the next part of her life with God. Many of us recall Bobbie’s many years of ministry with the Altar Guild, Vestry, Rector Search Committees, Choir and much more... She is one of our saints. Please hold Bobbie and her son Frank in your prayers. While our doors of the building may be closed, may we continue as a Church to hold one another together in God’s love.

We are changing our Sunday Service to be more than a sermon and visual reflection. Beginning this Sunday the service will be posed online at 8:00 am. Virtual Coffee Hour will continue to be held at 11:30. Pour a cup of coffee and join us! There have been some requests that we offer a Virtual Spiritual Eucharist. I checked with the Bishop this week. Bishop Taylor has asked that clergy not conduct services from within our churches at this time. We will consider this request and perhaps offer a home Eucharist online but hopefully, we will be able to begin to return to church in a limited way by … Pentecost? There is no way of knowing yet… however, we will not return unless it is safe and can do so in keeping with strict infection control measures.

On Sunday, May 3rd, we will celebrate Good Shepherd Sunday. As you recall, the first Sunday of May is usually Day School Sunday. This year we will hold a LIVE ZOOM service at 10:15 am focusing on our children. More information will be sent out next week regarding this.

New Opportunities

A Support Group is now forming. We are delighted that Dr. Joanne Als has offered to lead this group. The group will meet on Wednesday nights from 6:45 - 7:45 pm. Come be part of this group with other members of our church. If you are interested, email Joanne at ava100@mac.com All are welcome!

Archaeology and the New Testament – Thursdays on ZOOM – 7:00-8:00 PM led by Rev. Gethin. Come along on a six week “cultural excavation” as we explore the ancient world in which Jesus lived and the early church was born. Each session we’ll unearth a different topic and discuss where it intersects with our sacred scripture and history including: “4/30 – Context is Everything: Classical Rome in an Hour; 5/7 – The Temple Jesus Knew; 5/14 – Render Unto Caesar: Roman Coinage and Why its Valuable; 5/21 – Law, Politics, and Rebellion in Judea, 5/28 – Voices that Still Speak: Classical Authors and the Church; 6/4 – The Roman Household, Paul, and the Early Church. Join us as Rev. Gethin will be our dig director for this class on Zoom:

And for those who need a change of scenery, Kim Goodrich Chicca, our Director of School invites us to come along on a Virtual Field Trip! Pick your venue!

We remain challenged by this pandemic yet strong in faith as a Church. We are Easter people who see beyond the cross to a future that God provides for each of us.

April 15 Updates

As we continue to celebrate Easter, please know that you and your loved ones remain in our thoughts and daily prayers. Please continue to email or call the church office with your prayer requests. Members of our prayer team pray daily through the list of requests.

I hope that you were able to join us for our Holy Week services. The services continue to be posted on our website at www.sjcsp.org, on Facebook, and YouTube. Virtual worship has been a learning curve for many of us. Prior to this pandemic, I never would have imagined holding online church services during Holy Week. Indeed, this is a new world for an emerging church.

As a community we have many to thank for assisting with our Holy Week services especially Sarah Gonzalez, our Director of Music, members of the choir who offered to sing, Christopher and Aubree Roney who masterfully produced an online choir of blended voices and much of the music, Sharon Kunde, and Tim Morton and their families and Christopher and Aubree Roney who were soloists and musicians. We are grateful to each lector who prepared a reading, Lisa Cerrina who soulfully offered her visual contemplative mediations, our resident film maker and website guru Daniel Saunders, and of course, our parish clergy. Our community is thankful for your gift of leadership.

A highlight this year was our all parish Zoom service for the Great Vigil of Easter. A first! I have been surprised by how far and wide our services have traveled. A priest in Brooklyn commented online about how much he appreciated our Holy Week services. A former parishioner stranded in Lisbon, Portugal and another in Connecticut tuned in, and Bishop Sergio Carranza posted a thank you note from his home in Mexico.

While our buildings remain closed, the Church continues to be alive and active. We are grateful to Lisa Markus who continues to coordinate the Food Locker ministry and the many dedicated volunteers who continue to pick up and distribute food to those in need.

We conclude each day with Night Prayerof the Church at 8:00 pm. Check in and join us for nightly prayer via Zoom here:

You are welcome to join our weekly Reflectionary (Bible Study) group that meets each Thursday morning at 10:00 am via Zoom here:

New groups will soon be forming  next week for Bible Study and support.

The Youth Center at St. James and our Parish Day School continue to provide long distant learning opportunities. Parishioners continue to reach out to one another by phone and our parish office is open remotely from the home of Judy Felton. Our sextons are on the grounds doing deep cleaning and a number of projects that were deferred over the years. Some have asked if it is safe to send mail to the church. Yes, the mail is picked up daily.

In the mix of all that is challenging in the world around us, we also rejoice. We CELEBRATE with Stan Hirtle and Jan Arenz on the Blessing of their Marriage. We rejoice with The Rev. Todd Blackham who was received as a Novice in the Society of St. John the Evangelist, Boston, and with former parishioner, Trent Pettit, a missionary in Gambella, Ethiopia who will soon be ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons. We are delighted that little Cora Joan Wilkinson will be baptized online this coming Sunday. Her dad will pour the water! The family had hoped that the baptism would take place at the Great Vigil of Easter. Due to special family circumstances, a decision has been made to baptize little Cora remotely. By God’s grace, the Spirit continues to move at St. James…

We offer our CONDOLENCES to Terri Hoornstra whose husband Jonathan passed into eternal life on Easter Sunday after a long illness. Service plans are pending. Please hold Terri and her family in your thoughts and prayers.

We will continue to post a Sunday sermon and visual meditation online atour website each Sunday at 10:15 am and join the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. for worship at cathedral.org. Coffee Hour follows at 11:30 am in our virtual Parish Hall via Zoom:

A list of additional resources are available online at our website here.

Please take a moment to read a letter from our Senior Warden, Lucy Jones. I am grateful for her leadership, that of the Vestry, for Kim Besen our over worked treasurer, and Judy Humphrey, our parish clerk during these very challenging times.

May God continue to be present in all that we do because He is Risen as he said, Alleluia!

Holy Week Updates

This coming Sunday, we will celebrate the Resurrection. While the doors of St. James’ are closed throughout this pandemic, our worship of God and our care for one another continues. We have prepared each of the services for Holy Week and our Easter celebration with great thought and care. Please join us in worship throughout this Holy Week.

The Week at a Glance

Tuesday, April 7th at  8:00 pm — Join us for Compline (Night Prayer of the Church) via Zoom.

Wednesday, April 8th at  8:00 pm — Join us for Compline (Night Prayer of the Church) via Zoom. (Same link and password as above.)

Thursday, April 9th at 7:00 pm Our Virtual Maundy Thursday Service will stream online at 7:00 pm on our website and Facebook and will be posted later on YouTube. (Click here.) On this night, we remember Jesus at table on the night before his death, the institution of the Eucharist, and the events that lead to the cross.

Each year we hold aPrayer Vigil throughout the night in Children’s Chapel. We will do this again this year. Following our online service, you are invited to set aside time to pray before the Virtual Altar of Repose in Children’s Chapel. (Click here.) Our Prayer Vigil continues through the night until Noon on Good Friday. If you would like to submit a prayer request on this night for others to hold in prayer during the Vigil, send us an email here.

Friday, April 10th at Noon — Our Virtual Good Friday Service will stream at noon on our website and Facebook with music, readings, prayers and a reflection. (Click here.) If you are unable to attend you can view on our website or YouTube channel.

At 8:00 pm, join us for Compline (Night Prayer of the Church). (See above for link and password.) If you would like to walk Virtual Stations of the Cross, click here.

Saturday, April 11th at 8:00 pm — This year, The Great Vigil of Easter will be live streamed online via Zoom at 8:00 pm. We will begin with the lighting of the holy fire, the traditional chant, biblical readings from our salvation history, live music provided by members from our choir, a sermon, and of course, we will ring in Easter with bells or, as some have requested, the banging of pots and pans! Light a candle and join us for the first service of Easter! See below on how to join:

Easter Sunday, April 12th at 10:15 am — On Easter Sunday a sermon will be streamed online at 10:15 am on our website and Facebook. (Click here.) Accompanying the sermon will be a Visual Meditation to guide you through the Easter scripture readings. A Spiritual Eucharist will be held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C (cathedral.org).

After Church, join us on Easter via Zoom for our Easter Brunch Coffee Hour at 11:30 am! Word has it that some may be wearing their Easter finery! See below on how to join:

April 2 Updates

This coming Sunday, we will enter the holiest of our weeks. While we will miss our Palm Sunday procession and the services of Holy Week and Easter together, God is still God, Christ remains the Risen One, and with grace we will pray our way through this difficult time together. Rev. Michelle will offer an online reflection on Sunday at 10:15 a.m., and Lisa Cerrina will continue to offer a soulful contemplative visual meditation to accompany the Palm Sunday journey of Jesus into Jerusalem.

I hope this letter finds you well, and that you are staying connected to St. James’, and accessing our ministries and resources through the parish website.

There are many resources available, including sermons for each of our Holy Days, contemplative visual meditations, letters from Lucy Jones, our Senior Warden, ministry news and ongoing information about Zoom support groups and classes. This past Sunday, we held our first “Coffee Hour Drop-In Time” on Zoom. We will continue to do this at 11:30 a.m. each Sunday. Watch the visual meditation on our scripture readings and a Sunday sermon, join the National Cathedral for a Spiritual Eucharistic Service then join friends for a cup of coffee! As the sign on the front lawn of the Church says: “God is Not Socially Distant, Stay Connected.”

Last Sunday, I mentioned that we were going to send palms in the mail to each parishioner for this Sunday. Unfortunately, we could not. Bishop Taylor sent a directive to the churches of the diocese asking us not to do so as an infection control precaution.

Offerings

Compline, the Night Prayer of the Church, is being offered every night at 8:00 p.m. Join others via Zoom for nightly prayer and a daily check in.

For Compline at 8:00 p.m. from April 3 through April 10, click here:

Attention MEN of the parish: It is not too late to sign up for an online retreat offered by Greg Richardson this coming Saturday, April 4th, 9:20 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. There is no charge for this retreat. Greg is a spiritual guide, a life coach, and an Oblate of the New Camaldoli Community of Benedictine Monks whose monastery is in Big Sur. Greg will guide those attending this virtual retreat through practices of prayer and listening that those who attend may be more deeply grounded in God during this difficult time. Email Rev. Gethin to sign up at gwied@sjcsp.org (Note: A Women’s Retreat will be held in May).

On Sunday, drop in for our Virtual Coffee Hour at 11:30 a.m. Sit down with friends, have a cup of coffee, and catch up. In addition to the Sunday sermon and visual meditation on the readings that is posted on our website and Facebook at 10:15, we are attending church together at the National Cathedral in Washington (cathedral.org) To join Coffee Hour, click here:

On Monday we will post information about our Holy Week and Easter Services. Yes, we will worship online for each of our Holy Week and Easter services. This year, The Great Vigil of Easter will be live on Zoom…definitely a first! Get your bells ready to ring…

For families stressed with house bound little ones at home, our school is beginning an early childhood distant learning program beginning April 6th. The program is open to current school families and community children ages 3 to 5 years old and will include Daily Virtual Meet-ups for 30 minutes complete with Circle Time, Music & Movement, Storytime & Share Days. If you wish to enroll our children or grandchildren please contact Christine Ramirez at cramirez@sjcsp.org.

Please remember the many who are turning to St. James’ for prayer, strength, hope, and protection as they serve others in this time of need.

March 27 Updates

Where charity and Love prevail, God is always found. We have witnessed so many acts of love, outreach and kindness since the beginning of this crisis that I know God is at work among us during this very difficult time. Church is more than an architectural structure, it is who we are together. We are called to be people of love and compassion, especially in times of trial and suffering. Thank you for being THE CHURCH for so many others.

Please check out service times and opportunities below followed by an important letter from our senior warden.

THIS SUNDAY

  • On Sunday we will celebrate the 5th Sunday of Lent at 10:15 a.m. Please click here to our website or Facebook page for our Sunday sermon by the rector and a visual meditation on the scripture readings prepared by Lisa Cerrina, MFT.
  • From 11:30 a.m. until Noon, our Senior Warden, Lucy Jones will host a virtual coffee hour on ZOOM. Join friends and have a cup of coffee. Join the Zoom Coffee time Meeting by clicking here at 11:30 on Sunday: https://zoom.us/j/203217482
  • If you would like to participate in a Spiritual Eucharist click here for the Sunday service at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC.
  • Our Weekly Zoom AWAKEN for youth will meet each Sunday at 12:30 p.m. for Middle Schoolers and 2:00 p.m. for High Schoolers. Please contact Rev. Gethin at gwied@sjcsp.org for more info.

Ministries and Opportunities

WEEKLY ONLINE SUPPORT GROUPS are forming for members of our parish. We will talk, pray and support one another. If you would like to join a group, please email Rev. Anne at atumilty@sjcsp.org.

The clergy and members of our Prayer Team are available to meet and pray with you by phone. Please call (626) 799-9194 or email the office at office@sjcsp.org and we will set up a time to talk by phone.

Online AA meetings for those that can no longer host a group.

We will be gathering on Monday night for Centering Prayer at 7:00 p.m.via Zoom to quiet our minds and hear God’s word in the stillness. We open our time with a reading, then 30 minutes of silence to let go of all of the thoughts, feeling and other distractions to listen to the voice of God. We then follow our silent period with prayer and a reading. Email allison3@pacell.net to join the group, or you can directly sign up at https://zoom.us/j/849622483 (Meeting ID: 849 622 483).

Forward Day by Day Daily Meditation is available here.

Reflectionary Bible Study will meet online via Zoom on Thursday mornings at 10:00 a.m. Join this group led by Rev. Michelle to consider our Sunday scriptures. To join, please go to https://zoom.us/j/548113869 (Meeting ID: 548 113 869).

An Online Men’s Lenten Retreat with Strategic Monk, Greg Richardson will be held on Saturday, April 4 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. To participate, RSVP to Rev. Gethin at gwied@sjcsp.org by Thursday, April 2.

Children’s Ministry continues

For children three-and-a-half to 3rd grade, see this YouTube video for Godly Play, The Mystery of Easter. Mary Chalon, our Director of Children’s Ministry suggests that parents watch the YouTube video and after watching, ask what your child thought about it and what was their favorite part? Remember that there are no right or wrong answers! Your children may draw or make their own puzzle of what they saw in the Godly Play presentation using drawing or painting materials you may have at home.

  • 4th through 6th grade students are using WEAVING GOD’s PROMISES. Click here for a home liturgy and activity packet for your children.
  • If you would like to pray Compline with your children, click here.
  • We Wonder is a free, daily, contemplative devotional podcast for children. Each podcast is approximately 11-12 minutes long, for children and adults to pray together.
  • An Illustrated Lent for Families: A selection of $10 coloring books with Lenten themes for families. Immediately available online for purchase and downloading.
  • Faith at Home: Lectionary-based devotions and projects for children of all ages.

Meals Available are available for Seniors in South Pasadena. Although the South Pasadena Senior Center has closed its doors and shut down programs, its employees are continuing to provide a vital service for seniors to help them weather the COVID-19 pandemic. Senior Center employees will continue delivering hot lunches to patrons Monday through Friday and also provide Dial-A-Ride services for priority trips: doctor’s appointments, pharmacy pickups and grocery store excursions. Residents wishing for a lunch delivery or Dial-A-Ride service should call the Senior Center at (626) 403-7360. Deliveries of the hot meals are made between 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and are made on a scheduled basis, rather than on-demand. Please call by 12 noon the day prior if you would like a meal the following day. Meals are $3 each and are billed monthly.

The AYSO soccer league is organizing volunteers to shop for seniors and deliver to their door. (So South Pasadena residents only.) Please call the Senior Center at 626-403-7360 if you want groceries left at your door (no contact). For more information click here.

Food Locker Ministry continues each Friday, from 1:30 - 2:00 p.m. The Food Locker ministry is continuing in the significantly modified format we began a few weeks ago. We are following the health guidelines set by national and local health authorities concerning social distancing in order to ensure the safety of all who come for food as well as our volunteers. We are currently in need of volunteers for assembling “Go-Bags” of food for distribution, from 8:00 - 8:30 a.m. on Friday mornings. Contact Lisa Markus at lisahmarkus@gmail.com if interested. Additionally, we need volunteers who can distribute bags in St. James’ parking lot from 12:45 - 2:15 p.m.. If interested, please contact Rev. Gethin at gwied@sjcsp.org. For their own safety and for that of others, all volunteers MUST be healthy and under 65.

St. James School and Community offering: Our school is beginning an early childhood distant learning program beginning April 6. The program is open to current school families and community children ages 3 to 5 years old and will include Daily Virtual Meet-ups for 30 minutes complete with Circle Time, Music & Movement, Storytime & Share Days. FEES: Tuesday/Thursday: $80 per month. Monday/Wednesday/Friday: $120 per month. Monday - Friday: $200 per month. This program will also be offered to any children in the community who wish to join. For further information Contact Christine Ramirez at cramirez@sjcsp.org.

Pastoral Callers continue to call members of our Church. We will be holding your needs before God in prayer.

The Church Office is available by phone. Do not hesitate to call to update us regarding your health or needs you may have. We are Church and will do our best to help. Calls are being forwarded to the parish administrator. There is a waiting period as calls are forwarded.

May the Lord bless and keep you this week. Let us know how we can help. You are in our prayers. I ask that you keep St. James in yours.

March 21 Updates

Since my last letter sent midweek, much has changed. As we shelter in place, we will follow the guidelines requiring all businesses and churches to be closed. Behind the scenes, we are busy with so many needs. Please read the following letter, aware that I have changed information regarding church services.

May the Grace and Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ continue to be with you in these incredibly challenging times. Steeped in the grace of God, we will walk through whatever is ahead of us, together. While the future is unknown, God is not.

NEW: Managing in a Time of Crisis

  • Until further notice we will be worshiping each Sunday online. A sermon for the 4th Sunday in Lent will be posted on our website and on our Facebook page. In addition, please enjoy a Contemplative Visual Meditation prepared for us by Lisa Cerrina, a gifted therapist and student of soul care.
  • Tomorrow morning, I invite you to join the community of the National Cathedral in Washington, DC for a livestreamed worship service at 11:15 am ET.
  • Our Bishop, John H. Taylor, is offering Sunday Morning Prayer from his home. You may find this on Facebook or at the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles website.
  • Click here to enjoy music composed by Rev. Michelle for our Sacramentum Services.
  • The Youth Program, Awaken, is meeting online via Zoom each Sunday.
  • Pastoral Callers will be contacting every member of our Church. We will be holding your needs before God in prayer.
  • The Church Office is available by phone. Do not hesitate to call to update us regarding your health or needs you may have. We are Church and will do our best to help.
  • The clergy and members of our Prayer Team are available to meet and pray with you by phone. Call the office to set up an appointment
  • Please continue to financially support the church. Our School and Youth Center are closed, yet we still have staff salaries to pay. In addition to this, many are turning to the church for help. Please be as generous as possible.

Take time to call loved ones and reach out to care for others. Church is more than a building, it is who we are!

May God bless you throughout the days ahead, and may you be a blessing to others. And again, remember: Nothing can separate us from the love of God that we know in Jesus Christ.

March 19 Updates

To the Beloved Members of our Community:

May the Grace and Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you in these incredibly challenging times. We have arranged for a large sign to be placed on the front lawn of St. James’ that reads:

God Is Not Socially Distant
Let’s Stay Connected
www.sjcsp.org

Steeped in the grace of God, we will walk through whatever is ahead of us, together. While the future is unknown, God is not.

Managing in a Time of Crisis

  • Until further notice, we will be worshiping each Sunday online. Tune into our Virtual Church Service at 10:15 a.m. through Facebook or directly through the Church website: www.sjcsp.org
  • This Sunday we will worship with Morning Prayer and music. A meditation will be posted online in lieu of a sermon.
  • Pastoral Callers will be contacting every member of our Church. We will be holding your needs before God in prayer.
  • The Church Office is available by phone. Do not hesitate to call to update us regarding your health or needs you may have. We are Church and will do our best to help.
  • The clergy and members of our Prayer Team are available to meet and pray with you by phone. Call the office to set a prayer appointment.
  • Please continue to financially support the church. Our School and Youth Center are closed yet we still have staff salaries to pay. In addition to this many are turning to the church for help. Please be as generous as possible.

While stress is in the air and we are all learning new ways to live together, it is important to minimize anxiety. Psychologists are suggesting that it is best not to watch the news 24 hours a day. Pick a time to watch the news to stay informed, but then turn it off. Stay connected to God, the source of all hope, through a practice of daily prayer. Routine is important during chaotic times. Take time to call loved ones and reach out to care for others. This is what followers of Jesus do.

Rector's Pastoral Letter, March 13

Beloved Member of St. James',

What a challenging Lenten journey. Who would have known on Ash Wednesday that Lent would unfold in this way. As a church and prayer community rooted in faith, we will face this crisis together.

While we are aware that new cases of COVID-19 are being diagnosed in the Pasadena area, we are currently unaware of any cases of the virus in our community, youth center, school or church. We pray that this continues to be so. Our vestry met via teleconference this afternoon and is determined to be proactive in protecting the health of all who tum to our church, school and youth center. Given this, the following will be in effect:

Sunday, March 22: We will suspend our usual Sunday services. The Church will be open for private prayer. Clergy will be available to pray with you while maintaining safe health practices. Resources for Sunday morning prayer, contemplative music and meditations will be posted online.

Future Sundays: We hope to return to the Lord's Table together soon but we must proceed on a week to week to week basis. We will post notices weekly.

Looking ahead and in keeping with health guidelines:

  • Midweek services are cancelled until further notice
  • Wednesday night Lenten classes are cancelled until further notice

Food Locker: While we are in a significant health crisis, we must continue to serve the least among us. The Food Locker ministry will continue in a significantly modified format designed to protect our volunteers while providing food to those in need.

Church Office: The staff and office will remain available to you by phone or email. While home visitations will not take place, clergy and volunteers are available to pray with you by phone.

St. James' Parish Day School will be closed from Monday, March 16 until April 13. We will re-evaluate the date of re-opening the school on Friday, April 3, 2020.

The Youth Center at St. James' will be closed from Monday, March 16 through Friday April 3. We will re-evaluate the date ofre-opening the Youth Center on Friday, March 27.

Indeed these are difficult times but God is still God and we do not walk through this alone. St. Paul summed it up this way in his letter to the Church at Rome:

"For I am CONVINCED that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future,
nor any powers, neither height nor depth,
nor ANYTHING else in all creation,
will be able to separate us
from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
(Romans 8:38-39)

Please continue to hold one another, our community, this country, and indeed our world, in prayer before the love and mercy of God. Please remember to pray for all the workers of mercy tirelessly serving patients in hospitals and clinics. Remember the scientists attempting to resolve this issue, all police and first responders serving on the front lines, the isolated who find themselves frightened and alone, and the members of our St. James' community. Together with the grace of God, we will walk through this together. Walk in strength with hope knowing that the Center we have in Christ Jesus will continue to hold our lives.

With Love and Prayer,
The Rev. Canon Anne Tumilty