Shirley WalshWhen I walk up to our beautiful church there is a sense of being, of belonging. I hear the bells and my heart is being called. When I enter the sanctuary I am transformed to the connection of the spirit. St. James is mine and I am one with St. James. Every church I've attended has been home and yet St. James is more. Can many people say going to church is exciting? The parishioners are alive with the spirit and match the sense of place. Sometimes I sit in my pew and not even study the themes of the stained glass windows but instead the beauty of the windows, the colors, the light behind them. Our windows were dedicated by former members of the church to beautify a place to worship and to glorify the Lord though beauty and art. I guess the windows are grand to a newcomer. After the grandeur fades, the beauty speaks to each person who enters this space.

As a 22 year member of St. James I have been spiritually fed, nurtured, and then cared for by our community in the death of my husband. Maybe my view of heaven is here at St. James.....we seek this place to receive all of God’s gifts. WE are abundantly reminded or CALLED to take our spirituality and share our gifts with others.

As I cherish St. James in my life I realize I am also called to share my treasure. I not only get great joy supporting the church but also our outreach ministries, the World Relief and Development and ministries in other countries. I am called to help Jenny McConnachie because she is our footprint in missions and she is doing God’s work for each of us. I get Joy in helping the orphaned girls at Our Little Roses in Honduras, to be part of rescuing children starving in the gutters and out of the sex slave trades. In visiting our sister churches in Cuba I saw the faith and joy amongst the abject poverty. I left Cuba knowing these Christians had the WEALTH of spirit. I felt a huge sense of joy AND I was the receiver of the spirit of our Christian sisters and brothers.

I look for the many places where I could give more financially. I find I am not lacking in my own comfort but banking much joy and satisfaction in serving the Lord and others.

I have extreme gratitude for this extraordinary life on earth. I know by choosing this historic church, it requires a great deal of financial stewardship. When individual projects or needs come up I look to see how much I can help. I have the mindset like I approach I tipping 20 percent because it's the standard or giving to show appreciation of someone's service to me and sharing my bounty?
–Shirley Walsh