Clergy Notes for the Dedication of St. James’ Church — Sunday October 3, 2021


Back at the beginning of the pandemic, and then again a few months later, I wrote a reflection on the lament that I—and many of us—experienced at being unable to worship in the physical church. I noted that there were many people pointing out that the church isn’t really a building—it’s the people of God. While that is true, I countered by saying I think it is also—in a really profound way—our buildings too.


Anyone who has been to a really ancient church will know what I mean when I say that you can FEEL the prayers of the people steeped into the very walls. It gives a church an “alive-ness” that just doesn’t seem to belong to other kinds of buildings. Church buildings are where people come to lay their burdens down, to drop their bulwarks and become vulnerable before God. They are where people pour out their sorrows, laments, hopes and dreams. They are where we gather to share the sacraments and to have our bonds as the body of Christ refreshed and rejuvenated. They are where people mark the most important moments of life, from birth to death and everything in between. If we are lucky, they are places of beauty as well—places where we might begin to have our imaginations inspired towards comprehending the incomprehensible beauty of God’s own Self, who is the author of all that is beautiful, because God is The Beautiful.


This week we celebrate the Dedication of St. James’—our own very beautiful church building. So many of you have a lifetime of memories here; some, multiple lifetimes. You have marked important life moments and many (seemingly) unimportant ones as well between these walls. Some of you have loved ones who have made this building their eternal resting place. You may call this place “home” perhaps even more than you do the place in which you reside.


Whether St. James’ has been your home for generations or just a short while, it is indeed a holy and beautiful place that is transformed every time you add your prayers to the ones that have come before, and which will continue to be transformed and felt by all who come after us. What an amazing gift that is, and what a reason to celebrate! Thanks be to God for the beauty and holiness of the church we call our home, and thanks be to God for the church that resides within all of you! 

Mother Amanda
download the Sunday service booklet here: Liturgy at Home Dedication October 3 20212021