From the Pastor’s Desk …

Our St. James 40-day season of Lent is designed to be bumpy. Our theme of “Cross-Examinations” may feel like bumper cars at Oaks Park – one direction and then bumped another way!

The prophet Ezekiel (550 years before Christ) knew the feeling well when God asked if a valley of dry bones could be bumped back to life. We will hear this passage this month and it will remind us of bumping into all our paradoxes:

–Volunteering our skills at Ministry Fair AND silent reflection
–A Bible Study on heaven AND hell
–Following Jesus to his death AND to Easter life
–Releasing heavy burdens AND freeing ourselves for service
–Winter exits AND spring crocuses bloom

It’s all part of our journey of bumping into opposites and asking “So, can these bones of mine live?” Frederick Buechner perhaps identifies the exact spot of collision when he claimed that our vocation in life is “where our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.” Bumping along with you.

–Pastor David

Wednesday Noon Eucharist Returns …
On March 1st we return to our pre-pandemic tradition of offering a brief service of word, prayer, and Eucharist. It is held each Wednesday at 12:00 Noon in Pioneer Chapel with Pastor David presiding. Each week we center our thoughts around one of the beautiful works of art by Joel Nickel or St. James member Craig Gerke. They both skillfully provide direction for our Lenten journey to Easter morning. Join us.

Wednesday Bible Exploration: “Afterlife and the Book of Revelation”
The last book in your Bible has plenty scary images:
–the Antichrist,
–the Beast whose number is 666,
–a lake of fire and the whore of Babylon.
What does it all mean? Join Pastor David each Wednesday at 12:35pm (after Noon Eucharist) as he explores the themes of Professor Bart Ehrman’s forthcoming book Armageddon. Ehrman suggests that most of what we have learned about The Book of Revelation is wrong. What do you think? Is it a book about foretelling the future end-times and the afterlife, or is it a hidden history of events already concluded? Bring your Bible as we view scripture, art, and scholarship in search of answers. This will be a 45 minute class now through the end of May.

St. James Ministry Fair! …
Join us on Sunday, March 5th at 10:45am for the St. James Ministry Fair! There will be 22 ministries represented. Come learn about the ministries of St. James and how you can become involved. Be sure to bring a few dollars with you for a chance to win a raffle prize! Raffle tickets are a dollar a piece and all funds raised go to earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria. Prizes include: A bottle of wine and wine tasting for four at Archery Summit Winery, a Fair Trade coffee and chocolate basket, the Art Group prize (a portrait drawing, an art print, and a photo of your choice), and two wheels of brie from the Little Island Creamery. Tickets can be bought with cash or check.

Our St. James Lenten Season Theme …
“Cross-Examinations” is a term usually found in a courtroom. It’s when opposing counsel confronts a witness. But during our 40-day Lenten journey to Easter (February 22nd – April 9th excluding Sundays) we are examining the cross of Christ. Our Gospel Acclamation each Sunday is the hymn “In the Cross of Christ I Glory.” Indeed, this is our task: to examine how the pain of Christ’s death on a cross might help us honestly sing of the cross’ glory.

St. James Field Trip …
Experience the Eloheh Indigenous Center for Earth Justice, located in Yamhill, Oregon, with your church family on March 25th and April 29th. Using North American Traditional Indigenous Knowledge (TIK) as a guiding model, Eloheh Farm & Seeds seeks to be a model of regenerative agriculture, animal husbandry, and wild-tending. There will be some volunteer service involved in the experience. The trip is suitable for adults and children. If you would like to participate, contact Mandy Ellertson.

St. James Concert Series …
There will be a new concert series this summer to celebrate and dedicate the beautiful new piano in our Sanctuary! Join us for fun concerts filled with beautiful music at 4:00pm on the following Sundays: June 25th, July 9th, and August 13th. There are many opportunities to support this endeavor through concert sponsorships, piano fund donations, and free-will offerings. Want to know more about how you can be involved? Contact the front office to be connected with Caitlin Stave.