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, such as Book Club and Visual Artists. We are also committed to serving those in need by providing many ministries to the community, often through partnerships with other organizations such as Loaves and Fishes and Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon.

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


St. James Book Club

Fourth Tuesday of Every Month, 7:10pm

St. James Book Club meets on a monthly basis to discuss all kinds of books! In the past year 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

Saturday mornings, 9:30am

Contemplative Prayer is continuing to happen remotely during this time of quarantine and isolation.

NOTE: Contemplative Prayer continues to meet every Saturday at 9:30am on the Zoom platform. If you want to be added to the list of participants, please let Susan McBerry know (

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.



St. James — Let’s Stay Connected

During this COVID-19 pandemic — when we cannot congregate in person at our St. James Lutheran Church — we stay connected with each St. James member weekly via phone or email through our “St. James — Let’s Stay Connected” ministry. Our thanks to 14 St. James leaders who enjoy hearing your voice.



Feeding those who live on our Streets

Weekdays at 12:30pm and Tuesdays at 6:15pm

For several months now, St. James members have partnered with Pastor Bruce Arnold in distributing a meal to those in need. We began by gathering each Tuesday at 6:15pm by the Lincoln statue about a block from St. James. We hand out food, hygiene items and new socks. We have conversation, build relationships and learn about particular needs. We will need 4-6 volunteers each week to help distribute the contributed food. There is a sign-up sheet in the hallway.

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. In addition to our Tuesday evening food distribution, we are continuing to partner with Pastor Bruce Arnold in providing food, bottled water, socks, and hygiene items every weekday at 12:30pm in the park 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. With all the downtown Benson Bubblers turned off, water has become a real need. 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.