INVITE & WELCOME
To be a beacon for all as a neighbourhood and destination church where we invite and welcome friends, family and strangers into our midst.
Liaison: Pat McSherry; Reece Wrightman
MANDATE AND MISSION
To provide refreshments after 10:30 am High Mass in order to foster conversation and fellowship among parishioners. For many, this ministry offers a gentle introduction to serving in the church and getting to know others.
Approximately eight times a year “Fellowships Sunday” replaces Coffee Hour. The point of the “Fellowship Sunday” is to create a more in-depth opportunity for parishioners to socialize, and enjoy one another. We began this initiative during 2014 in response to feedback from the Parish Review.
PRAYER & FORMATION
To deepen our life of prayer and formation in Christ
Liaison: Leslie Arnovick, Brian Rocksborough-Smith
MANDATE & MISSION
Flowers have always been an integral part of Christian worship, especially in the Anglican tradition. Mass at St. James’ is always honoured with beautiful flowers in the sanctuary and other parts of the church, reminders of creation and God’s love for all. On feast days such as Christmas and Easter, the church is especially filled with their fragrance and beauty.
Members of the Flower Guild work in their ministry of beautifying God’s house. If you wish to donate flowers in memory of someone, write your name in the Narthex flower chart, then please contact the church office.
MANDATE & MISSION
To maintain a parish library, which provides materials for study and reflection.
MISSION & MANDATE
To lead the gathered faithful in the worship of God through music by adding to the sense of transcendence inherent in our worship. We sing the musical portions of liturgies at St James’, drawing on the finest possible sacred choral music.
For those who wish to enjoy the many spiritual, social, and physical benefits of choral singing, including the opportunity to sing some of the finest choral music ever written. The High Mass Choir rehearses and sings at liturgies from September through the Feast of Corpus Christi (usually early- to mid-June). The choir is on duty most Sunday mornings during that period, on feast days, and occasionally for Choral Evensong on the last Sunday of the month. Women and men of the choir alternate some Sundays, to give time off during the year. Some choral experience is necessary, as is an ability to read music at some level. Typically, there is a probationary period of about a month, during which an new singer and the Organist & Choirmaster can determine whether the singer and choir are a good fit for each other.
Admission to the choir is by interview and audition with Gerald Harder, the Organist & Choirmaster.
Prayerlink is a group of parishioners who commit to praying daily for members of the parish, and issues throughout the world. Members are approved by one of the clergy, and are committed to a confidentiality agreement to preserve people’s privacy. People must agree to be prayed for, or the concern is in the public domain already, i.e. on the prayer list, or common knowledge. A list, and updates are circulated mainly by email, but also by hand if necessary. St. James’ is known as a praying church.
The St. James’ Readers and Intercessors Guild began its work in 1998. A group of dedicated and talented readers are responsible for the Bible readings and intercessions or prayers of the people on Sundays at the High Mass at 10:30 am.
The Sanctuary Guild is committed to the worship and the glory of God by preserving the heritage and traditions of St. James’ Anglican Church in caring for the linens, sacred vessels, furnishings and vestments. The Guild meets on Saturday mornings as a general rule, and members are free to adjust their weekly attendance as it suits their individual schedules.
Servers are boys, girls, men, and women who assist the Celebrant at the celebration of every Mass, as well as other services such as Evensong.
When servers were almost all boys they were referred to as “altar boys”, or very traditionally as “acolytes”. In the Anglican Church, as well as most Roman Catholic parishes, girls and women also serve, so the term “server” is comprehensive.
Servers are usually members of the laity, although some servers are seeking Ordination, and they are called “postulants”. Whatever their title, the role of servers has long been considered important and significant. Many priests have served at the altar when young. Serving at the altar can enrich and deepen one’s faith.
Spiritual formation means committing to practices which deepen our relationship with God in a daily and regular way. These practices draw us inward to reflection and contemplation as well as outward to works of compassion and self-giving.
The family nurtures our sense of belonging, of place, and of who we are. In the Church family, sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Marriage are the outwardly visible celebrations of that belonging. And in the final days of life, we turn to the church to ease our passing and celebrate our heavenly birth.
The tradition at St. James’ includes a rich number of prayer practices, confession, scripture reading and study, following the example of the saints, regular worship, devotion to Mary, intellectual inquiry, and developing a rule of life. They are all intended to draw us into the heart of God, develop a relationship with Jesus Christ, and enkindle a desire to work for a more just and peaceful society, particularly in our neighbourhood.
An opportunity for us to gather as a community of faith, by God’s grace, to develop “an inquiring and discerning heart” (Rite for Holy Baptism, BAS p.160). And in the words of the baptismal covenant, it may be our response to the question: “Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship.” Formation on Sundays sessions are held Sundays at 9:30 am, from autumn until spring.
RELATIONSHIPS & FELLOWSHIP
To develop relationships and fellowship in open, honest and spiritual ways among parishioners, with our neighbours, and those in need
Liaison: Pat McSherry; Betty Carlson
In 1916, the earliest Bargain Sale on record, the Women’s Guild raised funds to pay the tax debt. Since that time, twice yearly, thousands of dollars have been raised to support various missions and projects. In addition, funds have been provided to purchase equipment for the Bishops’ Room kitchen and refurbishment of the Rectory. Fundraising also includes a Christmas Bazaar, for which members make jams, chutneys along with knitted and baked goods.
In 2013, the Guild donated funds to Mission to Seafarers, Vancouver School of Theology, St. James’ Outreach, and The Bloom Group (formerly St. James’ Community Service Society).
Other activities include the making of palm crosses and with ACW (Anglican Church Women) wrapping hundreds of pairs of socks and toques each year for the Flying Angel/Mission to Seafarers. On request, the Guild will host funeral receptions for the families of members of the congregation.
An open invitation is extended to women of the parish to join members at their monthly meetings held at 11:00 am, the first Friday of each month, except June, July and August.
The Mothers’ Union is a Christian organization which promotes the well-being of families worldwide. We achieve this by:
- developing prayer and spiritual growth in families;
- studying and reflecting on family life and marriage and their place in society;
- resourcing our members to take practical action to improve conditions for families, both nationally and in the communities in which they live.
These aims lead branches to take on a variety of functions relating to family life in their parishes, depending on need. MU at St. James’ are responsible for baptismal preparation and receptions, fundraising for the Northern Clergy Families’ Fund; and the MU Overseas fund. This fund pays salaries to MU workers in third world countries, very often the backbone of their communities. MU workers help with sewing, cooking, agriculture, health and nutrition, youth training, moral guidance, Bible teaching, and AIDS counselling. The MU Literacy Program, the Family Life Program and the Parenting Program have changed the lives of women living in Africa. They have given them confidence to manage their family accounts, start micro industries to buy needed supplies for their villages and to discuss the sharing of responsibility of parenting with their husbands, hitherto unknown in their community.
The Coming Home Society supports aboriginal youth by developing programs that enhance cultural identity and strong community connections. This work is accomplished partly through fund raising for the support of ‘Wisdom of the Elders,’ a programme that provides youth with cultural and spiritual teaching.
The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) works in partnership with organizations in Canada and throughout the world to support people-centred development that improves the quality of daily life for vulnerable populations, promotes self-reliance, and addresses root causes of poverty and injustice.
“The moment a child in poverty learns to play an instrument they are no longer poor; they become a child in progress.” Maestro Jose Abreu, founder of the El Sistema music movement
St. James’ Music Academy is the story of one person’s determination to give children a better chance in life. When cuts to public school funding during an economic recession meant that Vancouver’s inner-city children had limited or no access to quality music education, long-time Downtown Eastside area resident Kathryn Walker decided to do something about it. She began a two-year process of building alliances and support in the community for a music academy that would not only teach music but use music as a means of reversing the negative social forces that neighbourhood children commonly face. SJMA opened its doors in September, 2007 with 45 enrollments and a budget of $37,000. Since then, the Academy has grown rapidly each year, touching the lives of many hundreds of children. Today there are 170 children in the core after-school programs and another 250 children in outreach programs.
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
We believe in social transformation through the power and love of music. Through the inspiration and joy of collaborative music making within the framework of our orchestras and choirs, we give young people in the Downtown Eastside and beyond the opportunity to explore their creative potential, gain self-confidence, get an academic head start, and become role models within their family and community. Visit the SJMA website.
The pursuit of justice within our parish and throughout the world is the crux of our concern because the God of the Bible cares about the earth in all its munificence and the people in all their diversity. We interest ourselves in the systems that shape communities and our lives together. God cares about justice and so must the church.
We prepared parish members for full participation in the Truth and Reconciliation National Event in Vancouver in 2013 through a series of actions. We continue to pursue ways for healing, resistance, reconciliation and justice for residential school survivors and others.
We support the Street Outreach Initiative of St. James’ by organizing volunteers to greet and be present with “street involved” people at every Sunday coffee hour and on the front steps. We continue to recruit volunteers for this ministry and we provide training for those who are interested.
We cooperate and join in with other organizations working for the common good in our neighbourhood and Diocese like the Eco-Justice Group, the North Shore Ecumenical Working Group, the DTES Roman Catholic Parishes, the Carnegie Community Centre, Servant Partners, Jackson Street Co-op, St. Thomas Anglican Church, all of whom, like us, are members of the Metro Vancouver Alliance, a broad-base community alliance for social change. We see the importance of congregational development in our pursuits of justice through effective community organizing and working with other likeminded organizations.
We take seriously that faith is not primarily about belief, but about “beloving God.” The pursuit of justice is in doing that. We attempt to hold the tension between corrosive cynicism and irrelevant idealism. We live in the tragic gap between reality, the world as it is, and what we know is possible.
To maintain financial equilibrium, develop our reserves and optimize the use of our assets to ensure the preservation of our sacred space and ministry from generation to generation, to the everlasting glory of God.
Liaison: Vacant, Treasurer; Betty Carlson and Reece Wrightman
The envelope secretary handles all manner of donations to the Church, including intended donations, envelope offerings, credit card contributions, online donations and is responsible for banking duties. The Envelope Secretary reports to the Treasurer and the Stewardship Committee.
MANDATE & MISSION
To support the liturgical guilds by accurately processing the weekly collection, ensuring that donations are recorded on a report for the Envelope Secretary, and are directed to the appropriate ministries.
Anyone may join, but experience in handling cash and preparing bank deposits is useful. Four teams of counters rotate.
The Finance Committee is constituted of members of the parish, and those seeking to support its mission of worship and service. They are appointed on the basis of recommendation and voluntary commitment of time and talent to St. James’; such voluntary service does not require specific financial expertise but an intelligent understanding of relevant budgetary process and oversight of church investments.
The primary mandate of the Committee is to be an advisory party to the Board of Trustees, intending to be an effective steward of the parish financial resources so that its worship and service is sustained. Committee members are tasked with bringing their expertise and experience to the ongoing oversight of the parish finances, from nurture of its investments to optimum budgeting in terms of income and expenditure. A particular task is assisting the Treasurer with the preparation of the annual budget for presentation to the parish in November.
The Committee is a standing committee of the Board of Trustees, chaired by the Treasurer and appointed by the Rector. Thus it operates in an advisory capacity with respect to matters of financial strategy, and is subject to the determination of the congregation by Vestry and Diocesan guidance.
The Committee meets on a regular basis, normally four times annually, but can be further convened as might be required. The deliberations and recommendations of the Committee are reported by the Treasure to the Trustees, Wardens and Rector.
Stewardship, broadly speaking, is the care and management of resources; in our case, church resources. Bible references are often used to illustrate giving, often about sowing and reaping, and the Parable of the Talents, where the expectation is to multiply the resources we are given. The task of the Stewardship Committee is to develop a plan for giving that is suited to our parish and to encourage giving both for present needs and to ensure that we have a solid foundation for the future.
Mutual Responsibilities Between The Board of Trustees and the Heads of Guilds and Ministries
Maintain regular contact in order to celebrate successes, resolve incipient problems, and encourage creativity and new ideas.
Ensure that all communications are respectful in nature.
Focus on engagement, so that those in and beyond the Parish feel welcome to join in our worship and take an active part in our ministries.