Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who settest the solitary in families: We commend to thy continual care the homes in which thy people dwell. Put far from them, we beseech thee, every root of bitterness, the desire of vainglory, and the pride of life. Fill them with faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness. Knit together in constant affection those who, in holy wedlock, have been made one flesh. Turn the hearts of the parents to the children, and the hearts of the children to the parents; and so enkindle fervent charity among us all, that we may evermore be kindly affectioned one to another; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A prayer for families, Book of Common Prayer
At St. James, we understand the challenges facing families these days, and that includes families of every kind. Whether you’re a single parent or a blended family or a household with multiple generations under one roof – or even the so-called “traditional” nuclear family with two parents and a couple of kids! – know that you are welcome, and we are here to walk with you through all the wonderful and sometimes wacky trials and tribulations that being a family brings.
For young people – ages birth to 18 – we simply strive to provide a safe place to grow up in a place where Christ is made real in a community of love and support. We certainly do this in structured ways, introducing our young people to Christ, teaching them how to be disciples grounded in spiritual growth, training them in serving Christ with their life.
Of equal importance to us is assisting parents or guardians in raising their children to wholesome maturity.
In addition to worship and Christian education, most events at St. James are open to all ages, from intergenerational events for Advent and Lent to special services such as the annual Blessing of the Animals service in October and Solemn Requiem in November.
Celebrating the milestones in our families’ lives also is an integral part of our purpose as a parish. For our children, we do this in richly sacramental ways by offering a Baby Blessing at birth, Holy Baptism during worship to welcome the child into the church, and Confirmation to let children take their Baptismal Vows unto themselves and become full-fledged members in the Church.
In between, we continually look for ways to celebrate our young people with special prayers as they go back to school each year, attend Diocesan retreats and mission trips, achieve special accomplishments, and eventually graduate from high school (we recognize our graduating seniors by wrapping them in a St. James blanket as well as a blessing!).
Children’s Worship Bags are provided complimentary to families with young children as a way to provide engaging activities for children to partake in during the worship service. These bags usually contain a Bible coloring sheet, crayons, as well as pipe cleaners. They are available for your convenience within the narthex (foyer) of the main church building.