Welcome to St. James's Episcopal Church in Cambridge, MA, a community known for its diversity, enthusiasm and joy in the Gospel.
Holy Eucharist Rite I, Sunday 8:00am in the side chapel; Holy Eucharist Rite II with music, Sunday 10:30am (Nursery for toddlers available in the Vestry); Church School begins at 10:15 for children ages 4-10 at Pine Village Preschool (2067 Mass. Ave.) & for children 11-18 at 2161 Mass. Ave.
Ash Wednesday Eucharist and Imposition of Ashes: 12pm and 7:30pm
RENEWAL IN THE SEASON OF LENT @ ST. JAMES’S
Please join us for a rich season in our community of practice at St. James’s: a season of worship, study, action, and reflection together as we learn more about what it means to be disciples of Jesus Christ on his path toward the Cross, trusting in the God of Life through it all.
“DUST YOU ARE & TO DUST YOU SHALL RETURN:” ASH WED. OPENS LENT: FEB. 10th
On Wednesday February 10th at noon and again, with choir, at 7:30 PM, we will celebrate the Holy Eucharist with Imposition of Ashes, to open the season of Lent. It’s a service in which we are invited to plumb the depths of our human frailty, and in its darkest corners, to discover the light and promise of God’s mercy and grace. Join us!
LENT APPROACHES: JOIN US FOR A HOLY SEASON OF REFLECTION & RENEWAL
The Exhortation for Ash Wednesday, the service that opens the Lenten season of preparation for our reliving of Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection, begins with an invitation “to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self denial; and by reading and meditating on God's holy Word.” No sooner do we hear those words than we kneel in penitence and accept upon our foreheads a smudge of ashes to remind us that we are dust, mere clay, and that God alone is the loving Potter who shapes and guides us. The season of Lent – one of the oldest observances in our Christian history, with references dating back to St. Irenaeus in the third century – is 40 days long, replicating Jesus’ 40 days’ testing in the wilderness before his ministry began. Lent’s main goal is to encourage us in practices that draw us back toward God and make us ready to experience in our re-enactment of Jesus’ Crucifixion and Resurrection in the liturgies of Holy Week and Easter the gift of Jesus’ willingness to empty himself upon the Cross in order to summon in us the full resurrection power of love.
At St. James’s, we launch the season of Lent with the Liturgy of Ash Wednesday (at noon and at 7:30 PM on Wednesday February 10th), and continue it through the five Sundays of Lent, Feb. 14th through Mar. 13th. On Sunday Mar. 20th, we re-enact Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem with the Liturgy of the Palms, and his Passion on the Cross, initiating Holy Week, the holiest week of the Christian year, the week we follow Jesus’ footsteps toward the Cross, and finally its vital conclusion on Easter Sunday, the Feast of the Resurrection, Mar. 27th.
AN INVITATION TO A REFLECTIVE LENT IN WORSHIP AT ST. JAMES’S
The First Sunday in Lent is February 14th, and with the change of season comes a change in liturgical rhythm. Each week, our liturgy will open with a musical meditation and the Penitential Rite, which moves the confession of sin to the beginning.
Many of us discover in our Lenten reflection that we are carrying heavy burdens of uncertainty, guilt, or responsibility that make us feel very separate from the love of God. We will take extra time for quiet before the confession, to turn our burdens over to God and free ourselves to receive God’s mercy and blessing during worship that day. And our worship will be designed as an invitation to return to God, place our trust in God’s love, and remind ourselves that we are beloved of God.
Not only that, but also, our Sunday liturgy will invite YOU to enter into the preaching! Our preachers will preach briefly, setting a spiritual and theological frame of reflection on the scriptures for the week. Then after a brief moment of quiet, the Presider will ring a gong and we will open a microphone at the head of the center aisle and invite two or three of you, as the Spirit calls you, to respond briefly – in two or three sentences – out of your own experience in your relationship with God to what you’ve heard from the preacher. The day’s homily will thus “unfold” into the experience of the wider congregation.
In addition, keep your eyes on this space in the Sunday News: Choir member Lauren Zook is going to continue offering her weekly reflection on our music for Lent, providing some background to the diversity of our hymns, anthems & musical meditations for the season.
The goal is for our services to be quieter and more meditative throughout Lent, until we come to the solemnity of Holy Week and the joy of the Risen Christ at Easter.
LENT IS A SEASON TO REFLECT ON OUR SHORTCOMINGS & SEEK ABSOLUTION
In the Reformation, the English Church gave up the requirement of sacramental confession to a priest as preparation for worship, substituting instead the General Confession in our common worship, allowing us to place our burdens directly before God. However, we Anglicans also respect the deep need we human beings have on occasion, when struggling with a heavy sense of responsibility for a harm we feel we may have done to another, to lay that burden before another human companion and listener, someone who can more directly embody the mercy of God. Lent being a season of self-reflection and repentance, it is a logical time to make a clean slate, and to seek forgiveness for any harm we may have done, in preparation for the Feast of the Resurrection. There are two tiny services of reconciliation in the Book of Common Prayer on pages 447 to 452. Either can be done between two lay persons, and likewise either can be shared with a priest, who can give formal absolution. If you would like to engage in the sacrament of reconciliation with Holly or Eric, please email Holly at email@example.com or call at 857.998.1777 (or email Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org call him at 857.998.1461) and we’ll make a time for this quiet but powerful sacrament.
LENT PROGRAMS INVITE US DEEPER INTO OUR SPIRITUAL LIVES
This Lent, St. James’s will offer several ways to fulfill the invitation in Ash Wednesday’s Exhortation in the Book of Common Prayer: “I invite you, … in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God's holy Word.” Besides our ongoing Sunday Bible Study, Tuesday morning PRAXIS, and Tuesday and Thursday Morning Prayer opportunities, below are some of wonderful Lenten opportunities: our dollar-a-day Lenten Ingathering; a Lenten class on the 12 Steps of AA as a “way” into faith, led by Mary Beth Mills-Curran and Isaac Martinez; and “Always Open,” an Anglican perspective on the Christian faith with the Rev. Holly Antolini. Please see the descriptions below, and JOIN US!
RENEWING YOUR FAITH FOLLOWING THE WAY OF JESUS USING THE 12 STEPS
Isaac Martinez and Mary Beth Mills-Curran will be offering a weekly adult formation series around the topic of 12 step spirituality using Richard Rohr's book, "Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps," as a guide post. Dates, location, and time all TBD. Please contact them if interested, at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A DOLLAR A DAY IN LENT…
… from where you put it, in the box at St. James's on the way up to communion, to orphan students in Nairobi, Kenya. This year, our offering in support of Anglican partnerships in mission across the globe focuses on one of our Missions Grant recipients, the community-organizing project led by young Kenyans called “Tatua Kenya,” Founded by former St. James’s member and postulant for the diaconate Natalie Finstad and with current St. James’s member and postulant for the priesthood Mary Beth Mills-Curran on the Tatua board. A dollar a day per person for the 40 days of Lent will help St. James reach or even exceed the goal of 7/10 of one percent of the parish budget for the poorest of the poor recommended by the General and Diocesan Conventions. Boxes will be in the church throughout Lent, and your generous giving will provide a good Lenten discipline. Thanks for helping Tatua provide education, care and hope for the children they support!
“ALWAYS OPEN” INQUIRER’S CLASS BEGINS FEB. 14th: COME EXPLORE YOUR FAITH!
Lent is the season to turn to God and renew one’s faith. Come join others at St. James’s – some newcomers, some long-timers – who will gather to explore the Way of Jesus in the Episcopal Church beginning on Sunday evening Feb. 14th, 7-8:30 PM over a simple supper at Holly’s house and continuing on Sunday afternoons from 4 to 5:30 PM, Feb. 21st, Feb. 28th, Mar. 6th and March 13th, concluding with the solemn Feasts of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil and the Feast of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. We will read Always Open: Being an Anglican Today, which you can order in advance on amazon.com. We Anglicans (Episcopalians in the Anglican Communion) center our practice of common prayer in Scripture, Tradition & Reason and that enables a Christian faith that is “always open,” always looking toward the future with a strong sense of the Holy Spirit’s presence and evolving creativity, always looking for Christ manifested in each other and the whole of Creation. We’ll dig into our worship, our theology, our use of Scripture, our history, our pursuit of God’s great Commonwealth of shalom, of justice, peace & wholeness. If you desire to use it in this way, this class (along with another five-week class in September/October) will also prepare you for the sacrament of Confirmation as an Episcopalian, next October. Please rsvp and let Holly know of your interest at email@example.com. Space in the class is limited to 12.
BAPTISMS AT THE EASTER SERVICES
Baptisms will be held at the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday Services, 4th & 5th of April. If you would like to discuss arranging a baptism, please contact Holly at firstname.lastname@example.org about this.
Put Leaves on the St. James's Tree & Sap in Its Trunk!
Moving forward towards construction!
If you would like an update on construction plans, go to the Saint James Place construction website at http://saintjamescambridge.com/.
Meanwhile, enjoy our FAQ sheet on the restoration plans below!
See the history of St. James's church and garden, and our exciting redevelopment plans in detail in the PowerPoint presentation below:
The Holy Currencies:
6 Blessings that Sustain Missional Ministries at St. James's
At St. James's, we’re talking about ALL the “Holy Currencies” and how they increase and support each other and in turn, support us to pursue God’s Mission in a sustainable way at St. James’s. So what are "The Holy Currencies?" We know about the Currency of Money. But as any "endowed parish" knows, money alone doesn't sustain a vibrant ministry, nor keep it focused on God's Mission of justice and mercy, advocacy and reconciliation in a world that, despite its inherent beauty and abundant creative energy, is divided, unjust and broken. For that, we need other "currencies" less quantifiable but no less critical, and those currencies need to flow one into another, multiplying each other endlessly to energize God's Mission. The need for a flowing Currency of Time & Place is one we know poignantly well, as we await the building of our new parish house, since we have had to find currency of place by the grace of our neighbors, the Pine Village Preschool for our church school, the Friends for our offices and Women's Meal, the Fresh Pond Apartments for our Food Pantry, and as we find our schedules impacted and our anxiety rising at our over commitment, finding currency of time hard to dispense in the flood tide of priorities in our lives. Time & Place depend upon and flow from another Currency, the Currency of Relationship. It is the desire for relationship that motivates parishioners to offer their houses for a Newcomers' Meal or a Lenten Class. It is the fruit of relationship that enables us to expand our "footprint" from the Food Pantry to the "Cooking Nights" at Fresh Pond so our guests at the Food Pantry become our friends. And it's the fruit of relationship that supports the vibrancy of our parish life “in diaspora,” relying on the kindness of our neighbors as we wait to build our parish house. Currency of Relationship flows directly from the Currency of Truth, in which everyone in a congregation feels heard, can express their views without rancor, and stretches to listen carefully and hear the views of people very different from themselves, and in which we become able to hear and be moved to action by "the cries of the poor" in our surrounding community. The prison ministry, the Anti-Oppression Team, and the Outdoor Church are all places where the currency of Truth flourishes at St. James's. And it's Currency of Gracious Leadership that keeps that space open and inviting for both Relationship and Truth to expand and deepen in worship, formation, and outreach ministry. All these Currencies - Money, Time & Place, Relationship, Gracious Leadership, and Truth - flow together to enhance our fundamental Currency of Wellness, that rootedness in God's goodness, love and abundance that grounds itself in worship and reminds us that we are each of us beloved of God and gifted to increase God's love in the needy world.
St. James's Activities:
St James's Episcopal Church - 1991 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge MA 02140
Offices located at 2161 Massachusetts Avenue at Milton Street
New Parking for St. James's during construction!
When we begin construction, we will be using the parking lot behind the Henderson Carriage House on Mass Ave. To get there, you go west on Mass Ave, pass the Hess Station on your right, and immediately after the Hess station, turn right on Hadley Street. Then turn left into the parking lot.
Weekday evenings after 6 pm, Saturday and Sundays only.