Note: For more information on these ministries, please call the parish office (410) 523-4588: Participation in the communal and liturgical life of the church is welcomed and encouraged
Ministries of Hospitality & Service
Fellowship of Greeters and Ushers
The mission of this Fellowship is to provide a warm welcome to visitors and members of St. James’ alike. The greeters and ushers are the first points of contact to those entering the sanctuary and offer assistance to anyone in need.
Guild and lay organization members serve on a monthly rotation to prepare light refreshments on Sunday following the 10.30 a.m. service. At St. James’, this is a treasured time in which to greet family and friends in the spirit of love and goodwill.
St. James’ is home to numerous guilds and service organizations, including the following: William Levington Acolyte Guild, St. Agnes Guild, Altar Guild, Baruch Group, Bragg Missionary Guild, Brotherhood of St. Andrew, (http://brothersandrew.org/), St. Cecilia’s Guild, Chess Club, St. Francis’ Guild, Comforting Good Shepherds, St. James’ Academy, St. Martha’s Guild, St. Monica’s Guild, Parish Council, Rector’s Guild. All these groups welcome new members. Please call the parish office (410) 523-4588 for contact information.
Junior and Senior Youth Fellowship
Both Youth Fellowship groups provide a safe place for teenagers to feel accepted as they discover themselves and their relationship with God. The teens deal with problems related to their particular age group, such as relationships and peer pressure. They network with other youth groups and organizations and are involved with activities in and away from the church. The Youth Fellowship sponsors various fundraisers, including bake sales and the sale of candles and poinsettias at Christmas.
The Outreach Committee at St. James’ sponsors numerous activities throughout the year, including:
- Food Pantry
Once a month approximately 35-40 individuals are served from the pantry in the parish center. Volunteers provide hot soup and conversation and clothing, groceries, and toiletry items are distributed.
- Senior Adult Ministry
On the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, our senior members gather for a variety of activities at the parish center as well as enjoying trips to interesting places in and around Baltimore.
- 80+ Luncheon
Each year in May, the Outreach Committee hosts a spectacular luncheon for the oldest members of the church.
- St. James’/St. Luke’s Partnership
Hurricane Katrina left St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in New Orleans largely underwater. It was an established, vibrant, largely Afro-American parish between rectors, but most of its congregation was forced to evacuate to Texas, Georgia, and other parts of the United States, leaving behind heavily damaged homes. St. James’ formed a partnership with St. Luke’s and provided the congregation with 100 Bibles to replace those that were lost in the hurricane. Along with monetary donations, note cards designed by Mr. George Barrick of St. James’ were sold to raise additional funds.
- Disaster Relief Blanket Project
Members of the Outreach Committee distribute blankets to the homeless before the onset of winter each year.
- Angel Tree Project
More than twenty children whose parents were incarcerated were given a special gift annually during Christmas since 2007 to present. Other activities are planned so that we can stay in touch with these children and their caregivers throughout the year. We plan to sponsor 30 children for Christmas 2008. See http://www.angeltree.org/site_hmpg.asp for more information.
- Back to School Give Away
This annual event has grown to the extent that 200 children are now provided with school supplies at a “give away” over summer. Any remaining supplies are donated to the William Pinderhughes Elementary School.
- Health Ministry
Originating from the Outreach Committee, this independent ministry has sponsored informational seminars and free screenings for the community and parish that have included diabetes, prostate, mental health, HIV and the elderly, skin cancer, high blood pressure, and healthy heart eating.
- St. James’ Terrace Apartments
Various food items are distributed to the residents of these apartments once a month from supplies purchased at the Maryland Food Bank.
- Flea Market
This is an annual event at which clothing and household items donated to the church are sold. The committee hopes to hold the flea market twice a year in future.
- International Awareness
The Outreach Committee is sponsoring two children from Africa through Compassion International and is interested in promoting awareness of news and events in the African Diaspora. In addition, Ellie Lopez, a member of the Outreach Committee, is volunteering as a missionary at Our Little Roses home http://www.ourlittleroses.org/ in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, through December 2008.
- Click here for information about the comprehensive outreach services provided by St. James’-
- Van Ministry
The St. James’ Church van assists seniors and others who need transport to and from church on Sunday. The van also transports children to the Summer Academy and other activities within the diocese.
Ministries of Liturgy
- William Levington Guild of Acolytes
Acolytes assist the clergy during the celebration of Holy Eucharist and other services. Acolytes carry the crosses, torches, flags, and banners in procession and undertake many other responsibilities. Training is required and is conducted regularly throughout the year. Candidates are male and female — usually from age 9 through high school — but adults are also invited to serve.
Lectors perform an important leadership role in congregational worship by reading the Old and New Testament lessons, the Psalms, and leading the Prayers of the People. Public reading during services can lead to a deeper understanding of the liturgy and traditions of the Episcopal Church as well as a greater knowledge of scripture. It also provides the lector with the opportunity to play an active role in the celebration of communal worship through administering, as a chalicist, the cup of wine in the context of Holy Eucharist.
- Altar Guild
The Altar Guild oversees the preparation and maintenance of all the altar linens and vessels used during services. Members are responsible for laundering and ironing linens, polishing silver, and setting up for weekly and special services, including weddings and funerals.
Ministries of Pastoral Care
Lay Eucharistic Visitors
The Lay Eucharistic Visitors (LEVs) administer communion to the sick and shut-in members of the church. LEVs are asked to serve once a month. Some training and licensing is required. LEVs are responsible for: •Preparing themselves spiritually for their ministry
• Sharing with joy scripture and prayer as a reflection of God’s comfort and love
• Keeping the sick and shut-in informed of church news and affirming their importance within the church family
• Recording visits and reporting the needs and concerns of the sick and shut-in
In Stephen Ministry congregations, lay caregivers (called Stephen Ministers) provide one-to-one Christian care to the bereaved, hospitalized, terminally ill, separated, divorced, unemployed, relocated, and other members facing a crisis or life challenge. Stephen Ministry helps clergy and congregations provide quality pastoral care for as long as people need it. St. James’ commissioned its first class of Stephen Ministers in June, 2008 after nearly six months of training.
St. James is eager to continue a strong Stephen Ministry Leadership Team and that means we must begin to begin to bring new people onto the Team. If you are ready to learn more about being a Stephen Ministry Leader, or you are in need of a Stephen Minister’s comfort during a difficult time, please call our Rector at the church office (410-523-4588) or Stephen Minister Leader Elizabeth Ramsey (410-521-0040).