As I was reflecting on 2021, I realized that we were indeed graced by the Holy Spirit as we continued to learn what it means to be followers of Jesus in the times and place we find ourselves.
At St James, we have always tried to look at the world around us and see where the Spirit is moving and how can we join in that movement. We try to see where and who are the people who will help us grow deeper in our own spirituality while living in and with a very changing world. 2021 was an amazing year with so many people being involved in the life and ministry of St James, it is hard to know where to begin.
We've had a dedicated crew of volunteers and professionals continuing to make building repairs and upgrades to our facility inside and out. Our technology team has grown and our use and understanding of technology and how it can help us spread the good news and love of Jesus continues to grow. We have had people connecting for fellowship, study, book club, prayer, and more both virtually and in person as we've been able. We have had community groups continue or come back to using our facility and we have continued to work outside of our walls by participating in volunteer opportunities and community learning and action opportunities. We collected a whole lot of food for Peter's Pantry during Advent, and we sponsored a family at Christmas through the Salvation Army. Our prayer shawl ministry is busy, and we are blessing people with the fruits of their labors.
Our worship and ministries have taken on some new forms. We updated our constitution to better reflect where we are as a community today. We have seen changes within the people who call St James 'home" and in some of the people who are doing the work. I believe that each change brings both happiness and the possibility of a sense of sadness and we have been mindful of that for the most part. The best part of what I see happening is that we, as individuals, have taken on some new forms as well. People are working together and seeing how much more can be done when we work as a community. We are seeing the variety of gifts we can all bring, rather than our limitations. We are also looking to the horizon with the thoughts of "how can we". Nowadays, I rarely, if ever hear "we can't..." or "that's not how we've done..." There is an energy and a vitality that I can only attribute to the Holy Spirit in our midst and for that and all of you who join me on this journey, I give thanks.
Amma Diane+, Rector