I'm New to St. James.
First, thank you! We know visiting for the first time can be intimidating and worship in the Episcopal Church can be unfamiliar to some. It takes some courage to attend that first time. Know we are grateful for your presence, whether you are passing through town on vacation, visiting family, or looking for a spiritual home. We trust God will draw near to you as you draw near to God.
Where can I park?
Most of our parking is behind the church, accessible on North Grove Street. After parking, just walk to the front of the church and enter the double glass doors through the stone breezeway. Some people find parking on North Main Street or adjacent streets as well.
What can I expect in worship?
We use the 1979 Book of Common prayer for all our primary worship services and use three different hymnals, all found in the pew rack. When you enter, you will be welcomed and handed a bulletin, which contains all the information you need to participate in the service, including helpful directions to which book a hymn or text can be found.
You can sit anywhere you like in the pews or in the chairs at the back. We encourage you to enter in quiet to take in the sacred space and allow time for reflection and prayer before worship. Our Saturday 5 p.m. service usually does not have music. Once a month, our folk band, Allelu!, leads worship and we have a quarterly Celtic Eucharist at this time. Our Sunday morning service at 7:30 a.m. is a spoken Rite I, which means it has no music and uses stately Elizabethean language most associate with the King James version of Scripture. Finally, our 10 a.m. service features our choir, organ music, acolytes, and uses contemporary language.
Sometimes we bow, sometimes we stand, sometimes we sit. The old Episocpal maxim is that we Sit to Listen, we Stand to Speak/Sing, and we Kneel to Pray.
Most of all, know that you can't "mess up." You being present is a gift.
Are children welcome? I mean, actually welcome?
If you have a little one, our nursery is still suspended following the COVID shutdown, but your young ones are still welcome! You'll notice a small children's area in the back with soft toys, books, and a colorful rug. We know little ones sometimes make noise, and that's okay! We know infants sometimes get hungry when they get hungry so please feel free to tend to their needs during worship as you feel comfortable. We also offer a Children's Chapel in Stillwell Hall, our parish hall.
Can I receive Communion?
We offer Holy Communion at each service and all who come in faith are welcome to receive the consecrated Bread and Wine. If you do not want to receive the wine, simply cross your arms. You can also participate by receiving only a blessing from one of our priests.
How do I meet people?
First, please fill out our visitor card and drop in the offering plate. We consider that the greatest offering you can give when you visit with us. Secondly, introduce yourself to the clergy as you leave. We want to get to know you. You will also be welcomed by our greeters and ushers, who can answer any question.
Second, come to Coffee Hour! Immediately after the 10 a.m. service, join us for coffee and light refreshments. We want to get to know you. As you get to know us, our Newcomers group will be in touch with multiple ways to learn about St. James and plug into our many ministries and activities.
How do I join and get involved?
Click here to learn more about joining St. James.
Where are the bathrooms?
Conveniently, there is an all-gender bathroom in the Narthex (foyer) of the church. There are also bathrooms just off the Parish Hall.
Saturday, 5:00 PM – A casual service without music using Rite II Eucharist. Livestreamed on St. James Facebook Page.
Sunday, 7:30 AM – Rite I Eucharist without music.
Sunday, 10:00 AM – Rite II Eucharist with music. Livestreamed on St. James Facebook Page.
Offered periodically on Saturdays at 5:00 PM.
Wednesday Eucharist and Healing Liturgy
Wednesday Noon – Eucharist Rite II and Healing Liturgy. No music.
We welcome all children to every St. James worship service. We do not offer a staffed nursery at the moment. However, you are invited to use our children's corner at the back of the church itself. It is equipped with carpeted areas, soft toys, and children's books for our youngest parishioners.
Christian marriage is a solemn and public covenant between two people in the presence of God. God is well pleased when two people who love each other decide to marry. Marriage is an ongoing symbol of God’s love for the Church, and it is not to be entered into lightly or unadvisedly. If you desire to be married at St. James, please speak to the rector, the Rev. David Henson. Weddings at St. James are reserved for members of the parish or close relatives of parish members. All weddings must adhere to St. James Wedding Customary, the Book of Common Prayer, the Constitutions and Canons of the Episcopal Church, and the laws of the State of North Carolina. We wish you great joy in your new life together, and we pray that God will richly bless you.
“The death of a member of the Church should be reported as soon as possible to, and arrangements for the funeral should be made in consultation with, the Minister of the Congregation.” (The Book of Common Prayer, page 468) We believe that Christians are properly buried from the church, and the Burial Rite should be held at a time when the congregation is able to attend. Please inform any of the parish clergy if someone is dying or has died, so that we can minister to them and their family. It is the norm that the clergy of St. James are the officiants at all funerals. It is customary that the celebration of the Holy Eucharist be a part of the Burial of the Dead. St. James also offers Stephen Ministers for those who are grieving, and you can speak to any of the clergy to arrange for that ministry to assist you in your time of sorrow.