September marks a change in the seasons. It also signals a liturgical change of focus at St. James.

During the summer our Gospel readings asked “What does it mean to be a disciple?” Now we ask “How do disciples deal with one another in community?” It’s a shift from reaching out to reaching in. So since relationship is key, at St. James we start anew:

–Contemplative Prayer via Zoom returns on Saturdays as we begin seeking the Christ within us.

–Education Kick-Off Sunday is September 17th. Adult Open Space gatherings will focus on how we care for the Earth.

–Coffee and Connection. A new group begins September 21st. Enjoy the St. James CDC music class over coffee.

–New Emanuel Hospital interns arrive to provide counseling to the houseless whom we serve 5-days a week.

The Dutch priest Henri Nouwen prepares us for our path ahead with these words:

“We seldom realize fully that we have to choose how, where and with whom to live. We act like we are simply dropped down in creation and have to decide how to entertain ourselves until we die. But we were sent into the world by God, just as Jesus was. Once we start living with that conviction, we will soon know what we were sent to do.”

–Pastor David

Contemplative Prayer
The 2023-2024 Contemplative Prayer group will reconvene in September. Join us on the first and third Saturday of the month at 9:30am on Zoom. See the complete schedule on the Contemplative Prayer page of this website.

Choir Returns!
The St. James Choir will begin rehearsing on Thursday, September 7th and will return to worship on Sunday, September 10th. Contact Colin Stave, Director of Music Ministry if you would like to join the choir. Rehearsals are every Thursday at 7:15pm.

Open Space: Fall 2023 Schedule
Much of the fall will be devoted to exploring Pastor Mark Brocker’s published book on faith and ecology entitled Coming Home to Earth. We will kick off the adult class with one session on September 17th titled “Same and Different.” The Eco Social Justice Committee will help facilitate. The time will be spent exploring our similarities and differences as St. James members. The goal is to discover the richness of our congregation and how what we have in common is just as important as what makes us different. The Calendar for the Fall Open Space can be found on the Education page of this website.

New Group to Begin
Let’s get together! Many studies have shown that those who have friends and a sense of community live healthier lives. If this appeals to you, join St. James members Scott and Mandy Ellertson on Thursday, September 21st at 11:00am in Pioneer Chapel. We will then meet the first and third Thursday of each month just for fun. Here’s our plan: Meet in the Pioneer Chapel at 11:00am and listen to our St. James School children sing in music class (intergenerational connections). Then at 11:30 gather for coffee and connection! Let’s get to know one another over coffee and conversation in an air-conditioned space. Invite a neighbor to join you!

St. James and Legacy Emanuel Hospital
This summer we were delighted to be a clinical site for training pastors and chaplains from our local hospital. Four students provided counseling to the houseless we feed five-days a week. This month another group begins their eight-week training with us. Downtown Portland has become a place of caring and learning.

Thank You
For months St. James members Carol Bergen and Kathy Grabill have picked-up food donations from Fred Meyer to supplement our food box ministry. Our thanks to Kathy and Carol as they step down from this ministry, and thanks to Alan Rutherford who continues to pick up donations. If you have a vehicle and would like to be involved in this work, contact the front office.

Helping the Unsheltered: Schedule Change
Our weekday distribution of needed items and food to those near our church continues. Our group will now meet only on Tuesdays, not on Tuesdays and Thursdays as we have in the past. This month we will gather to prepare food boxes on Tuesday, September 5th and 19th at 10:00am in Pioneer Chapel.

Pastor David to Take Sabbatical
This October and November Pastor David will be away from the St. James office. He will be using the generous gift of sabbatical time granted to St. James’ pastors at the conclusion of every five years of ministry. Pastor David passed that five-year mark last July. He will spend some time at home and some time traveling, and will be unavailable for emails or calls. He will be back in the pulpit on the first Sunday of Advent, December 3rd. We are pleased to welcome two local pastors who will provide leadership during this time. On Sunday mornings you will meet Pastor Mark Brocker (newly retired from St. Andrew Lutheran in Beaverton) and St. James member and retired Pastor Barry Rogge. For emergencies during the week, please contact the St. James office and you will be connected with Pastor Rogge. Our thanks also goes to St. James member Scott Ellertson who will preach and provide leadership at our October and November Jazz Vespers services.