Groups and Ministries

St. James has a number of opportunities to get involved both inside and outside our building’s walls. There are several groups that meet regularly, including: Book Club, Centering Prayer, Contemplative Prayer, Visual Artists, and WELCA. We are also committed to serving those in need by providing many ministries to the community, often through partnerships with other organizations such as: Lutheran World Relief, Lutheran Community Services, Loaves and Fishes, and Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon. Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, we have been feeding those who live on our streets every weekday at 12:00 Noon.

Contact the Church Office (503-227-2439) for more information.


St. James Book Club

Fourth Tuesday of Every Month, 7:00pm

St. James Book Club meets on a monthly basis to discuss all kinds of books! In the past, we have read such titles as The Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones, The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman and Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. All are welcome to attend, nominate book selections, and participate in discussion!


St. James Visual Artist’s Group

Last Saturday of Every Month, 10:00am-12:00pm

St. James Visual Artist’s Group is a collection of visual artists who gather once a month to show our art to each other and receive feedback and suggestions! All practicing artists are welcome to attend!


St. James Women of the ELCA (WELCA)

Meeting: Third Tuesday Sept.-June, 10:00am

Fair Trade Sales: First Sunday of Every Month, 10:30am

St. James WELCA Group meets regularly for prayer, conversation, and bible study. We work diligently to provide both funds and services to those in our community and elsewhere who are in need. We also sell fair trade coffee, chocolate, and other products once a month after worship through a partnership with Lutheran World Relief. These monthly sales help various people throughout the world generate income through fair trade practices.


Contemplative Prayer at St. James

First and Third Saturday mornings, 9:30am

NOTE: Contemplative Prayer will meet again in mid-September. The fall season will begin on Saturday, September 17th, 2022 and continue with the first and third Saturday of every month at 9:30am. We will continue to meet on Zoom until further notice. This would be a great time to join us as you get into your autumn routine. For information about this group, contact Susan McBerry or the St. James front office.

Taking time to remove oneself from the noise of daily life is a gift you can give yourself.

Anyone interested in contemplative listening to God is invited to join us. We spend time in silence, in reading sacred texts, and praying for the world, each other and ourselves.


Centering Prayer Group

Wednesday mornings in the Library, 8:30am

For a number of years, St. James has welcomed a community Centering Prayer Group that met every Wednesday in our Pioneer Chapel. The group was led by the now deceased Pastor Chris Lang.

You are invited to join our community Centering Prayer Group, which gathers every Wednesday at 8:30am in the Library.



Feeding the Hungry

Weekdays (Monday through Friday) at 12:00 Noon

For more than a year now, St. James members have partnered with Pastor Bruce Arnold in distributing a meal to those in need. We hand out food, hygiene items and new socks. We have conversation, build relationships and learn about particular needs.

This pandemic is disrupting the lives of those who live on our Portland streets in an alarming way. In fact, a number of helping agencies have stopped providing needed food. So St. James is helping even more. We are continuing to partner with Pastor Bruce Arnold in providing food, bottled water, socks, and hygiene items every weekday (Monday through Friday) at 12:00 Noon in the Park Blocks in front of our building. The Multnomah Health Authority has “strongly recommended” that those over age sixty not participate in these distributions, but we can provide needed items for others to distribute. Our St. James Social Ministry continues to purchase items thanks to your faithful offerings to St. James.


Lutheran Ligaments

Every year, a group of 12 people mostly from St. James participate in the annual Hood to Coast Relay. This group of walkers starts in Portland and makes their way to the Oregon coast along with the many others that participate in this event. Donations received for the event benefit Lutheran Community Services.


Boxcars (School and Health Kits)

Spring, Fall

Twice a year St. James assembles school and health kits that are shipped to developing countries all over the world, through Lutheran World Relief. School kits help children attend school with the needed supplies, and health kits are provided to people who have experienced natural disasters and other trauma.


Shrove Tuesday

St. James comes together the day before Ash Wednesday, which is typically called Fat Tuesday, with a pancake feed. We open our doors to the surrounding neighborhood; all are invited to join in this festive meal.