Exploring Saint James

Understanding our faith and heritage

Copper PlaqueEverything you’ve always wanted to know about Saint James and more, these informative sessions include topics such as the social and political dynamics that led to the formation of the Episcopal Church, the people that were martyred in the process, and how, why and when The Book of Common Prayer was written.
This six-week course is held each fall and spring in the seminar room, beneath the Chapel and culminates in Bishop Scanlan’s visit to confirm and receive people into membership in the Episcopal Church and Saint James.
If you are not quite ready for confirmation or are already a member, we invite you to attend. If you cannot attend the sessions but are interested in becoming a member, please email the church office for more information.

Course Outline

Week 1 – Introduction and Orientation
In our introductory session we will have an opportunity to get to know one another and hear a little about our stories of faith and how we have comes to see Saint James as our spiritual home. We will also review the weekly topics and gather topics questions participants would like to cover in the course.

Week 2 – Anglican History and Identity
In our second session we will explore the beginnings of the Church of England from its break with Rome and learn about the specific markers of the Anglican tradition that has shaped our current practices of worship, prayer, mission, and community. We will also reflect on how this expression of Christian faith may differ from our childhood faith experiences.

Have Questions About Membership?

Visit our FAQ page to learn more about full membership at Saint James.

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Week 3 – The Sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist
In our third session we will delve into the two primary sacraments of the church, baptism and the eucharist. We will use the writings of Rowan Willams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, as a starting point for personal reflections on how we have been impacted and transformed by these sacraments.

Week 4 – The Book of Common Prayer
In our fourth session we learn about the Book of Common Prayer; from its historical creation to its central role in the life of the our tradition. We will learn how the prayer book can be used to deepen our life of prayer.

Week 5 – The Episcopal Church and Saint James
In our fifth session we will explore the history and formation of the Episcopal Church. In that examination we will learn how the history of Saint James parallels our national history in the cultural ebbs and flow of our society.

Week 6 – Stewardship and Engagement
In our sixth and final session, we will learn about how we are recipients of God’s grace and therefore aero stewards of our time, our talents, and our treasure. We will discern how each of us is called to offer ourselves through the church to transform the world. We will also explore where each person fits into the community to become more engaged in the life of the parish.