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Father Douglas Anderson's weekly KneeMail to parishioners and friends of Saint James Church, Texarkana
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Kneemail from Saint James Church

May 1, AD 2019

FROM THE RECTOR:
Dear Parishioners and Friends of St James’,
 
About Coffee Hour.  This year, coffee hour returned to St James’ after the 10am Mass.  I am thankful that Larry Oxford prodded me into restoring this part of our common life. Veteran parishioners tell me that many years ago we had a lively coffee hour, but this ceased when the parish began feeding the homeless in the Great Hall on Sundays in the days before Randy Sams’ was up and running.  But now, after a long hiatus, it is back.
 
I want to explain the “why” of hosting a coffee hour.  The reasons are twofold:
  1. Strengthening of our family bonds (internal), and 
  2. Providing hospitality to visitors (external).
 
With regard to the first, it is good that we spend time together over a cup of coffee or a mimosa after Mass.  We might even go so far as to say that our table fellowship in the Great Hall is an extension and working out of our fellowship at the Altar.  Recall that the primitive Church was concerned with believers participating in both the “Breaking of Bread” (Eucharist) and “fellowship” (Acts 2:42).  The two are not exclusive.  
 
For our visitors, it is important that we provide as many “entrances” to our common life as we can.  Coffee hour is one of these.  Outsiders, especially those coming from non-liturgical traditions, experience our worship as formal (but I hope, not “stiff”), and a time of visiting after Mass provides an occasion to meet them informally.
 
Needless to say, when visitors come coffee hour (and I will have more to say about “how” we invite visitors to the coffee hour in next week’s email), it is important that we are hospitable!  Hospitality is an important Christian ministry.  As St Benedict says in his Rule, “Let all guests who arrive be received like Christ, for He is going to say,“I came as a guest, and you received Me” (Matt. 25:35).
 
On several occasions I have visited a church on vacation dressed in ordinary clothing, not in a black suit and clerical collar.  Very often one of two things happen: seeing “fresh meat,” I was bombarded with people saying things like, “You have a nice voice, we need men in the choir,” or “Glad you brought your family—we need kids in the Sunday School,” or similar hard-sell recruitment efforts. At the Cathedral in Quebec City, the priest even handed me a pledge card!  This neediness had a whiff of desperation about it, giving the impression that I was needed only as a cog in their failing machine.  More often however, I have been ignored as parishioners form their own little groups while I stand uncomfortably off at the side.  Let this not be so among us!
 
Consider this image:  Perhaps when you were first dating your spouse, you got hauled off to one of their family reunions.  Doubtless it was uncomfortable being confronted with a group of strangers, all of whom were scoping out the prosepect.  Maybe busybody cousin Eloise compared you aloud to the last boyfriend/girlfriend your host brought to a reunion.  Perhaps uncle Alphonse took it upon himself to “screen” you with hundreds of challenging questions on behalf of your spouse-to-be.  Maybe you got trapped with great great aunt Hortense who talked at length about her cat’s constipation.  Or her constipation.  Awkward.
 
But there were likely a few people at that reunion who had the gift of hospitality.  They took you under their wing, engaged you in conversation that was not political or challenging or snooping, and made you feel at home.  They took an interest in you. They tried to find common ground.  They introduced you to other people that you might enjoy, and protected you from the crazies.  
 
So this is what I am asking of you:
  1. Stop coffee hour, even for a few moments.  Give the gift of yourself, both to those who are already members of the household of God and to visitors.
  2. Be hospitable.  Put yourself in a stranger’s shoes.  Get them a drink.  Include them in your conversation and introduce them to others.
 
More about this next week.

Yours with every blessing,

Rev. Douglas Anderson, Rector
WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES THIS WEEK

WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT SAINT JAMES':
Wednesday Nights are in recess until the Fall.

THE THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER: 
 
Low Mass at 8am.
Christian Education Classes are in summer recess
Sung Mass at 10am

Nursery provided from 10 am onwards.
Coffee Hour follows the 10 AM Mass

 
Did you know that you can now securely give to
Saint James' Church online? 

Visit  http://saintjamestxk.org/giving/ for details!
UPCOMING EVENTS AND ITEMS OF PARTICULAR NOTE

 
Friday, May 10th: CORNERSTONE MASS at 10:30am
Sunday, May 12th: MAY FESTIVAL OF OUR LADY & RECOGNITION OF GRADUATES at 10am
Monday, May 20th: RSOS BOARD MEETS at Noon
Monday, May 20th: ST JAMES’ VESTRY MEETS at 5:30pm
Thursday, May 23rd: ST JAMES’ DAY SCHOOL GRADUATION at 6:30pm
Friday, May 24th: SJDS TEACHER MORNING PRAYER at 8:30am
Thursday, May 30th: SJDS BOARD MEEETS
Monday, June 17th: RSOS BOARD MEETS at Noon
Sunday, August 25th: FEAST OF DEDICATION & HOMECOMING SUNDAY
Sunday, December 8th: VISITATION OF THE BISHOP at the 10am Mass.
 
NEW MEMBER/CONFIRMATION/RECEPTION classes will begin in Fall 2019.
SUMMER CAMP.  If you are thinking of camp for the summer, please consider the diocesan camp, All Saints, for your child. There are scholarships available. The link below will take you to registration information, etc.  https://www.campallsaints.com/en/summercampschedule.html
 

A SCHOLARSHIP is available for the benefit of youth in our parish wishing to further their education. Guidelines and application forms are available from the church office. Deadline for completed applications is June 1.  When considering your memorials, please consider giving to the Scholarship fund for the benefit of our youth and their future.  
 

DO YOU HAVE A STUDENT GRADUATING THIS YEAR?  Please send Fr Anderson the names of your high school or college graduates.  We will recognize graduates at Mass on Sunday, May 12th.

 
PARISH NOTICES

CELEBRATING BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK:
William DeLoach, Michelle Purtle (28), George Matteson (29), Mary-Stewart Shores (30), Thomas Cutrer (1), Calvin Moore, J. D. Phillips (3).

CELEBRATING ANNIVERSARIES: 
Gary & Debbie Knaupe (30).

WEEKLY HOUSEHOLD PRAYERS:  
Dot Williford
 

REST ETERNAL
Rest Eternal grant unto them, O Lord; and let light perpetual shine upon them.

Anniversaries of death falling this week:
J.D. Woosley, 2009; Anne Gooch, 2013; Annette Jones, 2014.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION NOTICES

Christian Education Classes are in recess until the start of school.

 
PARISH GROUPS AND ACTIVITIES

THE FLOWER DONOR CHART is in the Narthex (porch) to sign-up to give flowers in memory or in thanksgiving of a loved one, or you may call or e-mail Martha Bean at 903-547-6911 – e-mail wpmvb@windstream.net .  The cost is still just $35 per donor, per Sunday.  What a great way to honor or remember those who are important in our lives!   You can also now arrange and securely pay for your flower donations online by clicking HERE.

THE ROSARY GROUP meets on Tuesdays at 10am to pray the “Bible on a String.” Come join us.  For more information, contact Lova at lova@cableone.net

THE DAUGHTERS OF THE KING is an Order for Episcopal women founded in 1885.  We are a prayer and service group who meets once a month.  We regularly take part in worship, study, and aid our Clergy as asked.  If you are interested in more about us, please call or e-mail Lova Wile (903-832-2533  lova@cableone.net ), Tammy Cowdery (903-277-2148 cowdery@txkusa.org ), or Gail Crisp (903-838-0942 gjcrisp@cableone.net )
Copyright © 2019 Saint James' Church, All rights reserved.


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