“Is Jesus God?
Creeds, Chaos, and Constantine” …

Each Wednesday in July Pastor David and Matthew Schobert will present a recorded session on how our creeds and biblical writings were developed and selected. Why aren’t we using the creed from the Christian Church in Alexandria, Egypt from the year 250? Or the one from Jerusalem? Why were the views of Church fathers like Marcion or Arius rejected? Who picked the 27 books in your New Testament? What year did Jesus officially become God?
The first 300 years of The Church were chaotic and sometimes violent. It is our history and we ought to know how it shaped what we say at Sunday Eucharist. When the four Wednesday sessions have concluded, join us for an in-person discussion after worship on Sunday, August 1st.
Here is what to expect this month …

Wednesday, July 7th
Session One: “Which Christianity Won?”
Over 80 forms of Christianity were generated during the first 300 years after Jesus’ death and resurrection. Why do we have only one version today? Is it the “right” one?
Wednesday, July 14th
Session Two: “Who Had The Authority To Choose?”
What does your Bible say about Jesus’ identity? Why do biblical writers disagree? What later theologians were labeled as heretics? Why were their gospels and writings destroyed?
Wednesday, July 21st
Session Three: “What the Creeds Mean To Me”
St. James member Matthew Schobert shares his personal story of the value of the creeds in his life. He didn’t grow up in the church and professed his faith at age 17. Why is Deuteronomy 26 so important to him?
Wednesday, July 28th
Session Four: “Arius, Athanasius, and Constantine”
What church leaders directed the debate concerning what you and I profess today? Why do we use the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds? Why did political power and geography play an important role? Why do we call it the “Roman” Catholic Church?
Sunday, August 1st
11:00am Open Space Adult Discussion
What if another form of Christianity had won out? Do you believe every word of the Nicene Creed? What’s more important: form or substance? Bring your questions and join us for the discussion.
NOTE: A new recorded session of this study will appear on our St. James website each Wednesday: go to “Communications > Bible Study” on the main navigation menu at the top of the page. Or you can click here to be linked directly to the “Bible Study” page …

On Sunday, July 25th we will celebrate our namesake St. James, whose feast day is July 26th. As we thank God in worship for the gift of our 131 year ministry, we also take time to honor two people:
– We say Godspeed and Farewell to Lilli Vellom. Lilli has served as our Receptionist/Building Assistant for nearly two years; prior to that, she was a Choral Scholar at St. James. She now heads to Illinois to work towards a Master of Music degree in Voice at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.
– We install Colin Stave. Our new Director of Music Ministry joined St. James in June and now will be officially installed. He has prepared some special music for the day. He shares, “On July 25th, instead of observing the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, we get to celebrate our namesake and observe the Feast of St. James. As I read the appointed scriptures for the day, I noticed themes of service and mission. This foundation of service in Christ will be the focus of the music and its message for that celebration as they align with the ardent priorities of St. James’ mission: Service, Justice, Peace, Charity, Community. I pray that our worship can invigorate all these things in each of us.”
A reception honoring both Lilli and Colin will be held after worship in our outdoor courtyard and Pioneer Chapel. Join us.