O God of all, with wonderful diversity of languages and cultures you created all people in your image. Free us from prejudice and fear, that we may see your face in the faces of people around the world; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
Confirmation Students prepared Ashes for Ash Wednesday on their Winter Retreat. They burned the palms from last year’s Passion/Palm Sunday. As part of a confession during the start of their evening retreat worship, each student wrote down ways that they have been unkind to others. We asked for God’s forgiveness and the strength to make better/kinder choices.
The resulting fine ash powder will be combined with a little olive oil to create the ashen paste that is used to mark the heads of worshipers as a sign of repentance on the first day of the Lenten season.
This year, Ash Wednesday is on March 6. St. James worships at noon and 7:30 p.m.
Almighty God, your Holy Spirit equips the church with a rich variety of gifts. Grant that we may use them to bear witness to Christ in lives that are built on faith and love. Make us ready to live the gospel and eager to do your will, so that we may share with all your church in the joys of eternal life; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
During the six weeks of Lent we will be collecting items for Lutheran World Relief.
When families find their homes destroyed, or must flee for their safety, soap and a towel rarely make the cut for what they can carry. Arriving in a refugee camp or other place of safety, they are scared, vulnerable and dirty from the travel. The simple items included in a Personal Care Kit provide
much-needed self-care, critical germ fighting, and the chance
to regain dignity amidst situations of fear and uncertainty.
St. James will join in this important ministry as a part of our Lenten journey.
We will begin collecting the items Sunday February 17th
The following items are needed:
Towels -light-weight bath-size towel (between 20"×40" & 52"×27"), dark color recommended
Two or three bath-size bars of gentle soap equaling 8-9 oz., any brand, in original wrapping; no mini or hotel-size bars
One adult-size toothbrush in its original packaging
One sturdy comb
One metal nail clippers (attached file optional),
We ask that you bring these items to church and deposit them in boxes in the Narthex.
O God of wisdom, in your goodness you provide faithful teachers for your church. By your Holy Spirit give all teachers insight into your holy word, lives that are examples to us all, and the courage to know and do the truth; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
St. James Confirmation students (grades 6-9) will be away on retreat at Camp Omega from Friday, February 8 to Saturday, February 9. While on overnight retreat, they will build relationships with God and each other, have fun, learn about kindness, and enjoy winter tubing. We will be using the movie, WONDER, as the background for our learning experience/discussion. Thanks go to Small Group leaders, Pastor Walt, and our Ministry Host, Siana Adrian for their leadership and enthusiasm.
Please pray for a safe, enjoyable, and productive retreat experience for our youth and leaders.
Almighty God, by the love of Jesus Christ you draw people to yourself and welcome them into the household of faith. May we show your joy by embracing new brothers and sisters as we bear your creative and redeeming word to all the world. Keep us close together in your Spirit, in the breaking of bread and the prayers, and in service to others, following the example of Jesus Christ, our servant and Lord. Amen.
St. James welcomes our newest members that have joined this past year.
Be sure to introduce yourself to them this Sunday Jan. 27 at worship and at the Annual meeting and potluck.
St. James is thankful for the new involvement of these new families and look forward as they connect even more.
Gracious God, as you have called workers to varied tasks in the world, and in your church, so you have called these servants to this ministry of St. James. Grant them joy and a spirit of bold trust, that their work may stir up each of us to a life of fruitful service; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Gracious God, grant peace among nations. Cleanse from our won hearts the seeds of strife: greed and envy, harsh misunderstandings and ill will, fear and desire for revenge. Make us quick to welcome ventures in cooperation among the peoples of the world, so that there may be woven the fabric of a common good too strong to be torn by the evil hands of war. In the time of opportunity, make us be diligent; and in the time of peril, let not our courage fail; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Starting this Wednesday, Pastor Walt will be teaching Confirmation students about the evils of anti-Semitism, and the role of Christians in the Holocaust. Although Christianity did not cause the Holocaust - the systematic killing of 6 million Jews by the Nazis - for centuries, Christians perpetrated a hatred for Jews that provided the context for the Shoah. All too few Christians took a stand against the Holocaust as it was happening. Studying this horror, allows for us to ask deep questions as to what lies at the heart of our Christian faith. We will also look at the role that Jesus calls us to play in making sure that hatred is not allowed to dominate in such a way ever again.
The rise of anti-Semitism in Minnesota and in our country today is cause for critical examination, reflection, and attention. As Christians, we need to find our identity in Jesus’ command to love God (who created all people in God’s Image) and our neighbor regardless of their religious beliefs. Our young people need to have these conversations so as to be able to recognize and respond to all forms of hatred and bias.
Confirmation instruction is for youth in grades 6,7,8 (and 9th who started in 7th grade). It occurs on most Wednesdays throughout the year. For more information and a schedule (click here).
Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we humbly thank you for your goodness to us and to all that you have made. We praise you for your creation, for keeping us and all things in your care, and for all the blessings of life. Above all we bless you for your immeasurable love in redeeming the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies that with thankful hearts we praise you, not only with our lips but in our lives, by giving ourselves to your service and by living in your gifts of holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be all worship and praise, now and forever. Amen.
prayer from the front of our Evangelical Lutheran Worship hymnal.
On Sunday, January 6, during the Adult Faith Formation Hour (11:00 - 11:45 a.m.), you are invited to create a blessing to hang over the door of your home. At the start of worship, we will be using a blessing used by Eastern European Christians on Epiphany to bless their homes. As a church family, we will mark the names of the wise men - Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar - over the main entrance to our sanctuary - asking for God’s blessing over us we we enter throughout the new year. During the Adult Faith Formation time, materials will be provided for you to make a version of this same blessing for your home.
check out these photos taken by Dave Osterkamp at our 10:00 p.m. Christmas Eve worship.
St. James Lutheran’s communion bread is baked by our youth. Each month, high school youth from our SPARK ministry works with Confirmation Students, to bake the bread that we use during communion. It is frozen and then freshly baked each week. We are grateful for the presence and joy of our teens that bring so much to our church family.
For those who are finding it hard to be “joyful-as-usual” this Christmas season, St. James Lutheran offers a special worship opportunity to discover anew the good news of Jesus’ birth. On Sunday, December 23 at 1:00 p.m., we offer a BLUE CHRISTMAS. Hosted by the Pastoral Care Team, this worship is designed to meet folks in their sorrow and grief and to provide a space for us all to be fed by Christmas in a way that is less bold, quieter, and more introspective. Come at 12:30 pm. for a soup lunch and some fellowship. Worship is from 1:00 to 1:45 with time afterwards if anyone just wants to have quiet and prayerful conversation.
All are welcome - you do not need to belong to the St. James community to attend. Perhaps you know someone in your neighborhood that would benefit from this healing opportunity. Maybe you could bring them along?
Check out our children as they lead worship on December 16, 2018 - click logo below.
Though we might be experiencing a break in the winter weather this week before Christmas - it is good to lift up St. James Winter Worship policy. Throughout the winter (storms included), we remain open on Sunday mornings for worship at 8:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. We don’t cancel worship because of inclement weather. Everyone is encouraged to assess the safety of their own participation. We don’t want anyone to take any chances in travel. Please don’t put yourself or the family at risk.
We hold worship each Sunday because as Christians it is important to gather on the first day of the week to celebrate the glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ. Trusting in God’s presence - even in the midst of storms - we gather around Word and Sacrament to be strengthen as children of God.
For those unable to get to worship - whether due to a storm or not - you can access our online worship archive and participate online. During the 9:30 worship on Sundays, we live-stream. Afterwards, you can access a recording of that worship.
Each year, St. James is blessed to have a dedicated group of people, under the direction of Kelvin Miller, Minister of Music, decorate the sanctuary for Advent, and again for Christmas. Thank you to all who shared your time and talents to help us get our church home ready for our big celebrations.
On Wednesday, December 12, we will worship in the sanctuary at 7:30 p.m. We will use the Holden Evening prayer, a perpetual favorite in the St. James Community of young and older alike. Experience a beautiful Advent evening with candlelight and sacred melodies. It will lift your spirit. You will be glad that you came.