Associate for Spirituality and Community

About Saint James

Saint James Episcopal Church in Lancaster, PA is a large and growing parish founded in 1744 in the middle of a historic, vibrant city undergoing a renaissance driven in large part by remarkable creativity in the arts and a faith-based commitment to philanthropy. We are a congregation and staff team that pride itself on innovation, excellence, and breadth in our approach to everything we do. We have as our mission to be a place where joyful worship, contemplative prayer, generous living, and holy dying are the hallmarks of our life in Christ.

Saint James has long maintained a substantial online worship presence through diverse weekend services that feature a wide range of choral as well as contemporary music. In recent years, we have added a myriad of hybrid offerings, such as large and small retreats, parish groups, daily prayer, meditation and mindful yoga, through our parish center for contemplative prayer and spirituality called the Urban Well.

A contemplative approach to citizenship is being pioneered in the parish. Our approach to community building is rooted in an Anglican and Benedictine spirituality that, through a nearly 300-year congregational history, brings urban, suburban and rural neighbors together. This privilege affords a subtle but very real diversity made possible by differing social, cultural and political perspectives. We see evident fruits of the spirit in different models of contemplation and action arising from different experiences and understandings of what both makes America great as well as challenging. As one would expect in a large urban parish situated in an historically rural setting, we are straight, gay and trans and we are younger and older. We are first through ninth generation Americans, and some are Black, Asian, and Latino in a mostly white congregation. We are not at all in agreement on single-party solutions to climate change, reproductive rights, gun violence or peace in the Middle East. We seek to be a place of diversity and inclusion that includes these different and sometimes contradicting currents of American political and religious life. We focus on the foundational experiences and practices that sustain the common good through common prayer as our fundamental contribution.

About the Position

The Associate for Spirituality and Community will help deepen and expand the role of Saint James as a school of prayer in the Lord’s service. This position requires a rich understanding and practice of contemplative prayer and spirituality as well as a capacity to excite and invite others into it. It is hoped that the candidate will bring liturgical skills that are sacramentally connecting and socially engaged in a diverse urban context and an increasingly regional destination parish. We are particularly interested in applicants who want to explore what reducing reactivity looks like in social, digital and political realms through modelling practices of healthy detachment as well as effective engagement.  We hope successful candidates will help us experience a greater sociocultural diversity and increase cross-cultural engagement. Diversity to us includes not only gender, sexuality, age, culture and language, but also those in recovery or who have learning or physical differences.

Applicants are likely to be ordained in the Episcopal Church, but we are open to exploring lay and ecumenical associate models. In the event of a newly ordained person or ecumenical associate, a formational year for training and professional development would be expected.

This position is three-quarter to full-time and offers flexible hours. Some Sundays, Easter weekend, Christmas Eve, and some additional weekend, evenings and holiday hours are required. Saint James offers a competitive compensation package that includes generous benefits and paid time off.

This position reports to the rector.

Essential Functions

  • Lead, oversee or contribute to programs of adult faith formation, intergenerational faith formation and pastoral care
  • Prepare, lead or assist and facilitate the Daily Offices. Support lay leaders online and in person with active participation in daily prayer, Compline, meditation and yoga
  • Work well in hybrid worship and learning settings, social media and use of multimedia worship and teaching resources
  • Collaborate with the rector, Urban Well director and theologian-in-residence Randall Zachman on planning faith formation series
  • Contribute to digital content creation with the director of worship and directors of music
  • Assist and collaborate with the director of children, youth and families as needed on intergenerational contemplative formation, worship and practices
  • Assist the rector and director of worship in creating a sustainable pattern of Saturday and Sunday night with community worship partners and engagement opportunities as each evolves its own worship styles and congregational characteristics. Examples include addiction & recovery; justice & peace; poetry & art themes in liturgies and seasons of prayer.
  • Community engagement through identified priorities and partners on and off campus


  • Strong communication and collaboration skills
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • Familiarity and comfort with Episcopal theology and ethos
  • Ability to use technology and online platforms innovatively and effectively
  • Ability to network, collaborate and build trust and partnerships through attention to detail
  • Excellence in preaching, teaching and worship leading in a variety of styles, sizes and settings
  • Desire for and acceptance of a diverse congregation socially, culturally and politically
  • Flexibility in hours and scheduling. This position works weekdays, Sundays, Christmas Eve, Easter, and possibly other standard holidays. Weekdays can be determined by programming and seasonal needs.
  • Satisfactory completion of background checks
  • A valid driver’s license and ability to drive
  • Familiarity with and willingness to adhere strictly to Episcopal Church Safe Church policies and guidelines

Application deadline: May 20, 2024

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