The Lenten Season at Saint James

A time of abstinence and reflection

The Lenten season at Saint James is rich in community traditions and liturgical rites and rituals. For those who are so moved, we invite you to partake of these activities and worship opportunities to enrich your Lenten experience in preparation for Holy Week and Easter.

Lenten Journey Offerings

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper

This is an annual all-you-can-eat event to benefit children and youth ministries at Saint James! All are invited to drop by to eat and enjoy Fat Tuesday with our Saint James family. Suggested donations at the door are Adults (12 and over) $7, Children (5-11) $3 and children under 5 eat FREE.

Funds raised will help offset the costs of our Godly Play Summer Camp.

Cross of ashes

Ash Wednesday Services

7:30 AM & 12:05 PM: Saint James Sanctuary
3:00 PM: Johnson Auditorium, Willow Valley Manor North
4:30 PM: Family Eucharist with Godly Play and the Imposition of Ashes, Saint James Chapel
7:30 PM: Convocation Service at Saint James

Sunday Morning Forums

Our Lenten series, led by Fr. Rick and Kimberlee Peifer, is based on Cynthia Bourgeault’s book The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind. Episcopal priest, teacher and contemplative guide, Bourgeault writes, As we actually taste the flavor of [Jesus’] teaching, we begin to see that it’s not proverbs for daily living, or ways of being virtuous. He’s proposing a total meltdown and recasting of human consciousness, bursting through the tiny acorn-selfhood that we arrived on the planet with, into the oak tree of our fully realized person-hood. He pushes us toward it, teases us, taunts us, encourages us, and ultimately walks us there.

Lenten Compline

The service of Compline {pronounced cóm-plin} is based on the closing time of prayer in the Daily Office, or monastic cycle of prayer. It is said in monasteries around 9:00 PM, when darkness has fallen and bedtime is near. The thoughts that inspire our prayers during Compline are the need we have of divine protection against the powers of darkness. We also pray for peace and rest as night falls.

Contemplative Prayer: Teaching

During the season of Lent, Tuesday’s Contemplative Prayer and Teaching time will focus on writings from The Wisdom Jesus by Episcopalian priest and author, Cynthia Bourgeault. Jesus was a wisdom teacher. He stayed close to the ground of wisdom: the transformation of human consciousness. Topics include Putting on the Mind of Christ, The Kingdom of HeavenOne with God, One with Each OtherThe Egoic Operating  System and Self-Emptying.


After meditation each evening, we will spend the remainder of the time exploring these concepts and enter into a spiritual practice relating to the Wisdom Jesus.

Women’s Gathering

The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World

Women’s Gathering will discuss The Book of Forgiving by South African Archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho who holds a Master of Divinity degree. Together, they graciously share their experiences, stories, prayers, and suggestions for building “a world of forgiveness.” Archbishop Tutu insists: “We take care of our world by taking care of each other—it is as simple and difficult as that.” For more information, please email Lorraine Rollo.

Men’s Lenten Retreat

For our March meeting, the Men’s Spirituality Group will move to St. Thomas Episcopal Church for a mid-Lenten half-day silent retreat. This is a great opportunity to be together mostly in silence for prayer, meditation, journaling, reading, reflecting on scripture, walking the labyrinth and being inside or outside. The period of silence will be preceded and followed by a brief liturgy with no Eucharist. Men of all ages are invited to participate. For additional information please email Bob Mosebach or David Rutledge.

Willow Valley Lenten Bible Study

Dr. Peter Schmiechen and Fr. Rick will lead the group in a study on the names of Jesus—One Jesus; Many Names.

The New Testament demonstrates that within two generations of Holy Week, Christians named Jesus in many ways. Our purpose will be twofold: first, to look at the variety of names and examine several of the key ones; second, to explore what prompted early Christians to use such variety and why certain names changed in meaning and/or became central to remembering Jesus. You do not have to be a resident of Willow Valley to attend; all are welcome.

Lenten Silent Retreat Weekend

At the Mariawald Renewal Center Enter into the mystery of Lent as we step away from our everyday lives to rest and renew with God in silence. We’ll offer daily meditation, and for those who would like, we’ll provide spiritual practice resources to help enrich your experience. Whether it’s a nap, a stroll through the woods, sitting or bird watching, we encourage all to engage in whatever feels most life giving to you! Our time of silence will conclude Saturday morning with Holy Eucharist led by Fr. Ron Jaynes followed by a time of sharing and processing with each other.

Godly PlayChildren’s Chapel During the 10:30 Mass

The lessons offered during Lent at Children’s Chapel will prepare children to enter into the Mystery of Easter. Key moments in the life of Jesus are remembered. The children will hear the parables he told and they will journey with him toward his cross and resurrection. Beautiful images and symbolic colors will aid the storytelling. Art materials will be available to help children respond to the story in creative ways. Communal coloring posters on the seven last words of Jesus will also be included during response time.

Soup’s On! A Lenten Parish Supper

Back by Popular Demand! Gather with us again this year in the parish house forum room after the 5 PM mass to enjoy a simple Lenten supper of a variety of homemade soups and breads! Sign up to bring a pot of soup, a dessert or a beverage. We will provide an assortment of breads. All are welcome.

House Church for Families and Youth

This Lenten season we continue our weekday evening prayer celebrated in the homes of families. Our March house church gathering helps us in our observance of a holy Lent – our season of preparing for the mystery of Easter. Godly Play storytelling is woven into our night prayer, and the Compline service found in our Book of Common Prayer guides our prayer together.